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History of Japanese Soccer

1920

The Olympic Games, which had been on hiatus during the four-year World War I, returned with the Games of the 7th Olympiad in Antwerp, Belgium in August. 2669 competitors from a total of 29 countries took part in the event. Japan, which made its debut in the Stockholm Games (1912), took part for the second time. In the tennis competition, Ichiya Kumagai took silver in the singles, and in partnership with Seiichiro Kashio took another silver in the doubles, thereby adding Olympics medals to the successes he had previously achieved in the Far Eastern Championship Games.

14 countries participated in the soccer competition (13 from Europe, one from Africa), which was won by Belgium. Great Britain, which had won two gold medals in a row before the Great War, was knocked out by Norway in the first round.

England, the home country of soccer, had dissolved its wartime football and returned to a normal schedule from the 1919-20 season. The league champions this season were West Bromwich Albion (WBA), while the FA Cup was won by Aston Villa.

As for domestic soccer in Japan, Yoshitaka Tanaka, of the Hiroshima Normal Higher School that had learned soccer techniques in a match with a German prisoner-of-war team in Ninoshima the previous year, was appointed teacher and coach at Hiroshima First Junior High School. The school took part in a tournament hosted by Kobe Commercial High School (now Kobe University) in 1920, 1921, and 1922, and despite losing in the final in the first of these years, it emerged victorious for the next two years in a row.

The soccer that Hiroshima had learned from the German prisoners of war would go on to have an influence over the Kansai region as a whole.

Japan Soccer
  • Apr Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) had previously taken part in exhibition matches at the Kanto Football Tournament with a team made up of players from the Eighth High School, but from the third hosting of the tournament this February, would participate with non-Eighth High School players for the first time (additional players included First High School old boys Yuzuru Nozu and Sumioki Nitta)
  • Apr In Kansai, Kwansei Gakuin had formed a football club two years previously, and this year added a high school (junior high school under the old system) team
World Soccer
  • Aug Games of the 7th Olympiad held in Antwerp, Belgium. Host nation victorious in soccer competition

Competitions

National Team

Topics

Japan
  • Jan Opening ceremony held at Ryogoku Kokugikan
  • Feb First Tokyo-Hakone Come and Go College Ekiden Race held
  • May First May Day in Japan. Celebrations in Ueno Park
  • May Japanese troops in Siberia beaten by partisans (Nikolayevsk Incident)
  • Jun Zenzo Shimizu participates in Wimbledon tennis championship for first time. Loses final to Bill Tilden
  • Aug Games of the 7th Olympiad held in Antwerp. In tennis, Ichiya Kumagai took singles silver, and Kumagai and Seiichiro Kashio took silver in doubles
  • Nov Meiji Shrine completed, Chinza Festival held
World
  • Jan League of Nations founded
  • Feb German Workers' Party renamed as National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party
  • Aug Political suffrage given to women in United States
  • Nov League of Nations holds first session (November 15)
  • Dec State of California implements anti-Japanese land law