Kazuaki Tasaka

Position: Midfielder
Born: 03-Aug-1971
Height/Weight: 173/67
Birthplace: Hiroshima
Previous Teams: Tokai No.1 H.S., Tokai U., Bellmare Hiratsuka, Shimizu S-Pulse, Bellmare Hiratsuka, Cerezo Osaka
Appearances (J1/J2): 248/0 Goals: 7/0
First Appearance: 12-Mar-1994 Bellmare Hiratsuka -vs- Verdy Kawasaki (at Tokyo Nat'l Stadium)
First Goal : 29-Apr-1995 Bellmare Hiratsuka -vs- Shimizu S-Pulse (at Nihondaira)


Though not particularly large in a physical sense, Kazuaki Tanaka always relished his role as one of the league's "tough guys". His punishing presence in deep midfield and his ferocious pursuit of the balll were definitely appropriate for a player who earned the nickname "Robocop".

The nickname was earned when Tasaka was playing for Bellmare Hiratsuka, and fractured a cheekbone in midseason. Though not a serious injury, Tasaka had to wear a plexiglass shield covering half of his face for several months. With his complete lack of hair (due to a genetic condition), powerful body, and the added feature of the plexiglass mask, "Robocop" Tasaka truly did look like a B-movie android tough-guy, and he earned that reputation as an enforcer.

Tasaka was a tireless ball-chaser who knew how to throw his weight around in the middle of the penalty box, and he also had a very good understanding of the game. As a volante for Bellmare, Cerezo, and briefly for the national team as well, Tasaka was most adept at breaking up the opponent's attack and disrupting their rhythm, though he also had a very accurate boot and was able to release long, pinpoint passes to one of his teammates.

After retirement he joined the coaching ranks at Cerezo Osaka, who valued his ability to bring out the best in teammates as much, if not more, than his playing ability. Tasaka entered the coaching ranks and has served as head coach at several J1 and J2 teams. He continues to enjoy a successful career in the J.League.


Photo Year Team Uniform# Appearances Goals
- 1994 Bellmare Hiratsuka 35 0
- 1995 Bellmare Hiratsuka 47 1
- 1996 Bellmare Hiratsuka 30 0
- 1997 Bellmare Hiratsuka 31 2
- 1998 Bellmare Hiratsuka 33 0
1999 Shimizu S-Pulse 13 2
2000 Cerezo Osaka 30 1
2001 Cerezo Osaka 10 1
- J.League TOTAL 196 7