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Encyclopedia > Rikidozan
Kim Sin-Nak
Statistics
Ring name(s) Rikidozan
Mitsuhiro Momota (Japanese Name)
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (177 cm)
Billed weight 240 lb (108 kg)
Born November 14, 1924
North Korea
Died December 15, 1963
Billed from Nagasaki, Japan
Debut October 28, 1951

Rikidōzan (Japanese: 力道山, Korean: 역도산, November 14, 1924 - December 15, 1963) was a professional wrestler, known as the "Father of Puroresu" and one of the most influential men in wrestling history. He was credited with bringing the sport of professional wrestling to Japan at a time when the Japanese needed a local hero to look up to. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... November 14 is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 47 days remaining. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... December 15 is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... Nagasaki (Japanese: 長崎市, Nagasaki-shi  , long peninsula) is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan. ... October 28 is the 301st day of the year (302nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 64 days remaining. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... November 14 is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 47 days remaining. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... December 15 is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Puroresu is Japanese professional wrestling, as seen in FMW, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and All Japan Pro Wrestling. ...

Contents

Career

Early years

Born Kim Sin-nak (or Kim Sin-rak) (Hangul: 김신락; Hanja: 金信洛) in South Hamgyong, Korea on November 14, 1924), he travelled to Japan and trained to be a sumo wrestler. Due to the discrimination against Koreans by the Japanese at the time, Shin-rak claimed that his name was Mitsuhiro Momota (Momota being the surname of the family from Nagasaki which adopted, but later disowned, him), and used the shikona of Rikidozan. He was runner-up to yokozuna Haguroyama in the tournament of June 1947. His highest rank was sekiwake. Jamo redirects here. ... Hanja is the Korean name for Chinese characters. ... South Hamgyŏng (Hamgyŏng-namdo) is a province of North Korea. ... Korea (Korean: 한국 in South Korea or ì¡°ì„  in North Korea, see below) is a geographic area, civilization, and former state situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. ... November 14 is the 318th day of the year (319th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 47 days remaining. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Nagasaki (Japanese: 長崎市, Nagasaki-shi  , long peninsula) is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan. ... A shikona (Japanese: 四股名 or 醜名) is a sumo wrestlers stage name. ... Yokozuna Asashoryu (center) performing the ring-entering ceremony while flanked by a sword bearer on the left and dew sweeper on the right. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Sekiwake (関脇) is the third highest rank in professional sumo wrestling, and is one of the so-called sanyaku ranks. ...


Professional wrestling

Frustrated with neverending discrimination in matches and in his dojo, he gave up sumo in 1950 and made his professional wrestling debut in 1951 with a ten minute draw against Bobby Bruns. He established himself as Japan's biggest wrestling star by defeating one American wrestler after another. This was shortly after World War II, and the Japanese needed someone who could stand up to the Americans. Rikidozan thus became immensely popular in Japan. His American opponents assisted him by portraying themselves as villains who cheated in their matches. Ironically, Rikidozan was always booked himself as a villain when he wrestled in America. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... In professional wrestling, a heel is a villain character who is portrayed as behaving in an immoral manner, breaking rules or otherwise taking advantage of their opponents outside of the bounds of the rules of the match. ...


Rikidozan gained worldwide renown when he defeated Lou Thesz for the NWA International Heavyweight Championship on August 27, 1958. In another match, Thesz willingly agreed to put over Rikidozan at the expense of his own reputation. This built up mutual respect between the two wrestlers, and Rikidozan never forgot what Thesz did. He would go on to capture several NWA titles in matches both in Japan and overseas. Rikidozan also trained professional wrestling students, including soon-to-be wrestling legends Kanji "Antonio" Inoki, Ooki Kintaro, and Shohei "Giant" Baba. Aloysius Martin Thesz (April 24, 1916 – April 28, 2002), better known as Lou Thesz, was a legendary professional wrestler and six time World Heavyweight Champion. ... The NWA International Heavyweight Championship was a singles title recognized by the National Wrestling Alliance through its partnership with the Japan Wrestling Association, and later by All Japan Pro Wrestling. ... August 27 is the 239th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (240th in leap years), with 126 days remaining. ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... In professional wrestling, the term over means making a wrestler look good. ... National Wrestling Alliance logo The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is the governing body for a group of independent professional wrestling promotions and sanctions various NWA championships. ... Antonio Inoki (アントニオ猪木), real name Kanji Inoki (猪木寛至 Inoki Kanji, born February 20, 1943) is a retired Japanese professional wrestler and mixed martial artist who now resides in New York City. ... Kintaro Ohki (born February 24, 1929 Jeollanam-do, South Korea (then just Korea), died October 26, 2006 Seoul, South Korea) was a South Korean professional wrestler known professionall as Kim Il or KIM Il in the JWA, All Japan and IWE promotions from the 1950s to 1980s. ... Shohei Baba (Baba Shōhei, 1938–1999) was a professional wrestler and co-founder of All Japan Pro Wrestling. ...


His signature move was the karate chop, which was actually based on sumo's harite, rather than actual karate. It is rumoured that he had been coached by fellow Korean Masutatsu Oyama, but he is more likely to have been coached by another Korean karateka, Nakamura Hideo. Karate ) ( ) or karate-dō ) is a martial art that developed from a synthesis of indigenous Ryukyuan fighting methods and Chinese kempo [1]. Karate originally meant Te, or hand, i. ... Masutatsu Mas Oyama (大山倍達) (1923–1994), was a martial arts master who founded Kyokushinkai, a major style of full contact karate. ... Two Karate practitioners engaging in competition style Karate. ...


With his success in pro wrestling, Rikidozan began acquiring properties such as nightclubs, hotels and boxing promotions. He established the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance (JWA), Japan's first professional wrestling promotion, in 1953. His first major feud was against Masahiko Kimura, the famous judoka who had been invited by Rikidozan to compete as a professional wrestler. Other famous feuds included those against Thesz in 1957-58, against Freddie Blassie in 1962, and against The Destroyer in 1963. Two of his matches are still (as of 2002) in the top ten rated television programs of all time in Japan.[1] His October 6, 1957 sixty-minute draw with Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship drew an 87.0 rating, and his May 24, 1963 sixty-minute two out of three falls draw with The Destroyer drew a 67.0 rating, but a larger viewing audience (the largest in Japanese history) than the previous match, since by 1963 more people had television sets. Professional boxing bout featuring Ricardo Domínguez (left, throwing a left uppercut) versus Rafael Ortiz Boxing, also called prizefighting or pugilism is a sport and martial art in which two participants of similar weight fight each other with their fists in a series of one to three-minute intervals called... Nihon Puroresu Kyōkai (日本プロレス協会, Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance or Japan[ese] Wrestling Association) was the first professional wrestling promotion to be based in Japan. ... Masahiko Kimura redirects here. ... Judo ), meaning gentle way, is a modern Japanese martial art (gendai budō) and combat sport, that originated in Japan in the late nineteenth century. ... Fred Blassie (February 8, 1918 – June 2, 2003) was an American professional wrestler born in St. ... Dick Beyer is a retired professional wrestler who is best known by his ring names, The Destroyer or Doctor X who wore a wrestling mask. ... 2002 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 6 is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years). ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... NWA World Heavyweight Championship (1973 – 1986, 1993 – Present) The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship is the primary professional wrestling title in the NWA. Its lineage has been traced from the first World Heavyweight Championship, which traces its lineage to Georg Hackenschmidts 1905 title and Frank Gotchs... May 24 is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... In professional wrestling, a two out of three falls match, or a best of three falls match, is a series of matches (often between two wrestlers or two teams of wrestlers), in which wrestlers attempt to win the majority of matches. ...


Death

In 1963, he ran afoul of a rivalry between his friend Nicola "Nick" Zapetti, a yakuza boss who helped him fund the JWA, and a warring crime family. On December 8, 1963, while partying in a Tokyo nightclub, Rikidozan was stabbed with a urine-soaked blade by gangster Katsuji Murata. Reportedly, Rikidozan threw Murata out of the club and continued to party, refusing to seek medical help.[2] He died a week later of peritonitis at the age of 39 on December 15. This article is about organized crime. ... December 8 is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... December 15 is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


One of his sons, Mitsuo Momota, followed his father into the ring in 1970 and still competes in Pro Wrestling NOAH, but was never able to earn the recognition that once made his father famous. Mitsuo Momota is a Japanese professional wrestler, known for his work in the Japanese promotions All Japan Pro Wrestling and later in Pro Wrestling NOAH. He is the son of wrestling legend Rikidozan. ... Pro Wrestling NOAH is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion, founded in 2000. ...


Championships and accomplishments

  • Regional
  • North American Wrestling Alliance

Nihon Puroresu Kyōkai (日本プロレス協会, Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance or Japan[ese] Wrestling Association) was the first professional wrestling promotion to be based in Japan. ... The Japanese Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling championship defended in the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance. ... The AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship is a tag team championship contested for in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW). ... National Wrestling Alliance logo The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is the governing body for a group of independent professional wrestling promotions and sanctions various NWA championships. ... The NWA International Heavyweight Championship was a singles title recognized by the National Wrestling Alliance through its partnership with the Japan Wrestling Association, and later by All Japan Pro Wrestling. ... Azumafuji Kinichi was the first yokozuna to turn to Western-style professional wrestling in 1955. ... The San Francisco, California version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship existed from 1950 until 1961, and then from 1968 until 1979. ... The WWA World Heavyweight Championship was the top singles championship in the Los Angeles-based World Wrestling Association. ...

Popular culture

In 2004, A South Korean film, Rikidozan was made about the life of the wrestler, with Sol Kyung-gu playing the titular role. Rikidozan (역도산, Yeokdosan) is a 2004 South Korean film written and directed by Song Hae-seong. ... Sol Kyung-gu (b. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Mollinaro, J.F: The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time, p. 19, Winding Stair Press, 2002
  2. ^ Mollinaro, p. 19

Further reading

  • I am a Korean - Biography of Rikidozan, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Pyongyang, 200 pages.
  • Tokyo Underworld: The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan - Discuses Rikidozan's impact on Japanese pop-culture and the Yakuza underworld during the American occupation of Japan, and also includes a small photo collection of Riki, and his killer, Katsuji Murata. Vintage Books. 400 pages.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinary (KOREA 2004) (774 words)
Rikidozan theorized that they were looking for heroes to root for, and that pro wrestling (and by extension, himself) helped fulfilled that need in spades.
In a stunning bit of athletic theatre, Rikidozan turns the tables on the American "bullies," and in the process, wins over the hearts and minds of the Japanese in a sequence that is at once thrilling and moving, despite its pretty much telegraphed ending.
Rikidozan as a person is a bit too rough around the edges to elicit the audience's total sympathy,but his story is a compelling, often exciting one.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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