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Japanese Soccer Personalities

Takaji MORI

Japan Football Hall of Fame

3rd group of inductees, 2006
Born in Hiroshima Prefecture on November 11, 1943.
Joins Mitsubishi Heavy Industries after graduating from Shudo High School in Hiroshima, and Waseda University.
Appears at the 4th Asian Youth Championships with the Japanese national youth team in 1962. Becomes a regular in the Waseda University team from his first year. Leads a golden age for the university as captain of the team in 1966, achieving the treble success of Kanto University League, All-Japan University Championship Tournament, and Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament titles.
A member of the squad at the Games of the 18th Olympiad in 1964 (Tokyo), Mori goes on to represent the Japan national team until 1976. Plays in all of Japan's matches at the Games of the 19th Olympiad in 1968 (Mexico City), leading the midfield play as half back and contributing to the achievement of the bronze medal. Also appears in the Asian Games (achieving third place in the 5th edition in 1966), the qualifying tournaments for the FIFA World Cups in Mexico and West Germany, and the qualifying tournaments for the Olympic Games in Munich and Montreal. Plays in a total of 56 "A" matches, scoring two goals.
Appears in 1946 matches in the JSL (with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), scoring 28 goals (between 1967 and 1977). Wins the JSL First Division and the Emperor's Cup on two occasions each. Named in the annual best XI on five occasions.
After spending time training as a coach in West Germany in 1979-80, becomes coach of the Japan national team, before being appointed as manager in 1981. Narrowly misses out on the finals of the FIFA World Cup in Mexico in the final qualifying game in 1985, but steadily raises the level of Japan's competitiveness, and demonstrates the path down which the team should follow.
Manager of Urawa Reds in 1992-93, GM of Yokohama Marinos in 1995-97, manager of Avispa Fukuoka in 1998, GM in 1999-2001, and GM of Urawa Reds in 2001-06.
Elected into Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of second group of inductees in 2006.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum


Now Editting


  • 24 November 1943 - Born in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture. Younger brother of Kenji Mori.
  • April 1956 - Enters Shudo Junior High School.
  • April 1959 - Enters Shudo High School, and joins the school's football team.
  • 1961 - Helps Shudo High School win the football event at the National Sports Festival in Akita. The school also beats a Yamashiro High School side (representing Kyoto Prefecture) featuring the likes of Kunishige Kamamoto and Teruo Nimura 2-0 in the final of the All-Japan High School Soccer Tournament, to clinch the high school Double.
  • April 1962 - Entered the department of autonomous government studies at the Waseda University School of Political Science and Economics, and joined the university's football team, where he became a regular starter from his first year. In the same year was Teruo Nimura, while Ikuo Matsumoto and Takayuki Kuwata were two years above him, and Kunishige Kamamoto was one year below.
    Appeared at the 4th Asian Youth Championship in Bangkok. Japan is eliminated after finishing fourth in their first round group.
  • January 1964 - Waseda University defeats Hitachi (now Kashiwa Reysol) in the final of the Emperor's Cup to take the trophy for the first time in 26 years.
    October - Called up to the Japanese national team squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo (but does not make an appearance on the pitch).
  • March 1965 - Makes his debut for the Japanese national team in a 3-1 victory over a Bangkok Select XI in Thailand. Continues to represent his country until 1976, appearing in 56 "A" matches and scoring two goals.
  • 1966 - Appointed as captain of the Waseda University association football club, and leads the side to a Treble of Kanto University League, All-Japan University Tournament, and Emperor's Cup titles. In the final of the Emperor's Cup, Waseda wins a close match by a score of 3-2 against Toyo Industries (now Sanfrecce Hiroshima).
    December - Appears in his first international "A" match in the 5th Asian Games in Bangkok, helping the team to third place and a bronze medal.
  • April 1967 - Graduates from Waseda University, and joins the football club at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (now Urawa Reds) in the JSL.
    October - Scores his first ever goal for the Japanese national team in a 3-1 win over Lebanon in qualification for the Olympic Games in Mexico City.
  • 1968 - Appears in all of Japan's six matches at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, helping the team pick up the bronze medal. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries finishes second in the JSL, behind Toyo Industries.
  • October 1969 - Appears in the qualifying tournament for the FIFA World Cup in Mexico.
    November - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries overhauls Toyo Industries - which had won four JSL titles in a row - to clinch its first ever championship crown (with 10 wins and 4 draws). Mori is named in the league's annual best XI for the first time.
  • August 1970 - Appears at the 14th Merdeka Tournament.
    November - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries finishes second in the JSL, missing out on consecutive titles, but Mori is named in the league's annual best XI for the second year in a row.
    December - Appears at the 6th Asian Games (in Bangkok), as Japan finishes fourth in the football competition.
  • September 1971 - Appears in qualification for the Munich Olympic Games (continuing into October).
  • January 1972 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries wins the 51st Emperor's Cup (beating Yanmar Diesel 3-1 in the final).
    July 1972 - Helps Japan to a third place finish at the 16th Merdeka Tournament (in Kuala Lumpur).
  • May 1973 - Appears in qualification for the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.
    November - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries wins its second ever JSL title and its first for four years (with a record of W14 D2 L2). Mori is named in the league's annual best XI (for the third time), and records the fourth highest number of assists that season.
  • January 1974 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries beats Hitachi 2-1 in the final of the 53rd Emperor's Cup to be crowned as champions for the first time in two years.
    December - Named in the league's annual best XI for the fourth time ever and the second year in a row, before being nominated for the third consecutive season the following year.
  • March 1976 - Appears in qualification for the Montreal Olympic Games (continuing into April).
  • 1977 - Retires as a player with a career record of 146 JSL appearances and 28 goals.
  • 1979 - Travels to West Germany to train as a coach (until 1980).
  • 1980 - Appointed as coach of the Japanese national team (serving under manager Saburo Kawabuchi).
  • 1981 - Appointed as successor to Saburo Kawabuchi as manager of the Japanese national team.
    May - Japan draws 2-2 with Everton at the National Stadium in Mori's first match at the helm, during the 窶労apan Cup Kirin World Soccer 1981' competition.
  • November 1982 - Japan beats South Korea 2-1 in the Asian Games (New Delhi) to achieve its first ever title in a football tournament played overseas.
  • April 1984 - Japan loses all four of its matches in the final qualifying round for the Los Angeles Olympic Games.
  • 1985 - The Japanese national team progresses to the final round of qualification for the Mexico World Cup, but misses out on the Finals following a narrow defeat to South Korea. Mori resigns as manager.
  • 1988 - Joins the JSL's revitalisation committee (professional league discussion committee; later becomes the J. League), which was set up by his elder brother Kenji and Kozo Kinomoto. Establishes Urawa as the hometown for Mitsubishi Football Club, founds Urawa Red Diamonds, and works to seal a place in the new J. League.
  • 1992 - Appointed as manager of Mitsubishi Urawa Football Club (now Urawa Red Diamonds), serving until 1993. Leads the team to the final of the Emperor's Cup in his first year in charge.
  • 1993 - Resigns as Urawa Red Diamonds manager after one full year, after the team suffers a succession of injuries and finishes bottom of both the Suntory Series and the NICOS Series.
  • 1995 - Appointed as GM of Yokohama Marinos (serving until 1997).
  • 1998 - Appointed as manager of Avispa Fukuoka, but resigns after just one year after poor results see the team finish the season in 18th and last position.
  • 1999 - Appointed as GM of Avispa Fukuoka (serving until 2001).
  • 2001 - Appointed as GM of Urawa Reds (serving until 2006).
  • 2002 - Invites Hans Ooft to take over as manager of Urawa Reds. The move is a success, as Urawa reach the final of the J. League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup.
    Works to reform the club's youth and junior youth systems, re-launching them as organizations with a focus on professional development rather than mere education.
  • 2003 - Launches the "Urawa Reds Heart-Full Club", with the aim of conveying the joys of football to children, and promoting their spiritual development.
  • 2004 - Paves the way for major overhauls at Urawa Reds, with Guido Buchwald as manager and Gert Engels as head coach. The team takes its first ever stage title in the 2nd Stage, finishing the season second overall, and also reaches the final of the Nabisco Cup for the second year in a row.
  • January 2005 - Urawa Reds wins the 85th Emperor's Cup (beating Shimizu S-Pulse 2-1 in the final).
  • January 2006 - Urawa Reds wins the 86th Emperor's Cup to take its second consecutive title (beating Gamba Osaka 1-0 in the final).
    May - Elected into the Japan Hall of Fame as part of the third group of inductees.
  • 2008 - Appointed as advisor to Yokohama GS Football Club, based in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
  • 2006 - Elected into Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of third group of inductees.