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U.S. Open champ Naomi Osaka gets hero's welcome in Japan

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Japan's newly-crowned U.S. Open women's singles champion Naomi Osaka

What? I thought she holds 2 passports. Why not US and Japan's newly-crowned......? They called her a hafu here so I think the title should be at least Hafu-Japan's newly-crowned....

Whatever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

danny bloom:

Haitians are also very delighted to see Naomi in the spotlight,

I noticed there were lots of Haitian flags in the stadium that day.

The good thing is that because English is her first language, you can get great, fun interviews with Osaka. Check out her and Ellen on Youtube just after her win. You're not going to get anything like that in Japanese shows. Plus, no annyoing tarento on the top right corner of the TV screen, and praising her Japanese language skills and what-not.

Having said that, she needs to gain more confidence in speaking (in English, that is), and also open her mouth more when doing so (a big complaint from French people who think native English speakers just mumble). And being shy and cute won't work for a woman on the international stage. Might work in Japan, but the rest of the world admires strong, assertive adults. Players like Steffi Graf were painfully shy, and had to adapt. Good luck to her.

As for the player who said it was difficult to approach her (Hibino) because she doesn't speak good Japanese and was so different from the other Japanese players - well, that gap has widened even more, now that Osaka's won a GS. Damn, some people wished it were Nishikori. It will be interesting to see whether she'll still stick with Japan in two years time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I knew her who have double identity at first,I felt her something unapproachable.but she is modest,sincere & pure.If I cam say selfishness,hope her Japanese skill little more progress(^^)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Great that she's showing the world that you don't have to be a douche to be a winner. Thanks Naomi!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And don't forget, Haitians are also very delighted to see Naomi in the spotlight, as the daughter of a Haitian man. So it's a win win win for everyone. Japanese can be proud of her. Haitians can be proud of her. And Americans who accepted her a a three year old and helped raise her in that melting pot of a racially diverse and multiethnic stew of a society can also be proud of the way she turned out as an adult. She's an honor to all three countries. Long may she shine that infectious smile. You go, girl!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

* it is really unfair to suggest that the problem is simply their own perception!*

Sorry no, that's not what I meant! What I meant was that people's perceptions will be affected by their experiences, not the other way around. Someone who has a bad time fitting in at school will see things differently from someone who experienced no problems, who will see things differently from someone who was popular.

it's still discrimination to put someone up on a pedestal because they have a white (or otherwise) parent

Yes, it is.

Why should ANYONE be judged on appearances, good or bad, and from whence they descended? Why should they be treated differently because of how they look? It happens all the time here.

It happens all the time everywhere, it's part of the human condition. Doesn't mean it's right or good, but it's not exclusively Japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Cleo and Fish - I totally take your points on board!

Could be, I dunno... different folk have different experiences, and different perspectives based on those experiences.

It may well be, has to be, the case! I have seen 'hafu' school children struggling to make friends and fit in with other schoolkids with my own eyes. Evidently it does come down to the individuals' mileage. But I can't agree with the blanket sentiment that there are no problems as you seem to imply. Please read:

https://blog.gaijinpot.com/live-hafu-japan/

I also think the notion that, for those 'hafu' who are having problems or feeling isolated because of who they are, that it is really unfair to suggest that the problem is simply their own perception! This type of.. lack of empathy, or disbelief of their personal accounts, is quite dangerous for anyone - especially so for children! We already live in a society that, once someone becomes marginalized, it's really hard to come back - and help is almost non-existent.

Though I readily admit that being caucasian-japanese haafs, my kids maybe have a much easier time of it than other haaf combinations.

And although I commend you and your kids for standing tall; even in the reverse, it's still discrimination to put someone up on a pedestal because they have a white (or otherwise) parent. Why should ANYONE be judged on appearances, good or bad, and from whence they descended? Why should they be treated differently because of how they look? It happens all the time here. My points are that there is a problem and that Japan ought to stop doing it! Period.

We may disagree on this subject, but that's cool. Naturally, it happens from time to time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Haafs aren't victims

Exactly what I thought when I read the typical Japanese blame the victim mentality.

They don't need any 'defence' - Against what?

Again, exactly my thoughts when I read the word defence.

Thanks for being sorry for haafs, but we are not sorry for ourselves at all... and what bothers us the most is this unnecessary sympathy we receive from people.. Sorry, we don't really care whether we are called haaf or not, we already know, and it doesn't bother us a bit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 In general terms, I 'see' only people, not ethnicity 

That's as it should be. I do the same, can't understand people who can't get past the skin/hair colour.

I think you would be a great parent

Thanks, but ... I have been a great parent (pause while I blow my own trumpet... tootoot toot! As evidence I present two very well-balanced, well-educated, upstanding young members of society, one a working mum of three little angels and the other earnin' a mint in the media) for over three decades now, and yes I have seen my kids go through those 'real-world issues'. Very few if any of them having anything to do with the ethnicity of their parents. The only one that comes to mind, and it wasn't so much an issue as a comic episode, was when my son was nearly chucked out of a compulsory English class in his first week at university because the lecturer assumed he was an exchange student who had wondered into the wrong room.

Though I readily admit that being caucasian-japanese haafs, my kids maybe have a much easier time of it than other haaf combinations. They've got the looks, they've got the language, they've got the culture, they've got the confidence to stand tall.

That said, maybe I overthink the 'issue'

Could be, I dunno... different folk have different experiences, and different perspectives based on those experiences.

It's my experience that if you look for and/or expect problems, you will find them.

I'm probably too busy doing my own thing to bother looking for problems.

the moment she ran to head a party her nationality became an issue

Nationality and ethnicity are not the same. Renho is a Taiwan/Japan haaf, everyone knew she was a haaf long before she came to head the party and it was no problem at all until it emerged that she had failed to renounce her Taiwanese nationality on reaching adulthood (an oversight - she had assumed her father had done all the paperwork when she was still a child). Not unlike the recent furore in Australia over senior politicians having dual nationality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah_so

It is always tough meeting the rigorous criteria of being genuinely Japanese.

It seems to involve having 2 Japanese parents, having a Japanese passport, being brought up in Japan and speaking Japanese to a native level.

Tough criteria in our increasingly international era.

Go ask Renho, She was qualified for all of the above except both of her parents not being Japanese

and the moment she ran to head a party her nationality became an issue.

The Japanese are repeatedly being reminded that they are special and different and

to fall in that class both parents have to be Japanese to be fully accepted as a real Japanese

by a large segment of the society. If Osaka Naomi wasn't famous and was just a normal person

leaving in Japan she would have problems getting a good job or renting an apartment even if she

says she is Japanese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cleoSep. 13 07:40 pm JST

There is nothing insulting in the term haaf, unless you're of the opinion that stating the fact that a person has parents of different ethnicities/nationalities is inherently insulting.

I grew up in a multicultural society, raised by a man with a different skin color than mine. In general terms, I 'see' only people, not ethnicity etc. It might be a lofty standard to hold others to, but I know from my own life experiences that that way of thinking is the path to higher levels of peace, productivity and happiness for all (citizenship/residency needs not withstanding, of course).

But often times (sure, I used hyperbole in my post), the average Japanese person uses the term in a way that... differentiates.. a 'haafu' from a 'regular mainstream' person. And if you know the Japanese educational system from the inside, you would know that Japan goes to extreme lengths to distance itself from the rest of world in terms of culture and heritage. Which brings me to my next point:

... it's not like other countries insist on pigeonholing people by ethnicity (African-American, Irish-American, German-American, Native-American etc., etc.,)...

Personally, my country does not make those distinctions in general conversation unless there is a reason to do so. I think that's an American thing.

Haafs aren't victims.

I agree, and didn't say that they were! Victims, in many cases, are just those who adopt a 'victim mentality'. I think if certain individuals are singled out for genetic differences, good or bad, they should stand tall and be confident in themselves regardless. But then, in a country that quickly judges people on pysical characteristics, I also think that it should be a non-starting subject..!

I love your posts, and appreciate being challenged on my thoughts. I think you would be a great parent, but is there a chance that you may be trivializing the real-world issues that (whether they are aware that it is happening or not) your kids will go through? That said, maybe I overthink the 'issue' - so maybe the truth is somewhere between you and I??

Either way, thanks for your post.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Naomi carried herself with grace and class. I can't believe that she grew up idolizing a bully like Serena.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In re: haafu

My kids are biracial. If you don't like the term hahfu. What do you suggest? And how is that any better than hahfu?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My kids are pretty psyched about Naomi.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

MocheakeSep. 13 01:36 pm JSTNaomi, don't try too hard to be someone you think they want to love. When the winning stops, they will abandon ship like as if your name was HMS Titanic

Don't worry about that crap, Naomi. You won the US Open on your own merit and skills. You are a champion. You made history. Just be you. And congratulations, heroine!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well you sure couldn't have told that by looking at her face. She didn't smile or wave or anything. She just walked by the crowd like any other passenger, except that she was escorted.

Osaka is a somewhat reticent person who is not quite comfortable in the spotlight. That was obvious with her often monosyllabic responses to interview questions and her admission of 'not knowing what to say.' As she becomes more comfortable in her new status and the global interest in her, that will most likely change.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was a moment that turned the match 

Nope, Osaka was already winning.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

While we're on the perennial haaf means less than whole why didn't the Japanese think before they started insulting our kids roundabout, let's also remind the Japanese that they also use manshon, sumaato, tarento, rifomu and a zillion other 'English' words 'incorrectly'.

They aren't used incorrectly. They're used differently.

There is nothing insulting in the term haaf, unless you're of the opinion that stating the fact that a person has parents of different ethnicities/nationalities is inherently insulting.

Naomi is a haaf, and a very pretty and talented one at that.

There is always a strange pause when someone refers to another as 'hafu'.

Can't say I've noticed.

And half-Japanese people usually make out that it doesn't bother them (to be called 'hafu') because it's their only defense against being singled out.

Again, can't say I've noticed. Neither my own kids nor my friends' kids seem to have any problem. They don't need any 'defence' - Against what? Being called good looking? (they are). Being envied for growing up fluent in two languages? (Something Naomi appears to have missed out on.... what happened there, I wonder? If you're in America speak only American?)

in typical Japanese blame the victim mentality

Haafs aren't victims. 

Personally I don't know why the Japanese need to pigeonhole every single persons' ethnicity...

Yeah, it's not like other countries insist on pigeonholing people by ethnicity (African-American, Irish-American, German-American, Native-American etc., etc.,) generations after the genes have melted and fused and only the funny surnames (sometimes) remain.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Who cares, it's sport! There will be another game next week and another heroic outcome until next game then another heroic effort followed by the same. I'm not denigrating their personal efforts just pointing out next week a new hero a new villain.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Incidentally, on that JTA list, you’ll also find Ben Mclachlan who has never lived in Japan.

https://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/ben-mclachlan-tokyo-2017-feature-sunday

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I don't think she's 'claimed' that she 'represents' Japan tbh. Imo tennis players only/firstly represent themselves i.e. the country they play for or 'represent' is anecdotal.”

You might want to have a look at the Japan Tennis Association list of national team players.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You bring up a good point. In 2 years she will have to decide which to be

Given her notoriety she will no doubt be asked to decide. The Foreign Ministry seems to let some “unknown” people fall through the cracks - good for them.

In her case, if she declined Japanese nationality would she remain a celebrity?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Half only means Mix in the Japanese language BS,

halfu and mikisu are both derived from english words, maybe someone should have given it a bit more thought before they started labeling mixed raced children as halfu. Mixed isnt insulting as it still insunuates the person is a full entity and not half of one. Scientifically speaking these childrens DNA is a mixture of two races. You dont buy an ice cream and say halfu halfu soft cream please

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Congrats Naomi! You played a good game and showed true sportsmanship. A few other players should take a leaf out of your book.

great smile too!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do the hustleToday  01:18 pm JST

Wow! I’m sorry,

What exactly are you sorry for?

but this shows the two faces of Japan.

Which are?

This beautiful and skillful women has lived most of her life in the US and, as stated above, was shonned for only being half Japanese.

What are some of the examples of her being shonned [sic] please?

Now, after winning the grandslam, she is a national Japanese hero.

Correct. The first Japanese born woman (or man), in history, to win a Grand Slam Singles Title.

She’s going to have to learn to speak Japanese if she is going to fly the flag for Nissan.

Not necessarily, Nissan is a multinational company represented in many English speaking countries around the world so, she should do very well in her role as ambassador for this company.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

FizzBitToday  12:33 pm JST

Glad to hear especially after getting boooed at her award ceremony.

As I have written in a previous post, the booing could only have been directed at Williams, for ruining the match for the spectators with her outrageous and buffoonish behaviour, and/or the match officials, for enforcing long-established rules against cheating and on-court bad behaviour.

Naomi Osaka played no role whatsoever in what happened so, why would she be booed by anyone?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

 don't think she's 'claimed' that she 'represents' Japan tbh. Imo tennis players only/firstly represent themselves i.e. the country they play for or 'represent' is anecdotal.

True, Fed/Davis cups & Olympics are a bit different but we live in a world where sports ppl's 'accelerated' naturalisation is fairly common. i don't think that Navratilova, Seles or Pierce were 'more' american & french than Osaka is Japanese tbh.

Fair point. I think the issue is more or less the Japanese media claiming that she represents Japan.

Either way it is a slippery slope as she'll likely be representing Japan in those sporting events. The difference with Seles, for example, is that she is a naturalized American. In other words, she spent a lengthy amount of time in America, contributing to its society. I.E I have absolutely no problems with that. Pierce on the other hand, is a French citizen by birth and at least speaks the language fluently.

But I do agree, tennis players first and foremost represent themselves. The claim (from various outlets) that she represents Japan is a byproduct of said fame. As many people have said, she wouldn't be "Japanese" if she hadn't have done so well. Unfortunate but true.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

JalapenoToday

On paper, she's Japanese and American.

You bring up a good point. In 2 years she will have to decide which to be

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wow, seems like it'll take a lot of work for her to meet all the expectations from the Japane... err resident gaijin population. She should smile more, study the language, worry about her citizenship or if people really truly accept her as representative of, whatever. Get a life. The best thing she can do is cash those checks, kick arse on tour and ignore every single word uttered online.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

SHe was even showed dignity and respect on Ellen recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_UdFZKtDJA

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Putting aside her heritage and nationality, it's not ethically proper for her to claim she represents Japan when she doesn't even speak the language, has never lived here, and has never contributed to society in anyway until now.

I don't think she's 'claimed' that she 'represents' Japan tbh. Imo tennis players only/firstly represent themselves i.e. the country they play for or 'represent' is anecdotal.

True, Fed/Davis cups & Olympics are a bit different but we live in a world where sports ppl's 'accelerated' naturalisation is fairly common. i don't think that Navratilova, Seles or Pierce were 'more' american & french than Osaka is Japanese tbh.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you bring glory and honor you are much welcome but if you don't. Ask one of Nihon's past representatives to the Ms. Universe pageant. Sigh..

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If a Japanese person, whose parents are both Japanese and have Japanese citizenship, was born in America and only had an American citizenship (as there are so many), why are they not allowed to represent Japan? 

ksteer, if they were talented at something, they would be welcome in an eyeblink. There's nothing the 法務局 likes less than fame.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, if those two Japanese parents had properly registered the birth of their child with Japanese authorities, the child would have Japanese citizenship and be able to represent Japan. At least until the age where they are supposed to select one nationality or the other.

You completely missed the point of my post but...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Westerners often take offense to the word hafu and think its awful and all that. I think to refer to someone in those terms in Europe or the US where it could often be derogatory and asking “so where do you REALLY come from?” or have its own connotations.

I think you have to live here and speak Japanese and have an open mind in order to understand.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Good for her! And FYI to the folks that don’t know but Nissan has not really been a “Japanese” company in a cultural sense for a long long time.

Nissan corporate HQ in Yokohama the internal language is English and I’m pretty sure Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn speaks even worse Japanese than Naomi Osaka! Just throwing that out there...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

”a Japanese person, whose parents are both Japanese and have Japanese citizenship, was born in America and only had an American citizenship (as there are so many), why are they not allowed to represent Japan?”

Well, if those two Japanese parents had properly registered the birth of their child with Japanese authorities, the child would have Japanese citizenship and be able to represent Japan. At least until the age where they are supposed to select one nationality or the other.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

hafu isn't used as a perjorative by japanese people, only gaijin see it that way.

While true to some extent, overall, I'm calling BS on that statement. There is always a strange pause when someone refers to another as 'hafu'. And half-Japanese people usually make out that it doesn't bother them (to be called 'hafu') because it's their only defense against being singled out. Taking exception to being referred to as 'hafu' just excacerbates the problem for them (in typical Japanese blame the victim mentality).

Personally I don't know why the Japanese need to pigeonhole every single persons' ethnicity...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

On paper, she's Japanese and American. In essence, she's American - speaks American English, most of her training has been in the U.S., she likes Netflix shows produced in the U.S. - she's American. She likes curry rice, but so do I, and I'm not Japanese.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

*hafu isn't*** used as a perjorative by japanese people, only gaijin see it that way.**

maybe better if they use the word mix "mikusu" instead

0 ( +3 / -3 )

She really really needs to improve her Japanese. IMO fluency is a prerequisite for being a national representative, especially in a monolingual country like Japan where its such a fundamental part of its national identity. Otherwise she'll be just a successful and talented gaijin suketto with a Japanese passport.

One of the few logical people here it seems.

It is always tough meeting the rigorous criteria of being genuinely Japanese.

It seems to involve having 2 Japanese parents, having a Japanese passport, being brought up in Japan and speaking Japanese to a native level.

Tough criteria in our increasingly international era.

Granted this is from my own circle of friends so take this with a grain of salt. But I've been asking my Japanese friends and co-workers how they consider her as a representative, and everyone thinks the same thing, which is, no one is arguing her skills, or that she is half, or a Japanese citizen. These are all things people agree on.

What was overwhelmingly said, however, was that she shouldnt be the representative of Japan. Putting aside her heritage and nationality, it's not ethically proper for her to claim she represents Japan when she doesn't even speak the language, has never lived here, and has never contributed to society in anyway until now.

I have dual Canadian, Dutch citizenship. If I was a professional sports star, it would be like me claiming I represent Holland even though I've never even lived there, and don't speak the language.

So no, she isn't Japanese in the sense that she shouldn't be a national representative of a country she doesn't have any ties too apart from her heritage.

This was a stance more than 90% of my Japanese friends and co-workers had.

Is she an absolutely talented athlete? 110%. However, she should be representing America, not Japan.

Think of it this way. If a Japanese person, whose parents are both Japanese and have Japanese citizenship, was born in America and only had an American citizenship (as there are so many), why are they not allowed to represent Japan? They are arguably more Japanese than Osaka is and yet because of bureaucracy can't play for the Japanese sports league. Why does she get this special treatment merely because she was born here.

TLDR; If you dont contribute to the society in which you claim to represent never lived in it and don't speak its language, you shouldn't be representing it.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Well you sure couldn't have told that by looking at her face. She didn't smile or wave or anything. She just walked by the crowd like any other passenger, except that she was escorted.

and that is something she will have to get used to as an overnight celebrity in Japan. Even after long flights, she has to exit the gate doing a happy dance. Plus no matter how low-key her trip to Japan will be, people will know her flight number and be waiting lol

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She really really needs to improve her Japanese. IMO fluency is a prerequisite for being a national representative, especially in a monolingual country like Japan where its such a fundamental part of its national identity. Otherwise she'll be just a successful and talented gaijin suketto with a Japanese passport.

It is always tough meeting the rigorous criteria of being genuinely Japanese.

It seems to involve having 2 Japanese parents, having a Japanese passport, being brought up in Japan and speaking Japanese to a native level.

Tough criteria in our increasingly international era.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

She’s going to have to learn to speak Japanese if she is going to fly the flag for Nissan.

The article mentions Nissan are trying to attract more youthful customers to the brand so if I was a Nissan bucho I would want to grab her too BECAUSE she speaks English. Many youth here do envy and dream about speaking English having Osaka-san at events etc will definitely attract their attention and sales. Great going and thank you Nissan for the forward thinking.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

She seems to be handling this very well. Individuals or groups often try to project their own self-image or image of otherness on those of unusual culture. Remaining centered and focused on who you know you are, as Sakamoto-san stated, is key.

It must be strange for her to be in Japan, though. When my kids went to college - my son in NY and daughter in CA - my son said, "Dad, everyone here is from somewhere." Florida is also particularly culturally diverse.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

She really really needs to improve her Japanese. IMO fluency is a prerequisite for being a national representative, especially in a monolingual country like Japan where its such a fundamental part of its national identity. Otherwise she'll be just a successful and talented gaijin suketto with a Japanese passport.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

“was welcomed home by dozens of fans at Tokyo's Haneda airport.”

And considering it was 4:30 AM, I would say that’s some dedication on the part of the fans. I wouldn’t go anywhere to greet anyone at that hour no matter how much I liked them.

Do the hustle, “She’s going to have to learn to speak Japanese if she is going to fly the flag for Nissan.”

Since they’ve already contracted her I’d would say that’s not true (even though it’s been obvious she is studying and making an effort to learn). It’s a big company that can hire interpreters for events.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And of course it had to be a gaijin who asked a question concerning the controversy with Serena.She swerved it very well.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Welcome home champion!!

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

"When I came here, and there were a lot of people waiting at the airport, I was really surprised and happy"

Well you sure couldn't have told that by looking at her face. She didn't smile or wave or anything. She just walked by the crowd like any other passenger, except that she was escorted.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Congratulations Naomi! You're a classy competitor and very humble. I wish you continued success in the future. I remember when you were interviewed in Japan shortly after your Indian Wells victory earlier this year, you mentioned how wonderful a Grand Slam victory would be. Little did you and everyone else following you would know it would happen so soon, and to do it with a second victory over your childhood idol.

Funny how the nation embraces her as their own when two years ago almost all of the same people pointed out she's "only hafu",

Actually, I knew so many people who were mentioning her name as far back as two years ago and getting sponsors like WOWOW and Nissin. Of course, she gets more publicity now with her win, but she was still embraced back then. Does everyone forget the throngs of Japanese media following her in 2016 after her first round win of the Australian Open? Here's a link to the article if you've forgotten:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2016/01/19/after-big-win-naomi-osaka-gets-another-test-japanese-media/78992618/

In the article printed January, 2016, it quotes:

"Even though she's not completely fluent in the language, she's now representing Japan professionally and is one of the country's most highly touted rising stars."

That proves that even in 2016, she was being supported and embraced by Japan, even though, back then, she wasn't even ranked in the top 100.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

for only being half Japanese

When Japanese people use the term HAFU, I have never heard of anyone using the word ONLY to go with.

Half only means Mix in the Japanese language (not literally but that's what it means when used here). Some people might not have liked the fact someone who didn't grow up in Japan would represent Japan, but that wasn't the entire nation, and if those same people are embracing her success now, that is actually a positive thing - I wouldn't say double face I would just say that this wonderful tennis player charmed the hearts of the people in Japan, good on her :)

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I'll give credit where it's due, Naomi played a far superb game of tennis against Serena, and she rightfully won her spot as the champion athlete on her own merits.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Well done Naomi! She strikes me as very mature and good with the media. I think expectations on sportsmen and women to be role models are far too high, but she looks like a very good one.

I hope any aspiring Japanese tennis players and dare I say it coaches and administrators try to learn from her and her training methods without assuming that she is better due to genetics/build alone. With ichinensei treated as ballboys and players banned from wearing sunglasses, school tennis clubs in Japan aren't exactly up there in applying a modern approach to the game.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

@nakano the nation" as in every single japanese person? 

@nakano only gaijin see it that way

As in every single gaijin?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Naomi, don't try too hard to be someone you think they want to love. When the winning stops, they will abandon ship like as if your name was HMS Titanic

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Funny how the nation embraces her as their own when two years ago almost all of the same people pointed out she's "only hafu"

"the nation" as in every single japanese person? i think there is some weird fascination with the gaijin crowd about how japanese people feel or perceive hafu. with a name like osaka and a brown face, most people don't have to "point out" that she's hafu since they can clearly see it. and for the most part, hafu isn't used as a perjorative by japanese people, only gaijin see it that way.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

Did she do the press conference in Japanese?

She spoke in English. The US Open presser was a farce. Japanese media who speak English perfectly fine were asking her their questions in Japanese, they were interpreted by an interpreter into English. Naomi answered in English and then those comments were translated back into Japanese. J Media were such dicks.

Happy to see most of Japan isn't worried about her heritage. How does Ariana Miyamoto feel seeing this? Proud I hope.

https://youtu.be/h_exTrUDep8?t=14m51s

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Naomi, you've got class and you look marvelous!

Congratulations!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Bandwagon fans are everywhere. As I have written before, have hundreds of Japanese around me and never heard her name mentioned even once before last week. Soak up that sunshine, people.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Wow! I’m sorry, but this shows the two faces of Japan. This beautiful and skillful women has lived most of her life in the US and, as stated above, was shonned for only being half Japanese. Now, after winning the grandslam, she is a national Japanese hero. She’s going to have to learn to speak Japanese if she is going to fly the flag for Nissan.

10 ( +21 / -11 )

Congratulations Naomi-San!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The booing was very poor and juvenile, that is not how adults are supposed to behave!

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Naomi clearly and cleanly won !

The scores itself disproved any type of controversy.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Very nice role model. I am particularly pleased she lives in my home state of Florida.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Growing up, my dad drove a Nissan, so being able to be a brand ambassador now, it feels like I've come (full circle)

Very nicely done. She’s smart as well as talented.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Glad to hear especially after getting boooed at her award ceremony. And the selfish Serena next to her trying to be all consoling after her verbal brutish behavior on the court.

Looks like the tennis refs want to join a union because of this as well as boycott Serena. Carma’s a .........

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Did she do the press conference in Japanese?

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Good for you Naomi! Many Japanese people have embraced you from the start; don't listen to the world media and the bitter haters who would have you and others think otherwise.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

"...became the first Japanese player, man or woman..."

Funny how the nation embraces her as their own when two years ago almost all of the same people pointed out she's "only hafu", if that. I respect the people who liked her then, too, though, as I and others did, and not just because she won (and will drop her tomorrow like a sack of potatoes if she doesn't win more). As for Nissan, good on them for sponsoring her and Bolt and others.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okaeri nasai!

That pesky passport decision is going to be a bit difficult - good luck Ms Osaka.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Beautiful!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

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