Japanese football is a world unto itself. A magical, unique sphere in which the fan is placed front and centre of the action and outstanding footballers are bred across the land. Simply put, there's nowhere quite like it.
But what we know today as Asia's biggest and best power, celebrating 30 years of the J League, is borne of the modern game. Indeed, prior to 1992, the game wasn't professionalised, and the best players - the likes of Kunishige Kamamoto, with 75 goals in 76 Japan games - spent their entire careers at home. And then boom. When the J League came into existence, Japanese football would never be the same again.
From the likes of Kamamoto, Miura, Nakata and Honda to the birth of the J League, fan culture, the Samurai Blue and Captain Tsubasa, let us transport you through the incredible world of Japanese football, the first English-language magazine dedicated solely to the Land of the Rising Sun's game.
Across 128 pages, you'll find the following:
- The legend of Kunishige Kamamoto
- Kazuyoshi Miura: more than just a number
- How the 1992 Asian Cup transformed Japanese football
- The birth and rise of the J League
- Why do so many players in their 30s and 40s keep starring in Japan?
- The day a high-school team almost beat the J League champions
- The cult of Hidetoshi Nakata
- How Captain Tsubasa inspired the likes of Del Piero, Iniesta and Messi
- Fukushima United: when football meets a nuclear disaster
- The 2002 World Cup
- 2002-2022: twenty years of the Samurai Blue
- Keisuke Honda is eternal
- The fandom of Japanese football through its mascots
- Illustrated: eight legendary Japan shirts
- Illustrated: eight legendary J League shirts
- The football club map of Japan
- The J League by numbers
- (A rather lovely photo of Kazu Miura and Paul Gascoigne)
- ... and much more.