Japan Rugby Football Union

Kita-Aoyama 2-8-35, Minato Ward Tokyo 107-0061

President: Shigetaka Mori

Established: November 30, 1926

Phone: 03-3401-3321 Fax: 03-3401-6610

Business hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed on Tuesdays)


Key events in JRFU history

The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) established in 1926. The JRFU, the national governing body of rugby, resulted from a merger between the Kanto Rugby Football Union (established in 1924) and the Seibu Rugby Football Union (established in 1925), the two entities running the game in eastern and western Japan respectively.

In 1928, Yoshihiro Takagi was appointed as the first JRFU President. Also, in the same year, the inaugural East-West rugby match was played by the two regional representative teams at Koshien Stadium. The Prince Chichibu Trophy was presented to the winning team.

In 1930, the Japan national rugby team made its first international tour to Canada (6 wins and 1 draw).

In 1942 during wartime, the JRFU was placed as the Rugby Football Division of the Dai-Nippon Sports Association (now known as the Japan Sports Association).

In1947, His Imperial Highness Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu assumed the JRFU Honorary Patron. Also, in the same year, Tokyo Rugby Stadium (now known as Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium) completed.

In 1949, the inaugural Japan Company Rugby Championship took place. Fukuoka Haitan Kodan RFC won the championship after defeating Kintetsu RFC.

In 1953, Kumazo Tanabe was appointed as the union’s second President. This year, His Imperial Highness Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu passed away at the age of fifty. Tokyo Rugby Stadium was renamed to Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium. Her Imperial Highness Setsuko, Princess Chichibu took over his title of JRFU Honorary Patron.

In 1955, Shigeru Kayama was appointed as the union’s third President.

1961 First NHK Cup match played (predecessor of All-Japan Rugby Football Championship).

Next year in 1962, Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Stadium was transferred to the National Stadium.

In 1963, the first post-war international tour by the Japan national rugby team took place and they toured to Canada.

In 1964, the inaugural Japan Rugby Championship took place. Doshisha University RFC won the championship after defeating Kintetsu RFC.

Next year in1965, the inaugural Japan University Rugby Championship took place. Hosei University RFC won the championship after defeating Waseda University RFC.

In 1969, Masao Yukawa was appointed as the union’s fourth President.

Also, in the same year, the inaugural Asia Rugby Championship was held and Japan won the championship without losing a single match.

In 1970, Michio Yokoyama was appointed as the union’s fifth President.

Next year in 1971, the Japan national high school team made its first international tour to Canada (3 wins and 2 losses).

In 1973, Tokishiro Shiina was appointed as the union’s sixth President.

In the same year, the Japan High School East-West match launched. East won the inaugural match.

In 1979, Yuzuru Abe was appointed as the union’s seventh President.

In 1982, the international cap awarding was introduced to the Japan national team.

In 1987, the inaugural Rugby World Cup was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

In 1990, Ichiro Isoda was appointed as the union’s eighth President.

In 1991, His Imperial Highness Prince Tomohito of Mikasa assumed the JRFU Honorary Patron.

Next year in 1992, Toichiro Kawagoe was appointed as the union’s ninth President.

In 1993, the inaugural Japan Sevens took place.

In 1995, Shigeru “Shiggy” Konno was appointed as the union’s tenth President.

In 2000, the JRFU hosted the Tokyo leg of the IRB World Sevens Series.

Next year in 2001, Tetsuo Machii was appointed as the union’s eleventh President.

In 2003, the Japan Rugby Top League launched.

In 2004, Vice President, Hiroshi Hibino, was appointed as the acting President upon the passing away of Tetsuo Machii.

In 2005, Yoshiro Mori was appointed as the union’s twelfth President.

In 2009, the JRFU hosted the IRB Junior World Championship (the age-grade (U20) championship).

Also in the same year, Japan was selected as the host of the Rugby World Cup 2019.

2013, the JRFU changed its organization to a public interest incorporated foundation.

In 2015, Tadashi Okamura was appointed as the union’s thirteenth President.

The Japan national team won three matches and lost only one match in the pool stage of the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, which was the eighth Rugby World Cup tournament.

In 2019, Shigetaka Mori was appointed as the union’s fourteenth President.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko assumed the position of JRFU Honorary Patron.

The Rugby World Cup 2019, the 9th edition of the tournament was held in Japan and the Japan national team reached to the quarterfinals.