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Famous Animators from Japan

Updated June 14, 2019 22.5k views65 items

List of notable or famous animators from Japan, with bios and photos, including the top animators born in Japan and even some popular animators who immigrated to Japan. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Japanese animators then this list is the perfect resource for you. These animators are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known animator from Japan is included when available.

The list you're viewing is made up of different people like Hayao Miyazaki and Hideaki Anno.

This historic animators from Japan list can help answer the questions "Who are some Japanese animators of note?" and "Who are the most famous animators from Japan?" These prominent animators of Japan may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Japanese animators.

Use this list of renowned Japanese animators to discover some new animators that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
  • 1
    Akemi Ôta is an animator, and the wife of Hayao Miyazaki....  more
  • 2
    Akio Watanabe (渡辺明夫, Watanabe Akio, born July 13, 1969) is a Japanese animator, character designer and animation director currently living in Tokyo, Japan. He often goes by the pseudonym Poyoyon...  more
  • 3

    BirthplaceKushiro, Japan

    Akira Yasuda (安田 朗, Yasuda Akira) (born July 21, 1964) is a Japanese animator, character designer, game designer and mecha designer, who works under the pen name "Akiman". Yasuda is a former employee...  more
  • 4

    BirthplaceAichi Prefecture, Chūbu region, East Asia, Honshu, Okazaki

    Atsuko Ishizuka (いしづか あつこ, Ishizuka Atsuko, born September 3, 1981) is a Japanese animator and director. She began her animation career after joining Madhouse in 2004. ...  more
  • 5

    Atsuko Nakajima

    Age: 60


    Atsuko Nakajima (中嶋敦子, Nakajima Atsuko, born December 21, 1961 in Kanagawa, Japan) is a Japanese animator, character designer, and illustrator. She is married to anime director and animator Tomohiro...  more
  • 6

    BirthplaceHyōgo Prefecture, Japan

    Atsushi Wada is an animator, a film director and a screenwriter....  more
  • 7

    Bob Kuwahara

    Dec. at 63 (1901-1964)

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

    Rokuro "Bob" Kuwahara (August 12, 1901 – 1964) was a Japanese-born American animator best known for his work with Walt Disney and Terrytoons between the 1930s and 1960s. Kuwahara was born in Tokyo on...  more
  • 8
    Eiichi Yamamoto (山本 暎一, Yamamoto Eiichi, born 22 November 1940) is a Japanese film director and screenwriter of anime. He is known for directing the Animerama film series conceived by Osamu Tezuka....  more
  • 9

    Fumitoshi Oizaki

    Fumitoshi Oizaki (追崎 史敏, Oizaki Fumitoshi) (born October 15, 1975) is a Japanese anime director, character designer, and animator. He is primarily associated with Gonzo, which produced his series...  more
  • 10

    Hajime Watanabe

    Age: 64
    Hajime Watanabe (渡辺 はじめ, Watanabe Hajime, born 1957) is a Japanese animator and character designer. His debut as a chief character designer was with Hime-chan's Ribbon, and he has frequently worked...  more
  • 11

    BirthplaceBunkyo, Tokyo, Japan

    Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎 駿, Miyazaki Hayao, born January 5, 1941) is a Japanese animator, filmmaker, screenwriter, author, and manga artist. A co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio, he...  more

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  • 12

    BirthplaceUbe, Japan

    Hideaki Anno (庵野 秀明, Anno Hideaki, born May 22, 1960) is a Japanese animator, film director, and actor. He is best known for creating the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. His style has...  more

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    #211 of 250 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked#307 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 13
    Hirayama Shiho is an animator....  more
  • 14

    BirthplaceNonoichi, Japan

    Hiromasa Yonebayashi (米林 宏昌, Yonebayashi Hiromasa, born July 10, 1973 in Nonoichi, Ishikawa, Japan), nicknamed Maro, is a Japanese animator and director, formerly for Studio Ghibli. After his...  more
  • 15

    Hiroshi Ōsaka

    Dec. at 44 (1963-2007)


    Hiroshi Ōsaka (逢坂 浩司, Ōsaka Hiroshi, 20 June 1963 – 24 September 2007) was a Japanese animator, character designer and illustrator, born in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture. He was a graduate of the Kyoto...  more
  • 16

    BirthplaceManchuria, China

    Hiroshi Saitô is an animator and film director....  more
  • 17

    BirthplaceTokyo, Japan

    Hiroyuki Kitazume (北爪 宏幸, Kitazume Hiroyuki, born July 24, 1961 in Tokyo) is a Japanese animator, manga artist, and illustrator. He is often noted for his work with anime studio Sunrise. Helen...  more
  • 18

    BirthplaceFukuoka Prefecture, Japan

    Hiroyuki Morita (森田 宏幸, Morita Hiroyuki, born June 26, 1964 in Fukuoka, Japan) is a Japanese animator and director. He has worked as an animator on projects such as Akira and Lupin III. He is best...  more
  • 19
    Hiroyuki Okiura (沖浦啓之, Okiura Hiroyuki, born October 13, 1966 in Katano, Osaka Prefecture) is a Japanese animation director and animator working for Production I.G....  more
  • 20

    Johji Manabe

    Age: 56


    Johji Manabe (真鍋譲治, Manabe Jōji, born 18 December 1964) is a Japanese manga artist. He is best known in the English-speaking world for Caravan Kidd, Outlanders, and Capricorn. He is not to be...  more
  • 21

    BirthplaceNiihama, Japan

    Katsuya Kondō (近藤 勝也, Kondō Katsuya, born June 2, 1963 in Ehime Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese manga artist, character designer, animator and animation director. He is best known for his character...  more
  • 22

    BirthplaceHamamatsu, Japan

    Kazuhiro Furuhashi (古橋 一浩, Furuhashi Kazuhiro, born June 9, 1960) is a Japanese anime director and supervisor, born in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. He is amongst anime's most foremost directors,...  more
  • 23

    Kazuo Komatsubara

    Age: 78

    BirthplaceYokohama, Japan

    Kazuo Komatsubara (小松原 一男 or 小松原 一夫, Komatsubara Kazuo, December 24, 1943 – March 24, 2000) was a Japanese animator, animation director and character designer born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture,...  more
  • 24

    BirthplaceNiigata Prefecture, Japan

    Kazuto Nakazawa (中澤 一登, Nakazawa Kazuto, born March 4, 1968) is a Japanese character designer and director of numerous anime series and video games who also goes by the pseudonym Takeshi Tsuji (辻 武司,...  more
  • 25

    BirthplaceGosen, Japan

    Kazuya Tsurumaki (鶴巻 和哉 Tsurumaki Kazuya) is a Japanese anime director. He was born on February 2, 1966 in the city of Gosen, located in the Niigata Prefecture. He is the protégé of Hideaki Anno, and...  more