Famous Japanese Figure Skaters

Advancing Figure Skating in Japan

Japan is so very proud of its elite figure skaters. This is a list of Japanese figure skaters who have achieved great things in the sport.

Nobuo Sato, 10-Time Japanese National Figure Skating Champion

Nobuo Sato (R) and Mao Asada
Nobuo Sato (R) and Mao Asada. Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Nobuo Satō won the men's national Japanese title ten times and also competed in both the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Winter Games. "Mr. Sato" is considered one of the most successful figure skating coaches in Japan. His daughter is Yuka Sato, who won the ladies world figure skating title in 1994. In addition to coaching his daughter, he has coached numerous Japanese figure skaters including Olympic Figure Skating Champion Shizuka Arakawa, World Figure Skating Champion Miki Ando, and three-time World Figure Skating Champion Mao Asada.

Emi Watanabe, Japan's First World Figure Skating Medalist

Emi Watanabe - 1979 World Figure Skating Bronze Medalist
Emi Watanabe - 1979 World Figure Skating Bronze Medalist. Sankei Archive - Getty Images

Emi Watanabe won eight consecutive Japanese figure skating titles. She won bronze at the 1979 World Figure Skating Championships and helped make figure skating popular in Japan.

Midori Ito, World Figure Skating Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist

Midori Ito - Japanese and World Figure Skating Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist
Midori Ito - Japanese and World Figure Skating Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist. Photo by Junji Kurokawa - Getty Images

Midori Ito won a silver medal for Japan at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games. She also was the 1989 Ladies World Figure Skating Champion which made her also the first Asian to win a world figure skating title. In addition, Ito was the first female figure skater to land a triple/triple jump combination and a triple axel in competition.

Yuka Sato, 1994 World Figure Skating Champion

Yuka Sato - 1994 World Figure Skating Champion
Yuka Sato - 1994 World Figure Skating Champion. Photo by Shaun Botterill - Getty Images
Yuka Sato won the 1994 world figure skating title and also was the 1990 Junior World Figure Skating Champion. She competed in both the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games and won the Japanese national ladies figure skating title in both 1993 and 1994.

Shizuka Arakawa, 2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion

2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Shizuka Arakawa
2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Shizuka Arakawa. Photo by Al Bello - Getty Images

2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Shizuka Arakawa was Japan's first ever ladies figure skating Olympic champion. She was not the favorite to win in 2006, but she skated a perfect free skate and pulled up from third place after the short program portion of the ladies event to win the Olympic title. She was 24 when she won the 2006 Olympic Figure Skating title.

Yuzuru Hanyu, 2014 Olympic and World Figure Skating Champion

Yuzuru Hanyu - 2014 Olympic and World Figure Skating Champion
Yuzuru Hanyu - 2014 Olympic and World Figure Skating Champion. Getty Images

Yuzuru Hanyu won the men's Japanese figure skating title in 2013 and 2014 and also won the 2014 World Figure Skating Championships and the 2014 Olympic men's figure skating title. He is also the 2010 Junior World Figure Skating Champion. He is Japan's first ever men's Olympic figure skating champion.  

Mao Asada, Olympic Silver Medalist and World Figure Skating Champion

Mao Asada - World and Japanese Figure Skating Champion
Mao Asada - World and Japanese Figure Skating Champion. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun - Getty Images

Mao Asada, who won silver at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, also is the 2008, 2010 and 2014 World Figure Skating Champion. She is also is a six-time Japanese national figure skating champion. Asada is known for being able to land consistent triple axels and a cross-grab Bielmann is considered Asada's signature move. She is one of the most highly recognized athletes in Japan.

Daisuke Takahashi, Olympic Bronze Medalist and World Figure Skating Champion

Daisuke Takahashi - Olympic Bronze Medalist and World Figure Skating Champion
Daisuke Takahashi - Olympic Bronze Medalist and World Figure Skating Champion. Getty Images

After Daisuke Takahashi won bronze at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, he went on to win the 2010 world figure skating title. He is the first male figure skater from Japan to win an Olympic medal and he also is the first Asian men's skater to win a world figure skating championship.

Miki Ando, 2007 and 2011 World Figure Skating Champion

Miki Ando
Miki Ando. Photo by Junko Kimura - Getty Images

In addition to winning the 2007 and 2011 world figure skating title, Miki Ando was the 2004 world junior figure skating champion. She also won the ladies Japanese figure skating title in 2004 and 2005. When she was 14 years old, she became the first lady to land a quadruple ice skating jump in an official figure skating competition.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Farris, Jo Ann Schneider. "Famous Japanese Figure Skaters." ThoughtCo, Mar. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/famous-japanese-figure-skaters-1282101. Farris, Jo Ann Schneider. (2017, March 19). Famous Japanese Figure Skaters. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-japanese-figure-skaters-1282101 Farris, Jo Ann Schneider. "Famous Japanese Figure Skaters." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-japanese-figure-skaters-1282101 (accessed December 11, 2017).