Japan isn’t always the first country that springs to mind when you think of football – but the sport is rapidly gaining prominence and popularity there. Its top-flight league the ‘J League’ is the most successful association football league in Asia.
Football was introduced in Japan in the late 1800s in Tokyo. The Japanese national team’s very first victory was at the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936, when they wowed with a 3-2 win against favourites Sweden. The Japan Soccer League was founded in 1965, followed by the Japan Professional Football League in 1993. This signalled total professionalism at the top level of the sport, opening the doors to high-status players, a huge increase in popularity and a plethora of commercial opportunities.
The Japanese national team have excelled on the world stage despite their relatively low profile and infancy when it comes to participation in international tournaments. The men’s national side have participated in the FIFA World Cup on three occasions. They’ve also triumphed in four Asian Cup tournaments.
Women’s football is also popular in Japan. They have participated in the FIFA Women’s World Cup three times – emerging as runners-up, quarter-finalists and champions on each occasion. They regularly wow at the Asian Games and at the Olympics, where they clinched a silver medal in 2012 at the London games.
Demand for signed Japan football memorabilia is growing rapidly – and here at Firma Stella we’ve sourced a variety of extra-special items from Japan’s national team and most prominent players. Here you’ll find signed Japan football shirts, boots, framed photographs and more. We pay special attention to provenance and quality, selecting only the best for our collections.