It's rarely easy to say goodbye.

That's especially so in the J. League, where the celebration of players leaving to go overseas has turned into an annual event — along with a never-ending debate over whether much of it is deserved.

The honor guards, the video tributes, the speeches, the bouquets and the last lap around the pitch — all of it is packaged as a chance for supporters to express gratitude to a player who has made significant contributions to the club and will now carry its name out into the world.