- 1868 - The Battle of Toba–Fushimi begins. (Traditional Japanese Date: Third Day of the First Month, 1868)
- 1885 - The first ship of Japanese immigrants headed for Hawaii leaves Yokohama harbor.
- 1970 - The first Japan airliner is allowed to fly over Siberia, cutting the flight time to Europe by two hours.
- 1983 - The Seikan Tunnel, a 53.9 kilometer tunnel connecting the main island of Honshū with Hokkaidō, is completed. It opens in March.
- 1993 - Miyazawa Rie announces that she is breaking off her engagement to Sumō wrestler Takanohana.
- 1993 - Akebono becomes the first non-Japanese sumō wrestler to reach the rank of Yokozuna, and Takanohana becomes the youngest wrestler to be promoted to Ōzeki.
- 1827 - Nakahama Manjirō (d. 1898), translator
- 1848 - Tōgō Heihachirō (d. 1934), admiral
- 1885 - Seison Maeda (d. 1977), painter
- 1920 - Hiroyoshi Nishizawa (d. 1944), flying ace
- 1942 - Maki Asakawa (d. 2010), singer and composer
- 1954 - Jōkō Ninomiya, Japanese-American martial artist
- 1955 - Koji Ushikubo, race car driver
- 1966 - Tamlyn Tomita, Japanese-American actress and singer
- 1969 - Cornelius, singer, guitarist, and producer
- 1979 - Akiko Hinagata, actress and model