TOKYO, 1 Oct - He went from match-day outcast to try-scoring hero in the electric win over Ireland - but Kenki Fukuoka is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
"There was that sense of honour in winning against Ireland but looking back now, with some time past, we've done well to switch our attention to the next game," Fukuoka, pictured above, said on Monday. "We aren't getting carried away and are looking at the next game, and the week, as we normally do."
The winger has reason to be circumspect. He was part of the team that lost to Scotland four days after the Brave Blossoms stunned South Africa in the Miracle of Brighton at Rugby World Cup 2015.
Despite winning their next two games, against Samoa and the USA, Japan finished third in the pool and failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.
So as the plaudits flow after Fukuoka inspired the host nation to their 19-12 win on Saturday, the man himself remains pragmatic.
"Whether we win here (against Samoa) will be the watershed in reaching our target of last eight. They say it's a historical feat (to beat Ireland) but I know full well how important the game after is.
"I'll share the information with all my team-mates to help have an even better preparation. It helps we have a longer turnaround this time too.
"Obviously we'll first go for the win. Our captain and leaders in the team will think about that (bonus points), so I'll just follow what they say."
Fukuoka, only added to the match-day squad for the Ireland game following the late withdrawal of William Tupou, darted over the line in the 58th minute for his debut World Cup try that put Japan in front.
"I knew there was space out wide at a relatively early stage so I was calling them to pass it on quick. There was their foul and advantage to us that was a big thing in us making that bold attack. The decisions from there were all down to the players inside, and all I did was to react and dive over."
The 27-year-old then ran half the length of the pitch before the final whistle. He was stopped just short of scoring another try, but earned Japan precious breathing space in a frenetic finale.
It was all the more impressive from a player who injured his calf in early September, in a pre-tournament friendly against South Africa.
"My pace is almost back to my best. What is left is the slight stiffness I have after training, so I'd say I'm around 95 or 96 per cent fit. I'll aim to be 100 per cent during the week of preparation."
His team-mate Kotaro Matsushima was likened by head coach Jamie Joseph to a Ferrari after his hat-trick heroics in the opening win over Russia. But the winger was happy to share the plaudits with his fellow speed demon. "A Ferrari for me is Kenki Fukuoka," he said before the Ireland match.