I’m watching the second half of the USA vs. Japan women’s soccer match as they fight for the Olympics gold. I’m surrounded by my co-workers who are all cheering for the US, which makes me the only one rooting for Japan. I feel like a bit of an outsider which honestly doesn’t really bother me, but what makes me think is WHY I’m rooting for Japan. Sure, it’s my other half, but taking my nationality out of the question, do I really feel Japanese enough to be rooting for Japan? I’m not really tied to Japan other than my passport, but emotionally, I’m not too sure.
It’s sports events like the World Cup or the Olympics that makes me wonder which country I should be rooting for. For me, it’s not like I like one better than the other, but it’s more about which do I feel emotionally tied to. Last year during the women’s World Cup final game, I was all about rooting for Japan; I made a Japanese t-shirt and wore my hair in a Harajuku girl bun with my roommate and cheered for Japan loudly at a bar. And this year, while I’m still rooting for Japan, I’m not sure if I’d be all that sad if they lost against the USA…
In a previous post, I wrote that I don’t have a home team or league that I’ve rooted for since I was a kid. As strange as this sounds, I get envious of those who have friends and families who would drop everything to watch their home team compete in whatever sport. It’s that dedication and loyalty that I seem to be missing when it comes to sports.
To me, Japan and Germany are like two individuals teams, not countries.
I’d feel like I’m not being loyal if I were to root for another team. My nationalities are the few things that have remained consistent in my life, and even though I’ve lived in the US for quite some time now, I don’t think I could shift my rooting to the US. I’m flesh and blood German/Japanese and I’ll always root for my nationalities.
UPDATE: Japan lost to the USA 2-1. But honestly, I think I’m okay with that.