‘This is seriously the best night of my life! We’re going until morning! Nippon! Nippon! Nippon!”
As soon as Japan’s victory over Germany was confirmed at around midnight on March 23, soccer fans who had been watching the game in nearby sports bars and on the streets rushed out of their stores. Many of the stores that had been offering live viewing closed their doors at 1:00 a.m., and those who had lost their places headed for the Scramble Crossing.
Even before the light turned green, people were shouting from the four corners of the intersection, “Oh! Nippon! Nippon, Nippon, Nippon, Nippon, ooh-oh-oh-oh-oh! Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” and the call echoed through the streets of Shibuya.
When the light turned green, the crowd rushed to the center of the intersection. At one point, nearly 200 people mingled in the crowd, raising their fingers to the heavens and shouting in unison. The mixture of the angry shouts and whistles of the police officers and the shouts of the crowd turned the area in front of the station into a lawless zone in an instant.
Please don’t run! Please go slowly! Do not stop! The light is turning red, please cross quickly!”
After about 10 minutes, a police backup unit arrived. As on Halloween, they began to lead the Japanese supporters who were running wild in the intersection to the sidewalk by putting up yellow tape.
While the rowdy crowd was still going on at the intersection, the Shibuya area itself was deserted as the people who had finished watching the games left. Gradually, however, supporters began to gather in front of Miyashita Park and PARCO in a guerrilla-like fashion to call out. Young people who happened to be in the area shouted as they passed each other, and people who heard them gathered around and started high-fiving each other when they finished their calls.
When they finish their call, they start high-fiving each other: “Hey, brother, I don’t know who you are, but you’re the best! Nippon! Nippon! OHHHHH!”
Tomorrow is a weekday, but you’ll drink today! We’re going to drink till morning!”
Even after the last train, even a light rainfall did not dampen the enthusiasm, and the center of Shibuya boiled over into a giant-killing of historic proportions. A few hours later, the karaoke box in Shibuya was full of giggling young people, still in their blue uniforms.
No – I’m exhausted from all the excitement. I’m staying at a karaoke box tonight with some friends. The last train is running out, so I’ll stay here until morning. There hasn’t been much good news lately. I didn’t have a chance to vent about the COVID-19 crisis, so it was fun. a college student who was watching the game with friends at a sports bar in Shibuya)
For young people who have been deprived of various opportunities due to the COVID-19 crisis, this was probably the perfect chance to ruffle some feathers.
However, in Itaewon, South Korea, 158 people were confirmed dead in a crowd avalanche on Halloween this year. In order to prevent a similar commotion from occurring in Shibuya on Halloween, the Shibuya Ward has allocated 58 million yen for Halloween countermeasures.
The next match will be against Costa Rica on the 27th. Like the national team players, the supporters are expected to enjoy the game in a polite manner.
Photo： Yuri Adachi