This article, written by Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling’s Hyper Misao, originally appeared in Japanese in volume 5 of the poetry journal Nemuranai Ki. The accompanying photos did not appear in the magazine and were taken by yours truly at TJPW events on January 4 and 5, 2020.
Translator’s note: Tanka is a traditional Japanese poetic form with 31 syllables, typically divided in a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern. Tanka are written in one continuous line in Japanese, but commonly broken up into five lines in English translation.
This past February, I posted a tweet that sent a tiny murmur through poetry circles.
White steed of Bellerophon
Now up among the stars,
Will surely be kind to me
And kill you where you stand
—Kirin Fuyuno, age 18
That bit of tanka verse was published in Hiroshi Homura’s serial “Tanka, Please!” column in Da Vinci magazine. I am Kirin Fuyuno, or rather, I was; nowadays, I’m known as Hyper Misao, a professional wrestler. Five years after my wrestling debut in 2015, I decided to share that poem with my followers on Twitter, figuring it would be a fun fact for wrestling fans. I tweeted out a few photos of my present-day self wrestling, along with the cover of a “Tanka, Please!” compilation book that just so happened to have that poem of mine featured on the obi insert.