Matsuda Sorakichi


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Matsuda Sorakichi
Ring name(s) Matsuda Sorakichi
(often misspelled "Matsada")
Real name Matsuda Kōjirō
Billed height 5 ft 5 in
Billed weight 140 lb
Born 1859
Fukui Pref., Japan
Died August 16, 1891 (Illness)
New York City
Debut 1884

Matsuda Sorakichi (1859 - August 16, 1891) was a Japanese professional wrestler of the 19th century of some national fame. While his name is largely unknown today, he remains the lone pioneer as a Japanese wrestler who became a feature attraction in America, competing in a distinctly western sport, long before it was adopted by Japanese and developed as a business



Sorakichi was born Matsuda Kōjirō (松田幸次郎?) as a son of a fisherman in Fukui Prefecture. There he trained and competed for a time in sumō, under the sumo name "Aratake Torakichi" (荒竹寅吉?). These names were later corrupted by American promoters and the sporting press into "Matsada Korgaree Sorakichi," as he would be known in America for the rest of his life.


Matsuda came to the United States in 1883 and had his debut match as a professional wrestler on January 14, 1884 in New York City where he lost to Edwin Bibby. In March of the same year, Matsuda defeated Bibby in New York.

Being based out of New York City, he mainly wrestled throughtout northeast as well as Ohio and Illinois. In 1887, he also wrestled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His most famous opponent was the greco-roman champion William Muldoon. [1]

On August 16, 1891, he died penniless in New York City at age 32.[1]

In February, 1902, eleven years after his death, Jack Carkeek told the British sporting paper Mirror of Life that he held "a high opinion of Sorasky, the Jap., whom he considers to be probably the cleverest man in the world at his weight. The plucky little Jap. has suffered numerous defeats simply because he has tackled all the best men of the day, no matter what their size and weight might be, and the good little ones must ever go down to big ones."[1]

See also

List of rikishi-turned pro-wrestlers


  1. ^ a b c "Japanese Professional Wrestling Pioneer: Sorakichi Matsuda". Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences. 

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