Famous Japanese Women

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Rewind to ancient years and Japan was known for its women whose role elicited different discrepancies especially regarding religion. From matriarchal days, the Japanese women’s life was soon altered to a state of submissive confinement. Fast-forward to the present century, the Japanese women are known to be game changer—impacting Japan’s history in a drastic way. The Japanese women are also known for their high feminine beauty standards that has affected the standards worldwide. Known for their role in upping the contemporary fashion measures, the Japanese women have sure emphasized just how vital their role is in this present world.

Vote for Your Favourite Japanese Women
 1 
Naomi Osaka
(Japanese Professional Tennis Player and First Asian Player to Hold the Top Ranking in Singles)
Naomi Osaka
83
Birthdate: October 16, 1997
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka made history by being the first player of Asian origin to hold the world number one rank in singles. Osaka made headlines when in 2021, she withdrew from the French Open after refusing to be part of a press conference to protect her mental health.

 2 
Yoko Ono
(Artist and Musician Who Was an Influential Practitioner of Conceptual & Performance Art)
Yoko Ono
44
Birthdate: February 18, 1933
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, peace activist, and singer-songwriter. She came into prominence after marrying John Lennon of the Beatles. She is widely criticized for her unquestionable influence over John Lennon and his music. She is also often blamed for the disbandment of The Beatles. Despite all these criticisms, Yoko Ono continues to go on her merry way.

 3 
Sky Brown
(Skateboarder)
Sky Brown
58
Birthdate: July 12, 2008
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Miyazaki
Born to a Japanese mother and a British father, Sky Brown is a self-taught skateboarder who learned the art from YouTube videos. At age 10, she became the world’s youngest professional skateboarder. The Dancing with the Stars: Juniors winner had a near-death experience after a skateboarding accident in 2020.
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 4 
Kane Tanaka
(World's Oldest Living Person)
Kane Tanaka
7
Birthdate: January 2, 1903
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Higashi Ward, Fukuoka, Japan
 5 
Asuka
(Japanese Professional Wrestler)
Asuka
9
Birthdate: September 26, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Osaka, Japan

One of the most promising young wrestlers from Japan, Kanako Urai, better known as Asuka and Kana (previously), has been making a name for herself as part of the WWE. Known for her multi-colored hair, she is a Grand Slam Champion, and holds the NXT, Raw, and SmackDown Women’s titles.

 6 
Yayoi Kusama
(Contemporary Artist)
Yayoi Kusama
18
Birthdate: March 22, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan
Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama is known for her variety of artforms, including sculpture, installations, paintings, and fashion. She mingles elements such as feminism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism, and expresses her struggle with mental illness through her art. She has also published books and produced an award-winning film. 
 7 
Maria Ozawa
(Adult Film Star, AV idol, Stripper, Actor, Glamour model, Model)
Maria Ozawa
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hokkaidō

Born to a Japanese mother and a French-Canadian father, Maria Ozawa was raised in Japan and began her career in adult films at age 19. Also known as Miyabi, she has worked on Japanese TV shows and has also worked as a model. She is also known as an AV Idol.

 8 
Marie Kondo
(Organizing Expert)
Marie Kondo
14
Birthdate: October 9, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Japanese organizing expert Marie Kondo gained fame with her bestselling books on organizing, such as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which have been translated into languages such as Italian, Korean, French, and German. She also earned an Emmy nomination for her Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

 9 
Sonoya Mizuno
(Actress Best Known for Her Works in Movies 'Ex Machina', 'Annihilation', and 'Devs')
Sonoya Mizuno
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Sonoya Mizuno is an English actress, ballet dancer, and model. She started her professional career as a model, working for world-renowned brands, such as Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. Thanks to her skills as a ballet dancer, which she learnt at the Royal Ballet School, Mizuno landed roles in dance films like High Strung, which kick-started her film career.

 10 
Suzuka Nakamoto
(Metal Singer Best Known as a Member of the Kawaii Metal Band 'Babymetal')
Suzuka Nakamoto
6
Birthdate: December 20, 1997
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hiroshima, Japan

Japanese kawaii metal sensation Suzuka Nakamoto is best known for being part of the band Babymetal. Also known as Su-metal, she entered the world of showbiz with Jewel Drop commercials and later won a kids’ audition. She has also been part of the idol girl group Sakura Gakuin.

 11 
Rinko Kikuchi
(Actress)
Rinko Kikuchi
3
Birthdate: January 6, 1981
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hadano, Kanagawa, Japan

Rinko Kikuchi is a Japanese actress who received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Chieko Wataya in the 2006 psychological drama film Babel. Rinko is the first Japanese actress to receive an Oscar nomination in five decades. Her work in Babel also earned her several awards, such as Gotham Awards and a Chicago Film Critics Association Award.

 12 
Aiko, Princess Toshi
(Daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito)
Aiko, Princess Toshi
20
Birthdate: December 1, 2001
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tokyo

Aiko, Princess Toshi, is the only child of Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan. She went to Gakushuin Kindergarten as a small child and later enrolled at the Gakushuin Girl's Junior High-school. Currently, she is studying the Japanese language and literature at Gakushuin University. 

 13 
Ayako Fujitani
(Japanese Writer and Actress)
Ayako Fujitani
4
Birthdate: December 7, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Osaka, Osaka, Japan

Daughter of Hollywood actor Steven Seagal and Japanese aikido specialist Miyako Fujitani, Ayako Fujitani appeared as a lead actor in Man from Reno. A skilled writer, she has also released several books, both fiction and non-fiction. She has also directed a short play and performed as part of a band.

 14 
Masako, Crown Princess of Japan
(Crown Princess of Japan)
Masako, Crown Princess of Japan
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toranomon Hospital, Toranomon, Tokyo
 15 
Hirai Momo
(Singer, Dancer)
Hirai Momo
11
Birthdate: November 9, 1996
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kyotanabe, Kyoto Prefecture

Hirai Momo is a Japanese dancer and singer based in South Korea. She is best known for being one of three Japanese members of the popular South Korean girl group, Twice. One of the most famous K-pop stars from outside Korea, Momo's popularity has been credited with boosting international relations between Japan and South Korea.

 16 
Hana Kimura
(Joshi puroresu professional wrestler)
Hana Kimura
0
Birthdate: September 3, 1997
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Died: May 23, 2020
 17 
Yasuko Namba
(Mountaineer)
Yasuko Namba
4
Birthdate: February 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tokyo
Died: May 11, 1996
 18 
Kiko Mizuhara
(Actress, Model)
Kiko Mizuhara
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas

Born to a Korean-Japanese mother and an American father, Kiko Mizuhara plunged into modeling after winning a Seventeen Japan contest. After winning hearts in the Japanese modeling circuit, she became a Chanel ambassador. Her designs, made in collaboration with Opening Ceremony, have been worn by artists such as Beyoncé.

 19 
Hikaru Utada
(Singer-Songwriter and One of the Best-Selling Musical Artists in Japan)
Hikaru Utada
6
Birthdate: January 19, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Hikaru Utada is a Japanese-American singer, producer, and songwriter. She achieved popularity after releasing her first Japanese-language studio album First Love, which became Japan's best-selling album of all time. Utada was regarded as the most influential artist of the 2000s in Japan. She is also one of the most decorated Japanese artists of her generation.

 20 
Miyuki Sawashiro
(Voice Actor)
Miyuki Sawashiro
2
Birthdate: June 2, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tokyo
Her voice role as Puchiko in the English version of Leave it to Piyoko made Japanese voice actor Miyuki Sawashiro the first from her country to reprise a Japanese voice role in its English dubbed version. She had started learning English during her time in Pennsylvania in high school.
 21 
Empress Michiko
(Empress Consort of Japan from 7 January 1989 to 30 April 2019)
Empress Michiko
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo City, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
 22 
Kairi Sane
(Japanese Professional Wrestler and Actress Known for Her Work With WWE)
Kairi Sane
4
Birthdate: September 23, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hikari, Yamaguchi, Japan

WWE wrestler and actor Kaori Housako, better known as Kairi Sane, initially represented Japanese women’s wrestling promotion Stardom, as Kairi Hojo, and also won many honors, such as the Artist of Stardom. She is also skilled in yachting, holds a degree in Japanese literature, and has taught Japanese in Cambodia.

 23 
Rila Fukushima
7
Birthdate: January 16, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tokyo

Tokyo-born Rila Fukushima initially wished to be a model agent but ended up being one of Japan’s most popular models, walking the ramp for Louis Vuitton and gracing magazines such as Vogue Japan. She later appeared in The Wolverine and the series Arrow and Gunshi Kanbei.

 24 
Sola Aoi
(Adult Film Star, Actor, Singer, AV idol, Tarento)
Sola Aoi
1
Birthdate: November 11, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tokyo
Scouted by an agent when she was still in high school, Sola Aoi initially became a successful gravure model and later deviated to pornography. Originally named Suzuki Miho, she chose Sola Aoi as her pseudonym, meaning Blue Sky, indicating her favorite color. She later also tried her luck in singing.
 25 
Samaire Armstrong
4
Birthdate: October 31, 1980
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
 26 
Queen Himiko
(Queen of Japan)
Queen Himiko
4
Birthdate: 0170 AD
Birthplace: Yamatai, Japan
Died: 0248 AD

Queen Himiko was a shamaness-queen who reigned over Yamataikoku from 189 AD until her death in 248 AD. Over the years, Queen Himiko has been depicted in several graphic novels, anime, and video games across Japan. She is also depicted in video games as a tyrant or sorceress with sexually revealing clothing.

 27 
Naoko Takeuchi
(One of the Most Popular Manga Series of All Time)
Naoko Takeuchi
1
Birthdate: March 15, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan

Japanese manga artist Naoko Takeuchi is best known as the author of Sailor Moon, a multiple-award-winning manga series. She was interested in becoming a manga artist from a young age. However, she studied chemistry in college to please her father. Shortly after graduation, she entered the manga industry and found success in her chosen field within a few years.

 28 
Sada Abe
(Geisha, Criminal)
Sada Abe
6
Birthdate: May 28, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kanda
 29 
Koyuki
(Actress, Model)
Koyuki
4
Birthdate: December 18, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture

Koyuki is a Japanese actress and model best known for her portrayal of Hiromi Ishizaki in the 2005 film Always: Sunset on Third Street, for which she received a nomination for Best Actress at the 29th Japan Academy Film Prize in 2006. Over the course of her career, Koyuki has also won awards, such as the Nikkan Sports Film Award.

 30 
Rie Takahashi
(Japanese Voice Actress and Singer)
Rie Takahashi
1
Birthdate: February 27, 1994
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saitama, Japan
Japanese voice actor and singer Rie Takahashi is best known for her work in the anime series Seiyu's Life! She has voiced major characters in video games and anime films and series, such as Megumin in KonoSuba, Takagi in Teasing Master Takagi-san, and Hu Tao in Genshin Impact
 31 
Hiromu Arakawa
(Japanese Manga Artist Best Known for the Manga Series ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’)
Hiromu Arakawa
5
Birthdate: May 8, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Makubetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
Raised on a farm, Hiromu Arakawa realized her potential as a manga artist early in life and thus went to Tokyo to try her luck. The Shogakugan Manga Award-winning artist is now known for her internationally renowned Fullmetal Alchemist manga series, which has given birth to an entire franchise.
 32 
Mirai Nagasu
(Figure skater)
Mirai Nagasu
1
Birthdate: April 16, 1993
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montebello, California
 33 
Ayane Sakura
(Japanese Voice Actress Known for Her Manga Series: ‘Non Non Biyori’, ‘Boarding School Juliet’ and ‘My Hero Academia’)
Ayane Sakura
0
Birthdate: January 29, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan
Japanese voice actor Ayane Sakura soared to fame with her voice work in manga and anime projects such as Is the Order a Rabbit? and My Hero Academia. The Seiyu Award-winning artist has earned the nickname Ayaneru because of her love for sleeping in her spare time.
 34 
Empress Kōjun
3
Birthdate: March 6, 1903
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Died: June 16, 2000

Empress Kōjun was an Empress consort of Japan. As the wife of Emperor Shōwa, Kōjun was one of the most important members of the Imperial House of Japan. She reigned as empress consort from 1926 to 1989, becoming the longest-serving empress consort in the history of Japan. Kōjun performed her ceremonial duties and accompanied Emperor Shōwa on his foreign tours.

 35 
Rie Kugimiya
(Japanese Voice Actress Best Known for Her Voice Performances in Anime 'Fullmetal Alchemist’ Series)
Rie Kugimiya
1
Birthdate: May 30, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Osaka, Japan

Seiyu Award-winning voice actor Rie Kugimiya is best known for her work in anime/manga productions such as Toradora! and Nabari no Ou. Known as the Queen of Tsundere, she is fond of reading in her leisure time. She has also appeared on stage and in video games.

 36 
Maaya Sakamoto
0
Birthdate: March 31, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Itabashi City, Tokyo, Japan

One of the best-known Japanese voice actors, Maaya Sakamoto soared to fame with her performances as Kiyomi Takada in Death Note and Lunamaria Hawke in Gundam Seed Destiny. She is also a successful singer and a sociology major. She has also dubbed for films such as the Star Wars trilogy.

 37 
Reina Triendl
4
Birthdate: January 23, 1992
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Born to an Austrian father and a Japanese mother, Reina Triendl traveled to many places as a child due to her father’s work. She was scouted while in high school and thus began to model. She later gained fame with the reality series Terrace House and the film Tag.
 38 
Rina Sawayama
11
Birthdate: August 16, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Niigata, Japan
Rina Sawayama is known for her unusual blends of pop with R&B, club music, nu-metal, and other genres. Born in Japan, the singer/model moved with her family to the UK at age 5. She is also a Cambridge graduate and a queer icon who identifies as pansexual and bisexual. 
Sadako Sasaki
1
Birthdate: January 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kusunoki, Yamaguchi, Japan
Died: October 25, 1955

At age 2, Sadako Sasaki survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, being just 2km away from the bombing site. However, years later, she developed leukemia, as an aftermath of the bombing. While in hospital, battling the terminal disease, she folded over 1,000 origami cranes, in the hope of getting better.

 40 
Mari Osaka
(Retired Japanese Tennis Player and Fashion Designer)
Mari Osaka
2
Birthdate: April 3, 1996
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Osaka, Osaka, Japan

Mari Osaka is a Japanese tennis player. In 2014, she made her WTA Tour debut at the Bank of the West Classic, partnering with Marina Shamayko in the doubles event. A few years later, she made her WTA Tour singles debut at the 2019 Miami Open. Her sister, Naomi Osaka, is also a tennis player.

 41 
Mao Asada
(Figure skater)
Mao Asada
2
Birthdate: September 25, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Meito Ward, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
 42 
Satomi Ishihara
0
Birthdate: December 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tokyo

Following her debut with the film My Grandpa, Japanese actor Satomi Ishihara became a star both in films and on TV. She has been involved in charitable activities in Africa and was also chosen as a torchbearer for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, before the event was postponed due to COVID-19.

 43 
Yui Hatano
(Actress)
Yui Hatano
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kyoto, Japan
 44 
Maaya Uchida
(Japanese Voice Actress, Actress and Singer)
Maaya Uchida
1
Birthdate: December 27, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Seiyu Award-winning voice actor Maaya Uchida is the sister of fellow voice actor Yuma Uchida. Initially interested in gaming, she later aspired to be a voice actor for gaming characters and thus ventured into voice acting. She owns a fan club named LIFE IS LIKE A SUNNY DAY.

 45 
Tao Okamoto
(Actress)
Tao Okamoto
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chiba, Japan
 46 
Princess Kako of Akishino
(Japanese Princess, Prince Akishino’s Daughter)
Princess Kako of Akishino
9
Birthdate: December 29, 1994
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Princess Kako of Akishino, the second child of Japan’s Prince Fumihito and Princess Kiko, excelled in figure skating in school. She later studied performing arts and psychology at the University of Leeds. Kako isn’t eligible to rule ever, as Japan doesn’t include women in the line of royal succession.

 47 
Marica Hase
(Adult Film Stars)
Marica Hase
2
Birthdate: September 26, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
 48 
Ayumi Hamasaki
(Singer, Seiyū, Songwriter, Model, Actor, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Lyricist, Poet, Record producer)
Ayumi Hamasaki
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fukuoka

Japanese pop icon Ayumi Hamasaki had started a TV career after moving to Tokyo at 14. She later gained fame with her dance hits and ballads. Also known for her dramatic costumes and videos, The Empress of J-pop has been rendered totally deaf in one ear, owing to a ear infection.

 49 
Murasaki Shikibu
6
Birthdate: 0973 AD
Birthplace: Kyoto
Died: 1014 AD

Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese poet and novelist. She is credited with authoring one of the world's first novels, The Tale of Genji. Murasaki's works played a key role in establishing Japanese as a written language and she continues to influence Japanese writers. Over the years, she has also been a popular subject of illustrations and paintings in Japan.

 50 
Ayana Taketatsu
3
Birthdate: June 23, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saitama, Japan

Japanese voice actor Ayana Taketatsu is known for her work in anime/manga series such as Sword Art Online and Guilty Crown. She has also dubbed for movies such as The Angry Birds Movie 2 and is part of the band Hokago Tea Time. She is married to fellow voice actor Yûki Kaji.

The list of highly influential Japanese women that have brought about a huge change since ancient times never ceases to end. Queen Himiko of Yamatai known for her bravery, Aki Kurose a social justice activist , Chiaki Mukai the first Japanese woman astronaut are just some names that shed light to empowerment of women in Japan. Read on to find out more about other super cool Japanese women!