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Famous Baseball Players from Japan

Updated June 14, 2019 16.7k views896 items

List of famous baseball players from Japan, listed alphabetically with photos of the players when available. Japan has produced some very talented baseball players over the years, including pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders. These are some of the best Japanese baseball players to ever live, so if you're a native of Japan and are aspiring to play ball professionally then these people should be your idols. If you're searching for a particular popular baseball player from Japan then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

This list below has everything from Kazumi Saito to Masayoshi Miwa.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Japanese baseball players?" and "Which baseball players are from Japan?"

You can click on the names of these legendary baseball players of Japan in order to get more information about each one. If you play baseball or just love the sport then use this list of talented Japanese baseball players to find some athletes you haven't heard of before.
  • 1

    Ichiro Suzuki

    Right fielder, Outfielder
    Ichiro Suzuki (鈴木 一朗, Suzuki Ichirō, born October 22, 1973), often referred to mononymously...  more

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  • 2

    Yu Darvish

    Starting Pitcher
    Farid Yu Darvishsefat (Darubisshu Sefatto Farīdo Yū, born 16 August 1986), popularly known as...  more
  • 3

    Koji Uehara

    Relief pitcher, Pitcher
    Koji Uehara (上原 浩治, Uehara Kōji, [ɯehara koːdʑi]; born April 3, 1975) is a Japanese former...  more
  • 4

    Hideki Matsui

    Designated hitter, Left fielder
    Hideki Matsui (松井 秀喜, Matsui Hideki, born June 12, 1974), nicknamed "Godzilla", is a Japanese...  more


    #109 of 142 The Greatest Left-Fielders of All Time#20 of 50 The Greatest Designated Hitters of All Time

  • 5

    Sadaharu Oh

    First baseman
    Sadaharu Oh (Japanese: 王貞治, Ō Sadaharu; born May 20, 1940), also known as Wang Chen-chih...  more
  • 6

    Hiroki Kuroda

    Starting pitcher, Pitcher
    Hiroki Kuroda (黒田 博樹, Kuroda Hiroki, born February 10, 1975) is a Japanese former professional...  more
  • 7

    Masahide Kobayashi

    Relief pitcher, Pitcher
    Masahide "Masa" Kobayashi (小林 雅英, Kobayashi Masahide, born May 24, 1974 in Ōtsuki, Yamanashi,...  more
  • 8

    Hisashi Iwakuma

    Relief pitcher, Starting pitcher
    Hisashi Iwakuma (岩隈 久志, Iwakuma Hisashi, born April 12, 1981) is a Japanese professional...  more
  • 9

    Keiichi Yabu

    Relief pitcher, Pitcher
    Keiichi Yabu (藪 恵壹, Yabu Keiichi, real name: 藪 恵一) (born September 28, 1968) is a Japanese...  more
  • 10

    Kazuhiro Sasaki

    Relief pitcher, Pitcher
    Kazuhiro "Daimajin" Sasaki (佐々木 主浩 Sasaki Kazuhiro, born February 22, 1968 in Sendai City,...  more
  • 11

    Yoshinori Tateyama

    Relief pitcher
    Yoshinori Tateyama (建山 義紀, Tateyama Yoshinori, born December 26, 1975) is a Japanese former...  more
  • 12

    Akinori Otsuka

    Relief pitcher, Pitcher
    Akinori Otsuka (大塚 晶則, Ōtsuka Akinori) (born January 13, 1972) is a retired Japanese baseball...  more
  • 13

    Kazuo Matsui

    Infielder, Second baseman
    Kazuo Matsui (松井 稼頭央, Matsui Kazuo, born October 23, 1975), nicknamed "Kaz", is a retired...  more
  • 14

    Kenji Jojima

    Catcher, First baseman
    Kenji Johjima (城島 健司, Jōjima Kenji, born June 8, 1976) is a Japanese former professional...  more
  • 15

    Ken Takahashi

    Starting pitcher
    Ken Takahashi (高橋 建, Takahashi Ken, born April 16, 1969) is a Japanese former professional...  more
  • 16
    Munenori Kawasaki (川﨑 宗則, Kawasaki Munenori, born June 3, 1981) is a Japanese former...  more
  • 17

    Norichika Aoki

    Right fielder, Left fielder
    Norichika "Nori" Aoki (青木 宣親, Aoki Norichika, born January 5, 1982) is a Japanese professional...  more
  • 18
    Kyuji Fujikawa (藤川 球児, Fujikawa Kyūji, born July 21, 1980) is a Japanese professional baseball...  more
  • 19

    Masahiro Tanaka

    Starting Pitcher
    Masahiro Tanaka (田中 将大, Tanaka Masahiro, born November 1, 1988) is a Japanese professional...  more
  • 20
    Junichi Tazawa (田澤 純一, Tazawa Jun'ichi, born June 6, 1986) is a Japanese professional baseball...  more
  • 21
    Hideki Okajima (岡島 秀樹, Okajima Hideki, born December 25, 1975) is a Japanese former...  more
  • 22
    Yasuhiko Yabuta (薮田 安彦, Yabuta Yasuhiko, born June 19, 1973) is a Japanese former baseball...  more
  • 23

    Tsuyoshi Shinjo

    Tsuyoshi Shinjo (新庄 剛志, Shinjō Tsuyoshi, born January 28, 1972) is a former Japanese...  more
  • 24

    Hideki Irabu

    Starting pitcher, Pitcher
    Hideki Irabu (伊良部 秀輝, Irabu Hideki, May 5, 1969 – July 27, 2011) was a Japanese professional...  more
  • 25

    Akinori Iwamura

    Infielder, Second baseman
    Akinori Iwamura (岩村 明憲, Iwamura Akinori, born February 9, 1979) is a former Japanese baseball...  more