Takayasu Tsuji, who is about to Debut for the National Rugby Team, Revealed to have a “Remarkable Family” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Takayasu Tsuji, who is about to Debut for the National Rugby Team, Revealed to have a “Remarkable Family”

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Yukou Tsuji was promoted to the national team for his performance in a charity match against the Tongan Samurai XV on June 11 (Photo: AFLO)On June 7, the Japan Rugby Union announced the members of the France squad for the match at the National Stadium (June 9, 14:50 kick-off), and the only member of the 23-man squad to have never played for the national team is LO Takayasu Tsuji (Tokyo Suntory Sangoliath).

His father was a close friend of the late Seiji Hirao.

“Today is Tanabata (the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar), so it must be a special day for Tsuji.”

New Zealand head coach Jamie Joseph, who selected the team, cited an ancient Japanese custom and suggested that Tsuji might play during the match.

“With (main LOs) Moore and Vimpy injured, we want to develop three LOs for the future, including first-cap Tsuji. Tsuji is doing well with energy. We are excited to have him out. I’ve been watching him with interest since League One and look forward to watching him play this week.”

On June 11, Japan’s national team candidates played three consecutive test matches against Uruguay and France in June and July. They faced the Tongan Samurai XV, a team of players with Tongan roots playing in Japan, in a charity match for the volcanic eruption in Tonga in January. Tsuji was the player who made the biggest impact with his strong play in contact plays and mauls in the match, which was won 31-12 by the “second team” of Japanese national team candidates, mainly young players.

HC Joseph highly evaluated Tsuji, who showed great performance as a Japanese lock among many foreign players, and promoted him to the national team, saying, “I was interested in him because I had never worked with him before.

Tsuji said, “I was happy. I want to participate in the 2023 World Cup. First, I want to do what I can do, step by step, so that I can get one cap.

Tsuji, who also swam and played tennis, started playing rugby in his fifth year of elementary school at Keio Kindergarten. In his third year at Keio High School, he participated in the national high school rugby tournament called “Hanazono” and was the vice captain of the Keio University rugby team.

However, he is also famous as the nephew of former professional tennis player Shuzo Matsuoka. When Tsuji was selected for the Japan national team for the first time in May, he received a congratulatory e-mail from his uncle, whom he “respects as a family member and as a person,” saying, “I felt he was watching me and supporting me as family. I was so happy,” he broke down.

Tsuji’s paternal grandfather was Shizuo Tsuji, the founder of the Tsujisho Group, a culinary school also known as the “University of Tokyo of the culinary world”. His father Yoshiki is the current president of the Tsujisho Group. Yoshiki, who had played rugby, was known as a friend of the late Seiji Hirao, a former Japanese national rugby team player, and read his eulogy as one of his friends at a “thanksgiving gathering” held after Hirao’s death. His paternal grandfather died before he was born, but his grandmother’s family originally came from a Japanese cooking school.

Tsuji’s mother, Toshiko, has two younger brothers. The eldest brother, Hiroyasu, is the chairman of Toho Towa, a Western film distribution company. He was also appointed as president and representative director of Toho Co. in May of this year. The second brother is Shuzo, whose wife is Emiko, a former news anchor. His daughter is Kazuto Rarezawa, a member of the Takarazuka Revue, and she is a cousin to Tsuji. The Matsuoka family is a tall family, with Tsuji standing at 190 cm, and Tsuji’s mother and two uncles all over 180 cm.

Tsuji’s briliant family tree

Isao Matsuoka, former president of Toho and a Davis Cup representative, is the grandson of Itsuo Kobayashi, founder of the Hankyu Toho Group. Isao’s father, Tatsuro Matsuoka (former Toho president), who was a great-grandfather to Tsuji, is the brother of Haruko (Isao’s aunt), a major shareholder of Kotobuki Real Estate, the parent company of Suntory at the time, who married Yoshitaro, the eldest son of Shinjiro Torii, founder of Suntory. Nobutada Saji, the current chairman of Suntory Holdings, is the grandson of Shinjiro Torii.

Isao’s wife, Tsuji’s grandmother, was Shizuka Senba, a former Takarazienne, and his grandmother’s two sisters and their daughter were also Takaraziennes. The children found out later that their grandfather Isao, a tennis player, had played tennis after he joined Toho and devoted himself to business, but first Toshiko, Tsuji’s mother, took up tennis, followed by Hiroyasu and Shuzo.

Incidentally, the daughter of the uncle of Takanori Iwata, “Gun-chan” of the J Soul Brothers III, is Chairman Saji’s wife, Eiko. Although Gun-chan is not related to the Matsuoka family by blood, he is a distant relative.

Tsuji had a hard time competing in games during his first year in the workforce due to shoulder surgery. In his second and third years with Tokyo Sangoliath, Tsuji showed his presence as a silver medalist, and this summer he was selected for the Japan national team for the first time.

Although Tsuji is a member of a “splendid family,” he says he is not particularly conscious of this fact when playing rugby, and his play is earnest and muddy, as if he is from Keio, where low tackles are traditional. He does not want to be like his uncle, who is known as a hot guy, but he often listens to his uncle Shuzo’s advice as an athlete.

The family motto of the Matsuoka family, “Never Give Up,” is a phrase that Isao Matsuoka, Tsuji’s grandfather on her mother’s side, has always said, and his uncle, Shuzo, has often spoken these words. This is the very spirit of challenge that his grandfather and uncles, whom Tsuji says he admires, have each pioneered in their own new ways. Naturally, Tsuji, who is descended from the Matsuoka family, also values this motto in his rugby career.

After being promoted to the Japan national team, Tsuji would like to make his debut for Japan wearing the cherry blossom jersey against Uruguay and France. Then, with the spirit of “Never Give Up,” he will continue to make his appeal and aim to participate in the 2023 World Cup as a Japanese lock.

Nobutada Saji, chairman of Suntory Holdings (front left), is a distant relative. He is also Tsuji’s boss at the company (Photo: Afro)
Nobutada Saji, chairman of Suntory Holdings (front left), is a distant relative. He is also Tsuji’s boss at the company (Photo: Afro)
Reaching and checking the lineout. I want to make this scene the norm.
When he was at Keio University. Is it in my blood that I get passionate and unintentionally emotional (Photo: Afro)
Tsuji, who also made a powerful breakthrough in a charity match on June 11.
In his first year as a member of society, while he was unable to play in games due to shoulder surgery, he built up a body that could compete with foreign players.

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