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Monday, July 25, 2011

Japan's Soccer Team Gets Bonus

A sponsor of the Japan Woman's 2011 World Cup soccer team has given a bonus of one million yen ($12,680) to each member of the team following their surprise triumph over the US last Sunday.

Kirin - makers of soft drinks and my favourite Japanese beer, is also an official sponsor of the Japan Football Association, or what you Yanks call soccer.

“The buzz of excitement has been continuing since the final and we decided on the bonus straight away,” says company president Matsuzawa Koichi (surname first).

Japan is the first ever team from Asia to win the Women's World Cup of Soccer and especially since the past few months has seen Japan digging itself out from a bad earthquake, tsunami and near melt down of a nuclear power facility in Fukushima-ken (Fukushima Prefecture) , the populace has fondly embraced the team as heroes.

To say that the team - nicknamed the Nadeshiko, a large pink flower - has caused some soccer mania back home is an understatement. Food products are now being called Nadeshiko in an effort to capitalize (though some did have the name before), toys, shirts, towels, pencil, erasers, book allegedly written by the players on themselves, books on the team... pick one and it's out there. If you haven't seen it, ask for it, and someone will make one for you in two minutes. While Nadeshiko souvenirs are a dime a dozen as far as rarities, they certainly aren't a dime a dozen in cost. 

It doesn't matter to the Japanese fans looking to show their support for their heroes... everybody wins... though this blog suspects it's the merchants that are loving the win over the USA a little bit more.

I wonder if Japan's woman's softball team beats the USA in the World Cup Final today if there will be such national celebrating? Personally, I hope so. 

Go Japan! 

Andrew Joseph

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