Mariko Yoshida was the founder of IBUKI and was also the head trainer in ARSION as well as a 21-year veteran of puroresu. She started out in All-Japan Women in 1988 and was one of the promotion’s top young stars before a neck injury in 1992 caused her to miss roughly 2 years. She returned and stayed in AJW until 1997, shen she left the promotion to join ARSION as the head trainer for Aja Kong’s new promotion. There she was repackaged as a technical wrestling master, and was pushed as a major star. She has been nicknamed ARSION no Shinjutsu, or “ARSION True Heart”. Forgoing the high-flying techniques of her run in Zenjo, her style in ARSION was centered around mat wrestling and submission holds derived from shoot wrestling, along with more elaborate lucha-inspired submissions.
Yoshida launched IBUKI in 2005 with her intention being to provide opportunities for young, up-and-coming wrestlers from different promotions to compete with each other and to challenge senior wrestlers like Yoshida herself. IBUKI gained high reputation among joshi fans in Japan.
In 2006, Yoshida was presented with the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Future Legend Award, becoming only the second female after Cheerleader Melissa to win this award.
Yoshida was inactive for most of 2009, spurring rumors she will be retiring. Those rumors, however, appear to be false. She returned for IBUKI’s final events in February 2010 for a pair of exhibition matches against her former students.
After another long period of inactivity, Yoshida has become more active in early-mid 2011, working as a freelancer but making regular appearances in the new Diana promotion.
(Note: Yoshida is not related to and is not the Japanese idol singer or model of the same name)
Stats & info:
Weight: 140 pounds/63 kg
Experience: 21 years
Finishing move: Air Raid Crash, Cross Armbreaker, Spider Twist
Current Affiliation: Independent/Freelancer
1-time AJW Champion
3-time AJW Tag Team Champion
2-time Queen Of ARSION
2-time Twin Star Of ARSION
1-time CMLL World Women’s Champion
2006 Cauliflower Alley Club Future Legend Award