Though the Japanese may not be as well known for sports as the Chinese are, they do have their own share of nationals who have played or are playing for famous teams in other countries. In the world of football, they have Shunsuke Nakamura, who is currently playing for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.
So why are we featuring Shunsuke Nakamura? We actually got wind of him through Patrick Brennan’s e-mail (Thanks, Patrick!). To be honest, I have never heard of him before, so I did some research, and this is what I found on Wikipedia:
He is one of the most prominent and successful Asian players to have played in Europe and on 13 September 2006 became the first Japanese player to score in the Champions League and the second Asian player to do so.
He has won the Asian Cup in 2000 and 2004 with the Japanese national football team, and was named Most Valuable Player in the 2004 competition. He has also appeared in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, and the 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of the Japanese Under-23 team.
Apparently, his success has become a bitter pill to swallow for fans of their archrival team, the Rangers. They have started (and are continuing) a campaign, which I find particularly offensive due to its racist slant. I do not want to promote racism of any kind but perhaps, if we get the word out, we can stand up against this. The slogan that the Rangers’ fans are using has something to do with the idea that people from Japan eat dog meat – you can see a video on YouTube highlighting this.
It shouldn’t really matter, but just to set the record straight – the Japanese in general do not eat dog. Oh the complexities of race…