Which do you prefer, spring or autumn? This annually occuring problem has tasked the Japanese for centuries, so it's not surprising that Japanese weather forecasters have developed maps to help the populace keep track of developments. Compare this crimson leaves map to the sakura maps of spring. Source (see the October 17, 2016 entry).
The Mitsubishi bench during the 58th Emperor's Cup final, January 1st, 1979.
It's Round Three. Continuing to pull for a northern winner, let's follow:
Match No. 66, Vissel Kobe [3 - 3] Montedio Yamagata [Kobe win on penalty kicks.]
Match No. 67, Albirex Niigata [1 - 0] Renofa Yamaguchi
Match No. 70, Grulla Morioka [1 - 2] Honda FC [Two red cards for Grulla.]
What was the best showing in past Emperor's Cups of each of our remaining northern clubs? Montedio Yamagata made it to the final two years ago. Albirex Niigata made the quarter-finals in 2009. Round Three this year is the farthest Grulla Morioka have ever been.
We've followed Montedio Yamagata and Grulla Morioka in past seasons. What about Albirex Niigata?
About Albirex Niigata. This club was formed in 1955 as Niigata Eleven SC, joined the JFL in 1998, J2 the next year, and J1 in 2004, where they have been ever since. They play at the 42,300-seat Denka Big Swan Stadium. The club's logo also features a white swan. Team colours are orange and blue. They have not yet won the league, league cup or Emperor's Cup, or represented Japan abroad.
This year Albirex finished 13th in Stage One of the J1 season, and are 14th in Stage Two after ten games (update).
Niigata Prefecture is on the Sea of Japan, just were the country would put its hands and say, "Oh, my aching back!" if it were a person. The place is out of the way now, but in the days of the Japanese overseas empire the boat from Niigata to Rason, North Korea was the shortest route to Manchuria.
In J League news, JFL sides Vanraure Hachinohe, Nara Club and Azul Claro Numazu have been awarded J3 licenses for 2017. But only Numazu Azul Claro is high enough in the standings to qualify for promotion.
Yesterday in Sweden it was Östersund [0 - 2] Norrköping.
Watch a short film of Kanto versus Kansai Old Boys at Koshien Stadium, 1936. The linesman's flag bears the JFA's three-legged crow.
This round matches 47 prefectural champions, the 2015 university champion, 22 J2 clubs, and two of the three clubs most recently promoted to J1.
As usual, I'm completely biased in favour of northern Japan. When was the Emperor's Cup last won by a club from north of the 36th parallel? 1935, and it was Kyungsung FC, from Seoul, Korea. The clubs most likely to end the north's cup drought are: Vegalta Sendai (10th in the 2016 J1 First Stage), Albirex Niigata (13th in the 2016 J1 First Stage), Consadole Sapporo (currently 1st in J2).
Match No. 9, Yokohama FC [5 - 0] Yamagata University
Last chance to see the exhibition of yakishime ware which closes August 18 at the Japan Foundation, Toronto. Yakishima is a high-temperature unglazed ceramic technique that was popular in the Muromachi period, but still has practicioners today. The above piece is Where Shadow Meets Form, 2015-01 by Ikura Takashi.
Japan was built by volcanoes. The city of Kagoshima in southern Kyushu has an active volcano right in the middle of the harbour, which has erupted as recently as 2012. The inner harbour is one enormous caldera. Sakurajima means "Cherry-blossom Island". Source.