When you think about Japanese sports culture firstly you might think about martial arts like karate and jujutsu. However, the most popular sport in Japan is baseball which has many same features with Finnish version of baseball called “pesäpallo”. Pesäpallo also happens to be the national sport of Finland. Even though sumo wrestling is the official national sport of Japan many people refer baseball as the real national sport. Top league of baseball in Japan is NPB and it has twelve different teams.
Football is the second most popular sport in Japan. Top league of football in Japan is J1 league and it is one of the best leagues in whole Asia even though the league is pretty young. It was founded in 1992. There are eighteen teams in the J1 league from all over Japan.
FIFA world cup was held in Japan and South-Korea in 2002. That was the first time when the World cup was in Asia. This tournament was also pretty important in the history of football because this was the last time golden goal rule was in the World Cup. Japan won two games and had one draw in the preliminary round but was eliminated from the tournament when it lost to Turkey in quarterfinals. Brazil won Turkey and went to final where they faced Germany. Ronaldo shot two goals and Brazil won the World Cup.
Sumo wrestling is the national sport of Japan. Sumo wrestling is originally from the 16th century so it has long traditions in Japan. In the history, sumo was a very religious sport because before every match the wrestlers did several religious rituals. Nowadays professional matches also include religious rituals but most of the amateur leagues have given up on some of the rituals. Sumo wrestling is the fourth most popular sport in Japan.