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How popular is Football in Japan compared to other sports?

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 235

Pin Andres Iniesta is one of the greatest stars of japanese football. EFE
Andres Iniesta is one of the greatest stars of japanese football. EFE

How popular is Football in Japan compared to other sports?

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 235

Takefusa Kubo is a hot player in the European football right now which has done wonders for the popularity of football. However, before Takefusa there were players like Kunishige Kamamoto who was the first real football star in the 1960s and 1970s. The popularity of football in Japan was boosted by the FIFA World Cup hosted jointly with South Korea in 2002. Comic books have also bolstered the sport.

Japan has a number of traditional sports as well as many others that have emerged in the country from the early 1900s onwards. Football is one such sport that has evolved from a more ancient form of kickball brought to the country by the Chinese. Japan now has its own league known as the J-League which is well known internationally and also playable in the FIFA videogames. 

The Japanese national team drew the whole world’s attention last year when they had a spectacular match against Belgium at the World Cup in Russia. They’ve qualified for every Football World-Cup since 1998. However, one should mention, that they haven’t claimed a single World Cup title to this day. But despite all that, one should not mistake football for the most popular sport in Japan. But what is it then?

Baseball

The most popular sport in Japan is baseball which became popular from the early 1900s onwards. Trusting the latest data, almost 50% of the Japanese people named baseball as their favourite sport. However, football has developed alongside its more popular counterpart at the same time. 

Sumo Wrestling

Everybody knows about this very traditional sport from Japan, which isn’t very popular in most other countries around the world. Sumo is believed to have emerged from traditional dances to praise the ancient Shinto gods and is still one of the most popular sports in Japan.

Motorboat Racing

When it comes to the most popular sport for sports betting, funnily enough Motorboat Racing is by far the most prominent one. But why don’t the Japanese bet on baseball when it’s the most popular sport generally? This simply has to do with regulations in Japan which result in baseball not being offered for betting. There are, however, Japanese bookmakers who do offer betting on sports online, they are just not located in Japan for the most part. 

Other sports that also have always been a part of Japanese culture include of course various forms of martial arts as well as boxing, volleyball, tennis and car racing.

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