A number of cases of Trichophyton tonsurans infection have been reported among sportsmen and women participating in wrestling, judo, and sumo wrestling in Japan, but there have also been sporadic reports of cases with no history of contact with these sports. A molecular method using restriction enzyme analysis of PCR-amplified fragments targeting the non-transcribed spacer region (NTS) of ribosomal RNA gene in fungal nuclei was applied to T. tonsurans strains isolated from sporadic cases in Japan. Five of 6 molecular types recorded in Japan, i.e., NTS types I, II, IV, V, and VI, and two new types, designated NTS VII and NTS VIII, were observed among 10 strains isolated from sporadic cases. The NTS IV strains, considered not to be related to the present epidemic, were found to be the most prevalent molecular type accounting for 4 of the 10 strains isolated. NTS I was the most prevalent type in the current epidemic in Japan, but it was cultured from only one patient who was later noted to be the daughter of a retired judo practitioner. Four subjects had histories of living abroad and were considered to have been infected outside Japan. The strains in these cases were NTS II, V, VI, and VII. The results of this study suggested that the NTS IV strains were originally present in Japan at a low incidence, but that there has been a recent influx of NTS I, II, V, VI, and VII from abroad, which has been accompanied by the secondary spread of strains from wrestlers and practitioners of martial arts to the general community.