Olympic Games Tokyo 2021: Naomi Osaka and Kadhai's message: Japanese blacks exist

The gesture helps a small minority remain visible in a historically closed country. In a publicity campaign, he portrayed her as white: “I think it was ignorance.”

Osaka, before the pan, at the opening of the Games.Reuters

A very fair girl with smooth straight hair, in some manga pictures in the armpit kei nishikori. Who didn’t know it was impossible to guess who was the hero of that 2019 ad campaign for Nissan, the Japanese company that invented instant noodles. He was a tennis player, supposedly because of the racket, but… which tennis player? Simona Halepy? ashleigh barty? it was really Naomi Osaka, with dark and kinky curly hair, who had a good contract with the company, but apparently did not have a suitable image for the public in his country.

“I think it was ignorance, it was not hate. Things like that happen in Japan sometimes,” he justified in an interview last year. Wall Street Journal Magazine, where it revealed other similar episodes. The day two Japanese tennis players criticized her to the face because they thought she didn’t speak Japanese or that she went to a restaurant in Tokyo several times and gave her a menu in English. “I want to serve as an example to all Japanese people who have the same skin color as me and live in Japan,” he claimed on the occasion as he turned big, gigantic with a gesture this Friday. Osaka, with long pink braids, a look away from Japanese traditionalism, lit up the cauldron of the Tokyo Games and began to transform her country.

As with the Aborigines at the Sydney 2000 Games Kathy FreemanThe fire of the Olympics spread a message: We must end racism in the country. Born in Osaka to a Japanese mother and Haitian father, but moved to the United States when she was three years old, Naomi always felt a stranger in her birthplace and confessed that not long ago. “I think there are people in Japan who think I’m not Japanese and shouldn’t be,” she said with the Games marked in red for a reason she discovered this Friday. His appearance at the Olympic Stadium, and even more medal achievement, would serve to elevate him to the altars of Japanese sports, where he was still suspected, and to clarify the existence of Japanese blacks, though certainly more. necessary for him.

1.7% of the population

Closed to foreigners for decades, for centuries, Japan has barely had a foreign-born population, accounting for only 1.7% of the census, so social acceptance is complicated. “Most of my compatriots don’t have direct experience with blacks, for example. The image they have in the country comes from the media, from soap operas, from movies, perhaps from famous Africans or comedians who mimic stereotypes This is an image which is not corrected with time and which affects the society”, he explained. Yasuko TakezawaIn a BBC report, Professor at the Humanities Research Institute at Kyoto University. Before Osaka’s stardom, some other celebrities of the country, such as Ariana MiyamotoThe winner of Miss Universe Japan 2015, had already tried to educate the country in this area, always without success.

It is challenged from the slopes of Osaka, with one major progress in the opening, and another in the competition itself, where it starts this Sunday (04:00 h) against the Chinese. zheng sai sai. He hasn’t played again since leaving Paris for “mental health” and it’s hard to know which state he’ll be in: the decline in his performance was notable after the Australian Open with early defeats in Madrid or Rome.

no interview

“It’s okay not to be okay,” he admitted to the magazine. Time This week, on his return to the media, to hold a press conference, possibly before his return. He hasn’t given an award in Tokyo yet, but he should do it this Saturday after his role at the inauguration. Perhaps then he would talk about his experience and the difficulty of being black in Japan. Maybe I’ll talk then about how to change a country with Olympic fire.

Before that happens, this Saturday, many players called heroes will make their Olympic tournament debut. Novak Djokovik, the favorites for gold in the men’s tournament, will take on Bolivia in the last minute (around 11am). Hugo Delien And most Spaniards will jump on the pitch, too. pablo cario I know how to measure the United States tennis sandgrange (11.00 hours), Alexander Davydovich face the portuguese Pedro Sousa (04.00 hours) and, among others, Paula Badosa i can see faces Kristina Mladenovic (06.00 hours).