After-school club activities culture in Japan

After-school club activities culture in Japan

What is After-school club activities culture?

This is really unique system. Japanese school from elementary school to university has after-school club activities culture. Students belong to this activity and spend their time with club members. The activity has various kinds. Some are sports and some are cultural. Japanese school included sportive and cultural education and development for young people historically. Teachers should have supervise these activities. It is rare to invite external coach for its activity.

Japanese school has its own grounds and athletic facility. The infrastructure enables enough environment. This is for developing young people’s health and good body. The merit is everyone can participate whatever they wants freely.

But now opposite opinions against the system occurs. This relies on the burden of teachers. Teachers has cooperate with it voluntarily, but it generated over-work of teachers. Currently over-work custom in Japan is changed. After-school club activity is regarded as one of the biggest cause for the problem. Therefore, the system is now on transition term…

Football has been integrated into the system

Football teams has been integrated into the system for long time. As you can see the history of Japanese football, university students started playing football. Then after-school club activities became the center of developing young players. Each generations have national competition in Japan. School started to aim to participate the national competition.

JFA decides all players must belong to one team. Players cannot register in several teams. So if players belong to after-school club activity, they cannot play football in another regional club team. Historically Japan National Team members came from strong schools until 2000. But after J League started, J League forced J clubs to make its own youth teams for all age categories. Then football elites joined J club’s youth teams gradually.

Now almost all good young talents belong to J club youth team. At the same time, lots of regional football clubs are established by former players or coaches. 28 years have passed already since J League began. There are lots of former players or coaches now. They have tried to make their own regional club teams. Consequently, the movement also decrease after-school club activity for football.

On the other hand, the national football competition for high school is still popular contents and attract young generations. J clubs still get young talents from after-school club activity. These different football team structure continues to co-exist in the future.




Former staff in J-league club provides the real information about Japan football in English.

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