Hirahara to sing Japan’s national anthem at RWC opener in Tokyo

20-Sep-2019 Intellasia | JapanNews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The organising committee for the Rugby World Cup 2019 has announced that Japanese singer-songwriter Ayaka Hirahara will sing Japan’s national anthem backed by the Air Self-Defense Force’s Central Band before the start of the host’s opening match on Friday.

Japan plays Russia at Tokyo Stadium in Chofu, Tokyo, where the ASDF’s aerobatic demonstration team Blue Impulse will also perform before the match.

Blue Impulse will also take to the skies over Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, before the pool-stage match between Fiji and Uruguay on September 25. The stadium was built for the World Cup at the site of elementary and junior high school buildings devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Hirahara was chosen due to her connections to rugby, having sang Japan’s national anthem ahead of a test match in 2014 between Japan and Hong Kong, which was the final full-scale official sporting event at the former National Stadium in Tokyo.

In 2018, she also sang with local junior high school students upon the opening of the Kamaishi stadium. The song they sang was written to incorporate the love of the local people for their home and their desire for reconstruction and recovery from the disaster.

For the Friday match, Russia’s national anthem will be sung by Russian opera singer Alexander Gladkov, who has been awarded prizes at international competitions, according to the committee.

Also, the Central Band has cooperated in recording the national anthems to be used for matches in the tournament.

The Blue Impulse team comprises six planes in blue and white colors famous for dynamic performances during opening ceremonies at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka Prefecture.Speech



Category: Japan

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