◇World War II was essential in shaping American football in Japan, from its earliest beginnings pre-war, to its temporary suspension during, and finally its post-war rebirth.
◇Japanese football has since expanded to its present day total of 64 corporate-sponsored semi-pro teams, 220 university teams, and 106 high school teams.
◇League play occurs biannually, in the fall, beginning at the end of August or in early September, and in the spring. The fall season culminates in championship games held in December, in which the top finishers of each league square off against each other.
◇The corporate-sponsored semi-pro league championship was launched in 1987. Although affectionately referred to as the Tokyo Super Bowl for many years, its official name was changed in its 17th year, in 2003, to the Japan X Bowl. The Japan X Bowl will celebrate its 20th year in 2006.
◇The Koshien Bowl, launched in 1947 as the East-West University championship game, will mark its 61st anniversary in 2006, making it the oldest championship game in Japanese football.
◇The High School championship was launched in 1970. It officially became known as the Christmas Bowl in its 20th year in 1989, and will commemorate its 37th in 2006.
◇The Japanese football championship game, better known as the Rice Bowl, launched in 1948 as an east versus west all-star game. In 1983, in its 37th year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of American football in Japan, the Rice Bowl changed its format to one that pits the university champion and corporate-sponsored semi-pro champion to determine the national champion. The game takes place on January 3rd, during the national New Year’s holiday. To date, the corporate-sponsored semi-pros lead the annual rivalry 13 victories to 11.