These gold diadems from the burial mound of the sixth-century King Muryeong of Baekje were worn on the sides of the head and are probably the best-looking royal headgear in the history of the world. To me they say, "I am your monarch, and my mind is on fire." Korean National Treasure # 154. Source.
For centuries Korean monarchs conducted business seated in front of a Five Peak Screen like this one. With its sun, moon, five mountains, two conifers, and two rivers falling into the sea, it's a striking representation of the idea of Korea. Source.
This map, held in the Seoul Museum of History, severely distorts the north to compress the country into a rectangular shape, possibly just to make it fit it onto the sheet, but also possibly to make it conform to the dimensions of an ideal Confucian state.
Asia League Ice Hockey is the top professional hockey league in Japan and South Korea, and also includes China's one professional team.
The eight teams each play a schedule of 42 games from September to March, after which the top four move on to the playoffs, with best-of-five semifinals and finals. The Japanese clubs take time out in February for the All Japan Ice Hockey Championship, which has been going on since 1930. The Korea Domestic Championship dates back to 1955.
The teams are:
Oji Eagles. Founded in 1925 as the company team of Oji Paper, the Eagles play at Hakucho Arena (capacity 4,015) in Tomakomai, on the southern coast of Hokkaido. They have won the Asia League championship twice, its forerunner the Japan League championship 13 times, and the anyone-can-enter All Japan Championship 35 times including last year. They wear blue, white, yellow and black. The squad includes Canadians Aaron Keller, Mike Kompon and T.J. Kemp.
Nippon Paper Cranes. Oji Eagles' rival on the ice and in the boardroom, Nippon Paper Cranes are owned by the Nippon Paper Group, and play at Kushiro Ice Arena (capacity 3,000) in Kushiro on the eastern coast of Hokkaido. They began in 1949, have won the Asia League three times and the All Japan Championship five. Black, red, blue and white. Canadian: Eric Regan. The club name puts you in mind of the art of origami.
Anyang Halla. Founded in 1994, they won the Korean Ice Hockey League five times, and then after 2003 the Asia League once plus one co-win. They play at the Anyang Sports Complex Arena attached to Anyang Stadium. Blue, yellow and white. Canadians: Brock Radunske, Dustin Wood. Anyang is a city of about two-thirds of a million on the southern outskirts of Seoul.
High1. Founded in 2004, High1 joined the Asia League the next year. They are based in Goyang, South Korea, on the north side of Seoul. Black and red. Canadians: Bryan Young who has played 17 games for Edmonton, David Brine who played 9 games for the Florida Panthers and later played for Medveščak Zagreb, and Michael Swift.
China Dragon. This club is an amalgamation of two venerable Chinese powerhouses, Harbin and Qiqihar, both founded in 1954 and neither based anywhere near Shanghai. The team roster closely matches that of the Chinese Olympic team. Colours: red and yellow. No Canadians.
Tohoku Free Blades. Founded 2008. Their home address is Niida Indoor Rink (capacity 1,576) in Hachinohe, Aomori, the northernmost prefecture on the island of Honshu. Blue, gray and white. They have won the championship once, and were declared co-winners the year of the tsunami. Canadians: Darrell Hay, Brad Farynuk and Ned Lukacevic.
Daemyung Sangmu. New this year. This is the hockey team of the South Korean military and is tasked with training the South Korean national team for the 2018 Olympics. They play at the Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul. Black, yellow and red. No Canadians.
The league had a team in Khabarovsk, in the Far East of Russia, for one season. The KHL has since moved into that town and Vladivostok.
Swinging two at a time is a traditional game in Korea, so presumably it doesn't get you yelled at by the teacher if you do it there. The artist is the late 19th-century painter Gisan, who specialized in scenes of everyday Korean life. There was an exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2006 (which we saw), and a book. Source.
A Goryeo dynasty (AD 918-1392) bronze bottle from the Korean collection of the Smithsonian Institution, and not in fact the Korean FA Cup.
The 2012 Korean FA Cup began in March with 8 clubs from the third-tier Challengers League, 7 from university competitions, and 1 from the reserve league. In April the 8 winners were joined by the Challengers League champion plus 5 clubs from the second-tier National League. In May the 7 winners were joined by the top 9 from the National League and all 16 K-League clubs in the Round of 32. June 20th was the Round of 16. Today it's the quarterfinals.
Are Pohang Steelers still in it? Yes. They entered at the Round of 32 and beat Cheongju Jikji 4 - 0, then in the Round of 16 they beat Gwangju FC 3 - 1. Today they play Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Pretty much the first notable event of the London Olympics was the Korean flags screw-up, in which pictures of North Korean players were displayed next to a South Korean flag. Ouch! So, to remove any ambiguity in this article, let me just state that the Korean FA Cup is contested in South Korea. North Korea has the Republican Championship, which could stand some better publicity. Though you can get your North Korean football hit here.
[Pohang win 3 - 2! Incidentally, Steelers' No Byung-Jun was Man of the Round in the Round of 16.]
South Korea had little steel industry to speak of in 1968 when Pohang Iron and Steel Company was founded under the Park regime's second five year plan. POSCO subsequently become a huge power in the international steel market, and a major player in the decline of steel production in the US and UK. In 1973 they started a company soccer team. Over the years POSCO FC became POSCO Dolphins, POSCO Atoms, and ultimately Pohang Steelers.
Pohang Steelers play at the Pohang Steel Yard, a 25,000 seat stadium built in 1990. Their colours are red and black, worn in the style of the Beano's Dennis the Menace. The four stars atop the team logo represent the club's championship seasons of 1986, 1988, 1992 and 2007. They have also won the AFC Champions League three times, in 1997, 1998 and 2009.
Last season they finished second in the league table. The K-League holds a playoff for league championship, but Pohang lost in the semi-finals. The Steelers were also eliminated in the semi-finals of the Korean FA Cup, and the quarter-finals of the league cup. But their strong standing earned them a spot in the qualifying playoff for this year's AFC Champions League. They beat Chonburi of Thailand 2 - 0 and moved on to Group E, with Adelaide United, Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan, and Gamba Osaka. Pohang finished third in that group and did not advance to the final 16.
After 13 league games Pohang sit seventh with 5 wins, 3 draws and 5 losses. Their top scorers are both imports, Ianis Zicu from Romania and Derek Asamoah of Ghana. Today they host Gyeongnam FC, another red and black club. [Gyeongnam win 1 - 0.]
Elsewhere in soccer. Yesterday UCD hosted Phoenix FC in the second round of the FAI Cup. This evening Montreal Impact play Colorado Rapids in Commerce City, CO. Mito HollyHock visit Machida Zelvia tomorrow. [UCD 3 - 1 Phoenic FC. Cup holders Sligo Rovers were eliminated by Monaghan United.] [Colorado win 3 - 2.] [Machida 0 - 0 Mito.]
Synopsis: we are searching the world for soccer teams that dress like the Beano's Dennis the Menace. Three have been found so far: FC Midtjylland in Denmark, NK Čelik Zenica in Bosnia, and plucky Whitletts Victoria FC of Ayr. Today, the East Asian Football Federation.
China. Not many stripes or hoops at all. Shenzhen Ruby FC wear blue and white.
Hong Kong. The British connection has left Hong Kong with an active football scene, but no team that presents a Menacing aspect. Honk Kong FC was founded in 1886 and is obviously dripping with money.
Macao. Hoi Fan wear a red jersey and black shorts and socks.
Mongolia. Argh. There's very little information on the Mongolian Premier League on the internet.
North Korea. Imagine trying to follow your favourite North Korean team online.
South Korea. FC Seoul wear red socks, black shorts, and a red and black striped jersey. But there are gold squiggles all over the design. Gyeongnam FC have black socks and shorts and a red jersey with black details. They are nicknamed The Kindergarten.
Dennis the Menace Group! Yes!
Steelers are a pretty successful club too. They've won the South Korean championship four times, the KFA Cup twice and the league cup twice. Excellent.
Japan. Consadole Sapporo: red socks, black shorts, red and black striped jersey. Many Japanese clubs go out of their way to try to give themselves a European ambience by incorporating Spanish, French, English, German or Italian words into their nomenclature. Yet somehow none of those hybrid names seems as outlandish as Real Salt Lake. Arte Takasaki wear red socks, black shorts, red jersey. Ditto Zweigen Kanazawa.