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The Rising Sun News is Still Here
Some people may have dropped in for their first visit in a few months - or even their first visit ever - and concluded from the lack of recent articles that the Rising Sun News has gone off line. That is not the case. Although the collapse of collaborative efforts with other J.League bloggers a couple years ago forced me to scale back the scope and detail of the site dramatically, I continue to pursue the dream of spreading the news about Japanese football to people around the world. In fact, once time permits me to conduct a thorough update of the site, I hope to restore some of the features that it had in the past, such as historical player and team information, player profiles and so on.
At the moment, however, I have been struggling just to keep up with the demands of the two other news services for which I am writing. I expect to continue contributing to One World Sports for the long term, but my stint as a guest blogger for ESPN will conclude after the World Cup. That should free up enough time for me to resume more regular reporting on J.League news and related issues. So if you received the wrong impression when you opened up the main page and saw that the most recent article is several months old -fear not! The review of the Costa Rica match, which I have just added, will probably be the last exclusive piece that goes up on this page until the World Cup concludes, in early July. But when the regular J1 season resumes on July 19, so will the flow of new articles and features.
If you are new to the site and just learning about the Japanese version of the Beautiful Game, have a look through the team pages and historical information, following the links in the left column. If you enjoy what you see, stick around and there will be much more for you to enjoy once the time constraints of World Cup reporting are over.
The Rising Sun News
Putting the Pieces Together Properly
With just a week to go before they touch down at last in Brazil, expectations for the Samurai Blue are higher than ever. In their second-to-last warmup for the big show, most of the team put on a convincing performance, but there are still a few actors who dont seem to know their lines . . . or if they even belong on the stage. Zac has to stop fiddling around and put all the pieces in their proper place, if he really wants to achieve glory this summer.
Read more: Japan-vs-Costa Rica
Golden Goals in Golden Week Action
The first day of the Golden Week Sprint was marked by some remarkable finishes as three games were decided in second-half injury time. Here is how the action played out on Saturday.
Read more: Week 9
Derby Day Drama
This weekend the first episode of the Naniwa Derby in two years attracted top billing, and Diego Forlan demonstrated why he is such a "big game" player. However, with both Osaka clubs slipping off the pace, the real excitement took place elsewhere in the league.
Read more: Week 7
Following Graham Arnold's departure from Vegalta Sendai, several articles have appeared in the Australian press presenting a very harsh view of the Tohoku-based club. If true, they would be highly newsworthy. However, it seems that the writers have a strange aversion to fact-checking.
Read more: Aussie Hatchet Job Scandalizes Sendai
Football News that Matters
This week, a few mainstream sportswriters took the time to weigh in on the folly that is unfolding in the Asian Champions League. While I am fully in agreement with the sentiments, I think that particular horse deserves a decent burial, rather than further futile flaying.
Read more: April Fools
Spring Into Action
Though goals were at a premium in most of this week's matches, the fine spring weather across Japan brought out good crowds at many venues - the exception being Saitama Stadium, where Urawa Reds and Shumizu S-Pulse played the first-ever J.League match in an empty stadium.
Read more: J.League Week 4
Statement from the J.League Chairman
The following is my own, "unofficial" translation of the statement released by J.League Chairman Mitsuru Murai. The "official" translation has been criticised for its poor English grammar, though I understand that the J.League wanted to get an English version out promptly and apparently did not have time to hire a top-quality translator. Hopefully this version captures the spirit of the original better than the "official" version.
Read more: J.League Chairman's Official Statement
This week, the J.League got a glimpse of one of football's most distressing and divisive issues: Racism. Though it is still early days, the initial reaction of just about everyone concerned suggests that most Japanese fans reject racial bias and divisiveness, wishing only to rejoice in the global joy of the Beautiful Game
Read more: J.League Week 2
Look to the Future? or the Past ?
The road to Brazil 2014 has passed over the final hill, and destiny beckons. With less than 100 days to go before the curtain rises on the World Cup, a friendly clash with New Zealand offered fans a chance to see how well prepared this team is to make its mark on world football. They got their answer - both for good and for bad.
Read more: Japan-vs-New Zealand
Another New Beginning
The J.League is back in action, and so is the Rising Sun News. Since we do not have time for a lot of sentimental verbosity, let's just get busy reporting on the exciting matches which took place in the first round of the 2014 season.
Read more: J1 14-03-01
2014 Schedule Released
The J.League has just released the league schedule for the 2014 season. The schedule for all J1 games is now posted, and links to J2 and J3 schedules will be provided shortly.
Read more: J1 Schedule 2014