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Rich Freeman
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May 27, 2002
Tongans overpower Japan 41-29
KUMAGAYA, Saitama Pref. -- Japan's build-up to the 2003 Rugby World Cup received a set back on Sunday when it lost 41-29 to Tonga at the Kumagaya Rugby Ground in Saitama Prefecture.
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May 21, 2002
Japan hammers Russia 59-19
Japan opened its build-up toward the 2003 World Cup with a resounding 59-19 win over Russia at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday.
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Apr 18, 2002
JRFU to start new national tourney
Japan Rugby Football Union went a long way to improving rugby in Japan both on the domestic and international front with the news last week that it was abandoning the traditional company championship for a new nationwide 12-team tournament starting in September 2004.
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Feb 28, 2002
Japanese teams treat Guam to rugby spectacle
For many Japanese people, the island of Guam conjures up images of duty-free shopping, cheap golf courses and unequaled diving around the reefs that surround this Pacific island.
Japan Times
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Feb 21, 2002
'Rainbow Warrior' talks rugby, politics, life
Francois Pienaar is best known as the man who unified a nation.
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Feb 7, 2002
Snowboarding: street cred or Olympic discipline?
For many of the dudes and dudettes that flock to the ski resorts every winter, one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City will be the snowboarding parallel slaloms and half-pipe freestyle competitions.
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Jan 28, 2002
Kobe Steel set to face Suntory in rugby final
The 39th All-Japan Rugby Union Championship will be a repeat of the company final following the two semifinals played on Sunday.
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Jan 21, 2002
Toyota hands Waseda lesson in rugby football
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Jan 7, 2002
Suntory, Steelers reach rugby final
Suntory and Kobe Steel will contest the 54th National Company Championship rugby final next Sunday at Hanazono Stadium, Osaka, following two very contrasting semifinals.
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Dec 27, 2001
No Christmas cheer this year
Christmas, or more precisely ohshogatsu (the New Year), is a time when most people in Japan can take a vacation. But not for the top rugby players at high school, university and company level.
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Dec 23, 2001
Rugby Steelers top World to win battle of Kobe
Kobe Steel ensured the 54th Company Rugby Championship final would be a Kanto-Kansai affair after demolishing local rival World 80-12 at Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday. The result means the Steelers will take on Kansai-rival Toyota, 27-19 winner over NEC, in one semifinal on Jan. 6, while...
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Nov 15, 2001
All together now, come on feel the noise
Having spent the last few years attending rugby games in Japan and noting how much the Japan Rugby Union, and the game's players and followers, need to learn from their counterparts overseas, I decided a change was as good as a rest.
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Oct 4, 2001
Diamonds are an athlete's best friend
The other day I had a phone call from an old friend, Joey Camilleri, who now works as a sportswriter with the Mediterranean Gazette. After letting me know how Sliema Wanderers and Xghajra Tornadoes were doing, Joey asked me the details behind a story that had come across his desk.
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Sep 8, 2001
Japan opens rugby season with win
The 2001-2002 rugby season officially got underway on Friday night at the National Stadium with Japan beating a President's XV 22-10.
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Aug 23, 2001
Look, mum, what I got playing for my country
Maybe it was the passing of yet another birthday; maybe it was the fact that I had just become the proud father of a healthy son and heir but the last few weeks have seen me getting more and more nostalgic.
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Jul 12, 2001
New dawn for Mukai and his merry men
In 1999, the year of the last Rugby World Cup, Japan won the Pacific Rim Championship, recording a 37-34 victory over Samoa along the way. At the time many thought the victory marked the re-birth of Japanese rugby, and there was talk of Japan reaching the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Sadly, that was...
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Jul 6, 2001
Fiji, Samoa to contest rugby final
Fiji and its Pacific rival Samoa will play the final of the Epsom Cup/Pacific Rim rugby championship following victories in their respective semifinals at Tokyo Stadium on Wednesday. Fiji won the first game, overcoming Canada 52-23, while Samoa beat host Japan 47-8, to move both island sides into the...

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Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals