Beginning in the 1980s, the number of patients with anorexia nervosa has increased dramatically in Japan. Afterwards, the estimated prevalence in Japanese hospitals increased approximately five times over about 20 years. Recently, the national center initiative and the Japanese guideline for eating disorder have been launched. In this article, the author specifically reviewed early history in medicine, prevalence and socio-cultural issues of anorexia nervosa in Japan. And current and future perspective was summarized on cognitive research and treatment for anorexia nervosa.