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Ohisashiburi Desu! Classic J League shirts
07 September 2021
by Charlotte Patterson

J League shirts always have a special place in my heart, particularly those from the 90’s. A huge reason for that is because there are so unique and personal to each club. No team had the same colours, the same pattern, same sponsor or same style, not what you see today in modern football with Nike and Adidas using the same templates for every team. I also love them because some of them are incredibly loud or bonkers, showing off an array of colours and more than one pattern on the shirt. It’s these reasons that I adore them and many others too! Although the price of some J League shirts may dissuade people from purchasing, they are just too good to pass on. The shirts are incredibly rare, especially if you’re after a larger size. You don’t see many, if at all, any fake productions of 90’s J League shirts. So you know you’re getting something original and something that not many other people will own. All in all, I’m just mesmerised by the shirts and although modern J League shirts aren’t as unique and vibrant as they once were, they are still amazing and some of the best in the world.


Kyoto Sanga are my J League team and a lot of that stemmed from their notorious purple shirts which are vibrant and bright. They even included purple in their name, being known as Kyoto Purple Sanga until 2007. I collect a lot of J League shirts but this Kyoto Sanga 1996 home shirt is categorically my favourite shirt out of them all. The design is just fascinating! With the bright purple, yellow lightning and famous Mizuno sponsor. The old style badge with the phoenix and name in the middle of the shirt just rounds off something spectacular.

Kyoto Sanga 1996 home shirt

Verdy Kawasaki

Although this shirt isn’t an original, it’s still wonderful in it’s own right and does a fantastic job of recreating Verdy Kawasaki’s (Now known as Tokyo Verdy) 1993/1995 home shirt. The pattern and design is something that I’ve never seen before, especially with the green, it creates something of a watermelon effect. There is a reason the originals are so hard to find and expensive! It’s uniqueness is mesmerising  and the badge really stands out in it’s own right. It’s made that little bit more special as Japanese footballing legend King Kazu wore it during his  eight year stint with the club.

Verdy Kawazaki 1993/1995 home shirt

Jubilo Iwata

One of Japanese most famous teams but has since fallen from it’s dizzying heights in the top division. That being said, they still produce some of the most amazing shirts across the divisions, with this limited Summer edition shirt from 2019 being no exception. The colours are fantastic, but it is all abut the patterns and design which make this shirt so incredible to look at. It’s something that you wouldn’t think should look so good, but it does. The whites of the sponsor and sleeves add just enough to the shirt, to help the design stand out even more than it already does.

Jubilo Iwata 2019 Summer edition shirt

FC Ryukyu

One of only a few modern J League shirts that I like. The Burgundy/Claret colour of the shirt is just amazing, alongside with the gold details and patterns on the collar, cuffs and Shisa guardians. The shirt is just wonderful and really encapsulates Okinawa traditions and culture. For such a small island with a fairly new history, FC Ryukyu do not fail with producing some incredible shirts each year, but this one is definitely one of my favourites. The design and the colour absolutely win it for me and its incredibly comfy for an added bonus.

FC Ryukyu 2019 home shirt

Cerezo Osaka

When this Cerezo Osaka 2000 shirt arrived, it nearly (just nearly) knocked Kyoto off it’s pedestal of being my favourite shirt. But it comes in at a very strong second! The colours are incredible and complement the striped pattern incredibly well. But I think it’s the stitch like design that goes around the stripes and into the collar, that help it stand out with it’s bold look. The Nippon Ham sponsor is one which is iconic for the pink side of Osaka and fits in well centre of the shirt. I have a lot of time for this shirt and it’s easy to see why it’s an incredibly difficult one to get a hold of and highly sought after.

Cerezo Osaka 2000 home shirt