The Highlanders are set to get some Japanese beef added to their forward pack next season with Kazuki Himeno joining the side for 2021.
The 108 kilogram Number 8 was a star player for Japan in their quarter-final run at last year's Rugby World Cup.
The move was announced by his Japanese club, Toyota Verblitz, who former All Blacks coach Steven Hansen is involved with as an advisor.
The 26-year-old, has previous Super Rugby experience with the now-defunct Tokyo-based Sunwolves.
Himeno has scored five tries in 17 Tests for Japan, including one against Samoa at the 2019 World Cup.