The COVID-19 crisis was finally showing signs of abating at Haneda Airport in Tokyo in mid-March. In the departure lobby crowded with travelers, there was a beautiful woman who caught the eye. Dressed in pure white and with her long hair flowing in the air, she is Lin Xiangyang (25), a Taiwanese cheerleader who is the talk of the town.
Lin Xiang joined the “Rakuten Girls,” the cheerleaders of the Taiwanese professional baseball team Rakuten Monkeys, in 2009. Her dainty looks won her a good reputation, and she quickly became one of the leading cheerleaders in Taiwan. Her popularity was not limited to Taiwan; her cheering performance at the WBC, in which she participated as a cheerleader for the Taiwanese national team, was widely praised in Japan as “too cute.
Why was she at Haneda Airport? When the reporter approached her, she looked surprised, but readily agreed to be interviewed.
Nice to meet you.
Lin Shan greeted me in polite Japanese. She has big, clear eyes and a charming smile. From there, she answered our questions through an interpreter/manager who was with her.
I’m here to perform at the “Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo” (March 13-18). I have very little experience in this kind of work, so I feel very honored to be invited.
After finishing her work, she will be returning to Japan. At the airport, she was holding an onigiri (rice ball) from a convenience store.
I like Japanese convenience stores and always buy onigiri (rice balls) and gummy bears. I’m also addicted to iced cafe lattes, and I drink one every day.
During the interview, she was approached by a fan who said, “That’s Lin Shan! and she was happy to be photographed. How does he feel about the popularity in Japan?
I have been approached many times on trains and in the streets. I was surprised that people knew me outside of Taiwan.
The demure beauty smiling next to Lin Shan is Kimi (26), also a member of “Rakuten Girls. Kimi is also a singer and is popular with over 700,000 followers on Instagram.
Kimi describes her impression of her Japanese fans.
When I was taking pictures to post on social media, a fan waited for me nearby and talked to me when I finished taking the picture. I felt they were very polite.
Lin Shan says she would like to be active in Japan in the future. It is likely that we will be seeing more and more of her in the future.
From the April 14, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： SNS (1st photo) Takero Yuzoku