Kaori Icho is a freestyle wrestler and global superstar setting records that may never be broken.

 

What are the building blocks of a successful upbringing?

Maybe the essential ingredients are a nearby pristine, breath taking beach, long designated a Place of Scenic Beauty; mix in a historic shrine filled with majesty and awe; include an enchanting island where the seagulls literally welcome you. Now you have the essentials of the village that helped produce one of the world’s greatest freestyle wrestlers in Kaori Icho.

fciwomenswrestling.com article - photo wikimedia commons

fciwomenswrestling.com article – photo wikimedia commons

The sound educational source Wikimedia informs, “Kaori Icho, born 13 June 1984, in HachinoheAomori, is a Japanesefreestyle wrestler. She is a seven time world champion and three time Olympic champion, winning gold in 2004, 2008 and 2012.”

The praise for her sensational efforts continues to pour in. The respected site intermatwrestle.com reports that Ms. Icho holds the record owning a mind blowing streak of 165 straight victories.

 

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other”.……..Abraham Lincoln

Fila-official.com shares, “Born to a family of wrestlers in 1984 in the city of Hachinohe in the far north of Japan, Icho seemed destined to become the very best from a young age. She won her first national titles on the middle school level, and never looked back, eventually becoming a stand out on the Chūkyō-Women’s University wrestling team, and winning her first Senior-level national championship at the age of 17.”

Congratulations and praise are deserving of Kaori’s family. What is it though about Hachinohe Aomori that makes it such a special place?

fciwomenswrestling.com article - photo wikimedia commons

fciwomenswrestling.com article – photo wikimedia commons

Another fantastic information site sheds some light. Wikipedia informs, “Hachinohe is the largest city in eastern Aomori Prefecture, and serves as the regional industrial and commercial center. Commercial fishing still plays a major role in the local economy, with Hachinohe port having one of the largest volumes of landed fish in Japan. However, since its designation as a new industrial city in 1964, Hachinohe has developed a large coastal industrial belt with a diverse range of chemical, steel, cement and fertilizer products. Major industrial parks include the Hachinohe High Tech Park and Hachinohe North-Interchange Industrial Complex. Hachinohe Port is a major international port for northern Japan.”

fciwomenswrestling.com article - photo wikimedia commons

fciwomenswrestling.com article – photo wikimedia commons

The Japan National Tourism Organization Web Site, jnto.go.jp supplements with brilliant color. “Dancers called tayu, flute-players, drummers, players sounding bells known as kane and singers form groups of 10-30 members which parade through the city. Every year, over 30 groups including children’s groups wearing colorful costumes participate in this event. This is a festival praying for a rich harvest, and in the old days the dancers used to carry farm tools called eburi when performing their dance. Enburi, the name of this festival, is believed to have derived from this eburi.

The dances, expressing scenes of farm work, consist of two types: the naga-enburi which is performed slowly, and the gallant dosai- enburi which is performed in a lively tempo. After paying a visit to the Shinra Jinja early in the morning on the 17th, the groups set off on their parades. They all wear large hats called eboshi. The eboshi of the tayu dancers is designed in the shape of a horse’s neck, for a horse was considered indispensable in farm work.

During the festival, you can enjoy seeing all kinds of enburi in different situations, such as the gozen enburi which was formerly performed in the palace of the feudal lord and the kagaribi enburi which is performed while making a bonfire at night. If you wish to take a good look, it is best to visit Hachinohe Public Hall.”

Female Competition International, fciwomenswrestling.com is always happy to promote the female wrestling industry which in our minds includes the big three: the fully competitive female submission wrestling industry, the freestyle wrestling community that Ms. Icho is a part of and the lady pros that entertain in the squared circle.

As female wrestling continues grow globally, part of our interests will always be to view how women as a whole are treated in the society involved and if their rights are being respected and enhanced.

This will only be a glimpse and the respected information source economist.com allows us to take in the view. “Corporate culture is by far the biggest obstacle for Japanese women. The practice of hiring graduates fresh out of university and employing them for their entire working lives makes it difficult for employees to take career breaks and seek new positions elsewhere afterwards. Promotion tends to be based on tenure and overtime, rather than on productivity and performance.

And straightforward discrimination remains rampant.

In a study that compared the reasons why Japanese and American college graduates leave their jobs, American women cited child care and looking after elderly relations as the main factors. Japanese women blamed dissatisfaction with their jobs and a feeling of being put into “dead-end” roles. The fact that their husbands, who spend more time at work than their counterparts in other developed countries, spend less time on child care or household chores, adds to the perceived need to stay at home.

Remarkably, women seem to have become more conservative about work in the past few years. In 1979, 70% of women agreed with the statement that “The husband should be the breadwinner and the wife should take care of the home”. By 2004 that had fallen to 41%. But in 2012, perhaps because of the recession in 2007-09, just over half said they preferred to stay at home. A survey last year showed that a third of very young women want to become full-time housewives. Potential husbands, meanwhile, were less traditionalist: only one in five young men said he wanted his future wife to stay in the home.”

Fortunately in the area of women’s wrestling, Japan has been very open-minded and financially supportive of young women participating in the sport. Nippon has a long rich history of women entertaining in the squared circle seeing a huge boom in the 1990s.

In the freestyle wrestling world, Japan is enjoying great success with the record breaking efforts of Kaori Icho and her countrywoman, Saori Yoshida.

On June 15, 2014 The Japan Times highlights their recent efforts. “Olympic wrestling standouts Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho each won in her new weight division on Sunday at Japan’s National Invitational Championships, an event that doubles as a qualifier for this year’s world championships.

Yoshida, who had been unrivaled at 55 kg, dropped down to win the new women’s 53-kg category, while Icho won the women’s 58-kg title. Including their victories at the former Japan women’s championships, Yoshida and Icho each have won 12 national titles. Eri Tosaka, who won her third straight title at 48 kg, Yoshida and Icho have all but locked up their spots on Japan’s team for the worlds, to be held in September in Tashkent.”

In a society that has so much to offer and always puts forth its best efforts, in some respects the ingredients for continued success appears to be a part of Kaori Icho’s village mixture.

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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, intermatwrestle.com, fila-official.com, olympic.org, japantimes.co.jp, economist.com, tripadvisor.com, fciwomenswrestling.com news source, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.