"Have Japanese people already forgotten about soccer?" asks a recent advertisement for a satellite-TV station. The ad continues: "To all the Japanese people who were swept up in the soccer frenzy of the World Cup -- have you forgotten about soccer?"

But how could we? As the ad aims to remind us, there is still a huge selection of games, both local and international, being broadcast in Japan. Obviously, there's been a serious demand for it ever since Japan and South Korea co-hosted the World Cup finals in June, when scores of Japanese were converted into rabid soccer fans.

Despite the sweeping soccer mania, no one has (yet) suggested creating a new, 15th national holiday to commemorate the event, maybe one called "World Cup Memorial Day." To declare a holiday after a major sporting event might seem like a peculiar notion, but it does has one significant precedent.