Team: Nagoya Grampus
Club name origin: Derived from the two most prominent symbols of Nagoya: the two golden grampus dolphins on the top of Nagoya Castle (which can be more accurately described as shachihoko, a mythological creature part of the local folklore), and the Maru-Hachi (Circle eight), the city’s official symbol. The use of an orca in the team’s logo is likely a reference to the fact that the kanji for shachichoko (鯱) can be pronounced “shachichoko” (the aforemention mythical creature) or “shachi” (orca).
Arsenal link: In 1996, Arsene Wenger led them to the Emperor’s Cup and a runners-up finish in the J.League, the club’s best ever finish
History: Originally founded as the company team of the Toyota Motor Corp. in 1939. They are one of only four teams to have competed in Japan’s top flight of football every year since its inception in 1993.
Stadium: Shares home games between Mizuho Athletic Stadium (capacity 27,000 and the J.League’s oldest-serving stadium) and the much larger Toyota Stadium (capacity 45,000).
Honours: All Japan Senior Football Championship (1968, 1970), Konica Cup (1991), J. League Division 1 (2010), Emperor’s Cup (1995, 1999), Japanese Super Cup (1996, 2011).
Notable former players: Gary Lineker (Leicester, Everton, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur), Dragan Stojković (Red Star Belgrade, Marseille), Bernard Allou (Paris St Germain, Nottingham Forest).
Notable former managers: Arsene Wenger, Carlos Queiroz, Gordon Milne.
Mascots: Grampus-kun, and his wife and two children.
Last season: 7th out of 18.