I beg to differ. Brazilian players go overseas for a couple of reasons. A bigger paycheck but also tougher competition. The Japanese league is a good league, but better players are outside of Japan. KYK left South Korea to play in Japan. From there she went to Turkey. She’s been good for so long.
Think of it like the NBA, why is it the best basketball league in the world? It is where all of the stars play. Can you be a successful player and not play in it, yes. However do you want to challenge yourself against the best, then you need there.
I agree with the statement "better players make you better" but it begs the question: What do you mean by "better players"? Bigger stronger attackers? In what other way is Boskovic a better player than Sarina Koga? (okay, serve lol)
You can't 'learn' bigger stronger. To say it worked for KYK or Zhu Ting means nothing to Ruriko Uesaka. People bring up the two big (not Japanese) guns that were practically born world class. Any other examples? If a player like Rino Murooka was 187cm she would benefit from playing in Turkey 1 or Italy 1 ... but Azerbaijan?
Gabi and Britt Herbots. They're Japanese sized and kill harder than every Japanese player because they choose to. But in what other way are they any better than Yuki Ishii?
I'm convinced that this repulsive, measured swing approach, so grossly on display in the OGs, is taught/required/whatever. Watch HS, Uni, V2, or 9-ball and you see players swinging like Gabi all the time. It gets removed from players who want to work their way up the food chain.
Of course there is something to be said of playing in a more intense environment where the opposing team is sending the ball your way at greater speeds. But that's not where very many Japanese players need improvement. Could Japanese liberos learn a thing or two from Moki? Sure, but that's just a saying. It's not something that's likely to actually happen.
Japan needs more players like the Ohno sisters If you get, you get it.
Japan's problems are attitudinal. They have no violence in attack (which is an attitude deficiency, not physical weakness) and this current squad is simply not in love with floor defense.
Having said all that, a case could me made which I wouldn't oppose that Mami Uchiseto improved a little since she came back from Europe (and I have no idea if she even played or not). And by "improved" I mean she's a little pissier in her attack. Did her reception or floor defense improve? Nope. Did her blocking improve? She's 170cm. I think her mental attitude also "improved", and has likely been nudged along by Antônio Marcos Lerbach.
Playing in a very select few places in Europe would be a good thing for a very select few Japanese players who are willing or able to get a little pissier. Sadly there are not very many of them.*
Could any of Japan's middle-blockers improve if they played alongside BRA's Carols, TUR's Duo, even Italy's MBs? Absolutely yes! Is THAT ever going to actually happen? No.
* I might spend a few minutes thinking of who they might. Rei Kudo comes to mind; Rino Murooka; Minami Takaso -- don't deny it until you try it; V1 is tough. I can think of a dozen in V2, Uni and 9-ball. Go watch 172cm HS junior Risa Yajima swing.
Watch these pages to see if NEC's Hina Kawakami makes the NT. She is super soft, great receiver, likes defense, and makes the Kurogo look like Britt Herbots when she swings.