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Goro YAMADA

Japan Football Hall of Fame

1st group of inductees, 2005
Born in Fukushima Prefecture on March 3, 1894
Graduates from Aoyama Normal School (now Tokyo Gakugei University).
Works as head of Asahi Shimbun sports department from 1939 to 1941, and performs a pioneering role as a soccer journalist wielding his pen to popularise and develop soccer in the country. Works as chief editor of JFA magazine "Football" for many years.
Achieves victory in 1st All-Japan Championship Tournament (now Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament) as captain of Tokyo Football Club. Takes role as manager of Japan national team at 7th Far Eastern Championship Games (1925, Manila).
Also takes roles as standing director, Kanto Football Association deputy chairman, and member of board of directors at Japan Sports Association.
Passes away in 1958.
Elected into Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of first group of inductees in 2005.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum

Introduction

Pioneering soccer journalist. Loved by all as an elementary school teacher, newspaper journalist, and renowned player and coach

Goro Yamada was a truly pioneering soccer journalist. Not only was he a star player of his time as captain of the Tokyo Football Club side that were victorious in the 1st All-Japan Championship Tournament (now Emperor's Cup), but he also gained a strong reputation as a coach, and was loved and respected as a valuable influence to my generation as a journalist with the Asahi Shimbun, as the editor of the JFA magazine, and as a writer.

Yamada was born in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, in 1894. After graduating from higher elementary school and working as an assistant teacher at a local elementary school, he studies at Aoyama Normal School, and it was here that he become caught up in the charms of soccer.

In 1917, he graduated from the first section of the main curriculum at Aoyama Normal School, and became a teacher at Matsuchiyama Elementary School in Asakusa, Tokyo.

In the very same year, Yamada joined "Tokyo Football Club" in response to a call from Tairei Uchino, following Japan's heavy defeats at the 3rd Far Eastern Championship Games. The 23-year-old Yamada became a key player in the club, appearing at right half-back in the final of the 1st All-Japan Championship Tournament as his team beat Mikage Normal School 1-0 to receive the FA Cup from the United Kingdom Ambassador to Japan, Charles Eliot.

In 1925, he took the role of manager of the Japan national team at the 7th Far Eastern Championship Games (Manila), and published the coaching manual "Association Football" for boys the same year, but would a year later leave his role as elementary school teacher and join the Asahi Shimbun to work as a journalist in the sports department.

At the 9th Far Eastern Championship Games, held at Meiji Shrine Stadium in Tokyo in 1930, Japan beat the Philippines (7-2) and drew with the Republic of China (3-3) to allow Yamada to experience the joy of reporting on the achievement of first place - albeit with an identical winning percentage to the Republic of China - while his role as special correspondent in Manila in 1934 (at the Far Eastern Championship Games) showed him the experience of disappointment. During the Berlin Olympics of 1936, he danced for joy as news of Japan's comeback victory against Sweden reached the newspaper's head office in Tokyo in the middle of the night.

After the joys of writing on the growth and activity of his junior during the period of growth for Japanese soccer before World War II, he watched from the flanks as the sport got off the ground again after the war, and focused on his editing role at the JFA's magazine while continuing his own writing at the same time.

Some of his articles, filled with subtle yet genuine affection for Japanese soccer, can be found in the JFA magazines and Asahi Sports publications on our bookshelves, and I would certainly recommend a look at his editor's postscripts in the JFA magazines to any young person aspiring towards a career as a soccer journalist.

Profile

  • 3 March 1894 - Born in the town (now city) of Nihonmatsu in Adachi District, Fukushima Prefecture.
  • 1917 - Graduates from first section of main curriculum at Aoyama Normal School, and becomes teacher at Matsuchiyama Elementary School in Asakusa, Tokyo.
    September - Joins "Tokyo Football Club" in response to a call from Tairei Uchino, and becomes key player and coach at the club.
  • February 1918 - Tokyo Football Club hosts 1st Kanto Junior High School Football Tournament
  • November 1921 - 1st All-Japan Championship Tournament (now Emperor's Cup) is held in Tokyo. Tokyo Football Club beats Mikage Normal School 1-0 to be crowned inaugural champions. As captain, Goro Yamada receives the cup - presented to Japan by the Football Association - from the United Kingdom Ambassador to Japan, Charles Eliot.
  • May 1925 - Takes the role of manager of the Japan national team at the 7th Far Eastern Championship Games in Manila.
    August - Publishes the coaching manual "Association Football" (Sugita Nisshindo) for boys.
  • 1926 - Resigns from teaching position at the Iriarai Dai-ni Elementary School in Omorimachi to work on the sports desk at the Asahi Shimbun.
  • 1932 - Publishes "Tips for Football Coaching and Practice" (Meguro Shoten).
  • 1934 - Works as special correspondent at the 10th Far Eastern Championship Games in Manila.
  • 1936 - Appointed deputy editor of the Asahi Shimbun sports section (Tokyo).
  • 1939 - Appointed editor of the Asahi Shimbun sports section.
  • 1942 - Appointed editor of the Asahi Shimbun general affairs section.
  • 1944 - Appointed head of the emergency response division at the Asahi Shimbun head office in Tokyo.
  • 1949 - Retires from the Asahi Shimbun, but continues working on a guest basis.
  • 9 March 1958 - Passes away suddenly due to a brain haemorrhage. During his lifetime, Yamada also served as standing director of the Greater Japan Football Association, and as deputy president of the Kanto Football Association.
  • 27 May 2005 - Elected into the Japan Hall of Fame as part of the first group of inductees.