Saburō Kawabuchi

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Saburo Kawabuchi
川淵 三郎
Saburō Kawabuchi 1964b.jpg
Kawabuchi in 1964
Personal information
Full name Saburo Kawabuchi
Date of birth (1936-12-03) December 3, 1936 (age 82)
Place of birth Takaishi, Osaka, Japan
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1957–1960 Waseda University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1970 Furukawa Electric 68 (10)
Total 68 (10)
National team
1958–1965 Japan 26 (8)
Teams managed
1973–1975 Furukawa Electric
1980–1981 Japan
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Saburo Kawabuchi (川淵 三郎, Kawabuchi Saburō, born December 3, 1936) is a former Japanese football player and manager. He played for Japan national team. He also managed Japan national team. He is the founder and the honorable chairman of J.League. Between 2002 and 2008 he served as president of the Japan Football Association.

Early life[edit]

Kawabuchi was born in Takaishi on December 3, 1936.[1] At first, when he was in Takaishi elementary school and Takaishi Junior high school, he played baseball. He was on to Mikunigaoka High School, Osaka and became a member of football team at the high school. He graduated from Mikunigaoka High School, Osaka in 1955. He went on to Waseda University School of commerce in 1957. He played for Waseda University football team. He earned Bachelor of arts degree in commerce from Waseda University.

Club career[edit]

After graduating from Waseda University, Kawabuchi played for Furukawa Electric, in the early days of the Japan Soccer League. In the initial league season, he was the first player to score a hat-trick, against Nagoya Mutual Bank.[2] He retired in 1970. He played 68 games and scored 10 goals in the league.

National team career[edit]

On December 25, 1958, when Kawabuchi was a Waseda University student, he debuted and scored 2 goals for Japan national team against Hong Kong. In 1962, he played at 1962 Asian Games. In 1964, he was elected Japan for 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.[1] At 1964 Summer Olympics, he scored a goal in first match against Argentina. He also played at 1962 Asian Games. He played 26 games and scored 8 goals for Japan until 1965.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

After retirement, Kawabuchi became a coach for Furukawa Electric in 1970. In 1973, he became a manager and managed until 1975. Just before 1982 World Cup qualification in December 1980, he was named manager for Japan national team to replace Masashi Watanabe, who suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Kawabuchi managed Japan at 1982 World Cup qualification and managed until March 1981.

In 1991, he named inaugural chairman of the J.League is first professional league in Japan. In 1991, he also became a first chairman of J.League. In 2002, he resigned chairman of J.League and became 10th president of Japan Football Association as Shunichiro Okano successor. Kawabuchi served until 2008. He also served as president of Japan Basketball Association from May 2015 to June 2016.

In 2006, he received FIFA Order of Merit. In 2008, he was also elected Japan Football Hall of Fame.

Club statistics[edit]

Club performance League
Season Club League Apps Goals
Japan League
1965 Furukawa Electric JSL Division 1 14 3
1966 14 4
1967 14 1
1968 14 1
1969 12 1
1970 0 0
Country Japan 68 10
Total 68 10

National team statistics[edit]


Japan national team
Year Apps Goals
1958 2 2
1959 9 3
1960 1 0
1961 6 1
1962 6 2
1963 0 0
1964 0 0
1965 2 0
Total 26 8



  • J's career – With Japan football, Nihon Keizai Shimbun Shuppan, 2009


  1. ^ a b Saburo Kawabuchi.
  2. ^ Japan Soccer League 1965 Archived 2015-09-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on May 30, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Japan National Football Team Database

External links[edit]