Shiggy Konno

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Shigeru Konno (金野 滋 Konno Shigeru?, July 7, 1922 – April 1, 2007), more often known by his nickname of Shiggy Konno, was a noted figure in post-war rugby union in Japan for over fifty years. He was a strong advocate of amateurism in the game.[1]

Biography[edit]

Konno had been educated in the UK at Rokeby Preparatory School, and was a fluent English speaker.[1] He attended Doshisha University[2] At Doshisha, he played as a prop.[3]

Konno trained to be one of the last kamikaze pilots, but never flew a mission, because by his own admission he was not a good flyer:

The only reason I am still alive is that I wasn't a very good pilot. That's why my mission was to be the very last. Either that, or they didn't want to damage the plane.

My time for take-off was in early September, 1945. Fortunately, the war ended in the August. If I'd been a good pilot, I wouldn't have been around to talk about it.[4]

In 1952, Konno took his first job in rugby administration, acting as liaison for a touring Oxford University side.[2]

In 1968, Konno helped set up the Asian Rugby Football Union, being at various times Secretary General, Director and Honorary Chairman.[2] In 1969, he became Director of the Japan Rugby Football Union, and in 1972 its chairman, a position he held until 1994.[2] He held various other posts in the JRFU until 2007.[2]

Between 1991 and 2000, Konno was Japan's representative on the International Rugby Board, the world governing body of the sport.[2]

Konno-san, was awarded an OBE in 1985 by Queen Elizabeth II, for his services to rugby, and also for helping improve Anglo-Japanese relations.[2]

His funeral was held at Kōshōden in Zōjō-ji temple in Tokyo.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1), p70
  2. ^ a b c d e f g TOKYO (April 2003) Shiggy Konno Passes Away at Age of 84, retrieved 7 September 2009
  3. ^ Asian Championship reaches its 40th birthday, on IRB dot com retrieved 7 September 2009
  4. ^ Shiggy Konno flew the flag for rugby, on IRB dot com retrieved 7th September, 2009

External links[edit]