Tokyo commuters were greeted Thursday morning with special editions of newspapers printed to commemorate Japan’s 3-1 victory over Sweden that moved it into the Women's World Cup for the first time.
NHK, the public broadcaster, has been airing the games, most of which have taken place in the middle of the night, since the beginning of the tournament, but media coverage has grown as Nadeshiko Japan has moved into Sunday's final with sensational wins over host Germany and Sweden.
Coverage has centered on the "give it your all" mantra that has been rediscovered since the devastating earthquake and tsunami -- and the resulting nuclear crisis.
Before the game, Norio Sasaki told his players, “When you’re in a tough spot, think of the disaster victims and give it your all." Afterwards, the players dedicated their victories to the victims.