Teams & Coaches
Team manager Arakida, Yuko
Head coach Yanagimoto, Shoichi Mr.
Assistant coach Tada Mikiyo Mr.
Doctor Aizawa Toru (Tokyo) / Yamaguchi Hiroshi(Nagoya)
Therapist / trainer Nakamura Kazumi
Journalist Nishimura Tomoko

  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
6 Kaoru Sugayama Kaoru 26.12.1978 57 169 293 269 JT Marvelous
7 Makiko Horai Horai 06.01.1979 68 187 312 300 JT Marvelous
8 Ayako Onuma Onuma 17.04.1979 72 180 302 297 Hitachi Sawa Rivale
11 Megumi Itabashi Itabashi 07.06.1973 60 166 281 272 Hitachi Sawa Rivale
12 Ai Yamamoto Ai 24.03.1982 68 184 312 305 JT Marvelous
14 Chie Yoshizawa Chie 09.07.1983 66 172 294 288 JT Marvelous
C=Captain  L=Libero

Team Profile Head coach
Japanís 2005 squad, which will be the foundation for the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, has been formed from the players of 2004, e.g. Yoshie Takeshita (JT Marvellous, 159cm, 27), Kana Oyama. (Toray Arrows, 187cm, 21), Megumi Kurihara (Pioneer Red Wings, 186cm, 21) and Miyuki Takahashi (NEC Red Rockets, 170cm, 26). However, due to injuries Oyama and Kurihara have been absent from the beginning of the national teamís activities this year. So Japan has had difficulties in preparing a strong team.

Nevertheless, despite the anxiety, Shoichi Yanagimoto, Japanís head coach, has formed an excellent team with Takeshita, the new skipper, Takahashi and some newcomers, i.e. Chie Yoshizawa (Takefuji Bamboo, 172cm, 22 ) and Kaoru Sugayama (JT Marvellous, 169cm, 26 ) and some players e.g. Makiko Horai (JT Marvellous, 187cm, 26 ) and Erika Araki (Toray Arrows, 186cm, 21), who were not selected for the Olympic squad and, therefore, have been strongly motivated to remain in the national team.

At the World Grand Prix this year, match by match, not only Yanagimoto, but also the players learned what the team lacked, what had to be improved and in what order, to enhance Japanís performance. Japan qualified for the final round after an interval of four years and ended up 5th. Throughout the competition, Japan displayed a fantastic defence and performed combination volleyball for the spectators. In particular, M. Horai was a revelation as a middle blocker.

Japanís preparation for the World Grand Champions Cup will start on 24th October - after the Asian Championship in September; however, Japanís squad will have to take an enforced break because of the first round of the V-League. The first training camp for the WGCC will be launched in the west of Japan and later Yanagimoto is planning to hold joint training sessions with some national teams to pull his team together.

The World Grand Champions Cup will be the last chance for the team to show their skills and lay the foundation for next yearís performances. Yanagimotoís squad will look forward to doing their best and to moving from strength to strength.

Yanagimoto, Shoichi Mr.