Ventforet Kofu is the personification of the word "underdog". It not only is based in the smallest city to host a J.League franchise, but also "boasts" (by a considerable margin) the smallest budget ever for a J1 team. Ventforet Kofu got its start in 1965, when several former members of the Kofu High School football team formed a club team known as Kofu Soccer Club. When the J.League's second division was formed, there was a need to "make up the numbers", as not enough teams were ready to make the jump. So despite being an entirely amateur organization, Ventforet Kofu was allowed to join the J2 ranks. Kofu's underdog status was fulfilled in those early years, as the team remained dead last in the J2 league table for 30 consecutive months, setting records for most losses, worst goal difference, and lowest attendance ever for an official J.League match (351 showed up for a match at Niirasaki Stadium, in 2001).
The team name was changed to Ventforet Kofu in 1995. The name is composed of French words for "wind forest", and references a famous saying that became the motto of regional warlord Takeda Shingen. His motto -- "Furin Kazan" -- is composed of four characters that literally mean "Wind Forest Fire Mountain". This comes from a Chinese phrase in Sun Tsu's "The Art of War", describing the qualities possessed by the ideal warrior. Loosely translated it means "As elusive as the wind, as silent as the forest, as consuming as fire, as immovable as the mountain." Against all odds, Kofu has battled its way into the top-flight division on numerous occasions, and has a reputation as a tough opponent regardless of its relatively low-budget roster. Not surprisingly for a team of underdogs, the mascot chosen by Ventforet is a local breed of dog -- the Kai Dog -- and his nickname is "Van".