The Sunwolves broke many hearts, including ours, when they decided to abandon the wonderfully unrestrained madness of their inaugural season jerseys for something much more grown up and unexciting last year. They’ve kept those self same rather uninspiring primary jerseys for 2018, but this new charity design is proof that the spirit of jersey eccentricity is alive and well, and it’s called ‘Aoyama’.
The Ayoama neighbourhood in Tokyo is famous for its international fashion houses, and so fittingly the team has used a striking piece of art by noted Kimono designer Uotaro Saito as the basis of the shirt.
It’s a hugely intricate design, and one that has a great deal of meaning in the context of the other Sunwolves jerseys this season. Japanese folklore states that the waterfall gives mystical and strong power of nature to people, and forms an important part of that legend along with the sun and the moon.
So we have the red Sunwolves home shirt to represent the sun, the white away representing the moon, and now we have the Charity shirt to represent the waterfall, meaning that all three aspects of nature that reflect the ancient Japanese gods will be represented by the team’s jerseys.
Okay, so that all sounds a bit weird and ridiculous, as so many of these overwrought marketing plans do, but the result is a suitably outrageous jersey that feels totally unique and totally Sunwolves, and that’s no bad thing at all.