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Japan Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held

13 September 2022

Japan Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held

Japan Football Association (JFA) held the Japan Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at JFA House on 10 September, the anniversary of its foundation, in the presence of Honorary Patron of JFA, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado.

The ceremony, which has not been held for the last two years due to the pandemic, began with an announcement that His Imperial Highness Prince Takamado, former Honorary Patron of JFA, who loved football and all sports, has been specially inducted into the Japan Football Hall of Fame last year, and a video introducing His Imperial Highness Prince Takamado was shown.

The ceremony then proceeded to show a video introducing the five inductees who were inducted into the Japan Football Hall of Fame in the 17th (2020) and 18th (2022) selections, followed by interviews conducted with the inductees and their associates.

When asked about his most memorable free kick, Mr. KIMURA Kazushi, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020 and was known as a free kick specialist during his time as a player, said it was the free kick he took against the Korea Republic National Team in the final round of the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™ qualifiers, which took place in 1985.

Mrs. Asima OSIM expressed her gratitude through a video message on behalf of the late Mr. Ivica OSIM, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Former players of JEF United Ichihara (currently JEF United Ichihara Chiba) and the Japan National Team, including Mr. HANYU Naotake, Mr. SATO Yuto and Mr. SUZUKI Keita, received the commemorative relief from JFA President TASHIMA Kohzo on behalf of their former coach's family member who was unable to travel to Japan due to the pandemic.

The family member of the late Mr. KOMINE Tadatoshi, who guided Kunimi High School and other schools to become national powerhouses, was joined by Mr. OKUBO Yoshito, a former player of the Japan National Team, who was coached by Mr. Komine at Kunimi High School, to celebrate his induction.

An episode of the late Mr. KITAYAMA Tomonori, who served as a link between South American and Japanese Football for many years, was shared by his brother in attendance: “Although he claimed to have zero football experience, he received a bit of coaching during junior high school.”

Ms. AYABE Michie, the first female inductee of the Japan Football Hall of Fame, who has coached many famous players, looked back on her experience and shared her approach on coaching children, “It is important to listen to what the children want to do. It is our job as adults and teachers to support them. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many of those children.”


TASHIMA Kohzo, JFA President
This is the first induction ceremony in three years. It is a ceremony to honour the achievements of the 17th and 18th inductees of the Japan Football Hall of Fame. I was given the honour of displaying the relief with the 17th Hall of Fame inductee Mr. KIMURA Kazushi two years ago. I also had the honour of presenting the relief to Mr. Philippe TROUSSIER, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Mr. Kimura, when he visited Japan in June of this year. Ms. AYABE Michie has become the first woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mr. Ivica OSIM was inducted for his contribution as head coach of the Japan National Team, while Mr. KITAYAMA Tomonori was inducted for his contribution in building a friendly relationship with the Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol. Mr. KOMINE Tadatoshi has brought up many players who became players of the national team and has had a great influence on coaches across the country. We are pleased to award reliefs to all four of these individuals for their contributions.

This year's selection involved individuals from various fields, including a coach of the national team, junior youth and youth coaches, and those who had been active behind the scenes, serving as members of international committees and commissions that have supported the Japanese football community. Unfortunately, we were not able to hand the reliefs to Mr. Osim, Mr. Komine and Mr. Kitayama directly, but I am sure they would be delighted to see themselves being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The current state of Japanese football lies on the foundation built by the passion and efforts of all those who have devoted their lives to the sport. While cherishing our history and traditions, we are committed to pursuing unseen landscapes. Congratulations to Mr. Kimura, Ms. Ayabe, and the family members of all inductees.

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