Koki Mizuno – Celtic’s Forgotten Japanese Star

Japanese interest in Celtic continues to grow with the recent additions of both Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata joining the Scottish Champions in the January 2023 transfer window to join Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi in the Celtic first team squad.

Kyogo and Hatate and Maeda have all established themselves as key members of the current Celtic squad but top quality performances from Japanese players isn’t entirely new to Celtic – nor is the interest it garners back home in Japan.


Shunsuke Nakamura was the most famous Japanese import to blow Celtic fans away before the arrival of Kyogo and the Bhoys. However, between 2008 and 2010 Nakamura had a young Japanese compatriot at the club in Koki Mizuno, and both those players linked up to score in a 3-0 win for Celtic in the League Cup.

And Nakamura’s assist for Mizuno to score was big news in Japan, much like the current Japanese talents playing their part in Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic revolution.


A while back, as reported in the Celtic View  Mizuno remembered that night where he scored his first and only competitive goal for Celtic and admits the attention back home to the two players linking up to score was big news , and Mizuno hope the arrival of Celtic’s current crop of Japanese stars paves the way for more of his fellow countrymen to head to Paradise, as seems to be already happening.

“After I joined the club, Celtic got even more attention because there were two Japanese players together. Then, when I scored against Falkirk with Nakamura assisting me, it was huge.

“Now, there are four (currently five) Japanese players at the club and the attention on Celtic here is more than in my day. Nakamura was big for me as I wanted to follow his steps.

“I hope Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi (who is now back in Japan) will be creating good steps for the next Japanese players who want to play for Celtic.”

Things didn’t quite work out for Koki Mizuno at Celtic quite as well as it did for Shunsuke Nakamura, however, to do so would have been quite a task to be fair. But it certainly seems he has fond memories, both of his time in the Hoops and in particular that goal against Falkirk ably assisted by his legendary teammate, and the interest it produced back home in Japan.

Here are some other photos of Celtic’s former Japanese star Koki Mizuno…

Niall J


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