Japanese People Famous Animators from Japan

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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. (65 items)

1
Akemi Ôta is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Akemi Ôta is an animator, and the wife of Hayao Miyazaki.

2
Akio Watanabe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 48 Akio Watanabe is a Japanese animator, character designer and animation director currently living in Tokyo, Japan. He often goes by the pseudonym Poyoyon Rock. He is also a member of the dōjinshi ...more

3
Akira Yasuda is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 53 Akira Yasuda is a Japanese animator, character designer, game designer and mecha designer, who works under the pen name "Akiman". Yasuda was formerly an employee of the video game ...more

4
Atsuko Ishizuka is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 36 Atsuko Ishizuka is a Japanese animator and director at Madhouse, one of the leading animation production companies in the world. She was born on September 3, 1981 and has been with Madhouse ...more

5
Atsuko Nakajima is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Atsuko Nakajima age 57 Atsuko Nakajima is a Japanese animator, character designer, and illustrator. She is married to anime director and animator Tomohiro Hirata, with whom she also collaborated in the Trinity Blood ...more

6
Atsushi Wada is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 38 Atsushi Wada is an animator, a film director and a screenwriter.

7
Bob Kuwahara is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Died at 63 (1901-1964) Rokuro "Bob" Kuwahara 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 August ...more

8
Eiichi Yamamoto is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 77 Eiichi Yamamoto is a Japanese film director and screenwriter of Anime. He is known directing the Animerama film series for Osamu Tezuka. Yamamoto directed ten films between 1962 and 1986. His ...more

9
Fumitoshi Oizaki is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Fumitoshi Oizaki Fumitoshi Oizaki is a Japanese anime director, character designer, and animator. He is primarily associated with Gonzo, which produced his series directorial debut, Romeo x Juliet, and with ...more

10
Hajime Watanabe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Hajime Watanabe age 61 Hajime Watanabe 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 with Akitaro Daichi on anime

11
Hayao Miyazaki is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 77 Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and manga artist. Through a career that has spanned five decades, Miyazaki has attained international ...more

12
Hideaki Anno is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 57 Hideaki Anno is a Japanese animator, film director and actor. Anno is best known for his work on the popular anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. His style has come to be defined by the touches ...more

13
Hirayama Shiho is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 39 Hirayama Shiho is an animator.

14
Hiromasa Yonebayashi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 44 Hiromasa Yonebayashi, nicknamed Maro, is a Japanese animator and director for Studio Ghibli. After his directorial debut with Studio Ghibli, he became the youngest director of a theatrical film ...more

15
Hiroshi Ōsaka is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Hiroshi Ōsaka Died at 44 (1963-2007) Hiroshi Ōsaka was a Japanese animator, character designer and illustrator, born in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture. He was a graduate of the Kyoto Saga University of Arts. He was the co-founder of ...more

16
Hiroshi Saitô is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 82 Hiroshi Saitô is an animator and film director.

17
Hiroyuki Kitazume is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 56 Hiroyuki Kitazume is a Japanese animator, manga artist, and illustrator. He is often noted for his work with anime studio Sunrise. Helen McCarthy in 500 Essential Anime Movies commented that he ...more

18
Hiroyuki Morita is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 53 Hiroyuki Morita is a Japanese animator and director. He has worked as an animator on projects such as Akira and Lupin III. He is best known for working as director on the Studio Ghibli film The ...more

19
Hiroyuki Okiura is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 51 Hiroyuki Okiura is a Japanese animation director and animator working for Production I.G.

20
Johji Manabe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Johji Manabe age 53 Johji Manabe is a Japanese manga artist. He is best known in the English-speaking world for Caravan Kidd, Outlanders, and Capricorn. His later works are often pornographic in nature, though he ...more

21
Katsuya Kondō is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 54 Katsuya Kondō is a Japanese manga artist, character designer, animator and animation director. He is best known for his character design work on the Studio Ghibli films Kiki's Delivery Service ...more

22
Kazuhiro Furuhashi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 57 Kazuhiro Furuhashi is a Japanese anime director and supervisor, born in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. He is amongst anime's most foremost directors, having directed and helmed the entire ...more

23
Kazuo Komatsubara is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Kazuo Komatsubara Died at 57 (1943-2000) Kazuo Komatsubara was a Japanese animator, animation director and character designer born in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He worked as an independently contracted character designer for ...more

24
Kazuto Nakazawa is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 50 Kazuto Nakazawa is a Japanese character designer and director of numerous anime series and video games who also goes by the pseudonym Takeshi Tsuji. His directorial work includes Parasite Dolls, ...more

25
Kazuya Tsurumaki is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 52 Kazuya Tsurumaki 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 a ...more

26
Keiichiro Kawaguchi is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Keiichiro Kawaguchi Keiichiro Kawaguchi is a Japanese animation director.

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Kihachirō Kawamoto is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Died at 85 (1925-2010) Kihachirō Kawamoto was a Japanese puppet designer and maker, independent film director, screenwriter and animator and president of the Japan Animation Association from 1989, succeeding founder ...more

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Kimio Yabuki is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Kimio Yabuki is a Japanese animator. Known in Japan for his work on many early classic works by the Toei Animation studio, his best-known film in the West is Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer ...more

29
Kitarō Kōsaka is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 56 Kitarō Kōsaka is a Japanese animator and film director.

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Koji Morimoto is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 58 Koji Morimoto, born December 26, 1959 is one of Japan’s premier anime directors.

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Kōji Yamamura is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 53 Kōji Yamamura is a Japanese independent animator who, after leaving a career as a background artist at an animation studio, directs, writes, edits, animates, creates the model sheets and ...more

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Kumiko Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Kumiko Takahashi Kumiko Takahashi is Japanese animator and character designer. She is noted for her work as a character designer and animation director on numerous anime series, such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Witch ...more

33
Makoto Shinkai is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 45 Makoto Shinkai, born as Makoto Niitsu is a Japanese director of anime and former graphic designer. A native of the Nagano Prefecture, Shinkai studied Japanese literature at Chuo University where ...more

34
Masaaki Yuasa is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 53 Masaaki Yuasa is an anime television and film director, screenwriter, storyboard artist and animator known for his wild free form style. He was born on March 16, 1965 in Fukuoka, Japan. His most ...more

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Masaru Kitao is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Masaru Kitao age 56 Masaru Kitao is a Japanese animator known for his work with Madhouse. Primarily a key animator and animation director for anime TV series, Kitao has also on occasion done character designs. ...more

36
Michi Himeno is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Michi Himeno Michi Himeno is a Japanese animation artist and character designer. Her most famous work is on the TV series Saint Seiya.

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Motosuke Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Died at 66 (1941-2007) Motosuke Takahashi was a Japanese anime episode and series director, animation director, animator, storyboard artist, and character designer born in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. ...more

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Mutsumi Inomata is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Mutsumi Inomata age 57 Mutsumi Inomata is a Japanese illustrator and animator.

39
Narumi Kakinouchi is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 56 Narumi Kakinouchi is a female Japanese manga artist, animator, director, character designer, and an animation director. Some of her work has appeared in the adult manga magazine Lemon People.

40
Noboru Ishiguro is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Died at 74 (1938-2012) Noboru Ishiguro was a Japanese animator who was noteworthy for directing the anime series Space Battleship Yamato, The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Century Orguss, Yōkai ...more

41
Nobuteru Yūki is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 55 Nobuteru Yūki is a Japanese manga artist, illustrator, and animator. He began as a doujinshi artist under the nom de plume The Man in the High Castle and Ubik, both references to the works of ...more

42
Norio Shioyama is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Norio Shioyama age 78 Norio Shioyama is an animator, illustrator, character designer, and animation director born in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. He is most well known for his work as character designer on the anime ...more

43
Osamu Kasai is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Osamu Kasai age 76 Osamu Kasai is a film director and an animator.

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Osamu Kobayashi is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Osamu Kobayashi age 54 Osamu Kobayashi is a Japanese animator, illustrator, mechanic designer, and animation director. He originally directed avant garde shorts and music videos for Studio 4°C and has more ...more

45
Osamu Tezuka is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Died at 61 (1928-1989) Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese cartoonist, animator, film producer, and activist. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of the comics series Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and ...more

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Reiko Okuyama is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Reiko Okuyama Reiko Okuyama, née, was a Japanese animator, notable for being one of the first female Japanese animators. She has also been credited as Reiko Kotabe and Reiko Kitagawa. Okuyama spent ...more

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Ryuji Masuda is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Ryuji Masuda age 50 Ryuji Masuda is a Japanese CGI animation director. He was born in 1968 in Kumamoto city, Japan.

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Satoshi Kon is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Died at 47 (1963-2010) Satoshi Kon was a Japanese film director, animator, screenwriter and manga artist from Kushiro, Hokkaidō and a member of the Japanese Animation Creators Association. He was a graduate of the ...more

49
Shukō Murase is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
Shukō Murase age 54 Shukō Murase is a Japanese anime director and animator. A member of the renowned studio Sunrise, he is noted for contributing the character designs and key animation to New Mobile Report Gundam ...more

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Takahiro Kimura is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Animators from Japan
age 53 Takahiro Kimura is a Japanese animator, illustrator and character designer.