Nodoka’s Decision

Bear with me for a little bit of introduction before the translation this time around. Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, as a promotion, is more character-driven than most. Though there’s little in the way of official translated content available, many of the characters fit into archetypes – Wannabe superhero! Serious martial artist! Disgraced pop singer! Snooty aristocrat! Hungry zombie! –  that any audience can immediately identify, no matter what language they speak.

Nodoka Oneesan (my personal favorite member of the TJPW roster, incidentally) is not one of these characters.

Nodoka’s current character is based on hosts from Japanese children’s shows – most specifically, from a program called Okaasan to Asobou (Let’s Play with Mommy!) that aired from 1966 to 1982. One incarnation of this particular show is the origin of both her entrance music and Pin Pon Pan Taiso, the aerobic dance she leads as part of all of her pre-match promos.

Similar programs still air on TV in Japan today, most notably Okaasan to Issho (Together with Mommy), the inspiration for much of Okaasan to Asobou, which has run on NHK since 1959. A cast of “Big Brothers” and “Big Sisters” hosts the show, leading children in songs and simple exercises. Each of them suffixes their name with oniisan or oneesan and writes it in easy-to-read hiragana, just like Nodoka Oneesan’s current ring name. Big Sister Nodoka.

Anyway, now that you know all that, read on to find out why you don’t need to know all that anymore.

(The following blog entry originally appeared in Japanese on Nodoka Oneesan’s blog.)

As I announced at today’s TJPW press conference, I’m graduating from my “Oneesan” character after the August 18 show in Nagoya. I’ll be making a fresh start at Korakuen Hall on August 25.

I don’t want to get too serious about it here, so if you’re looking for a more formal statement, please go back and watch the presser or read DDT’s report on it instead! ( ´ω` )/

[Translator note: @ddtpro_eng has posted a translated transcript from the press conference on Twitter.]

I bet a lot of you don’t know how I became Nodoka Oneesan in the first place. I’ve always liked to sing, and my mom is a teacher. TJPW didn’t have any really young fans, so with all that in mind, when I joined [DDT president] Sanshiro Takagi told me, “You’re going to be a singing kids’ show host! Go bring in a bunch of little kid fans!”

With that order from President Takagi, Nodoka Oneesan was born. I thought of pro wrestling as something anyone could enjoy – boy or girl, young or old – so it felt like he’d given me a fantastic gift!

But, well, I think we all know I haven’t exactly brought in that many younger fans. (lol.)

Since then, the TJPW roster has grown and grown – not to mention all the wonderful guest wrestlers we’ve brought in, and all the girls who’re doing their best not only as wrestlers but as idols, too. I’ve watched TJPW gain more fans by the day, and that’s great!

We wrestlers have to constantly keep our heads up. I think because of that, when we’re struggling with doubts, or feeling twisted in one direction or another, we each have our own individual way of responding to cheers from the audience.

Let’s say each wrestler gets ten cheers. Some wrestlers may be able to hear those and turn them into a full ten cheers’ worth of power! But others might only be able to turn that into three cheers’ worth of power, and have to try and make up for the rest with their own fighting spirit.

Maybe it’s due to a lack of self-confidence. There’s all sorts of reasons why someone might not be able to turn fan support directly into power like that. What can I say, we’re all different – that’s just how girls are!

But as for me, I’m the second type. Please don’t misunderstand, though! I’m not trying to hurt everyone who’s cheered for me up until now by saying all that. It’s just that I think this is the simple reason why I haven’t been able to put up any results so far.

Let me go into a little more detail and change the example a bit. Let’s say everyone gets that baseline of ten cheers. Well, Nodoka Oneesan gets a hundred cheers, just for entering the room! How can I put this… It’s like I’ve had first seed in the bracket for your hearts all along, just because of my Oneesan character.

Even given that advantage, I haven’t been able to draw full power from all of your support, and that’s my own fault.
Take the fifth Tokyo Princess Cup, from a couple weeks back.
Up until this year, I’ve always been eliminated in the first round – but this time, I made it to the final four.
The final four, where you have to make the biggest impact you possibly can.
The final four – I had to get three-counts on Yuna Manase and Miyu Yamashita just to get there.

It feels like… AAAAAAAAAAUGH!

But hey, just getting into the final four did give me more confidence.
I could be hungrier.
I could want to win more.
And I could love wrestling even more.
Those are the lessons I learned from making it to the final four. And It was all of you, who gave me those hundred cheers I mentioned before, that got me there.

I know this might be confusing to people who just started watching 😂
But as Nodoka Oneesan, I had all of you there with me to share in my happiness, to share good times and bad.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how to become more of a wrestler that you’ll consider an essential part of TJPW. That’s what led me to the decision to graduate from being an Oneesan. Please keep watching over me – Hey, just think of me like a daughter, leaving home to start out living on her own!

Oh, right… Most TJPW fans aren’t actually dads (´>ω∂`)

Anyway, don’t think that just because it hasn’t been successful yet, I’m giving up on my mission to get more little kids into TJPW, either! Even if your Oneesan’s not an oneesan anymore, she’ll still keep trying to bring joy to wrestling fans of all ages!

Please keep cheering loudly for your Oneesan, just a little while longer, okay?