Eiji Kawashima’s Sky Rocketing Journey to International Fame

Life of Eiji Kawashima

Personal Life, Family, and Education

This young man is a professional football player who was born in Yono district of the Saitama prefecture in Japan. He was born on the 23rd of March, 1983. He has two older siblings, an older brother and an older sister. There is little public information about his childhood home and his family as he wishes this information to be kept private and little information was ever archived about him and his family. However, there is clear indication that his family supported his decisions in becoming a professional football player since a very young age.

By norio nakayama (Flickr: 川島選手 Global Athlete Project) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

He was born and he grew up in the country, only leaving the country to pursue a professional football career in 2001. However, he is quite fluent not only in his native language but in Italian, French, and English. He knew that the language will be a great asset in his training and there will be better coordination if the language barrier has been solved. This is so he would be able to effectively communicate with his teammates. So, he made it a point to learn the local language where he currently resides.

Early Education and Career

Eiji Kawashima attended Yononishi Junior High school and Urawa Higashi High school. These are the two places where he fell in love with playing football. He had played for the schools as a junior football player. He has joined amateur football clubs and has gained regional recognition. After playing for years, national scouts have been on his tails to recruit him for collegiate teams.

Although he was on the field most of his time either playing or training, it did not stop him from becoming a good student. He was diligent, he followed the rules, did not miss class, and did all his homework. His teachers have praised him for being hardworking and resilient. He ensured that he had impressive grades so he could gain scholarships in prominent universities in Japan. It was also his goal to become a professional football player, it is through collegiate performances that he gets the break that he awaited the most.

Eiji Kawashima’s Wife and Children

Just in the same way that details about his childhood home and family are kept private, the name and identity of his wife are also outside of the limelight. The only thing that the public knows about his wife is the fact that they have been dating since 2013 and have only been recently married. His wife is half-Japanese and half-Colombian and is currently living in Tokyo, according to some accounts.

In December 2015, it has been reported that he went back home to Japan to see his newborn son whose birth he has missed while he was processing his work documents. At this time, he was not under any football club and was finding a way to join the Metz. His son is named Kensei Kawashima but no photos of the baby were officially released. A week after being with his son, he immediately went back to work.

The Rising Football Star

His earliest career move was to apply for the Urawa Red Diamonds, which was the main football league from Saitama. It was a part of the J1 league and was one of the clear paths towards playing professionally. Sadly, he was not accepted and was instead signed for the Omiya Ardija team of the J2 league. Although the J2 league is a level lower in the professional pyramid in football, it did not stop Kawashima from achieving his dreams towards becoming an international superstar.

By BikeMike [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

What is interesting is that the football club saw so much potential in the young player that he was sent to Italy to train with Parma F.C., a part of the Serie A league in the country. The football club had a long history since 1913 and it would have been such a great leap for the young Kawashima if he had been a part of the club. However, this would create a serious conflict with Omiya Ardija so any potential for him to join the Italian team was trashed.

Three years into local professional football, Kawashima became a member of the Nagoya Grampus of the J. League. He originally served as an alternate and was rarely put to the field. However, when the main goalkeeper of Nagoya Grampus was injured, Kawashima was sent to impress the scouts for a series of 10 games.

Seeing this incredible potential, Kawasaki Frontale paid a total of 150 Million Yen to sign him. Impressively, this was the first time Kawasaki Frontale will ever qualify for the AFC Champions League. Although they did not win the championship cup, it was a sure sign of Kawashima’s long and impressive future.

General Statistics and Profile

General Career Record and Ranking (Based on Eiji Kawashima’s Whoscored profile)

The 35-year old football player has been in the industry, professionally, since 2001. He has joined three national teams from Japan and four international teams. Prior to this, he has joined amateur leagues since 1995 representing his school since Junior High school. He played for Japan at both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA world cups. He has also represented Japan in AFC Championship leagues. He has been with international teams since 2010.

Height, Position, Record breaks

The player holds a height of 1.85 m which is an average, but impressive, height for a football player. It gives him an edge for blocking the ball and sprinting as well. Kawashima holds one of the most important positions in football and it is one of the most specialized parts of the game – the goalkeeper. It is the role of the goalkeeper, or goalie, to make sure that the shots of the enemy team be blocked. Either they catch the ball or direct it away from the net.

He was given the Best Eleven Award in 2009 for playing for the J League. He was also given the Fair Play award by the same organization. In the AFC Asian Cup of 2011, he was also given the title Man of the Match.

Eiji Kawashima’s Salary and Net worth

Since Eiji Kawashima is quite private about his work and personal life, not many people are sure of his net worth. It is sure, however, that he earns about 225,000 Euro a year. Some experts believe that he has an estimated net worth of about 2.7 Million Euro. This is a great achievement for playing almost two decades in the industry.

Playing for the National Team of Japan

Eiji Kawashima FIFA 2010

This might have been the first time that Kawashima represented Japan for FIFA. This is a sure sign that Kawashima had an incredible talent for his craft. Because of this, many international scouts were able to recognize him. This was also the first time that he became a household name and gained a following outside of Japan. Although Japan did not qualify for the championship rounds of FIFA 2010, it was a major highlight in Kawashima’s career. It was an unbelievable turning point that has open the gates for an international career.

By Rulesfan [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Asian Cup 2011: Eiji Kawashima’s Scandalous Red Card

A red card in football is definitely a no-no. This means that the player has committed a serious offense and is in the danger of being sent off the game or the season, depending on the severity. A red card often follows two offense cards (yellow cards) which serve as a warning to the player. It was in the AFC 2011 when Eiji Kawashima gained a red card while playing against Syria. The red card signaled that Kawashima will not be playing their next game.

However, Japan appealed to the AFC that his offense should not be considered and the suspension of Kawashima be canceled. Replays of the game clearly showed that his actions were justifiable. This was not the first time that Kawashima gained a red-card in game. Just recently he gained a red card while playing against Monaco with the Metz.

Kawashima-Fukushima Scandal of 2011: Lierse against Beerschot

His red card from the Asian Cup was not the first drama Kawashima experienced in 2011. In fact, there was an incident when an entire match was halted for several minutes because of a cringe-worthy moment between Kawashima and the other team’s fans. It was August of 2011, just barely a few months after the March 2011 Earthquake in Japan when fans of the other team started chanting “Kawashima-Fukushima”. The goalie was seriously offended and confronted the referee. He insisted that the Fukushima disaster was not a small deal that should be made fun of. Many accounts have indicated that Kawashima left the pitch in tears after the game.

Regardless of the fact that the fans were just playing a bit of fun, many people have admitted that it was insulting for the Japanese people as the incident was a very sensitive matter and hundreds of thousands of souls have been lost in the tragic incident. Beerschot, the team Kawashima was playing against, have released a statement that things may have been out of hand but they had to point out that Kawashima did make awful gestures towards the fans. Despite pointing out that Kawashima was partly to blame, they made it clear that they still do not encourage such insensitive and insulting chants at their games.

Seeing this as a very serious matter, the Royal Belgian Football Association fined Beerschot 2.7 Million Yen for the incident. They not only apologized to Kawashima but to the Japanese ambassador to Belgium, Atsushi Yokota. It was only in September of that year that Beerschot formally apologized to Kawashima for the incident. Kawashima still thanked his fans, and the Japanese people for the support.

Eiji Kawashima for FIFA 18 & SoFIFA

Apparently, Kawashima does not only play in the field but also online. He is one of the avatars installed in the Soccer Video Game known as FIFA 18, for which Cristiano Ronaldo is the cover star. All the likeness, his stats, and his plays are captured by the game effectively. Many people enjoy this game by EA Sports. There is also a mobile version for this game.

Eiji Kawashima’s Career and Teams

LOCAL TEAMS (Timeline)

  • Omiya Ardija - Kawashima played for Omiya Ardija for a total of three years. He joined the squad in hopes of launching a professional career. Omiya Ardija gave him incredible opportunities and even allowed him to train abroad with internationally recognized teams.
  • Nagoya Grampus Eight - Kawashima Played for Nagoya Grampus also for a total of three years. Although he played as an alternate, he was still given an opportunity to prove his talent and worth. It was not until 2005 that Kawashima was introduced into the limelight.
  • Kawasaki Fronttale - This was the first time that Kawashima was able to play for international games and join the AFC Championship League. The club was even generous enough to let him play for the AFC and FIFA world cups.
By FIFA (Fifa.com) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


  • Lierse – It was after he joined the FIFA World Cup in 2010 that Kawashima gained international recognition. Because of this, he finally decided to move to Europe and join a European team. He joined Lierse SK in Belgium. He had an unforgettable year after an incident with the fans in Aug 2011. In Oct 2011, he was elected as the team’s captain and held the title for the following season.
  • Standard Liege – He joined Standard Liege in Jul 2012 and remained for his three –year term.
  • Dundee United: Scotland Debut – He moved to Scotland and joined the Dundee United in Nov 2015. He made a debut for the team only a few months later in Jan 2016. He left the team in May of 2016.
  • Eiji Kawashima in Metz - Kawashima has been with the Metz since Aug 2016 and it is unsure yet where he will transfer when his contract ends. He has been playing with the Metz ever since and this is probably the ultimate highlight of his career.