How will Japan fare at the 2022 World Cup? Join @SamRCox_ as he looks at Samurai Blue in his everything you need to know guide ahead of this winter's competition...

Japan History at the World Cup

The 2022 World Cup will be Japan’s seventh entry into the competition, all of which have come in succession since their first appearance in 1998.

Their World Cup fate has alternated between group stage and last 16 exits, reaching the knockouts in 2002, 2010 and 2018, but falling at the first hurdle in 1998, 2006 and 2014.

Japan have won just one of their last eight World Cup matches, a 2-1 win over Colombia in Russia four years ago. They have just five victories from 21 matches, with 11 defeats.

Their biggest win was a 3-1 victory over Denmark in 2010, and their heaviest defeat is 4-1, which was suffered to Colombia in 2010 and Brazil in 2006. 

Naturally, continental competition has been much kinder to Japan. They are the most successful nation in the history of the Asian Cup with four titles, the most recent of which came in 2011. 

Looking ahead to this winter’s World Cup in Qatar, this will be the first time Japan have faced any of their group stage opponents in the competition.

Belgium, Colombia and Croatia are the only nations they have played more than once in a World Cup.

Japan Nickname

The nickname for the Japanese men’s national team is Samurai Blue.

As football nicknames go, this is pretty self-explanatory. Samurai is the name of ancient Japanese warriors, and blue is the colour of their home kit.

World Cup 2022 Group

Japan drew the metaphorical short straw, paired with Spain and Germany in Group E. As such, most World Cup predictions have the Samurai Blue eliminated in the first phase. 

Japan Fixtures:

  • Japan vs Germany – 23rd November 2022

  • Japan vs Costa Rica – 27th November 2022

  • Japan vs Spain – 1st December 2022

Japan Kit World Cup 2022

Japan have a reputation for cracking kits, and the 2022 World Cup is no different.

Their blue home attire has an origami styling, with subtle yet aesthetically pleasing white patterns across the entirety of the shirt with red trim.

The away kit has a plain white torso with that same pattern in white, red and blue on the sleeves and socks. These will be two of the most popular World Cup kits in Qatar this winter. 

Who is The Japan Manager?

Japan’s manager for the World Cup in Qatar is Hajime Moriyasu. Moriyasu has the second-best winning percentage of any Japan manager to take charge of more than two matches.

The 54-year-old led Japan to a runners-up finish at the 2019 Asian Cup, and guided Sanfrecce Hiroshima to three J-League titles in the 2010s.

Best Japan Player

The vast majority of Japan’s World Cup squad play in Europe, with many starring in the top five leagues. 

Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu, Monaco’s Takumi Minamino, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Daichi Kamada, and Stuttgart’s Wataru Endo can all stake a claim as Japan’s best player for the 2022 World Cup.

Japan Odds at 2022 World Cup

Drawn alongside two of the world’s top teams, it’s no surprise that Japan are outsiders in Group E World Cup odds.

They are priced at 12/1 to win the group, and only seven teams have a longer sports betting price to reach the last eight. 

Bet on Japan at the 2022 World Cup with 888sport today!


Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.