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Take a moment to try to think seriously about cheerleaders. Nowadays, they don’t just wear skimpy outfits, wave pompoms and do high kicks. Oh no, the cheerleaders jump, tumble and perform acrobatic stunts. And, of course, they dance, chant and smile as well. But colorful pompoms and short skirts apart, get ready for this: cheerleading teams can be men-only too.

Yohei Kano, a 23-year-old senior at Waseda University in Tokyo, didn’t see anything strange in that notion — and he wondered why most teams are all-female. So three years ago Kano founded Shockers, the country’s first all-male university cheerleading team.

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