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Ryutaro FUKAO

Japan Football Hall of Fame

1st group of inductees, 2005
2nd JFA President (term: 1935-1943)
Born in Osaka Prefecture in 1877.
Graduated from Tokyo High School of Commerce (now Hitotsubashi University).
Baron, member of the House of Peers.
President of Nanyo Takushoku. Chairman of Toyo Denka Kogyo. Consultant to Hankai Tramway.
Sons played football at the Fifth High School (now Kumamoto University). Leads group of spirited young men ahead of the Berlin Olympic Games, stresses the importance of coaches, and develops new ethos within the Japan Football Association.
Also sat on the board of the Japan Sports Association.
Passes away in 1948.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum

Introduction

The "baron" president who combined the strengths of others in soccer to achieve great results in Berlin

Vice-president of Osaka Shosen, president of Nanyo Takushoku Co., Ltd. Ryutaro Fukao graduated from Hitotsubashi University to become active in the world of business, was well versed in foreign affairs, and even became known in political circles as a member of the House of Peers through his noble heritage (as a baron). Under his leadership, the JFA set its sights high as it aimed to develop from Asia to the world and the Olympic Games, and not only was a Japanese national team able to participate for the first time at the Berlin Olympics of 1936, but it also achieved a major coup by coming from behind to beat a strong Sweden team.

The various major responsibilities of the association at the time, such as player selection and raising funds to send teams overseas, were largely fulfilled through the efforts of people involved in soccer who had gained impetus through the ten years of progress that had been made since the association's inauguration. However, it was the effort of the JFA president that brought together the respective strengths of Kanto, Kansai, and the other regions of Japan.

The years after Berlin brought with them a difficult social situation, as the army invaded the Chinese mainland and the country went to war, but the JFA continued its soccer activities, and the fact that its efforts kept the sport alive for the next generation represents a major achievement.

Fukao had no experience of kicking a football himself, but his two sons did go on to compete in the Inter-High football competition with the Fifth High School (now Kumamoto University), and Fukao was appointed president of the association by a fellow nobleman (baron), then-JFA board member Shojiro Nomura. He went on to perform great work in the role over ten years of both difficulty and glory.

Profile

  • 19 January 1877 - Born.
  • June 1899 - Graduates from Tokyo High School of Commerce (now Hitotsubashi University).
    August - Joins Osaka Shosen (now Mitsui O. S. K. Lines).
  • March 1912 - Becomes director of Chosen Yusen.
  • December 1917 - Becomes director of Kaigai Kogyo.
  • January 1920 - Becomes executive director of Osaka Shosen.
  • November 1923 - Becomes vice-president of Osaka Shosen.
  • February 1925 - Accedes to peerage (baron).
  • June 1928 - Becomes member of the House of Peers.
  • January 1929 - Resigns as vice-president of Osaka Shosen.
    November - Becomes president of Nisshin Kisen.
  • April 1930 - Named as senior fifth-rank peer.
  • April 1934 - Awarded 4th Class Order of the Rising Sun.
  • 1 April 1935 - Becomes 2nd president of the Greater Japan Football Association (JFA), serving until August 1945. As member of the House of Peers, serves as member of the investigation committee for the parliamentary system.
  • November 1936 - Named as president of Nanyo Takushoku.
  • 1937 - Named as chairman of Nanyo Aluminium Kogyo.
  • 1939 - Resigns as chairman of Nanyo Aluminium Kogyo.
  • 1941 - Resigns as president of Nanyo Takushoku.
  • August 1945 - Resigns as JFA president.
  • 17 April 1948 - Passes away.
  • 2005 - Elected into Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of first group of inductees.