The Most Famous Athlete in Japan: Highlighting a National Icon

Choose the athlete you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 22, 2024 08:02
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions truly matter! Today, we're diving into the world of Japanese sports icons and we need you to help us determine who takes the crown as the most famous athlete in Japan. From the lightning-fast moves of Shohei Ohtani to the unyielding spirit of Rikako Ikee, this list is packed with phenomenal talents that have left their mark, not only in Japan but across the globe. So, sports aficionados and Japan enthusiasts, it's time to flex your voting muscles and make your voices heard! Cast your vote for your favorite Japanese sports legend or suggest a missing contender worthy of joining the ranks. Who do you think deserves to be on top? The power is in your hands, so click away and let the games begin!

Who Is the Most Famous Athlete in Japan?

  1. 1
    He is a retired professional baseball player and one of the most successful Japanese players in Major League Baseball history. He has won numerous awards and broke several records during his career.
    Ichiro Suzuki in other rankings
  2. 2
    She is a professional tennis player who has won several Grand Slam titles and has become a global icon for her activism and advocacy for social justice.
    Naomi Osaka in other rankings
  3. 3
    He is a retired professional soccer player who was the first Japanese player to be named Asian Footballer of the Year. He played for several top European clubs during his career.
    Hidetoshi Nakata in other rankings
  4. 4
    He is a retired artistic gymnast who won numerous medals at the Olympics and World Championships, including six Olympic medals.
    Kohei Uchimura in other rankings
  5. 5
    He is a figure skater who has won two Olympic gold medals and several World Championships. He is known for his technical skill and artistic performances.
    Yuzuru Hanyu in other rankings
  6. 6
    Hideki Matsuyama
    Srixon/Cleveland Golf · CC BY-SA 4.0
    He is a professional golfer who became the first Japanese player to win a major championship when he won the 2021 Masters Tournament.
    Hideki Matsuyama in other rankings
  7. 7
    Saori Yoshida
    Marcello Farina · CC BY-SA 3.0
    She is a retired wrestler who won three Olympic gold medals and 13 World Championships during her career. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest female wrestlers of all time.
  8. 8
    He is a snowboarder who has won several medals at the Winter X Games and was the youngest athlete to win a Winter X Games gold medal at the age of 14.
  9. 9
    He is a retired professional baseball player who played for the Yomiuri Giants and is considered one of the greatest players in Japanese baseball history.
    Shigeo Nagashima in other rankings
  10. 10
    Tadahiro Nomura
    Ogiyoshisan · CC BY-SA 4.0
    He is a retired judoka who won three Olympic gold medals in judo and is the only judoka to have won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the same weight class.

Missing your favorite athlete?


Ranking factors for famous athlete

  1. 1) Popularity
    How popular is the athlete in Japan, in terms of social media following, merchandise sales, and general public interest?
  2. 2) Achievements
    What is the athlete's track record in their respective sport, including their awards, achievements, and overall success?
  3. 3) Representation
    How well does the athlete represent Japan and its values, both on and off the field?
  4. 4) Cultural significance
    Does the athlete represent an important cultural icon or historical figure in Japan?
  5. 5) Endorsements
    How many and what types of endorsements does the athlete have, and how does this reflect their overall fame and popularity?
  6. 6) Media coverage
    How often is the athlete featured in news, interviews, and other types of media coverage in Japan?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous athlete in Japan. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or athlete is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 208 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each athlete once every 24 hours. The rank of each athlete is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous athlete in japan

Japan has a rich history of producing world-class athletes across multiple sports, from baseball to sumo wrestling. However, when it comes to the title of the most famous athlete in Japan, one name stands above the rest: Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro is a retired baseball player who spent most of his career playing for the Seattle Mariners in the United States. He is widely regarded as one of the best hitters in the history of the sport and was the first Japanese-born player to have significant success in Major League Baseball. Ichiro's popularity in Japan goes beyond his on-field accomplishments. He is known for his work ethic, professionalism, and humble demeanor, which have made him a beloved figure both in his home country and abroad. His impact on Japanese baseball and sports culture as a whole is immeasurable, making him a clear contender for the title of the most famous athlete in Japan.

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