The man who paints himself with each teams jersey has become a huge sensation.
Meet Rugby World Cup Superfan ‘Bak-san’
There will be plenty of stars on the pitch at the 2019 Rugby World Cup but there one man who has fast become a star in the stands as well, the man known as Bak-san.
In his everyday life he is known as Hiroshi Moriyama but he has picked up the nickname thanks to growth as a global social media sensation. Since the tournament began on the 20th of September, Moriyama has painted his torso the colour of each nations jersey and by the end of the event he looks to have painted himself the colour of the 20 nations competing. He has tickets to match 27 of the games so it is only a matter of time. He even did two matches in one day on the 3rd of October as you can see below!
“I started doing this five years ago, at a Top League game,” Moriyama told the Japan Times.
“Most Japanese rugby fans are quiet when they watch games, and I thought it would be good if they were a bit noisier,” he said. “I took that to the extreme in the hope that other people would see me having fun.”
The painting process is less fun though as it usually takes a couple of hours for his wife, Rika, to complete the intricate detail of the jerseys.
“There are some really small details which look difficult to do,” he said. “I don’t do anything. I just stand there.”
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Nobody can fault the commitment here especially given the temperature at some of the matches. Some games held in northern cities like Sapporo and Kamaishi yield cold temperatures but he never sees that as an issue;
“I just put up with it,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of fat, so that keeps me warm.”
Moriyama works in an office in his every day life and yet when all the rugby fans have gone home and the tournament has finished, he is hoping his exploits can help create a positive legacy.
“People who aren’t rugby fans will come to know the sport through this tournament,” he said. “I would love it if more people started to play rugby and there was an environment where kids can keep playing.”
As Japan take on South Africa in the last quarter-final of the tournament, you would think he would be in Japanese colours but he is in fact wearing the colours of the Springboks!
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