Introduction Thrombospondin-4  is an extracellular glycoprotein involved in wound healing and tissue remodeling. Although THBS4 is reportedly frequently expressed in solid tumors, there are few reports of the clinicopathological features of carcinomas with THBS4 expression. We evaluated the clinicopathologic significance of THBS4 expression in gastric carcinoma (GC). Materials and methods We retrospectively analyzed the cases of 584 GC patients. The expression of THBS4 in each tumor was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. We then divided the patients into the THBS4-high (n = 223, 38.2%) group and THBS4-low (n = 361, 61.8%) group. THBS4 expression in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), normal-associated fibroblasts (NFs) and gastric cancer cell lines was examined by western blotting. Results THBS4 is expressed on stromal cells with [alpha]SMA or Podoplanin expression in the GC microenvironment, but not expressed on cancer cells with cytokeratin expression. The western blot analysis results showed that CAFs (but not NFs and cancer cells) expressed THBS4. Compared to the THBS4-low expression status, the THBS4-high expression status was correlated with higher [alpha]SMA expression, higher invasion depth, lymph-node metastasis, lymphatic invasion, peritoneal cytology, peritoneal metastasis, larger tumor size, microscopic diffuse type, and the macroscopic diffuse infiltrating type. The THBS4-high group's 5-year overall survival rate was significantly poorer than that of the THBS4-low group. A multivariate analysis revealed that THBS4 expression was an independent prognostic factor. Conclusion THBS4 is expressed on CAFs in the gastric cancer microenvironment. THBS4 from CAFs is associated with the metastasis of cancer cells, and is a useful prognostic indicator for gastric cancer patients.