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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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Coming out of a scrum, a player throws the ball to a teammate
Rugby players play a match in an Osaka Rugby field.
Photo Courtesy of Yomiuri Online.
Rugby Football Games in Winter
Rugby was introduced to Japan in 1899. Edward B. Clark, an English instructor of Keio University in Tokyo and a former Cambridge University rugby player, taught Keio students how to play it. Today, rugby is primarily played by adult amateurs, and by college, and high school students. Rugby is probably more popular than American football in Japan. However, there is no professional rugby league. But several large amateur leagues and tournaments, held from December to March, gain considerable attention from Japanese sport lovers. These tournaments are the All Japan College Rugby Championship, the All Japan High School Rugby Championship, and the All Japan Rugby Championship. Both college and adult teams, or shakijin chimu, compete in the All Japan Rugby Championship. It determines the victor among the various Japanese rugby leagues.
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