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Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinaire image
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Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinaire (2012)
In 1953 Japan was in desperate need of a hero. After the national shame of WWII, the dreams and imagination of Japan were captured by one man: superstar pro-wrestler Rikidozan, 5 ft 9 and 240 lbs of bulging muscle with a rakish smile that said, "Not only will I be just as good as you Yankee wrestlers, but I'll beat you at your own game." Billed as the villain when he wrestled in the U.S. Rikidozan was a national hero in Japan. At the height of his fame in the 1950s and early 60s millions of Japanese would be glued to their TV sets to watch his fights. "Here's one of us, ware ware Nihonjin," his fans must have thought at the time, "who's not afraid to stand up to the Americans." Strange then that Rikidozan was in fact Korean, but would keep this identity secret. read more


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