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Japanese Soccer Personalities


Japan Football Hall of Fame

1st group of inductees, 2005
Born on 7 October 1931 in Osaka Prefecture.
Joins Furukawa Electric after graduating from Osaka Prefectural Kishiwada High School and Kwansei Gakuin University, and working for Yuasa Battery Company. Appears in six JSL matches (for Furukawa Electric).
Appears at FISU International Sports Week (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 3rd and 4th editions of the Asian Games. Makes 30 appearances in "A" matches for the national team, scoring once.
Appointed as manager of the Japanese national youth team in 1965, leading the side at the 7th to 10th editions of the Asian Youth Championships. Contributes to the development of the youth generation. Supports Coach Naganuma as coach at the Games of the 19th Olympiad (1968, Mexico City), leading the team to third place. Also contests several international matches as manager of the Japanese national B team.
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.
Elected into Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of first group of inductees in 2005.
Passes away on 2 January 2009.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum



  • 7 October 1931 - Born as the third son of five children to mother Enako and father Makizo, who runs an iron works in Hamadera in the city of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture.
  • 1948 - Enters Kishiwada High School, where his love of football begins.
  • January 1951 - Competes in the All-Japan Junior High School Football Championship as a member of the Osaka representative team that makes the last four. Plays in the inside-forward position (equivalent to today's attacking midfielder).
    April - Enters Kwansei Gakuin University.
    September - Becomes first choice in the university football team (in defence) ahead of its regular meeting with Waseda University. Helps team win the East-West Students' Championship Game in December, alongside forward Ken Naganuma (chief advisor to the JFA until his death in 2008).
  • 1953 - Appears at FISU International Sports Week in Dortmund, West Germany.
  • March 1954 - Appears in Japan's second qualifying match for the World Cup in Switzerland against South Korea.
    May - Represents Japan at the 2nd Asian Games. Continues to play for his country throughout the following ten years.
  • 1956 - Selected for the national team squad via the drawing of lots following Japan's two matches with South Korea in Asian qualification for the Melbourne Olympic Games (2-0, 0-1). November - Japan are knocked out in the first round at Melbourne with a 2-0 defeat to hosts Australia.
  • 1957 - Graduates from Kwansei Gakuin University. Joins Yuasa Battery Company.
    October - Takes part in Japanese national team's tour of China.
  • 1958 - Moves to Furukawa Electric.
    May - Appears at 3rd Asian Games.
  • December 1959 - Japan are knocked out on aggregate after one win and one draw (0-2, 1-0) against South Korea in Asian qualifying for the Rome Olympic Games.
  • May 1960 - Furukawa Electric wins the Emperor's Cup; the first title for a company team. Hiraki enjoys the coaching of Dettmar Cramer during the Japan national team's summer tour of Europe.
    November - Japan are beaten 2-1 by South Korea in Seoul during Asian qualification for the 1962 World Cup in Chile.
  • May 1961 - Furukawa Electric wins the Emperor's Cup for the second year in a row.
    June - Japan loses to South Korea in the World Cup qualifiers again, this time in Tokyo by a score of 0-2.
  • August 1962 - Appears at the 4th Asian Games, where Japan are knocked out in the initial group stage after one win and two defeats.
  • 1963 - Appointed player-manager of Furukawa Electric.
  • October 1964 - Captains Japan national team at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
  • 1965 - Furukawa Electric finishes 3rd in the newly-formed Japan Soccer League. Hiraki appears in a total of six games over this and the following year, before concentrating solely on coaching duties.
  • 1968 - Named as coach of the Japanese national team at the Mexico City Olympic Games. Works hard to scout opponents and analyse their tactical strengths, and leads Japan to third place and the bronze medal.
  • July-October 1969 - Performs the role of assistant to schoolmaster Dettmar Cramer at the 1st FIFA coaching school, held in Kemigawa.
  • 1972 - Acts to promote reforms to the Emperor's Cup, which would pave the way for all JFA-affiliated teams to be allowed to take part.
  • 1976 - Becomes member of the JFA board. Works under executive director Ken Naganuma to implement reforms to the player registration system.
  • May 1988 - Named as executive director of the JFA.
  • March 1991 - Leaves JFA post to become manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight.
  • 1993 - Leaves management post at Nagoya Grampus Eight.
  • 27 May 2005 - Elected into the Japan Hall of Fame as part of the first group of inductees.
  • 2 January 2009 - Passes away.