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The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan 

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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.
list ordered by
1
Yuzuru Hanyu is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
LanaYoshii added
Men's singles
Yuzuru Hanyu (羽生結弦, Hanyū Yuzuru, born December 7, 1994) is a Japanese figure skater who competes in the men's singles discipline. He is a two-time Olympic champion (2014, 2018), a two-time ...more

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#1 of 28 The Best Male Figure Skaters in the World Right Now #1 of 150 The Best Olympic Athletes in Figure Skating

2
Kohei Uchimura is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Men's Gymnastics, team competition, Men's Gymnastics
Kōhei Uchimura (内村 航平, Uchimura Kōhei, born January 3, 1989) is a Japanese gymnast. He is a seven-time Olympic medalist (all-around, team and floor exercise), winning three golds and four ...more
3
Kosuke Kitajima is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Men's 200m breaststroke, Men's 100m breaststroke, Men's 4x100m medley relay
Kosuke Kitajima (北島 康介, Kitajima Kōsuke, born September 22, 1982 in Tokyo) is a Japanese retired multiple Olympic gold medalist breaststroke swimmer. He won gold medals for the men's 100 m and ...more
4
Midori Ito is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
LanaYoshii added
Women's Singles
Midori Ito or Midori Itō (伊藤みどり, Itō Midori, born 13 August 1969) is a Japanese former figure skater. She is the 1989 World champion and the 1992 Olympic silver medalist. She is the first woman ...more

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#7 of 43 The Greatest Female Figure Skaters of All Time #11 of 41 The Greatest Retired Figure Skaters of All Time

5
Saori Yoshida is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Women's Freestyle Wrestling, Lightweight 48 - 55kg
Saori Yoshida (吉田 沙保里, Yoshida Saori, born 5 October 1982) is a former Japanese freestyle wrestler. Starting in 1998 she won almost every major competition, including three Olympic Games, four ...more
6
Fumie Suguri is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Fumie Suguri (村主 章枝, Suguri Fumie, born December 31, 1980) is a Japanese figure skater. She is a three-time World medalist, a three-time Four Continents champion, the 2003 Grand Prix Final ...more

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#547 of 678 Rank the Sexiest Current Female Athletes #136 of 150 The Best Olympic Athletes in Figure Skating

7
Sawao Kato is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Arthur Roderick added
Men's Gymnastics, individual all-round, Men's Horizontal bar
Sawao Kato (加藤 沢男, Katō Sawao, born October 11, 1946) is a retired Japanese gymnast and one of the most successful Olympic athletes of all time. Between 1968 and 1976 he won twelve Olympic ...more
8
Daito Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Daito Takahashi (高橋 大斗, Takahashi Daito) (born December 16, 1980) is a Japanese Nordic combined skier who has competed since 2000. Competing in three Winter Olympics, he earned his best finish ...more
9
Hiroyuki Tomita is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Men's Gymnastics, team competition, Men's Horizontal bar
Hiroyuki Tomita (Japanese: 冨田洋之; born November 21, 1980) is a Japanese gymnast. Tomita won three Olympic medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
10
Noriaki Kasai is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Noriaki Kasai (葛西 紀明, Kasai Noriaki, born 6 June 1972) is a Japanese ski jumper. His career achievements include a gold medal at the 1992 Ski Flying World Championships, winning the 1999 Nordic ...more
11
Osamu Ueno is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Osamu Ueno is a freestyle skier.
12
Mitsuo Tsukahara is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Steph Bowerhaus added
Men's Gymnastics, individual all-round, Men's Horizontal bar
Mitsuo Tsukahara (塚原 光男 Tsukahara Mitsuo, born December 22, 1947) is a Japanese artistic gymnast. He was five times an Olympic Gold Medalist. He remained active in the sport after his retirement ...more
13
Nobuko Fukuda is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Nobuko Fukuda is a cross-country skier.
14
Kentaro Minagawa is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Kentaro Minagawa (皆川 賢太郎, Minagawa Kentarō, born May 17, 1977) is a Japanese alpine skier. His first international successes were at the 1996 Junior World Championships in Schwyz, with a 5th ...more
15
Masaki Toshiro is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Masaki Toshiro (戸城 正貴, Toshiro Masaki) (born April 13, 1980) is a Japanese luger who has competed since 2000. He finished 12th in the men's doubles event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. ...more
16
Yuka Sato is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
LanaYoshii added Yuka Sato
Yuka Sato (佐藤 有香, Satō Yuka, born February 14, 1973) is a Japanese former competitive figure skater. She is the 1994 World champion, the 1990 World Junior champion and the 1993 & 1994 ...more
17
Yūya Oikawa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Yūya Oikawa
Yūya Oikawa (及川 佑, Oikawa Yūya) (born 16 January 1981) is a Japanese speed skater. He competed in the 2006 and the 2010 Winter Olympics, and has qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
18
Masako Ishida is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Masako Ishida (石田 正子, Ishida Masako) (born November 5, 1980, age 38) is a Japanese cross country skier who has competed since 1998. Her best World Cup finish was third in the 30 km event in ...more
19
Maki Tabata is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Women's Team Pursuit
Maki Tabata (田畑 真紀, Tabata Maki, born 9 November 1974 in Mukawa, Hokkaido, Japan) is a speed skater and cycle racer. Maki Tabata won bronze at the World Allround Championships in 2000 and one ...more
20
Tomoka Takeuchi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
21
Joji Kato is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Men's 500m
Joji Kato (加藤条治, Katō Jōji) (born 6 February 1985) is a Japanese speedskater whose specialty is in the sprinting distance event of 500 metres. At the age of 17 he became the first junior ...more
22
Makoto Okiguchi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Men's Gymnastics, team competition
Makoto Okiguchi is a Japanese gymnast.
23
Daisuke Murakami is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Daisuke Murakami is a professional snowboarder.
24
Miki Ito is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Miki Ito is a freestyle skier.
25
Yuichi Onda is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes from Japan
Yuichi Onda is a cross-country skier.