Japanese Content Creators You Need to Know In 2023

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Influencer Marketing Size By Platform

Japanese content creator reviewing product online

Platform Market Size (In Billion Japanese Yen)
YouTube 28.1
Instagram 18.5
TikTok 15
X (Twitter) 12.5

Source: Statista

Top 5 Japanese Content Creators On YouTube In Japan

Aided by the widespread use of smart TVs, many households in Japan consume content on their favorite YouTube accounts as an alternative to traditional TV channels.
The likes of Amazon, Disney+ and Netflix have done well in APAC but YouTube remains the country’s most used platform, partly thanks to the fact that it’s free to use but also for the sheer diversity of content you can find here, ranging from daily news and tutorials to anime and comedy.

1. HikakinTV (@HikakinTV – 11.3M)

Hikaru Kaihatsu, also known as “Hikakin”, is a popular YouTuber in Japan who has gained a significant following for his wide range comedic content which includes:

  • Competitions
  • Pranks
  • Challenges
  • Reviews
  • Lists
  • Beatboxing
  • Interviews
  • Dance
  • Bizarre and weird experiences

He is Japan’s most subscribed YouTuber and today inspires a whole generation of ambitious content creators—creating new trends, setting comedy standards and tapping into the current interests and opinions of young people today.

2. Hajime (@hajimesyacho – 10.5M)

Hajime is known for his often outrageous videos, yet still manages to be relatable to a wide audience of subscribers. Similar to Hakakin, his content is funny but also respectful of all ages and demographics—introducing light humor into people’s daily life; his content is family friendly and enjoyed by children and adults alike.

A few examples of his most popular content include prank videos, stunts, eating large amounts of food and attempting world records. Although surprised in audience size by Hakakin, Hajime has a significant following in Japan and has won several awards for his content.

3. Fischer’s (@Fischers – 8M)

Fischer’s is the perfect example of group influencing and content creation in Japan. A team of six YouTubers who were classmates in the same junior high school, they have an impressive catalog of videos showcasing all manner of things from their day-to-day lives and friendship milestones to the creation of pranks, challenges and food competitions.

The draw for many subscribers is the genuine nature of the friendship between the members and the natural way their content is produced with minimal editing work. Since gaining national popularity, they have collaborated with big companies like Disney and Suntory.

4. Sushi Ramen Riku (@SUSHIRAMEN-Riku – 6.7M)

Sushi Ramen Riku is widely known in Japan for the creation of videos that are bizarre and experimental. One of his most recognised pranks was to dress himself in a white bodysuit and tape himself to his grandparent’s ceiling to see how long it would take them to notice he was there.

This combination of everyday life with the unusual has captured the attention of millions of viewers in Japan and his style continues to influence the activities of other content creators today.

5. Yuka Kinoshita (@kinoyuu0204 – 5.4M)

Kinoshita, a self-described “professional competitive eater,” has impressed her followers with a shocking ability to consume vast amounts of food from burgers to ramen—-all while managing to remain healthy and petite throughout her career as one of Japan’s most popular YouTubers.

For food brands, she is an obvious choice for partnerships and is highly sought after by both Japanese food brands and Western brands entering the Japanese market. However, it is still evident in her work that much of what she does is simply for the sake of creating engaging and funny content for her fans.

Forecasted Growth of YouTube Influencer Marketing in Japan

Year Annual Expenditure (in Billion Japanese yen)
2020 14
2021 19
2022 24
2023 28.1
2024 32.9
2025 38.1
2026 43.4
2027 48.7

Source: Statista

Top 5 Japanese Content Creators On X (Twitter) In Japan

X’s (Twitter’s) growing popularity across a wider range of ages in Japan has prompted both brands and creators to prioritize the channel in their content creation activities.
As well as enticing younger generations looking for small doses of news and comedy from their favorite creators, X has drawn many older users to the platforms through the prominence of Japanese politicians and government spokespeople on the channel.

Today, X is used both as an essential news source (with many checking X before they check the news during their daily commute), as well as a source of humor and daily laughs.

1. Hitoshi Matsumoto (@matsu_bouzu – 9.3M)

Hitoshi Matsumoto is one of Japan’s most prominent comedians. He has regularly featured on the nation’s biggest entertainment shows and has increased the volume of content he pushes to his personal channels on X (Twitter) as well as TikTok and YouTube.

On this X account, he is known for offering his audience a glimpse into this personal life with regular comments that reflect on his current daily activities, random thoughts and commentary on Japanese current events.

2. Hiroiki Ariyoshi (@ariyoshihiroiki – 7.8M)

Another Japanese comedia, Hiroiki Ariyoshi, gained immense popularity for his candid commentary of trending topics in Japan, including current events featured in Japanese news. He has featured in several TV shows over the years and offers an icing by rich collection of fresh content on his social media accounts.

3. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (@pamyurin – 5M)

Sometimes referred to as “Japan’s Lady Gaga”, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is an iconic fashion model with a distinct and recognisable style.

While you’ll find a wealth of video content on her other social channels, including musical performances and travel vlogs, her X (Twitter) account is home to her more personal thoughts and reflections, giving her audience a view into her life behind-the-scenes and her connections with other Japanese content creators.

4. Rola (@RolaWorLD – 4M)

Given Rola’s extreme popularity in Japan, it makes sense for her to have a significant following on X (Twitter) with many looking to find out more about the model and what goes on under the polished facade you’ll find through her magazine appearances and other social media activities.

To fans, Rola’s X account is a source for much more personal insights into what’s happening in her life. Over the years, she has shed light on relationships, her career and more in her Tweets.

5. Hikakin (@hikakin – 7M)

As well as updating fans when he has uploaded new videos onto his YouTube channel, Hikakin showcases his involvement in other events such as appearance on TV or collaboration with other Japanese content creators. In this sense, his X (Twitter) profile functions as a kind of program for his audience—letting them know when, where and how they can get their hands on the latest Hikakin releases.

Forecasted Growth of X (Twitter) Influencer Marketing in Japan

Year Annual Expenditure (in Billion Japanese yen)
2020 7.2
2021 9.5
2022 11
2023 12.5
2024 14
2025 15.5
2026 17
2027 18.5

Source: Statista

Top 5 Japanese Content Creators On Instagram In Japan

Japanese celebrities still invest a great deal of time and energy into maintaining their Instagram presence.

Due to its pleasing UX on mobile phones, the ease of curating your content to look better and the highly visual and aspirational aspect of the platform, many use IG as a resource for knowing what’s cool and what to buy.

That said, Instagram’s ecosystem of communities has evolved considerably, with classically popular categories on the platform such as beauty, fashion, travel and food now joined by other interest groups such as gaming, wellness, pranks, tutorials, politics and social justice.

1. Naomi Watanabe (@watanabenaomi703 – 9.9M)


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A post shared by Naomi Watanabe (@watanabenaomi703)

Initially gaining popularity for her impressions and comedy acts, Naomi Watanabe now partners with the world’s biggest brands and can often be seen on the front cover of Japan’s biggest publication as well as on digital billboards through the country’s major urban hubs.

While comedy is still at the heart of Naomi’s online content, she has become increasingly vocal about a range of social and personal issues over the years including diversity in Japanese society and body positivity.
To many, she is a reminder that one should not be limited by perceived standards and expectations that are widespread throughout Japanese culture.

2. Rola (@rolaofficial – 8.7M)

Rola is one of Japan’s most well-known fashion models who has partnered with countless luxury brands over the years and continues to be one of the most sought-after Japanese content creators in the country.

As well as heavily featuring fitness, food and modeling on her channel, she advocates for a range of environmental issues including the protection of the rainforest.

3. Kiko Mizuhara (@I_am_kiko – 7.5M)


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A post shared by i_am_kiko (@i_am_kiko)

Kiko Mizuhara has long enjoyed widespread popularity in Japan but is now becoming increasingly recognised in the US and Europe thanks to her appearances on a range of TV shows such as Queer Eye, her collaborations with other influencers and her partnerships with luxury brands such as Channel.

4. Kento Yamazaki (@kentooyamazaki – 6M)


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A post shared by 山﨑賢人 (@kentooyamazaki)

Kento Yamazaki has featured in countless TV dramas and films and enjoys fame throughout APAC. He has won several awards in Japan and China and has ongoing friendships with other celebrities, including Masaki Suda and Ryo Yoshizawa—supporting his persona as one of the country’s most central celebrities and online influencers.

5. Nicole Fujita (@2525nicole2 – 5.4M)


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A post shared by 藤田ニコル (@2525nicole2)

Nicole Fujita became popular for her use of “gyaru”—a distinctive Japanese fashion style featuring vibrant colors and high contrast make-up.

She is now an exclusive model for the major fashion publication ViVi and has gained huge popularity on her YouTube channel in recent years for her beauty content.
Learn More About the Japanese Social Media Landscape

Forecasted Growth of Instagram Influencer Marketing in Japan

Year Annual Expenditure (in Billion Japanese yen)
2020 33.2
2021 46.5
2022 61.5
2023 74.1
2024 88.4
2025 102.1
2026 115.9
2027 130.2

Source: Statista

Top 5 Japanese Content Creators On TikTok In Japan

It’s not unusual for Japan’s biggest social media trends to start on TikTok. From dance challenges to pranks, we often find TikTok style content making its ways onto Instagram Reel and YouTube shorts if it does well.

In this sense, being aware of what Japanese content creators on TikTok are doing is essential if you’re a creator yourself but also if you’re a brand engaged in social media and influencer marketing.

Content on TikTok is typically fun, original and inspiring and even the most experienced content creators are having to rethink the way they approach this platform.

1. Junya Gou (@junya1gou – 44M)

@junya1gou #junyawearpants ♬ オリジナル楽曲 – Junya/じゅんや

Junya Gou is known for his comedic and lighthearted content, often featuring his family and friends. Junya’s videos typically showcase his daily life, including his hobbies, food adventures, and travel experiences, as well as content that places him in some kind of physical danger—resulting in his nickname, “the man who does not feel pain”.
On his TikTok, you’ll see him post a range of tricks, experiences, pranks and stunts and many have endeavored to copy his out-of-the-box style and fallen short.

2. Bayashi (@bayashi.tiktok – 43M)

@bayashi.tiktok Thanks for 46million followers🙏✨ @シェフヒロ🍣chefhiro #tiktokfood ♬ Radetsky March Classic Classic(829541) – Yuumi Iida

Bayashi is one of the best accounts to follow in Japan if you love food. He was featured as one of the top 50 foodies on TikTok’s 2022 Discover List. He blends clever sequencing, easy to follow steps, ASMR and crowd pleasing means (often featuring ample amounts of cheese and some kind of deep frying), to inspire people to cook at home.

3. Michael Jackton (@michael.jackton.official – 13M)

@michael.jackton.official Which one is Michael Jackson?🤔 #mj #michaeljackton #moonwalk #kingofpop #neverland #michaeljackson ♬ Smooth Criminal (2012 Remaster) – Michael Jackson

Michael Jackton is Japan’s iconic Michael Jackson impersonator. Showcasing signature moves, routines and performances, he puts an incredible amount of effort into his content which taps into the nation’s love for the US pop star.

4. Hina Kagei (@kageihana – 11M)

@kageihina I walked a lot in the lovely streets of Cannes! #cannes2023 #festivaldecannes #ボッテガヴェネタ #toga ♬ Che La Luna – Louis Prima with Sam Butera & The Witnesses

Hina Kagei is a beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment influencer incredibly popular among Japanese Gen Zs. Her content ranges from dancing to lifestyle content but she is especially known for her tutorial content where she shares her tips and expertise in beauty, fitness and health—-playing the role of a mentor or life coach to many young Japanese girls.

5. Issei (@issei0806 – 11M)

@issei0806 Unexpected ending…😳まさかの結末… #lifehack #creditcard ♬ オリジナル楽曲 – ISSEI/世界の英雄になる男

Issei is known as the master of comedy parodies in Japan. Often replicating famous scenes from popular films or videos from other Japanese content creators, he has gained popularity for the casual and foolish style used in his videos. His most famous parody video was based on Toy Story which went viral in 2019.

Explore Japan’s Social Media Landscape in 2023

Forecasted Growth of TikTok Influencer Marketing in Japan

Year Annual Expenditure (in Billion Japanese yen)
2020 7.2
2021 9.5
2022 11
2023 12.5
2024 14
2025 15.5
2026 17
2027 18.5

Source: Statista

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Predictions for Japan’s Content Creator Market

Japan’s influencer market is already defined by official arrangements between Japanese content creators and the agencies who they work with. Establishing a partnership with a specific individual is a commonly performed process that should be achievable (even if you’re a foreign brand) if you’re able to identify who manages a specific account or platform.

That said, this process can be quite expensive if you’re dealing with creators who already have a strong following in the country.

The good news for brands is that being a creator and earning money from brand partnership is becoming increasingly appealing for young Japanese social media natives—meaning more creators are always entering the scene.

As we move forward and more creators enter the market, it’s likely that brands will look to partner directly with these newer and less known creators with smaller followings before they are managed directly by an agency or become too expensive.

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Steal Our Best Ideas

Actionable insights straight from our data

Below are a few quick discoveries we’ve pulled from the data of our latest projects. As an agency, we are always searching for those little, yet significant, tweaks that will push our clients’ success to the next level. For instance, we know that adding the right Japanese keywords to your ecommerce product titles can yield a 14.24% increase in sessions, and that adding the word ‘公式 (official)’ to all of your product names in a Google Performance Max Campaign could increase your CTR by 21% MoM, like it did for our client Etro.

If you need a partner to help you identify and implement changes like these on a monthly basis, let us know!

Facebook ad copy focusing on craftsmanship had 24% lower CPC and 33% higher CTR than ones focusing on corporate history Discovery card
By executing an aggressive keyword campaign with a super sale promotion on Rakuten traffic surged 207% Discover card
Including a CTA in the first half of our articled increased downloads by 111% Discovery card
Taking advantage of season and trending content increased engagement by 775% on Instagram Discovery card

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