To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world
By William May
（Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public
Kyodo World Services, senior sports writer：email@example.com）
ROSTERS FOR ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
55 kg - MATSUNAGA, Tomohiro (NSSU research
Born: 1980 June 27, Shizuoka Prefecture.
Height: 163 cm. Education: Numazu Gakuen
high school (Shizuoka), Nippon Sports Science
University. Started wrestling in a kids program
in Yaezu and won five straight national schoolboy
titles. In 1995, became the first wrestler
to win three straight national junior high
school championships. In 1998, won all four
major high school championships as well as
the JOC Cup junior national title. In 2001,
finished third in the national senior invitational,
won both the collegiate open and collegiate
national championship crowns along with the
national sports festival. In 2002, won the
university world championship title and finished
second in the senior national championships
behind Chikara Tanabe.
60 kg - MATSUO, Daishi (NSSU research student)
Born: 1980 April 30, Kumamoto Prefecture.
Height: 165 cm. Education: Tamana Kogyo high
school (Kumamoto), NSSU. Won at the 1998
high school national championships. In 2001,
won the collegiate open and collegiate national
championships titles. The next year repeated
as champion at the collegiate open and finished
third at the senior national championships.
Finished sixth at the 2002 student world
championships and won the Canada Cup crown.
66 kg - IKEMATSU, Kazuhiko (NSSU instructor)
Born: 1979 December 26, Fukuoka Prefecture.
Height: 171 cm. Education: Mii high school
(Fukuoka Prefecture), NSSU. Largely unheralded
in high school, came to NSSU with only a
second-place finish in the high school division
of the national sports festival. As a second-year
student at NSSU in 1999, won the East Japan
freshman-sophomore meet and finished second
in the collegiate open. Won the collegiate
open in 2000 and finished third in the senior
nationals. Won the national team trials the
following year (2001) and competed in the
world championships (23rd). Second in the
national championships in 2001, but earned
a national team spot in 2002 to compete in
the world championships (15th) and Asian
Games. Third in the 2002 senior nationals.
74 kg - NAGASHIMA, Kazuyuki (Waseda Univ.,
Born: 1981 September 25, Gunma Prefecture.
Education: Tatebayashi high school (Gunma).
Won three major high school titles in 1999.
In 2000 was the junior national champion
and finished second in the 2000 Asian junior
championships. Also wrestled in the junior
world championships. Won the collegiate open
in 2001. Repeated at the open in 2002 and
added the national collegiate championships
crown. Finished second at national sports
festival and senior nationals. Twin brother
Masahiko was also a two-time collegiate open
champion at 69 and 66 kg and a bronze medalist
at the 2002 world university championships.
84 kg - ISOKAWA, Takao (Takushoku Univ.,
Born: 1984 June 10, Kumamooto Prefecture.
Height: 176 cm. Education: Nihon Bunri University
high school (Oita). A well-known wrestler
as a schoolboy competitor, but only finished
third in the junior high school nationals.
Regained form in high school and won the
high school nationals in 2001 and racked
up four major high school titles in 2002.
Finished fourth in the Asian junior championships
and took a third place in the senior nationals
last December. Quickly made the starting
line-up for Takushoku University in this
spring’s East Japan League Championships.
96 kg - MORIYAMA, Masahide (NSSU, 3rd year)
Born: 1982 June 28, Ehime Prefecture.
Height: 182 cm. Education: Hokujo high school
(Ehime). Finished third in the junior high
school nationals and in 2000 won in the high
school division of the national sports festival.
Finished fifth in the 2002 national collegiate
championships and third in the senior nationals.
120 kg - SUWAMA, Kohei (Clean-up)
Born: 1976 November 23, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Height: 185 cm. Education: Fujimine Gakuen
Fujisawa high school (Kanagawa), Chuo University.
Did not win any major titles in high school.
Finished third at the 1998 national collegiate
championships and was fourth in the senior
nationals. Began to challenge the leading
heavyweights in Japan after graduating from
Chuo. Won the 2002 nationals for company
employees and the national sports festival,
but had to settle for second in the national
championships last December.
55 kg - FUJITA, Yasuto (Hyogo Wrestling Association)
Born: 1979 July 17, Hyogo Prefecture.
Education: Kobe Nishi high school (Hyogo),
NSSU. Took a third in the high school national
invitational and finished second in the high
school division of the national sports festival.
In 1999, finished third in the collegiate
greco-roman open and was second in the 2001
collegiate greco-roman national championships.
Finished his college career without a major
title and was fourth in last December’s
60 kg - ITO, Hikaru (Okayama Wrestling Association)
Born: 1979 September 4, Okayama Prefecture.
Height: 164 cm. Education: Kurashiki high
school (Okayama), NSSU. As a high school
wrestler, only advanced as far as the quarterfinals
of the national tournament. At NSSU, Ito
blossomed slowly and did not finish on the
podium until taking third in the 2000 collegiate
open. Won the company employees’ open in
2002 and finished fourth at the senior nationals.
66 kg - IZENA, Masaaki (NSSU graduate)
Born: 1979 February 1, Okinawa Prefecture.
Height: 169 cm. Education: Chatan Norin high
school (Okinawa), NSSU. Finished third in
the high school nationals, but as a sophomore
at NSSU, took second in the national invitational
tourney (national team trials) and third
in the collegiate open. In 2000, won both
the collegiate open and national collegiate
championships. In 2002, took second in national
sports festival and won the company employees
74 kg - TSURUMAKI, Tsukasa (Kokushikan Univ.,
Born: 1984 May 19, Yamagata Prefecture.
Height: 182 cm. Education: Yonezawa Kogyo
high school (Yamagata). Took third place
as a first-year high school student at the
JOC Cup cadet national championships. Was
third in the 2002 high school national championships.
Won the high school greco-roman championships
and the high school division of the national
sports festival. Finished fourth at the senior
84 kg - OTA, Mitsuhiro (Nihon Bunri Univ.,
Born: 1979 June 5, Mie Prefecture. Height:
174 cm. Education: Inben high school (Mie),
NSSU. Won the high school division of the
national sports festival and was third at
the collegiate open in 2000, but was otherwise
without a title at NSSU.
Finished third in the senior nationals in
2001 and was third again in 2002 in the national
invitational and the senior nationals.
96 kg - MORIKAKU, Yusuke (New Japan Pro Wrestling,
Born: 1979 November 13, Nagano Prefecture.
Height: 183 cm. Education: Kita Saku Nogyou
high school (Nagano), NSSU. Won his first
major title as a sophomore at NSSU in 1999
when he took the junior national championship
crown. Won the collegiate national title
in 2000 at 85 kg and then went up a weight
to win the senior nationals. Has represented
Japan since in the East Asian Games, Asian
championships, world championships and Asian
120 kg - SHINJO, Hirokazu (Kokushikan Univ.,
Born: 1982 October 11, Osaka. Height:
181 cm. Education: Minami Kyoto high school.
Took second in the national high school greco-roman
championships and won the high school division
of the national sports festival as a third-year
student. In 2002, won the junior national
championship crown and finished fourth in
the collegiate greco-roman nationals.
48 kg - NOGUCHI, Mika (Kanoya Wrestling Club)
Born: 1982 October 9, Kagoshima Prefecture.
Education: Kanoya Chuo high chool (Kagoshima).
Won seven straight titles in the national
schoolboys/schoolgirls meet. In 1999, won
the world cadet championship at 46 kg and
finished third in the 2001 Japan Queen's
Cup meet. Finished second in the 2001 senior
nationals and won the Japan Queens Cup in
2002 for a berth on the national team for
the world championships. Defeated eventual
champion Brigitte Wagner of Germany in her
opening bout, but was unable to advance out
of her preliminary group.
51 kg - HATTORI, Ninako (Chukyo Women’s
Univ., 3rd year)
Born: 1982 June 25, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Height: 153 cm. Education: CWU high school
(Aichi). Started wrestling with the Tokai
Juniors in Kanagawa and in 1999 won the JOC
Cup cadet title. Won the Asian junior title
in 2000. Represented Japan in the 2001 junior
world championships (7th) and won the senior
nationals the same year. Also competed in
the 2002 World Cup (4th).
55 kg - SHIBATA, Mizuho (CWU high school,
Born: 1986 September 17, Akita Prefecture.
Height: 157 cm. Began wrestling at the Sugita
Dojo in Akita and took fourth in the junior
high school nationals in 1999. In 2001, improved
to third place. After entering the high school
affiliate of Chukyo Women’s University,
took second in the cadet division of the
Japan Queens Cup meet in 2002. She also won
the cadet title at the JOC Cup meet and finished
fifth at 51 kg at the senior nationals.
59 kg - IWAMA, Rena (Replay)
Born: 1979 August 2, Iwate Prefecture.
Ht: 157 cm. Education: Miyako Shogyo high
school (Iwate), Chukyo Women’s University.
Started wrestling in high school and won
the high school national championship in
1997 at 61 kg. Won the junior national title
at 58 kg in 1999 then went on to win the
junior world and senior national championship
title at 62 kg in the same year. Finished
second in the world championships in 2000
but fell to 14th in 2001. In 2002, was the
World Cup champion and finished seventh in
the world championships.
63 kg - SHODA, Ayako (Toyo Univ., 4th year)
Born: 1981 November 3, Osaka. Height:
163 cm. Education: Amino high school (Kyoto).
Won the junior national title at 58 kg in
1998 and, at 16, won the senior nationals
at 62 kg.Won the world championship title
in 1999 in her debut on the Japanese world
team. In 2000, added titles from the Asian
championships and the junior worlds. Repeated
as Asia champion in 2001, but has been hampered
67 kg - SAITO, Norie (Japan Beverage)
Born: 1978 October 24, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Education: Tsuchiura Nichidai high school
(Ibaraki), Teikyo University. Practiced judo
in high school, but also entered wrestling
competitions, winning the national championship
title at 70 kg in 1995. Saito devoted herself
to judo as a student at Teikyo, but switched
her attention to wrestling after graduating.
Represented Japan in the 2001 world championships
(12th) and again in 2002 (7th).
72 kg - MURASHIMA, Ayako (CWU, 3rd year)
Born: 1982 August 20, Mie Prefecture.
Height: 165 cm. Education: Owashi high school
(Mie). Played softball in junior high school
and basketball in high school. Was first
introduced to wrestling as a third-year student
in high school and decided to go to CWU and
focus on wrestling. Won the junior national
title at 75 kg in 2001, but was unable to
wrestle in the world championships because
of an injury. Finished second in the Japan
Queens Cup this spring behind Kyoko