Posts Tagged ‘Nadeshiko’

Japan’s top 10 buzzwords of 2011

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Nadeshiko Japan, with head coach Norio Sasaki (center) and captain Homare Sawa (center right), show off their Women’s World Cup trophies. (Kyodo photo)

The news in Japan in 2011 was dominated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of the Tohoku region (and proved the worth of Tokyo’s earthquake-resistant architecture). It’s only natural that words related to the disaster and its aftermath made up a good portion of the top buzzwords of the year as chosen by Jiyu Kokuminsha, publishers of an annual book of new and newly important words. However, the mundane and the downright silly mix with the serious in this list, whittled down from an initial 60 nominees, as life did go on for most of Japan, albeit with a new sense of gravity. In descending order, here are the top 10 buzz phrases of 2011 in Japan.

Grand prize-winner: Nadeshiko Japan (なでしこジャパン Nadeshiko Japan): This name for Japan’s women soccer team actually made it into the 2004 list of buzzword nominees, but it was the team’s amazing and inspiring victory at this year’s World Cup that brought them into the lexicon. Even the losing U.S. side was moved by the down-to-the-wire win just three months after the quake. Nadeshiko Japan was the first sports team to receive the People’s Honor Award from Prime Minister at the time, Naoto Kan, for the “fighting spirit” they showed against a better-ranked team and the joy they brought the country with their victory. It’s worth noting that the phrase “yamato nadeshiko” conjures up images of self-sacrificing wives of soldiers, and appropriately, Team Japan really did have to hold down days jobs while working to become the No. 1 team.

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A win-win for Nadeshiko and Japan’s merchants

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Takashimaya's Nadeshiko commemorative dessert

As Japan welcomes back its women’s soccer team from their world cup triumph, Nadeshiko fever grips the nation. While the team’s victory is sure to spur women’s interest in soccer, it has also inspired the nation’s merchants. From sushi restaurants to department stores, special celebratory offers are the order of the day.

Sponichi Annex reports that Nadeshiko Sushi in Akihabara (which existed long before the women’s team was dubbed Nadeshiko) has been supporting the women’s team since it began kicking butt around the middle of the tournament. While the team battled it out on the field, the staff of the restaurant proudly wore its colors and when they won, the sushiya celebrated by dropping their ¥980 set meals to ¥700. In nearby Kanda, Izakaya Nadeshiko also discounted its sashimi set from ¥1,200 to ¥600. The izakaya naturally benefited from its name, as it popped up in online searches for the women’s soccer team’s name.

Over in konbini land, Family Mart is selling commemorative goods and holding a special thanks sale in honor of the Nadeshiko team up until July 25. Customers who buy items such as beer get entered into a lottery to win prizes.

Takashimaya will be selling a range of commemorative items from July 23 in honor of the victory. The department store also got on the ball quickly and invented a new Nadeshiko commemorative dessert. The blue and green lemonade jelly confection, which has a cute white-chocolate soccer ball perched on top, is available at the store’s rooftop beer garden for ¥420.

Not surprisingly, publishers are seeing brisk sales with Nadeshiko-related content.  According to Sankei News, a book titled “Homare” by  team captain Homare Sawa was sold out by July 18 at Kinokuniya stores across the country. Book 1st also sold out of “Honmare” as well as “Nadeshiko Power” (a book by teammate Sasaki Norio) before the final. The company is now placing an order 10 times as big as the last order for fresh copies.

Because no one was expecting the ladies’ team to beat the odds and come out on top, manufacturers were caught unawares. So we’re betting there will be plenty more Nadeshiko-related tie-ups to come.

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