Japan Soccer League

Last updated
Japan Soccer League (JSL)
Japan Soccer League logo.png
Founded1965
Folded1992
CountryFlag of Japan.svg Japan
Confederation AFC
Divisions1 (1965–1971)
2 (1972–1991/92)
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1 (1965–1971)
1–2 (1972–1991/92)
Relegation to Regional Leagues
Domestic cup(s) Emperor's Cup
JSL Cup
International cup(s) Asian Club Championship
Asian Cup Winners' Cup
Last champions Yomiuri
(1991/92)
Most championships Mazda, Yomiuri (5 titles)

Japan Soccer League (日本サッカーリーグ, Nihon Sakkā Rīgu), or JSL, was the top flight football league in Japan between 1965 and 1991/92, and was the precursor to the current professional league, the J.League. JSL was the second national league of a team sport in Japan after the professional Japanese Baseball League that was founded in 1936. JSL was the first-ever national league of an amateur team sport in Japan.

Contents

History

Each JSL team represented a corporation, and like Japanese baseball teams, went by the name of the company that owned the team. Unlike in baseball, however, promotion and relegation was followed, as J.League follows today. The players were officially amateur and were employees of the parent corporations, but especially in later years, top players were generally paid strictly to play soccer.

Originally the JSL consisted of a single division only, but in 1972 a Second Division was added. Clubs could join in by winning the All Japan Senior Football Championship cup competition and then winning a promotion/relegation series against the bottom teams in the JSL. From 1973 to 1980, both the champions and runners-up of the Second Division had to play the promotion/relegation series against the First Division's bottom clubs; afterwards and until 1984, only the runners-up had to play the series.

Top JSL teams included Hitachi Ltd., Furukawa Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nissan Motors, Toyo Industries (Mazda) and Yomiuri Shimbun, which are now, respectively, Kashiwa Reysol, JEF United Chiba, Urawa Red Diamonds, Yokohama F. Marinos, Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Tokyo Verdy. Furukawa/JEF United was the only one never to be relegated to the Second Division and kept this distinction until 2009.

JSL played its final season in 1991/92 and the J.League began play in 1993. Top nine JSL clubs, (along with the independent Shimizu S-Pulse) became the original J.League members. The others except Yomiuri Junior who merged with their parent club Yomiuri Club joined the newly formed Japan Football League.

Champions

First Division

All clubs are listed under the names they were using in 1991/92, when the league ceased to exist. Clubs in italic no longer exist.

ClubWinnersRunners-upWinning SeasonsRunners-up Seasons
Yomiuri SC 531983, 1984, 1986/87, 1990/91, 1991/921979, 1981, 1989/90
Mazda SC 511965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 19701969
Mitsubishi Motors 461969, 1973, 1978, 19821970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977
Yanmar Diesel 441971, 1974, 1975, 19801968, 1972, 1978, 1982
Fujita SC 311977, 1979, 19811980
Nissan Motors 241988/89, 1989/901983, 1984, 1990/91, 1991/92
JR East Furukawa 211976, 19851967
Hitachi 1119721973
Yamaha Motors 101987/88
NKK SC 031985, 1986/87, 1987/88
Nippon Steel Yawata 021965, 1966
ANA SC 011988/89

Second Division

All clubs are listed under the names they were using in 1991/92, when the league ceased to exist. Clubs in italic no longer exist.

ClubWinnersRunners-upWinning seasonsRunners-up seasons
Yomiuri SC
2
2
1974, 19771975, 1976
Sumitomo Metal Industries
2
2
1984, 19861983, 1991/92
Toshiba SC
2
1
1979, 1988/891982
Honda Motors
2
0
1978, 1980
NKK SC
2
0
1981, 1983
Toyota Motors
1
2
19721986, 1989/90
Fujitsu
1
2
19761974, 1980
Tanabe Pharmaceuticals
1
1
19751972
Yamaha Motors
1
1
19821979
Matsushita Electric
1
1
19851987
ANA SC
1
1
19871984
Hitachi
1
1
1990/911988/89
Eidai Industries
1
0
1973
Mitsubishi Motors
1
0
1989/90
Fujita SC
1
0
1991/92
Nissan Motors 031977, 1978, 1981
Mazda SC
0
2
1985, 1990/91
Kofu SC
0
1
1973

League Cup

See Japan Soccer League Cup.

Konica Cup

See Konica Cup (football).

All-time JSL member clubs

Current J.League identity and/or standing in the Japanese football league system follows each name.

Original 8 Clubs

Other First Division Clubs

In order of their promotion to First Division.

Famous Second Division Clubs

Many of these clubs would only be promoted to the top flight after the J.League was created.

All-time JSL First Division table

A total of 22 teams played in the JSL First Division between 1965 and 1991/92. 15 of these became professional J.League clubs; the rest were relegated to the regional leagues and/or folded.

Despite Mazda and Yomiuri's record 5 titles, Mitsubishi holds the record on points. Furukawa Electric holds the record for most seasons, all 27 the JSL played, having never been relegated.

Name changes made outside First Division play and following the advent of the J.League system are not mentioned; see individual club pages for more information. "Current division" means standing in the Japanese league system as of 2021 season.

Pos.ClubSeasonsPtsGPWDLGFGAGDTitlesCurrent divisionTier
1 Mitsubishi 267504602111171326825071754 J1 League 1
2 Furukawa 277314822031221577055961092 J2 League 2
3 Yanmar 267034601951181476795701094 J1 League 1
4 Hitachi 2454341615190175581608-271 J1 League 1
4 Mazda 22543376149961315264241025 J1 League 1
6 Fujita 18520340144881084953721233 J1 League 1
7 Yomiuri 1450328014471654812861955 J2 League 2
8 NKK 2139637898102178404601-197defunct
9 Nippon Steel 173852741105510943340627defunct
10 Nissan 123842441095778315284312 J1 League 1
11 Yamaha 1132222686647625524961 J2 League 2
12 Honda 11289226727381251267-16 JFL 4
13 ANA 5139110382547131145-14defunct
14 Panasonic 5128110313544122152-30 J1 League 1
15 Toyota 8105156243399128363-235 J1 League 1
16 Toshiba 382661925227276-4 J1 League 1
17 Eidai 369541912236783-16defunct
18 Sumitomo 3606615153650101-51 J1 League 1
19 Nagoya Bank 638849116476210-134Aichi Prefectural D39
20 Fujitsu 22836610203267-35 J1 League 1
21 Toyota ALW 32042483038112-74Aichi Prefectural D17
22 Tanabe 14181116751-44defunct

Points system:

In this ranking, 3 points are awarded for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss, regardless of the transition of regulation through the time as below.

See also

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Statistics of Emperor's Cup in the 1982 season.

Statistics of Emperor's Cup in the 1987 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1981 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1984 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1985 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1986 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1987 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1988 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1989 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1990 season.

Statistics of JSL Cup in the 1991 season.

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