Wasabi Stories vol.22: “Similarity between Conductor and Tennis Player!?”



wasabi stories“Wasabi Stories” is a quotation and summary of a column which touches ones heart or not found on the internet.

It is a Japanese famous person’s story extracted from the NIKKEI news paper.

The purpose in posting the column in JAPAN Style is to cheer you up and to make you feel “it’ was worth reading!”

Wasabi (Japanese horseradish or mustard) is spicy and stimulate your nose and make you teary.

The columns in “Wasabi Stories” hopefully spice your heart and sometimes make you teary!

The stories were originally sent as E-mail Newsletter in Japanese. Some are a little old but we’ll eventually catch up with new ones.



“Similarity between Conductor and Tennis Player!?”

Today’s story teller is a classical music conductor, Yoko Matsuo.

The story is about her favorite tennis player, whose positive attitude has inspired her.

Five years ago, when she was watching tennis match on TV in Paris, France, one player caught her eyes.

That was Rafael Nadal (from Majorca, Spain) who was 18 years old at that time.

The reason why he caught her eyes is his look.

According to Matsuo, his eye brows and eyes looked close together (she excused her rudeness though).

And also he looks wild.

Because her image of a tennis player was neat and clean, wild and earthy Nadal really stood out to her.

His playing style is running around the court freely and never gives up till the game ends.

He is often described as an aggressive player; even when he is facing backward, he returns anyway.

Matsuo says “on the other hand, when he wins and answers to an interview, first he praises the opponent and then expresses his thanks to his family and fans. He never boasts. I felt like I found ‘the righteous spirit’ in him.”

That’s how she became a fan of him.

She stayed up all night to watch his semifinal match in Wimbledon on TV, even though she had to swing her baton next morning.

As a conductor who is a tennis fan, she found there is a similarity between conductors and tennis players.

A tennis player basically plays an opponent by him/herself.

If a tennis player him/herself gives up during a match, he/she will lose so as a conductor, whose performance level falls if he/she compromises.

Matsuo says “by watching Nadal, I think I learned the strength to not give up and flexibility to read others’ minds.  […] someday, there’ll be the day when he hands his (ranking) No.1 over, but I will keep watching the young man’s future like ‘Is he still holding on?’ ”

The NIKKEI Apr/9/2009 by Yoko Matsuo (conductor)


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