SHOWS: TOKYO, JAPAN (OCTOBER 13, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
VARIOUS OF JAPANESE RUGBY FANS CHEERING AND APPLAUDING AS THEIR RUGBY WORLD CUP TEAM SCORES A TRY 2.
VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING GAME 3.
PEOPLE CHEERING AND YELLING AFTER JAPANESE RUGBY TEAM WIN GAME 4.
(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE RUGBY FAN, NAOKI, SAYING: "I am so happy, I am very moved." 5.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPANESE RUGBY FAN, YUKI SAKURI, SAYING: "Today is the first time I watched rugby.
It's different from other sports and I was so excited.
I am so happy they won." 6.
PEOPLE APPLAUDING AND CHEERING AFTER GAME IS OVER STORY: Japanese rugby fans erupted in celebration on Sunday (October 13) after their team advanced to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time with a convincing victory over a determined Scotland.
It was hard to imagine the Tokyo region had battened down against a powerful typhoon just 24 hours earlier as Japan's supporters brought the energy to an electric atmosphere in Yokohama Stadium, across fan zones and sports bars to cheer on the Brave Blossoms. Fans in the red and white striped jerseys of their team hugged, exchanged high-fives and chanted "Nippon!" as the hooter sounded following the 28-21 win that punched Japan's ticket to the quarter-finals against South Africa next weekend.
Japan is known for its love of baseball, soccer and the traditional sport of sumo but the hosts have been winning the hearts of new fans and attracting record television audiences.
Japan has participated in every World Cup since the tournament began in 1987 but were perennial losers serving as easy prey for the Tier-1 sides, most notably in a demoralising 145-17 loss to New Zealand in 1995.
That all changed in 2015 in England when Japan stunned South Africa and just missed out on reaching the quarter-finals despite having won three matches.
Scotland was the only side to beat Japan in their pool four years ago so it was sweet revenge for Jamie Joseph's men to get the win this time.
Having won all four of their matches to top Pool A, the Brave Blossoms will prepare to take on the Springboks next Sunday (October 20) and for the Japanese faithful, anything seems possible now.
(Production: Jill Gralow)