Famous People in Japan

Choshu Riki

Real Name Yoshida Mitsuo
Date of Birth 3 December 1951
Place of Birth Yamaguchi

Choshu Riki is his ring name. His real name is Yoshida Mitsuo. He is 184 centimeters tall and weighs 115 kilograms. He was born in Tokuyama city, Yamaguchi prefecture, on December 3, 1951. He participated in the Munich Olympics in 1972 as an amateur wrestler when he was a 20-year-old student at Senshu University.

On December 6, 1973, he decided to be a professional wrestler of the New Japan Pro Wrestling Association, which has the most popular wrestler in Japan, Antonio Inoki. He made his debut on August 8, 1974. Of course, he won by the Scorpion Death Lock, which has been one of his favorite tricks.

He changed his name from Yoshida Mitsuo to Choshu Riki on April 22, 1977. He went to train abroad in America, Mexico, etc. On August 6, 1982, he got the UWA World Heavy Weight Championship. He came back to Japan thinking that he had become the top of the New Japan Pro Wrestling Association.

His eternal rival, Fujinami Tatsumi was still wrestling there. On October 8, 1982, he first said his famous expression, "I am not his Kamase-inu," which means "a dog which always loses." He fought against Fujinami Tatsumi a lot of times. Although he had left the New Japan Pro Wrestling Association for about two years, he came back again. After that he won a lot of champion belts, position and honor. Choshu Riki is, therefore, called "Kakumei-senshi," the Revolutionary Fighter.

At last he announced his retirement from pro wrestling on June 19, 1997. "I am no longer able to push my right fist up, which is the style I had developed." Choshu Riki Retirement Memorial Match was held at the Yokohama Arena on August 31, 1997, "I got very emotional because I received a reward for what I had done." On January 4, 1998, at Tokyo Dome, he fought his last match with five younger wrestlers. "I want them to continue in this ring with their own spirit and individuality. Because of my attitude and training, I was able to get this far, endeavoring and improving my style till the end." He left people and other wrestlers a lot of bravery and hope. He gave them all a dream to become like him. He was really a great professional wrestler.


Reported by: Tokida Noriaki
Data verified by: Hayashi Hirotomo
Date of Report: July 1998

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