The Yomiuri ShimbunJapan’s national team for this year’s Rugby World Cup will take to the pitch in jerseys that evoke the warrior spirit of the samurai.
The jerseys, unveiled on Thursday, feature a V-shaped design modeled on the crest that adorns the front of a samurai’s kabuto helmet. The team will debut them at its Pacific Nations Cup 2019 match against Fiji in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, on July 27.
The jerseys come in two types, one of which combines the team’s traditional red and white stripes with gold accents meant to evoke sunrise atop Mt. Fuji. Traditional “kissho” patterns that represent glad tidings also feature throughout the uniform.
The jerseys come in three types featuring different materials depending on the player’s position, with versions for props and hookers, other forwards, and backs. The designer worked 3½ years on them, incorporating feedback from players to improve functionality such as lightness and durability.