Japanese Women Wrestling - Joshi Puroresu
I have done a couple of articles on the female wrestlers of Mexico and in them, I have mentioned how in Mexico, the luchadoras are treated with way more respect than the female wrestlers here.
Okay, I mean in the WWE.
TNA and the Indy wrestling promotions are a lot better to the ladies.
Another country that holds its female athletes in higher regard is Japan.
In Japan, women's wrestling is called joshi puroresu.
A lot of times, the women wrestle for companies that are strictly for women (kinda like Shimmer here in the States).
Today Joshi is not as popular as it was in the 70s, 80s and 90s, but there are still a lot of talented ladies out there.
And some are finding their way over here.
Here is a pretty diverse cross section of female Japanese wrestlers.
I didn't include the "Legends" here, that's for another time.
Masked female Japanese wrestler Tojuki Leon (Rena Takase) was born on July 2,1980 in Namerikawa, Toyama, Japan.
Her pro wrestling debut was on March 15th 2000, in a match against Ai Fujita.
Her favorite wrestling moves are the KIBA suplex, the Mad Splash (Frog splash) and the LEON Stone.
Leon has wrestled for Japanese wrestling promotions ARSION, AtoZ and JWP (Japan Women Project).
She has been the JWP Openweight Champion, the JWP Tag Team Champion (along with Kaori Yoneyama) and the NEO High Speed Champion
Leon is five foot three and weighs in at 132 pounds.
Sareee (formerly Sari)
This young lady is Sareee (formerly Sari)
Sari is the youngest member of the Japanese wrestling promotion Diana (World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana).
She started wrestling at the age of fourteen for the Ice Ribbon promotion.
Before wrestling, she was trained in kickboxing and karate.
Sari is five foot two and weighs 106 pounds.
Japanese female wrestler Hiren (Yurie Kaneko) was born on January 16th, 1986 in Katsushika City, Tokyo, Japan.
She made her pro wrestling debut on July 9th, 2006, in a match wrestling Mariko Yoshida.
Hiren has held the JWP Jr. Championship and the Championship.
She has worked for Sendai Girls and OZ Academy.
Hiren is five foot one and weighs 127 pounds.
Kana has a pretty big fan following on the internet.
She made her pro wrestling debut in June, 2004 and has been going strong ever since.
Kana is considered a "freelancer" but during her career she has worked for promotions like ARSION, AtoZ, NEO, WAVE and Passion Red.
At one time she held one half of the NEO Tag Team Championship along with Nanae Takahashi.
Here finishing moves are the Biliken (which is a running butt slam) and the Diving Body Press, but she is very well known for her "stiff" kicks that have been known to end matches as well.
Kana Music Video
A Kana Higlight reel posted by HankyuKun
Haruka Matsuo is a retired joshi wrestler who worked for the NEO wrestling promotion.
During her wrestling career she held the JWP Jr. Championship, the NEO Singles Championship, the NWA Pacific Women's Championship, the NEO Tag Team Championship (twice, once with Amazing Kong and once with Misae Genki) and the NEO Itabashi Tag Team Championship (with Yuka Nakamura).
Scary Japanese female wrestler Eiger (or Aiger) just showed up in LLPW (Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling) in 2003.
The rumor is that she is actually Mizuki Endo.
Eiger leans more towards the "comedy" style matches, but she has held the LLPW Tag Team Championship twice, both times with Sayuri Okino.
Japanese female wrestler Makoto was born on September 26, 1989 in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan.
She stands 5'4 and weighs 114 pounds and she made her pro wrestling debut on July 25th, 2006 at Sakura Hall.
Makoto wrestles for the Ice Ribbon Promotion and NEO in Japan.
She has held the ICEx60 Singles Championship and the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship with Etsuko Mita.
This lady firmly straddles the line between American pro wrestling, lucha libre and joshi puroresu.
Wait...can you straddle three lines?
Anyway, Ayako was born Ayako Valentina Hamada Villareal on February 14th (yes Valentine's Day), 1981 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Although she was born in Mexico, she made her pro wrestling debut in Japan at the age of seventeen.
Ayako worked for Japanese wrestling promotions like ARSION, All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, NEO Japan and GAEA Japan.
Then she crossed over and worked for Mexican wrestling promotions like International Wrestling Revolution Group, Universal Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Association and Asistencia AsesorÃa y AdministraciÃ³n.
AND she has worked for American promotions like TNA, Shimmer Women Athletes and Jersey All Pro Wrestling.
There was even a rumor before she joined TNA that the WWE was looking at her.
And I'm not even counting all the time she has toured in Europe.
Although Azumi Hyuga retired in 2009, she still has a loyal internet following.
She was born on January 6th, 1975 in Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan and was trained by Devil Masami.
Azumi made her pro wrestling debut on December 4th, 1994 in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall.
This five foot three, 128 pound high-flyer held a ton of titles during her 15 year career.
The AJW All-Pacific Championship, the JWP Openweight Championship (4 times), the Daily Sports Tag Team Championship, the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship, the NEO Singles & NWA Pacific Women's Championship and she was a 6 time JWP Tag Team Champion.
In May of 2010 she was inducted into the NEO Hall of Fame.
Yuzuki Aikawa was born on May 16th, 1983 in Niihama, Ehime, Japan.
Yuzuki is differnent from most Japanese women wrestlers and similar to many American female wrestlers because before wrestling, she was a popular Japanese Idol and also started a singing group called P-ch!.
This is not the norm in Joshi.
But, although Yuzuki is gorgeous, she's no shrinking violet.
She has been training for eight years in Taekwondo and has had some training in shoot boxing, which involves kicking, punching, kneeing, throwing, and standing submissions.
Yuzuki started her wrestling training in May 2010 and made her official Joshi debut October 31st at the Shin-Kiba 1st Ring when she faced veteran Nanae Takahashi.
She took a serious beating from Nanae that wasn't fake.
Contusions, black eye, swollen lip, but she hung in there, proving that she was dedicated.
Yuzuki works for the Stardom wrestling promotion and on July 24th, 2011 she became the inaugural Wonder Of Stardom Champion.
Or now Misaki Guriko
Misaki Ohata was born on January 5th, 1989 in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.
She was trained by the pretty much legendary Mariko Yoshida at the dojo of the JDStar promotion and made her pro wrestling debut on December 10th, 2006, against Hiroyo Matsumoto.
Misaki has wrestled for a ton of Japanese promotions including Ibuki, Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project (JWP), Ice Ribbon, Oz Academy and many others.
She has also worked here in the US for Shimmer Women Athletes where she held the Shimmer Tag Team Championship with Hiroyo Matsumoto.
In early 2012, Misaki began working for the Osaka Joshi Pro wrestling promotion, under the ring name Misaki Guriko.
During her career so far she has held the JWP Junior Championship, the Princess of Pro-Wrestling Championship, the World Cosplay Championship ( Yes...the World Cosplay Championship), the TLW World Young Women's Tag Team Championship (with Moeka Haruhi), the Shimmer Tag Team Championship (with Hiroyo Matsumoto) and she won the Sendai Girls' Pro Wrestling Dantai Taikou Flash Tournament in 2011 with Dash Chisako, Hiren, Kagetsu, Meiko Satomura, Ryo Mizunami and Sendai Sachiko.
Another very popular Japanese female wrestler is Mima Shimoda.
Mima was born on December 23rd, 1970 in Tokyo, Japan and made her pro wrestling debut in 1987 wrestling against Etsuko Mita at Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
She has held multiple titles in many Japanese wrestling promotions like All-Japan Women, NEO and ARSION.
Mima and Etsuko Mita were at one time a tag-team known as Las Cachorras Orientales.
Besides wrestling in Japan, Mima also wrestles for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in Mexico, often teaming with a lady she helped train, former CMLL World Women's Champion, Hiroka.
In my opinion, Mima is one of the best "Old School" heels in the world.
One of the most beautiful women to ever grace the squared circle in Japan (or anywhere for that matter) was Mimi Hagiwara.
Mimi was born on February 6th,1956 in Tokyo Japan and was trained by three time WWWA World Heavyweight Champion Jackie Sato.
She made her pro wrestling debut in 1979 and during her career held the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship, the WWWA World Tag Team Championships (with Yukari Ohmori), and the All Pacific Women's Wrestling Championship.
Besides wrestling, she was an actress and a singer, with several number one hits in Japan.
Joshi puroresu wrestler Ayumi Kurihara was born on July 13th, 1984 in Tokyo, Japan.
She was trained by Mariko Yoshida, AKINO, Michiko Ohmukai and GAMI and made her pro wrestling debut on April 24th, 2005 in a match against one of her teachers GAMI, which she won.
Ayumi has wrestled for a ton of promotions in Japan including AtoZ, M's Style, NEO, JWP, Jd', Ibuki and Pro Wrestling SUN.
She has also worked for Shimmer Women Athletes here in the US and several independent promotions in Mexico.
For awhile (104 days) she held the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) World Women's Championship from the Mexican wrestling promotion.
Ayumi has also held the Dramatic Dream Team Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship twice, the NEO Singles Championship, the NEO Tag Team Championship (with Yoshiko Tamura), the NWA Pacific Women's Championship, the Pro Wrestling Wave POK Championship and the Wave Tag Team Championship (with Kana), the Shimmer Women Athletes Shimmer Tag Team Championship (with Ayako Hamada) and the Xtreme Latin American Wrestling X-LAW Women Extreme Championship.
One of the truly legendary Japanese women wrestlers is Manami Toyota.
Manami was born in Masuda, Shimane, Japan on March 2nd, 1971.
Since making her pro wrestling debut at the age of 16, Manami has gone on to become regarded as one of the best Japanese wrestlers ever (male or female).
To put it simply....Manami is a joshi legend.
And she is still going strong today at the age of 41.
Manami Toyota vs Takako Inoue
Bull Nakano (Keiko Nakano) was born on January 8, 1968 in Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan and now lives in Orlando Florida.
She is a legend in Japanese westling and here in the US as well.
Bull started out wrestling for All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW), then came to North America and became the first Women's Champion in Mexico's Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL).
From there she went to the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) where she held the Women's Championship and went to World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
She retired in 1997 but still wrestled some matches up until 2001.
After she retired, she went into pro golf and we saw Bull without her ring make up, and a lot of us saw what we had already guessed...that she was actually an attractive woman.
That hair tho.......
"Sexy Tank" Yuki Miyazaki
Five foot three, 132 pound Japanese female wrestler "Sexy Tank" Yuki Miyazaki was born on February 2nd, 1978 in Anjo, Aichi, Japan.
She made her pro wrestling debut on August 1st, 1995.
During her career, she has held the Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship a total of 15 times.
Yuki retired on December 31, 2010, but then came back to wrestling.
Hiromi Mimura works for the World Wonder Ring Stardom promotion in Japan.
She is 30 years old and was born in Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan.
Hiromi is four foot ten and weighs 106 pounds.
She made her pro wrestling debut in 2015 and her nickname is "Indomitable Princess".
Beautiful Japanese female wrestler Saki Akai has been compared (in looks at least) to Chinese supermodel Lin Chi-ling.
Saki was born on January 24th, 1987 and made her wrestling debut on August 18th, 2013.
She is five foot eight and weighs 116 pounds.
Saki wrestles for Dramatic Dream Team aka DDT Pro-Wrestling.
Japanese Female Wrestling Guestbook
Aftab Ahmed from Karachi on June 02, 2020:
SteelKittens on February 17, 2014:
Japanese Female Wrestlers are the best! Go to: http://www.ProWW.com to see great live matches!
anonymous on May 08, 2013:
divination on October 22, 2012:
This is a very interesting lens. American wrestling fans just aren't exposed to this kind of awesomeness. Shimmer is cool though. Have you ever seen WEW?
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on April 03, 2012:
This is so wild. I never, ever thought I would hear those three words together in one sentence... Japan... women... wrestling. Throw in sumo now, and I will be totally stunned. I think the women even look really polite and reserved in many of these individual photos. It was fun to see them perform here in the videos. You have expanded and warped my mind tonight. ;-)
Bill Armstrong from Valencia, California on April 01, 2012:
Haruka gets my vote ;_
Ronald Tucker from Louisville, Kentucky on May 25, 2011:
I wonder if Sari had to get a work permit from the local government because of young age? Very interesting lens on some of the most popular Japanese wrestlers.
The video is "non-stop" action and some of the moves shown are magnified because of their petite physiques...enjoyed the introduction and look forward to seeing what the "Legends" can do in the ring!