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Costumed Japanese Fans Brighten World Cup Stands

Japanese supporters react before the start of the group C World Cup soccer match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, on June 14. Shuji Kajiyama / AP

RECIFE, Brazil — The Japanese always have some of the most spirited — and outlandish — fans at the World Cup.

As Pernambuco Stadium filled up for the Blue Samurai's first match against Ivory Coast, a tiny Japanese girl walked by dressed as an enormous football, cute cuddly toys hanging from her neck and a Dr. Seuss hat perched on her head.

Image: Japanese supporters react before the start of  the group C World Cup soccer match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil
Japanese supporters react before the start of the group C World Cup soccer match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, on June 14. Shuji Kajiyama / AP

Many Japan supporters sported samurai top-knot wigs while wearing the blue jerseys of their favorite players. Others had headbands painted with the Japanese "hinomaru" flag and "VICTORY" written in slashing Japanese characters.

— The Associated Press