Talisman Keisuke Honda provided the thrust as Japan overpowered Honduras 6-0 on Friday to relieve some of the pressure on coach Javier Aguirre.
Honda scored once, set up three more and was by far Japan's most dangerous player in a lopsided game between two teams who flopped badly at the World Cup in Brazil earlier this year.
"We played a complete game today," Aguirre told Japan's TV Asahi. "We're building for the Asian Cup in January and obviously we will be going there to win it. We showed excellent balance tonight and brought joy to the fans."
Aguirre abandoned the tinkering that contributed to an alarming run of form in the Mexican's first four matches in charge, naming 10 of Japan's World Cup squad among his starting eleven in Toyota.