Nadeshiko is a Japanese term roughly translating as "the ideal Japanese woman
", representing a combination of femininity, devotion, spirit, determination, and of course (this is
Japan) deference and a sense of place in society. Japanese World War II propaganda promoted the ideal of the Yamato Nadeshiko
as the Japanese counterpart to Rosie the Riveter
, the dutiful Aryan mother
, and all the rest, with the rough idea being expressed as "Bear with us, strive for the ideal, and keep in mind that we might need you to fight to the death
Yamato Nadeshiko is also the Japanese name for dianthus superbus, or "fringed pink", an autumn-flowering wildflower found throughout eastern Asia, and the title of a 12-episode dorama, broadcast on Fuji TV in 2000, about a stewardess in search of a wealthy man who ends up falling in love with a brilliant mathematician who has retired from academia to take over his late father's fish shop.
Continuing with the theme, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (literally "Seven Ghosts of Yamato Nadeshiko", though in true Japanese fashion the title bears a few other meanings), is a recent and popular shoujo manga series created by Hayakawa Tomoko and published by Kodansha, about an Elegant Gothic Lolita girl living with four visual kei bishounen. Yummy. Finally, the term is the origin of the name of the Nadesico in Martian Successor Nadesico, by way of a reference to the Yamato from the classic Leiji Matsumoto anime Space Cruiser Yamato (Star Blazers). One of the series' many clever in-jokes and references, and particularly appropriate, given the Nadesico's heavily female, bishoujo crew.