Archive | July, 2011

Role Models #2

18 Jul

I’m not a football fan. Not at all! But yesterday evening I watched a bit of the Women Football World Cup final and saw a mouse defeting a giant.

2011 Women Football World Cup Champion: JAPAN

Japan became the first Asian nation to win the Women’s World Cup, beating the U.S. 3-1 in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw. The team, small in stature compared to the Americans, fell behind twice but battled back to tie both times, their final goal coming with just three minutes left in extra time.

The women’s team, whose Nadeshiko nickname comes from a pink frilled carnation symbolizing grace and beauty, had increasingly received attention from the national media as it climbed throug the tournament, making up for its lack of size with pinpoint passing and a swarming team defense.

Japan Nadeshiko celebrating their victory

Japan’s players used the disasters as motivation throughout, watching pictures of the devastation from their homeland before some matches. The team displayed a banner reading “To our Friends Around the World — Thank You for Your Support” before the final.

“I can’t believe it,” said Sawa, Japan captain and a veteran of five World Cups. “We have got this result because we never stopped fighting until the end. This has been my goal and now I can take home the gold medal.”

Their result is even more impressive when you think that, after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami disaster, they faced huge difficulties at training together, not to mention their budget… or lack of it, as it often happens in women sport (read more).

Anyway, this is another clear example that size doesn’t matter… Arigatou and well done Japan!

Japan Nadeshiko celebrating their victory


Tanabata

8 Jul

Tanabata, 七夕, meaning “Evening of the seventh”, is a Japanese star festival, originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar.

It’s said that your wishes will come true if you write them down on strips of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo branches. (read more)

My tanzaku

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