Until December 18th, 2022, soccer fans (and sports fans in general) who couldn't fly to Qatar will surely be glued to their TV, computer, or smartphone screens watching the action play out at the FIFA World Cup.

Fans in Japan and Germany were particularly excited yesterday, November 23rd, as their respective World Cup teams faced off in the first round. Japan's surprising 2-1 victory over the powerful German team has attracted attention from all over the world, but so did what happened after the game.

As featured in the now-deleted viral TikTok video by Bahraini video creator Omar Farooq (shared in the Tweet below by Qatari influencer Mohammed Hassan Al-Jefairi), Japanese fans picked up trash strewn about in the stadium seats before leaving, even at a game where their team wasn't playing.

However, as FIFA's official Twitter account revealed, something just as surprising was happening in the Japanese team's locker room.

Here's what the locker room looked like after the "Samurai Blue" players had left:

Not only was the locker room completely spotless and tidy, but they had even folded up their uniforms neatly into a pile.

And if that weren't already surprising enough, they even left gifts as an expression of respect and gratitude for the stadium staff and, by extension, the host country Qatar.

On the central table, they left several origami cranes, some folded in colorful paper, along with the words "Thank you" written not only in Japanese and English but also in Arabic.

The heartwarming actions of not only the Japanese fans but also the athletes, have elicited many admiring comments, such as

  • "I was amazed when I saw the origami cranes. I can't even put how I feel into words. It's incredible!"
  • "I really like this aspect of Japanese culture and respect it."
  • "The cranes and the message of thanks written in Arabic too was so cool. What a wonderful team!"
  • "This is the embodiment of the Japanese proverb: 'It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest.'"

No matter how the Japanese team ultimately fares in the World Cup, if their locker room behavior is any indication, it's clear that they have a winning attitude off the field.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.