The Olympics

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

The Olympics

KOBORI Sojitsu (the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School )

This summer we have been struggling with many natural disasters, from floods to torrential rain and so on. Previously I have mentioned that I dislike the Japanese term ‘guerrilla rain’, used to describe localized torrential rain, I would like to use this as an opportunity to send my condolences to the victims.

Last month I discussed the singing of the national anthem on the closing day of the grand sumo tournament. I felt that it is important that we come together and unite, considering Japan’s recent circumstances and position in the world.

In a similar way, it can be said that sports is an effective method of uniting Japanese people in spirit. As I write this the London Olympics are taking place. While there are not many to mention, men’s and women’s football, gymnastics, swimming and wrestling are on my mind.

Naturally, when one competes, the question of who won and lost always arises. We Japanese, of course, root for our athletes in hope of winning a medal. Our hopes are different when it comes to what colour medal we are aiming for, the sport and the athlete. On occasion our desire for a medal can grow out of hand and end up becoming a form of pressure for the athletes. Supporters should feel regretful about these things.

While I will not deny that I am curious about who won and lost, what intrigues me the most are the comments uttered by the athletes after the event.
While the winners have words of joy, the losers speak with frustration, their feelings are mixed. And the words uttered by the athletes are broadcast throughout Japan and the world. It must be horrible for the athletes who give interviews immediately after the event, since they can hardly be described as being in a stable psychological state. Since everything is being broadcast live, they are unable to change anything they have said.

However, regardless of whether they won or not, the comments made by the best athletes are always moving. Having spent four years of putting up with great pain, all to represent Japan at the Olympics and compete for a brief moment, the words uttered by these athletes are deserving of respect.
I expect that we will know more of the results as time goes on, all I can do is hope that our athletes have smiles on their faces.