Joshi puroresu


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The term "joshi puroresu (女子プロレス?)" is used to refer women's puroresu. "Joshi" simply means "girls" in Japanese.

Early History

The first joshi puroresu organization was All Japan Women's Wrestling Club, founded in 1948 by the Ikari Brothers, vaudevillians who mainly promoted the comical "garter stripping" matches. However, their shows eventually became more sexual and lost popularity.

After Rikidōzan, the Father of Puroresu, debuted in 1951, joshi puroresu also started gaining attentions. The first WWWA World champion Mildred Burke and five other wrestlers, along with four Japanese natives, toured Japan in 1954/11. Around this time, a number of joshi puroresu organizations were founded throughout Japan in addition to the existing group by the Ikari Brothers.

One of five other organizations during this time was All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Federation, whose stars included Yoshiba Reiko, an older sister of Matsunaga Takashi.

In 1955/8, All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Association was formed to oversee these organizations. The following month had tournaments All Japan championships in nine weight divisions. It was two months before male pro-wrestling organizations had similar championships. This alliance did not last long as promotional war among the member organizations killed the popularity of the sport. In 1967, a similar attempt was made when Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Association was formed, and one of the members was Takashi Matsunaga, who took over All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling Federation. The Association reached a deal with Faboulas Moolah, who came to Japan and traded her world title with Tomoe Yukiko in 1968. However, the Association also split after the tour due to conflicts between the members.

Following the split, the Matsunaga Brothers started All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling which would virtually monopolize the joshi puroresu scene for the decades to come.

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