《排球少年》

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《排球少年》
作者:古館春一

在南京舉行的世界女排大獎賽剛完,下個月在日本還有另一排球大賽——大冠軍盃。這個賽事在香港的「入屋程度」遠不如世界女排大獎賽,但其實在排球界這是四大賽事之一。它規定在奧運後一年在日本舉行,每屆會有六隊參與。

大冠軍盃,以至另一重要賽事世界盃排球賽,也由1977年開始至今都由日本永久主辦,證明了該國在排球界地位舉足輕重。雖然,相比70年代的盛世(72年奧運男排冠軍、76年奧運「東洋魔女」奪得女排冠軍),目前日本排球可說陷於低迷,但長期以來日本對排球推廣不遺餘力,把賽事管理得完善,足以使該國得以繼續享有重要賽事的主辦權。

日本人對排隊熱情不衰,也表現在流行文化上。漫畫是日本的國寶之一,排球當然不會在此缺席。目前有套關於排球,名為《排球少年》的漫畫仍在連載,在日本國內頗受歡迎,曾改編為電視劇及舞台劇,並試過被選為其中一部「最想向海外介紹的日本流行文化」漫畫作品。

作者古館春一在中學時期熱衷排球,及至成為漫畫家後仍對這項運動念茲在茲,決心要以此為題材獻出作品,結果在2012年他終可一嘗素願,開始連載。《排球少年》描寫虛構的烏野高中男排隊,在高中大賽中力爭上游。當然,這類熱血漫畫總少不免有些誇張,但整體而言算是實感頗重。如果想認識日本的排球精神,這部漫畫各位值得一讀。
Haikyū!! (volleyball) by Haruichi Furudate

The FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup, one of the biggest tournaments, will run in Japan next month. Japan has hosted the World Grand Champions Cup and the Volleyball World Cup since 1977, reflecting the country’s significant standing in the volleyball world. And while Japan’s recent volleyball achievements have waned since the 1970s, the country has never spared any effort to promote the sport and manage competitions well.

Japanese enthusiasm for volleyball is evident also from popular culture. A volleyball manga series called Haikyū!! has been popular within the country. Author Haruichi Furudate has loved the sport since he was in high school, and when he became a manga artist he was determined to put it in his work. His wish came true in 2012. Haikyū!! is a fairly realistic story of a high school student striving to win at volleyball, so it’s worth looking at for people who want to know more about the volleyball spirit in Japan.

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