Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka – 2017 WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party – Arrivals – Kensington Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street – London, UK – Photo Credit: Landmark / PR Photos

Birth Name: Naomi Osaka 大坂 なおみ

Place of Birth: Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan

Date of Birth: 16 October, 1997

*African-Haitian (father)
*Japanese (mother)

Naomi Osaka is a Japanese professional tennis player. She has been ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association, is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles, is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, and as of 2021, is champion of the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.

She is the daughter of Tamaki Osaka and Leonard “San” François. Her father is Haitian, from Jacmel, Haiti. Her mother is Japanese, from Hokkaido, Japan. Her parents met when her father visited Hokkaido as a college student from New York. Her sister, Mari Osaka, is also a professional tennis player. Her parents used her mother’s name for their children as it was more practical in Japan.

During Naomi’s early years, her family relocated to Valley Stream, Long Island, New York, U.S. She was also raised in Florida. Her father was inspired to teach his daughters tennis by the Williams sisters. Her parents also decided that their daughters would represent Japan professionally.

Naomi has limited Japanese language ability. In Japanese interviews, the interviewer often asks questions in simple Japanese, to which Naomi only gives brief answers in the casual form of the language.

Naomi is 5’11”.

Naomi’s maternal grandfather is named Tetsuo Osaka.


Curious about ethnicity

11 Responses

  1. ProudlyBiracial says:


  2. ProudlyBiracial says:

    They said she is the first Japanese person to win the nationals. I was thinking isn’t she the first AFRO-Japanese person to win? I am proud to be biracial and I do not only accept HALF of who I am. I hate when people go out of their to make us biracial people feel that we have to choose ONE rac or another. We are what we are. Naomi is Afro-Asian not just African and not just Asian. BOTH those beautiful races makes her who she is. Just sayin’

    • passingtime85 says:

      Probably because she’s the first person that has any Japanese heritage to win, that’s all. I see what you’re saying but I think it’s just the current climate trying uplift public opinion of people of Asian descent. Back when Tiger Woods won his first national they mentioned both sides of his heritage, now it probably was a public relations move, to highlight Naomi’s Japanese heritage.

    • cellardoor says:

      They said it ’cause her nationality is Japanese. That’s all. Nationality and ethnic background are two separate things, as you may know. And identity is still another separate thing, ’cause the fact that she also has african roots doesn’t necessarily mean her identity is “half african” whatever that means. Identity has to do with the cultural environment you grow up in and individual experiences play a big role, not ancestry. That is why many people who grow up in a mixed cultural environment don’t necessarily feel the need to label themselves as just one thing, it is usually an issue only for others (especially for people who are obsessed with “racial profiling” everyone, hoping to overcome their insecurities) like you mentioned. Though, her parents having different ethnic/cultural backgrounds doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the right to feel attached, say, only to one part of her background (she talked in an interview about how she sometimes felt an outfit in the U.S. for instance, ’cause of the pressure to behave in an “african-american” manner from other people of african-american descent -unsurprisingly since her cultural background is mostly haitian, not “african-american”. Once again, I’d really love to know what that actually means. I’m ever more surprised by people obsessing over something (the so called “races”) when it is a scientific truth that such things do not make sense and our dna is basically the same, no matter how different we look. Our culture and identity are the only things that matter. Just sayin’…

      • passingtime85 says:

        Anthropological findings and genetic research establish scientific evidence for genetic drift, which is just a more rigorously studied and cross referenced, data driven designation system, that coincides with geographic location. Just race and ethnicity by different names.

        Humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas, 60% with flies, 65% with birds, 80% with cows, 85-88% with mice, 90% a particular breed of house cat, 96-98% with gorillas, 96-97% with orangutans, 96-98.8% with chimpanzees. 99.9% with other humans. Differences small as they may be, can cause huge differences in organisms.

        Tenths, to hundredths of a percent make people unique, a separation of what seems infinitesimal and insignificant is what causes measurable distinction, and it is just a matter of fact, individuals cluster with people who’s regional roots resemble your own.

        Science isn’t even sure how many coded genes there are in the human genome, 20-40k, maybe up to 100k seems to be the typical ranges that are most often cited.

        We have 3 billion base pairs. One study concluded 5-10%, 150-300 million base pairs, were not properly accounted for in the original mapping of DNA, by the Human Genome Project. That study’s original base reference, a single person, had his/her identity masked, as in, information about the person’s background, name, etc. was not released. There were other individuals used as reference after the original subject, Europeans and East Asians, but that single person was the base reference.

        The study that determined that 5-10% of genome was left unmapped, actually was able to determine that the base reference subject, was of European and Sub-Saharan African descent.

        Even with all the missing information we have about our species’ DNA, we still have enough to map out genetic drift and are able to match shared genetic markers, that pretty much coincides with the old fashioned way of lumping people together by region, based on proximity and similar phenotypical and morphological traits.

        Whether you’d want to call people white, black, brown, yellow, red, pink, beige, etc, or Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid, Australoid etc, or people from region A, region B, C, D, E, F, etc, group 1, 2, 3, 4, doesn’t matter. It’s all just because humans classify and notice distinct features, we observe, measure, and note them, and keep the information in our minds and publications as a point of reference, whether it’s for medical, scientific, forensic, or personal knowledge.

        Humanity’s traits and differences can be ignored, they can be noted, doesn’t matter, they’re still present. Sometimes recognition of the differences can be helpful, sometimes detrimental, sometimes it can be uplifting or inspirational, sometimes it can be the bane of our existence.

        Overall though, even if our species becomes one giant homogeneous blob, and we lose all of our current concepts and/or definitions of ethnic or racial identity, it would only be for so long. New phenotypes would arise, new distinct sub-sets would emerge, and the process of labeling would begin anew. Classification is inevitable for a number of reasons.

      • Oaken05 says:

        Where’d you bring up here as an “outfit” in the U.S. where she’d be way more accepted here and not seeing as an ‘other’ as she is in Japanese culture.

  3. andrew says:

    Time to make a “tennis” tag?

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