No one attending a press conference in Yokohama on Thursday for the newly-crowned US Open women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka thought she was really Japanese.
The Japanese side of the 20-year-old defeated Serena Williams in the US Open final last week to become the first “Japanese” tennis player to win a Grand Slam title.
Locals looked at each other knowingly as Osaka arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport at around 4 a.m.
“It’s called honne and tatemae – on the outside we express a belief that she is Japanese, but on the inside we all know the real score,” said one sports fan.
Reporters asked Osaka if her Haitian half was worried when Serena Williams began pointing out thieves.
“Um, I’m not really sure what you’re talking about,” said Osaka.
“Nihongo jyouzu desune,” the reporter responded.
Many people in the crowd quietly nodded at each other after Nissin Foods gave Osaka a bowl of instant noodles and she failed to slurp.