Kyoto Sanga FC

Kyoto Sanga FC (京都サンガF.C.) is a Japanese professional football club based in Kyoto. "Sanga" comes from the Sanskrit sangha, a term meaning "group" or "club" and often used to denote the Buddhist priesthood, associating the club with Kyoto's many Buddhist temples.[3][failed verification] The club was formerly known as Kyoto Purple Sanga with "purple", the colour of the team uniforms, an imperial colour reflecting Kyoto's status as Japan's ancient imperial capital city. It was decided however that, from 2007, the team will simply been known as "Kyoto Sanga". They are the oldest club competing in the J.League.

Kyoto Sanga FC
Full nameKyoto Sanga FC
Founded1922; 100 years ago (1922),
as Kyoto Shiko Club (京都紫光クラブ)
GroundSanga Stadium by Kyocera
Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
ChairmanMasaaki Ito
ManagerCho Kwi-jae
LeagueJ1 League
2021J2 League, 2nd of 22 (promoted)
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Kyoto Purple Sanga Co.,Ltd.
FoundedJanuary 13, 1994 (1994-01-13) in Kyoto, Japan[1]
Key people
Hiroshi Imai (Chairman)
Kazuo Inamori (Honorary President)[1]
ProductsFootball club
RevenueIncrease ¥ 2140 million (2014)[1]
OwnersKyocera (55.4%)[2]
Nintendo (16.6%)[2]


The club was started as Kyoto Shiko Club, one of the few proper Japanese football clubs in the sense of being strictly dedicated to football and not being part of a company. Like Ventforet Kofu, however, it could not rise to a Japan Soccer League First Division dominated by company teams; in 1993, after the J.League was created, Kyoto Shiko Club, aided by funds from local new sponsors Kyocera and Nintendo, professionalized (though some players broke away and formed their own clubs, see below) and joined the former Japan Football League under the new name Kyoto Purple Sanga.

First joining the J.League in 1996, Kyoto Sanga hold the dubious distinction of being the League's most relegated side, having been demoted on three separate occasions. Relegation to J2 occurred at the end of the 2000, 2003 and 2006 seasons; more than any other team.[3] The 2003 relegation happened despite having many national team players on its roster. Stars like Park Ji-sung and Daisuke Matsui have since left for greener pastures.

In December 2007 the club gained J1 status for the fourth time in their history via the promotion/relegation playoff.[4] A 0-2 home defeat to Urawa Reds on 14 November 2010 confirmed Sanga's relegation back to J2, bringing an end to their three-season spell in the top flight.[5]

Record as J.League memberEdit

Champions Runners-up Third place Promoted Relegated
Season Div. Teams Pos. Attendance/G J.League
1996 J1 16 16th 9,404 Group stage Quarter-final
1997 17 14th 7,881 Group stage 4th round
1998 18 13th 8,015 Group stage 3rd round
1999 16 12th 8,859 2nd round 4th round
2000 16 15th 7,253 Semi-final 3rd round
2001 J2 12 1st 3,808 1st round 4th round
2002 J1 16 5th 10,352 Group stage Winner
2003 16 16th 10,850 Group stage 3rd round
2004 J2 12 5th 7,807 - 4th round
2005 12 1st 7,857 4th round
2006 J1 18 18th 9,781 Group stage 4th round
2007 J2 13 3rd 6,629 - 3rd round
2008 J1 18 14th 13,687 Group stage 5th round
2009 18 12th 11,126 Group stage 3rd round
2010 18 17th 10,510 Group stage 3rd round
2011 J2 20 7th 6,294 - Runners-up
2012 22 3rd 7,273 3rd round
2013 22 3rd 7,891 3rd round
2014 22 9th 7,520 3rd round
2015 22 17th 7,491 3rd round
2016 22 5th 6,524 2nd round
2017 22 12th 6,748 2nd round
2018 22 19th 5,663 3rd round
2019 22 8th 7,850 2nd round
2020 22 8th 2,924 Did not qualify
2021 22 2nd 5,207 4th round

  • Pos. = Position in league
  • Attendance/G = Average home league attendance
  • 2020 season attendance reduced by COVID-19 worldwide pandemic
  • Source: J.League Data Site



Current squadEdit

As of 13 January 2022.[6]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   JPN Tomoya Wakahara
2 DF   JPN Takahiro Iida
3 MF   JPN Shogo Asada
4 DF   BRA Mendes
5 DF   JPN Hisashi Appiah Tawiah
6 DF   JPN Yuki Honda
7 MF   JPN Kosuke Taketomi
8 MF   JPN Daigo Araki
9 FW   NGA Peter Utaka
10 MF   JPN Shimpei Fukuoka
11 FW   JPN Ryogo Yamasaki
13 FW   JPN Takumi Miyayoshi
14 MF   JPN Kosuke Shirai
15 DF   JPN Kazuma Nagai
16 MF   JPN Shohei Takeda
17 DF   JPN Takuya Ogiwara (On loan from Urawa Red Diamonds)
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 MF   JPN Temma Matsuda
19 MF   JPN Daiki Kaneko (on loan from Urawa Red Diamonds)
20 FW   CUW Quenten Martinus
21 GK   JPN Naoto Kamifukumoto
23 FW   JPN Yuta Toyokawa
24 MF   JPN Sota Kawasaki
25 MF   JPN Keita Nakano
26 GK   JPN Gakuji Ota
27 MF   JPN Fuki Yamada
28 MF   JPN Kazuki Tanaka
29 GK   JPN Shuhei Matsubara
31 DF   JPN Rikito Inoue
32 GK   NZL Michael Woud
33 MF   JPN Naoto Misawa
39 FW   NGA Origbaajo Ismaila
50 FW   JPN Genki Omae

Club captainsEdit


Asian clubs rankingEdit

As of 18 September 2018[7]
Current Rank Country Team
260   Deltras
261   Kyoto Sanga
262   Chennai City
263   Mumbai City
264   Kitchee

Related clubsEdit

Kyoto Sanga is considered the main continuation of the Kyoto Shiko Club that competed in the Japan Soccer League Second Division. "Shiko" (紫光) means "brilliant purple" and is the color that Shiko/Sanga have always worn.


  1. ^ a b c "Club profile". Kyoto Sanga. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Sasaki, Norihiko. "Thoroughly analyzed the financial results of J-League". Shūkan Tōyō keizai. Toyo Keizai. 6058: 148–151.
  3. ^ a b Daniel Sloan (November 5, 2011). Playing to Wiin: Nintendo and the Video Game Industrys Greatest Comeback. John Wiley & Sons. p. 126. ISBN 978-0470825129.
  4. ^ "Kyoto Sanga earns promotion to J.League's first division". Japan Times. December 9, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "Shonan, Kyoto dropped to J-League's second division". Japan Times. November 25, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  6. ^ "トップチーム".
  7. ^ "AFC Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking". Missing or empty |url= (help)

External linksEdit