He joined Bellmare Hiratsuka (Today: Shonan Bellmare) in the J-League after graduating the Yamanashi Nirasaki high school. He was selected for the Japanese team of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
In 1998, he suddenly moved to AC Perugia, Italy’s Series A. At the opening match with Juventus he scored 2 goals. He continued high performances and supported other Japanese players to move to overseas teams. He continued his career in top Italian teams such as the A.S. Roma, and an English team. He also played in the Japan team participating at the Olympic Games for the first time in 28 years, and being qualified for the first World Cup. At the age of 29, he announced his retirement as a player after the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
After retirement, he travelled around the world. In 2008 he started “TAKE ACTION! 2008 +1” campaign to help solving world issues. In January 2009, the TAKE ACTION FOUNDATION was founded. In addition, he is appointed a member of the Japan Tourism Agency Advisory Board. He started “Japan tour” from April 2009. This assignment is as a trigger, he organised the “REVALUE NIPPON PROJECT” to support Japanese traditional culture and crafts at the TA Foundation. He has been CBO of Tohato Inc. since 2003.
At the GOLDEN FOOT AWARD of 2014, he became the first Asian winner of “All Time Legend” given to retired players who made the greatest achievements in the history of football.