The nitric oxide synthase (NOS) gene is thought to be associated with essential hypertension (EH), because NO is implicated in endothelium-mediated vasodilation. We investigated the possible association between the alleles of simple tandem repeat DNA polymorphism of the endothelial constitutive NOS (cNOS) gene and EH in Japanese subjects. In all, 100 patients with EH and 123 subjects with normal blood pressure were studied. Polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify the CA repeat site in the endothelial cNOS gene and alleles based on the CA repeat number were determined. The allele frequencies in the hypertensive group and normotensive group were then compared. Twenty-three alleles were identified in this study of Japanese subjects. The overall distributions of allele frequencies in the two groups were not significantly different. However, comparing the allele frequencies in the EH group without left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and the normotensive group, the overall distributions were significantly different (p = 0.019). The 33-repeat allele was found more frequently in the EH group without LVH than in the normotensive group (p = 0.000047, Odds ratio = 3.71). In conclusion, the 33-repeat allele of the endothelial cNOS gene is associated with EH without LVH, and may be a genetic marker of EH in Japanese subjects.