To Hinata and Kageyama about Shiratorizawa
Wakatoshi Ushijima (Japanese:
After graduating from high school, he became a member of the Schweiden Adlers, a professional team in the top division of Japan's V.League. He also joined Japan's National Team, participating in the 2014 World League and 2021 Olympics.
He is currently playing for Orzeł Warszawa, a professional team in Poland.
Ushijima has dark olive-brown hair and matching olive colored eyes. He usually has a stoic expression on his face and often looks rather intimidating. He has a large, muscular yet lean build and is fairly tall.
His representative team uniform is a sports jacket, gray on the sides but black in the middle. On his left chest is a small nametag with Japan and the Japanese flag.
Post-timeskip, Ushijima's appearance has changed very little.
Ushijima is a quiet and stoic individual, not speaking very often, and often maintaining the same fierce expression on his face which often gives him an intimidating appearance. One of Ushijima's most notable characteristics is his tendency to bluntly, but honestly, say what is on his mind, causing him to come off as tactless or rude. Due to his limited social skills and being incredibly earnest, Ushijima can appear awkward and unintentionally funny. He does not seem to be able to read people or certain situations very well, and often takes jokes and figurative language from others literally. Despite this, it is noted that when Ushijima does give actual praise or support, it is completely sincere as he never sugarcoats or minces his words.
He is immensely confident in his skills and does not ever doubt that he or his team will win, to the point that when Oikawa bragged that he and Aoba Johsai would be the one's going to nationals, Ushijima genuinely thought that he was confused and corrected him that only one team is allowed to go. Ushijima seems to believe that cultivating one's talent is the most important thing for a player, as shown when he openly criticizes Oikawa for attending Aoba Johsai instead of the more powerful and successful Shiratorizawa despite his talents, claiming the former is like "infertile soil". Because of this mindset, he hates those with baseless and unfounded confidence, causing him to particularly dislike Hinata due to him declaring that he will beat Shiratorizawa despite his short stature, lack of skill, and attendance at an 'unknown school'.
When faced with a defeat, Ushijima appears to not let it bother him in the same manner most others would feel. Instead, he accepts any mistakes he makes and looks to improving himself further. He also appears to look forward to matches against challenging players, such as Hinata and Oikawa post-timeskip.
Ushijima's father, Takashi Utsui, was a second division volleyball player who used to attend Shiratorizawa; his generation is rumored to have won first place at Nationals. However, Ushijima's father had to retire due to an injury and then married Ushijima's mother, taking on her surname in the process. Sometime later, when Ushijima was still very young, his parents divorced and his father moved overseas; Ushijima staying in Japan with his mother.
When he was still a child, Ushijima's mother wanted to change his left-handedness because it was not something that usually occurred on her side of her family. However, Ushijima's father, Takashi Utsui, disagreed and implored her to let him keep it, stating that it could become the child's greatest power and even gave up his rights in any other family decisions if she agreed to this one request.
Ushijima bases his volleyball style now on an encounter with his father back when he was very young. His father told him stories of the ace on his team who gave off a strong feeling of security and strength that boosted the team's morale. Ushijima has stated that he doesn't want to be like his father, but as the ace his father had described. His father also told him to join a strong team and meet new people, encounter new abilities, and grow. But no matter what happens in the future, as long as Ushijima likes volleyball, his father will be happy.
Taking his father's advice to heart, Ushijima joins one of the strongest volleyball teams in the country, starting with Shiratorizawa Junior High. Even during this time, Ushijima had gained a wide reputation of being a powerful player that seemed unbeatable as he lead his team to beat everyone before them; including Kitagawa Daiichi Junior High. Even during middle school, he was rivals with Oikawa and Iwaizumi, although it is not clear how he viewed the two back then as compared to how he does in high school.
Besides being the ace of Shiratorizawa High, Ushijima is also an under 19 representative for Japan for the Youth World Championship.
Karasuno High Team Formation Arc
Ushijima gets featured as the number one ace in Miyagi prefecture in a volleyball magazine that the Karasuno High players are reading. He is described by Tanaka as being one of the top high school volleyball players and one of three that are 'especially noteworthy'. Ushijima is also stated to be the number one ace in the Miyagi prefecture with overwhelming power and height.
Shiratorizawa vs Ohgiminami
At the start of the tournament, Shiratorizawa plays against Ohgiminami and easily beat their opponent in straight sets. The news of their victory was broadcast on location stations that were seen by the Karasuno team and left many surprised at the great point difference Ohgiminami had lost by.
Shiratorizawa vs Aoba Johsai
Before the Shiratorizawa vs Aoba Johsai match starts, Ushijima and Oikawa shake hands. Oikawa announces to Ushijima that Seijoh will win the match although Ushijima doesn't seem too concerned with his declaration. However, despite a close match, Aoba Johsai was not able to stop Ushijima's spikes and eventually lost the match. Shiratorizawa claims victory.
Tokyo Expedition Arc
Hinata and Kageyama are leaving Yachi's complex after a study session when Kageyama notices that it was close to Shiratorizawa Academy. In the anime, this event is changed to Hinata and Kageyama getting lost after racing each other. Hinata asks him if he was referring to the school with "Ushiwaka" in it, only to hear a voice behind them. The two turn around to see Ushijima himself. Ushijima is out jogging with his entire team but they were too slow, so he left them behind. He asks Hinata and Kageyama if they have any business with him but when they didn't reply, he starts to leave. Kageyama follows behind Ushijima, stating that he and Hinata came from Karasuno and they want to do some reconnaissance on Shiratorizawa. Ushijima identifies Karasuno as the team that uses a strange quick strike. He tells the two that no matter how capable they are Shiratorizawa never weakens. Ushijima allows the two to go with him to Shiratorizawa, only if they could keep up with him while jogging.
To Ushijima's surprise, though, the duo can keep up with him and, not only that, they can even do it while talking to one another. When the three arrive in Shiratorizawa, some college students are playing inside the gym. Kageyama introduces himself to Ushijima, who instantly recognizes him from Kitagawa Daiichi. Kageyama said that he failed to get into Shiratorizawa and Ushijima replies coldly that he remembers how Kageyama played during middle school. He states that Shiratorizawa does not need a setter who can't devote themselves to the ace.
Although amused at first, Hinata brings up Oikawa and states how he is not the type to devote himself to the team ace either. Ushijima replies that Oikawa is an excellent player who should have joined Shiratorizawa. Kageyama asks if Oikawa would devote himself to the ace, and Ushijima replied that Oikawa is a setter who is able to draw out the maximum potential of the team he's on. If the team's potential is low, then nothing will happen. If the team's potential is high, Oikawa will make it higher; that is his talent. Ushijima adds that an excellent seedling requires suitably excellent soil; apart from Oikawa, Aoba Johsai is weak. Hinata counters him, saying that if Aoba Johsai is "barren land", then Karasuno would be concrete. His expression momentarily intimidates Ushijima.
They are interrupted when a stray ball comes toward them, and Ushijima jumps up to grab it with his hand. However, Hinata, who jumped higher, grabs the ball before Ushijima could catch it. Ushijima is shocked at seeing Hinata suddenly appear right before him with such speed and height. Hinata lands and introduces himself, exclaiming that he and Kageyama are going to beat Ushijima and Shiratorizawa and go to the Spring Tournament. Their conversation officially ends when a teacher nearby discovers the two and kick them out of the school. Before he and Hinata left, Kageyama states that Oikawa is the strongest setter in the prefecture, but that he himself can surpasses that. As the two are walking away, Ushijima repeats their names and grinned in excitement.
Spring High Preliminary Arc
On the first day of Spring High, Shiratorizawa, led by Ushijima, enters the Sendai City Gymnasium. Later, as Ushijima exits the bathroom, Hinata bumps into him while running away from Oikawa and Iwaizumi. Ushijima greets Hinata and then the Aoba Johsai players, wishing them luck since the Spring High was the final high school tournament for them. The two then get angry with Ushijima, though he doesn't know why. Hinata tries to step in but the three glare at him simultaneously, scaring him off. Ushijima then leaves, stating that he welcomes all newcomers.
Shiratorizawa's first match is on Court A against Niikawa (2:0 / 25-15, 25-12).
After Aoba Johsai lost to Karasuno, Ushijima approaches Oikawa, who ignored him and tried to walk away at first. Ushijima stops him and states that Shiratorizawa was a better place for Oikawa, but Oikawa's insignificant pride led him to choose Aoba Johsai. Oikawa replies that he never thought he made the wrong decision, and his volleyball career is far from being over. Oikawa warns Ushijima to remember his "insignificant pride." Oikawa continues, stating that his kōhai, Kageyama, is an idiot but he's on a strong team now; Karasuno could take down an enormous white eagle-like Ushijima.
Before long, the Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa finals match begins. Ushijima enters the court confidently with the rest of his team behind him. As he's warming up, he accidentally sends a ball over the bleachers, into the arms of a spectator, shocking the entire gymnasium. Right before the game begins, Goshiki comes over and tells Ushijima that he'll prove he's worthy of being the ace. Ushijima nonchalantly tells Goshiki "good luck", angering Goshiki.
At the beginning of the match, Ushijima dominates using only 70-80% of his strength. His immense strength and left-handedness throw Karasuno off, especially Nishinoya and Tsukishima until Nishinoya finally manages to receive Ushijima's spike. However, by that point, Shiratorizawa's already close to winning the set. Karasuno doesn't give up though and continues pressuring Shiratorizawa. Gaining steadily up to Shiratorizawa, Karasuno initiates several attacks that finally force Ushijima to start receiving the balls, something he'd left to Reon initially.
Getting serious, Ushijima demands Shirabu to toss all the balls to him. Shiratorizawa soon takes the first set. During the break, Tendō asks Ushijima if he knows Hinata and Ushijima replies affirmatively, describing what Hinata said to him during their encounter. After Tendō comments about Hinata, Ushijima states that he doesn't like him because he's too confident; Ushijima absolutely can't stand baseless self-confidence.
As the game progresses, Ushijima continues dominating, but Karasuno's slowly catching up to him by pushing him into positions where his spikes point towards the libero. His teammates are also targeted heavily, causing Shirabu to lose focus when he becomes heavily stressed. He suddenly makes a mistake with his toss when he unintentionally set the ball too low and Ushijima finally gets blocked by Tsukishima.
Unaffected, Ushijima takes back the third set. Afterward, the two teams change the court. As Ushijima's walking over, he sees Hinata staring at him. Coolly, Ushijima states that after seeing Hinata's movements during their encounter at his school, he thought Hinata would be good at receives and blocks. However, he realized now that Hinata's skills are at an infantile level, this statement stunning the shorter boy.
Unwilling to let Ushijima think of him that way, Hinata focuses on improving his skills. Ushijima continues scoring point after point and slowly increases the amount of strength he uses, but Hinata can catch up and block him in the fourth set, bringing both teams to a tie. Even though Hinata isn't able to block Ushijima again, he manages to pull off several one-touches, but Ushijima doesn't appear to be worried. When his coach points out Karasuno's improved defense, Ushijima states calmly that there is no such thing as a perfect defense.
Despite tiring out and making mistakes more often, Karasuno plays to the best of its abilities and gets ahead of Shiratorizawa, but Ushijima easily retakes those points. Kageyama, Tsukishima, and Asahi get together to block him, but he quickly switches to a softer spike to send the ball to the back corner of the court. At this point, everyone is expecting Shiratorizawa to win, especially when it becomes Ushijima's turn to serve. He gets a net-in on the first try, bringing Shiratorizawa to match point. The second time, just as the ball was about to hit the floor, Nishinoya receives it almost perfectly and Karasuno plans its comeback.
For the next few plays, the ball's given to other players as Hinata's switched back in. Karasuno's coordination is in disarray, but Hinata manages by using his left hand to spike when the toss is too short, winning the set for his team.
Karasuno gains the upper-hand right away in the fifth set when Sugawara is subbed in. As both teams take a quick break, Reon comments on Nishinoya's setting and Ushijima voices his opinion, surprising the former as Ushijima usually doesn't comment on his opponents. Tendō comments on Ushijima's dislike of Hinata and guesses the ace dislikes him because of the latter's unpredictability, which is something that Ushijima is not use to.
Now that the match's nearing the end, Ushijima's concentration increases rapidly. Tendō tosses to him as he prepares to spike towards the right side of the court. However, Nishinoya is waiting there, expecting the spike, and Ushijima changes the path of the ball completely, surprising Karasuno. As he recovers, he thinks back to what his father had told him about the ace on his team and turns to his teammates. Ushijima smiles uncharacteristically and quotes Tendō to express his feelings about the match.
It's Ushijima's turn to serve again. He scores immediately with a perfect serve despite it being unstable usually. He continues to score and soon can completely slam past Tsukishima's hand, unintentionally injuring the first year in the process. Now that Karasuno has weakened without its main blocker, Ushijima seems to relax as well and returns to his unstable serves.
Karasuno tries attacking with its new formation and gets blocked, but Hinata uses his cheek to receive the ball. He explains to his surprised teammates that he didn't want to injure himself by using his nose and then getting switched out. Ushijima watches with a scowl and thinks back to their first meeting. He notes that when he first heard of Karasuno's freak duo and saw Hinata snatch that ball from his hand, he thought the first year would be a good player, but was proven wrong. However, after seeing the hard work Hinata puts into his plays, Ushijima realizes exactly what makes Hinata so strong despite lacking technique. Ushijima thinks of Oikawa quickly before focusing on Hinata, determined to beat the latter.
Kageyama's soon switched back in and both teams are evenly matched now. Ushijima stays back as his teammates do most of the work initially. When he spikes, Hinata appears out of nowhere and almost seems to catch the ball, shocking Ushijima. It's sent back to Shiratorizawa's side. Goshiki yells at Ushijima for letting the first-year block him, but Ushijima dismisses him.
Suddenly, Ushijima asks Shirabu if he remembers the promise he made a while ago to send all the tosses to him. Shirabu replies affirmatively and does as he had vowed, allowing Shiratorizawa to quickly overwhelm Karasuno. Just as the members were on the floor with fatigue, Tsukishima comes back.
Right away, Tsukishima can keep up with Ushijima's spikes, even if he can't block them completely. Ushijima continues attacking though but finally starts showing signs of fatigue. After Karasuno gets ahead, both teams take a break. Shirabu approaches him and brings up the promise and asks if that only applies to when Ushijima can still play. Shockingly, Ushijima smiles as he confirms it.
The match resumes and Ushijima's unstoppable initially. Karasuno quickly catches up by taking advantage of his weaker blocks, but Ushijima doesn't get discouraged. The ball gets sent to him and he spikes with all his strength. Despite the block used against him was to force him into using a straight, Ushijima continues with a cross spike, which Kageyama saves at the last minute. After a series of moves, it's sent to Hinata, who scores, ending the match in Karasuno's victory.
Ushijima doesn't show any emotions as everyone lines up and bows. Shiratorizawa then goes to a gym to recover. As Ushijima and Tendō are stretching, the middle blocker comments on Ushijima's change in personality during the match. Ushijima replies that it was immature of him to do so, but he wanted to say that he was stronger than Hinata. Suddenly, he gets up and leaves the gym quickly.
In the hallway, he finds Hinata and Kageyama, calling them the ones who sprouted from the concrete. He simply tells them that they will be defeated by him next time. The two challenge him excitedly before he walks away.
Some time later, after practice, the third years gather everyone up for a farewell speech. To everyone's surprise, Ushijima decides to address each member individually on their weaker points and areas to improve on. Motivated by their captain's words, the underclassmen bow in gratitude.
Tokyo Nationals Arc
Ushijima makes occasional appearance during the First Year Training Camp when he and the other retired Shiratorizawa third years attend practice matches against the first-years. During the first match, Ushijima was the first to notice Hinata among the younger players but was somewhat confused when he did not partake in any of the matches. Ushijima would later learn from an amused Tendō that Hinata had not actually been invited to the camp. From this, Ushijima questions what Hinata is doing while there.
After a second match, Ushijima and others hear how Washijō denied Hinata being able to stay overnight and eat like the others. When Tendō points out that there's plenty of room for Hinata to be able to stay, Ushijima reminds him that Hinata has put himself in this situation and is trying to make a name for himself since he was not offered the same chance as the others. He later takes part in one final practice match against the first-years. During the game, he either didn't notice or didn't seem concerned that Hinata was studying him.
Afterwards, he is approached by Hinata and asked what he thinks about when he makes receives. At the same time, Goshiki would approach him for advice after succumbing to the realization Shirabu points out of Hinata being more proactive and asking Ushijima for tips. Ushijima later appears with several of his teammates when Karasuno eventually lost to Kamomedai.
As of November 2018, Ushijima is a member of the professional volleyball team the Schweiden Adlers and is teammates with Kageyama and Hoshiumi. Just before the match against the MSBY Black Jackals, Ushijima finds Kageyama had encountered Hinata, Atsumu, and Bokuto and warns them to save their energy for the match when it sounded like Hinata and Kageyama were going to start an altercation. Ushijima takes the chance to approach Hinata and declare that he will be the winner of today's match. After Hoshiumi appears, the group is soon joined by Sakusa who quickly promises revenge on Ushijima for his team having defeated Sakusa's during the Kurowashiki Tournament. As Ushijima joins his teammates and are introduced as they make their way onto the court, Ushijima is unaware that he still causes some sense of nervousness in the former Karasuno players.
During the first rally of the match, Ushijima, like many others, is surprised to see that Hinata was able to receive Kageyama's serve and then right away go into an attack. This reminds Ushijima of the moment during the First Year Training Camp when Hinata asked him about what he thinks of when making receives and his answer had been that he thinks about what move he will for the next attack. Ushijima soon attempts to block Hinata when he and Atsumu would execute their new quick attack but was unable to stop him. After Hoshiumi was able to receive Bokuto's serve, Ushijima delivers a spike so powerful that the Jackals libero was unable to save. As Inunaki was left with a stinging sensation from where the ball had ricocheted off his shoulder, Ushijima is highly praised for how great his strength is. Once Sakusa is able to tie the score, he and Ushijima appear to start a competition with one another as they both known for having unique spins on their serves and spikes.
When the game reached the first technical time-out, Nicollas Romero approaches Ushijima, Kageyama, and Hoshiumi and questions if Hinata is a player known as Ninja Shōyō. To Romero's surprise, Ushijima and the others do not know what he is talking about. When the Jackals were the first to reach set point, Kageyama gives Ushijima a set. The wing spiker once more hits with such force that Hinata is knocked over when trying to receive the ball. To Hinata's annoyance, Ushijima sent a silent apology for being so strong.
During a flashback, it's shown that Ushijima had struggled when he played on the world team. After receiving a call from Tendō, Ushijima explains how a fan one day asked for his autograph. He asked the woman's son if he watched volleyball but was stunned when the boy said that volleyball is boring and he would change the television channel to something else if there was a volleyball game on. Tendō would convince Ushijima to become even better at the sport which would in turn bring more attention to volleyball; stating that people will not pay attention to regular players who are just trying hard. Tendō then asks if Ushijima had been able to meet with his father. At that, Ushijima answers that he was able to see his father when he went to the United States but also met Iwaizumi. Ushijima learned that Iwaizumi was there to meet with his father, Takashi Utsui, in hopes of one day apprenticing under him after he finished college; although Iwaizumi was unaware that Utsui is Ushijima's father since Ushijima has his mother's last name. After they met with Utsui, Ushijima and Iwaizumi spent some time together afterwards where they watched several volleyball videos and even took a picture together for Iwaizumi to send to Oikawa. When Ushijima was later eating with his father and continually being praised by him, Ushijima would thank Utsui for protecting the gift of his left-handedness.
As the Jackals reach set point in the third set, Asahi discovers that Ushijima has changed his spike swing. He goes on to say that Ushijima had formerly used a swing similar to drawing an arrow on a bow and now uses a circular swing that adds power to his spikes which make it even more difficult for receivers. As the match moves on, Ushijima continues to display his raw power while trying to show the opposing players that he is stronger than them. He later is seen smirking in amusement when Hinata was able to surprise the Adlers by spiking with his left hand. Remembering their match in high school, Ushijima again tries to overwhelm Hinata and is successful in frustrating Hinata when he was unable to make the receive. However, as Ushijima prepares for another attack and presents an aura of wanting to crush his foe, Hinata was able to hone his beach training that allowed him to make a perfect receive of the spike. As the match goes on, despite his fatigue, Ushijima is still able to keep his spikes as harsh as ever, which frustrates his opponents. Eventually the Black Jackals are able to claim victory over the game. Afterwards, Ushijima is seen meeting with Washijō and his wife.
In March of 2021, Ushijima appears in a show that is covering Tendō. They meet one night in Paris where they discussed the times they had attended nationals while in high school and then confirm to be best friends. Later in August, Ushijima is part of the Japan Men's National Volleyball Team and appears to look forward to playing against Oikawa.
|High School Statistics|
Ushijima is a player in excellent physical condition. He has height, immense strength, stamina, and the jumping power to make him one of the most formidable forces on the court. His spikes are characterized by brute strength as Ushijima is capable of blowing away opposing blocks and receives through power alone. His height and jumping power allows him to hit from a high contact point, making it even harder for his opponents to defend against. Moreover, Ushijima can extend his hang time in midair to offset the blockers' timing. Out of his many strengths, Ushijima's greatest weapon is his left-handedness. Being left-handed allows him to put a different spin on his spikes, enhancing his firepower to the highest caliber. Since most teams are only accustomed to spikes from right-handed players, most have a tough time dealing with Ushijima's spikes.
Overall, Ushijima's play style is heavily reliant on physicality and is quite straightforward. His techniques generally stay the same throughout most matches, which means his opponents can get used to them and find ways to counteract. However, this is easier said than done due to his overwhelming power and height. As a result Ushijima has even scored 40 points in one game against Karasuno, accounting for almost half of his teams points in the total game.
- Pre-Timeskip: 345 cm
- Post-Timeskip: 350 cm
|Post-Timeskip Skills Parameter|
- Receiving: Due to his high offensive abilities, Ushijima is often spared from participating in receives with his teammates covering for him. Despite this, he is shown to be very capable and consistent in this area. It is noted that Ushijima tends to not move while passing and usually adjusts his leg position instead of making full steps. It is later revealed that, when receiving, Ushijima is thinking ahead about what he's going to do for the next attack. He is sometimes brought into receive formations to deal with troublesome servers.
- Spiking: Ushijima is known for his powerful spikes. He is one of the top hitters in Japan. His spikes tend to be strong and consistent. Because he is left-handed, the ball tends to have a different spin than most players are use to and thus makes his spikes more difficult to receive. His spikes are so strong even Nishinoya has a hard time receiving them. He is routinely seen punching through three man blocks or going above them and he is rarely blocked. After the time-skip, Ushijima's spikes are noted to have become even stronger due to Ushijima using a new swing that not only increases the power behind his spikes but also gives less indications of how he will spike. Before, Ushijima would draw his arm back in a manner described by Asahi as if he were drawing back an arrow on a bow. Ushijima had decided to stop using this method and now uses a circular swing that allows him to use the momentum of the swing to increase his power and speed. As such, even if the players are in the correct position, opposing players are often blown away. This new method is referred to as Ushijima destroying his best weapon and then rebuilding it.
- Serving: Ushijima has a powerful jump serve that was very damaging to Karasuno during their game, even skilled defensive players like Nishinoya and Daichi have trouble getting them up; Nishinoya having called this the "demon serve". It's been noted to have more power than Oikawa's serves but with less control. Despite this, he is still able to accurately aim for certain spots on the court but does occasionally send a serve into the net or out of bounds. He often scores service aces from his serves since the power and spin of the ball makes it difficult for defenders to receive.
- Feint: Although Ushijima mostly uses powerful attacks, he is shown to be able to use a feint shot during the finals match against Karasuno. Because the move is very rarely used by the ace, it catches his opponents by surprise when he utilizes it. Ushijima was shown to use this at a time when Karasuno had left an opening on the court because they had been expecting him to use another powerful attack and were unable to save the feint.
- Takashi Utsui: When he was very young, Ushijima's parents divorced and his father moved overseas. Utsui was a former volleyball player who quit due to an injury but made sure to train his son to love volleyball as he does. Ushijima's mother initially disliked his left-handedness and wanted to change it because it's not a trait that runs in her family but Utsui persuaded her to keep it, insisting that the left-handedness could become Ushijima's greatest power, and it did. Ushijima also bases his volleyball ideals on encounters with his father. His father would describe the ace of his team as a tall, strong guy that everyone on the team trusted, something that Ushijima aspires to become.
- Satori Tendō: Tendō admires Ushijima's spiking form and often gives friendly gestures towards him. However, when Tendō talks to Ushijima, their conversations are very one-sided due to Ushijima's simplistic nature and Tendō's enthusiasm. They do seem to be close, as Tendō calls Ushijima by his first name, and the latter doesn't seem to mind. After closing the gap between Shiratorizawa and Karasuno in the 4th set, Ushijima quoted Tendō to express his own excitement. Following their match against Karasuno, Tendō told Ushijima that he was looking forward to seeing him on TV in the future and be able to say that he was Ushijima's best friend. In the Final Arc, Tendō is the one to help Ushijima overcome his struggles after he played at the world league games. They both later appear in a documentary that Tendō stars in. The two meet one night in Paris and discussed their high school volleyball careers before they confirm to be best friends.
- Shiratorizawa Academy: Ushijima is well respected by his team, and gets along with them well. On several occasions, he has apologized for mistakes, and his teammates forgive and encourage him. Most of the third years call him by his first name. Ōhira compliments Ushijima after he performs good moves, and Tendō pats Ushijima on occasion. Ushijima is usually seen with Shirabu and talks to him about other teams from time to time, he also made a promise with him before the Shiratorizawa match. First-year Goshiki wants to become the ace and has bothered Ushijima about it, though Ushijima doesn't see him as a threat and instead encourages Goshiki to achieve this goal; even going so far as to leave the team in Goshiki's care once he retired. Semi has gotten defensive about him when he thinks people aren't treating Ushijima properly.
- Tōru Oikawa: Ushijima recognizes Oikawa's talent and skills, and has stated that he is an excellent player and should have attended Shiratorizawa to cultivate his talent because he draws out the maximum potential of whatever team he is on; however, Oikawa aims to defeat him. Ushijima himself doesn't appear concerned with actually having him as a teammate, and he doesn't bring it up again, implying that the comment may have just been for Oikawa's benefit instead of Shiratorizawa's. When Karasuno and Shiratorizawa play in a match, Oikawa appears and sits in the audience, and he tells Iwaizumi that he won't be happy no matter who wins.
- Tobio Kageyama and Shōyō Hinata: Ushijima is surprised that the two can keep up with his pace while jogging. However, he looks down on Kageyama because of Kageyama's playing style during middle school. After Ushijima claims that the only good player from Aoba Johsai High was Oikawa, Hinata and Kageyama announced that they would take Ushijima down, and Ushijima seems to begin to take them seriously.
- "He is an excellent athlete. He should have come here. Oikawa has the talent to bring out the best in the players around him, no matter which team he's on. The better the team, the greater the talent he will be able to pull from them. And vice versa. On a team with no talent, he won't be able to do anything at all. That is his skill." (To Hinata and Kageyama about Oikawa, Volume 9 Chapter 77 / Season 2 Episode 1)
- "An excellent seedling needs suitably excellent soil. It can't yield first-rate fruit on barren land." (To Hinata and Kageyama about Oikawa and Aoba Johsai, Volume 9 Chapter 77 / Season 2 Episode 1)
- "We have no need for a setter who won't devote himself to his ace." (To Kageyama, Volume 9 Chapter 77 / Season 2 Episode 1)
- "Whatever your skill level is, you watching us won't make us weak." (To Hinata and Kageyama, Volume 9 Chapter 77 / Season 2 Episode 1)
- "You should've come to Shiratorizawa." (To Oikawa, Season 2 Episode 25)
- "Seeing how you moved that day, I expected your blocking and receiving skills to be equally as impressive. You already can't compete with height. Why are you even out there when you're so inept at everything else?" (To Hinata, Volume 19 Chapter 166 / Season 3 Episode 8)
- "I got good... because I was lucky. Even if I wasn't lucky, I think I still would have worked just as hard. But... thank you for protecting my gift... Dad." (To Takashi Utsui, Volume 45 Chapter 395)
- Favorite Food: Hayashi rice
- Current Concern: None.
- He has commonly been referred to as "Ushiwaka", most likely because of the "Ushi" in Ushijima and "Waka" in Wakatoshi. His nickname "Ushiwaka", is the child name of the Japanese Genji Warrior, Minamoto Yoshitsune, who was also known to have extreme jumping abilities.
- He is one of the few characters in the series who are left-handed.
- His birthday, August 13, is International Left-Handers' Day.
- Ushijima wears black shoes with purple accents.
- He is one of the three most noticed high school volleyball aces in the nation, and he is the only player selected from Tohoku to participate in the Youth World Championship as Japan's under 19 volleyball representative.
- He scored over 40 points during the match against Karasuno.
- He reads all of the ads in magazines.
- He is speculated by Tendō to dislike things that he doesn't understand, or that gives him the feeling of "not knowing what he's going to do", like Hinata.
- His star sign is Leo.
- He shares his birthday with Takanobu Aone.
- Ushijima is the second oldest third-year on the team.
- In the match against Karasuno, he was seen having sports tape on his index and middle finger on his left hand during the manga. This detail was not present in the anime. It is not clear if this was done intentionally.
- Wakatoshi (若利) - Young Advantage
- Ushijima (牛島) - Cow Island
- Monster Generation Special Interview - Weekly Shonen Jump 2020 Issue #32
- Volume 20 Chapter 176
- Season 3 Episode 7
- Volume 5 Chapter 35
- Volume 6 Chapter 48
- Volume 8 Chapter 70
- Volume 9 Chapter 76
- Season 2 Episode 1
- Volume 9 Chapter 77
- Volume 13 Chapter 108
- Volume 17 Chapter 148
- Volume 17 Chapter 150
- Volume 19 Chapter 163
- Volume 20 Chapter 172
- Volume 20 Chapter 179
- Volume 21 Chapter 184
- Volume 21 Chapter 188
- Volume 21 Chapter 190
- Volume 43 Chapter 381
- Volume 45 Chapter 395
- Volume 45 Chapter 402
- Season 2 Episode 25
- Volume 24 Chapter 210