Japan Soccer Archive

History of Japanese Soccer
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History of Japanese Soccer


The Olympic Games of Antwerp (1920) and Paris (1924) after the interlude for World War I had seen the event begin to gradually evolve from the form of the 5th Olympiad in Stockholm in 1912 into a form closer to that of today, and in 1928, the Games of the 8th Olympiad were held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Sport in Japan, which had first participated in the Olympics in 1912, had seen great improvements in fields such as track and field and swimming, and in the Games held between July 28 and August 12 of this year, Mikio Oda and Yoshiyuki Tsuruta achieved their first gold medals in the triple jump (athletics) and the 200m breaststroke (swimming), respectively. These successes led to a significant rise in the level of interest in sport in Japan.

The Winter Olympics had first been held in the same year as the previous Summer Games in Paris, and this year saw the 2nd Winter Games being held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. In the popular women's figure skating event, Sonja Henie took the gold medal.

The soccer competition in the previous Olympics in Paris had seen Uruguay shock Europe by winning the gold medal in their first appearance at a Games, but once again it was Uruguay that took overall victory this year as well.

Uruguay's opponents in the final were their rivals from across the Rio de la Plata, Argentina, and the high level to which the national teams of these two countries played out their two matches (including a replay) showed just how the sport of soccer had developed across the world.

With a desire for Japan too to be added to this wide world of soccer, JFA board member and leader of the Japanese team of athletes at the Amsterdam Olympics, Yuzuru Nozu, visited the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) office in Amsterdam and submitted an application for Japan's membership.

As soccer activity in universities had become more widespread, the level of the sport in Japan had risen dramatically.

Israel Football Association founded.
Bermuda Football Association founded.

Japan Soccer
  • Jan Hiroshima High School takes first victory in the All-Japan High School Football Tournament. Victory achieved with wins by three goals or more in all four knockout matches, thanks in part to the performances of the small-statured goalscorer, Shiro Teshima
  • Jan All-Japan Junior High School Football Championship Tournament played for the second time (10th edition, including Japanese Football Tournament), with 8 teams coming through respective regional qualifying tournaments. Korean representatives Pyongyang Soongsil take victory with display of overwhelming strength
    First time that victory flag had passed to a team outside of Hyogo Prefecture. Hyogo representatives Mikage Normal School had lost in 1st round to Kanto/Tohoku representatives Tokyo Normal Higher School-Affiliated Junior High School
  • Aug Japanese membership approved at FIFA conference in Amsterdam
  • Oct Waseda University WMW takes victory in 8th All-Japan Championship Tournament (now Emperor's Cup). Despite WMW name, team actually made up of current students. Represents first time a university team had won All-Japan Championship Tournament
  • Oct University of Tokyo takes third consecutive title in Kanto University League
    Kwansei Gakuin takes third consecutive title in Kansai University League
  • Nov The University of Tokyo embarks on a two-match tour of Shanghai. Despite losing both games - the first against a Shanghai League select XI (3-5), and the second against a British occupying forces select XI (0-5) - the University of Tokyo team learns a great deal from playing against opponents with strong physical builds for the first time. This inspires them to improve their style of organised football to build on their three straight titles in the Kanto University League
World Soccer
  • May In First Division in England (now Premier League), Everton centre forward Dixie Dean sets a new goalscoring record with 60 league goals in the 1927-28 season
    In the final league game of the season on May 5, 43,000 supporters gathered for a home game at Goodison Park for Everton, who were already champions, and witnessed Dean score three goals against fierce rivals Arsenal to extend the record to 60
  • Jun Soccer competition at the Games of the 9th Olympiad in Amsterdam sees Uruguayan national team take gold medal for second Games in succession. 17 countries participate (10 from Europe, 3 from South America, 2 from North/Central America, 1 from Africa, 1 from Asia)
    Uruguay beats Netherlands 2-0 in 1st round, Germany 4-1 in quarter-final, and Italy 3-2 in semi-final to set up final against South American rival Argentina (which beats United States, Belgium, and Egypt)
    Final on June 10 , Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam) ends in 1-1 draw. A replay was held three days later on June 13, with Uruguay emerging 2-1 victors. The Uruguay goals were scored by Roberto Figueroa (17 mins) and Hector Scarone (65 mins), with Luis Monti scoring for Argentina (29 mins)
    These two teams would meet again two years later in the World Cup final


  • 5th All-Japan High School Football Tournament
    Hiroshima High School takes victory(January 1-5, 19 schools participate *formerly Inter-High)
    1st round -- 8-6 Sixth High School
    Quarter-final -- 6-1 First High School
    Semi-final -- 3-0 Urawa
    Final -- 8-1 Matsuyama

  • 10th All-Japan Junior High School Football Championship Tournament
    Pyongyang Soongsil (Manchuria/Korea representatives) takes victory(January 5-7, Koshien Stadium *formerly Japanese Football Tournament)
    1st round -- 11-0 Kyoto Normal School
    Semi-final -- 6-0 Tokyo Normal Higher School-Affiliated Junior High School
    Final -- 6-1 Hiroshima First Junior High School
    *2nd edition with regional qualifying system

  • 6th Kansai Student League(Currently, --)
    (September 30 - December 2)
    (1) Kwansei Gakuin University W4
    (2) Kobe High School of Commerce W3 L1
    (3) Kyoto University W1 D1 L2
    (4) Kansai University W1 D1 L2
    (5) Osaka University of Foreign Studies L4

  • 8th All-Japan Championship Tournament(Currently, Emperor's Cup)
    Waseda University WMW takes victory(October 27-28, Meiji Shrine Stadium)
    1st round -- 2-0 Nagoya High School of Commerce
    Semi-final -- 5-1 Keio BRB
    Final -- 6-1 Kyoto University

  • 5th Kanto University League
    (October 21 – December 18)
    (1) University of Tokyo W5
    (2) Keio University W3 D1 L1
    (3) Waseda University W3 L2
    (4) Meiji University W2 D1 L2
    (5) Tokyo Normal Higher School D1 L4
    (6) First High School D1 L4

National Team


  • Feb "The AKAHATA" first published by the Japanese Communist Party
  • May Japanese army clashes with National Revolutionary Army in Jinan, China
  • Aug Mikio Oda and Yoshiyuki Tsuruta take first gold medals in triple jump and 200m breaststroke, respectively, at Amsterdam Olympics
  • Feb 2nd Winter Olympic Games held in St. Moritz, Switzerland (first appearance of Japanese skiers)
  • Feb Chiang Kai-shek appointed political leader of China
  • Jun Zhang Zuolin, who had held power in north-east of China (Manchuria), dies. Death said to be caused by train explosion as result of plot by Japanese army
  • Jul Chiang Kai-shek reports success of Northern Expedition in front of tomb of Sun Yat-sen
  • Aug Chiang Kai-shek appointed Chairman of National Government of China
  • Nov United States, United Kingdom, and France officially recognize National Government of the Republic of China
  • Nov Council of the National Fascist Party made official national institution of Italy (law passed in December to make it only legal party in country)