In Japan, archery has been practiced for centuries and is considered a traditional martial art.
While the country has produced many skilled archers over the years, there are a few who stand out from the rest and are considered some of the most famous Japanese archers of all time.
Here is a look at 25 of them.
Table of Contents
25 Most Famous Japanese Archers
Though the sport of archery is considered to be of ancient origin, it has been quite popular in Japan for centuries.
Today, there are many renowned Japanese archers who have achieved great success both nationally and internationally.
Here is a look at some of the most famous Japanese archers in history.
1. Hideki Kikuchi
Hideki Kikuchi (born January 27, 1986, in Hiroshima) is a Japanese archer.
In 2012 – He represented Japan in the Men’s team competition, finishing sixth in the Team event and 66th in the Individual event.
2. Hiroki Muto
Hiroki Muto is a Japanese archer that competed in Archery at the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.
He was a member of the Japanese Men’s squad that took home a bronze medal in the team event.
In the tie-breaker set for third place, he hit a do-or-die bullseye to help Japan win bronze.
3. Hiroshi Kajikawa
Hiroshi Kajikawa (born March 3, 1949) is a former Japanese archer who, at his peak, represented the nation in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
He previously held the 90-meter FITA Gentlemen’s Round world record.
Currently, he coaches various university teams in Japan’s Kansai region as a freelance coach.
4. Hiroshi Michinaga
Hiroshi Michinaga (道永 宏, 8 October 1956) is a Japanese archer who was born in Hyogo, Japan.
He represented his country in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, where he finished second behind American Darrell Pace.
5. Hiroshi Yamamoto
Hiroshi Yamamoto is considered one of the most successful Japanese archers of all time.
He has won numerous gold medals in international competitions, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, and Asian Games.
Yamamoto is also a three-time world record holder in the recurve division.
6. Ichiro Shimamura
Ichiro Shimamura is one of the most successful archers in Japanese history.
He made his way to an Olympic appearance and won a gold medal in the men’s individual event at the 1984 Summer Games with a perfect score from all three rounds (1020).
7. Kanjuro Shibata XX
On-yumishi Kanjuro Shibata XX was a master bowmaker and kyuudou instructor of the Heki Ryū Bishū Chikurin-ha (日置流尾州竹林派) tradition.
Shibata began his career in 1980, establishing over 25 Dojos across Japan.
8. Kiyokazu Nishikawa
Kiyokazu Nishikawa is one of Japan’s most famous archers.
He took part in the men’s individual and team events at both Olympic Games he attended, winning gold in the shuriken target competition with his team back then (1992) but silver as an individual player four years later when they lost 1-3 against South Korea who also had two winners – Kim Youngtal(South)and Cho Songhan.
ChicagoTribune called him “the Japanese Go Master.”
9. Masafumi Makiyama
Masafumi Makiyama is an athlete from Japan who has twice represented his country at the Olympic Games.
In 2000 – He competed with fellow runner Takao Higuchi to make it into the finals where they finished 6th place out of 8 participants in the men’s compound bow event.
Four years later when hosted by Atlanta city planners had more success by coming 3rd place overall under shooting stars category with 270 points after finishing second behind US team member Gregory Brown (Gabriellerunninggear).
10. Minamoto no Tametomo
Minamoto no Tametomo was a 12th-century Japanese samurai and one of the most famous archers in history.
He was said to be so skilled with a bow that he could shoot an arrow through a hole the size of a coin.
He was also known for his strength, which is said to have been so great that he could split an arrow in two with his bare hands.
11. Naoto Oku
He is a Japanese archer known as Nasu Naoto.
He took part in the men’s individual and team events at the 1992 Summer Olympics, where he won two silver medals for his efforts with both teams.
12. Nasu no Yoichi
Considered one of Japan’s most famous archers, Nasu no Yoichi was born into a noble family in 1169.
He was known for his skills in horseback archery and is said to have shot an arrow through the center of an enemy’s shield while riding at full gallop.
The Heike were routed in battle and fled to their boats when they were defeated at the Battle of Yashima.
The Minamoto clan followed them on horseback but was halted by the sea.
During his wait for the proper wind, the Heike deployed a fan on their ship’s mast as a taunt for Minamoto archers.
Nasu no Yoichi, a young archer in the Minamoto clan, took up the challenge.
He shot an arrow that cut the fan in two, earning him praise and admiration from his clan.
13. Ogasawara Heibei Tsuneharu
During the Tokugawa period, Ogasawara Heibei Tsuneharu (1666–1747), a Japanese archer, revived the Ogasawara school of archery.
14. Ryuichi Moriya
Moriya finished his ranking round with a total of 661 points, which gave him the 22nd seed for final competition bracket.
In first match against Piotr Piątek he scored 109 regular wins but lost 10 extra points in second round after winning vs Balzhinima Tsyrempilov who had 113-110 scoreline while beating Wang Cheng -Pang 114 –109.
15. Seiji Hibino
Seiji Hibino took part in the men’s individual event at 1972 Olympics.
He was a Japanese archer who went onto win two gold medals for his country and one silver during that competitions.
16. Shinji Nakamoto
Shinji Nakamoto is a Japanese archer who competed in the men’s individual event at the 1972 Summer Olympics.
He finished in 14th place, shooting 688 points. Nakamoto was born in Tokyo on July 8, 1945.
He began practicing archery at the age of 16, and soon became one of the top archers in Japan.
Nakamoto represented his country at the 1968 Summer Olympics, finishing in 22nd place.
17. Takaharu Furukawa
Takaharu Furukawa is a Japanese archer who specializes in the recurvebow.
He began competing in archery at the age of 15, and quickly rose through the ranks of the sport.
He represented Japan at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he won the silver medal in the Men’s individual contest.
In addition to his Olympic success, Furukawa has also won gold medals at the World Championships and Asian Games.
18. Takanobu Nishi
Takanobu Nishi is a Japanese archer who competed in the men’s individual event at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
He finished in sixth place, with a total score of 2141 points.
Nishi began his career as a member of the Japanese national team in 1973.
He won a silver medal at the 1974 Asian Games, and also competed at the 1975 World Championships.
19. Takayoshi Matsushita
Japanese archer Takayoshi Matsushita was born in 1953 and began competing in archery in his early 20s.
He quickly rose through the ranks of the sport, becoming one of Japan’s top archers.
Matsushita represented his country at four Olympic Games, including the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where he finished 9th in the men’s individual competition.
20. Terushi Furuhashi
Terushi Furuhashi was born on 6 February 1952 in Japan.
He began his career as an archer in the 1970s, and quickly made a name for himself as a talented competitor.
Furuhashi represented Japan at the 1988 Summer Olympics in both the individual and team events.
Unfortunately, he was unable to medal in either competition, but he did receive recognition for his skills as an archer.
Following his Olympic appearance, Furuhashi continued to compete in archery competitions throughout Japan and Asia.
21. Tomoe Gozen
Tomoe Gozen lived in Japan during the 12th century.
She was a female samurai warrior who was known for her bravery and skills in battle.
Tomoe is said to have fought in many battles and even killed enemy soldiers with her bow and arrow.
She was an expert horseback rider and archer.
In 1184 – She even rode into battle with a male general named Yoshinaka.
22. Tomohiro Ueyama
Tomohiro Ueyama is a Japanese Paralympic archer who competes in the Recurve division.
He was born in Higashiōsaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan on August 28, 1987.
Ueyama has competed in both the Summer Paralympics and the World Para Archery Championships.
At the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, he finished eleventh in the men’s individual recurve ranking rounds with a score of 646.
In the men’s individual recurve eliminations, he lost his first match to seeded opponent David Drahoninsky of the Czech Republic.
23. Tomokazu Wakino
Tomokazu Wakino is a Japanese archer who won the silver medal in the individual event at the 2006 Asian Games.
Tomokazu Wakino is one of the world’s top archers.
He began his career in archery at a young age and quickly rose to the top of his sport.
He has won numerous championships, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, and Asian Games.
Wakino is known for his precision and accuracy, and he is widely considered to be one of the best archers in the world.
In addition to his success in competition, Wakino has also worked as an archery coach and instructor.
24. Yu Ishizu
Yu Ishizu is a professional archer from Japan who competes in both recurve and compound events.
He first picked up a bow at the age of five, and he quickly developed a passion for the sport.
Ishizu has competed in multiple international competitions, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, and Asian Games.
In 2012 – She won a bronze medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Ishizu is considered one of the best archers in the world, and he is known for her calm demeanor and Focus under pressure.
25. Yuji Hamano
Yuji Hamano is a Japanese archer who competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
He was born in 1981 in Sapporo, and began practicing archery at the age of 15.
He quickly became a proficient archer, and won his first international competition in 2002.
In 2004 – He represented Japan at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Unfortunately, he did not medal in the individual competition, but he helped the Japanese team win the bronze medal in the team event.
Yuji Hamano is an accomplished archer who has enjoyed success at the international level.
Archery is a Japanese tradition that has been passed down for centuries.
The samurai warriors of the past were some of the most skilled archers in history, and many of them are still celebrated today.
These are just a few of the most famous Japanese archers you should know.
- 4 Benefits of Kendo You Should Know
- Kyotei: Your Essential Guide to Japanese Boat Racing
- Japanese Golf Etiquette (And Why You Need To Insure That Hole-In-One)
- Japan’s Best Golf Courses: World-Class Golf in Japan
- Best Japanese Golf Clubs (Find Your Perfect Match Today)
- Kendo vs Fencing – What’s the Difference?