Sport in Japan

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Sports in Japan are a significant part of Japanese culture. Both traditional sports such as sumo and martial arts, and Western imports like baseball and association football, are popular with both participants and spectators.

Sumo is considered Japan's national sport, and is deeply rooted in Japanese religion and culture. The most popular spectator sport is baseball, which was introduced to the country by visiting Americans in the 19th century. The Nippon Professional Baseball league is Japan's largest professional sports league. Martial arts such as judo, karate and modern kendō are also widely practiced and enjoyed by spectators in the country. Association football has gained wide popularity since the founding of the Japan Professional Football League in 1992. Other popular sports include figure skating, golf and racing, especially auto racing.


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