Shinya Yoshihara

Shinya Yoshihara
Personal information
Full name Shinya Yoshihara
Date of birth (1978-04-19) April 19, 1978
Place of birth Ibaraki, Japan
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–2001 Yokohama F. Marinos 0 (0)
1999–2000Albirex Niigata (loan) 44 (0)
2001–2008 Kawasaki Frontale 106 (0)
2007Tokyo Verdy (loan) 13 (0)
2009 Júbilo Iwata 1 (0)
2010 Kashiwa Reysol 0 (0)
Total 164 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Shinya Yoshihara (吉原 慎也 Yoshihara Shinya, born April 19, 1978) is a former Japanese football player.[1]

He is married to well-known professional Go player Yukari Yoshihara (née Yukari Umezawa), who is known for her work in spreading and teaching Go, especially in the worldwide-distributed manga and anime series Hikaru no Go.[2]

Career History

When Yoshihara was in junior high school, he received a recommendation from his former teacher to play football at Ibaraki Prefectural Hitachi Technical High School, one of the most competitive teams in the prefecture. He played as a regular member from his first year on the team and contributed to leading his school to the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament. In his second and third years, Yoshihara was selected as a Kanto region all-star member as well as an all-Japan member for the U-18 division. He played with Takayuki Suzuki, two years his senior.

Following his graduation, Yoshihara began his professional career playing for Yokohama Marinos (currently Yokohama F. Marinos), however, chances to play were scarce as Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi was appointed the primary goalkeeper at the time. In 1999, Yoshihara was loaned to Albirex Niigata, a J2 League club, where he was called to the starting lineup in the season-opening match. His amazing saves led the team to seven consecutive winning matches. In 2000, Yoshihara made appearances as a spokesperson in advertisements for Join and Toyopet Niigata which gained him recognition as a popular public figure in Niigata.

After Yoshihara returned to Yokohama F. Marinos in 2001, he made a permanent move to Kawasaki Frontale in midseason where he became the regular goalkeeper in 2003. He played in 44 full matches this season. The following year, he maintained a record of seven consecutive scoreless matches which greatly contributed to Kawasaki Frontale’s promotion to J1 League, during which he established his position as an indispensable goalkeeper for the team.

In 2005, an injury prevented him from being called to the starting lineup in the season-opening match, yet he made his appearance from the game against Tokyo Verdy on and contributed to stopping the team from repetitive defeats. Yoshihara’s position was taken by teammate Takashi Aizawa in midseason. However, at the end of 2006, during which Kawasaki Frontale was in close proximity to winning the championship, Yoshihara secured his primary position once again in the match against Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Although Kawasaki Frontale lost the championship, Yoshihara was one of the leading players in guiding the team to second place in J1 League, which qualified the team for the AFC Champions League.

In 2007, Yoshihara signed a loan deal with Tokyo Verdy. The team’s losing streaks early in the season gained him chances to play, during which he rebuilt the defense line and put the team back on track. His position as the regular goalkeeper seemed promising, yet, Yoshihara was injured during a match against Sagan Tosu on July 1 in the 25th section, damaging his left knee posterior cruciate ligament. The injury took him out of action for 9 weeks, preventing Yoshihara from playing for the rest of the season. Tokyo Verdy was promoted to J1 that year.

After his loan season at Tokyo Verdy, Yoshihara returned to Kawasaki Frontale in 2008. However, with his repeated injuries and with National Team member Eiji Kawashima’s addition to the team, Yoshihara was only able to play one match in the Nabisco Cup.

In 2009, Yoshihara moved to Jubilo Iwata on a season-long loan. He made his debut in the third round of the Emperor’s Cup followed by a match against Vissel Kobe in J1’s final section. In 2010 he joined Kashiwa Reysol but on July 14th, he announced his retirement from professional football.


•Although Yoshihara has had experience playing a full season, he was one of the rare super-sub goalkeepers.

•Yoshihara is fluent in Korean. He was close to Júbilo Iwata’s Korean striker Lee Keun-ho and to Kawasaki Frontale’s North Korean striker Jong Tae-se.

Club statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Japan League Emperor's Cup League Cup Total
1997Yokohama MarinosJ1 League00000000
1999Albirex NiigataJ2 League2203020270
2001Yokohama F. MarinosJ1 League00-0000
2001Kawasaki FrontaleJ2 League00200020
2005J1 League900020110
2007Tokyo VerdyJ2 League13010-140
2008Kawasaki FrontaleJ1 League00001010
2009Júbilo Iwata10100020
2010Kashiwa ReysolJ2 League00--00
Career total 1640190601890


  1. "Stats Centre: Shinya Yoshihara Facts". Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  2. "Hikaru no Go". Sensei's Library. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
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