Monday, July 18, 2011

0016: Nadeshiko

As you all know by now we lost the women's world cup yesterday. Without yet another analysis of what went wrong on the US side, bottom line is that the Japanese team won. As the game opened the commentator said, even if you aren't cheering for Japan, you certainly can't cheer against them after all they have been through. And that's true, so, congrads to the Nadeshiko - that is their nickname back home - on an incredible win. This was Japan's first appearance in the final of a major tournament, and it hadn't beaten the US in their first 25 meetings. (Read more.) 

Interestingly, their nickname derives from Yamato Nadeshiko a Japanese term meaning "personification of an idealized Japanese woman". Virtues include loyalty, domestic ability, wisdom and humility. It's a floral metaphor combining Yamato, an ancient name for Japan and Nadeshiko, a frilled pink carnation. (More here.)  Personally I think the Japanese team has just modernized the definition. Before yesterday, the nadeshiko referred to Japanese women with "good old" traits, today I think it means you can have good old traits and still be modern, strong, fierce, driven, and athletic - not your traditional domestic goddess but a goddess nonetheless!

The US fell to a team to whom the victory meant so much more than just a title. And no one could have said it better than Carli Lloyd - "If any other country was to win this, then I’m really happy and proud for Japan. Deep down inside I really thought it was our destiny to win it. But maybe it was Japan’s.” 

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