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Japan Football Hall of Fame

Selected Inductees

Yoshikazu Nagai

● Born in Kyoto Prefecture on 15 April 1944.

Joins Yanmar Diesel after graduating from Waseda University. Finishing as top scorer in the Kanto University League for four years in succession during his Waseda days. Totals 202 goals in 251 career appearances in the JSL (with Yanmar). Achieves unprecedented list of honours, including award for fighting spirit in 1968, finishing as JSL top scorer seven times, leading the league in assists three times, being named in the league's annual best XI 14 times, and winning the overall player of the year award seven times. 
Appears at the 4th and 5th Asian Youth Championships as a member of the Japanese national youth team.
Appears at the Games of the 18th (Tokyo, 1964) and 19th Olympiad (Mexico City, 1968) with the full national team. Finishes as overall top scorer in Mexico City with 7 goals. Also appears in 5th (third place in Bangkok in 1966), 6th (fourth place in Bangkok in 1970), and 7th (Tehran in 1974) editions of the Asian Games. Ends national team career having played in 76 "A" matches, scoring 75 goals. Appointed as manager of the Yanmar Diesel team in 1978; initially as player-manager until retiring from playing duties in 1984. During his time in charge, the team wins the JSL First Division title once, and the JSL Cup on two occasions. Later appointed as manager of the Matsushita Electric Industrial team in 1991 ahead of their entry to the J League (as Gamba Osaka), staying at the helm until 1995. Appointed vice-chairman of the JFA in 1998. Sits on the board of the Japan World Cup Organising Committee and is appointed as chair of the Strengthening Promotion Division for 2002, devoting his efforts into the success of the tournament and the improvement of the Japanese national team.
Elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1995. Serves as labour parliamentary vice-minister in the second Mori Cabinet in 2000.

Ryuichi SUGIYAMA

● Born in Shizuoka Prefecture on July 4, 1941.

Joins Mitsubishi Heavy Industries after graduating from Shimizu Higashi Senior High School and Meiji University. Makes 115 appearances in the JSL (all with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), scoring 40 goals. Records highest number of assists in the league on three occasions. Named in the annual best XI eight times. Named as player of the year on three occasions. Appears in the first three editions of the Asian Youth Championships with the Japan youth national team. With the full Japan national team, appears at the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo) and the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City). Records assists for five of Japan's nine goals at the Mexico City Games. Also appears at the 4th (1962, Jakarta), the 5th (1966, Bangkok, third place) and 6th (1970, Bangkok, fourth place) Asian Games. Appears in a total of 56 "A" matches for the Japan national team, scoring 15 goals. 
Appointed as manager of Yamaha in the Shizuoka Prefecture Company League's second division in 1974. Subsequently leads the team to promotion to the JSL First Division, achieving a JSL Second Division title and an Emperor's Cup title along the way before leaving the position in 1987. As general manager in the 1987/88 season, helps the team achieve its ambition of a JSL First Division title, laying the foundations for the modern-day Jubilo Iwata.

Ryuzo HIRAKI

● Born on 7 October 1931 in Osaka Prefecture.

Joins Furukawa Electric after graduating from Osaka Prefectural Kishiwada High School and Kansai Gakuin University, and working for Yuasa Battery Company. Appears in six JSL matches (for Furukawa Electric). Appears at FISU International Sports Week (Now the Universiade) in Dortmund as a member of the Japanese national students' team while still at university.
Appears at the Games of the 16th Olympiad (1956, Melbourne) and the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo) with the full national team. Takes the role of captain in his home country for the Tokyo Games, and leads the team to the last eight. Also appears at the 2nd (1962, Manilla), 3rd (1958, Tokyo) and 4th (1962, Jakarta) editions of the Asian Games. Makes 30 appearances in "A" matches for the national team, scoring once.
Supports Coach Naganuma as coach at the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City), leading the team to third place. As manager of the Japanese national youth team and the Japanese national B team, contributes to the development of the youth generation through many international matches, leading the team to the first place at the 3rd Malaharim Cup (Indonesia) for the first time.
Performs the role of assistant to schoolmaster Dettmar Cramer at a FIFA coaching school held in Chiba in 1969. Domestically, serves as manager of Furukawa Electric when the JSL first opens in 1965, and as the first manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight when the J League starts in 1992. Also serves on the board and on the permanent operating committee of the Japan Soccer League.

Masakatsu MIYAMOTO

● Born in Ibaraki Prefecture on July 4, 1938.

Joins Furukawa Electric after graduating from Hitachi First Senior High School and Waseda University. During his era, Hitachi First Senior High School makes debut to the 35th National Football High School Championship, finishes as 2nd place and he won the top scorer and MVP. As soon as enter Waseda in 1957, he contributes to be champions at the Kanto University League three times and the divisional champions of the East and West College Leagues for two times a regular player. Called up to the full Japanese national team while still a student at Waseda University for HongKong match in 1958. Known as his huge muscle power and strong fighting spirit as well as a defender with strong kick and fierce defensive play. Appears at the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo) and at the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City) with the national team. Contributes to the third place finish in the Mexico City Games by playing five games. Also appears at the 4th (1962, Jakarta) and 5th (1966, Bangkok, third place) editions of the Asian Games. Appears in a total of 44 "A" matches for the Japan national team, scoring one goal.
Enters Furukawa Electric in 1961. Emperor's Cup Champions twice (1961 and 1964), Two consecutive champions of All Japan Company Football Tournament (1961 and 1962). Plays in 103 games as a defender in the JSL (with Furukawa Electric), scoring 19 goals. Named in the annual best XI on three occasions. After a spell as manager at Waseda University, Miyamoto is appointed as manager of the Honda Motor Company football club in 1983. Later appointed as the first manager of Kashima Antlers when the J League opens in 1992, leading the team to the first stage championship in the opening year. Also takes charge of Shimizu S-Pulse in 1995. Passes away in 2002.

Shigeo Yaegashi

●  Born in Iwate Prefecture on March 24, 1933.

Joins Furukawa Electric after graduating from the Prefectural Morioka First High School, Chuo University, and Waseda University. Wins the rookie of the year award in the Kanto University League while at Chuo University. Later joins Waseda University, where Koichi Kudo, an older acquaintance from the same home town, is manager. Contributes greatly to a number of victories for Waseda, which is said to be the number one university team of the time. Plays in 51 games in the JSL (for Furukawa Electric), scoring 14 goals. Named in the annual best XI on three occasions. Receives the annual player of the year award in 1963.
Called up to the full Japan national team while still a student at Waseda University, and appears at the Games of the 16th Olympiad (1956, Melbourne). Later achieves the distinction of appearing at three separate Olympic Games, as part of the Japan team at the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo) and the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City). Captains the side in Mexico City, and provides strong mental support to lead the team to the bronze medal. Plays in a total of 44 "A" matches for the Japan national team, scoring 11 goals.
Appointed as manager of the Furukawa Electric team in 1967 ). Appointed as manager of the Fujitsu team in 1977 to set up foundations of the team.
Works as assistant to the schoolmaster, Dettmar Cramer, at a FIFA coaching school held in Chiba in 1969. Appointed as manager of the Japanese national youth team in 1970. Leads the team at the Asian Youth Championships.

Kenzo Yokoyama

Born in Tokyo on January 21, 1943.
Joins Mitsubishi Heavy Industries after graduating from Saitama Prefectural Kawaguchi High School and Rikkyo University.
Converted to goalkeeper in his third year of high school in 1961, and appeared in the 3rd Asian Youth Championships the same year. Wins first cap for the full Japan national team while still a university student, in 1963. Appears in all of Japan's matches at the Games of the 18th Olympiad in 1964 (Tokyo) and the Games of the 19th Olympiad in 1968 (Mexico City), protecting his goal with assuring saving and analytical ability from beginning to end, and contributing to Japan's progression to the last eight in the Tokyo Olympics and to the bronze medal in the Mexico City Olympics. Continues to play in goal for the national team until 1975, appearing in the Asian Games (achieving third place in the 5th edition in 1966), and the qualifying tournaments for the FIFA World Cups in Mexico and West Germany, as well as for the Munich Olympics. Appears in a total of 49 "A" matches.
Appears in 136 games in the JSL (for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, between 1966 and 1977). Captains the side in 1973-75. Achieves two title victories in the JSL First Division, including the team's first ever in 1969. Wins the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament title in 1971. Named in the annual best XI on seven occasions. Manages the Mitsubishi team from 1976 to 1983 (continuing as player-manager until 1977), and wins the JSL First Division, the JSL Cup, and the Emperor's Cup on two occasions each, including a treble triumph in 1978.
Appointed as manager of the Japanese national team in 1988, achieving Japan's first success in the Kirin Cup in 1991. Jointly holds the role of general manager to the U-23 national team in 1991-92, contributing to the strengthening of the full side. Additionally sits on the board of the JFA and chairs the strengthening committee at the same time.
Urawa Reds manager in 1994 and general manager in 1995. Later becomes assistant to the president of the club after spells as executive director and as director of the business division. Devotes energies to the development of the club, involved not only in team strengthening but also in general operations. Appointed as General Secretary of Saitama Football Association.

TakaJi Mori

● Born in Hiroshima Prefecture on November 11, 1943.

Joins Mitsubishi Heavy Industries after graduating from Shudo High School in Hiroshima, and Waseda University.
Appears at the 4th Asian Youth Championships with the Japanese national youth team in 1962. Becomes a regular in the Waseda University team from his first year. Leads a golden age for the university as captain of the team in 1966, achieving the treble success of Kanto University League, All-Japan University Championship Tournament, and Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament titles. A member of the squad at the Games of the 18th Olympiad in 1964 (Tokyo), Mori goes on to represent the Japan national team until 1976. Plays in all of Japan's matches at the Games of the 19th Olympiad in 1968 (Mexico City), leading the midfield play as half back and contributing to the achievement of the bronze medal. Also appears in the Asian Games (achieving third place in the 5th edition in 1966), the qualifying tournaments for the FIFA World Cups in Mexico and West Germany, and the qualifying tournaments for the Olympic Games in Munich and Montreal. Plays in a total of 56 "A" matches, scoring two goals.
Appears in 1946 matches in the JSL (with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), scoring 28 goals (between 1967 and 1977). Wins the JSL First Division and the Emperor's Cup on two occasions each. Named in the annual best XI on five occasions.
After spending time training as a coach in West Germany in 1979-80, becomes coach of the Japan national team, before being appointed as manager in 1981. Narrowly misses out on the finals of the FIFA World Cup in Mexico in the final qualifying game in 1985, but steadily raises the level of Japan's competitiveness, and demonstrates the path down which the team should follow. Manager of Urawa Reds in 1992-93, GM of Yokohama Marinos in 1995-97, manager of Avispa Fukuoka in 1998, GM in 1999-2001, and GM of Urawa Reds in 2001-06.

Teruki Miyamoto

● Born in Hiroshima Prefecture on December 26, 1940.

Joins Yawata Iron & Steel (Nippon Steel from 1970) from Sanyo High School in Hiroshima.
Appears at the 1st Asian Youth Championships in 1959 as Japan enters a high school select squad, ultimately finishing third. Displays a combination of precision passing, delicate ball control, and accurate shooting, and is called up to the full Japan national team in 1960. Appears in all of Japan's matches at the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo) and 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City). Plays a major role in the midfield system in Mexico City, both offensively and defensively, and makes a major contribution to Japan's achievement of the bronze medal. Continues to represent that national team until 1971, appearing in the qualifying tournaments for the FIFA World Cups in Chile and Mexico, in the Asian Games (recording third place in the 5th edition in 1966), and in the qualifying tournament for the Munich Olympics. Plays in 58 "A" matches in total, scoring 18 goals.
Also performs solidly for Yawata Iron & Steel after joining the company in 1959, becoming a key member of the football team during its golden age and contributing to two successive titles in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament in 1963 and 1964, as well as an Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament title in 1964. Plays 138 games in the JSL, scoring 68 goals (1965-76). Captains the side in 1969-73. Leads the JSL in assists in 1970, ranks sixth in the JSL's all-time goal scoring charts (68 goals), and is named in the annual best XI on six occasions. Named as player of the year in 1967.
Coaches the Nippon Steel team in 1974-75, and manages the team in 1976-79 (continuing as player-manager in 1976).
Manages the Fukuoka Prefecture representative team at the National Sports Festival of Japan in 1981-85. Appointed as manager of Kyushu Kyoritsu University in 1996, and leads the team to promotion to the Kyushu University League Division 1 within two years. Passes away in 2002.

Masashi Watanabe

● Born in Hyogo Prefecture on January 11, 1936.

Plays football for Hiroshima Municipal Motomachi Senior High School, Yawata Iron & Steel (1954-58, 1962-71; known as Nippon Steel from 1970), and Rikkyo University. Achieves victories in the Kanto University League and East-West Students' Championship Game with Rikkyo University in 1959.
Wins first cap for the full Japan national team in 1957. Continues to play mainly as a forward for the national team until 1970. Appears at the Games of the 18th Olympiad in 1964 (Tokyo) and the Games of the 19th Olympiad in 1968 (Mexico City), scoring two goals in Mexico including the equaliser against Brazil, and providing Japan with the initiative from midfield in the bronze medal match (against Mexico). Also appears in the qualifying tournaments for the Rome Olympics and for the FIFA World Cups in Chile and Mexico, and in the Asian Games (achieving third place in the 5th edition in 1966). Appears in a total of 39 "A" matches, scoring 12 goals.
After rejoining the Yawata Iron & Steel company in 1962, achieves two successive titles in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament in 1963 and 1964, as well as an Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament title in 1964. Plays in a total of 79 games in the JSL, scoring 19 goals (1965-71). Captains the team in 1965 and 1967. Named in the league's annual best XI in 1968.
Appointed as coach of the Yawata Iron & Steel team in 1968, and as manager from 1969 to 1975 (continuing as player-manager until 1971). From 1971, takes manager positions with the Japanese national "B" team, the junior youth national team (finishing as runners-up in the 15th Asian Youth Championships in 1973), the junior national team, and the Japan select XI. Coaches the full Japan national team under the management of Yukio Shimomura in 1979, and is appointed as manager of the national team in May of the following year, with the aim of rebuilding the side. However, Watanabe falls ill in autumn 1980, and has to resign as manager before he can complete his task. Passes away in 1995.

Aritatsu Ogi

● Born in Hiroshima Prefecture on December 10, 1942.

Graduates from Hiroshima University Faculty of Education-Affiliated High School and Chuo University, before joining Toyo Kogyo.
Selected for national youth team in 1961, appearing at the 3rd Asian Youth Championships. Performs as a well-balanced midfielder at Chuo University after entering the same year, and shines as the university achieves the quadruple honours in 1962 of the Kanto University League, the East-West Students' Championship Game, the National University Championship, and the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament.
Wins first cap with the full Japan national team in 1963. Appears in all the country's matches at the Games of the 18th Olympiad (1964, Tokyo) and the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City). Scores the decisive goal against a strong Argentina side to contribute to qualification for the best 8 at the Tokyo Olympics. Performs at the centre of the defence in the Mexico City Olympics as Japan wins the bronze medal. Also appears at the Asian Games (achieving third place at the 5th Asian Games in 1966) and in the qualifying tournaments for the World Cups in Mexico and West Germany and the Olympic Games in Munich and Montreal, remaining active in the Japan national team until 1976. Appears in a total of 62 "A" matches, scoring 11 goals. His total of 213 appearances in Japan national team matches of all levels is the second highest ever (correct as of July 2006).
Makes 163 appearances in the JSL (with Toyo Kogyo, 1965-76), scoring 57 goals. Captains the side in 1971-75. Wins the JSL First Division five times, including four in a row in 1965-68, and wins the Emperor's Cup three times. Top scorer in the JSL in 1966, and named in the league's annual best XI on seven occasions. Voted annual player of the year in 1965 and 1970. Appointed as coach of the Toyo Kogyo team in 1976 (while remaining a player), and as manager of the team from 1977 to 1980. Appointed as president of the Hiroshima Football Association after spells on the board and as vice-president. Vice-president of the Chugoku Football Association. Appointed to the chair of the Hiroshima Prefectural Amateur Sports Association after spells as board member and chair of the strengthening committee.

Hiroshi Katayama

● Born in Tokyo on May 28, 1940.

Enjoys football through his days at the Tokyo Gakugei University-Affiliated Setagaya Elementary School and Junior High School, and after studying at Keio Senior High School and Keio University, joins the New Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries from 1964) company in 1963. Caps at the high school and the university. National University Tournament Champion in 1961.
Converted from a forward to a defender (full back) during his time a high school. Shows strong physical ability and excellent ball technique, and performed successfully as a technical full back who was actively willing to join in the attack.
Called up to the Japanese full national team while still at university in 1960, and wins his first full cap at the 5th Merdeka Tournament the following year. Appears in all of Japan's games at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1968 Mexico City Olympics at right full back, and contributes to the team achieving a best eight spot in Tokyo and the bronze medal in Mexico City. One particularly notable episode comes in the third place playoff in Mexico City against Mexico, where Katayama's close marking ultimately results in the opposing forward being substituted midway through the game.
Appears in the 5th Asian Games in 1966 (achieving third place) and the qualifying tournaments for the FIFA World Cup in Mexico and the Olympic Games in Munich, recording a total of 38 appearances in "A" matches for the Japan national team up to 1971. Plays in 107 matches in the JSL (for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), scoring three goals. Captains the side in 1970-72. Team achieves first victory in the JSL First Division in 1969, and wins the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament in 1971. Named in the annual best XI five times in a row (1966-70). Plays a key role in the golden era for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Has devoted energies to coaching of young players since 2002 as head coach at the Mitsubishi Yowakai Foundation Soccer Schools.

Mitsuo Kamata

● Born in Ibaraki Prefecture on December 16, 1937.

Joins the Furukawa Electric Company after graduating from the Ibaraki Prefectural Hitachi First Senior High School and Chuo University. During his time at university, Kamata achieves victory in the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament in 1957 (with the Chuo University Club), and as captain in the National University Championship in 1959.
Makes his debut for the Japanese national team against Hong Kong in 1958. Subsequently becomes the cornerstone of the national team's defence, boasting calm, precise judgement and strong covering skills. Accumulates experience in the qualifying tournaments for the Rome Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in Chile, as well as in the 4th Asian Games, before appearing in all of Japan's games at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Skilfully provides cover in the most dangerous areas of the pitch as sweeper in the Mexico City Olympics, and contributes to Japan winning the bronze medal. Continues to play for the national team until 1970, making 44 appearances in "A" matches and scoring two goals.
After joining Furukawa Electric in 1960, plays in the final of the Emperor's Cup on three occasions (1960, 1961, and 1964), and achieves victories in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament twice (1961 and 1962). Makes 106 appearances in the JSL (all with Furukawa Electric), and scores six goals (between 1965 and 1974). Named in the annual best XI three times in a row (1967-69). Serves as manager of the Japanese national youth team (1975), the Japanese university select team (leading the team to the best eight at the 5th World University Championship in 1976), and the Japanese national B team (achieving second place in the 6th Marahalim Cup in 1977), and is also appointed as manager of the Furukawa Electric team in 1976. Wins the double of JSL First Division and 56th Emperor's Cup, and also achieves victory in the JSL Cup of 1977. Serves as manager of Daikyo Petroleum (now Cosmo Oil) football club in 1981-89. Heads the board of directors of the Mie Football Association from 1994, and is appointed as vice-president in 2002. Sits on the JFA board of directors in 1996-98.

Yoshitada Yamaguchi

● Born in Shizuoka Prefecture on September 28, 1944.

Joins Hitachi after graduating from the Prefectural Fujieda-Higashi High School and Chuo University. Selected as a candidate for the youth national team while still at high school, and appears at the 4th and 5th editions of the Asian Youth Championships in 1962 and 1963. Achieves title success in the Kanto University League in 1966 as captain of the Chuo University team.
Makes the major switch from forward to defender while at university, and is called up for the full Japan national team in 1964. Gains his first full cap in the game against Ghana in the Tokyo Olympics, and excels at the back with solid defending, tight and fierce marking, and precise technique.
Appears at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964 and in Mexico City in 1968, contributing to the team's achievements from the left full back position. Curbs the threat center forward in the game with France in the Mexico City Olympics, helping the side reach the last four in the Olympic Games for the first time, and ultimately contributing to Japan's bronze medal achievement. Continues to represent Japan until 1974, appearing in the Asian Games (achieving third place in the 5th edition in 1966), and the qualifying tournaments for the World Cup in West Germany and the Olympic Games in Munich. Appears in a total of 49 "A" matches for his country. Appears in a total of 121 JSL games (for Hitachi), scoring 15 goals (between 1967 and 1975). Wins the JSL First Division title in 1972, and the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament title in 1972 and 1975. Captains the side in 1974. Named in the league's annual best XI for seven consecutive seasons (1968-74).
Serves as manager of the Japanese junior national team, Universiade national team, and national "B" team, leading the latter to victory in the Marahalim Cup in 1988. Becomes manager of the national side aiming to qualify for the Barcelona Olympics in 1989, ultimately reaching the final Asian qualifying round. Manages Kashiwa Reysol in 1993. Later contributes to the development of young players as manager of the club's youth development section. Appointed as manager of the Chuo University football club in 2000, remaining at the helm until 2005.

Ikuo Matsumoto

● Born in Tochigi Prefecture on 3 November 1941.

Appears at the 2nd Asian Youth Championships in 1960, helping the Japanese national team to third place. Selected for the full Japanese national team at the age of 18 after entering Waseda University where, in his fourth year, he wins a treble of Kanto University League, the All-Japan University Championship, and the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament.
Plays a key role in four consecutive JSL titles (1965-68) for Toyo Industries as a speedy left winger. Plays mainly on the right wing for the Japanese national team at the Olympic Games Mexico City, appearing in four matches (including the third-place playoff) and helping his team win the bronze medal. Gains the absolute trust of manager Ken Naganuma for his great work rate and constant presence in both defence and attack. Wins a total of 58 caps for the Japanese national team, scoring 7 goals (between 1960 and 1969). Wins a total of five JSL titles (including in 1970 as captain; Toyo Industries' record of five JSL titles is a joint record, shared with Yomiuri) and three Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament titles. Awarded the JSL Star Ball Award in 1966, and named in the JSL's annual best XI. Makes a total of 88 appearances in the JSL First Division (all with Toyo Industries), scoring 31 goals (between 1965 and 1973).
Moves into coaching after retiring as a player, and is appointed as manager of Toyo Industries in 1976 after a spell as a coach at the club. Manages the Japanese national youth team at the 2nd World Youth Championship (now the FIFA U-20 World Cup) in Tokyo in 1979, at a time where football enjoyed little popularity in Japan. Despite being eliminated in the initial group state, the team inspires a generation of young Japanese people with its fighting spirit, generating greater hope for the future. Manages Kawasaki Frontale and Sagan Tosu in the post-1990 professional era, and demonstrates passionate leadership as he takes Frontale into J1 and Sagan into the upper reaches of J2. The dedication he showed in coaching young football lovers throughout his career still retains a valuable influence in modern day Japanese football.

Hiroshi Ochiai

● Born in Saitama Prefecture on 28 February 1946.

Known as the "Iron Man" of the JSL era after achieving a record of 260 consecutive appearances over 16 seasons. Performs superbly in the All-Japan High School Tournament as part of a strong Urawa Municipal High School side, and is named as Player of the Tournament for two years in a row.
Appears in the Asian Youth Championship with the Japanese national youth team for three years in a row from 1963 to 1965, scoring five goals in 13 appearances. As an attacking midfielder presenting a powerful goal threat both aerially and from outside the penalty area, Ochiai becomes the subject of much attention - leading to a debut with the full national team on a tour of Europe in 1966. Is later converted to a defender, where he learns strong covering and one-on-one skills to complement his attacking abilities, and fulfils a variety of roles including full-back, centre-back, and defensive midfielder.
Represents Japan in qualifying for the Montreal Olympic Games (1976), the FIFA World Cup in Argentina (1978), and the Moscow Olympic Games (1980). Earns a total of 126 Japan caps (63 in "A" matches) up to 1980, scoring 17 goals (9 in "A" matches). Makes a total of 267 appearances in his JSL career (the second most in JSL history) with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries between 1966 and 1984, scoring 56 goals. Finishes as the league's top scorer as Mitsubishi win their first ever JSL Division 1 title in 1969. Ultimately wins four JSL Division 1 titles and four Emperor's Cup All-Japan Championship Tournaments, and is named in the JSL's annual best XI on ten different occasions. Helps Mitsubishi complete a treble of JSL Division 1, Emperor's Cup, and JSL Cup titles in 1978, and additionally receives the personal honour of being named Player of the Year.
Leaves a great impression throughout Japanese footballing circles - continuing to lead the way for the Japanese national team throughout a difficult period in its history, and delivering a multitude of titles for his Mitsubishi club side. Serves as coach of the Japanese national team between 1988 and 1992, and of Urawa Reds from 1992 to 1993.

Daishiro Yoshimura

● Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 16 August 1947.

The first Japanese-Brazilian to play in the Japan Soccer League (JSL).
Joins Yanmar Diesel in 1967, where he inspires the team with his delicate touch and technique. His passing abilities make him an ideal foil for forward Kunishige Kumamoto, who is rapidly emerging as a leading player at the time. Helps Yanmar to their first ever titles in the 1968 Emperor's Cup All-Japan Championship Tournament and in JSL Division 1 in 1971, and leads the league in assists in 1972. Leads the team to the greatest era in their history, with four JSL Division 1 titles and three Emperor's Cup crowns (including a league-and-cup double in 1978) before announcing his playing retirement in 1980. Plays in a total of 189 JSL matches, scoring 30 goals and recording 54 assists. Named in the annual best XI on four occasions.
Aside from his career at Yanmar, Yoshimura takes Japanese citizenship in 1970 and goes on to contribute to the Japan national team. His valuable technical qualities allow him to play a leading attacking role as a committed member of the team for the next seven years. Yoshimura's aesthetically pleasing play shows the nation that "even Japanese players" are capable of demonstrating the individual skills of Brazilian football. This serves as a major source of encouragement as Japanese football leans more towards the Brazilian style in later years.
Retires with a Japanese national team record of 101 appearances (46 in "A" matches) and ten goals (seven in "A" matches). Becomes a coach after his retirement, and works hard to support the development of Japanese football in areas such as youth training and talent spotting.
After serving as a coach from 1981 to 1989, becomes manager of Yanmar between 1990 and 1994, and builds the foundations for what would become Cerezo Osaka. Passes away in 2003.

Yasuhiko Okudera

● Born in Akita on March 12, 1952   

Joins Furukawa Electric Company in 1970 after graduating from Sagami Institute of Technology High School, known as his speedy break-through play and his left-footed shot and highly expected. Makes his debut for the Japanese national team against Benfica Lisbon. After playing Asian Youth Championships for three consecutive years from 1970 to 1972, learns football in Brazil in early 1976 and becomes star player of the national team.
In 1977, Okudera meets Coach Hans "Hennes" Weisweile of 1FC Koln in West Germany during the national team’s away games in Europe, becomes the first professional footballer who plays at the Europe’s top club. Contributes to win titles of Bundesliga and Germany Cup of the year, the last 4 of UEFA Champions Cup of the next year, making his imprint on the club. After playing at Hertha BSC Berlin, Okudera transfers to Sportverein Werder Breme and becomes Bundesliga vice-champions three times. Makes 259 appearances and scores 34 goals in total during Bundesliga days.
Re-joins Furukawa Electric Company as a special licensed player (registered as Japan's first professional player) in 1986. Appears in the Asia Club Championship on the year and makes his return to the Japan National Team, actively playing Soul Olympic Qualifiers. Appears 79 (32 International “A” match games) national team games, scoring 19 goals (9 international A match goals) in 1970 to 1988. Appears 143 Japan Football League games (JSL/Furukawa Electric Company), scoring 39 goals in 1970-1977 and 1986 0 1988. Named in the annual JSL best XI on two occasions. In 1976, he achieves both the first title of JSL 1st division champion and Emperor’s Cup. After spells as General Manager of East Japan Furukawa Football Club and coach of Jef United Ichihara, appointed as General Manager of Yokohama FC and the its president.

Yoshikazu Nagai

● Born in Saitama on April 16, 1952.   

Leads Urawa Minami city high school to achieve three titles of Inter-High, National Sports Festival and National High School Championship by his speedy and aggressive performance toward goals. Modeled as a popular TV cartoon character of “Bloody Eleven (Akaki Chi no IREBUN)”.
Appointed as a member of the Japanese national youth team while being at high school, scoring a goal against Korea at the Munich Olympic qualifier and becoming an irreplaceable attacker as of being 19 years old. His small build of 169 cm high, but speedy dribbling break-through, middle shots and his splendid play style to the finish line make Asian defenders tensed. Appears in FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Olympic qualifiers, and Asian championships, appears in 166 Japan National Team games (69 international A match games) and scores 19 goals (9 international A match goals) in 1971 – 1980.
In 1976, his Furukawa Electric team achieves two titles of JSL 1st division for the first time and Emperor’s cup. Awarded the annual MVP. Contributes to win the title of Asia Club Championship in 1986. He continues to play at Japan Football League (JSL/Furukawa Electric) until 1988, leading the team. His great records include 272 games appearances (1st in the history), 63 goals (9th in the history), 77 assists (2rd in the history). Awarded the best assist player on three occasions, JSL annual best XI on five occasions.
After retirement as player, serves Japan Youth (U-18) Team Coach, East Japan Furukawa Football Club (JEF United Ichihara) from 1992 to 1993, Fukushima FC (1996), Albirex Niigata (1998 to 2000), Yokohama FC (2001) and Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies (2006 to 2007).

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