Kenkichi Oshima

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameKenkichi•Oshima
Used nameKenkichi•Oshima
Original name大島•鎌吉
Born10 November 1908 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa (JPN)
Died30 March 1985
Measurements175 cm / 67 kg
AffiliationsKansai Kaisers, Osaka (JPN)
NOC Japan


Kenkichi Oshima, son of a footwear dealer, already showed a talent for the triple jump in high school competitions. After he enrolled in law school at Kansai University, he was second and third in long jump and triple jump, respectively, at the Japanese Athletics Championships but was not selected for the Olympic team for Amsterdam. Oshima was the triple jump favorite at Los Angeles in 1932 but suffered severe burns in a bathing accident shortly before the Olympics and was not in his best form, but he secured the bronze medal in Los Angeles and was sixth in 1936 at Berlin, where he carried the Japanese flag at the Opening Ceremony. In 1934, he won the national title in the triple jump and bettered the world record of 15.82 metres, which was not recognized, however, by the IAAF.

After his competitive career, Oshima graduated from Kansai University and then became a sports journalist with the daily newspaper Mainichi Shimbun. He lived in Germany for most of World War II as a correspondent, became fluent in German, and was a close friend of Carl Diem. After his return to Japan in 1945, Oshima was appointed a professor and vice-president at the Sport University in Osaka. He modernized athletics in Japan and introduced up-to-date training methods. From 1949 he was a member of the Japanese Olympic Committee and helped prepare the Japanese team for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In 1980, he strongly opposed the boycott of the Moskva Games. In 1982 Oshima received the Hans-Heinrich Sievert Award and in 1985 the Olympic Order in Silver. He was also the author of numerous books on sports and translated German books and articles into Japanese. At the age of 76, he died of esophageal cancer.

Personal Best: TJ – 15.63 (1934).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics JPN Kenkichi Oshima
Long Jump, Men (Olympic) DNS
Triple Jump, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1936 Summer Olympics Athletics JPN Kenkichi Oshima
4 × 100 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) Japan DNS
Triple Jump, Men (Olympic) 6

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
Other JPN Kenkichi Oshima
1936 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony JPN Kenkichi Oshima

Special Notes