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Japanese Female Wrestlers

Updated on May 9, 2017

Japanese women's professional wrestling. Bull Nakano, Manami Toyota, Aja Kong, Takako Inoue, Akira Hokuto and Devil Masami

I did an article about the current stars of Joshi Puroresu (Japanese women's professional wrestling ) awhile back, so I thought I would do another one with these popular ladies.

Don't think these women aren't tough.
Sixty minute time-limits are not all that unusual for them.
And when is the last time you saw a WWE Diva or even a TNA Knockout in a "No ropes 200V double hell double barbed wire barricade double landmine glass crush death match"?
(That was Megumi Kudo's retirement match)

So without further ado, here are some of the biggest names in Japanese female wrestling......

Manami Toyota

Manami Toyota
Manami Toyota

Manami Toyota was born on March 2nd, 1971 in Masuda, Shimane, Japan.
She made her pro wrestling debut at the age of sixteen in a match against Sachiko Nakamura on August 5th, 1987.
Regarded as one of the best Japanese wrestlers ever (male or female), Manami is a joshi legend.
She worked for wrestling promotions like All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW), GAEA and NEO.
During her career she held many titles.
In All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW) she held the AJW Championship, the All Pacific Championship (twice), IWA World Women's Championship, the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship (four times) and the WWWA World Tag Team Championship (three times, with Toshiyo Yamada twice and Mima Shimoda.
In GAEA Japan she held the AAAW Singles Championship and the AAAW Tag Team Championship with Carlos Amano.
In the Universal Wrestling Association, she held the UWA World Tag Team Championship with Toshiyo Yamada.

Manami Toyota with an octopus hold ( manji-gatame ) Dynamite Kansai.
Manami Toyota with an octopus hold ( manji-gatame ) Dynamite Kansai.

The Top Ten Moves of Manami Toyota

Takako Inoue

Takako Inoue
Takako Inoue

Japanese professional wrestler Takako Inoue was born on November 7th, 1969.
She mainly worked for All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, but also worked for ARSION, OZ Academy and Ladies Legend Pro-Wrestling.
Takako did a lot of tag-teaming with Kyoko Inoue, forming the team Double Inoue.
Kyoko wasn't related to her though.
Like Manami, Takako held many titles such as the All Pacific Championship (three times), the AJW Championship, the AJW Tag Team Championship (twice with Mariko Yoshida), the IWA World Women's Championship, the UWA World Women's Tag Team Championship (with Yumiko Hotta), and the WWWA World Tag Team Championship (five times, four with Kyoko Inoue and once with Mima Shimoda).
She also held the Twin Star of Arsion title with Rie Tamada.
And she held the Ladies Legend Pro-Wrestling, LLPW Six Woman Tag Team Championship (with Rumi Kazama and Eagle Sakai).

Takako Inoue applying a Cross-legged STF to Debbie Malenko
Takako Inoue applying a Cross-legged STF to Debbie Malenko

Bull Nakano

Bull Nakano
Bull Nakano

Keiko Nakano is better known by her former ring name, Bull Nakano.
Bull was very popular in Japan, but wrestled all over the world.
She started out with All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW) as a teenager, then later went to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in Mexico and finally made her way to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
When Bull retired from wrestling in 1997, she set her sites on becoming a pro golfer, although she did return to action a few times teaming with Dump Matsumoto.
During her wrestling career, Bull held the AJW Championship, the AJW Junior Championship, the All Pacific Championship, the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship and the WWWA World Tag Team Championship (three times, once with Dump Matsumoto, once with Condor Saito and once with Grizzly Iwamoto.

Bull Nakano punishing Madusa
Bull Nakano punishing Madusa

Aja Kong

Aja Kong
Aja Kong

Erika Shishido is better known to joshi fans as Aja Kong.
She was trained by Jaguar Yokota in the AJW and made her pro wrestling debut on September 16th, 1986.
Like Bull, Aja made her way to the states and worked for the WWF, appearing at Survivor Series in 1995 and winning a women's elimination match.
Aja even appeared a couple of times on Monday Night Raw and was being set up to take the title held by Alundra Blayze (Madusa).
They were scheduled to fight for the title at the Royal Rumble in 1996, but Alundra was fired before that could take place.
Aja eventually went on to start her own wrestling promotion in Japan in 1997 called Hyper Visual Fighting ARSION.
She stayed there till 2001 when she quit.
Aja wrestled as a free-lancer, teaming with current TNA Knockout Awesome Kong (then called Amazing Kong) to form the tag team Double Kong.
During her career, Aja has wrestled for AJW, GAEA, ARSION, HUSTLE, Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling and Oz Academy.

Aja Kong with a sleeper hold
Aja Kong with a sleeper hold

Akira Hokuto

Akira Hokuto - Female Wrestling
Akira Hokuto - Female Wrestling

"The Dangerous Queen" Akira Hokuto is another Japanese female wrestler that has not only wrestled in Japan, but all over the world.
Akira made her pro wrestling debut on June 12, 1985 against Kumiko Iwamoto shortly before her eighteenth birthday.
Akira has a reputation for toughness in the ring, and here's one reason why....
In a two out of three falls match against the Red Typhoons (Kazue Nagahori and Yumi Ogura), Akira took a tombstone piledriver off the top rope in the second fall that broke her neck.
Yes...BROKE her neck.
She wrestled the entire third fall holding her head in place with her hand.
Remember that the next time you read about a NFL player being out four to six weeks with a sprained wrist!
And that wasn't her only injury.
In a match with Manami Toyota, Akira executed a plancha (where the wrestler goes from the inside of the ring over the top ring rope to the outside), crashed into the metal barrier and tore open her knee, rendering her unable to walk.
Did that stop her?
She tied a bandage around her leg and tried to continue.
Fortunately the ref stopped it.
She used to sustain so many injuries during matches, that the other wrestlers began to call her "The Mummy".
Akira married Mexican wrestler Antonio Gómez Medina and went to Mexico, adopting the ring name, "Reina Jabuki".
There she wrestled for CMLL, winning the CMLL World Women's Championship and holding it for two years.
She later divorced Antonio and moved back to Japan, picking up where she left off.
Akira eventually found her way to the US, and worked for the WCW, winning the first (and only as far as I know) WCW Women's Championship.
She later defeated Madusa in a retirement match at The Great American Bash.
Akira went back to Japan, became pregnant, had a child (after her divorce she married wrestler Kensuke Sasaki) and went right back to the ring.
She finally retired on April 7th, 2002 and true to form, she wrestled her last match with a broken rib...and won.

Akira Hokuto wrestling Lioness Asuka
Akira Hokuto wrestling Lioness Asuka

Devil Masami

Devil Masami - Japanese Female Wrestling
Devil Masami - Japanese Female Wrestling

Masami Yoshida is better known to Japanese wrestling fans as Devil Masami.
During her career, she wrestled for promotions like All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling, GAEA Japan and Japanese Women Pro-Wrestling Project.
Devil retired in 2008 after an amazing thirty years in the business.
During her career she held the AJW Championship, the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship, the AAAW Singles Championship, the AAAW Tag Team Championship (with Aja Kong), the JWP Open Weight Singles Championship and the JWP Tag Team Championship three times ( with Dynamite Kansai, Hikari Fukuoka and Cutie Suzuki).

Devil Masami wrestling Jaguar Yakota
Devil Masami wrestling Jaguar Yakota

Jaguar Yokota

Jaguar Yokota
Jaguar Yokota

Japanese female wrestler and wrestling trainer Rimi Yokota is better known to her fans in Japan (and around the world) as Jaguar Yokota.
Jaguar was born on July 25th, 1961 in Tokyo, Japan and at one time was considered one of the greatest wrestlers in the world...male or female.
She held many championships during her career including thr All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling (AJW) Championship, the AJW Junior Championship, the WWWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion (twice), the WWWA World Tag Team Wrestling Champion (with Jumbo Hori), the AWF World Women's Wrestling Championship, the TWF World Women's Wrestling Championship anfd the TWF World Women's Tag Team Wrestling Champion (with Yuko Kosugi).
As a trainer, she trained some of the sports top stars including Manami Toyota, Toshiyo Yamada, and Kyoko Inoue.

Jaguar Yokota wrestling Nana Misenki
Jaguar Yokota wrestling Nana Misenki

Chaparrita ASARI

Chaparrita ASARI
Chaparrita ASARI

Standing at just four foot eleven, you wouldn't think that Masami Watanabe would be very intimidating in the ring.
But as Chaparrita ASARI, she flew all over her opponents.
Sometimes literally.
Her finishing move was called the Skytwister Press, which was a Corkscrew moonsault (kinda like former WWE Superstar John Morrison's finisher, Starship Pain).
Chaparrita would stand up high on a top rope or the corner of the ring, and do a moonsault with a 360° twist or multiple twists, landing on her opponent.
She had a very successful career holding the AJW All Japan Tag Team Champion (with Kumiko Maekawa), the AJW All Japan Junior Wrestling Champion (twice), the WWWA World Super Lightweight Champion (three times) and was the Sky High of ARSION Champion.

Tsukasa Fujimoto
Tsukasa Fujimoto

Tsukasa Fujimoto

Tsukasa Fujimoto is not only a Japanese professional wrestler but also an actress as well.
She starred on a Japanese TV show called "Muscle Venus" along with two other actresses that went on to become pro wrestlers, Miyako Matsumoto and Hikaru Shida.
After Muscle Venus, the three went on to appear in the Japanese professional wrestling film "Three Count" and were trained by actual wrestlers.
They liked it so much that they decided to switch from acting to wrestling and begin a career.

Lady Apache vs Chaparrita Asari

Who is the best of the Japanese women wrestlers on this Hub?

Okay...who is your favorite Japanese female wrestler?

See results

Female Japanese Wrestlers Comments

Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    Matthew Mann 

    9 years ago

    It's exciting and arousing to watch 2 (or more: tag team, battle royal) women wrestling, esp. for some odd reason, when the less attractive one is winning. Though I always want the beauty to triumph in the end. :-)

  • sabrebIade profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Pennsylvania

    She teamed up with Bison Kimura, Grizzly Iwamoto, Mayumi Ozaki, Devil Masami and Amazing Kong (Awesome Kong) that I know of.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    What was the name of the wrestler who was the tag team partner of Aja Kong?

  • sabrebIade profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Pennsylvania

    richard: She's on the second Hub

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    what about megumi kudo shes a tru legend

  • profile image

    Michael Collins 

    11 years ago

    While stationed on Okinawa (1977 to 1978), is when I first became aware of Japanese Womens Wrestling.

    I lived off-base with an Okinawan woman in Kin, and one of our female neighbors come to find out, competed in womens wreslting. I would never have known she did, except as Duty NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) I was watching TV one day and saw her competing against another woman.

    The match was truly brutal and vicious.

    When I got off-duty and went home, I told the woman I lived with, who I had seen on TV wrestling. She was unimpressed, and simply said that our female neighbor, who I had seen wrestling on TV, had done so since high school.

    What really puzzled me about the Okinawan female neighbor who wrestled, was that when I would see her about the neighborhood. And when she came over to visit the Okinawa woman I lived with, was how gentle, feminine, and soft-spoken she was.

    She was the essence of a traditional Japanese lady, that we in the United States have proably seen on some of our mainstream TV programs.

    When I inquired about the dichotomy, I was informed that many of the Japanese/Okinawan women wrestlers are in essence, like the Samurai of long ago. Where many Samurai were poets; artists; priests and were required to uphold a strict display of courtesy.

    Yet, in battle, they were fierce, brutal warriors.

    As I understand, the Japanese/Okinawan women wrestlers are most honored in Japan/Okinawa.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    No thanx...they all look a bit dangerous to me. I'd rather a petite brute!

  • Cheeky Girl profile image

    Cassandra Mantis 

    11 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    Hy sabreblade:

    Thanks for an interesting hub here. Yes - guys seem to have a kind of thing about big burly women who can rip apart phone directories! They also seem to vary between the more feminine types too! I laughed at the part about the Mummy! Hoo boy! Some people suffer for their art and sport! Does a woman look better with too many muscles? How many is too many? : )

  • sabrebIade profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Pennsylvania

    "blissfully unaware" Larry?

    It sounds like the more aware you are, the more blissful your thoughts are!

  • maven101 profile image

    Larry Conners 

    11 years ago from Northern Arizona

    WOOF !! Just once I would love to be squeezed by those thick thighs, or even be head crushed into those heavenly breasts...yep, I can think of worse ways to endure a woman's charms...Interesting Hub about a sub-culture of which I was blissfully unaware ...Thanks, Larry

  • sabrebIade profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Pennsylvania

    Putz...if they ever give an award for the fastest comment put up on a Hub, let me know because I am voting for you!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Putz Ballard profile image

    Putz Ballard 

    11 years ago

    That's what I'm talking about! Would leave me hollering "Calf-rope)

    Robert Ballard


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