Ireland tore Japan apart with a display of attacking rugby, particularly from their dynamic pack, to mark captain Johnny Sexton's 100th cap with an impressive 60-5 victory at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Ireland suffered a shock loss to the Japanese at the World Cup two years ago and were pushed hard again by the visitors in July, but it was Andy Farrell's men who played with a blistering and unstoppable verve on Saturday.
Twenty-nine unanswered first half points put the game long out of sight before Sexton fittingly got one of the nine tries and Andrew Conway completed a hat trick in a display that should give New Zealand something to think about before they visit Dublin next week.
"It was an incredible day for myself, for my family, the reception I got with that try in the corner was one of the best moments of my career... I will remember it forever," Sexton said in a pitchside interview, interrupted by cheers.
It took Ireland just four minutes to open the scoring when a slight Bundee Aki line break opened up an overlap tight to the touchline and winger James Lowe sped away into the corner.
Their second try, seven minutes later, was outstanding. Most of the team seemed to have a hand in a swift, free-flowing parade of offloads capped by Jamison Gibson Park somehow picking out Conway with a stunning crossfield kick. The Munster winger did the rest.
The athleticism of the Irish pack was noted by the coaching staff ahead of the game and proved a massive advantage. From prop Tadhg Furlong marking his 50th cap with his usual array of soft hands to man of the match Jack Conan popping up everywhere, it was a masterclass.
That enabled Ireland to rip apart their opponents, with a powerful rolling maul opening up space for Conway's second and Gibson Park getting his first Ireland try after a lineout and some poor Japanese defending.
The shellshocked visitors -- playing just their fourth test compared to Ireland's 17 in the coronavirus-impacted two years since they hosted the World Cup and reached the quarterfinals -- had no answer.
Sexton -- who had an almost perfect day from the kicking tee -- was mobbed by his teammates in the corner and given a standing ovation by the first near-capacity home crowd in 21 months when he added try number five.
Aki, centre partner Garry Ringrose, replacement Cian Healy and Conway's hat trick score completed the rout for the relentless hosts.
Siosaia Fifita's try in virtually Japan's only attack of the game offered the slimmest of consolations for a side who pushed Australia close in a 32-23 loss just two weeks ago.