Sports are an important part of Japanese culture. Both traditional sports such as Sumo and martial arts, as well as Western imports like baseball and football, are extremely popular in Japan. Participants and spectators alike love these sports. Despite the popularity of mainly western sports brands, Japanese sports brands are still flourishing in the Japanese market. Some of the most popular Japanese sports brands are :
Sumo is Japan’s national sport. The Nippon Professional Baseball league is the largest professional sports competition in Japan. As a result, there is a huge market for sporting goods and sportswear in Japan. Also, in Japan, sportswear from popular sports brands isn’t just important for sports activities, but also fashion. Many people in Japan wear athletic clothes and shoes in their daily life. As a result, sporting goods and sportswear are extremely popular among the Japanese youth and adult demographic.
Asics is a Japanese multinational corporation that produces sports equipment designed for a wide range of sports. Above all, their brand aims to contribute to the realization of a healthy and sustainable society by promoting sports. For instance, the name Asics is an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano, which translates to “a sound mind in a sound body”. Asics was founded in 1949 and is headquartered in Kobe, Japan.
It is one of the most popular sports brands in the Japanese market. Also, its range of running shoes is ranked among the top performance footwear in the market. Asics manufactures and markets a wide variety of products for several sports. Firstly, they make exquisitely crafted footwear including sandals and sneakers. Secondly, they produce a large variety of sports clothing like t-shirts, jackets, hoodies, and shorts. Thirdly, they also manufacture various sports accessories like bags, headbands, and backpacks.
The company is best known for its innovative technologies for manufacturing training shoes for sports such as running, volleyball, and handball. Asics products combine exquisite Japanese craftsmanship, next-gen technology, and extensive R&D to bring you the best. As a result, they are the most popular Japanese sports brand in a market mostly dominated by western companies. Asics is also a gold partner in the recent Tokyo Olympics. They also made the official sportswear for the Japan Olympic and Paralympic teams.
- Website: https://www.asics.com/jp/ja-jp/
- Recommended Product: Asics Gel-Kayano 26 Men’s Running Shoes
Descente Ltd. is a Japanese sports clothing and accessories company and was founded in 1935 in Osaka, Japan. Interestingly, its company logo depicts 3 basic skiing techniques – traverse, schuss, and side-slip. It then comes as no surprise that their skiwear and skiing accessories are their most popular products. Descente promises the finest designs for current and future generations of athletes, thus promoting healthier lifestyles.
Their design philosophy says that nothing is more important to them than capturing the imagination of people who love sports. Descente crafts its products with love, care, attention to detail, and finesse. From a conceptual idea on paper to an exquisitely crafted product, their experts spare no expense in bringing you the best products possible.
Descente is also very active in sports competitions all over the world. They sponsor many sporting teams across the world, which leads to more visibility for their brand. As a result, Descente is gaining popularity not just in Japan, but all over the world.
- Website: https://www.descente.co.jp/en/
- Recommended Product: Descente DBX-2360B Baseball Fleece Jacket
Mizuno Corporation is a Japanese sports equipment and sportswear company, founded in Osaka in 1906. Today, it is a global corporation that makes a wide variety of sports equipment for various sports like golf, tennis, baseball, football, volleyball, etc. Mizuno Corporation has had a long and rich heritage of producing top-of-the-line sporting equipment since its inception.
Firstly, they have over 70 years of expertise in Golf craftsmanship and produce the finest forgings. Secondly, they are unmatched in producing baseball equipment, driven by an uncompromising focus on athletic performance. For generations, they have combined meticulous craftsmanship with restless innovation. Thirdly, and most importantly, their sportswear employs their special Breath Thermo technology which provides a heat-generating fabric that absorbs body moisture.
Over the years, Mizuno has successfully sponsored some of the most notable athletes and sports personalities in the world. For instance, track and field athlete Carl Lewis, the All Blacks rugby team, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, and golf player Nick Faldo. It then comes as no surprise that Mizuno is one of the market leaders in Japan in the sporting goods and sportswear sector.
Shimano, Inc. is a Japanese multinational manufacturer of cycling components, fishing tackle, and rowing equipment. It was founded in 1921 and they are headquartered in Osaka, Japan. Today, they are the world leaders in the bicycle components market.
Shimano sales constitute a staggering 70-80% of the global bicycle component market by value. Its products include drivetrain, brake, wheel, and pedal components for all kinds of bicycles. Shimano has been pushing technological innovations such as Positron shifting and front freewheel systems. As a result, their products have fundamentally changed bicycle designs forever, which is why they hold such a huge market share.
In addition to bicycle components, Shimano also holds a major share of the fishing gear market. For instance, they also make a wide variety of fishing reels, rods, lures, clothing, and other accessories popular with fishing enthusiasts in Japan.
Tamasu is a major table tennis apparel and equipment manufacturer using the brand name Butterfly. It was founded in 1950 and its headquarters are in Tokyo, Japan.
Butterfly is one of the biggest names in the table tennis market and holds a majority of the market share. They sponsor top players and coaches all over the world, such as Japan, the USA, Korea, Canada, Germany, Poland, and many more. Also, not only does Butterfly supply table tennis equipment to players, but they also sponsor major tournaments, youth training camps, and local leagues.
Butterfly table tennis blades use carbon materials such as Tamasu Carbon 5000 or Uniaxial Light Carbon, along with high-quality fiber materials like Arylate. As a result, these blades are lightweight, durable, and offer high precision.
Yonex Co., Ltd. is a Japanese sports equipment manufacturing company that specializes in equipment and apparel for tennis, badminton, and golf. It was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Yonex is a dominant corporate player in badminton. Not only do they sponsor the All England Open Badminton Championships, but they’re also a partner of the Badminton World Federation which organizes world championships. They have also sponsored many professional tennis players, most notably Martina Navratilova who used their R-7 and white RQ 180 racquets during her prime.
Yonex is constantly innovating and creating new technologies which make their products unmatched in the entire world. Some features of their tennis and badminton racquets which make them the best in the world are:
- Firstly, the Rotational Generator System applies counterbalance theory by distributing weight throughout the grip end, frame top, and joint to give maximum control over shots.
- Secondly, NAMD™, which is their proprietory new dimensional graphite material which greatly improves adhesion of the graphite fibers and resit. Thus, they have better durability and increased precision.
- Thirdly, Aero Frame, which is built to flex on impact and immediately snap back, helping the shuttle launch further and faster.
- Fourthly, 4-point ISOMETRIC™ Expansion at the racquet’s corners produces the largest sweet spot in the EZONE history.
Mikasa Corporation is a Japanese sports equipment and athletic goods company specializing in ball games such as volleyball, football, and basketball. It was founded in 1917 and its headquarters are in Hiroshima, Japan.
Mikasa is also partnered with FIVB, FINA, and IKF, which are major governing bodies of Volleyball, water sports, and korfball respectively. They’re also a major corporate player, sponsoring countless volleyball and water polo leagues and associations all over the world. Not only that, but Mikasa is the official volleyball of the Olympic games since 1963, and is the exclusive official ball for all volleyball and beach volleyball tournaments hosted by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) until 2024.
- Website: https://mikasasports.co.jp/
- Recommended Product: Mikasa V400W-L Lightweight no. 4 Volleyball
These Japanese sports brands never disappoint when it comes to quality. Japan values sports and it is very much a part of the Japanese culture. Here are the top 10 sports popular in Japan.