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2014年8月11日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「判官びいき」で再建を /東京

July 20, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Feeling sympathy for the weak
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「判官びいき」で再建を /東京

The 2014 World Cup has ended. Japan did not make it to the knockout stage, Alberto Zaccheroni has resigned as manager and sport magazines are busy analyzing the causes of the national team's defeat.

Host country Brazil was hammered 7-1 by Germany in a semifinal, a loss that marks one of the darkest moments in the soccer giant's history. Left in dismay and anger, some Brazilian fans took to streets to riot, setting buses on fire.

When Japan's Blue Samurai team returned home, fans welcomed them back with open arms, giving them a round of applause at the airport.

There was reportedly nobody yelling at players for not doing well in the big event.

Some stores held up signs which said, "Thank you Japan!"

Some critics say, however, that this kind of "sympathy" is what keeps Japan from becoming a great power in soccer. しかし、「このやさしさがいけないんだ」と批判する声もある。

I guess they are saying that fans need to take a critical view of the Japan team while admitting that a loss is a loss, so that players thrive to become better under great pressure.

Such a harsh attitude may be necessary for players to improve their skills and work for victory.

But I believe that our ability to appreciate the underdogs, give them a pat on the back and encourage them that there will be another chance is something we should value.

In Japanese culture, there is a long-held concept of being sympathetic for the weak. Such an attitude comes from public opinion in which people side with 12th century general Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who endured unfortunate circumstances because his brother Minamoto no Yoritomo despised him.

Praising those who could not bring good results despite their hard work is unique to Japanese culture, and I think that's something we should be proud of.

Unfortunately, however, that attitude toward the weak has become almost unrecognizable outside of the soccer world.

More people have become critical of others who are in trouble and abandon them in the name of personal responsibility.

Provisions added to the Revised Public Assistance Act, which came into effect on July 1, place stricter punishment on welfare recipients who manipulate the system and aim at getting those who live on public assistance back to work.

We can't talk about soccer players and regular people in the same way.

However, if we can keep cheering for the Japan team without getting angry, we should be able to take a less harsh attitude toward the so-called "vulnerable" who cannot work or raise their children due to illness or those who have fallen off the right path.

If I said, "Let's take a fresh look at our long-held belief of rooting for the underdogs to rebuild both Japanese soccer and society," would soccer fans think I'm being too soft?

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年07月15日 地方版


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