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Masanori TOKITA

Japan Football Hall of Fame

2nd group of inductees, 2006
Born in Hyogo Prefecture on June 24, 1925.
Graduates from Kwansei Gakuin University.
Plays football at Kobe First Junior High School (now Hyogo Prefectural Kobe High School), Kwansei Gakuin University, and Tanabe Seiyaku. Demonstrates excellent dribbling and crossing skills and becomes the finest right-winger in Japan after the Second World War.
Lines up alongside Toshio Iwatani at Kobe First Junior High School and achieves consecutive titles in the Meiji Shrine Sports Tournament (1941, 1942) and a title in the 1st Kashihara Shrine Tournament (1942), before becoming captain in 1943. Returns to education after the war at Kwansei Gakuin University, and contributes to two consecutive Kansai Students' League titles and an overall Students' Championship in 1948.
In his first year with Tanabe Seiyaku, Tokita helps the team to its first title in the 3rd All-Japan Company Championship in 1950, and in forming a strong right-sided combination with Taro Kagawa - an older, fellow former student from Kobe First Junior High School - performs a key role in helping the team win six championships in a row (ultimately extended to seven in 1957), and achieve a 94-match unbeaten record of 93 wins and one draw. Wins the All-Japan Championship on four occasions as a key member of an all-Kwansei Gakuin team (Kwansei Gakuin Club).
With the Japan national team, Tokita appears at the 1st Asian Games in 1951 (New Delhi), the 2nd Asian Games in 1954 (Manila), and the Asian qualifiers for the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. Appears as the oldest player in the first Asian qualifying game for the Games of the 16th Olympiad in 1956 (Melbourne), shining as the focal point of the attack and contributing to Japan's first ever victory over South Korea, one of the strongest teams on the continent. Represents the spiritual leader of the team, and appears in the Olympic Games themselves as captain. One of the key performers in promoting the technical abilities and spirit of Japanese football throughout the post-war recovery period, paving the way for the next generation. Appears in 12 "A" matches, scoring two goals.
Passes away in 2004.
Elected into Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of second group of inductees in 2006.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum

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  • 24 June 1925 - Born in Kobe City.
  • 1933 - Enters Kobe Municipal Nishi-Nada Elementary School.
  • 1938 - Graduates from Nishi-Nada Elementary School, and enters Kobe First Junior High School.
  • 1940 - Becomes a regular for the school's football team in his second year, playing on the right wing. The team loses to Kobe Third Junior High School in the final of the Hyogo Prefecture qualifying tournament for the All-Japan Junior High School Football Championship Tournament (now the All-Japan High School Soccer Tournament).
  • 1941 - Helps his school team to victory in the Hyogo Prefecture qualifying tournament (though the national tournament is ultimately cancelled) in the summer of his third year, and then to victory in the Meiji Shrine tournament that autumn.
  • 1942 - Helps his school team to victory in the 1st Kashihara Shrine Tournament in the summer of his fourth year, and then to victory in the Meiji Shrine tournament that autumn.
  • 1943 - Named as captain of the Kobe First Junior High School football club. Leads his team to victory in the Hyogo Prefecture Tournament in the summer, but the national tournament is cancelled, along with the Meiji Shrine tournament that autumn.
  • 1944 - Graduates from Kobe First Junior High School, and enters Kwansei Gakuin University. The football club is temporarily closed due to the war.
  • 1945 - Called up to join the army, but released following the end of the war in August. Returns to university, where the football club is reopened.
  • 1946 - Appears in the football final at the first National Sports Festival (held at Nishinomiya Stadium in November) as a member of the Kwansei Gakuin University football club, representing West Japan. His team loses 2-1 to the East Japan representatives, the University of Tokyo LB club.
  • 1947 - Kwansei Gakuin University wins the Kansai Student League title, but loses 1-4 to Waseda University in the East-West University 1st Place Challenge Match.
  • 1948 - Kwansei Gakuin University wins the Kansai Student League title again, and goes on to beat the University of Tokyo 2-0 in the East-West University 1st Place Challenge Match. An All Kwansei Gakuin University team takes victory in the 3rd National Sports Festival.
  • 1950 - Tanabe Seiyaku achieves its first victory in the 3rd edition of the All-Japan Company Football Tournament.
    March - Graduates from Kwansei Gakuin University, and joins Tanabe Seiyaku.
    June - Wins the 30th All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament (now the Emperor's Cup) with an All Kwansei Gakuin University team.
  • March 1951 - Appears for the Japanese national team at the 1st Asian Games, winning a bronze medal. The Kwansei Gakuin University Club takes victory in the 6th National Sports Festival tournament in Hiroshima. Tanabe Seiyaku achieves its second consecutive title in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament.
  • 1952 - Tanabe Seiyaku achieves its third consecutive title in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament.
  • 1953 - Tanabe Seiyaku achieves its fourth consecutive title in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament. The All Kwansei Gakuin University team takes victory in the 33rd Emperor's Cup, at Nishikyogoku.
  • 1954 - Plays in the second of Japan's two matches against South Korea in the Asian qualifying section for the World Cup in Switzerland (Japan loses 1-5 in the first game, before a 2-2 draw). Represents Japan in the 2nd Asian Games in Manila. Tanabe Seiyaku achieves its fifth consecutive title in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament.
  • 1955 - The All Kwansei Gakuin University team takes victory in the 35th Emperor's Cup, at Nishinomiya Stadium. Tanabe Seiyaku achieves its sixth consecutive title in the All-Japan Company Football Tournament.
  • June 1956 - Appears in the first of Japan's two qualifying matches against South Korea for the Olympic Games in Melbourne (Japan wins on the drawing of lots, after a 2-0 win and a 0-2 loss).
    November - Plays for the Japanese national team at the Melbourne Olympic Games (Japan are beaten 2-0 by Australia in the first round).
    Tanabe Seiyaku completes a record of 93 wins and one draw in 94 matches with a win in the semi-final of the Kansai Company Football Tournament. The team finishes as runners-up in the 9th All-Japan Company Football Tournament.
  • 1957 - Tanabe Seiyaku wins the 10th All-Japan Company Football Tournament.
  • 1959 - Continues to enjoy playing for either Tanabe Seiyaku or the Tokyo Trick Club past his 35th birthday and into the 1960s. His business career at Tanabe Seiyaku sees him promoted to manager of the company's Niigata office, manager of the Sapporo branch, and ultimately to a seat on the board in the company's head office.
    May - The Kwansei Gakuin University Club takes victory in the 39th Emperor's Cup at Koishikawa, Tokyo.
  • 1986 - Appointed as president of the Ryogo Yakuhin pharmaceutical company in Okayama.
  • 1990 - Becomes president of the Sanki Corporation.
  • 1993 - Retires.
  • 5 March 2004 - Passes away.
  • 23 May 2006 - Elected into the Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of the second group of inductees.