Japan National Team Coach’s “Juniors” Talk about “Being Born the Son of Hajime Moriyasu | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Japan National Team Coach’s “Juniors” Talk about “Being Born the Son of Hajime Moriyasu

Father is Japan's national soccer team coach, second son Keigo and first son Shohei are popular YouTube stars with over 230,000 registered users, and third son Riku is a university student.

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From left to right: third son Riku, first son Shohei, and second son Keigo. Keigo and Riku are seven years apart in age, and the two older brothers entered the youth dormitory after graduating from junior high school, so “I don’t remember them being together much, and they never fought” (Riku) (Photo: Masakazu Yoshiba)

Three men wearing replica uniforms of the Japanese national soccer team. In fact, they are brothers. Shohei (31) is the eldest, Keigo (29) the second, and Riku (22) the third. Their father is Hajime Moriyasu, 54, the coach of Japan’s World Cup team, which starts in about two months.

Hajime played for Hiroshima and Sendai in the J-League until he was 35 years old. His three sons have followed the same footballing path as their father.

The second generation of a famous person is often the center of attention, and people compare them to their fathers. In many cases, children feel pressured and distressed when those around them compare them to their fathers. Keigo, however, denies this completely.

Keigo says, “Even though I want to be a professional soccer player, I have never thought that I have to become one. My father never told me to play soccer, nor did he ever teach me. I was naughty when I was little, so when I got into fights with my friends, my father would go with me to apologize. I was happy to have a relationship with my father that was no different from any other family.

Keigo went on to play for Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s youth team and then to Ryutsu Keizai University. After graduation, he went abroad to play professionally, and ended his playing career in Germany in 1919. In 2008, he invited Takayuki Fujii and Takuya Shigeyuki, who were his classmates from the youth team, to join his YouTube channel “LISEM. He launched the YouTube channel “LISEM” with his former youth teammates Takayuki Fujii and Takuya Shigeyuki, and has become a popular YouTube star with more than 230,000 registered users.

When I told my father that I was going to start a YouTube channel after I finished my active career, he said, “Are you going to be okay? Will I be able to make a living? But he said, ‘I’m going to wipe my own ass. But he said, ‘If you can wipe your own ass, it’s fine.

Can Moriyasu, who experienced the “Doha Tragedy” on the pitch, change the history of Japanese soccer?

When I started working in my hometown of Hiroshima about two years ago, I could barely make ends meet by working part-time at a futsal field. I worked all night editing videos, but the enjoyment outweighed the work, and it was not hard at all. In the first four months, there were only about 1,000 subscribers, but a video of me participating in a futsal tournament with two experienced baseball players became a buzzword, and the number of viewers, mainly students and people in their 20s, exploded. The number of viewers exploded.

“Recently, fathers have been saying, ‘It’s Keigo’s dad! I’m cheering for Rizem! (laughs)” (Keigo).

Why did he become a YouTube star? It all started with a sense of discomfort he felt overseas.

In Japan, people think that if you want to be a soccer player, you should concentrate only on soccer, but that was not the case overseas. I thought it was okay to do whatever I felt was more fun. If you get results, it’s justice” (Keigo)

In addition to distributing soccer videos, he recently launched a clothing brand. He intends to continue to produce results by having fun.

His eldest son, Shohei, who was not present at the time of the launch, has also joined “Rizem. Shohei was a captain at Hosei University, played for Kamatamare Sanuki in the J-League, and then went abroad.

They have strong beliefs. The two never mention the name “Hajime Moriyasu” in their videos. Keigo says, “I don’t have to say it, and I don’t want to seek views for it. It’s like, ‘I’m just me,'” he stresses.

On a certain day in September, Riku, the third son, was also present at the filming, which took place in the suburbs. Riku has taken a leave of absence from Rikkyo University to study abroad from spring. He came to help with the filming while he was on a furlough.

I don’t think I want to be a YouTube star at the moment (laughs).

He does not depend on his father, nor is he influenced by his older brother. The youngest son is also trying to make life choices that are true to his heart’s voice.

In two months, the Japanese national team, of which his father is the coach, will play in the World Cup.

I don’t like it when people beat me on social networking sites, and I think it’s a lot of work. I respect him for being in a position that I myself would not want to be in.

Even after becoming the national team coach, the situation at his father’s house did not change; I got the strong impression that he was sitting in his room watching videos incessantly. His sons have watched their father’s back behind the scenes, even when he has been criticized for his leadership, as he never wavers easily.

The father, a national team coach, and the son, a YouTube star and university student. Although they are in different positions, the father and son are connected by their conviction to live life to the fullest with determination.

Japan national team soccer coach Hajime Moriyasu Junior: “If you produce results, that’s justice. Their banter, which appears to be joking around with each other, is particularly popular among those in their 20s.
Japan national team soccer coach Hajime Moriyasu Junior: “If you get results, that’s justice.
Japan national team soccer coach Hajime Moriyasu’s junior “If you get results, that’s justice. Keigo, the second son, looks into a video taken by Shohei, the eldest son.
Japan national team soccer coach Hajime Moriyasu’s junior “If you get results, that’s justice. From left: Taka, Shohei, Shigeru, Keigo

From the October 14, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text by Yukihiro Kodama Photographed by Masakazu Yoshiba

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