Yoshimura Michiaki

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Yoshimura Michiaki
Ring name(s) Yoshimura Michiaki
Real name Yoshimura Michiaki
Nickname(s) Hinotama Kozō (火の玉小僧?) (Fireball Kid)
Billed height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Billed weight 108 kg (240 lb; 17.0 st)
Born 1926/9/19(1926-09-19)
Died 2003/2/15 (aged 76)
Shishō Yamaguchi Toshio
Debut 1954/4
Retired 1973/3/3

Yoshimura Michiaki (吉村道明?) was a Japanese professional wrestler.


Yoshimura volunteered to enter the Imperial Navy at the age of 14 and graduated the Navy Communication High School as the fifth in the academic ranking. He fought in the Pacific side of the WWII. While stationed in Singapore, he participated in the Navy sumō. After the war, he entered Kinki University and joined the sumō team. In 1949, he became the second college freshman ever to become the student yokozuna and also won the national college championship.

After graduating in 1954/4, Yosyhimura joined the Ōsaka-based All Japan Pro Wrestling Association, founded by Yamaguchi Toshio (not to be confused with Giant Baba's All Japan Pro-Wrestling). On 1957/4/8, he defeated Surugaumi of Japan Pro-Wrestling Association (JWA) to win the Japanese Junior Heavyweight Championship. When the organization closed in 1956, he was scouted by Rikidōzan and joined his JWA in 1957/5.

In JWA, Yoshimura became one of the greatest side-players in the puroresu history. He won the All Asia Tag Team Championship ten times with six different partners including Toyonobori, Hiro Matsuda, Giant Baba, Ōki Kintarō, and Antonio Inoki. Baba & Yoshimura were the first Japanese to win the prestigeous NWA International Tag Team Championship.

After the death of Rikidōzan in 1963, he became one of the four directors to carry on the JWA.

Yoshimura retired from puoresu on 1973/3/3 and returned to Kindai University's sumō team, in which he spent his college days, this time as an advisor. He officially made an announcement to keep himself away from the world of pro-wrestling.

On 2003/2/15, Yoshimura passed away due to respiratory failure at the age of 76.

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