Domestic Cleaners Chiswick 28th October 2018
Last week, you may recall me talking about a school in Devon that is cutting costs by having the students participate in cleaning up duties. The headteacher of that primary school stated that they were inspired to introduce this regime by the Japanese approach towards cleanliness in classrooms. Well, this time, we're going backwards in time slightly to look at another time the Japanese have displayed their outstanding attitude towards cleaning - the 2018 World Cup!
In most World Cup matches, people will observe the stadiums being littered with food, cups and wrappers that have been discarded or scattered about due to the intensity of the match.
During the recent World Cup, Japan was able to win their opening game against Colombia (2-1), thus securing their first victory against a South American team.
Despite the rampant excitement that likely erupted among the crows, Japanese fans still calmly cleaned up the rows and seats in the stadium (not for the first time either) using large rubbish bags that they had brought with them to the match.
Not surprised by the nature of 'Samurai Blue' fans, Japan-based football journalist stated that "it's not just part of the football culture but part of Japanese culture,"
"You often hear people say that football is a reflection of culture. An important aspect of Japanese society is making sure that everything is absolutely clean and that's the case in all sporting events and certainly also in football."
While the Japanese pioneered this 'movement' and are now famous for it, it is worth noting that Senegal fans also seemed to pick up this habit at the World Cup, along with a few other countries.
The journalist also adds that foreigners "might leave a bottle or some kind of food package on the ground and then it's often the case that people get tapped on the shoulder by Japanese people indicating they should clean up or take it home but can't leave it there."
Scott North, professor of sociology at Osaka University states that "cleaning up after football matches is an extension of basic behaviours that are taught in school, where the children clean their school classrooms and hallways. With constant reminders throughout childhood, these behaviours become habits for much of the population."
Fans seem to be quite happy with their cleanliness being viewed and praised on social media. Prof. North explains that "in addition to their heightened consciousness of the need to be clean and to recycle, cleaning up at events like the World Cup is a way Japanese fans demonstrate pride in their way of life and share it with the rest of us. What better place to make a statement about the need to care responsibly for the planet than the World Cup?"
Finally, Mr. McIntyre adds that "it doesn't mean there is any more or less passion. It's simply that passion doesn't slip into neglect of basic rules of behaviour let alone violence.
I know it may sound bland and boring, but that is the reality of a country that's built on respect and politeness, and this simply extends to doing respectful things in football.
I think it's a wonderful thing that the World Cup brings so many nations and people together and get to learn and exchange these kinds of things. That's the beauty of football."
Did you attend any matches in the World Cup this year? And if so, did you see any fans cleaning up their stadiums afterwards or perhaps even assist yourself? Seeing these sorts of things occurring is a helpful reminder that the nature of a country's peoples will inevitably impact their actions regarding separate matters, for better or for worse. It's also a great reminder to keep cleaning!
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