While one of the world’s best freestyle swimmers during his career, an Olympic gold medal always eluded Tsuyoshi Yamanaka. His biggest rival was Australia’s Murray Rose, who bested him in the 400 freestyle at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, and the 1,500 at the 1956 Games – he came fourth in the 1960 edition behind John Konrads. Yamanaka was also unlucky that his perhaps best event, the 200 metre freestyle, was not on the Olympic program during his career. He recorded the fastest leg in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay at the 1960 Olympics, but could not prevent a US victory in world record time. At his last Olympics, Yamanaka made his third consecutive 400 metre freestyle final, placing sixth, and swam in the preliminaries of the 4 x 200 free relay, but did not compete in the final, in which his teammates earned a bronze. Between 1958 and 1961, Yamanaka lowered the 200 freestyle world record five times, the 400 freestyle record once, and swam on record-setting teams in the 4 x 200 free relay on three occasions. Yamanaka graduated from Waseda University as well as the University of Southern California. He later served as the director of the noted Itoman Swimming School in Osaka. In 1995, he attempted to run for the House of Councillors for the Refereshing New Party, which featured several other former athletes on the list, but without success.