Who Is Mamiko Tanaka, Shohei Ohtani’s Wife?

After dropping a bombshell last month that he was newly wed, Los Angeles Dodgers player and baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani sent fans into a frenzy on Thursday, revealing the identity of his wife, who had until now remained a mystery.

In an Instagram story, Ohtani posted a group photo of him and his teammate Yoshinobu Yamamoto standing in front of an airplane. In the photo, Ohtani was standing next to a woman who could be identified as Mamiko Tanaka. “Can’t wait!” he captioned the photo, along with an emoji of the South Korean flag, as the group was en route to Seoul for the MLB’s season opener next week.

Meanwhile, a post on the Dodgers’ X account on Thursday featured couple shots of Ohtani and Tanaka and teammate Mookie Betts and his wife on the tarmac, with alt text on the photo of Ohtani and Tanaka labeling Tanaka as “his wife.”

All that Ohtani, 29, had previously shared publicly of his wife was that she was “a normal Japanese woman.” In fact, Tanaka, 27, is a former professional basketball player for the Fujitsu Red Wave who competed in the Women’s Japan Basketball League from 2019 to 2023. During her last season, the 5-foot-11 forward had a shooting rate of 47.7% from the field and 69.9% from the free throw line across 28 games, according to ESPN. Her profile on the International Basketball Federation website shows that she also represented Japan in the U16 and U18 Asia championships and U17 world championship between 2011 and 2014.

The social media posts this week have finally answered the most burning question surrounding Ohtani’s marriage, which he first announced in February on social media—shattering hearts across Japan.

“Not only have I began a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers but I also have began a new life with someone from my Native country of Japan who is very special to me and I wanted everyone to know I am now married,” he had written in an Instagram post.

“I don’t really feel comfortable talking about when I got married exactly,” he said at the time, adding that he felt it was “good timing” to make the announcement since it was before the season started.

Read More: Shohei Ohtani Is What Baseball Needs

When the couple touched down at Incheon International Airport on Friday, along with Ohtani’s teammates and their families, they were greeted with much fanfare. Wearing a black training suit and cap, Ohtani waved to a sea of fans and cameras as he was escorted by security personnel to a limousine bus. Tanaka, who was also dressed in black, followed a few steps behind him.

“Such a beautiful couple,” a fan account for Ohtani posted on X with a video of the pair at the airport.

Ohtani’s February marriage announcement—as well as this week’s wife reveal—comes at a time when he already found himself at the center of global buzz, after he inked a record-breaking $700 million deal in December to move from the Los Angeles Angels to the Dodgers.

Ohtani’s soaring starpower has brought unprecedented attention to himself as well as his new team and teammates.

“It’s been crazy," Dodgers outfielder James Outman told USA Today of the press and public interest in Ohtani. “I’m telling you, he’s like Elvis. Everyone screams just getting a glimpse of him.”

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