The J.League was only formed in 1992 but in its short existence has given planet football a whole load of brilliant shirts.

The traditional restrictions on jersey design don’t apply in Japan.  Anything goes. The weirder, the better. And that was especially so in the 1990s, a vintage era as far as J.League kits are concerned.

Here are eight of our favourites.



Cerezo Osaka 1999

Any club with a pink kit should be applauded as far as we’re concerned. There's a reason for the choice of colour too - 'cerezo' is the Spanish word for cherry tree, which is the flower of the city of Osaka – a plant which is, you guessed it, pink.

The 1999 edition of the shirt, from Mizuno, complete with magnificent NIPPON HAM sponsor is a classic.

Shop J-League shirts here.



Kashima Antlers 1996-98

More J.League facts for you: the Antlers name is derived from the city name, Kashima, which literally means 'deer island'.

Since the formation of the J.League in 1993, Kashima have been Japan's most successful club, winning the title eight times.

Between 1996 and 1998, they wore this absolute masterpiece from Umbro. Konnichiwa!

Buy Kashima shirts right here.



Kashiwa Reysol 1996

Formed 80 years ago, Reysol were founding members of Japan Soccer League and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of Japanese football, winning the J.League twice.

But enough of that. How nice is that shirt? Very, very nice, is the answer. The sponsor is pertinent too - the club was initially founded as Hitachi Ltd Soccer Club (catchy, eh).

Shop the Kashiwa range here.



Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1993-95

That's a colour palette that should have condemned this kit to a perpetual place in every 'ten worst kits of all time' blog. But the fact it's from the J.League, it's made by Mizuno and was worn by a team with a name as cool as Sanfrecce Hiroshima makes it a classic for all the right reasons.

That name is actually a portmanteau of the Japanese numeral for three, San, and the Italian word frecce, which means 'arrows' - based on a proverb that said one arrow could be snapped but three held together could not. Deep.

Grab your Hiroshima gear today.



Shimizu S-Pulse 1993-96

While we're talking about club names, they don't come much cooler than this. The S-Pulse is a combination of the S from Shizuoka, Shimizu, Supporter and Soccer, while the ‘pulse’ comes from the English word, intended to mean the spirit of all those who support the team.

As for this shirt, words can't convey how excellent it is. Just look it and feel blessed you were alive when this was a thing.

Shop the Shimizu range here.



Urawa Red Diamonds 1992/93

Ahh, the lesser-spotted Puma J.League shirt - and what a beauty, only enhanced by the 3-D number font and the sponsor's logo.

In fact, the sponsor is highly significant - the name Red Diamonds alludes to the club's pre-professional era parent company Mitsubishi. The corporation's logo consists of three red diamonds, one of which remains within the current club badge.

Peruse the range via this link.



Verdy Kawasaki 1993-95

Is this the greatest J.League shirt ever? Is it the greatest thing ever? Maybe, just maybe.

These days, the club is called Tokoyo Verdy following its return to the city from Kawasaki in 2001.

The club's name was coined from the Portuguese "verde" meaning "green" - named after their green jersey.

Shop Tokyo Verdy shirts here.



Yokohama Marinos 1997/98

Founded as the team of Nissan Motors, Yokohama are one of the J.League's most successful clubs, having won the title four times.

The club's famous red, white and blue colours never looked as good as they did on this 97/98 jersey - an absolute stunner from adidas.

Shop Yokohama Marinos shirts here.


So there's our eight – you can buy the shirts featured and shop our extensive J-League collection here.

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