The expansion of wind fields observed at fixed times (four times daily) in complex empirical orthogonal functions is performed for the Japan Sea area (34° 53° N, 127° 143° E). The wind fields are taken from the 1998 2004 NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis data with better spatial resolution (1° × 1°) than the standard product, which are publicly available on the Internet. Major modes of wind variability in the Japan Sea area are identified. The modes determine a general direction of air-mass transport throughout a year, zonal and meridional modulation, and a cyclonic and an anticyclonic eddy component. Objective classification of wind fields with respect to the prevailing flow direction is performed, and wind stress and wind-curl patterns are obtained for major events in the cold and warm periods of the year. The pattern obtained can be used in hydrodynamic numerical models of the general circulation of the Japan Sea.