Manami Toyota: The First Interview

This is the very first interview of Manami Toyota’s career. From a magzine title “Joshi Puroresu,” this interview took place in 1987 after her debut match in AJW. This is my first article in English. Thanks to Dirty Dirty Sheets, John Hyperion, Hanan and everybody who helped me edit this article. This is a Must Read Interview! Enjoy! – Pumi

Photographs by Nami

Real Name: Manami Toyota
Nickname: Mami
Birthday: 2nd March, Showa 46 (1971) – Age 16 years
Height / Weight: 167 cm / 66 kg
Blood Type: A

First , let me ask you about your mother. I just heard that your mother’s hair looks like Japanese actress Toki Shiozawa[1. Toki Shiozawa was a Japanese actress known for her unusual hairstyles. Read more about her here.] is this true?

Oh my god! How did you know?

I saw her at AJW dojo. She sat beside you when you were waiting for your test.

Haha! She had that hair before I was born! Please don’t put this question in public. I’m shy

When I first saw you I thought you were adult, but after talking to you, you seem very young!

This is how I am! But you know what? Before I came to test at AJW I was a very shy girl. I didn’t dare to talk to anyone.  But after I discovered wrestling, everything changed.

I have to tell the truth. In my opinion, I think you are a bit scary and mean.

Really? I don’t think so. I’m not like that. You better call me a strong-hearted girl!

Just Kidding, don’t be angry! Okay, the next question is the most important one: What made you decide to become a pro wrestler?

I decided when I was young, maybe after I graduated from grade 8. Before that I didn’t even know what wrestling was and had never watched a wrestling match before. Then my friend told me about wrestling  and gave me some videos. I can say that my friends are the reason I became a pro wrestler.

Did you then go watch a live wrestling event?

Of course! The first time I went to wrestling show was in my hometown, Shimane. My friends invited me to join them. I went with them with barely any idea of what wrestling was, haha.

What was your first impression of wrestling?

My first impression was of a wrestler from Red Typhoon, Kazue Nagahori [2. See one half of the Red Typhoons, Kazue Nagahori, in action here.]. She debuted only 2 years ago but I think her development is very fast. She’s a great wrestler and always does her best at everything. This is what I love about her.

What were your thoughts when you watched wrestling for the first time?

I thought, “Wow, they must be in a lot of pain!”

If you weren’t a wrestler, what would be your dream job?

I want to do something that’s different from what other people do. To be honest though, I don’t think I’m good at anything except wrestling. If I had to answer, I think I would work in an office because I graduated from Commerce and Accounting school.

I heard that AJW will not accept any registration from girls who graduated from school for 1 year or more. Is this true?

No, they accept but you must have permission from your parents. The first time I came to AJW, I forgot the permission paper and failed the test. I wanted to be pro wrestler. I never thought about Karate or anything else. I only wanted to be a wrestler.

Your hometown, Shimane is so far away from Tokyo. Your parents have to feel lonely and miss you very much. Did they have any problem with this?

Not at all. They never told me to stop.

As a wrestling reporter, I’ve never see wrestler from Shimane. Are you the first person?

No! Did you forget Animal Hamaguchi[3. Animal Hamaguchi retired in 1987, the same year Toyota debuted. See him in action against a young Bret Hart here.]?  Okay, he’s male. If you mean women, maybe now I’m the first and only one.

I don’t think wrestling fans in your hometown have many chances to go to wrestling events, being so far from Tokyo. Do they all just watch videos?

When I was young we used to have a 30 minutes TV program about wrestling, but only for a very short time. Now wrestling fans in my hometown must wait for Sunday to watch 2 hours of wrestling. I love to record this show and practice by myself. I don’t want to make any mistakes in the ring. I want to wrestle in Budokan Hall in Tokyo!

How was your Debut match? ( 5 August 1987 – vs Sashiko Nakamura)

I had my parents at ringside. So, I wouldn’t give up and finally got the first win in my career. Sadly, I never faced Toshiyo Yamada.

What are your goals in wrestling?

I want to be fast like Kazue Nagahori and have as many matches as possible. I don’t expect to win every match but I want to gain experience. This is the most important thing for all wrestlers.

Last question, who is your greatest opponent that you’ve never beaten?

Toshiyo Yamada absolutely! I’ve haven’t beaten her yet, but in the future I will do it. For sure!

Thank you for the interview.

Thank you! Please continue to support me!

You can view video below of Manami’s test to join AJW:

Also, Nami sent this in from a recent Oz Academy show:

Toyota and Carlos Amano became OZ Academy Tag Team Champions! Take a look at the photo of me with them.

Toyota noticed the T-Shirt :)I’ll have photos of the show later.

For a more recent interview with Manami, please check out this one by our friends See the great photos Nami has already sent from Japan in Oz Archives I, Oz Archives II, and Oz Archives III.


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