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» One Touch Football - Archive » Football » Japan 2008 (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Japan 2008
Furtho
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J-League club slogans aren't always in English, no. For example, my team, Omiya Ardija, used Shinka last year, a phrase that has three different meanings (loosely, Progress, Unity and Communication) depending on how it's spelled. In 2008, they're evidently planning to muddle along with Shinka NEXT; this is not, however, to be confused with the club's newly-announced tagline, as can be seen below. Incidentally, perhaps my favourite slogan is Urawa Reds' 2007 effort, which although I can't locate a relevant graphic was, I swear, Sing Out Together Heartily.

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Omiya's Shinka NEXT slogan...


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... and their tagline


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The Ardija 2008 shirt...


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... and the club's pumped-up incoming players and coach


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Yokohama F Marinos' new shirt, a controversial Nike effort after years with Adidas

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blackdogbeak
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ACTION & MOVING sounds like a ropey twenty-five year-old album you'd find in a charity shop.

I'm not sure what ORANGE! HAPPY!! FOOTBALL!!! brings to mind, but it's absolutely fantastic.

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Furtho
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No more slogans just yet, but the new shirts of a trio of mid-ranking J1 sides - Albirex Niigata, Kawasaki Frontale and Vissel Kobe.


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Kawasaki Frontale...


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...Vissel Kobe...


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... and Albirex Niigata

[ 20.01.2008, 23:06: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Furtho
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Newly promoted to J1 but very badly photographed, it's Consadole Sapporo, together with FC Tokyo.


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Consadole Sapporo, top image L-R: Goalkeeper, Home, Away, Training


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FC Tokyo, L-R: Away, Home. A bit alarming, this picture, isn't it

[ 20.01.2008, 23:07: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Jamzinho
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Really enjoying reading this stuff - keep it coming [Smile]
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Furtho
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Something of a Relegation Special here, as Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Ventforet Kofu were both demoted from J1 at the end of 2007. This much explains Sanfrecce's new slogan in the top photo; Kofu haven't released details of their 2008 slogan or kit yet, but their incoming players have been introduced to the press and, as can be seen below, a couple of them elected to wear their school uniforms for the occasion [back row, second left and middle]. Last year's distinctly unsuccessful Ventforet motto, by the way, was DECISION & DOING.


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Sanfrecce Hiroshima


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Ventforet Kofu

[ 20.01.2008, 23:15: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Furtho
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Hot on the heels of ex-Japan national team boss Philippe Troussier's appointment as General Manager of low-ranking JFL side FC Ryukyu come press rumours of a yet more sensational connection between the global game and Japanese non-league football. Stories are circulating that former World Player of the Year George Weah has accepted an offer similar to that of Troussier, but from a club so far down the pyramid that they in fact barely exist.

Valiente Koriyama were formed in 2007 with the long-term intention of bringing J-League football to Fukushima, north of Tokyo. The plan is that Valiente will enter formal competition this coming season in Division 3 of the Fukushima Prefectural League. This places them six tiers below J2, while seasoned observers of the Japanese amateur and semi-pro game will bear in mind that, Weah or no Weah, in Tohoku League sides FC Perada Fukushima and Viancone Fukushima, the local area already has two ambitious clubs at a far more advanced state of development than Valiente.

Liberian star Weah, 41, most recently played for UAE club Al-Jazira and towards the end of 2007 was reported as having been turned down by Slavia Prague after a trial with the Czech outfit. Troussier, meanwhile, has appointed as Ryukyu coach fellow Frenchman Jean-Paul Rabier. Rabier was a player with sides such as Laval, Valenciennes and Reims and the 70s and 80s, before going on to coach in his home country, Burkina Faso, Algeria and most recently Qatar.

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George Weah and dodgy bloke

[ 21.01.2008, 09:21: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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ursus arctos
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This is getting quite bizarre, isn't it?

Is Weah well known in Japan?

The presentation photos are fascinating from a sociological point of view. Not only are the school uniforms striking (are Ventforet thinking of a Meiji "turn back the clock" vibe?), but their Brazilian (I assume) seems bewildered at what he has gotten himself into. It is also interesting to note that more clubs seem to be going with Kanji characters for their sponsors. My recollection of the early days of the J-League are that the Latin alphabet and internationally-recognised names were pretty much de rigeur. Consadole also seem not to have a problem using Milan's kit nothwithstanding the fact that they have Bologna's/Genoa's/Cagliari's colours.

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Furtho
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I'm not really that sure about the profile of Weah specifically, but given that he was World Player of the Year right in the middle of the J-League's boom period (1995), my guess can only be that he's very well known indeed. The above definitely looks like a done deal, though - Valiente Koriyama reportedly having signed a contract with Weah's football academy.

The photos are interesting, aren't they, but there are a few points that need clarification. First, those uniforms are entirely typical for Japanese high school boys; I believe they are Prussian in origin. Also, Japanese people tend to wear uniforms or work-related clothes as social signifiers in wider circumstances than they might do in the West, so although it might appear odd to us, it is not particularly surprising in Japan. I suppose if you wanted to get flowery about it, you might say that in the Kofu photo it is a means of expressing where those two kids come from and the new phase of their life into which they're now moving, etc.

The Brazilian guy in the Ventforet picture has a similarly baffled expression as the one at Yamagata on page one of this thread, I noticed.

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The 1993 Verdy Kawasaki Away shirt

re: the use of kanji on team shirts, it's not a question of clubs' choice but of the sponsoring companies and how they choose to promote themselves that dictates the logo. The changing status of the J-League is the other factor that impacts upon what you have observed.

For instance, when the J-League started and was wildly fashionable, you had huge international companies like Coca-Cola sponsoring the most popular team in the country, Verdy Kawasaki. Obviously, Coke used their internationally-known logo, as can be seen on the photo above. [An aside. Although Coke does not, some global corporations operating in the Japanese market do adopt Japanese script in constructing a logo - here's an example of a McDonalds.]

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It says Makudonarudo Hanba-ga-

But after the initial wave of J-League popularity was over, some of those companies withdrew from involvement in football. While there was some stability in terms of club / company relationships for historical reasons - for instance between Kashiwa Reysol and Hitachi or between Nagoya Grampus 8 and Toyota - the other key point that impacted upon shirt sponsorship was simply that, as the J-League expanded its membership, there were by definition more clubs seeking sponsors.

Therefore, those new teams often looked at developing ties with more localised companies who were less in tune with the international market and were correspondingly less likely to have logos in a Latin script. Consadole Sapporo is a good example of this, given that they are sponsored by a Hokkaido company that makes the popular Shiroi Koibito biscuits - the logo is the blue and white one on the back of the shirt in the photo above. (Another aside. This is a product which recently ran into some considerable legal difficulties revolving around the mis-labelling of expiry dates, as the company's website acknowledges).

[ 21.01.2008, 20:28: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Furtho
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Some more new shirts, this time from Tokyo Verdy (who are no longer called Tokyo Verdy 1969) and Kyoto Sanga (who haven't been called Kyoto Purple Sanga for a year now).
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Verdy Home

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Verdy Away
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Kyoto Home
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Kyoto Away

Incidentally, and following on from the point raised above by UA, the Kyoto shirts feature another example of a sponsor who have logos in both Latin and Japanese script: it's Kyocera, who also sponsor Reading.

[ 22.01.2008, 21:34: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Furtho
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 -

Roasso-kun

The above is Roasso Kumamoto's first attempt at a mascot following their promotion from the JFL to J2 (it's a horse, by the way); their slogan for 2008 is ACTION & COMMUNICATION and they have reportedly set their sights on achieving promotion to J1 by 2013. This coming season, however, they are more likely to be scrabbling around at the bottom of the league alongside teams such as Mito Hollyhock, who have also announced the motto under which they will play in the year ahead is, sentimental fellows that they are, TOGETHER. Awww. Shonan Bellmare, on the other hand, look as if they're preparing themselves for a rough ride: their new slogan is HEART & HARD.

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Mito Hollyhock's New Year card, no less


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Ropey presentation skills at Shonan Bellmare's press conference

[ 23.01.2008, 13:07: Message edited by: Furtho ]

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Furtho
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Some bits and pieces from J1 hopefuls Kashiwa Reysol.

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A linguistically radical approach to the whole notion of sloganeering...


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... and really bright yellow shirts

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ursus arctos
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Not to cast aspersions, but just how does the average J-League afficianado pronounce "Hollyhock".

I like the Portuguese slogan; less strained than almost all of the English ones and with a bit of football tradition football tradition.

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Furtho
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I would suggest that the Sun Kings' use of Portuguese is a conceptual tie-in with their name, but obviously it doesn't work in any way even approaching that.

Are you developing a sneaking fondness for Mito Hollyhock, UA? It's a romantic, if a trifle unglamorous, road to go down if so. Prior to joining the J-League, the club operated during the 90s as a team for workers at the Prima Ham plant in the nearby city of Tsuchiura, but now they exist very much under the shadow of their neighbours in Ibaraki prefecture: Kashima Antlers.

Ever since reaching J2 in 2000, they have been one of the smallest clubs in the league; indeed, even the more recent newcomers like Thespa Kusatsu and Tokushima Vortis have had bigger budgets than Mito over the last couple of years and Hollyhock also have the lowest average home crowd. This goes some way towards explaining why the team have never ended a season in the top half of J2 and only just avoided a bottom place finish by the skin of their teeth in 2007.

However, they do have a reasonable record at finding and developing good young players, such as Marcus Tulio Tanaka (now an international defender at Urawa Reds) and star midfielder Shohei Ogura, who's just left for the bright lights of Yokohama F Marinos. Much-loved coach Hideki Maeda has also departed during the close season after five years in charge, but fans are hoping that replacement Takashi Kiyama will be able to help the team up the table after moving from a post in charge of the youth team at Vissel Kobe.

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Kasamatsu Stadium

One other cause for optimism is the current development of a new stadium, to which the club plan to move in 2009 and which it is hoped will greatly increase awareness of and interest in Hollyhock around their local community. Currently the team use the 22,000 capacity Kasamatsu Stadium for home games and gates of a couple of thousand or even fewer tend to get a bit lost in its wide open spaces.

As an outsider, you have to think it would be good if they succeed in attracting a bigger support, not least because Mito Hollyhock would appear to be a quite preposterously friendly club. Their Christmas party last year, for example, involved not only the players and coaching staff but also all the supporter volunteers who do things like man the turnstiles and clean up the stadium after the game - Kasamatsu is a community facility and has to be left appropriately tidy for the next people to use it. As well as a whole pile of food and drink for everyone, there was a special performance by the cheerleaders, team games and a mass custard pie fight involving all and sundry (hi to everyone who Googled cheerleaders+custard+pie+fight and arrived here as a result).

Anyway, as for the pronunciation of their name, well, obviously Japanese people do not try to pronounce Hollyhock as you or I might do. Before they even start, it's filtered into the more limited set of sounds that the language possesses via katakana - it's ホーリーホック , should that be any help, which at least gives a visual indication of the fact that the "ho" and "lly" sounds are curiously extended. But in short, while Hollyhock might be a bit of a challenge, they tend to be able to cope with ホーリーホック just fine.

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ursus arctos
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Typically wonderful, furtho, but my J-League heart is forever given to Orange! Happy!! Football!!!

I guess that I can adopt Mito as a J2 team. Is there anime-ish figure a bear? Mouse? Piece of Popcorn?

I was going to make a crack about Kasamatsu being one of my favourite Japanese first courses, but it works about as well as the Portuguese Sun King gag.

Posts: 18670 | From: mediolanum | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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