Not quite all of them are here. It is explained that four are at the mill hospital getting treatment. They are expected back at work by noon and, of course, in the gym at 4, with the others.
The team's captain, tall, graceful Masae Kasai, smiles shyly from her desk. Little stories like hers tell the big one. Two years ago, at age 28, Masae was in love and engaged to a young man from Osaka. She had a choice: marriage and a home, or a continuation of the daily torture under Hirofumi Diamatsu. She chose the latter, for at the 1964 Olympics the glory of Japan will flicker again, and glory is everything.
Perhaps Masae had said it all the previous night when I asked her about the team's chances at the Olympics.
"You must understand," she said gravely. "We have never experienced defeat. We must win."