Japan Long Journey Building a Professional Football Foundation

Jakarta – Soccer is not a very popular sport in Japan. People in the State of Sakura is more like other sports like Baseball and Sumo who have previously uniquely their attention. However, who would have thought actually football had entered Japan since 1873, or two years after baseball was introduced. At the time, the British naval commander assigned to Japan, Archibald L. Douglas, introduced soccer to the people of Tokyo.

The final football grew in Tokyo until finally in 1878, Japan upheld The National Institute of Gymnastics which has incorporated the football curriculum. In 1888, the Kobe port of Kobe Minato Shimbun wrote the first soccer match in Japan.

This match brings together a club filled with Japanese local people and teams that are packed with all comers. The team filled with these immigrants is mostly filled with British troops stationed in Tokyo. Remarkably, local teams unexpectedly successfully won this match. Since then, football has grown in Japan. Some schools start having their own football clubs. Although not yet a little football competition, but it can be said educational institutions (schools and universities) to be a means of disseminating football to all Japan.

In 1921, the Japan Football Association, JFA, was founded. The establishment of the JFA, even earlier than the beginning of the first professional baseball competition in Japan that was only there in 1935. This shows that the Japanese have indeed started to know football at that time. The formation of a legitimate sports parent shows that Japan is about to bring football to a professional level. JFA then joined FIFA in 1929. Since then, football in Japan is growing. Not only playing in the national scope, Japanese football has begun to penetrate the international world. One of the most memorable achievements is when they successfully beat Sweden 3-2 in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Japanese society alludes to this achievement with the “Miracle of Berlin” because no one suspects Japan will win that time. Football activities in Japan had to stop for a moment when World War II. JFA rises from FIFA membership to the extent that there is no soccer activities run by the Japanese national teams.

This then led to the dimming of the popularity of football among Japanese society. Conversely, baseball that has been attached more powerful in the environment of Japanese society, instead became an increasingly popular sport after World War II. Almost all children in Japan play baseball. Not a few children who play football, even want to start abandoned. However, there is one prefecture in Japan that in that city children even more play less football.

This prefecture is the Shizuoka prefecture located in the southwestern element of Tokyo. From the prefecture following the struggling Japanese soccer back up. Being in the Shadow of South Korea. They started by becoming members of FIFA in 1950. Educational institutions are again used as a vehicle to spread football to Japanese society. The legitimate soccer competition was finally held in 1962 under the name “Japan Soccer League”. The result of the running of the football competition was the 1968 Olympic bronze medal in Mexico City. However, the bronze medal became the only achievement Japan can be proud of in this era. Furthermore, the achievements of their national teams are not exactly good. In fact, even for the Asian level they remain in the shadow of South Korea.
This is definitely not what the Japanese expected. Being number one in Asia, even the world, is the ambition of the country that offends this “Asian Light”. Losing from neighboring countries is a shameful affair for Japan. Because of that in the 1980s began to be designed planning to foster football development system. One of them is the design of professional competition that weighs or qualified so as to create talented players. Cartoon Campaigns and Educational Institutions.

Of course all that can not be done instantly. It takes careful planning to produce matching competition. What Japan can do at that time is to do campaigns that can increase the public charm of football. The making of Captain Tsubasa’s cartoon film in the 1980s was one of Japan’s efforts to popularize football among children. The difference they built during this period was strengthening at the grassroots level. Japan has the assumption that before building a professional level competition, they must have a powerful coaching first. Because after all, the professional rivalry needs.

Of course all that can not be done instantly. It takes careful planning to produce matching competition. What Japan can do at that time is to do campaigns that can increase the public charm of football. The making of Captain Tsubasa’s cartoon film in the 1980s was one of Japan’s efforts to popularize football among children. The difference they built during this period was strengthening at the grassroots level. Japan has the assumption that before building a professional level competition, they must have a powerful coaching first. Because after all, professional rivalry requires players coaching results. Educational institutions are still the main focus of Japan to work on grassroots development. It is hardest to get Japanese to leave school and to pursue careers. Schools are still an obligation even if they want a career as an athlete. That’s why JFA does not gouge coaching from school.

Their inter-school competition wakes up so well that children find the competition early on. The existence of competition between schools is to create schools also finally have a strong football club. The football clubs that are in almost all schools in Japan, have a lesson schedule that is not contradictory to the lessons learned by the young professional club team. Some school football clubs are even accompanied by the best quality coaches. So there are not many players of the current national teams of Japan that have sprung up from the school competition. Some of the big names you know today are like Honda, Hasebe, Nakamura, and a number of other players emerging from the competition between schools.

The player who now defends Inter Milan, Yuto Nagatomo, even just started his career in a professional club after earning a bachelor’s degree. This makes the competition between high school football also has its own prestige. The championship called “All High School Tournament” is always able to bring the attraction for school children who want to support their friends to compete and all parents who do not want to miss the action of his son. The final party in each region can even present more than 20 thousand spectators. Not infrequently the game between schools must use an international-level stadium like Saitama Stadium in order to accommodate the number of viewers who want to watch the game. Through a strong foundation and coaching system, the end of Japan began to launch its professional competition in 1993. The competition, named “J-League” continues to roll as Japan’s highest level of competition to date. Of course, the system built in the J-League is also not separated from the coaching system that has built Japan in previous years.