Take a look at the Japan team as they prepare for the World Cup.
˜Yamato Nadeshiko™" is a Japanese phrase which translates as the "personification of the perfect Japanese woman". It is also the name given to the country's female football team who will once again compete at the World Cup.
In qualifying for Germany 2011, Japan maintained their record of reaching the Finals of every Women's World Cup and are the only Asian team to appear at all six tournaments, with China failing to qualify.
But they reached these Finals the hard way in the Asian Cup, which is the continent's World Cup qualifying event.
After losing to eventual winners Australia in the Semi-Final, Japan had the daunting task of facing China in the third-place play-off. A 2-0 victory meant they grabbed the final slot for the 2011 World Cup.
The Nadeshiko, which actually translates as 'Dianthus superbus' - a large, pink carnation - are currently riding the crest of a wave having secured fifth in the FIFA World rankings which is their highest ever.
Now, the onus is on them to justify their top-five positioning in the FIFA rankings, after only reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 1995 and being knocked out at the group stage four times.
But their global star has been steadily rising since 2008 when they lifted the East Asian Football Federation Championship.
Their exit from the Olymipics in 2008, a 2-0 defeat to Germany, might have represented something of a pruning for the Nadeshiko, but the roots are growing ever deeper. Now they are ready to bloom in Germany.