BACKGROUND: Previous Japanese studies have led to the erroneous conclusion of antioxidant capacity (AOC) intakes of the overall Japanese diet due to limitations in the number and types of food measured, especially in rice and seafood intake. The aims of the study were to construct an AOC database of foods representative of the typical Japanese diet, and to clarify the high contributors to AOC intake from the overall diet of the Japanese population. METHODS: Commonly consumed foods were estimated using 3-day DRs over the four seasons among 55 men and 58 women in Japan. To generate an AOC database suitable for the typical Japanese diet, hydrophilic(H-)/lipophilic (L-) oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values of foods in each food group were measured by validated methods using the food intake rankings. Subsequently, we estimated the AOC intake and the AOC characteristics of a typical Japanese diet. RESULTS: Of 989 food items consumed by the participants, 189 food items which covered 78.8% of the total food intake were measured. The most commonly consumed types of antioxidant-containing food were tea, soybean products, coffee, and rice according to H-ORAC, and soybean products, fish and shellfish, vegetables and algae according to L-ORAC. CONCLUSIONS: The characteristics of high AOC intake in rice and seafood more appropriately reflected the Japanese-style diet. Further studies are expected to clarify the association between food-derived AOC and its role in preventing or ameliorating lifestyle-related diseases.