Team prays for victory as 2011 season starts  

Before training, the team visited Tsuki Shrine in Urawa Ward, Saitama City to pray for victory on 20th January.

The players and staff arrived at the shrine at 9:30am by 2 coaches and walked on the stone path to the main shrine. About 90 supporters gathered at the side of the path. Team Manager Zeljko Petrovic responded to the supporters’ message “Welcome back” and shook hands with them.

About 50 Urawa Reds personnel which included President Mitsuo Hashimoto, GM Koichi Hashiratani, Team Manager Petrovic, coaching staff and players participated in the prayers. After the silence was broken by beats from the taiko drum, the ritual started with Shinto chants. They listened to the Shinto chants with their heads bowed down. President Hashimoto, Team Manager Petrovic and Keita Suzuki then took turns to offer a branch of a sacred tree to the shrine. They prayed for victory by bowing twice, clapping their hands twice and making a final bow. Because of its name “Tsuki (same pronunciation as moon in Japanese)”, rabbit statues are placed in the shrine instead of usual guardian dogs statues. As this is the year of the rabbit, the priest in-charge of the ritual wished Reds a year where they will progress in leaps like a rabbit hops.

Lastly, they all had the sacred sake and left the main shrine. The supporters saw them off as they were leaving the shrine.

【Urawa Reds Official Media (URD:OM)】