The Japan Soccer League Cup was the original league cup for clubs in the top levels of Japanesefootball before the creation of the J. League and its cup. The cup was first played in 1973, but did not become an annual tournament until 1976.
The JSL Cup included clubs from both the First Division and the Second Division. The format varied; sometimes the clubs played small group stages, other times it was an outright elimination, including only the clubs that were not recent promotions to the Second Division. During the season timeframe change of 1985, the cup was played within the year, a rule that stayed until the advent of the J. League.