”I was startled by the size of Godzilla’s thighs,” says Olympic coach as team officially adopts Godzilla Japan nickname.

One quirk of sports in Japan is that the country’s major national teams adopt official nicknames. The men’s soccer team, for example, are the Samurai Blue, while their female counterparts are collectively known as Nadeshiko Japan (nadeshiko being both a type of flower and a word for “Japanese woman”). There’s also Samurai Japan (baseball) and Fairy Japan (women’s rhythmic gymnastics), as well as Tobiuo/”Flying Fish” Japan for the men’s and women’s swimming teams.

However, the national judo team didn’t have a nickname until Tuesday, when it held a press conference in Tokyo to announce the one it had chosen. But instead of the more abstract concepts of other organizations, the All Japan Judo Federation decided to nickname the team after a specific famous individual, and he even showed up at the event in person

…or, well, in kaiju, to be precise.

Yes, the King of the Monsters himself showed up, being introduced with all the respect and formality as Pokémon Slowpoke was when he became governor of Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture. Surrounded by dignitaries such as Japan Men’s Judo Team coach Kosei Inoue, the movie icon had a look of unmistakable pride on his face as the federation revealed that Japan’s judo team will now also be known as Godzilla Japan.

▼ Inoue, playfully trying to shoulder-throw his new promotional partner

“The moment I saw Godzilla,” commented Inoue, “I was startled by the size of his thighs.” One can only imagine what he would have to say about the chubbier redesign of the character for his U.S.-produced films, or his gaunter, half-rotten physique in Shin Godzilla, the most recent live-action installment in the franchise to be made in Japan.

Godzilla Japan will henceforth be the official nickname of both the men’s and women’s Japanese judo teams. “Our female athletes also feel happy about the decision,” said women’s coach Katsuyuki Masuchi.

In addition to piggybacking on the kaiju’s fame and recognition as a symbol of strength, the Godzilla Japan name was chosen partially because the All Japan Judo Federation’s competition video analysis system, the Gold Judo Ippon Revolution Accordance, is also called by the acronym GOJIRA, the Japanese pronunciation of Godzilla’s name.

“I’m grateful to have a supporter like this on our side,” said Inoue of Godzilla Japan’s namesake. “In our matches around the world,” added Masuchi, “we want to show an all-out assault, like Godzilla,” though the national team’s athletes should probably remember that while Godzilla’s fight history shows the undebatable effectiveness of breathing atomic fire at an opponent, the move is still banned in international competition, and will likely remain so when the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opens.

Source: NHK Nws Web
Images: All Japan Judo Federation
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