Kohei Murakoso

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKohei•Murakoso
Used nameKohei•Murakoso
Original name村社•講平
Born29 August 1905 in Miyazaki, Miyazaki (JPN)
Died8 July 1998 in Akashi, Hyogo (JPN)
Measurements165 cm / 50 kg
AffiliationsChuo University, Tokyo (JPN)
NOC Japan


Kohei Murakoso started long-distance running after winning a road race while he attended Miyazaki High School. He then worked at the local library but then studied law at the Chuo university. He also continued his training and was selected for the 1936 Berlin Olympics four years later.

In Berlin he was entered in the 5,000 and 10,000 metre races. He was only beaten by the highly favored Finns, finishing fourth in both races, but he was enthusiastically cheered by the Berlin crowd. The 10K race was featured in [Leni Riefenstahl]’s Olympic film, and it is said that as a boy Emil Zatopek was inspired to become a long-distance runner by watching Murakoso’s fight.

Murakoso also took part five times in the Hakone Ekiden relay, representing Chuo University between 1934 and 1939. At the Japan Athletics Championships he won five consecutive titles in the 5,000 (1934-38) and six in the 10,000 (1934-39).

After graduating from university Murakoso joined Kawasaki Heavy Industries but had to give up his active career when he was called to serve in the Imperial Army in World War II. After the war, he joined Mainichi Shimbun newspaper covering mainly long-distance events but also was also involved in organizing competitions. As a track and field coach he led the Japanese team at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics

Murakoso retired from Mainichi after serving as Deputy Director of the Editorial Bureau. In 1971 he was awarded the Medal of Honor with the Purple Ribbon. He actually met with Zatopek when he visited Japan in 1981, and the two ran together for 5 km. At the age of 92 Murakoso died from acute respiratory failure.

Personal Bests: 5000 – 14:30.0 (1936); 10000 – 30:25.0 (1936).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1936 Summer Olympics Athletics JPN Kohei Murakoso
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 4
10,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 4