Where is Hanako Hirose Now? Japanese Free Diver Explained

By Kieran Burt
Published: August 22, 2023
Where is Hanako Hirose Now - Japanese Free Diver Explained

Where is Hanako Hirose now? We explain who the Japanese free diver is and what he does for a living today.  

Freediving is immensely difficult, with the human body being exposed to the harsh conditions of the waters below. Divers have extensive training to be able to dive to the deepest of depths. Many find the act rewarding.

One such free diver is Hanako Hirose from Japan, who was born July 29, 1986, on the island of Mikurajima near Tokyo. She grew up in Urayasu City but returned to the island frequently to visit her grandparents.

It’s here she fell in love with the deep blue waters surrounding her. She has been swimming from a young age, even with dolphins in elementary school.

Her love for being in the water is as deep as the ocean itself. She got a job as a training instructor on a scuba course in Chiba, True North, where she met her husband.

This let her pursue her own dream of freediving, and in 2010 she won the first freediving championship in Japanese history at the 2010 AIDA World Event.

Who is Hanako Hirose?

Hanako Hirose is a Japanese free diver, someone who pushes their body to the absolute limit by going to the deepest depths possible with limited diving equipment, leaving oxygen tanks and scuba diving equipment behind. The diver must hold their breath and go as deep as they can. It’s extremely tough.

Hanako Hirose is one of the best at free diving. She has practiced all over the world and managed to dive down 103 meters in 2017, and in 2018 she followed this feat up by diving 106 meters, both times in the Bahamas.

Unfortunately for Hanako, however, her free diving friend and rival, Alessia Zecchini from Italy, managed to beat Hanako’s records both times, eventually landing at 110 meters.

Netflix’s documentary The Deepest Breath shows Alessia Zecchini training to dive even deeper than Hirose with the help of the safety instructor Stephen Keenan.

Where is Hanako Hirose Now?

Hanako Hirose still participates in a lot of diving today. She’s an underwater model, entrepreneur, and teacher. With the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) as well as the International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) Freediving Instructor Certification, she currently runs a school in Japan, helping to teach the next generation of free divers how to be successful in their underwater pursuits.

Hanako has plenty of advice when it comes to free diving, the most important of which is to relax. Speaking to Outdoor Japan, she says, “Of course, there are the technical aspects of freediving, but the most important part I stress is understanding your body and how it relaxes,” she said.

“It’s so important to be in the right mindset… A major part of freediving is to relax and let go. When you’re able to do that, it’s easier to hold your breath for longer periods underwater.” She also admitted, “I don’t really think a lot when I dive… I turn off all my thoughts and emotions and become part of the ocean. It’s a really comfortable feeling,” she added.

The athlete also continues to represent Japan in competitions, acquiring sponsors as she goes, including Tusa Japan, World Dive Inc., and Favre Leuba.

What does Hanako Hirose do for a living today?

Hanako Hirose continues to make a living by diving as she expands her work into teaching, getting several lucrative sponsorships, and even being a model underwater. It’s allowed Hanako Hirose to do what she’s passionate about for a living.

Features, Netflix, News, RSC Originals, Streaming Service