Women's soccer a "beautiful flower" for post-disaster JapanHong Kong (CNN) -- Japan women's national football team will square off against favorites the United States Sunday in their first appearance in a World Cup final.
Regardless of the result, Japan's surprise progress in Germany is a much-needed boost for a country recently devastated by massive tremors and a subsequent tsunami.
It is also putting women's sport in the shop window like never before.
"This is a breath of fresh air, because everything out of Japan has been negative over the last few months," said Tom Byer, a youth soccer instructor in Japan for over 25 years and former coach of starter Aya Miyama.
"Now, you turn on every channel and there are big segments about women's soccer... it's huge for women's sports here."
Known as Nadeshiko -- or beautiful flower in Japanese -- the women's national team has been the underdog throughout this year's tournament.Read more....