JAPAN NATIONAL

In 1998 Corinthian teamed up with Japanese toy manufacturer Epoch to produce a simply sublime set of figures. This set comprised of 16 players currently playing for the Japanese national side.



Corinthian and Epoch certainly pulled out all the stops when producing this range. Each figure was a first time sculpt with so much detail, character and expression carefully crafted into the face of each figure. The figures were all finely painted in the home kit for that period with exact number replication on the shirts too.



I must pay special attention to the figure of goalkeeper Kawaguchi, the paint job on his kit is simply breath taking and amazing that they were able to mass produce such a complex paint job. This figure is for me the very best paintwork Corinthian have ever done and it is by no coincidence that the Kawaguchi figure is the most sought after from the entire range, along with Nakata of course.



We also saw the very first release of Japanese icon Hidetoshi Nakata, i personally feel this is by far and a way the best Nakata figure Corinthian ever produced, the others just do not come close to being as detailed as this. Fellow icon Nanami was also released for the first time and the figure of Shinji Ono became very popular with Feyenoord fans who wanted the figure to repaint it in the Feyenoord kit, following his successful time there.



These figures were unlike the other Headliners in that they were not released as single blister packs nor as sachets but as 4 different 4 player packs. The first of these packs was released in June 1998, the second and third in august 1998 with the fourth pack coming out in October 1998. As this was a collaboration the figures were placed onto Oval bases.



The figures were not issued with collector cards and a collectors information file was not produced, a real shame as i feel it would have been very well designed and beautifully finished, perhaps the difference in languages was the main reason why no cards or file were produced.



All 16 figures are relatively hard to find, even more so in the original packaging. The Nakata and Kawaguchi can fetch the most, usually over £25 with the others going for between £10-15, a full set could easily sell for £200. I always personally value each of the 4 packs at minimum £50-75 dependant on condition. This set was some of Corinthians finest work and an absolute must for the serious collector, with the Kawaguchi being a must for all!



The full line up of Japan National Kit figures is:

  • EPF001 - Akira Narahashi - Japan - Home
  • EPF002 - Naoki Soma - Japan - Home
  • EPF003 - Masamira Ihara - Japan - Home
  • EPF004 - Motohiro Yamguchi - Japan - Home
  • EPF005 - Hidetoshi Nakata - Japan - Home
  • EPF006 - Masashi Nakayami - Japan - Home
  • EPF007 - Hiroshi Nanami - Japan - Home
  • EPF008 - Kazuyoshi Miura 'Kazu' - Japan - Home
  • EPF009 - Lopes Wagner - Japan - Home
  • EPF010 - Tsuyoshi Kitazawa - Japan - Home
  • EPF011 - Masayuki Okano - Japan - Home
  • EPF012 - Yutaka Akita - Japan - Home
  • EPF013 - Shoji Jo - Japan - Home
  • EPF014 - Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi - Japan - Home
  • EPF015 - Atsushi Yanagisawa - Japan - Home
  • EPF016 - Sjinji Ono - Japan - Home

Akira Narahashi

Japan

Home

EPF001

4 Pack Set B


Naoki Soma

Japan

Home

EPF002

4 Pack Set D


Masamira Ihara

Japan

Home

EPF003

4 Pack Set B


Motohiro Yamaguchi

Japan

Home

EPF004

4 Pack Set C


Hidetoshi Nakata

Japan

Home

EPF005

4 Pack Set A


Masashi Nakayama

Japan

Home

EPF006

4 Pack Set A


Hiroshi Nanami

Japan

Home

EPF007

4 Pack Set C


Kazuyoshi Miura 'Kazu'

Japan

Home

EPF008

4 Pack Set B


Lopes Wagner

Japan

Home

EPF009

4 Pack Set C


Tsuyoshi Kitazawa

Japan

Home

EPF010

4 Pack Set B


Masayuki Okano

Japan

Home

EPF011

4 Pack Set A


Yutaka Akita

Japan

Home

EPF012

4 Pack Set D


Shoji Jo

Japan

Home

EPF013

4 Pack Set C


Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi

Japan

Home

EPF014

4 Pack Set D


Atsushi Yanagisawa

Japan

Home

EPF015

4 Pack Set A


Shinji Ono

Japan

Home

EPF016

4 Pack Set D


4 Pack Set A

Hidetoshi Nakata

Masashi Nakayama

Masayuki Okano

Atsushi Yanagisawa


4 Pack Set B

Akira Narahashi

Masamira Ihara

Kazuyoshi Miura 'Kazu'

Tsuyoshi Kitazawa


4 Pack Set C

Motohiro Yamaguchi

Hiroshi Nanami

Lopes Wagner

Shoji Jo


4 Pack Set D

Naoki Soma

Yutaka Akita

Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi

Shinji Ono