TOKYO (Reuters) – ‘One Team’, the mantra for Japan’s historic run to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals on home soil earlier this year, has been named Japanese ‘buzzword of the year’ for 2019.
The phrase came to embody a team and coaching staff born in many different countries but choosing to compete for Japan.
The Brave Blossoms, coached by former All Black Jamie Joseph and containing players born in seven countries, captured the hearts of a nation as they progressed to the World Cup knockout stages for the first time, beating Tier One nations Ireland and Scotland en route.
Joseph, and New Zealand born talismanic captain Michael Leitch consistently lauded the eclectic make up of their squad as a key factor in their success.
Other entries on 2019 top 10 list, created by Japanese publishing house Jiyukokuminsha, include ‘Smiling Cinderella’ and ‘Shibuko’, both nicknames given to golfer Hinako Shibuno, who won this year’s Women’s British Open.
‘Reiwa’, the name of Japan’s new imperial era and ‘tapiru’, a verb meaning to drink the popular tapioca bubble tea beverage were also included on the list.
(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)