On Wednesday, Japan sealed their historic first win against Germany in a 2022 World Cup group stage match in Qatar, prompting widespread celebration.
However, the Japanese team, known for being the most educated player in the world, once again won the hearts of social media users with their incredible gesture. Instead of celebrating the victory, they cleaned the locker room and left it spotless after beating Germany.
Sharing a photo of the changing room, FIFA wrote: “Following a historic victory against Germany in the #FIFAWorldCup on the 4th, Japan fans cleaned up the rubbish in the stadium, while @jfa_samuraiblue left their changing room at Khalifa International Stadium spotless.”
The image shows towels, water bottles and food containers laid out neatly on the counter in the center of the room. What’s more, the Japanese team even left a note that said “thank you” in both Japanese and Arabic – with some paper cranes tucked in for good measure.
Meanwhile, Japanese fans, known for their post-match cleaning service, continued their little ritual. After the 2-1 victory, Japanese fans remained in the stands of Khalifa International Stadium, not to celebrate the result, but to clean up the rubbish.
As the stadium began to empty, Japanese fans could be seen taking out light blue disposable garbage bags. They could be seen walking around the stadium, bending down to pick up discarded cups, bottles, food wrappers and even German flags.
Social media users were overwhelmed by the gesture and marveled at Japanese values and culture. One user wrote: “It’s not just the fans, the players after a grueling match and the adrenaline rush of one of their biggest wins of all time… have found the energy and calm to clean their dressing room. See the origami they left behind too. Much admiration for their commitment to cleanliness.” Another wrote: “When it comes to ‘form and work ethic’, no country can beat Japan…”
When asked by another fan on social media why this has become a custom of Japanese fans, one responded, “We are Japanese, we don’t leave trash behind, and we respect the place.”