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History of Japanese Soccer


The first ever international sports event in East Asia, the '1st Far Eastern Championship Games', was held (in Manila, in December).

E.S. Brown of the Philippine Athletic Association had visited Japan and China (Republic of China) the previous year and presented his idea for the event, promoting the idea of "a tournament that cultivates the friendship and welfare of the 500 million people of the Orient through sports", and proposing the formation of a Far Eastern Athletic Association.

Having competed for the first time in the Stockholm Olympics the previous year, Japanese eyes were now finally being turned to the world of international sports.

Of the eight disciplines that made up the tournament held in winter 1913 (track and field, swimming, baseball, tennis, soccer, volleyball, basketball, cycling), Japan was only represented by Meiji University Baseball Club in baseball and by two long-distance athletes in track and field. Japan only joined the Far Eastern Athletic Association after the 2nd Games (1916, Shanghai), and did not take part in the first two soccer competitions. It would first participate in the soccer competition of the 3rd Games (1917, Tokyo).

At a time in which Japan had moved from the Meiji to the Taisho Era, and was developing towards so-called Taisho Democracy, the beginning of this Far Eastern Championship Games meant that Japanese sport now also had an objective that was closer to home, rather than the Olympic Games. Sport could now develop to a whole new level through experience on the international stage, rather than relying on the little knowledge strung together previously. In this sense as well, the holding of the first Far East Games (originally known as the Far Eastern Olympic Games, before being named the Far Eastern Championship Games) was to have an extremely significant impact.

Meanwhile, the Kobe First Junior High School Football Club was founded in April. Balls had been kicked at this school since its founding (in 1896), but no club had been established as there had been no teachers with a knowledge of soccer. However, with the arrival that year of Hisakichi Iwata, who had been a played with Hiroshima Normal Higher School, a baseball club-affiliated football club was founded at the request of the school's headmaster. At first, Iwata gathered and coached 11 pupils in his position as deputy leader of the baseball club. English teacher C.B.K. Argall (from the United Kingdom) was also appointed football coach, and the history of the Kobe First Junior High School Football Club, which would have a great impact on the technical development of Japanese soccer, was begun.

The FA (Football Association) in London holds a celebration to commemorate 50 years since its founding.Rules changed to enforce distance of ten yards (9.15m) at free kicks.

Japan Soccer
  • Apr Kobe First Junior High School Football Club founded
World Soccer


National Team


  • Feb First national skiing tournament held
  • Apr Birth of Takarazuka Choir (forerunner of Takarazuka Revue)
  • Aug Doubling work completed on Tokaido Line
  • Oct Recognizes Republic of China
  • Apr Brazil, United States, and a succession of countries recognize Republic of China(April-May)
  • Jun Second Balkan War
  • Sep Serbia invades Albania. Austria demands withdrawal (Serbia accepts)