Kagoshima United us the newest J.League club, joining the J3 at the start of the 2016 season. Located in the southernmost prefecture in Kyushu, the area was left behind by Japan's football boom until fairly recently, The team traces its history to a group of amateurs who adopted the name "Volca Kagoshima" in 2003, and began to establish a local identity. The term "Volca was derived from the word volcano -- an apt name for a city just across the bay from Japan's most active volcano.
Though Volca had remained proudly independent until 2014, they saw an opportunity to make the jump to the pro ranks when the J3 was launched, so they negotiated a merger with FC Kagoshima -- a more recently created team that had backing from companies like A-Line Sports and the UME Group. The combined resources boosted Kagoshima United immediately to the upper tier of the JFL, and after a third-place finish in 2015, Kagoshima United was welcomed into the fold as the 13th independent member of the J3.