Akira Hokuto

akirahokutoAkira Hokuto is the primary booker for Kensuke Office and a former women’s wrestler who achieved great fame and popularity in both Japan and the US over a 17-year career. She is married to wrestler Kensuke Sasaki.
Born Hisako Uno, Hokuto became a professional wrestler in the wake of the enormous popularity of tag team the Crush Gals (Chigusa Nagayo and Lioness Asuka), and was responsible for organizing the Bull Nakano fanclub. She joined the AJW dojo after quitting high school. Debuting for All Japan Women’s Pro-Wrestling (AJW) shortly before her eighteenth birthday, Hokuto immediately stood out from the crowd, winning AJW’s Rookie of the Year award for 1985. The next year, she won the AJW Junior Championship, and participated in AJW’s Match of the Year, paired with Yukari Omari in a losing effort against Chigusa Nagayo and Yumiko Hotta in the final of the annual Tag League Tournament. In 1987, Hokuto won the AJW’s top tag team belt, the WWWA World Tag Team Championship paired with Yumiko Hotta. Twelve days later, however, the two lost the titles to the Red Typhoons (Kazue Nagahori and Yumi Ogura) in a two out of three falls match. During the finish of the second fall, Hokuto took a tombstone piledriver off the top rope and broke her neck. She wrestled the entirety of the third fall holding her head in place with her hands. This gained Hokuto a reputation for toughness.
Hokuto returned a year later with a new persona and gimmick, blonde hair and now calling herself Akira Hokuto, named after popular wrestler Akira Maeda. Teaming with Suzuka Minami as the Marine Wolves, she won the WWWA Tag Team belts twice more. Hokuto suffered another serious injury during the 1990 Japan Grand Prix, tearing open her knee in a match against Manami Toyota. She attempted to continue the match despite the injury but was unable to. While she won more titles and continued to display toughnexss over the next 2 years, the injuries kept piling up. But in 1993 she put together what is considered her finest year-in April she beat LLPW’s Shinobu Kandori in what some consider the greatest women’s match ever, it also was rated a 5 Star Match by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. She also won the Japan Grand Prix and earned a WWWA Title Shot, but due to another injury she requested her title match-to-be with then-champion Aja Kong be made a non-title match. Hokuto felt wrestling injured would damage the prestige of the belt. Later that year, Hokuto married Mexican wrestler Antonio Gomez Medina and subsequently relocated to Mexico. She continued her career in her new home, adopting the persona “Reina Jabuki””. On July 30, 1994, she defeated La Diabólica for the CMLL World Women’s Championship, and carried it for over two years. Later that year, having divorced her first husband and returned to Japan, she defeated Aja Kong in the final of the interpromotional V*Top Woman Tournament, an event which drew a gate of 42,500 to the Tokyo Dome. Hokuto had one her last great matches for AJW on September 2, 1995, losing a thrilling 21-minute battle against Manami Toyota.
A month later, she married Kensuke Sasaki after he proposed to her on their first date. The following month, Hokuto made her US debut in WCW, teaming with Bull Nakano to defeat Cutie Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki at the World War 3 PPV. They won a second match between the teams the next day. In 1996, Hokuto continued to work for WCW while also jumping ship back home, leaving AJW for GAEA Japan. Hokuto and several other GAEA wrestlers, including Chigusa Nagayo, KAORU, Meiko Satomura, and Sonoko Kato, came to America to compete in a tournament to crown the first WCW Women’s Champion. Hokuto competed in the first round of the tournament twice, using both the Akira Hokuto and Reina Jabuki gimmicks. As Reina Jabuki, she lost in the first round to Madusa Miceli. Due to this TV appearance, she was stripped of the CMLL title. As Akira Hokuto, she won the tournament, defeating Madusa in the finals, held at WCW’s Starrcade on December 29, 1996 in Nashville, Tennessee. Hokuto later defeated Madusa at WCW’s Great American Bash on June 15, 1997, a match where Madusa was forced to ‘retire’ due to a stipulation. This was the last time Hokuto ever appeared in WCW and the Women’s Championship was apparently dropped, as it was never defended or mentioned again. This made her the only WCW Women’s Champion. Hokuto missed most of 1998 & 1999 due to becoming pregnant and giving birth to her first son, but in a rather unusual move she did not retire-she instead returned to the ring in 1999. In 2000 she won the AAAW Tag Team Championship with Ozaki and was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall Of Fame. Hokuto retired on April 7, 2002 after her final match-she teamed with Meiko Satomura to face Ayako Hamada & Chigusa Nagayo. Hokuto was wrestling with a broken rib, but, just as she had done so many times before, she defied the pain, and scored the pin on Hamada with the Northern Lights Bomb. In the post-match retirement ceremony, some of Hokuto’s colleagues entered the ring, gave her flowers, hugged her, and bowed to her. She even slapped a few of them, including Satomura, and Sakura Hirota (slapping is considered a way to transfer part of her fighting spirit). This was followed by a ten-gong salute before Hokuto was showered with streamers. She then walked up the walkway where she was met by husband Kensuke Sasaki and their son.
Although she has been retired since, Hokuto has not strayed far from wrestling. In fact, she has remained very active in the sport since she stopped competing-in addition to making occasional wrestling-related appearances, she handles the primary booking and other duties for Kensuke Office, her husband’s promotion, and makes regular appearances on Japanese TV and radio. In addition to their two biological children, Hokuto and Kensuke have formed a very strong, almost parental bond with Kensuke’s protege Katsuhiko Nakajima. Although they are not technically related Nakajima is considered an adopted son to Sasaki & Hokuto. She also did a handful of wrestling matches as well, mostly comedy matches against Dragon Gate comedy wrestler Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa but also became the first woman to compete in All-Japan when she beat Kendo Ka Shin in 3 minutes thanks to some outside interference. Hokuto & Sasaki remain one of Japan’s leading celebrity couples and she also assisted her husband in various publicity and charitable activities in his position as Japan’s Friendship Ambassador to Fiji for the year 2007. Although she doesn’t wrestle anymore she remains very active in the sport unlike many of her fellow retired wrestlers but also still finds time to enjoy a happy family life with Sasaki and her two children. Hokuto also still shows up now & then at events for special occasions, her most recent notable appearance being in NEO in November 2009 for Etsuko Mita’s retirement match. She briefly joined Mita in the ring during the post-match ceremonies.

Stats & info:
Real name: Hisako Sasaki (born Hisako Uno)
Age: 42
Height: 5’6″
Weight: 132 pounds/60 kg
Experience: 17 years
Finishing move: Northern Lights Bomb (invented), Dangerous Queen Bomb
Current affiliation: Retired as wrestler but active with Kensuke Office as booker & other duties

Titles won:
1-time AJW Junior Champion
2-time AJW All-Pacific Champion
4-time WWWA World Tag Team Champion
1-time CMLL Women’s World Champion
1-time AAAW Tag Team Champion
1-time WCW Women’s Champion (Also the only champion)

Tournaments won:
1993 Japan Grand Prix

Other accolades:
1 Wrestling Observer Newsletter 5 Star Match
Inducted Into Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall Of Fame In 2000
1994 Tokyo Sports Grand Prix Special Prize
2004 Tokyo Sports Grand Prix Topic Prize

Official website (Japanese):
http://ameblo.jp/hokuto-akira/

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