On this date in 1888 Mount Bandai in Fukushima Prefecture erupted, destroying several neighbouring villages and killing about 500 people. This contemporary ukiyoe triptich is by Tankei Inoue. Yasushi Inoue has a short story about it, "Under the Shadow of Mount Bandai", in The Shōwa Anthology.
Naoya Fukumori of Kwansei Gakuin University. Source.
It's the second round of the 94th Emperor's Cup, the round in which the J1 and J2 clubs join in. Six J3 teams are still in it, but not Grulla Morioka. Also still in it are Kwansei Gakuin University, a team we followed for a moment last year. Games of interest are:
Game 26: Mito HollyHock versus Avispa Fukuoka [2 - 0]
Game 27: Gamba Osaka versus Zwiegen Kanazawa [5 - 1]
Game 29: FC Tokyo versus Blaublitz Akita [8 - 0]
Game 44: Vissel Kobe versus Kwansei Gakuin University [1 - 2]
Game 48: JEF United Chiba versus Nagano Parciero [3 - 2]
Game 49: Kawasaki Frontale versus YSCC [2 - 1]
Game 52: Shonan Bellmare versus FC Ryukyu [2 - 1]
Game 56: Kyoto Sanga versus Gainare Tottori [3 - 1]
I'm following Mito for old time's sake; by which I mean, 2012. How are HollyHock doing this year? Mid-table. The Hokkaido Emperor's Cup games are about two weeks behind the others, so I'm ignoring Consadole Sapporo till the third round.
[So, all the J3 teams are out. But Kwansei Gakuin University are still in. The next round is August 20th.]
It's also the final of the World Cup today. This is the third time Germany and Argentina have met in the final, but the first time each side has had the backing of a Pope.
On Thursday Aberdeen beat Daugava Riga 0 - 3 in Latvia. The Dons move on to the second qualifying round of the Europa League where they will meet Groningen.
Yesterday Greenock Morton hosted Rotherham United in a friendly at Cappielow. The Millers, who are newly promoted to the English Championship, visited Greenock about this time last summer too and on that occasion played the Ton to a 0 - 0 draw. Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was on the first stage of the Tour de France this year, somehow. [Greenock Morton nil, Rotherham United one.]
Tomorrow Morton play Viewfield Rovers in the semifinal of the Renfrewshire Cup.
It's the seventh day of the seventh month, so time for the Tanabata Festival, when people hang wishes from the bamboo. This Tanabata themed dinner menu was designed for the MS Amasa Maru of the NYK Line by Takehisa Yumeji in 1929, and is held by the British Museum.
100 Figures of Beauties Wearing Takasago Kimonos, No. 9Tanabata Festival (1931) by Shinsui Itō.
It's Round One of the 94th Emperor's Cup. Normally this competition begins in September, but this year they've moved it forward to make room for the Asian Cup. Round One features 47 prefectural champions plus one other club, the 48th team being Nagano Parciero, the amateur club that went the furthest in the last Emperor's Cup. Altogether seven J3 clubs made it into the tournament. Let's follow them and see how far they get:
Game 2: FC Osaka of the Kansai Soccer League versus Zweigen Kanazawa
Game 4: Blaublitz Akita versus Saitama SC of the Kantō Soccer League
Game 18: Nagano Parciero versus Japan Soccer College of the Hokushin'etsu Football League
Game 19: YSCC versus SRC Hiroshima of the Hiroshima League
Game 21: Kunamoto Teachers Football Club versus FC Ryukyu
Game 22: Grulla Morioka versus Urayasu SC of the Kantō Soccer League
Game 24: Gainare Tottori versus Tadotsu FC of the Shikoku Adult League
[All of the J3 clubs advance except Grulla Morioka, who lose 0 - 1.]
Meanwhile the Europa League has begun. Aberdeen hosted Daugava Riga at Pittodrie on Thursday in the first leg of the first qualifying round and won 5 - 0. Aberdeen are in the Europa League by virtue of their third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership, not for winning the League Cup.
Queen of the South beat Morton 1 - 0 in a closed-door friendly yesterday.
Nearly every corporate body in Japan has a mascot or 2D spokesperson. FC Ganju Iwate has Nao Washihina. Nao is a popular girls' name in Japan, but it is also the brandname of a Spanish manufacturer of porcelain figurines, and the name of a French robot, so the connotations line up if not the copyrights. Washihina suggests "paper doll".
Today Grulla Morioka take on FC Ganju Iwate for the Iwate Prefecture championship and a place in the Emperor's Cup Round One. Ganju are currently top of the Tohoku League Division 1, and to go by their motto, "Dream of the J!!" they plan to be Grulla's crosstown rivals in J3 before too long.
Meanwhile in Scotland, Allan Moore, former Greenock Morton manager, has been hired by Arbroath FC.
Grulla Morioka entertain the Japanese Under 22 team. [Grulla win 3 - 1.]
The Japanese national team play Colombia on Tuesday in their final Group C game. If Japan beat Colombia, and Greece beat Ivory Coast, and Japan end up with a better goal difference than Greece, Japan will advance. [Colombia 4, Japan 1. Japan are out. Colombia go on the meet Uruguay.]
NHK is currently airing a million-part morning drama about the life of Hanako Muraoka, the Japanese translator of Anne of Green Gables, entitled Hanako To An (Hanako and Anne). That's Hanako in the middle. Picture source. NHK site.
It's the World Cup. As we speak 32 national teams are playing in venues all over Brazil. Scotland is not one of them, but Japan is. The Three-Legged Crows are in Group C along with Colombia (ranked 4th in the world), Greece (ranked 15th) and Ivory Coast (ranked 17th). Japan (ranked 44th) are decidedly the underdogs, but they had to beat better teams to get to the World Cup at all, so they may produce some surprises.
Who's in the squad? By caps: Yasuhito Endō (144) of Gamba Osaka; Yasuyuki Konno (81) also of Gamba Osaka; Makoto Hasebe (78) of Eintracht Frankfurt; Shinji Okazaki (76) of Mainz 06; and some others. Of the 23 squad members 11 play in Japan, 7 in Germany, 2 in Italy, 2 in England, and one in Belgium.
The official goal of the Japanese is to make it into the quarter-finals. But Hidetoshi Nakata says the thing to do is to establish a football identity.
Today they meet Ivory Coast at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, on the tip of Brazil's nose. [Ivory Coast 2 - 1 Japan.]