Kazuhiro Ninomiya

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Kazuhiro Ninomiya
Medal record
Representing  Japan
Men's judo
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1976 Montreal -93 kg
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1973 Lausanne Open
Silver medal – second place 1975 Vienna Open
Asian Championships
Gold medal – first place 1970 Kaohsiung +93 kg

Kazuhiro Ninomiya (二宮 和弘, Ninomiya Kazuhiro, born November 28, 1946 in Fukuoka, Japan) is a retired judoka who competed in the 1976 Summer Olympics.


After graduating from Tenri University, Ninomiya entered the Shoki Juku under the instruction of Isao Okano.[1] He joined the Fukuoka Prefecture police force in April, 1972,[1] and placed third in the All-Japan Judo Championships that year. He won a gold medal in the heavyweight division of the Asian Judo Championships in 1970, and in the open weight division of the 1973 World Judo Championships held in Lausanne, Switzerland by defeating future Olympic gold medalist Haruki Uemura. He won another gold medal at the 1975 World Championships, and won the All-Japan Judo Championships for the first time in 1976 to qualify for the 1976 Summer Olympics. However, the Japanese Olympic team had already decided on Haruki Uemura and Sumio Endo as the representatives for the open weight and heavyweight divisions, and Ninomiya was forced to enter the competition as a half heavyweight (-93 kg), shedding over 7 kg from his usual competitive weight.[2] Regardless, Ninomiya used his long reach and height (at 6 ft. 2 in., he was considerably tall for a half heavyweight) to become the first Japanese judoka to win a gold medal in the half heavyweight division. He remains the only Japanese judoka to have won an Olympic medal in that division, aside from Kosei Inoue.

Ninomiya retired after competing in the 1978 Jigoro Kano Cup along with Isamu Sonoda.[1] He and Sonoda were rivals and friends for over 30 years, having been born on the same year, entered the same police force, competed in the same World Championships and Olympics, and having retired at the same time.[1] After serving as an advisor for several local and prefectural level judo committees, he became a judo instructor at the Nishinippon Institute of Technology in 2007.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "福岡県警 園田勇と二宮和弘". Nishinippon Shimbun. Archived from the original on 2007-11-10.
  2. ^ "二宮和弘-「金に最も遠い階級」で快挙". Sankei Sports.
  3. ^ "モントリオールオリンピック金メダリスト二宮和弘氏が本学柔道部監督へ就任!!". Nishinippon Institute of Technology.

Ninomiya joined under Isao Okano's instruction in the Dojo called "Seiki Juku."

See also[edit]