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Monday, 30th November 2015
In Japan Entertainment News,

Statue of Japanese rugby star created just for Christmas

A lifesize bronze statue of the Japanese international rugby player Ayumu Goromaru has been unveiled in Tokyo.

The golden-coloured sculpture, depicting the World Cup hero in his signature kicking stance, will be part of the Christmas illuminations in Tokyo.

Goromaru unveiled the statue himself today (Monday), standing next to the crouched sculpture with its fingers held against each other.

He said: "They've reproduced my fingers in real detail. When I first heard about the statue I kind of wished they had statues of the whole Japan team."

Rugby has really taken off in Japan, since the national team caused an upset in the World Cup, beating two-time champions South Africa 34-32.

This was partly down to Goromaru’s kicking, which includes a trademark stance inspired by Jonny Wilkinson.

Fans have been visiting a temple in central Japan in their thousands to see a Buddhist statue that has its fingers pressed together in a similar way to the full-back’s signature move.

After beating South Africa, Japan went on to win against Samoa and the United States in the tournament, but didn’t quite make it to the quarter finals.

Goromaru is starting for Australia’s Queensland Reds next year, as he takes his career in a different direction.

"From February when I take on the challenge of playing overseas I'll be starting from zero," he said. "I want to show that Japanese players can dream of playing abroad."

Anyone wishing to see the new bronze statue of Goromaru will need to act quickly, as once the Christmas decorations are taken down in Tokyo it will no longer be on display.

The Japanese capital goes all-out with its lights in the run-up to Christmas, making it a magical time to visit the city.

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Tokyo's Santa Claus Academy proving popular in run-up to Christmas (27th November 2012)
Giant Buddha statue undergoes cleaning (12th August 2014)
Gold cast of Lionel Messi's foot on sale in Japan (6th March 2013)