Japan Football Hall of Fame
Inductees recommended by the Committee (Past Presidents)
1st president: Jikichi Imamura
Time in Post: 1921 to 1933
● Born in 1881. Graduated from Tokyo Imperial University
After spells as Ministry of Finance administrative official and as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs stationed in Russia, becomes president of Asia Forestry, and board member of Japan-Russia Industry.
Having been executive president of Greater Japan Sports Association, appointed president of JFA, which is inaugurated after receiving silver cup from the FA in England. During his service, he actively worked on setting the base of the association, which included constituting its charter and rulebook, issuing its in-house magazine "SHUKYU (Football)", creating the association's official flag, founding National Championship (now called the Emperor's Cup), and joining FIFA.
Also served as the president of Greater Japan Wrestling Federation and the advisor of The Greater Japan Association of Athletics Federations. According to some records, he was taught the footballing basics by Gendou Tsuboi Passes away in 1943 .
2nd President: Ryutaro Fukao
Time in Post: 1935 to 1945
● Born in Osaka on January 19, 1877.
Baron. Graduated from Tokyo High School of Commerce (now Hitotsubashi University) Member of the House of Peers. Vice-president of Osaka Shosen, President of Nisshin Kisen, President of Nanyo Takushoku, chairman of Nanyo Aluminium Kogyo. Sons played football at the Fifth High School, which encouraged him to be involved in the football. Leads group of spirited young men ahead of the 11Olympic Games (1936Berlin) , stresses the importance of coaches, and develops new ethos within the Japan Football Association. Also sat on the board of the Japan Sports Association.
Awarded 1 Gold Cup in 1928, The Fifth Grade Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1937 and The Third Grade Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in1940. Passes away in 1948 .
3rd President: Ryutaro Takahashi
Time in Post: 1947 to 1954
● Born in Ehime on July 19, 1875.
Graduates from the Third Higher School (now Kyoto University).
President of Dai Nippon Beer Company. President of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Chairman of the National Association of the Bereaved Family(Zenkoku Izoku Kai). Chairman of the Japan-Germany Association (Nichi Doku Kyoukai). Member of the Imperial House of Peers, Member of the House of Councillors, Minister of Commerce and Industry. Takahashi's son had been infatuated with football from his time at the old Matsuyama Higher School and at Kyoto Imperial University before his death in the war. This leads Takahashi to become respected for his character and achievements, and ultimately to appointment as JFA president "for the sake of football". Holds presidential role during particularly difficult period after the war, and pours energies into rebuilding the sport in Japan. Receives the "Emperor's Cup" for the All-Japan Championship in 1948 . marking the first of the sports associations in the company to be presented with such an imperial trophy. Also has great relationship with Germany. He studied in Germany from 1898 to 1904 and served as the chairman of the Japan-Germany Association. Also served as owner of the Takahashi Unions professional baseball team.
Awarded the Medal of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1958, A Medal with Blue Ribbon in 1963, The 2nd Class Order of the Rising Sun in 1964 and a set of the Silver Pin in 1967. Passes away in 1967 .
4th President: Yuzuru Nozu
Term: 1955 - 1976
● Born in Hiroshima on March 12, 1899.
Graduated from Tokyo Imperial University. Doctor. Opens Nozu Clinic in 1947. Achieved major accomplishments in the field of public hygiene. Plays football at Hiroshima First Junior High School (now Hiroshima Prefectural Hiroshima Kokutaiji High School), First High School, and Tokyo Imperial University. Appears at 5th Far Eastern Championship Games (Shanghai) in 1921 while a student at Tokyo Imperial University.
Appointed as president of the Japan Football Association in 1955 after time spent on the board and as chairman of the board. Oversees recognition of JFA as an incorporated foundation in 1974. Devotes particular attention to technical improvement of Japanese football, and invites Dettmar Cramer to Japan in 1960. Lays foundations for strengthening of Japanese national team, training of players, and development of coaches. Appointed to post of AFC vice-president and to the FIFA board of directors (becoming the second ever FIFA board member from Japan). He held FIFA coaching schools in Japan for the top-class instructors in AFC countries. He also contributes to the foundation of the Asian Youth Championships, and other official AFC and FIFA events that would later be a great support to the level of football in During his service at FIFA, he contributed for the great success of the 1974 FIFA World Cup (West Germany) as its organizing committee member.
Also contributes to sport at large as Sports Minister in the Ministry of Health and Welfare, board member and executive director of the Japan Sports Association, member of the Japanese Olympic Committee, and board member of the National Olympic Stadium. Key member at the Japan Sports Association in the establishment of boys' sports clubs, and takes post of director of the boys' sports clubs division. Awarded Blue Medal of Honour in 1964, and 3rd Class Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1969. Passes away in 1983.
5th President： Tomisaburo Hirai
Time in Post:: 1976 - 1987
● Born in Tokyo on December 13, 1906.
Graduated from Tokyo Imperial University. Administrative Vice‐Minister of International Trade and Industry. President of Nippon Steel Corporation. Takes executive positions in several economic organizations, including the member of the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan. While still vice-president of Nippon Steel Corporation, is appointed as Japan Football Association president in response to a strong request from Hideo Shinojima, a friend of his from their time at Tokyo Imperial University. Promotes financial reform of JFA, achieving recovery from crippling debt, and raising the basic level of funds of the organization. Also devotes efforts to strengthening and popularizing football in Japan. Sets up the Japan Cup (Kirin Cup) in 1978 with the aim of strengthening the Japan national team.
Arranged for the Intercontinental Cup, which had been on hiatus, to be held in Japan as the Toyota Cup from 1981. Awarded Blue Medal of Honour in 1973, Medal of Rio Branco (Brazil) in 1976. Passes away in 2003.
6th President: Shizuo Fujita
Term: 1987 - 1992
● Born in Kyoto Prefecture on February 5, 1911.
Graduated from Kyoto Normal School (now Kyoto University of Education). After career in teaching, works in Department of Hygiene and Department of Labour in Kyoto Prefectural Government. Later establishes Fujita Building, and serves as president of the company in 1987 after serving as director and vice president. During his service of president, J-League was established. After spells as board member and vice-president, is appointed president of the Japan Football Association in 1987. Works to build the foundations of modern Japanese football during his reign, overseeing the foundation of the J League, the decision to bid for the hosting rights of the FIFA World Cup, the launch of the Japan Women's Football League (now L League), and the establishment of the All-Japan Youth Championships. Accompanies Japan national team to several international matches in capacities including team director.
Also focuses efforts on developing football in the Kansai region, including roles as president of the Kyoto Football Association and vice-president of the Kansai Football Association. Holds various different posts, including board member of the Japan Sports Association, president of the Kyoto Amateur Sports Association, and president of the Kyoto City Amateur Sports Association. Serves as director of the Kyoto Prefecture representative team at the National Sports Festival for many years.
Awarded Blue Medal of Honour in 1975, 4th Class Order of the Rising Sun in 1982, and FIFA Order of Merit in 1992, and a set of the Silver Pin in 1993. Passes away in 2002.
7th President: Hideo Shimada
Term: 1992 - 1994
● Born on June 27, 1915.
Graduates from Tohoku Imperial University.
Vice-president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Appointed as president of the JFA after spells as auditor and vice-president. Files Japan’s candidacy as hosts of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in 1993.
Takes positions such as chairman of the board of the Japan Soccer League as head of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Football Club. Also holds positions as chairman of the board of the Japan Sports Association and as member of the board of the Japanese Olympic Committee. Awarded a Silver Pin I 1995. Passes away in 1994.
8th President: Ken Naganuma
Term: 1994 - 1998
● Born in Hiroshima Prefecture on September 5, 1930.
Graduates from Kansai Gakuin University. He participates in the Summer International University Sports Week (now the Universiade) with the Japanese national team held in Dortmund, West Germany, in 1953. Appears at the Games of the 16th Olympiad (1956, Melbourne), the 2nd Asian Games (1954, Manila), and the 3rd Asian Games (1958, Tokyo) as a player with the Japanese national team. Shines as a player domestically with Furukawa Electric, and is names as (the first ever) annual player of the year in 1961.
Appointed as manager of the Japan national team at the tender age of 32 in 1962. Continues to serve as manager through the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo) and the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City), leading the team to third place in Mexico City. Serves as technical committee director, executive director, and vice-president, before being appointed as JFA president in 1994. Overseas awarding to Japan in 1996 of co-hosting rights to the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Also oversees the Japanese national team's first World Cup qualification, for the 1998 World Cup in France. Also serves as vice-president of the Japanese World Cup bidding committee, and of the Japan World Cup Organizing Committee for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, pouring efforts into the World Cup bidding process and hosting itself.
Previously served on the permanent organizing committee of the Japan Soccer League and on the board of the J League. Contributes to the development of sport in Japan in many different ways, including the board member and vice-chairman of the Japan Sports Association, and as member of the Japanese Olympic Committee and the UNESCO-Japan Fair Play Committee member. Awarded the Blue Ribbon Medal of Honour in 1990, and the 3rd Class Order of the Rising Sun in 2004. Passes away in 2008.
9th President: Shunichiro Okano
Term: 1998 - 2002
● Born in Tokyo on August 28, 1931
Graduates from the University of Tokyo. He participates in the Summer International University Sports Week (now the Universiade) with the Japanese national team held in Dortmund, West Germany, in 1953. After a spell as member of the Japanese national team in 1995, he served as manager of the Japanese youth national team. He becomes coach of the full side for the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo), before leading the activities of the team as player-coach at the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City). Achieves third place, and the bronze medal, at the Mexico City Olympics. Becomes manager of the full Japan national team in 1970-71. He appears on NHK and TV TOKYO’s “Diamond Soccer” as commentator to raise football popularity during the unpopular period of 1960 to 1990. Poured efforts to founding Japan Football League in 1965, served as board member of J League in 1993.
As board member and vice-president of the Japan Football Association, he pours efforts into bidding process and hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, president of the JFA in 1998, responsible for the success of the tournament. Takes roles in FIFA including World Cup Organising Committee member and Olympic Tournament Organising Committee member, as well as working as president as the East Asian Football Federation. Also has executive roles in the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) in 1975, the Japan Sports Association. Devoted particular efforts to the conversion of the JOC into an incorporated foundation as general secretary in 1989. Contributes to the development of global sport as member of the International Olympic Committee from 1990. Appointed to the board of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in 1979 and becomes a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1990.
Awarded the Blue Ribbon Medal of Honour in 1990, the IOC Silver Pin in 1998, a Blue Dragon Award (sporting honour, Republic of Korea) in 2003, and 3rd Class Order of the Rising Sun in 2004.
10th President: Saburo Kawabuchi
Term: 2002 to 2008
● Born in Osaka Prefecture on 3 December 1936.
First learns football at Mikunigaoka High School, before going on to play at Waseda University and Furukawa Electric Football Club. Makes debut for the full Japanese national team in a friendly match against Hong Kong in 1958, while still at Waseda University. At the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, scores one goal and assists another as Japan come from behind to beat a strong Argentina team and qualify for the quarter-finals. Plays in a total of 26 "A" matches for the national team, scoring 8 goals. Manages the Furukawa Electric Football Club after his playing retirement, before managing the Japanese national team from 1980 to 1981.
Appointed as general secretary of the JSL and named onto the board of the JFA in 1988, where he helps to lead Japanese football into a professional era. Appointed as inaugural chairman of the J League in 1991, and strives to "strengthen Japanese football" and to "promote local sports". Becomes vice-president of the JFA in 1994. Contributes greatly to the Japanese bid and eventual co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Appointed as JFA president in 2002, where he continues to be known by his "Captain" nickname, and instigates reforms targeting grass roots football. Introduces the "Captain's Mission" as part of these reforms, in which he promotes the spread and strengthening of football in Japan and the development of better sporting environments. Sets clear objectives for Japanese football in the "JFA 2005 Declaration" and appeals for its development at home and abroad. Works to promote the international image of Japanese football, working towards securing the hosting rights of the FIFA Club World Cup for Japan and as part of the professional league reforms in the AFC, but maintains his deep-rooted association with social contribution activities such as the 2JFA Kokoro no Project (Heartful Project)" and the "Environmental Project", and continues to serve as a true leader within sporting spheres. Receives the Diamond of Asia award at the AFC Annual Awards in 2005, and the FIFA Order of Merit in 2006. Awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in 2009.
12th President (Term in Post: 2010 - 2012)
● Born in Tokyo on August 14, 1938.
After graduating from Waseda University in 1962, joins Furukawa Electric Company. While seeing trainings of the company’s football club, starts to help the club operation. For five years from 1981, takes role of London resident office head and actively works as an international committee of the Japan Football Association. After returning home, appointed as the management planning section head and serves as the football club captain. In 1998, strength of professionalization gathers and promotes to professionalize Japanese football as the chairman of the 2nd Activation Committee.
Appointed as Special-Appointment Director of Japan Football Association (JFA) in 1990, leveraging his London experience to actively serve as Chairman of the JFA International Committee. Appointed as JFA Executive Committee Member in 1991, pulling efforts to invite the 2002 FIFA World Cup as the Director-General of the Secretariat of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Bidding Committee. Appointed as Executive Committee Member of Asia Football Confederation (AFC). Brings the 2012 FIFA World Cup to a successful conclusion as deputy Secretaries-General of the Japan Organizational committee chairman. Due to highly-acclaimed those achievement and his activities at AFC activities, appointed as the third Japanese FIFA director. For nine years, Ogura acts as intermediary of associations throughout the world including JFA and FIFA to promote to internationalize Japanese football. In 2010 appointed as JFA chairman, leads Japanese football to be active on the international stage, including Nadeshiko Japan team to win the title of FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, and to be the last 16 at FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In 2012, he brings FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to a success conclusion as chairman of its Japanese organizational committee.
Appointed as Chairman of the Japan Futsal Federation in 2012. Awarded Ballon d'Or Gala from FIFA, special decoration from South African Football Association and The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in 2013.