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History of Japanese Soccer


This year in Japan saw Tokyo suffer a devastating shock with the Great Kanto Earthquake in September, and sports activities centred in Tokyo were largely brought to a halt from the autumn.

Fortunately, the Japanese hosting of the 6th Far Eastern Championship Games had determined Osaka as host city, and Osaka City, which had considerable economic power at the time, had used its own resources to build its first general sports stadium to serve as the venue.

A selection tournament was held to determine Japan's representatives in the soccer competition, with the victorious Osaka Soccer Club going through to compete in the Games. A team consisting of old boys from Meisei Commerce, which had a long tradition in Osaka (forming its soccer club in 1912), played two games in the tournament, losing both. The margin of defeat to the Philippines was greatly reduced in comparison to previous matches, but once again the Japanese representatives stood no chance against the Republic of China.

Meanwhile, back at the beginning of the year, the 1st All-Japan High School Football Tournament was held at Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) in January.

University of Tokyo student Yuzuru Nozu (4th president of the JFA) had wanted to strengthen soccer at the university by generating more enthusiasm for the sport in high schools, and Waseda High School were among those to join the list of participants in what had originally been a tournament for publicly-run high schools.

Following an approach from Shigeyoshi Suzuki, who had already been involved in assisting JFA work and was an acquaintance of Nozu, it was impossible for the University of Tokyo to refuse the entry.

The reputation of the coach of Waseda High School, the Burmese student Kyaw Din, had grown, and having completed his studies at Tokyo High School of Industry, he set out on a path in coaching the sport he loved. After the collapse of school buildings in the Great Kanto Earthquake left him unable to continue his classes, he set off to west Japan to coach at a number of different schools.

Kyaw Din distributed textbooks he had written himself, gave examples of plays, and coached everything from basic technique to tactics. His efforts began a rapid improvement in the level of soccer across the country.

National championship in Brazil begins, made up of state selection teams (lasts until 1963)
Vasco da Gama wins Rio de Janeiro state championship. Noted for victory with team made up of players of different races.

Japan Soccer
  • Jan Waseda High School winners of 1st All-Japan High School Football Tournament (Inter-High, under old system)
  • May 6th Far Eastern Championship Games (Osaka) held. Japan P2 L2 in soccer competition
  • Sep Great Kanto Earthquake causes cancellation of 3rd All-Japan Championship Tournament (now Emperor's Cup). Postponed to February of 1924
  • Nov Regulations drawn up for Kanto University League (six schools in 1st Division, six schools in 2nd Division). First competition to begin in November 1924
World Soccer
  • Apr First FA Cup final in England to be played at Wembley sees a crowd well in excess of capacity crammed into the stadium, causing kick-off to be delayed by 40 minutes
  • May 1922-23 league season sees Liverpool take second title in succession. Fourth league title overall in the 20th century


  • 1st All-Japan High School Football Tournament
    (Tokyo Normal Higher School ground, 8 teams participate, knockout format)
    Final -- Waseda High School 2-0 Yamaguchi High School

National Team

  • 6th Far Eastern Championship Games
    May 23 -- Japan 1-2 Philippines
    May 24 -- Japan 1-5 Republic of China


  • Jan "Bungeishunju" magazine founded by Kan Kikuchi
  • Sep 1 September - Great Kanto Earthquake
    11:58:44am, magnitude 7.9, seismic intensity 6. Epicentre at northern tip of Izu Oshima.
    576,000 homes damaged, 99,331 fatalities, 43,476 persons missing
  • Apr Yankee Stadium opened in New York. Babe Ruth hits first home run
  • Aug Deutsche Mark crashes