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The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan

Updated June 14, 2019 3.6k votes 800 voters 20.8k views94 items

List of the greatest Olympic athletes from Japan, with photos when available. These are the best Japanese Olympians of all time who have had the honor of representing their country at the prestigious Olympic games. Japanese athletes from every era all have their place in the Olympic history books, but which Japanese Olympian is the best of them all? You can decide who the greatest Olympic competitor from Japan is by how many medals they took back to their country, but that isn't the only factor that comes into play when considering who the best really is.

Examples of athletes on this list include Nobutaka Taguchi and Yasunobu Sekikawa.

This list answers the questions, "Who is the best Japanese Olympian of all time?" and "Who are the greatest Olympians from Japan?"

America, Russia and Great Britain have the most Olympic medals out of every country that has been represented in the Olympics, but it doesn't mean that Olympic competitors from other nations don't deserve accolades as well. Vote for your favorite Japan Olympic athletes on this list, and downvote the ones that you don't think had a huge impact on Japan.
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  • 1
    Yuzuru Hanyu
    688
    53

    Yuzuru Hanyu

    Men's singles

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1994-12-07

    Place Of BirthSendai, Japan

    Olympic SportFigure skating

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionFigure skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics – Men's Singles

    Weight53

    Olympic Medalist Games2014 Winter Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2014 Winter Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal

    Yuzuru Hanyu (羽生結弦, Hanyū Yuzuru, born December 7, 1994) is a Japanese figure skater who... more on Wikipedia

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    #1 of 51 The Greatest Male Figure Skaters of All Time#1 of 28 The Best Male Figure Skaters in the World Right Now

  • 2
    Kohei Uchimura
    188
    45

    Kohei Uchimura

    Men's Gymnastics, team competition

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1989-01-03

    Place Of BirthNagasaki,Japan,Kyūshū,Nagasaki Prefecture,Earth

    Olympic SportArtistic gymnastics

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionGymnastics at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's artistic team all-around,Gymnastics at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's artistic individual all-around

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonSilver medal

    Kōhei Uchimura (内村 航平, Uchimura Kōhei, born January 3, 1989) is a Japanese gymnast. He is a... more on Wikipedia

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    #1423 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#17 of 91 The Best Olympic Athletes in Artistic Gymnastics

  • 3
    Miki Ando
    Miki Ando (安藤 美姫, Andō Miki, born December 18, 1987) is a retired Japanese figure skater. She... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Midori Ito
    66
    19

    Midori Ito

    Women's Singles

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1969-08-13

    Place Of BirthNagoya,Japan,Chūbu region,Aichi Prefecture,Earth

    Olympic SportWomen's Figure Skating

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionFigure Skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics - Women's Singles

    Olympic Medalist Games1992 Winter Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonSilver medal

    Midori Ito or Midori Itō (伊藤みどり, Itō Midori, born 13 August 1969) is a Japanese former figure... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Kosuke Kitajima
    67
    22

    Kosuke Kitajima

    Men's 200m breaststroke, Men's 100m breaststroke

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1982-09-22

    Place Of BirthTokyo,Japan,Earth,Asia,East Asia

    Olympic SportSwimming

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionSwimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's 200 metre breaststroke,Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's 200 metre breaststroke,Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's 100 metre breaststroke,Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's 100 metre breaststroke,Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's 4 x 100 metre medley relay

    Olympic Medalist Games2004 Summer Olympics,2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2004 Summer Olympics,2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal,Bronze medal

    Kosuke Kitajima (北島 康介, Kitajima Kōsuke, born September 22, 1982 in Tokyo) is a Japanese... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Saori Yoshida
    64
    27

    Saori Yoshida

    Women's Freestyle Wrestling, Lightweight 48 - 55kg

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1982-10-05

    Place Of BirthTsu,Japan,Kansai,Mie Prefecture,Earth

    Olympic SportFreestyle wrestling

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionWrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Women's Freestyle Lightweight,Wrestling at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Women's Freestyle Lightweight

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics,2004 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2004 Summer Olympics,2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal

    Saori Yoshida (吉田 沙保里, Yoshida Saori, born 5 October 1982) is a former Japanese freestyle... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Osamu  Ueno
    Osamu Ueno is a freestyle skier.
  • 8
    Ken  Mizuno
    Ken Mizuno is a freestyle skier.
  • 9
    Kentaro Minagawa
    Kentaro Minagawa (皆川 賢太郎, Minagawa Kentarō, born May 17, 1977) is a Japanese alpine skier. His... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Fumie Suguri
    Fumie Suguri (村主 章枝, Suguri Fumie, born December 31, 1980) is a Japanese figure skater. She is... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Sawao Kato
    29
    13

    Sawao Kato

    Men's Gymnastics, individual all-round

    Date Of Birth1946-10-11

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionGymnastics at the 1968 Summer Olympics – Men's artistic individual all-around,Gymnastics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's artistic individual all-around,Gymnastics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's Horizontal Bar,Gymnastics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's parallel bars,Gymnastics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's pommel horse

    Olympic Medalist Games1968 Summer Olympics,1972 Summer Olympics,1976 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal,Silver medal,Bronze medal

    Sawao Kato (加藤 沢男, Katō Sawao, born October 11, 1946) is a retired Japanese gymnast and one of... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Eriko Ishino
    Eriko Ishino is a speed skater.
  • 13
    Tae Satoya
    22
    10

    Tae Satoya

    Women's Moguls

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1976-06-12

    Place Of BirthSapporo,Japan,Hokkaido,Earth,Asia

    Olympic SportFreestyle skiing

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionFreestyle Skiing at the 1998 Winter Olympics - Women's Moguls,Freestyle skiing at the 2002 Winter Olympics – Women's moguls

    Olympic Medalist Games1998 Winter Olympics,2002 Winter Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2002 Winter Olympics,1998 Winter Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonGold medal,Bronze medal

    Tae Satoya (里谷 多英, Satoya Tae, born on June 12, 1976 in Sapporo, Japan) is a Japanese... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Daito Takahashi
    Daito Takahashi (高橋 大斗, Takahashi Daito) (born December 16, 1980) is a Japanese Nordic... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Chikako Fushimi
    Chikako Fushimi (伏見 知何子, Fushimi Chikako) (born 21 June 1974) is a Japanese snowboarder. Born... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Keiichiro Nagashima
    23
    13

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1982-04-20

    Place Of BirthIkeda,Japan,Hokkaido,Earth,Asia

    Olympic SportSpeed skating

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionSpeed skating at the 2010 Winter Olympics – Men's 500 metres

    Olympic Medalist Games2010 Winter Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2006 Winter Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonSilver medal

    Keiichiro Nagashima (長島 圭一郎, Nagashima Keiichirō, born 20 April 1982) is a Japanese long track... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Eri Yanetani
    Eri Yanetani is a professional snowboarder.
  • 18
    Eiko Nakayama
    Eiko Nakayama (中山 英子, born September 28, 1970) is a Japanese skeleton racer who has competed... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Teruhiro Sugimori
    Teruhiro Sugimori is a speed skater.
  • 20
    Sayuri Osuga
    Sayuri Osuga (Japanese: 大菅小百合, born 27 October 1980) is a Japanese speed skater and cyclist. ... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Soko Yamaoka
    Soko Yamaoka is a professional snowboarder.
  • 22
    Hiroyuki Tomita
    20
    12

    Hiroyuki Tomita

    Men's Gymnastics, team competition

    Olympic CountryJapan

    Date Of Birth1980-11-21

    Place Of BirthOsaka,Japan,Osaka Prefecture,Higashi Osaka-Shi,Earth

    Olympic SportArtistic gymnastics

    NationalityJapan

    Olympic Medalist Event CompetitionGymnastics at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's artistic team all-around,Gymnastics at the 2008 Summer Olympics - Men's Horizontal Bar,Gymnastics at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Men's parallel bars

    Olympic Medalist Games2008 Summer Olympics,2004 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Games Participant2008 Summer Olympics

    Olympic Medals WonSilver medal

    Hiroyuki Tomita (Japanese: 冨田洋之; born November 21, 1980) is a Japanese gymnast. Tomita won... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Hiroshi Suzuki (鈴木 寛, born December 13, 1973) is a Japanese bobsledder who has competed since... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
  • 25
    Daiki Ito
    Daiki Itō (伊東 大貴, Itō Daiki) (born 27 December 1985) is a Japanese ski jumper.