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The 19th selection of Japan Football Hall of Fame inductees announced

22 June 2023

The 19th selection of Japan Football Hall of Fame inductees announced

Japan Football Association (JFA) has announced that Mr. OSAWA Hideo, Mr. DAINI Kuniya, Mr. Sergio ECHIGO, Mr. TAKAHASHI Yoichi, and the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™ Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) were named as the 19th selection of Japan Football Hall of Fame inductees.

Induction by vote

None were selected by vote

Special selection (4 persons and 1 team)

※In order of date of birth. The age of each inductee is as of the Japan Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on 10 September.

1. OSAWA Hideo

Date of birth: 22 January 1936 (87 years old)
Place of birth: Hokkaido

Played for Kokushikan University football club since its inception and served as the club’s coach and manger after graduation. In his more than 60 years of coaching, he has led Kokushikan University to become one of the national powerhouses and has trained many professional footballers.

He has also devoted himself to the education of coaches and has produced many talented managers and coaches, as well as staff members of JFA and clubs, from Kokushikan University. Youth (U-12) development was another area of focus for him, as he played a key role in the founding of the Japan U-12 Football Championship, which is now known as the JFA U-12 Japan Football Championship. As JFA’s Member of Executive Committee in charge of Class 4(U-12) and Co-opted Member of Executive Committee, he paved the way for the introduction of eight-a-side Football.
In 2003, he helped found the “Independence League (I-League)” to provide opportunities for all players in university football teams across the country. Along with his contribution to expand the player base for university football, he has also helped strengthen the pool of elite players. This is due to that fact that many of the players who were given the opportunity to compete in the I-League made tremendous strides, including those who were eventually selected to the national team.

He also served as the first chairman of the Japan Football Coaches Association (JFCA) and was instrumental in institutionalising coaching.

He currently serves as the Chairperson of Executive Board for Educatinal Foundation of Kokushikan.

Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in 2019.

2. DAINI Kuniya

Date of birth: 12 October 1944 (78 years old)
Place of birth: Hyogo

Started playing football at Kobe Municipal Motoyama Junior High School. After graduating from Hyogo Prefectural Kobe High School, he entered Keio University in 1964, and played for the Keio University Soccer Team. He played the full ninety minutes in all official matches during his time at Keio University.

In 1970 he began working for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and joined its football club. He was selected for the national team in 1972. Up to his retirement in 1978, he played 119 matches over eight years in the Japan Soccer League (JSL), with one goal and four assists. He played 44 international A-matches for the Japan National Team. In 1978, he became coach of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Football Club while continuing to play as an active player. After retirement he became a full-time coach and was promoted to manager in 1984, a position he held until 1989.

In 1992, he was appointed to the JFA Facilities Committee, where he worked on the planning and development of the venues for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™. In 1996, he became a member of the JFA Executive Committee. In the same year, he became chairman of the Technical Committee and was involved in the selection of the new manager for the Japan National Team. Since 1999, he has supported the Japan National Team led by Philippe TROUSSIER as vice chair of the Strengthening Promotion Division for 2002, contributing to the team's advancement to the round of 16 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™.

After serving as a standing member of the JFA Executive Committee, Chairman of the JFA Women's Committee, Vice President of J-VILLAGE Inc., and President of the Japan Futsal Federation, he was appointed JFA Vice President in 2006 and COO of the Japan Futsal League (F.League) in 2007. He was elected president of JFA in 2012, and his leadership was instrumental in the national team’s qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, the development of women's football, the aid provided for the Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction, organisational reforms of JFA, and the building of Prince Takamado Memorial JFA YUME Field, among other initiatives.

Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in 2016.

3. Sergio ECHIGO

Date of birth: 28 July 1945 (77 years old)
Place of birth: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he played for a number of clubs, including the illustrious Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. He came to Japan in 1972 and played for Towa Real Estate SC, the predecessor team of Shonan Bellmare, becoming the first former professional player to play in the JSL.

Following his retirement, he worked as a coach for JSL first division side Eidai. Since 1978, he has travelled around the country as a special coach for the “Sawayaka Soccer Clinic,” conducting more than 1,000 sessions over 25 years and coaching more than 500,000 children.

His masterful techniques, which he developed in Brazil, inspired many children, and countless participants later went on to play in the J.League and for the Japan National Team. He sowed the seeds of football throughout the country and contributed greatly to the subsequent development of Japanese football. He also served as a member of the JFA Technical Committee.

He currently works as a football commentator, conveying the joy and appeal of the game. He is well known for his scathing criticism and frequently takes a strict stance when tackling issues. Serving on the boards of the professional ice hockey team H.C. Tochigi Nikko Ice Bucks and the Japan Amputee Football Association, he is also involved in the promotion of sports other than football.

Awarded the Lifelong Sports Achievement Award (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) in 2006, Foreign Minister’s Commendations for FY 2013, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays in 2017.


Date of birth: 28 July 1960 (62 years old)
Place of birth: Tokyo

Author of the football manga “Captain Tsubasa,” which began serialising in “Weekly Shonen Jump” in 1981 and became a worldwide hit. Since it first appeared on the weekly manga magazine, his work, which follows the main character OZORA Tsubasa and his unique teammates and rivals as they mature through football, has captured the hearts of young readers and inspired many boys and girls to take up the sport. Many players who were influenced by Captain Tsubasa went on to play professionally, which helped the J.League gain popularity and significantly contributed to the growth and development of football in Japan.

The animated series was also broadcasted around the world and influenced many players who later became world-class footballers. Its sequel is still being serialised and continues to fascinate football fans around the world. Since 2013, “Captain Tsubasa Rising Sun” has been serialised in “Grand Jump.”

Over 90 million copies of the comics have been sold worldwide, and in 1983, 1994, and 2001 the series was turned into animation and movies. Stage plays have also been made from it.

In 2019, he also became the owner of “Nankatsu SC,” a newly founded football club in his hometown of Katsushika, Tokyo, with the aim of gaining promotion to the J.League.

5. FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™ Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team)

The Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team), who won the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™.

After finishing second in the group stage with two wins and one loss, they defeated the host nation Germany 1-0 in extra time in the quarterfinals, before beating Sweden 3-1 in the semi-finals to reach their first World Cup final.

In the final against the tournament favourites, USA, Japan conceded the lead twice, but showed phenomenal resilience to catch up, with midfielders MIYAMA Aya and SAWA Homare scoring the equalising goals at the end of the second half and extra time, respectively. The score remained tied after extra time, and the match entered a penalty shoot-out, in which goalkeeper KAIHORI Ayumi made two spectacular saves that gave Japan its first ever title in a FIFA competition.

Team captain, Sawa, was awarded the Golden Boot for being the tournament's top scorer with five goals and the Golden Ball for being the tournament's MVP, while the team was awarded the Fair-play Award.

Prior to this competition, Japan was affected by the Great East Japan earthquake in March. Nadeshiko Japan became the first group to receive the People's Honour Award in recognition of their dedication, perseverance, and success, which gave the nation enormous bravery at a time when everyone was grieving the tragic events that had transpired earlier in the year.

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