Japan Soccer Archive

Home
History of Japanese Soccer
Japanese Soccer Personalities
Virtual Library

Japanese Soccer Personalities

Shizuo FUJITA

Japan Football Hall of Fame

1st group of inductees, 2005
6th JFA President (term: 1987-1992)
Born in Kyoto Prefecture on February 5, 1911.
Graduated from 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. Also works as executive of other companies, including Takenaka Electronic Industrial Co., Ltd.
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 soccer 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 soccer 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 - among several other honours.
Passes away in 2002.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum

Introduction

The 6th JFA president, who built on success in Kyoto to work towards prosperity for Japanese soccer

Despite his broad perspective and wide international connections, it was extremely unusual not only for the JFA (Japan Football Association) but for any Japanese central organisation based in Tokyo to appoint to the role of president someone such as Shizuo Fujita, who had been born, raised, and living in Kyoto, and had worked for many years towards the development of soccer and other sports in this city. His appointment was partly due to the strong intention of the fifth JFA president, Tomisaburo Hirai.

After graduating from Kyoto Normal School (now Kyoto University of Education), he worked in teaching and in the Kyoto prefectural government, before leaving to found Fujita Sangyo and the Fujita Building, and becoming active in the world of business. At the same time, he continued to operate at the centre of the Kyoto Football Association and the Kyoto Amateur Sports Association, and it became universally known that "in Kyoto, there is Fujita".

The trigger for this came in the 1st National Sports Festival, held in Kyoto in 1947, soon after the end of the Second World War. At a time where resources were highly limited, Fujita worked with friends to prepare a ground which had been used as a potato field during the war, and invited athletes from across the country to compete in what was ultimately a highly successful competition. At the time, Fujita was 36, and was already president of the Kyoto Football Association. The following year, he became vice-president of the Kyoto Amateur Sports Association, and for the next fifty years, he continued to participate in entrance processions at National Sports Festival opening ceremonies as head of the athletes' association.

In the world of soccer, Fujita founded the Kyoto Football Friends' Association as a back-up organization the year before the Tokyo Olympics, and played a leading role in the spread of the sport. Having seen the phenomenal ability of Kunishige Kamamoto during his time at Yamashiro High School, Fujita supported his development, and is well known for having performed a major role in the growth of Kamamoto into a world-class footballer.

Fujita also studied English, had a deep knowledge of overseas affairs from a young age, and participated in international conferences. He performed leading roles for touring Japanese teams at major matches, including as deputy team leader in the national team's first visit to China in 1957, and as football team leader at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

In addition to travelling overseas himself, Fujita also actively enjoyed exchange with overseas dignitaries visiting Japan, and entertained many overseas footballing personalities with his own personal introductions to the historical city of Kyoto. The sixth president of FIFA, Sir Stanley Rous, was among those to enjoy such a guided tour.

Fujita's interests also extended to the media, and he invited journalists from across the Kansai region and held press conferences whenever overseas dignitaries had been invited. Even in a time with little demand for news, it was his desire that Kansai journalists would take a greater interest in overseas affairs.

As JFA vice-president under fifth president Tomisaburo Hirai, Fujita paved the way for a brighter future for the association, before building steps for the next period of great development during his time as president, including making preparations for the foundation of a professional league (the J League), approving a bid for the World Cup hosting rights, and founding the Japanese Youth Championships as a first step towards hosting age-specific tournaments in accordance with registered age categories.

Profile

  • 5 February 1911 - Born.
  • 1925 - Enters Kyoto Normal School, where he joins the football club from his second year.
  • January 1928 - Appears at 10th All-Japan Junior High School Football Championship Tournament (now High School Football Championship Tournament), but Kyoto Normal School are beaten in the first round.
  • January 1930 - Appears at 12th All-Japan Junior High School Football Championship Tournament, where his school are knocked out in the second round.
    March - Graduates from Kyoto Normal School. Works in teaching in Kyoto, before joining the Kyoto prefectural government.
  • 1935 - Appointed as chair of the board of the Kyoto Football Association at the age of 24.
  • 1947 - Becomes president of the Kyoto Football Association.
  • 1953 - Leaves the Kyoto prefectural government to found Fujita Sangyo (now the Fujita Building).
  • 1954 - Becomes executive director of the Japan Football Association.
  • 1956 - Becomes president of the Kyoto City Amateur Sports Association.
  • April 1973 - Joins the board of the Japan Sports Association.
  • 1976 - Named as vice-president of the Japan Football Association.
  • 1981 - Named as honorary president of the Kyoto Football Association.
  • April 1987 - Named as president of the Japan Football Association.
  • 1989 - Becomes president of the Kyoto Amateur Sports Association.
  • May 1992 - Named as honorary president of the Japan Football Association.
  • May 1994 - Becomes honorary president and advisor to the Japan Football Association, and honorary president of the Kyoto City Amateur Sports Association.
  • 1998 - Named as honorary president of the Kyoto Amateur Sports Association.
  • April 2000 - Becomes chief advisor to the Japan Football Association.
  • 27 September 2002 - Passes away.