Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Japan's Soccer Champions of 2004, Immortalized on Cardboard

While picking up some stuff for trades a couple weeks ago, I found a box set from 2005 featuring the men's and women's soccer team champions from the prior season. Japan's soccer season holds its finals in January.

The Emperor's Cup is Japan's longest-running football/soccer competition; it began in 1921 before the professional leagues even formed! Originally, other Asian teams could qualify as well. Cards 1-18 feature players and coaches from Tokyo Verdy, the team that won the cup in the 2004 season.
 Here's the front of the first card...
 ...and the back.

 The All-Japan Women's Football Championship is the woman's version of the Emperor's Cup. Starting with the 2012 season, it was retitled the Empress's Cup. The trophy was first awarded in 1979. In 2004, NTV Beleza was the winner (they are the Yomiuri Giants of women's soccer in Japan, it seems). Cards 19-34 are players and coaches from that team.

 Cards 35 and 36 are award winners.
 Cards 37, 38, and 39 show victory images from the men's and women's games.

 Card 40, the final one in the set, gives the results of the matches for the winning teams (Tokyo Verdy on one side, NTV Beleza on the other).

I'm happy to add this set to my Women In Sports collection! Locating women's sports cards can be quite difficult at times. The design isn't fantastic, and there's a lot of green between the card design and both teams' uniforms, but it's fairly unique and before I found this set I had never heard of the Emperor's Cup or Empress's Cup. Then again, I've never been to a soccer game.


  1. Very cool set. I picked up a case of the Calbee chips earlier this year. Each bag included two soccer cards from Japan's mens and womens national teams. If you're bored, I wrote up an article on APTBNL:

  2. It's cool that the goalkeeper have a card with him kicking the ball instead of defending. Not all GK are that good with the foot.

  3. Fuji: I've seen the Calbee soccer cards but never the national team cards (granted I don't pay much attention). I might need to find me a set.

    Ana: I guess it's like seeing pitchers batting. It's a rarity and most probably shouldn't do it, but it happens anyway and sometimes it's pretty funny to see the results.

  4. If you have any duplicates from this Japanese soccer box, I'd be happy to trade for them. I'm looking for a few National Team players from other Japanese sets too.
    Just contact my blog - CHUCKS USED CARDS

  5. Chuck - the cards came as a set, but if I find another box or any other national team cards/sets I'll grab them for you.