National

Rugby World Cup organizers tap traditional Japanese art for ticket designs

by Andrew McKirdy

Staff Writer

Rugby World Cup 2019 organizers on Monday unveiled their ticket designs for matches for the tournament, bringing a traditional Japanese flavor to what will be Asia’s first-ever hosting of the event.

Tickets for the Sept. 20-Nov. 2 tournament will feature rugby action scenes drawn in the style of musha-e, a Japanese art form that more typically portrays warriors in the heat of battle — often fighting against demons and mystical beings.

The tickets will come in a wallet featuring the 2019 Rugby World Cup logo alongside traditional Japanese cloud motifs and a list of the eight previous winners. A reproduction of “Irises at Yatsuhashi,” a work by famous artist Ogata Korin painted around the year 1700 on a folding screen, will be printed on the inside of the wallet.

Japan Rugby World Cup 2019 Organizing Committee CEO Akira Shimazu said onstage at the unveiling — held at Tokyo’s historic Meiji Memorial Hall — that around 1.4 million of the competition’s 1.8 million tickets have already been sold, with around a third being snapped up by fans overseas.

Ticket delivery for the competition, which will feature 48 matches at 12 stadiums around Japan, is set to begin from late July.

“These ticket designs are incredibly symbolic for Japanese people and something our international fans are sure to love,” said Shimazu. “They capture perfectly the way in which rugby is viewed here in Japan. The noble warrior, fighting with every inch of their body, mind and spirit, is a fitting comparison to the modern, elite rugby player.

“These tickets, along with the specially designed ticket wallet, will make a fine memento for visitors to Rugby World Cup 2019 to treasure for years to come. The sense of excitement fans will feel upon receiving their tickets will only build as we count down the final days until kick-off of this groundbreaking, once-in-a-lifetime Rugby World Cup in Japan.”

Japan will play Russia in the tournament’s opening game on Sept. 20 at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo. The final will be held at Yokohama’s Nissan Stadium on Nov. 2.