Kashima Antlers (鹿島アントラーズ, Kashima Antorāzu) are a Japanese professional football club based in Kashima, Ibaraki, part of the Greater Tokyo Area. The club plays in the J1 League, which is the top tier of football in the country. Antlers is derived from the city name, Kashima, which literally means "deer island". The club has financial backing from Mercari, a Japanese e-commerce company. Since the J.League's creation and introduction of professional Japanese football in 1993, Kashima have proved by far Japan's most successful club team, having won the J.League title a record eight times, the J.League Cup a record six times and the Emperor's Cup five times for an unprecedented total of nineteen major domestic titles. Kashima became Asian Champions when they won their first AFC Champions League title in 2018. Kashima have finished in the top five of the league for over seventy percent of all seasons played to date, recorded an average end of season league placing of third and captured a major domestic title in over sixty percent of all seasons played to date. Kashima are also one of only two teams to have competed in Japan's top flight of professional football every year since its inception (the other being Yokohama F. Marinos).