Here are the highlights of Japan's women's soccer team's 3-1 victory over Sweden in the semifinals of the World Cup:
By the way, Tom Byer only gets part of the meaning of "nadeshiko" down. Yes, the term refers to a beautiful flower, but it has 2 additional connotations that are quite significant. First, it refers back to old-fashioned notions of the ideal Japanese woman, an image the women's soccer team is refashioning with every game; second, it suggests a kind of mental and physical toughness inside a fragile-seeming beauty, which the women's team is transposing from its domestic and WW II-era contexts into the world of sports.
My girls aren't sure who to root for in the final--Nadeshiko Japan or Team USA! I'm just hoping for an exciting game--and some inspiration for Japanese women golfers as they head into the LPGA's European swing next week!