Hiroaki Shukuzawa

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Hiroaki Shukuzawa
Date of birth (1950-09-01)September 1, 1950
Place of birth Hino, Tokyo
Date of death June 17, 2006(2006-06-17) (aged 55)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1973-1974  Japan 3 (0)
Teams coached
Years Team
1991  Japan

Hiroaki Shukuzawa (宿澤広朗, Shukuzawa Hiroaki, born September 1, 1950 – June 17, 2006) was a successful rugby coach of the Japan national rugby union team until now. As a player, he was capped three times by Japan as a scrum-half, and he also advised the Japan Rugby Football Union. He held important posts as a banker also.

Shukuzawa died of a heart attack on the way back from a mountain climbing expedition in Gunma prefecture.[1] More than four thousand people, including Seiji Hirao and Katsuyuki Kiyomiya attended the overnight wake on June 22, 2006 at Honganji temple in Tsukiji, Tokyo.


Born in Hino, Tokyo, he began to play rugby as scrum-half at Kumagaya High School. He continued his study and rugby at Waseda University. He became the first-choice scrum-half from his first year and was instrumental in Waseda winning the Japan Rugby Football Championship title for two consecutive years. He was the captain of the team in his fourth year but failed to defend the title as Waseda was beaten by Meiji University in the final of the University Championship. He was chosen to represent Japan when in his second year at university and earned three caps. As he intended to give up playing after the graduation, he decided to join Sumitomo Bank (current Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) that had no rugby club although he actually continued to play for a while for national duties.

Coach of Japan (1989-91)[edit]

On May 28, 1989 his team beat a weakened Scotland team shorn of nine British Lions then on tour in Australia (Gary Armstrong, Finlay Calder, Craig Chalmers, Peter Dods, John Jeffrey, Gavin Hastings, Scott Hastings, David Sole and Derek White) by 28-24 at Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo. It was the first time Japan had beaten a top-tier IRB nation.

Then in the 1991 Rugby Union World Cup his team convincingly defeated Zimbabwe 52-8 in Belfast. This remains Japan's only Rugby World Cup victory out of a total of twenty games from all six World Cups between 1987-2007.


He played a leading role in Japanese rugby and helped to establish both the Microsoft Cup and the Top League in an effort to modernize and strengthen the game in his country. A graduate of Waseda University, Shukuzawa joined Sumitomo Bank in 1973. He spent seven and a half years in the London branch of the bank. He worked as an executive director of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) in Tokyo.


See also[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Japan Hiroshi Hibino
Japan National Rugby Union Coach
Succeeded by
Japan Osamu Koyabu