Friday, March 16, 2012

Okinawan Professional Wrestling

The show began with these three dancers
by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

Sometime in late January or early February, several friends and I rode a tour bus from Kadena to Kokusai Street in Naha to watch Okinawan professional wrestling.  These "professionals" with names like "Habu Man" and "Mango Man" did their thing in a very small set-up on the fifth floor of a commercial building.

To your corners!  (Front left is a woman.)
Each of the wrestlers wore cheesy costumes to highlight their stage names.  There is a show twice every weekend with the various performers wrestlers rotating through the shows.

There was one lady wrestler who got out and mixed it up with the men - and she was actually as tough as any of the men in the show.  Also, a threesome of girls got up and danced in the ring - somewhat similar to what we would call cheerleaders in America.

As you will notice from these photos, Okinawan wrestlers are not as big and rough as their American counterparts - due probably to a lack of steroids in their diets.

The lady wrestler prepares to mix it up with the boys!
Several of us left the show at intermission and went out and walked along Kokusai Street.  Photos of that stroll will comprise the next posting on this blog.

That'll teach him!
And this next match will be for a belt!
And here's the belt!
The fringe is so manly!
My mother's a what!
If you can wear a tail, I can wear pink!
Charleston!  Charleston!
Get ready.  This is gonna hurt!
Hey, I'm over here!
Actually they're playing Twister!
Hey Punchy, wanna dance?  They're playing our song.

Kelly's son, Michael, poses with a wrestler
while Mom snaps a picture.

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