Japan Soccer Archive

History of Japanese Soccer
Japanese Soccer Personalities
Virtual Library

History of Japanese Soccer


A governing body (JFA) had been established. A tournament to determine the number one team in the country had been created. The winning team would receive the honour of being awarded the silver cup that had been presented by the FA (Football Association of England).

The number of teams participating in both the Kanto Tournament in Tokyo and the Japanese Football Tournament in Osaka increased respectively. The Kanto Tournament was competition for junior high schools (under the old education system) and normal schools, with exhibition matches being held for specialist school and university teams.

The Japanese Football Tournament in Kansai had originally stemmed from a plan delivered to the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun by persons involved in rugby, with the name "Japanese" being given to the event because of the intention of inviting Keio, arguably the founding father of rugby in Japan, to compete in Kansai.

However, the newspaper company had decided to add a soccer competition to make a "football" tournament, because the number of teams would be too low if the event were to consist of rugby alone. The respective competitions were labelled "rugby football" and "association football" in the pages of the newspaper.

In the 1st Tournament, a team of older, specialist school students from Kobe High School of Commerce were among those to participate, but such participants would later be separated from the junior high school competition, and the Mainichi Shimbun would introduce a qualifying system from the 9th edition in 1926 to develop the competition into a national tournament for junior high schools. This would be the forerunner to the All-Japan High School Tournament.

The penetration of soccer amongst the junior high school generation would then spread to universities, the old high schools, and specialist schools, and lead to the birth of a university league and an inter-high school competition.

Around this time, Kyaw Din had come from Burma to study at the High School of Industry in Tokyo, and students who became familiar with his soccer would move on into coaching, and contribute to a great improvement to the standard of soccer technique in Japan.

Japan Soccer
  • Jan "University and Specialist School League" formed in Tokyo by four schools - Tokyo Normal Higher School, University of Tokyo, Tokyo University of Commerce, and Waseda High School. Tokyo Normal Higher School emerge as champions
  • Nov 2nd All-Japan Championship Tournament (now Emperor's Cup) held. Nagoya Football Club wins
  • Nov Hiroshima First Junior High School wins Kansai Junior High School Tournament, hosted by Kobe High School of Commerce
World Soccer
  • Apr Scotland achieves two successive victories over England. Maintains advantage until 1926 with five wins and one draw
  • Sep 5th Copa America held; Brazil wins its second title


  • University and Specialist School League
    (1) Tokyo Normal Higher School W3;
    (2) University of Tokyo W2 L1;
    (3) Waseda High School W1 L2;
    (4) Tokyo University of Commerce L3
    ※This competition leads to the start of the Kanto University League in 1924
  • 2nd All-Japan Championship Tournament(Currently, Emperor's Cup)
    (Tokyo, November)
    Final -- Nagoya Football Club 1-0 Hiroshima Football Club

National Team


  • Feb Washington Naval Treaty signed
  • Feb 1st Japan Figure Skating Championships held at Shimosuwa Rink at Lake Suwa
  • Oct Asahi Shimbun holds 1st Kanto Elementary School Football Tournament
  • Nov 1st All-Japan Women's Athletics Championships held at Toyama Army School in Tokyo
  • Jul 20-year-old Gene Sarazen wins the U.S. Open golf championship. Labelled as a golfing prodigy
  • Aug Regular tourist flights between London and Marseille opened
  • Oct Mussolini Cabinet formed in Italy
  • Nov Tomb of Tutankhamun discovered in "Valley of the Kings", Egypt
  • Dec Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) formed