Skip to main content

Tokyo International Volleyball Grand Prix!





For the first time I attended the 2014 FIVB Tokyo International Volleyball Grand Prix Finals.   
I was impressed at the athletic prowess of all  the female athletes, not just the Japanese.   Never have I seen so much style and finesse displayed on a volleyball court.   One strength team Japan shows often is the ability to defend and repel a volley from a very low position.  I feel this is where their strength lies in addition to how low they can get to the ball.   As attackers they are not bad, but lack the same level of power as their Western counterparts.   The Russians were strong on the offensive side,  and took every opportunity to spike the ball hard and fast down the center of the court.   Team Japan was very delicate and docile with the ball.



Japanese female athletes  have been consistently out performing Japanese men on the  international stage for years.    Judo, soccer, and volleyball, just to name a few, are  among  many of the great sporting events 
dominated exclusively by Japanese female athletes.   The dearth of Japanese male athletes  is alarming in today’s  sporting world.  Even the most revered sport like sumo has been dominated by foreigner nationals; not one single top tier Japanese wrestler in the last decade.  Pundits claim that it’s Japan opening up to the international community and that foreign born wrestler are more competitive that’s the blame.  This 
is bullshit.  It’s because of a pure lack of talent and physical ability that’s the blame, and too many Nonomura-types that dominate the sport of “cry-baby."


If you are tall then you should either play volleyball or basketball, is the most common perception.  Team Japan was very disproportionate in terms of height.   They had very short players and tall players whereas team Russia were all tall.  This is good if you have a power game but bad for defensive play; tall people cannot get to the ground as a fast as a shorter players and this is where Japan's advantage was all through-out the game.  My favourite players are Uchiseto!   Ishida, and Ebihara-san.   



I could be spending my summer in a nice hot spring spa, and  in typical fashion, but this year I chose to enjoy watching a good sport.   If you are interested in checking out upcoming sporting events head on over to e-plus and browse through their database.   Tickets for court side seats starts at around $80.   Standard is around $50.   Lines were ridiculously long for food and beer.  I recommend bringing your own stuff.  


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…