Wednesday, June 30, 2010

なに? Sakamoto Ryoma Original Soccer Star?

Sakamoto Ryoma has to be one of the most popular figures in Japanese history. He has been the subject of numerous historical dramas, books, films, and internet blogs. I’ve always wanted to write something about Ryoma and until I came across this photo, I could no longer resist. For those of you not familiar with Sakamoto Ryoma, he was an influential Samurai from the powerful Tosa Domain during the late Bakumatsu Period of Japan (1860’s). He is best remembered as Statesmen, Visionary, and Japan’s first JFA Soccer Star. なに? Did I just say Soccer Star? Yup! That's right! You heard it here! Japan's First International Soccer Star was none other than Sakamoto Ryoma!

 なんちゃて! Ok just kidding! Ryoma was not the father of Japan's Soccer League nor did he play for the national team. In fact Futbol Soccer was not even in Japan until quite recently. But in all seriousness, I had come across the Samurai Blue website while looking for photos of Japan's national team and found this curious psuedo monument depiction of Ryoma all decked out in Samurai Blue Adidas gear at Samurai Blue Park. I about spit up my Sapporo when I first saw this photo but loved where they were going with it none the less. Samurai Blue Park is located next to National Stadium in Yoyogi Park Tokyo which was created by the Japan Football Association for the 2010 World Cup. Who knows how long the JFA will keep this open now that Japan has been eliminated from the Round of 16 in the World Cup but If you would like to see more of this park please visit the Samurai Blue’s official website at



  1. Yeah, I came across this a few weeks ago as well. Pretty funny. Depressing too since they lost. Oh well.

  2. I am very proud of the team. It makes me sad to see so many Japanese and J-Haters out there go on Japanese sites and diss the Samurai Blue. They did their nation and their sport good. I am now a lifelong fan! Go Samurai Blue!

  3. The team looked horrible before the cup started, but the win against Cameroon changed everything. They did well.