(Costumed) Kangaroo Stars In The “Worst Sports Movie Ever Made”

Matilda has been described online as “the worst sports movie ever made.” Kindly, as it turns out.
Matilda was a dreadful, alleged comedy about a boxing kangaroo that challenges for the world heavyweight champion title.
The movie was made in 1978, when Muhammad Ali was probably at his most widely popular (and the reigning world champion), and starred Elliot Gould, who was then still not too far off the peak of a career that continues going strong today.

Co-starring was another A-lister, Robert Mitchum, so it’s hard to argue that the cast and circumstances surrounding the movie didn’t pack a punch.

Unfortunately, the kangaroo featured in the film was clearly a bloke in a costume. With demonic eyes.
On top of that, the Australian involvement in the movie was non-existent outside of the kangaroo’s origins. And, as anybody who’s ever heard an American attempt an Australian accent or been to an Outback Steakhouse can attest, Americans don’t really put a lot of weight into authenticity when it comes to Down Under.
Matilda was based on a novel by Paul Gallico, whose research into Australia and kangaroos was so extensive he gave the male marsupial protagonist of his work a female name.
Perhaps Gallico had a portend of the movie’s fate, though, as he was most famous for The Poseidon Adventure, which would be adapted by Hollywood for another disaster movie of a different kind.

Directing Matilda was Daniel Mann, who made some impressive movies over his career.
For 考えRoom.com, though, with its interest in Australia and Japan, perhaps his most interesting movie was The Teahouse of the August Moon, which starred Marlon Brando in yellowface.
All in all, Matilda was a critical and commercial disaster. On the upside, though, it did get some decent movie posters from all over the world, as well as some other decent images, many of which can be viewed in the gallery.

Socceroos to Sing The Blues to Les Bleus WARNING! Awful Song Alert!

Australia kicks off its 2018 World Cup campaign with a Group C match against France, the 1998 World Cup winner and a favorite for this tournament.
The Socceroos don’t have much of a chance on the pitch, if we’re being realistic. Australia may have one borderline world class player, but Tim Cahill is now 38 years old and may not even get on the pitch.
Considering Australia’s past in the World Cup, the Aussies may want to consider using the shock weapon of singing the blues to Les Bleus, with some of the appalling songs to have accompanied past campaigns a good chance of scaring the opposition off the pitch with Peru and Denmark the other teams being faced.
2018 World Cup song….(this one isn’t official, but it is bloody awful, which makes it perfect for the shock approach).

At least this year’s song is deliberately bad. The official send-off for the doomed 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil was abysmal, doubly so because it was performed by one of Australia’s most successful music groups in history, The Wiggles, who are unfortunately best known for corny kids’ songs.

In spite of the terrible song, the Soccerooos were knocked out in the group stage. It was a similar story in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where the team literally played with heart, but that didn’t work, anyhow. This time, the culprit was theRogue Traders, whose song used heartbeats recorded from Australians around the country, but didn’t help the team get anywhere in the end and it fell out in the group stage.

Giving hope to this theory is the team from the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where Australia progressed into the knockout round for the first time ever following a 32-year absence from the World Cup finals. The 2006 song, Green and Gold was decent, sounded Australian and was related to soccer. It came from a band called Freedom of Thought. The catchy tune was a healthy portend of powerful play.

Of course, the awful Socceroos song that started them all off was for the tournament that started them all off for the Aussies, the 1974 World Cup in West Germany. The theme song, Song It To ‘Em Socceroos,” was sung by the players, semi-professionals who played beyond themselves, and definitely made better footballers than singers.

Mind you, they didn’t scare off the favorites in that tournament, either, so the theory about awful songs may not have much credence to it.

Tour of Japan’s Taste of Oz

Bennelong-Swisswellness riders in the peloton at the 2018 Tour of Japan

The Tour of Japan 2018 ended Sunday in Tokyo with Spaniard Marcos Garcia of the Kinan Racing Team claiming the general classification title.
Slovenian Grega Bole of Bahrain-Meridatook the Blue Jersey for the points classification.
Local hero Yuzuru Suzuki took the King of the Mountain crown riding for Utsunomiya Blitzen.
Australia’s own Chris Harper won the White Jersey for the tour’s best young rider while competing for Bennelong Swisswellness. Harper also finished 4th in the GC.
Martin Laas of Team Illuminate took the final stage in Tokyo.
Kinan Racing Team won the team classification, but it’s Bennelong Swisswellness that we’re interested in here.
Bennelong Swisswellness, in its various incantations, has taken part in the Tour of Japan annually since 2012 and have a strong record in the prestigious tour sanctioned by the UCI, with 5 stage wins.
Bennelong-Swisswellness has been Australia’s strongest continental team for the past 8 years.
The team boasts some fabulous riders, many of them young, but also a veteran here and there who have achieved considerable success on the professional cycling circuit.
Australia has a long and proud record of cycling, punching well above its weight on the track and the road.
Check out the gallery below to see some of the action from the eighth and final stage of the 2018 Tour of Japan in Tokyo on May 27, 2018.

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…ah, so* have a Winfield: The Tiny Tale of Aussie Durries in Japan

A long, long time ago, in a Straya far, far away, Australia briefly exported cigarettes to Japan.
It wasn’t that long ago, actually.
But for several months in 1994, Winfield cigarettes, one of Australia’s most famous brands (it marketed itself as “Australia’s No. 1 brand” in Japan, but it was actually only the second-biggest seller Down Under, behind Peter Jackson), was an unlikely competitor of mostly British and American Big Tobacco companies to tap into what was still then a thriving Japanese smokers’ market largely unregulated at the time.
Winfield was on a downturn at the time in its home country.
Cigarette advertising had been banned from TV and print media decades earlier, but by the mid-1990s in Australia had also been outlawed from outdoor displays and sporting events that tobacco company sponsorship had largely kept afloat.

Japanese Winnie Reds

Like many Western companies faced with growing anti-smoking sentiment at the time, the owners of the Winfield brand decided to flog their fags off to Asians. It didn’t work too well in Japan.
Japanese Winnie Reds and Winnie Blues could be found in the country’s ciggie vending machines (then ubiquitous, now becoming rarer) over what was a record-breaking hot summer and autumn, but were mostly gone by the Christmas of that year.
Winfield owed its chance overseas to many factors, at least one of which was the role played by Paul Hogan, a sometime comedian better-known to international audiences as the star of the Crocodile Dundee film series.
Hoges had been the face of Winfield when it first came out in the 1970s and he was beginning his ascent toward becoming one of Australia’s best-known stars. He became synonymous with the brand even as its presence was being limited, but his famous catch copy of “…anyhow* have a Winfield,” entered the lexicon of ordinary Aussies.

Japanese Winnie Blues

…anyhow*, Australia outlawed packaging displays on cigarettes from 2012. Although punters could still ask for their different types of Winnies, which had been branded according to colors such as Red and Blue, the packaging was no longer actually red, blue or any other color.
Even Hoges, whose rise to fame was at least partly inspired by a sharp set of movie theater and print ads he’d made for Winfield in the 1970s, came out a few years ago to say that he deeply regretted the commercials for having inspired so many people to pick up a durry.
Hoges and Stropp Winfield Ad from 1971


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人参依存症カンガルーが観光客を孟攻撃する

 

人参依存症のカンガルーが観光客を攻撃している(写真はイメージで、カンガルーじゃなくて、ワラビである)

オーストラリアを訪ねている数十人が人参やジャンクフードなどに依存しているガンがルーに孟攻撃され、怪我を負っている。
 シドニーから南方にあるマクワリー湖周辺に現象が起こっている。
 餌を与えないように注意されてにも関わらず中国人観光客を中心に訪ねる人の多くがそこに群れを作ったカンガルーなどに食べ物をやっている。
 その結果、カンガルーを中心とした有袋類が主に人参に依存することになった。
 体が要求している人参などをもらわないと、カンガルーが暴力的に反応し、観光客を蹴ったり、噛んだり爪でキズ付けたりしている。
 マクワリー湖観光関係者は、多ヶ国語の注意書き看板の設置などの対応策をとっているが、多くの場合厳守されていないのは現状。

Japan-Australia Night at the Soccer

A-League football team Melbourne Victory luckily kept alive its slim hopes of progressing through to the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League with a 93rd minute equalizer against reigning J.League champion Kawasaki Frontale in their match at Kawasaki Todoroki Stadium.
The day was something of a soccer landmark for Japan and Australia with Sydney FC hosting Kashima Antlers at Sydney Football Stadium, with the current Australian champion losing 2-0 at home.
All four teams will play return legs next week, with Kashima hosting Sydney and Melbourne at home to Kawasaki.
At Todoroki, Frontale looked to have the game in hand at full-time after having been the better team for the match, but unable to exert dominance over their plucky Aussie rival.
The crowd of 11,196 cheered endlessly for the Japanese champion, which had yet to open its account in this year’s AFC Champions League. Player of the Match Elsinho opened the scoring in 28th minute after the Aussies appeared likely to break at any time due to Kawasaki’s relentless pressure.
The lead didn’t last long, though, after Besart Berisha slotted in a Leroy George corner and sent the teams into half-time at 1-1.
The home team continued to control the game throughout a second half spent largely protecting a lead given by a Kyohei Noborizato goal at the 55th minute.
Surprisingly, just as the 3-minute extra time period was about to elapse, substitute Christian Theoharous was fouled in the box. George made no mistake from the spot, and Victory, which has not won in its last 18 ACL games away from home, headed back Down Under with a share of the points.
After three games, Group F standings are led by Shanghai SIPG and Ulsan Hyundai, followed by Melbourne and Kawasaki.

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Campbelltown Forest of Wild Birds A Slice of Oz in Sleepy Saitama

Koshigaya, located some 30 kilometers from downtown Tokyo, and Campbelltown, which is situated about 50 kilometers from Sydney’s central business district, were almost made for each other, even if only serving as satellite cities for their respective countries’ largest cities.
Koshigaya and Campbelltown are sister cities and it’s hard to see a better example of the custom than the relationship between the Japanese bed town and its Aussie sibling.
Koshigaya is also home to a picturesque corner of Australia, complete with wallabies, emus and some lovely wild birds, including rainbow lorikeets, superb parrots, Major Mitchell’s cockatoos, tawny frogmouths and kookaburras.
The Campbelltown Forest of Wild Birds in Koshigaya could arguably be one of the Kanto Plains areas best-kept secrets.
Though only a small-scale park, the attraction is overall an excellent one as it gives a reasonably close view of some delightfully colorful (mostly) Australian birds in a fairly authentic aviary, the largest of its type in Japan.
Surrounding the aviary are plenty of gum trees, adding to the Down Under-flavor of the Saitama Prefecture city.
Koshigaya and Saitama became sister cities in 1984, one of the earliest formal relationships between local governments in Australia and Japan.
The Campbelltown Forest of Wild Birds opened in 1995 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the sister-city relationship.
Campbelltown reciprocates with its Koshigaya Park, containing Japanese gardens.
Details of the Campbelltown Forest of Wild Birds in Koshigaya are as follows:
Campbelltown Forest of Wild Birds(Japanese link)
272-1 Daikichi, Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, 343-0008
Open: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays, new year season holidays
Entrance fees: Adults 100 yen, children (primary and middle-school students) 30 yen
Related information on Koshigaya-Campbelltown ties
Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister Cities Association
Campbelltown City Council page on sister city relations
Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister Cities Association student delegates arrive to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their relationship
Campbelltown-Koshigaya friendship is 30 years young