The game was first played in Yokohama in 1874. From early times many influential people in Japan prized the game’s ethos, seeing in them an expression of bushido’s chivalric values.
The Japan Rugby Football Union was not formed until 1926. Japan became a full member of World Rugby in 1987. It was a founder member of the Asian Rugby Football Union.
Rugby has been carefully developed within Japan for over a century and the National team, the Cherry Blossoms, is currently ranked thirteenth in the World. They will participate in the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and in 2019 will become the first Nation in Asia to host the event. In 2020 Tokyo hosts the Olympic Games.
Rugby in Japan has long had a strong association with the University structure across the country with the Keio v Waseda match running annually since 1924.
It has also had a strong connection with the Royal family. Prince Chichibu wholeheartedly promoted the game and the National Rugby Stadium in Tokyo is named after him. A statue of the Prince in rugby clothing has been erected outside the ground.
The Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) Physical Training School was established in 1961 in Tokyo. It is the ‘centre of excellence’ for military athletes whose goals are to participate in the Olympic Games. The Japanese PT School has produced 8 Olympic Games Gold Medallists so far.
In order to participate in the International Defense Rugby Competition 2015 the Japanese PT School has called upon the best rugby players in the Self Defence Force. Most of the team members were selected from the Camp Funaoka Army Engineers and Camp Narashino Army Airborne Forces rugby teams. These Army teams are taken from the “Top East” Division which is one of the leagues promoted by the Japan Rugby Football Union.
Camp Funaoka and Camp Narashino are the best teams in the JSDF and have competed against each other in the JSDF Rugby Finals for a quarter of a century. This is a prestigious competition that has had a long and ground breaking history and has been held 56 times to date.
JSDF has augmented the Army squad and selected players from both the Navy and Air Force thus creating a Joint Services Team. In total, our team of players and staff are 36 personnel.
We may not have the size, but we will venture into this competition with experience in intense training and a “SAMURAI spirit”. We will be proud to achieve a perfect balance between our mission as military officials and as rugby players at the same time.
2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be held soon and under these circumstances, rugby is becomng more and more popular in Japan. Therefore, it is essential that we do our very best and promote defence cooperation with our RUGBY spirit.
We are committed to winning our games and in contributing to the improvement of rugby culture in Japan!
|AKINORI TSUSHIMA||NO. 8|
|CHIHIRO SAKAGUCHI||NO. 8|
|TAKEHIRO MEGURO||SCRUM HALF|
|SUGURU ASANO||SCRUM HALF|
|SHUNSUKE TAKANO||FLY HALF|
|SUGURU MIZUMA||FLY HALF|
|TAKUYA AKASAKA||FULL BAKC|
|SHUNSUKE ABE||FULL BACK|
|SHINGO MIZUIWA||GENERAL MANAGER|
|SHINICHIRO WADA||HEAD COACH|
|YASUFUMI MAEDA||BACKS COACH|
|NOBUHISA SAITO||FORWARDS COACH|
Captain Shinichiro Wada is a very experienced rugby player and coach. Like so many rugby players in Japan he learned the fundamentals of the game at High School where he played either on the wing or at full back. After joining the Japan Self-Defense Force he was appointed rugby Head Coach to the Camp Engaru team from 2008 until 2011. He was then selected to coach the Camp Asaka Women’s rugby team from 2011 until 2014. Following great success at Camp Asaka he was, in 2014, designated as the Head Coach for the Japan Self-Defense Force Women’s team. His nomination as the Head coach of the men’s Japan Self-Defense Rugby team is the very top of his rugby promotion within the military force. Being a running back we can expect the Samurai 15 team to attack from all angles on the pitch.