Japan's rugby dream finally ended on Sunday. The Brave Blossoms lost to South Africa in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. "I take my hat off to the team. We're really proud of what we have achieved," said Japan's head coach Jamie Joseph, and so is everybody else in Japan.

Compared to baseball or soccer, rugby has never been a popular sport in Japan. For the past month since the World Cup opened on Sept. 20, however, millions of Japanese sports fans have converted to rugby. Although overpowered by South Africa, Japan performed well with its high-intensity running style of rugby.

Having said that, while watching this past Sunday's historic match live on TV, I was contemplating something different. When a commentator said that Japan's battle for the world cup was over, I thought no, the battle didn't end. No matter how well the Japan team had fought, it lost the battle. Isn't that the reality?