Naomi Watanabe

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Naomi Watanabe
Native name
渡辺 直美
Naomi Watanabe

(1987-10-23) October 23, 1987 (age 32)
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active2007 (2007)–present
Height1.57 m (5 ft 2 in)

Naomi Watanabe (渡辺 直美, Watanabe Naomi, born October 23, 1987) is a Japanese comedian, actress, and fashion designer. She rose to fame in 2008 for her imitation of Beyoncé Knowles, after which she was given the title "the Japanese Beyoncé".[1][2][3]


Watanabe does impersonations of popular artists in Japanese culture, among which her imitation of Beyoncé Knowles singing "Dreamgirls" and "Crazy in Love" quickly became popular. She has also launched her own fashion line called Punyus (loosely translated to "chubby" in English), and played the role of Mabel in the musical Fame and Tracy Turnblad in the musical Hairspray. Her Instagram account is followed by 7.9m people as of April 18, 2018[4].

Personal life[edit]

Naomi Watanabe was born in Taipei and raised in Ibaraki, north-east of Tokyo.[5] She is of half Japanese and half Taiwanese descent.[6] On November 25, 2009, Watanabe reported that she had lost 8.5 kg of weight and 10% of her body fat due to the ketogenic diet, which required a low intake of carbohydrates and sugar.[7]

Guest appearances[edit]

Watanabe was seen as a guest in the 2013 anime movie Crayon Shin-chan: Very Tasty! B-class Gourmet Survival!!.[8] In 2016, she voiced the character of Ashima in the Japanese language dub of the Thomas & Friends film The Great Race.[9] In 2019, she was featured in Queer Eye: We're in Japan! Season 1, Episode 3, The Ideal Woman[10].


  1. ^ "和製ビヨンセ・渡辺直美、美空ひばりさんのモノマネ初披露". Oricon (in Japanese). 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  2. ^ "和製ビヨンセ・渡辺直美が激白?「椎名桔平に口説かれたら芸人辞めます!」". Cinema Today (in Japanese). 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  3. ^ Hou, Kathleen. "Make Some Room For Naomi Watanabe The unstoppable Japanese comedian is coming for America and the world". The Cut. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  4. ^ Inagaki, Kana. "Comedian Naomi Watanabe on luxury, loneliness and being plus-size in Japan" (April 18, 2018). Financial Times.
  5. ^ Inagaki, Kana. "Comedian Naomi Watanabe on luxury, loneliness and being plus-size in Japan". Financial Times.
  6. ^ Hou, Kathleen (1 August 2019). "Make Some Room For Naomi Watanabe". The Cut. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  7. ^ "渡辺直美は8.5kg減 「肉食ダイエット」がいいかも". Ameba News (in Japanese). 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-01-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "映画 きかんしゃトーマス「走れ!世界のなかまたち THE GREAT RACE」" (in Japanese).
  10. ^ "Queer Eye: We're in Japan! | Netflix Official Site". Retrieved 2019-11-07.

External links[edit]