Does Naomi Osaka Speak Japanese?

Published 02/19/2021, 12:00 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates winning her quarter final match against Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Three-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka is one of the most successful athletes in recent years. The success earned of the tennis courts and on it is commendable. The composure maintained by her during crucial stages of a match is exceptional. In the past three seasons, she’s won a Major each year. 

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The Japanese starlet, Naomi Osaka became known to the world when she beat Serena Williams at the US Open 2018 final. During the match, Williams had an altercation with the chair umpire and the entire crowd at Flushing Meadows was on the side of the American player.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her semi final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Nonetheless, Osaka remained unfazed by the drama and was composed till she claimed the match point. To win such a match, at a young age spoke volumes for the Japanese superstar. 

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Naomi Osaka was born on 16th October 1997, in the city of Osaka in Japan. Her father Leonard Maxime Francois is from Haiti and her mother Tamaki Osaka hails from Japan. 

Naomi Osaka Speaks the Japanese Language With Her Mother

Coming to her native language, Japanese, the 23-year-old speaks the language with her mother privately. Although she doesn’t speak the language fluently, she does have a complete understanding of it. In the past, she takes questions in her post-match interviews in Japanese and answers them in English, which indicates that she understands the language to a great extent. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her fourth round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Loren Elliott

In the past, Osaka explained that although she can speak the language, she cannot entirely express herself as she would wish to. After being crowned Australian Open champion in 2019, she was asked to speak a few lines in Japanese.

However, Naomi politely turned down the request and indicated that she wouldn’t feel compelled to do so in the future. She does use language to send messages to her fans from time-to-time. 

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Although Naomi had an option to chose between Japanese and American citizenship, she chose to represent Japan. 

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Rohan Kollare

610 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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