Japan vs. Australia (kick off @ 21:00 Beijing Standard Time)

I have decided to record my experiences watching Japan’s World Cup 06 campaign in haiku. Most if not all the games will be watched along with my friend Hiromasa Shirai. It is to him that I dedicate this literary endeavor.

First, a testimonial:

My interest in World Cup football was born on the streets of Osaka in June 2002. After two decades in the wilderness, a new world revealed itself to me on a late afternoon in June amongst several thousand hysterical strangers.

Like a convert Christian, I was baptized – the sins of my youth absolved and admission to the global community of football followers signified by the application of toxic droplets from Osaka’s Dotonburi River. I stood reborn – arms raised, vocal chords stretched – on a crowded side walk, beneath a shower of displaced river water, as jubilant, drunken fan after jubilant, drunken fan dove into the Dotonburi’s murky depths, indifferent to the many wasteforms that awaited them.

Predictably, I still carry feelings of deep sentimentality for the site of my conversion. So, in 06, I’m riding the blue wave as far as it’ll take me.*

*Hopefully, the second round.

Haiku 01 – 20:47 (BST)
Nickname: “Socceroos”
Is this a champion’s name?
Absolutely not.

Haiku 02 – 21:27
There’s no sound sweeter
than the silence surrounding
a saddened Aussie

Haiku 03 – 22:01
Blood curdling screeches
Vehement flag waving
Aussies equalize

Haiku 04 – 22:19
Dear God in Heaven
Japan’s most grievous collapse
since Kobe’s earthquake

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