Football, introduced to Japan by an Englishman one hundred years ago, is growing in popularity, promoted by companies who say their teams encourage company spirit and better working.
SV & GV Crowd watch as Nittetsu player receives injury attempting to score goal (3 shots).
CU Reserves on bench.
CU Injured player carried off.
SV ZOOM INTO Close up - Hitachi score goal and players embrace with jubilation.
SV Supporters at end of match as Hitachi team bow.
Hitachi offices; football team captain Nangaoka at work; Team Manager Takahashi in his office; trophies; team onto field for training session watched by supporters; cameraman and crowd at Hitachi-Nittetou match; Hitachi in yellow kicking left to right attack and narrowly fail to score; crowd watch as Nittetsu player injures himself trying to score; reserves on bench; injured player carried off; Hitachi score goal and players embrace with jubilation; supporters at end of match as Hitachi team bow.
Initials SM/1613 APSM/1648
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Background: Football, introduced to Japan by an Englishman one hundred years ago, is growing in popularity, promoted by companies who say their teams encourage company spirit and better working.
The game is firmly established in the heart of Japan's biggest companies and corporations. There are 19 company teams, but only one town side in the first two divisions of the Japanese Soccer League.
Although players are strictly amateur, the organisation provided by the companies is impressively professional.
Team managers' days are spent arranging training sessions and fixtures, or negotiating with personnel departments to hire promising college football players for the company and the team.
Players and reserves work in their offices in the mornings only. The rest of the day, and most of the weekend, is reserved for practice.
West German and English coaches working in Japan have improved the skill and the popularity of Japanese football, but the standard remains low and is no rival to Japan's leading sports, baseball and golf.
One of the country's leading teams is Hitachi, manufacturers of electrical equipment.
They are holders of the Emperor's Cup - Japanese football's knockout competition.
When they played a league match on Sunday (November 4) against a team from the huge steel milling combine Shin-Nittetsu, there were only 2,000 spectators.
Hitachi won by two goals to nil, but not before three penalties were awarded against them - all of them missed - and three reserves brought on for each team to replace the injured.
Five times during the match opposing players leapt to head a high ball - and stunned themselves almost to unconsciousness by banging each other's heads. But the injuries came from poor timing rather than malice.