JATO Japanese ATC Interview Series Vol. 1

We hope this post finds everyone well.

It has been over 20 years since JATO Initiation Meeting at 47th NATA Annual Meeting in Orland, FL. There were 48 people who supported establishing JATO at Peabody Hotel. Currently, the public is more aware of the athletic trainer, and we believe that JATO has more responsibility to promote athletic training in Japan.

So, this time, JATO Public Relations has decided to introduce Japanese athletic on Facebook and JATO webpage (in Blog Section) on the 15th every month.

To start off this series, we had an interview with Mr. Jiro Shikakura who started JATO and is the first certified athletic trainer in Japan. Please enjoy!

Atsuhiko Takei and Toshimitsu Ishizuka, JATO Public Relation Committee


Q. “Can you tell us how you got interested in becoming an athletic trainer?”


A. “When I was a student manager for Waseda University Football, there was a friendly game between Utah State University and Kanto All-Star team. As I was a committee member of Kanto Collegiate Football Association, I had an opportunity to work with Utah State University. That was my first time when I got to see how an athletic trainer worked during practice, pre-game and during the game. Today, there are many football teams that have athletic trainers. But, nobody knew what athletic trainer was at that time (1971). Next year, when the University of Hawaii came to Japan, I got another opportunity to see how athletic trainer worked. That was the time when I got very interested in athletic training. Also, there were some incidents where football players passed away during that time period, and this also led me to be interested in athletic training.”


Q. What’s your best memory when you were a student?


A. “My best memory is that I was on the sideline for Rose Bowl when I was a part of Waseda University Football. This game was televised in Japan. Unfortunately, we lost against USC.”


Q. Can you tell us what your work is like now?


A. “I taught athletic training at Juntendo University as a full-time faculty until March 2016.  I still teach three athletic training classes and educate student trainers in the new athletic training room which was constructed in this April. Also, I teach a athletic taping class at Waseda University as an adjunct faculty and work at Sports Medicine Clinic at Higashi Hushimi campus on Mondays. Clinically, I work for an X1 football team in the X League as an athletic trainer.”


Q. Can you tell us what your day is like?


A. “On Monday, I teach two classes in afternoon at Waseda University and work at the Sports Medicine Clinic. On Tuesday to Friday, I teach classes at Juntendo University and work in the athletic training room (my work in the athletic training room officially starts this month). I work with the football team mainly on game days.”


Q. What does JATO mean to you?


A. “I think JATO is an essential organization to promote athletic trainers to the public. Also, I think JATO gives me the opportunity to meet with other Japanese athletic trainers.”


Q. Can you tell us advantages to join JATO?


A. “Although I personally did not start or join JATO to get any benefit from it, members can get CEUs from JATO Symposium. Members can also meet with other Japanese athletic trainers and share their information.”


Q. Can you give a message to students who want to be athletic trainers?


A. “It’s important for them to be serious about learning everything you can in the United States. It’s also important to be considerate and attentive to detail when you work.”


We would like to thank Mr, Shikakura for sharing his time with the interview. It reminded us that JATO and athletic trainers in Japan would not be where they are today without his hard work and contribution..

Looking forward to next month, we will have the very energetic guest who Mr. Shikakura introduced to us. Don’t miss it!