好英语网 - www.HaoEnglish.com


Expected to Be Demure, Japan’s Girls Face Steep Hurdles to Athletic Dreams

TOKYO — Kurumi Mochizuki is the kind of skilled soccer player who can roll a ball from between her shoulder blades to the top of her head and onto her right foot, keeping it aloft for more than a dozen kicks. She makes it look so easy.

东京——望月久留美(Kurumi Mochizuki,音)是一名技术娴熟的足球运动员,她能把球从肩胛骨之间滚到头顶,再转到右脚上,让球保持在高处,踢上十几下。她做起来显得很轻松。

Yet when she practices with her local club team in southeastern Tokyo, her coaches sometimes advise her to take longer breaks than her teammates, and warn her not to pick up heavy bags of balls when clearing equipment from the field.



All because she is a girl.


Kurumi, 13, is the only girl on her team. She plays with boys because there are no girls’ club teams near her neighborhood and no girls’ team at her middle school. Finding a team in high school will be difficult, too. Only one of the 14 schools in Kurumi’s area offers a girls’ team. Her older brother, who plays soccer at his high school, has had no such trouble — almost all the high schools in the district have boys’ soccer teams.


“Boys have it easier,” she said. “I am envious of that.”


Such is the state of sports for girls and women in Japan, where female athletes often have to go to great lengths to pursue their dreams. Opportunities are limited by the rigid gender norms of Japanese society, which shape women’s lives not only on the playing field, but also in the home and workplace.


The disparities have remained stark even as Japanese women have outperformed the country’s men in one Olympics after another, and a women’s tennis player born in Japan, Naomi Osaka, has emerged as one of the world’s biggest sports stars.

尽管在一届又一届奥运会上,日本女性的表现都超过了该国男性,而且出生在日本的女子网球运动员大阪直美(Naomi Osaka)已经成为世界上最杰出的体育明星之一,但这种差距仍然十分明显。

The Tokyo Olympics, which open next month, offer an opportunity to anoint another crop of champions to inspire girls with athletic aspirations. But after the Olympic spotlight dims, those like Kurumi will still face powerful obstacles.


Japan has no law like Title IX, the American statute that requires schools receiving public funding to offer equal opportunities to boys and girls, and there is no public data on how much schools spend on extracurricular sports or how it breaks down on gender lines.

日本没有像美国教育法修正案第九条(Title IX)那样,要求接受公共资金的学校为男孩和女孩提供平等机会的法律;也没有公开数据,说明学校在课外体育活动上投入了多少资金,以及它如何打破性别界限。

Female athletes who persevere often have to push past stereotypes that they are doing something unladylike, jeopardizing their chances of attracting boys and later becoming wives and mothers. Even their coaches view their participation through this lens, in some cases giving them etiquette lessons to ensure they are ready for domestic life.


It’s yet another way that Japan fails to help women achieve their full potential as leaders in an array of fields, even as politicians declare that the country must elevate women to bring the economy out of years of stagnation. Although many women now work outside the home, they are still expected to take a back seat to men. And in their daily lives, girls and women are pushed to conform to fairly narrow templates of behavior as demure or delicate.


“Boys doing well in sports can make them a role model,” said Tetsuhiro Kidokoro, an assistant professor at Nippon Sport Science University. “But the definition of femininity does not include girls doing well in sports.”

“在体育方面表现出色的男孩可以成为榜样,”日本体育科学大学(Nippon Sport Science University)助理教授城所哲宏 (Tetsuhiro Kidokoro)说, “但女性气质的定义并不包括在体育方面表现出色。”

Whatever society’s expectations, Kurumi hopes to play elite soccer like her hero, Homare Sawa, the captain of the Japanese national team that won the 2011 Women’s World Cup and claimed the silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012.

无论社会的期望如何,久留美都希望能像她心目中的英雄、日本国家队队长泽穗希(Homare Sawa)那样踢精英足球。泽穗希率队赢得了2011年的女足世界杯,并在2012年的伦敦奥运会上率队获得了银牌。

She followed her brother into soccer when she was 6. “When I was little, I never thought about it,” she said of being the sole girl on her team. “But once I got a bit older, I was much more aware of it.”


The extracurricular soccer team at her public middle school is technically coed, although not one of the team’s 40 players is a girl. Kurumi decided to stick to the club team she had played with since elementary school rather than try to break into a new group at school.


“There is a difference in strength and aggressiveness between boys and girls,” said Shigeki Komatsu, the middle school’s vice principal, standing on the sidelines as the boys scrimmaged on a gravel pitch, their cleats kicking up puffs of dust.

“男孩和女孩在力量和攻击性方面是不一样的,”该中学副校长小松茂树(Shigeki Komatsu,音)站在场边说,男孩们在沙砾球场上争抢,球鞋掀起一团团尘土。

Koko Tsujii, 17, who lives in the Suginami ward of western Tokyo, has been determined to play soccer since the first grade despite her mother’s view that the sport was for boys.

17岁的辻井幸子(Koko Tsujii,音)住在东京西部的杉并区。她从一年级起就决心踢足球,尽管她的母亲认为那是男孩的运动。

She now plays on the girls’ team of a club where boys outnumber girls nearly five to one.


In addition to instruction on goal shooting and passing techniques, the girls on the team get lessons in femininity. During an overnight training camp when Koko was in middle school, one of the coaches advised the girls on how to hold their chopsticks and rice bowls in what he considered a properly delicate manner.


“He mentioned that he would be prejudiced about a girl he was going to date if he heard she played soccer,” Koko recalled after finishing a series of intense sprints across the field during a recent evening practice.


“I did not like it at first,” Koko said. “But now that I am in high school, I am grateful. I realized that some boys care about things like that.”


After the women’s national team won the World Cup a decade ago, there were hopes that the situation would improve for female athletes in Japan.


Before that victory, girls in the United States had flocked to suburban soccer clubs after the U.S. women won the World Cup on American soil in 1999.


But there has not been the same kind of flourishing in Japan, and the disparities have not been elevated to the public consciousness.


According to a 2019 survey by the Sasakawa Sports Foundation, 1.89 million boys ages 10 to 19 — close to a third of all boys in that age bracket — played soccer either casually or on a team at least twice a month, compared with 230,000 girls, or just over 4 percent.

根据笹川体育基金会(Sasakawa Sports Foundation)2019年的一项调查,189万名10到19岁的男孩——接近该年龄段所有男孩的三分之一——每月至少有两次出于玩乐或参加球队踢球的经历,而这样做的女孩只有23万人,即4%多一点。

Only 48 out of 10,324 middle schools have girls’ soccer teams, according to the Nippon Junior High School Physical Culture Association. The mismatch carries into adulthood; only 5 percent of players registered with the Japan Football Association are women.

根据日本初中体育协会(Nippon Junior High School Physical Culture Association)的数据,在10324所中学中,只有48所设有女子足球队。这种差距一直延续到成年期;在日本足球协会注册的球员中,只有5%是女性。

And as in the United States, pay gaps are wide. According to media reports, the men who play professional soccer make more than 10 times as much as their female counterparts.


Beyond soccer, the sporting events that attract the most fanfare feature men and boys. In late summer, Japan goes crazy for a high school baseball tournament, known as Koshien, that is more than 100 years old. Just after New Year’s, huge audiences tune in to watch the Hakone Ekiden, a college-level marathon relay that is restricted to male runners.

除了足球,最吸引人眼球的体育赛事都是男人和男孩的比赛。每到夏末,日本都为一场有100多年历史、名为“甲子园”(Koshien)的高中棒球锦标赛而疯狂。新年刚过,大批观众就会收看箱根马拉松接力赛(Hakone Ekiden),这是一场大学级别的马拉松接力赛,仅限男性运动员参加。

There are few vocal advocates for female athletes, and most of their coaches are men who often do not provide support for the physical changes that girls undergo in adolescence.


Hanae Ito, a swimmer who represented Japan at the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, said coaches along the way had told her she was “mentally weak” when she gained weight or suffered menstruation-related mood changes as a teenage athlete.

代表日本参加2008年北京夏季奥运会的游泳运动员伊藤华英(Hanae Ito)表示,青少年时期,她的体重增加或出现月经相关的情绪变化时,一路走来的教练都说她“精神脆弱”。

“I thought it was a problem with me or that it was my fault,” she said. “But I think that this all ties back to Japan being a patriarchal society. Even women’s sports is seen from a male gaze.”


The idea that female athletes need to worry about their future prospects with men is deeply rooted.


After Hideko Maehata, an Olympic swimmer, became the first woman to win a gold medal for Japan, The Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest newspapers, heralded her victory at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games with the headline: “Next Up Is Marriage.”

在奥运会游泳运动员前畑秀子(Hideko Maehat)成为日本第一位获得金牌的女性后,日本最大的报纸之一《朝日新闻》(Asahi Shimbun)报道她在1936年柏林夏季奥运会上获胜的标题是:“接下来是结婚。”

Such attitudes persist today. Yuki Suzuki, who played in Japan’s Nadeshiko women’s professional soccer league and taught the sport until she gave birth to her son, is frustrated by the rigid gender definitions.

这种态度今天依然存在。铃木由纪(Yuki Suzuki,音)曾在日本大和女子职业足球联赛中踢球,生下儿子之前一直在作这项运动的教练。她对刻板的性别定义感到沮丧。

“Girls are often told ‘be feminine, be feminine,’” said Ms. Suzuki, now 34. “I think we have to change the fundamental culture of Japan when it comes to women.”

“女孩们经常被教导‘要女性化,要女性化’,”今年34岁的铃木由纪说。 “我认为,在女性问题方面,我们必须改变日本的基本文化。”

Even when girls get the chance to play, a bias toward boys emerges in small ways. At the middle school Kurumi attends, the boys’ volleyball and basketball teams get the gym three days a week for practice, while the girls use it the other two days.


Kurumi said she tried not to worry about the unequal treatment. She does not hold it against her coaches, she said, for barring her from carrying heavy equipment during practice.


“I am sure the coaches just care about me,” she said. “But personally, I know I could carry it.”

上一篇: 有关特朗普集团遭刑事指控,你应该了解的七个问题(VIP)
下一篇: 返回列表