Japanese women -- long depicted in the West as delicate shy, giggling geisha types -- have fractured the myth by turning to a new -- distinctly mascu??? -- sport: rugby union.
TRAVEL SHOT Women scrum down and then pass ball out to line during practice session in Nagasaki
GV Building in Nagasaki ZOOM OUT AND PAN TO mothers on training field
GV Children and women running down field watched by coach (2 shots)
GV Mothers practising place kicking and catching (3 shots)
GV Mothers practise tackling
SCU PAN Coach gives mother instructions on passing ball (2 shots)
SCU Players practising passing and tackling watched by father (2 shots)
GV PAN Women practising tackling (2 shots)
SPORT RUGBY UNION
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Japanese women -- long depicted in the West as delicate shy, giggling geisha types -- have fractured the myth by turning to a new -- distinctly mascu??? -- sport: rugby union.
SYNOPSIS: The idea started in Nagasaki a few months ago when a group of mothers decided to form their own team. The women had watched their sons playing the game at weekend-school and, with an unexpected burst of curiosity, wanted to try it themselves.
The twenty-three women, aged from their twenties to their fifties, began training with the boys, practising under the expert eye of a coach.
Rugby, born in England, is one of the world's fastest growing sports, and the Japanese have seized on it with are physically unsuited to such a contact game, but their doggedness and fierce application make up for their diminutive size. Five years ago, rugby was almost unknown in the country, but now schools, universities and business companies have their own teams, and a Japanese national team has toured Britain.
One woman said it looked an easy game to play until she tried it herself. Another said the training was a useful way to keep fit and get her figure into shape.
Another mother said playing rugby helped rid her of the stresses of everyday life, which in Japan is among the most bustling, competitive and high-pressured anywhere. Just how successful they have been at absorbing the mysteries of scrummages and body-tackling will be revealed later in the year when they hope to have their first match. But Mrs. Front Ro??? Forward is light years removed from Madame Butterfly.