Round 13 – St Kilda v Western Bulldogs: Facing Walls

Saturday, 27 June 2015

7:20 pm (AEST; 6:20 pm my time)

Docklands Stadium, Melbourne


The day before the game, I faced a big wall at work due to language barrier. I had difficulity communicating with Chinese guests as they did not speak English or Japanese well. A machine translator did not help as did not make sense.

Then they cancelled the accommodation. My boss pointed out that I was not able to read their thoughts or minds from what they did (turned up at the inn around 11:00 and asked me to check in). I could have done check in; however did not because they had no luggage or cash to pay a room rate (we take only cash). She said that they would not be able to come back to the inn by 9 pm (we shut the reception at 9 pm) so they wanted to do an early check in.

But I admit that I am not good at non verbal communication or read other people’s feelings by atmosphere. It is too skillful and very Japanese whose term is called Ishin Denshin or kuuki wo yomu in Japanese. As a westernised bloke (I am Japanese but not Japanese), I disagree with this kind of communication as it is too complicated. Indeed this is one of reasons why I want to date a western woman who speaks good English.

Unlikely to Round 6 when the mighty Saints won over the Bulldogs after trailling 55 points, it is hard for me to overcome communication issues. At the previous match against the Doggies, I had a western angel whom I believe made us won, but she has left Japan…

On game day, I was told (asked?) to try the best to sell rooms due to the sudden cancellation for four nights. I feel it is a punishment because my boss often asks me to do without advice for tasks I had never done. Indeed it is a big wall.

Having wanted to bite a hot dog in the afternoon, but it was expensive at a local humburger restaurant. It was a small wall. Instead I got an American dog at a convenience store to wish we bite the Doggies back.

Just before the game, I did the check in for a Japanese young couple, but felt awkward because I felt needing to choose appropriate words but was nervous. I wished the guests were westerners who spoke excellent English.

As my feelings were under the weather, I despreatly wanted to keep up with my footy. Even I had been told not to, I tuned in SEN through AFL App (but indeed the volumn was minumum and switched off the radio when a guest was around the reception so that no one else would hear).

I think I have heard more Bulldog players’ names, but the mighty Saints led at the first second quarters (three points at Half Time).

Sadly I was unable to keep up with footy so much as I was at work. As being curious, I checked the score regularly on AFL App, but the Footscray boys led.

Being heard some unfamiliar voice from a guest’s phone (I reckon she was watching TV in her own language), tuning in SEN again (I just could not avoild the big wall of non English noise) but I only heard the Doggies leading. At the end I heard the siren and “Sons of the West. Red, White and Blue…” playing at Docklands, I switched off the radio.

What were big walls on the footy field?

Watching the match highlight on AFL App on Monday, 11 minutes and 13 seconds reminding at the last quarter, Sam Gilbert was tackled and felt under the pressure, he was not able to kick footy. He saw a wall of some Bulldog players.

Later in the last quarter, our skipper Nick Riewoldt kicked from inside 50 but a horse of Bulldog players tried to catch the ball, but Josh Bruce took a mark and kicked a goal.

The next day, I felt a big wall emotionally at work. Feeling very stressed from the Friday incident and the pressure to sell rooms. Even I was very stressed when Chinese people who stayed at our inn came outside our reception operation hours to leave their luggage. I hate being interrupted doing my hatred cleaning as I want more time for myself at the short lunch break. To be honest I want to involve more in the Almanac and to study Italian more. Guests are valuable but I need to look after myself to do better work, you know. These people were my big wall on Sunday.

Can you please help reducing the height of the big wall (pressure or goal for another term)? We still rooms available during the week and indeed have to sell. Why not staying with us if you are planning to Kyoto this week? If not, can you please share this article on Social media or by sending group emails, or talk to your family and friends who are in Japan? If you need a room, please email me. I appreciate you about it.

Our websites are and My preference is Shouan.

Have a good week, folks!


St Kilda                                         1.5         3.7         5.9         7.14          (56)

Western Bulldogs                    1.3         3.4         7.7         9.8             (62)


St Kilda                                         Bruce 3, Riewoldt 2, Minchington, Weller

Western Bulldogs                    Bontempelli, Johannisen, Grant, T Boyd, Dickson, Picken, Dale, McLean, Webb


St Kilda                                         Montagna, Armitage, Steven, Riewoldt, Dempster

Western Bulldogs                    Wood, M Boyd, Macrae, Murphy, Wallis

Our Votes                                    Murphy (WBU 3), Armitage (STK 2), Riewoldt (STK 1)

Umpires                                       Bannister, Hosking, Mollison

Crowd                                           26,511

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Bob Speechley says

    Great observations from Kyoto(?) Yoshi. It was a tense game that went “down to the wire”. Easton Wood – number 10 for the Doggies – was BOG ” by a country mile” and saved the game with a telling mark near the end. The Saints are a good side and will have a few scalps to their name before this season is through.
    You should read an article in “The Age” by journalist Rohan Connolly who was in the St Kilda coaches box for the game. An eye-opener ever for an old dog like me.

    Best wishes

  2. Neil Anderson says

    I can feel your frustrations with the use of the ‘ wall ‘ metaphor Yoshi.
    You need that win when things aren’t going right on the personal front. All supporters feel that way and it must be doubly frustrating when you can’t even pick up a broadcast of such a tight match.
    The Dogs and the Saints are taking it in turns to win in the last couple of years. They both have great young innovative coaches and it showed on Saturday. They used similar tactics, particularly defensively, which meant a low-scoring contest and the result could have gone either way.
    Both Clubs have a bright future but as usual, we have to be patient. I really hope you get to see Nick Riewoldt live at the Dome before he retires.

  3. Bob Speechley says


    Here is the link for the Rohan Connolly article:

    (search) – Box seat for a night at the dogfight

    Here’s an old Italian proverb for you to ponder:

    “Chi si va lontano va piano e arriva sano.”


  4. G’day Yoshi. How are you ? I didn’t get a chance to see you in Wellington on Anzac Day; maybe in 2016.


  5. G’day Bob, Neil and Glen,

    I am extremely sorry for the very very late reply. And now it is 2016. Happy New Year to you all!

    Yes Bob, the article is interesting. It’s good to know how coaches communicate and how much they are passionate and emotional at matches.

    Neil, thank you for your all comments and compliment the other time. Yes, both your Dogs and my Saints are in similar circumstances for years. Even going through tough paths and being required to be patient, we both will have bright future.

    Glen!, I had no time or enough money to attend the Anzac Day match last year. Then no Anzac Day game in Wellington any more… Let’s hope that the mighty Saints will play in New Zealand again soon!

    At last, I acknowledge great Footy Almanac editors for the hardworking to publish this story in the book (Footy Almanac 2015). This piece would not be published without any support from wonderful readers and fellow Almanackers. Then I thank the mighty Saints and the opponents, the Western Bulldogs for playing a good game to make me writing this story. I totally appreciate you for my achievement in 2015.

    I hope you have a brilliant year in 2016. All the best.


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