Samurai swords add edge to Japan's World Cup kit

A replica of a football locker room to be used by Japan's national team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup has been set up in Tokyo to show off the new national uniform. Eleven lockers have been arranged in an "L" shape near the entrance of the Shibuya 109 Square building and visitors can touch the uniforms hanging inside.

Adidas Japan K K, which designed and produced the uniform, organized the event to promote the new uniform which was unveiled by the Japan Football Association on Monday.

Keiko Kurahashi, 35, a housewife shopper hailed the new uniform. "The collar looks sharp and the whole thing is really cool," she told Mainichi.

The new uniform is dark blue with sky blue features, symbolizing the team's hopes to fly high. A curve in the shape of a samurai sword runs down both sides. Adidas says the design represents "the samurai spirit".