Krzysztof Kamiński feels the difference of fans between Japan and Europe.

  • text by Yoichi Igawa
  • photo by Kenzaburo Matsuoka

Kamiński is a big fan of the league and has some favourite players.

"Kengo Nakamura from Kawasaki Frontale," he names first. "I can't say we are friends as we haven't talked properly, but I always feel a sort of affinity with him because he looks like a very friendly person. We played against each other but I regard him as a teammate in a broader sense. Kosuke Nakamura of Kashiwa Reysol can speak a bit of English and we talked a few times. He is a good goalkeeper with big potential."

For foreign players the language barrier is always a challenge, but Kamiński is actively learning Japanese in order to further understand the culture. On vacation he often goes on domestic trips with his wife, and the destinations are "more local" because they want "to feel the real Japan."

"Of course, Tokyo or Kyoto are fantastic," Kamiński said. "But the places I remember most in Japan are the smaller towns. Once we visited a potter's atelier in Shikoku, which was a great experience for both of us. The artisan has devoted himself to making potteries since his youth, and was a positive man who was smiling all the time and very proud of his profession. I remember clearly the passionate way he showed me how to make one.

"I think professional footballers are similar to him in terms of their attitude. The potter does what he loves, it's not just a job. This is the same for me. I love football, which is fortunately my job. We live in a dream. The dream where I can continue to do what I love came true."