Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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Tsubasa and Misaki
I have introduced a couple "Captain Tsubasa" entries this year, and some of you may wonder "what the hell?" In all honesty, I have never read a Captain Tsubasa comic. But I remember my younger brother did when he was in grade school. He bought all the comics, he even filled pages of notebooks with his own attempts at drawing Tsubasa characters. And most of all, it influenced him to choose football as his afterschool sports of choice. It was a tremendous cultural phenomenon back in those days among Japanese children.

You must remember, this was all back when Japan didn't even have a very clear idea of football, before the J-league, before we as a country could even dream of assuming to participate in the World Cup.

Many people say that had it not been for Captain Tsubasa, we may have not been able to culminate enough interest to launch the J-league to begin with, and thus would not have had the opportunity to host the World Cup as quickly. It may be hyperbole, but even so it shows that the comic had a tremendous influence over football-consciousness in Japan... not as a reality perhaps, but as an ideal. The fantastic technique, the miracle plays, the overarching themes of loyalty and friendship, teamwork, sportsmanship, and hope even as underdogs and even when everything else was working against them. >>Here's one fan site

shinji_tsubasa.jpgI mentioned in earlier entries, a few instances of where the fantasy world of Tsubasa intersected with the real world of football. The first time, it was a brief aside, mentioning that the creator of the comic, when asked a few years ago, who he imagines is the closest to fitting into the Tsubasa character. He said it was Shinji Ono (pictured sleeping next to his dog Chocolat in a Tsubasa tee) if he played at Barcelona. This was a while ago, so I'm not sure if he still would answer in the same way.

The second time was to show how Captain Tsubasa has successfully gotten exported worldwide. The France league's Grenoble football team mascot is based on the Captain Tsubasa comic characters, and I also mentioned that various famous European players (like Zidane and I think Totti) have shared they were influenced by Tsubasa as children.

In a recent interview, Daisuke Matsui said that his ideal is still defined by the limitless sense of inspiration and creativity displayed in the Tsubasa comics. And when I saw a very old photo of Japan goalkeeper Narazaki as a young boy, he was dressed in the black long-legged long-sleeved outfit with the cap, just like Tsubasa goalkeeper Wakabayashi -- despite the mid-summer heat (as did my brother, who was the GK at his school when he was a boy, and I used to tease him about copying a comic character). Wakabayashi was by far the "coolest" (kakko-ii) member of the team... The "golden midfield" that we know in today's Japan NT, players like Nakata et al are considered the generation of Japanese footballers who read the comics in its heyday and grew up to lead our national team.

We are continuing to see the aftereffects. Those same kids who grew up reading the comics til the pages were worn have now grown up into young mothers and fathers. But it was still a little suprising to see the first names "Tsubasa" and "Misaki" among the list of the real life current U-14 National team. The U-14 is in Korea right now training and playing a few local friendlies.

In the comics, the full name was Tsubasa Ohzora (Tsubasa means "wings" and Ohzora means "big/great sky"). It is a rare name to see in real life, and I would say that anyone who names their kids Tsubasa is aware of its immediate correlation with the comic character. The character Misaki's full name is Taro Misaki, but in the comics he went as "Misaki", his last name. And here again, it is quite pointed to name your boy Misaki as a first name. You almost can't help but immediately connect it to the comics. He was known as the character with a pure and straight nature, so perhaps the hope was that their baby boy would grow up to have the same kind of purity and openness of heart.

misaki_comic.jpgtsubasa_comic.jpg

With such names, the two actual boys in question, Tsubasa Yamasaki and Misaki Uemura (both born in 1991), must get a lot of curious comic-related questions or teasing. And the fact that there are two players now on the U-14 team with the Captain Tsubasa-related names is probably what is most interesting. It does make one expect to see amazing plays and shots, the kind you only see in the...well, world of comics. They obviously show promise, otherwise they would not have been chosen as part of the JFA Elite Development Program. But they are two of twenty, so I guess the important thing is for all these kids to get as much opportunity to play and learn.

As a sidenote, there is also a player on the same U14 team called "Atomu" (or "Atom")... as in the manga Tetsuwan Atom (you might know it as Mighty Atom or Astro Boy), another extremely popular manga that dominated the tv ratings from the 50s. >>Click to see website

Come to think of it, people name their kids after all types of things/people. I heard that recently a Scottish couple, a Celtic fan, named their newborn son "Shunsuke" (boy, that little boy is headed for some awkward moments introducing himself). So I guess anything goes. (Though a few years ago I remember some parents in Japan wanted to name their boy "Akuma", meaning devil, and the government wouldn't allow it...)
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2006/01/16(月) 07:42:14 | | #[ Edit]
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2005/12/27(火) 01:08:27 | | #[ Edit]
間違えたー
せっかく訳してくれたのにすみません!訂正です!翼の父はパイロットじゃなくって船長でした・・・。お恥ずかしい!
ヴェルディは公式HPの選手プロフィールが充実してて、そこに自分のヒーローが書いてあります。
私、英語ちゃんと把握できてないんですけど、ヒデに影響受けたっていうより、アテネ世代は2歳~5歳年上のお兄ちゃん達が翼の影響で10歳前後でサッカー始めると、ちょうど幼稚園生でボールをけり始めることができたんです。おこぼれにあずかってラッキー、みたいな。阿部も達也も玉田も大黒もお兄ちゃんいるんですよね。石川は「近所のお兄ちゃん」ですが・・・。
2005/12/26(月) 23:57:03 | URL | スイカ #-[ Edit]
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2005/12/26(月) 15:44:11 | | #[ Edit]
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2005/12/26(月) 15:38:19 | | #[ Edit]
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2005/12/23(金) 16:52:53 | | #[ Edit]
TSUBASA&MISAKI !!
面白すぎですー!!U-14たちいいぞ!大空翼っていう名前はお父さんがパイロットだからなんですよー。2002年W杯頃、キャプテン翼のデジタル版のアニメが放映されてた気がするんですけど、「子供たちが想像力を持ちすぎないように現実的に作り直した」らしく長続きしませんでしたね、期間限定だったのかもしれませんが。
今でもヴェルディのHP行くと憧れの人「岬くん」「翼君」とかプロが平気で書いてるし、玉田も「『ボールは友達』って思うし、はやく帰りたがってる(=ゴールにつれてってあげたい)」とかインタビューで言うし。アテネ世代も「お兄ちゃん(中田ヒデ世代)がサッカーやってたから僕も」という人がめちゃ多い!ほんと今のサッカー世代はJFAの努力じゃなくって翼くんのおかげです!ああ、こんな熱いれると年がばれる…。私も全部は読んでませんが、ほんと良書だし、はまると思いますヨ。小学校時代分だけでも是非!。

RYO ISHIZAKI tought me what own goal means...IT WAS VERY SHOCKING SCEAN.

達也の復帰。J+によると復帰が4月初旬からもしれません。けが人全治予定一覧がのってたんですけど、FCTの金沢はその日付で復帰していたので。早くみたいなぁ。あー興奮しすぎました。失礼・・・。
2005/12/23(金) 01:25:03 | URL | スイカ #-[ Edit]
承認待ちコメント
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2005/12/22(木) 23:07:21 | | #[ Edit]
承認待ちコメント
このコメントは管理者の承認待ちです
2005/12/22(木) 18:27:53 | | #[ Edit]
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。