What’s the Goalden Word?

We football fanatics often come across terms and phrases that we start using without knowing its meaning. We hear them on television or read them in magazines wondering what the word is all about. WTGW will endeavour to focus on such terms and their usages helping us create our very own footballpedia. This month’s word is Nadeshiko.  If you would like to know about any such word associated with the football world, do toss in a mail at editor@goaldentimes.org

NADESHIKO:  (na-de-shi-ko)  (なでしこジャパン)  : [Feminine-Noun-Plural]

Pink or Frilled Pink Carnation

The word nadeshiko in Japanese means the Dianthus superbus flowering plant also known as the large pink or frilled pink carnation. It is used in conjunction with Yamato, the ancient name for Japan for the floral metaphor Yamato Nadeshiko which is a term for an ideal Japanese woman. This term is presently used in Japan to describe the traits of traditional Japanese women of yesteryears that are rare in the current generation.
In 2004 Japan Football Association (JFA) organised a public contest to select a nickname for the national side. On 7th August 2004 JFA announced that ‘Nadeshiko’, from the phrase ‘Yamato Nadeshiko’ had been chosen amongst 2700 entries. The name proved lucky for the team as they won the silver medal in the 2006 Asian Games after losing to North Korea in a tie-breaker.

The triumph of the Nadeshiko

The culmination of the Nadeshiko came in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After upsetting hosts Germany & strong contenders Sweden in the quarterfinals and semi finals respectively, the Nadeshiko came up against the Americans in the finals. The Americans created more chances, hit the woodwork twice and twice took the lead.

Both the times the Nadeshiko came back with an equalizer, with the 2nd equalizer in the 117th minute from captain Homare Sawa. The team believed that it was their destiny to win this tournament and goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori saved two penalties in the shoot-out. Saki Kumagai converted her penalty to make Japan the first Asian team to win a senior football World Cup across genders. The Nadeshiko lived up to the various traits of their nickname – grit, tenacity, belief and undying spirit.