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Three sumo wrestlers standing in the ring, with formal aprons.
Sports Year
  1. Two National Soccer Tournaments
  2. Ekiden Road Race
  3. Rugby Football Games in Winter
  4. Skiing and Skating
  5. Sumo
  6. Midwinter Training and Traditional Martial Arts
  7. J League Soccer
  8. Mountain-opening and Beach-opening
  9. Fishing
  10. Motor Sports
  11. High School Baseball
  12. National Sports Festival
  13. Japan Baseball Series
  14. Viewing Autumn Leaves and Hiking
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Two women's soccer teams playing a game, one team in blue, the other in green
Soccer is popular throughout Japan, for men and women.
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Two National Soccer Tournaments
In Japan, soccer is one of the most popular sports. In January there are two national soccer championship games. One of them is the Emperor’s Cup tournament, with the final game held on January 1. About eighty teams compete in this tournament. The winning team is given the Emperor’s Cup. This soccer tournament is unique, since professional and amateur teams, including some high school and college teams, compete with each other in the same tournament. Amateurs sometimes defeat professionals, but the finalists and semifinalists are usually professional teams. The other tournament is the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament. Competitors are high school teams that represent prefectures and regions, having won their prefectural or regional tournaments. The All Japan High School Soccer Tournament is held in the Tokyo metropolitan area and begins in late December and the final game is held in the middle of January at the same stadium as the Emperor’s Cup tournament. The Emperor’s Cup and All Japan High School Soccer Tournaments have a history dating back over eighty years, and are open to only male teams. Unfortunately, female soccer tournaments in Japan are still new and are few in number.
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