Naonobu Fujii Death: A Tragic Loss For The Volleyball Community

The passing of Naonobu Fujii is a devastating blow for the volleyball community.

The 1996 Olympic bronze medalist dedicated his career to motivating and guiding others to triumph both on and off the court, leading as captain of Toray Arrows and competing with Japan’s men’s national team in four consecutive Asian Games from 1998-2006.

He was recognized for his diligent work, outstanding leadership abilities, and adopting a “never surrender attitude” while motivating others to “dream bigger.” Fujii was adored by his teammates and admired by his opponents.

His death signifies a sorrowful moment for volleyball enthusiasts worldwide.

What was the cause of Naonobu Fujii’s death?

Naonobu Fujii, fondly known as Nakkun, passed away on March 10, 2023, at the age of 31. His team, Toray Arrows, reported his demise on social media.

Over the past year, Nakkun had been battling stomach cancer. As a professional volleyball player, he made significant contributions to his sport and was even honored as the best setter in the Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship in 2017.

Volleytrails paid homage to their departed teammate, acknowledging his dedication to excellence and his willingness to inspire those around him.

The tragic loss of this young athlete has caused shock and sorrow throughout the volleyball community. May Naonobu Fujii’s impact continue for those who knew him on and off the court.

Who was Naonobu Fujii?

Fujii from Toray was an enthusiastic volleyball player from Ishinomaki City, Japan. After nurturing his passion for the sport, he joined Juntendo University’s team.

Eventually, he competed for the club in the top division of the V League and also represented Japan at the Tokyo Olympics.

Regrettably, a year before his passing on the 10th of this month, Fujii revealed his battle with advanced stomach cancer on social media.

Despite enduring hardships due to the Tohoku earthquake, which resulted in the destruction of his family’s home and the loss of his father’s job, Fujii never abandoned his dream, with support from his family.

After all he had been through, Fujii demonstrated that determination can conquer any obstacle.

Naonobu Fujii’s cause of death

Naonobu Fujii, the dynamic setter and formidable Olympian from Japan, succumbed after a valiant battle against stage IV stomach cancer which had spread to his brain.

Initially, his symptoms appeared in one game itself – last year – when he developed sore eyes. Disturbingly, the discomfort has been escalating since then, and doctors eventually speculated that he had been afflicted by this severe form of cancer.

In a public interview following hospitalization for various issues, Fujii courageously opened up about the diagnosis.

Despite focusing intensely on defeating the disease, he was determined to put volleyball on hold until his recovery. Sadly, his wish would not be fulfilled, and Naonobu Fujii is no longer with us.


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