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History of Japanese Soccer


The United States declared war on Germany in April, bringing even more momentum in the Great War to the Allies, but before this, the February Revolution had taken place in Russia, bringing the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. A soviet government was born, but with a resumed offensive from the tsarists, civil war would ensue for a while.

In China, Sun Yat-sen proclaimed the establishment of a military government in Guangdong (Guangzhou) in opposition to the government in Beijing.

The Great War in Europe resulted in improved economic conditions in Japan, with the emergence of a new wealthy class from the shipping industry, and increased gross national product with the development of industry.

However, social issues such as labour conditions were being brought into discussion, and literature such as Hajime Kawakami's "Tale of Poverty" becoming known.

The 3rd Far Eastern Championship Games - the first international multiple sports event ever to be held in Japan - was held in Shibaura, Tokyo from May 8, with Japan achieving a total points score of 120 to take overall victory. The Philippines came second with 80 points, and the Republic of China took third with 49 points.

Japan achieved an overwhelming victory in swimming, and a Waseda University team played and won two baseball matches against the Philippines. Ichiya Kumagai took centre stage in the tennis competition to beat out the Philippines and China. The track and field competition was particularly tense, with just one point separating Japan and the Philippines overall.

Japan was ranked last in all three ball games. A team from Tokyo Normal Higher School took part in the soccer tournament, but was beaten 0-5 by the Republic of China and 2-15 by the Philippines.

Although the matches had resulted in heavy defeats, this tournament acted as a stimulus for the spread of soccer in Japan, and led to a rapid improvement in standards. That summer, Tairei Uchino called on the old boys of Tokyo Normal Higher School and of other normal schools in Tokyo to form a joint Tokyo Football Club, an act stemming from his desire to continue playing soccer and improve his level after leaving school.

Japan Soccer
  • May 3rd Far Eastern Championship Games. Japan P2 L2
World Soccer
  • Apr Glasgow Celtic wins its 15th Scottish league title
  • Oct Coupe de France begins


National Team

  • 3rd Far Eastern Championship Games
    (Shibaura, Tokyo)
    May 9 -- Japan 0-5 Republic of China
    May 10 -- Japan 2-15 Philippines
    * Japan's goals were scored by Haruyoshi Kitamura (original family name Fujii), who thereby became Japan's first goalscorer in international competition


  • May 3rd Far Eastern Championship Games. Held in Tokyo
  • Nov New proposed national defence strategy of 25 army divisions and eight-eight naval fleet announced
  • Mar Russian tsar abdicates (February Revolution)
  • Apr United States declares war on Germany
  • Jun First Russian Soviet assembly held
  • Sep Sun Yat-sen proclaims establishment of military government in Guangdong, China
  • Oct Russian October Revolution