The Japanese Flavor


This is my first time in the United States playing ultimate, and I have experienced so much. The quality of the fields here have been amazing. In Japan, fields with grass are hard to come by, so we practice on fields of dirt and rocks. The nicest fields are saved for tournament finals. Generally speaking, ultimate frisbee is not common in Japan, so if I were to ask someone if they knew what the sport is, they would most likely have no idea. It's refreshing to be in a country where people know what you're talking about when you mention ultimate; it's a great way to connect with many different people. It is incredible to me that we can charge spectator entry fees, and still attract large crowds. If this was Japan, an entry fee would deter many people from watching. I was also astonished by the youth ultimate scene here in the U.S.; you find very few young adults and children who play the sport in Japan. Usually, you start playing ultimate at the university level. I started dabbling in ultimate in junior high and high school, but didn't really start playing until college. So it has been our mission as leading athletes to coach and encourage children in Japan to play ultimate. That way they can experience the unique nature of the sport. It is my hope that Japan will one day reach a scale of development and availability of coaching similar to that of which I've seen here.