Saturday, September 10 1921: The Japan Football Association (JFA) was established.

1921 (Taisho 10) Saturday, September 10: The Japan Football Association (JFA) was established.

The origin of soccer is said to be the football festival held in England in the middle ages. In the 19 century, the rules were improved and it is said that the first rules for football were established at Cambridge University in 1848. 15 years later, the Football Association was founded in London in 1863. The football association in England is the oldest football association in the world and is called The FA. In 1871, the first FA Cup was held and the Wonders Football Club in London won. Football has grown in popularity internationally, and in 1904 the Football Associations of 7 European countries – England, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland – launched the FIFA – the unified international organization.

In Japan, it was first introduced to foreign settlements in Yokohama and Kobe after the opening of the country, when soccer games were played among foreign soldiers and foreign residents stationed there, but it became popular among Japanese around the time of World War I. In 1917, Tokyo Higher Normal School participated in the soccer competition at the 3rd Far East Championship and played an international match.

With the help of the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who saw the excitement of football in Japan, The FA (The FA) of London, the originator of football in 1919, sent silver cups to England hoping to promote football in Japan. They wanted us to use it as a trophy for the winning team in Japan. It was Kano Jigoro, the president of the Japan Amateur Sports Association, who received it. However, there was no progress in establishing a football association in Japan and the trophy had been shelved for two years. It was because the Dai Nippon Amateur Sports Association was unable to establish a football association due to increasing criticism of Kano Jigoro’s arbitrary system. When Kano Jigoro stepped down as president and Kishi Seiichi became the new president in March 1921, the establishment of the Japan Football Association finally progressed.

Prince Hirohito’s visit to Europe was successful, and in April of the following year, 1921, the British Crown Prince Edward (later Edward VIII) made a political schedule to visit Japan. It is highly likely that Prince Edward, who is known for his love of sports, came to Japan to prod him about the disposal of the Silver Cup trophy, a loophole he received from Britain. Against this backdrop, the Japan Football Association (currently the Japan Football Association) has finally been established.

The key person was IMAMURA Tsugikichi, the head director of the Dainihon Amateur Sports Association. Imamura is known as a person who greatly contributed to sports administration in spite of being a Finance Ministry bureaucrat at the time. He played an active role in athletics at Tokyo Imperial University. 100 years ago today, the first meeting of the Board of Directors was held at the private residence of Jikichi Imamura. Imamura served as president of the Japan Football Association for 12 years until 1933. The association’s office was located in the law office of Kiyokazu Kishi, the second president of the Dai Nippon Sports Association.

An outline has also been decided on the organization’s most important task, holding national competitions in Japan. A national championship competition, in which teams from around the country compete for the British trophy, will be held in November. This competition is the current Emperor’s Cup All Japan Football Championship.

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