Japan Handball Association (J.H.A., Nihon Handball Kyokai) was established in 1938 as Nihon Sokyu ('send-ball') Kyokai with the purpose of developing handball in Japan. It joined the International Handball Federation (I.H.F.) in 1952 the first step towards appearing on the global scene. It was followed by growing public interest in indoor handball (seven-player system) in the late 50's. The unification and adoption of the seven-player system for women in 1957 and men in 1963 became further momentum to develop the sport of handball in Japan.

In 1961 and 1962 Japanese men's and women's national teams participated in the world championships for the first time. Since then the men's team has participated in 10 world championships on seven consecutive occasions. Women's team has participated eight times, including five consecutively. As far as the Olympic Games is concerned Japanese men's team qualified for the Munich Olympics in 1972 - the year when handball was first adopted as an Olympic sport - right through to the Seoul Olympics in 1988, i.e., five Olympics consecutively (not participated in the Moscow Olympics). The women's team participated in the Montreal Olympics in 1976 when handball was first adopted for women, and it has been playing an important role as Asian leader ever since.

Japan Handball Association was legally incorporated in 1981 giving the game new impetus in Japan.

The Asian Championships and Asian Games of 1991 and 1994 took place in Hiroshima, Japan respectively. In 1997 the Men's World Championship was organized in Kumamoto. This illustrates the steps taken in Japan to contribute to development of handball around the world.

Aims of The Japan Handball Association

The Japan Handball Association is a representative body which supervises the handball competition played in Japan, and is designed to develop and promote handball nationwide. In addition, it contributes to improving national physical education and cultivation of sporting spirit.

Tasks of The Japan Handball Association

  1. To develop and lead handball
  2. To organize national competition for handball
  3. To organize international competitions for handball, and dispatch the national team to any such international competitions
  4. To establish and implement the rules of handball
  5. To develop competitiveness in the game of handball
  6. To educate and certify the qualifications of instructors and referees of handball
  7. On behalf of handball family in Japan to join the Japan Sports Association, International Handball Federation and Asian Handball Federation
  8. To approve and authorize handball equipment and the facilities for handball
  9. To publish the official magazine and other relevant publications
  10. Various other functions to achieve its aims.