Official 2012 Nadeshiko Japan Thread [R] - part I

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Micol, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Micol

    Micol Member

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    The old thread was getting a bit crowded anyway, and then a new year conveniently came along. ;) So here's a new, empty slate for all of you to fill with news, insights and questions about the Nadeshiko team, junior national teams, Japanese women's league and Japanese playing abroad - and a bit of gossip and fun as well.

    Happy new year 2012 to all Nadeshiko players and fans! May it become a healthy and successful year for all of you.

    And just maybe we'll get to see a well-deserved Japanese FIFA women's player of the year and a few proud Japanese Olympic gold medalists? :)


  2. blissett

    blissett Member+

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    Well, ok, I approve beginning of new year's optimism! :p

    I hope that anyone will convenientely translate all the pending discussion from the old thread here. When I was calling for a moderator's intervention, the reason was that I guess moderators only can lock the old thread, so everyone knows where to post now. But I see Micol decided to settle this the fast way... :p
    Well, let's hope this is approved by mods.

    By the way, another sign of Micol's optimism, beyond what she said, it's the name of the thread: "part 1" implies that there will be multiple parts this year also (because we'll have a LOT of good things to say). :D
  3. BigDnm01

    BigDnm01 Member

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    Go for gold in 2012 london olympics, nadeshiko japan!
  4. mumf

    mumf Member+

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  5. unepomme

    unepomme Member+

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    She says:
    The US team is certainly still the world No.1, but I think the difference between them and us is not in level, but in style.
    We should keep going forward making good use of our merit.
  6. blissett

    blissett Member+

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    The interview is very long, and the fact that there are a lot of words and not much video-footage makes following it more difficult for people like me, not speaking japanese at all. :p

    Anyway, by watching videos and gestures, I'd swear that during the interview the following subjects were mentioned:
    1) The way Miyama chose to shoot her penalty kick in the final match, tied to the fact that she knew Solo since the time they were team-mates in USA (in Saint Louis Athletica and Atlanta beat)(edit: it would be interesting to know what she answered exactly);
    2) Miyama was asked something similar to why she chose to become football player (sokka-senshu); in this exchange of lines it was somehow mentioned basket also (!? Lol);
    3) Miyama repeated the stuff about wanting Olympic medal because is bigger and WWC's one was too much small for her taste :p; by the way, looking towards the end of video, I guess we never had a so zoomed-in close-up of a WWC Medal before...

    Please unepomme correct me if i got something wrong. :rolleyes:

    Meanwhile I remind all of you that there were discussion pending in the previous thread: please knot again all the conversations. For instance I had just tried to answer TabascoT question about the next third GK in line for NT after Yamago, when she'll inevitably retire.

    Also, the general discussion about member selection for London was still well open and hot!

    Edit: a mod locked the old thread and he noticed we had broke the 500 posts limit by far! We had slipped through cracks for long, lol... ^__^
  7. unepomme

    unepomme Member+

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    1) The interviewer asked her if she had been nervous because she had been the first PK kicker.
    Her answer:
    Somehow I was enjoying the situation because of the relationship with Solo.

    2) Her mother was a basketball player, and when Aya was a kid her mother asked her why you was unable to handle the ball with your left foot the same way as with your right foot.
    Aya felt frustrated then, so she trained hard to acquire the technique.

    3) It's almost correct. Sawa said the same thing.
  8. blissett

    blissett Member+

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    Well, it looks like I understand japanese interviews quite well for a completely-not-japanese-speaking guy ^__^
    I guess that, despite mother's influence, Miyama wouldn't have made a decent basketball player with her 5 ft 2 in height :D Luckily for us, she made other choices...

    Next to the video with Miyama interview, I found a really wonderful 1hour+ recap about ALL THE NADESHIKO LEAGUE 2011!!! (or at least the after-WWC-2011 part of the league)(link at the end of the post).
    As a said, it's quite 1 hour and 20' of footage, so you'll have to take your time if you want to watch it all (I am still in winter holidays' break from my work at school, so I could safely do it ^__^). I'd say it's really worth, though, beacuse it's a very insighful video, with matches' highlights, technical comments and interesting interviews to L-league protagonists (players and coaches) and it gives a full picture of what 2011 league has been.

    I'd like to underline that this video seems like a rock-solid foundation for our very discussion about member selection for London! :eek: We just finished complaining that it's difficult to talk about players who are rarely seen in highlights and news, and we get this rich summary that not only shows the main matches that decided the league's winner, but sometimes put the spotlight on "second rank" teams like Iga FC Kunoichi or shows matches like the spectacular 4-3 win of Fukuoka J Anclas vs AS Elfen Sayama FC.

    There are about a ton observations that could be made about this video. I'll just throw some of the things that crossed my mind while watching it, but I guess that anyone could write a tome about it (and I secretely hope everyone will ^__^):
    • I had forgetten how different Nadeshiko League rankings were just after WWC: Albirex Niigata was second, JEF United Chiba (still sporting a full-service Maruyama) was third (!!! How low they fell after that) and Beleza and Urawa were struggling in the low part of the rankings;
    • I am re-evaluating the importance of Kamionobe: did you notice how often she's able to score from the long distance? NT needs that!
    • It seems like Tanaka has always scored lot of headers, although she's not a forward and neither a giant for sure :p
    • Sawa didn't score many goals in this season, but they were heavy like stone! (See the goal that tied vs Urawa, towards the end of the league, or the brace vs Niigata in the first half of the league: by the way, did you all remember how much tremendous was her second goal vs Niigata???);
    • When INAC lost points for the first time in the league, being caught on 3-3 by Niigata after being ahead 3-0, INAC's #20 Ryoko Takara unwillingly passed the ball TWICE to Niigata's forward Yuika Sugasawa, for goals #1 and #3. Understandably, she was crying after the final whistle... (I have to add that she somehow made up for that in other matches: for instance she made the assist for Kinga when she scored the first goal of the match that decided the league, vs. Elfen Sayama);
    • In the video, Tomomi Miyamoto is interviewed twice and can be seen in action, and it's mentioned the fact that, at least for some time, Sasaki seemed to be somehow interested to her for the London 2012 team;
    • At about 41':40", NTV Beleza's coach Akemi Noda can be seen wearing a sweatsuit with the name of my country (ITALIA) on it... ^__^
    Please, watch this video, if you've got the time to do it, cause I swear it's really worth (and comment about it here, if you manage to watch it... ;))

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHDwPi4ufF0&feature=related"]???????2011??? - YouTube[/ame]
  9. GunnerTNB

    GunnerTNB Member

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    Thanks a lot for the video, blisset. :)
    Surely I'll take my time to watch it entirely.

    I'd like also to ask you guys a question. What are you expecting for the Fifa Player of the Year announcement on January 9th? Do you believe Sawa has good chances of winning this prize?
  10. blissett

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    Well, I cross my fingers tightly, but I read that some bet sites give her as favourite by a good margin, and they usually know what they do (they give her at 1.75 vs Marta at 3.25 and Wambach at 4).

    We all know the flaws in the FIFA voting system and that this is the only thing that could put the award away from the deserving hands of Sawa. Since such upsets happened in the past, we really can't say anything and can only cross fingers and wait (although in the last months I seemed to hear a general consensus among coaches' and players' around the world, commenting that she was the best in 2011... But you can never say. Never).

    Oh well, I notice I'm keeping swinging between optimism and pessimism... :p
    Well, maybe it's because that's really my mood and I get more and more nervous as 9th of january approaches. Anyone here on the thread feels the same as me? :eek:
  11. mumf

    mumf Member+

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    Thanks UnePomme. Wondering do they really think the Olympics is more important than the World Cup?! By the way, about Sawa, my attitude is that her winning the FIFA play-of-year award on Monday is a certainty.

    As a reward....... more translations (sorry !) ......well I am not really interested in what Kawasumi says here but if GK Miho says anything here when I would be interested.

    I still think GK is a serious weakness on this team. Four years ago Fuhkomoto was excellent in the World Cup, and then quite good in the 2008 Olympics - until the disastrous semi-final against the USA - since which data I do not think she ever recovered her confidence.
  12. unepomme

    unepomme Member+

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    They just think the gold medal of the Olympics is bigger than that of the WC, so they want it.

    Points about Fukumoto:

    Her merit is precise instructions to DFs.
    Her demerits are short in height and inaccurate kicks, so she is training to improve them.
    Of course she wants to play in the London pitch together with Aya.
  13. blissett

    blissett Member+

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    I guess that another video, whose translation could be quite interesting, is this one, about Karina Maruyama. Apart from the fact that she's apparently visiting every temple and every place of worship and praying a lot :D, what does she actually say about her rehab? We can see by the video that she can walk but, despite the work with machines, she still has a little limp in the injuried leg. Actually kicking a ball seem to still belong to dream's realm for her...

    I would like to have your same degree of certainty about Sawa, mumf, because then I would sleep better :D Meanwhile, it's time for an Asahi Shimbun article about her, where she "brags" a little (not true, but I like to imagine that :p) about her unbeaten season with her club, and she says that she's very tired and needs at least a month of break, not only from football, but apparently also from media appearances (and we all know that, since the WWC, Sawa has been EVERYWHERE in media). She looks forward to the trip in Barcelona at the end of month for the friendly with Women FC Barcelona, and says that it could be a "relaxing" moment. She doesn't mention at all another little trip in Europe, to be exact in Zürich, next week. Trying to avoid bad luck, lol?
  14. Hachiko

    Hachiko The Akita on Big Soccer

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    I like to see INAC consider taking on a WPS side one of these days.
  15. unepomme

    unepomme Member+

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    She says that the rehab is very hard but she is getting mentally stronger than before and she was delighted and encouraged very much with Sawa's mail which said Sawa wanted to take the gold in London playing together with Karina.

    The interviewer says that it was taken three weeks before when Karina was only able to walk, but she hears Karina now can run.
  16. mumf

    mumf Member+

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    So....Miho wants to PLAY in goal, and not just watch Kaihori. I bet Sasaki is always thinking what to do.

    Well it is Kozue's turn, and this is the first of two parts of an "interview" with Japan male NT (& Captain?) MF Hasebe - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaHpOjlhLO4 - and you can easily find part two of two also, to the right.

    I make no secret of it - am still in love with Kozue :eek:

    Seriously - how can Japan swoon over darling Kawasumi, and overlook the gorgeous Ando - and who in my opinion, is the more better and versatile player?
  17. mumf

    mumf Member+

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  18. blissett

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    Well, they are (half-jokingly) talking about the real, physical medal, and saying that it looks like it's bigger, and so more desirable.
    Anyway, contrary to what happens in male football, it's not so clear if World Cup is more important than Olympics: it could be counterintuitive for supporters who are used to the fact that male World Cup is by far the more important competition and to the fact that at Olympics there are just U-23 male National Teams, but since in women's football senior teams are competing at the Olympics and since the competition is more tight than at WWC (just 12 teams instead of 16; numers have changed, but normally Olympics has always had less teams than WC), the Olympic tournament is highly regarded in women's football. Add to it the charm of the Olympic games themselves, the fact that they enhance national spirit, the fact that the audience for the whole of the games is for sure by far higher that the audience of the WWC (especially in the past, when the WWC was way more obscure than today) and you can understand why the Olympic tournament is so important to the women's game.
    It's true that the WWC is THE event for the football itself as a sport, where you only play football and you don't have to compete for attention with athletics, weight-lifting or water-polo, but I can anyway understand the importance of Olympics in the women's football and also the pressure from countrymen to get a good result at Olympics.

    Anyway, I am quite sure she's been asked about "Nadeshiko fever" and I am also quite sure that she's one of those Nadeshiko players who wallow in it with pure joy... :D

    Interesting format... It's more like a "conversation" between Ando and Hasebe than an interview. I can't say I understood much of what was going on, but I found it interesting anyway. And Kozue is indeed charming in this video. :p

    Wow, Asahi Shimbun always gives very insightful articles to us: I had missed that one, thanks mumf.
    Iwashimizu's part is touching indeed (and I would have bet that the red card in the final was the only one of her entire career: Iwashi is a paradigm of fair and correct player; I guess we can all agree, anyway, that she wasn't stained at all by that heroic and necessary foul), but I also liked a lot the part about super-tough iron-woman Mizuho Sakaguchi. Everytime I know something more about her, I more and more highly esteem her. In contrast to what I said above, this is instead one of those Nadeshiko players who are NOT walllowing in Nadeshiko fever and would prefer being left alone. :D
    I can't find words to aptly describe a woman that's quietly working 8 hours per day, then training till 10 pm, saying that's she's just "slightly sleepy" at work in the morning, and then carries her team to an All Japan's Cup final, with both goals and fighting spirit! And she even refused an enticing transfer in Europe (probably it wouldn't be in her reserved, fully-japanese, style; I guess it was quite difficult for her to try the american experience also, and she probably keeps a bad memory of that experience because of the serious injury she suffered there). I am happy that Sawa openly declared how much important Sakaguchi is for Nadeshiko midfield and for the balance of the team overall: not anyone really appreciated Sakaguchi's quiet, not-flashy contribution to the Japan's play (they outrageosly didn't even put her in the WWC best eleven team!), but, when talking about NT indispensable members, I guess there are very few that are more vital to the team than her!
  19. sc-f

    sc-f Member+

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  20. theofaron

    theofaron Member

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    Great article. I actually came to this thread to post the link to the interview, but you beat me to it. ;) Did you do this interview? Great job, it sounded like a very natural conversation, good questions and Kumagai's answers were were very insightful. The best interviews are the ones where you can gleam the person's personality.
  21. sc-f

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  22. mumf

    mumf Member+

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    Wow !!!

    Well I had to write this comment there just now:

    "Simply one of the most interesting football interviews ever. Great questions and very helpful answers. I liked the insight about Frankfurt and about Ando too.
    Video of her blasted PK and celebration makes her an icon forever, but she was also a fiercely motivated DF throughout the tournament, battling difficult forces she did not even know existed in the world of women's soccer
    ."


    I mean it. You really asked some questions there that I would have wanted to ask!

    And will there be a part two in English also? One more - did you tell her about her fans on BigSoccer ?:cool:?
  23. sc-f

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    Wow, that coming from you, mumf, probably the most passionate Nadeshiko fan in the English speaking world, I honestly feel honored. Thanks a lot.

    There's no plan for a part 2 on goal.com international currently, as that would be probably to much for a site with no section for Women's football. Anyway, I'll pm you :cool:
  24. blissett

    blissett Member+

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    That's a shame, because I bet that the translation of the japanese part 2 would have been at least equally interesting as this wonderful masterpiece of interwieving art; and I really mean it: we don't get many interesting interviews in women's football, and this one was super for choice of the questions, insightfulness of the answers and the general, natural tone of the conversation. As someone else said above, we can see the real character of Saki Kumagai emerge from her words, and I agree that she feels like a great person: tough, straight-minded, but at the same time joyful and cool as people of her age have to be.

    As I said commenting this article on the goal.com site, we'd need more of these. It's a shame that women's football has a so tight (although passionate) fan-base, because it would be really worth to read interviews like this one to other Nadeshiko players...
    Maybe in Japan, they get them, but for us, european and american fans, not able to read japanese, it's difficult to find good interviews to japanese players (I dare to say that it's difficult to find good interviews anyway in the women's football, even to european or american players... :p).

    Good job sc-f. All the Nadeshiko Japan thread is grateful! :)
  25. mumf

    mumf Member+

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    sc-f : Thanks, and I wonder if you told her about her BigSoccer Forum FANS?

    Anyway....here'a newly posted video by Go-Go of the semi-final v China at the Asian Games, its a full 14 minutes of action....some of it not so good frankly.....

    Sakaguchi had just returned after her long injury. The Germany-based players were not available. Per the link provided, Same came on as a sub, so did Yamaguchi and Kitamoto - now there is a player who has since disappeared without a trace :confused:

    Also on the bench, not able to get a look in, Kaihori and Kawasumi.

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