They’re not just big in Japan.

Within the confines of their island nation, Japanese celebrities and pop stars explode in popularity on a small scale, but it’s not as common for stars to get noticed around the globe. These people have managed to secure worldwide fame.

1. Puffy AmiYumi

This Japanese music duo debuted in the United States at SXSW, an indie music festival, and since then, they’ve had a small but passionate following stateside. They recorded songs for cartoons and even had their own animated show, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi.

2. Takeru Kobayashi

Kobayashi is noticeable for having won the Coney Island Hot Dog Competition for years on the Fourth of July. His and Joey Chestnut’s rivalry sparked until Joey Chestnut usurped the hot dog-eating throne, which Kobayashi hasn’t been able to reclaim due to league rules.

3. Haruki Murakami

With his wild, dizzying prose, Murakami has written books that have gone on to become popular all across the globe. His books have been translated into multitudes of languages, and his fan base reaches far beyond his simple life in Japan.

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