Kyogo earns spot in Tokyo train station as Celtic go global

By Euan Davidson

October 28, 2021

There seemed little doubt that if Kyogo could be a hit for Celtic, the club’s reach would expand across Japan.

After all, he was the J-League’s top scorer until pretty recently, even months after signing for us. A star for Vissel Kobe, this wasn’t necessarily a signing meant for marketing – something that’s extremely overstated.

Instead, he was a signing for the first-team, who just so happens to be popular in Japan.

Advantages, advantages. And so, given his start to life at Celtic, it’s little wonder that Kyogo Furuhashi is turning up in his Bhoys gear in the metropolises of Japan.

Now, we knew Kyogo’s movement was good, but he was spotted adorning an electronic news board in Tokyo, following the Bhoys’ 3-1 win over Hibernian last night. How do you mark that?

Celtic are huge.

And so is Kyogo’s burgeoning reputation. He’s been heralded by Japanese footballing heroes like Shunsuke Nakamura and Keisuke Honda, and is making a mark for the national team.

At 26, it’s somewhat remarkable that he’s only had 10 caps [Transfermarkt]. Surely, that number will skyrocket in the years to come, and Celtic fans will be hoping he continues to bang in the goals.

Hibernian 1-3 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Hibernian 1-3 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

So far, he has 10 in 15 outings. Quite incredible stuff from the marquee Ange Postecoglou signing.

Kyogo and his appearance on Toyko news board is at worst good fun, and at best, a sign of what’s ahead

The difference for Celtic since Kyogo’s arrival has been obvious. Just go to a game, and grab a Japan flag on your way in. They’re readily available.

But just like Shunsuke Nakamura’s time in the Hoops, Kyogo is attracting football fans from Japan to Celtic Park. That’s meaningful, and in the Women’s team, Chinese football fans are coming to watch Shen Mengyu.

This kind of global appeal can only be a good thing for Celtic, moving forward. The economic advantages are overstated, especially with Japanese players playing in the Premier League. But the club have pounced on opportunities to grow the brand in Asia, where there’s a huge number of enthusiastic football fans.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

That makes utter sense. Celtic have a Japanese twitter account, as well as a Japan-only online superstore.

That’s all fine, but it’s because Kyogo is making an impact on this Celtic side. He was never just signed to be a poster boy for the club overseas, he’s an example of the kind of quality the club can bring in from less-heralded footballing markets.

Celtic are putting themselves back on the map in more ways than one, following the dismal 20-21 season. There are Australian viewers, Japanese viewers, Chinese viewers tuning in to see how the Bhoys and the Ghirls are doing.

It can only be a positive thing.

Read more: Watch: Celtic youngster Ben Doak’s brilliant run and cross for Scotland youth side