After winning the bronze medal in the World Championships in 1977, he subsequently retired and became a national hero, as it was the first time that a Japanese figure skater had stood on a podium in that particular competition. This feat was not repeated by a male Japanese skater until Takeshi Honda won the bronze medal in the World Championships in 2002.
In 1978, he turned professional and found "Viva! Ice World" (renamed "Prince Ice World" in 1988). It was the first ice show in Japan. In those days, he was considered a heartthrob in Japan. He appeared on many television shows as an actor, TV presenter, or a guest. He also released pop singles. His popularity helped to popularize figure skating in Japan.