What’s all this about?
TOKYO DAMACY 1999 (TD99 for short) is a penya (supporter’s group) with a focus on international exchange and increasing FC Tokyo’s visibility among Western soccer fans both in Japan and abroad. TD99 received official team recognition in February 2010 and is Penya #74.
What’s a penya?
In a model adapted from legendary club FC Barcelona, FC Tokyo has instituted the penya system in order to officially recognize supporters groups and encourage independent activities to support the club. These activities can range from pre-match choreography/flag-making/leading chants and similar Ultras-esque activities to organizing a nomikai following the club’s yearly trip to Oita (that particular penya is going to be very bored in 2010, but that’s beside the point).
Such penya are free to register with a minimal set of requirements, but as of right now the only benefit is that FCT recognizes your existence as a group. The club appears to be rolling out new initiatives aimed towards penya; for example only certain established penya were invited to the team’s 2010 Season Opener Press Conference.
Who are you?
I’m Dan, known throughout various online forums as ダン, dokool, @aishiterutokyo, and so on. I’ve lived in Tokyo since late December 2006 and have been following FC Tokyo since Golden Week 2007. I started Aishiteru-Tokyo.com in April 2008. I come from a city (Philadelphia) with a strong pro sports culture and a massive chip on its’ shoulder which in retrospect is a match made in heaven for FC Tokyo. During games I stand behind the goal in Column 57 or otherwise with LA12, when watching away games I either go to Ebisu Footnik or El Loco on the Keio Line. I’m 24, Capricorn, Type O, and single (probably because I spend my Saturday nights at the stadium instead of clubbing.)
The Background on TD99
I started this site 2 years ago on a dare by other foreign J-soccer fans; it’s grown quite a bit since then and has become the number one English-language resource for FC Tokyo fans. I’ve always been entranced by soccer’s supporter culture and beginning this year I believe that we (non-Japanese supporters of FC Tokyo) can positively impact our team and the supporter community.
Tokyo is home to the largest population of foreigners in Japan, and a good number of these foreigners are from soccer-playing countries. Tapping into this potential market would increase the club’s visibility worldwide; enabling FC Tokyo to become the world-renowned club that Urawa wishes it could be and Kashima doesn’t have the charisma for. There are various penya out there for company employees, people who live in a similar region and so on, but as of yet there hasn’t been a group that will tap into the diaspora. I hope that TOKYO DAMACY 1999 will change this.
Why “TOKYO DAMACY 1999”?
“TOKYO DAMACY” started with a half-assed gateflag with an amusing video game reference and continued with another half-assed gateflag with not just an amusing video game reference, but a nerdy ska reference as well. Then before the Nabisco Cup Final we took the concept supernova with the now-legendary 3-flag “Life is short/victory is forever” nobori set which lacks video game references but are still more badass than 95% of the gate flags I’ve seen at any game ever. At this stage the 1999 (which obviously represents FCT’s founding year) got thrown in, and the idea of “TOKYO DAMACY 1999” stuck with me.
In other words, I may have been an incredible nerd when I came up with the name but it’s so incredibly awesome that it doesn’t matter.
Who’s eligible to join?
In principle, membership is intended to be for the following groups:
-Foreigners (non-Japanese) who support FC Tokyo, whether from within Japan or from abroad
-Japanese FC Tokyo supporters with an interest in foreign culture, making friends with non-Japanese supporters, and promoting FCT worldwide
In addition, because of our nature we hope to be a dual citizenship penya and will not turn down anyone who already belongs to an existing penya. In fact, we hope to collaborate with other penyas throughout the season.
What’s the official language of TD99?
None! But English or Japanese would probably be best. I hope that both foreign members wishing to practice their Japanese and Japanese members wishing to practice their English have ample opportunity to do so!
What are my duties as a member of TOKYO DAMACY 1999?
Absolutely nothing as long as you support FC Tokyo. That said, I would very much like for this penya to be “active” rather than “passive,” and therefore I would strongly encourage people interested in the following:
-Meeting before/after matches for food, drink, and good conversation
-Standing in the goal end (if we get enough members I’m hoping we can carve out a “regular” section but for now we’ll probably stand w/ LA12 near Column 57)
-Contributing match reports, news, analysis, photos, etc to this website
-Making gate flags and banners (Designers! People who like painting! Anyone who owns a warehouse that we can use to make a 20×50 meter banner, or even just a big driveway to make a 5×5 meter banner! Or anyone who wants to donate $500 towards cloth, paint, brushes, and about half a kilometer of EL cable! I know you’re out there, don’t be shy!)
-Helping to organize group trips to away games, nomikais, train jacks, that sort of thing.
-Helping to recruit more members! Bring your friends, bring your significant other, post to your blog, whatever it takes!
Who elected you King of the Gaijin Fans?
Absolutely nobody but someone’s gotta get the ball rolling, right?
How do I join?
If you’re interested in joining, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, location, and any other useful information (such as your contact info or especially which of the above membership roles you may be interested in taking on). I hope to install a formal registration system (complete with some sort of mailing list/newsletter) in the near future. Other than that, keep watching this website for updates on TD99’s first meeting!