Music dominated many of the press conferences at the Rugby World Cup this week, with multiple complaints made regarding the national anthems played before each game, while praise was being offered by the large number of traveling Japanese media over the songs played before and after the Brave Blossoms' game in Toulouse.
Fans were left aghast during the opening week of the tournament over the anthems that were either performed live or prerecorded as part of a project involving 7,000 schoolchildren from diverse backgrounds, La Melee des Choers.
Former Ireland full-back Rob Kearney posted on X, formerly Twitter, "For the love of god give everyone back their national anthems -- it's killing that 5min pre game buzz!!"
Even Jacques Rivoal, chairman of the France 2023 organizing committee, said "the anthems were disturbing, or surprising to our fans."
On Thursday, France 2023 and World Rugby put out a press release saying the anthems, which were originally performed a cappella, had been recorded with more instrumentation and that the new versions would be played before the next round of the World Cup matches.
"Following positive feedback on the approach, a number of unions, notably France, have agreed to the use of these new versions with the final confirmation from all teams to be achieved in the next 48 hours," read the statement.
There was no such outrage, however, regarding the Brave Blossoms' choice of songs that were played before and after their opening-round win over Chile at Stadium de Toulouse.
Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi's "Tombo" accompanied the players as they warmed up while the same singer's version of "Kanpai" was played as the Japan players did a lap of honor after the 42-12 victory.
Japan hooker Shota Horie said center Ryoto Nakamura, who like Nagabuchi was born in Kagoshima, and scrum-half Yutaka Nagare were behind the choice of songs, though he added lock Amato Fakatava and his young son, who has traveled to France with his mother to follow the games, were also big fans and approved the decision.