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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Comments on Japan's Soccor Win

Japan wins Women’s Soccer World Cup in Germany (July 18 Frankfurt)

Japan’s national team, Nadeshiko won the World Cup against USA this week in Frankfurt, Germany.  Their victory is all the more remarkable, considering that they were labeled as the underdog, having never won against the US (3 ties and 21 losses to be exact).  The team’s spirit of perseverance finally paid off as they stood up against the powerful US attacks.  They tied twice to finally cinch a win in the penalty kick competition.  The match was one of the most watched in cable TV history.  

Japanese society has historically been known as a male-dominated society.  It was true till the 80s, but no longer!  The Men’s national soccer team only went to up to one of the top eight in the World Cup.  The women’s team is now number one.  In the recent Olympic Games. Japanese women won more medals than men.  In Japanese society lately, two terms have arisen - soushoku-kei danshi and nikushoku-kei joshi – meaning herbivorous boys versus carnivorous girls.  The perception is that boys are becoming more passive and gentle while girls are being recognized as becoming more active and aggressive.  This World Cup win could be a symbolic event for the female-dominated society in Japan.  Boys!  Where are you?  

Interestingly, the women’s soccer team name, is Nadeshiko which means a pink flower such as the Dianthus.  It has long been used to symbolize the virtues of grace, strength and gentleness in Japanese women.  Before winning the cup, the soccer team shared that they would dedicate their efforts to the people hit by the tsunami, in March.  Team Nadeshiko has brought encouragement and hope to the people and victims of this devastating tsunami, in the best way, they could.  Congratulations Nadeshiko!

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