The Japanese version of soccer, known as Kemari, dates back to roughly 1004 BC and varies greatly from the sport as we know it today.

Japanese soccer fans have evolved along with the sport, and today their support for the “home team” which is demonstrated by among other things, the sporting of pope hats, has reached epidemic proportions.

Are these Japanese pope hats worn by adoring fans a combination of cosplay, theatrics and enthusiastic freedom of expression? Perhaps no one can say for sure, but they are certainly something extraordinary and surreal, and will only seem normal to those who also see pink elephants in their line of vision.

“These Japanese pope hats read Yamato Damashi, the traditional way to say Japanese awesomeness,” according to, one of Japan’s most well-read and popular blogs.

The hats are certainly awesome but their gaudy allure can also be construed by sports purists as somewhat distracting and very in-your-face.

Still, the hats are symbols of support, not unlike the swirling batons of those cheerleaders of the western world that capture the vitality, appreciation and enthusiasm for all those hard-working athletes who play their hearts out.

The fans with and without their pope hats broke the global record for the most ever tweets per second in the hours following Samurai Blue’s victory over Denmark in the competition for The Soccer World Cup (FIFA).

According to Twitter, the average number of tweets in the 30 seconds after the final whistle was an incredible 3,283 tweets per second.

How many pope hats were responsible for the number of tweets is a statistic that no one can claim to know.

Hats off to pope hats.

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M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry ( feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.