A total of 118 Pyrus sp. (pear) and cultivars native mainly to east Asia were subjected to randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis to evaluate genetic variation and relationships among the accessions. Two hundred fifty RAPD markers were scored from 20 decamer primers. RAPD markers specific to species were identified. Clustering analysis revealed two divisions: one comprising cultivars of P. communis L., and the other including all accessions of Pyrus native to east Asia. The grouping of the species and cultivars by RAPD data largely agrees with morphological pear taxonomy. However, some noted incongruence existed between two classification methods. Pyrus calleryana Dcne. clustered together with P. koehnei Schneid., P. fauriei Schneid. and P. dimorphophylla Makino. Pyrus betulaefolia Bge. clustered with P. ×hopeiensis Yu and P. ×phaeocarpa Rehd. A noncultivated clone of P. aromatica Kikuchi et Nakai grouped with P. aromatica cultivars. Pyrus hondoensis Nakai et Kikuchi and cultivars of P. ussuriensis Max. formed a single group. Some accessions from Korea (named Korean pear) had species-specific RAPD markers and comprised an independent group. Most of the Chinese white pears clustered together with most of the Chinese sand pears. Based on the present results, the new nomenclature P. pyrifolia var. sinensis (Lindley) Teng et Tanabe for Chinese white pear was suggested. Most accessions of Japanese pears fell into one main group, whereas pear cultivars from Kochi Prefecture of Japan subclustered with some Chinese sand pears and one accession from Korea. Our results infer that some local Japanese pear cultivar populations may have been derived from cultivars native to Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku region, and that the latter may have been introduced from ancient China and/or Korea.