ShuPro 2020 Wrestlers to Watch: Mirai Maiumi

Image from Weekly Pro-Wrestling #2050

Mirai Maiumi, a native of Miyako city in Iwate prefecture, started training in judo when she was in fourth year of junior school, and then the next year the disaster of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck. Amidst that devastation she kept going with her beloved judo, and in middle school she achieved third place in prefectural competition. However, at that time she came across something that changed her life. That was pro wrestling. Initially she wasn’t really interested in it, but a friend of hers from judo who liked pro wrestling took her to see a charity show organised by Satoru Sayama.

Through judo she received a university recommendation, but at the time that she was thinking of her next step she saw this charity show and her head was filled with thoughts of pro wrestling. Hisashi Shinma, who she developed a relationship with from that time, told her, “you should probably give up,” but Maiumi had the attitude that once she set her mind on something she would see it through, and her desire didn’t waver. Instead of going to university she went to Tokyo with the intention of becoming a pro wrestler.

After joining Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, which she felt had a different sort of appeal to other joshi pro wrestling, she debuted very quickly due to her background. She received strong words of encouragement from Sayama at her debut match in May 2019. She was happy to meet her idol for the first time in the ring, but after the match she was told “I have advice for you so I’ll see you again,” and no further contact came. It was a debut match that left her confused regarding, “What did he want to convey….”

Four months later she achieved her first victory, a pin over her strong rookie classmate Suzume with whom she has a friendly rivalry. From then she showed her remarkable growth, and got a win over some of her seniors from the rookie class above her. The match that Maiumi has the strongest impression of is her September 2019 match against Miyu Yamashita. She lost the match, but she was able to finally show her “groundwork techniques and grappling from judo.”

As for her goal for this year, she wrote the single character “mi”[commonly used in the term ‘charm’ and also the ‘Mi’ of her name Mirai]. This is a kanji that is included in her own ring name. It is a ring name that incorporates the idea that “I hope to become someone who shines like a charming star. And I like the ocean, so I want to become a pro wrestler that seems to dance on the ocean.”

“In TJPW there are lots of wrestlers with charm, so amongst them I want to dazzle fans in my matches,” with this wish she started 2020 energetically. Her stated goal that, like Sayama, “I hope that the people who watch my matches and feel good increases, even just a little, and I want to wrestle in a way that can revitalise people,” has not changed since her debut match. For Mirai, connecting her origins with the future is a way to honour where she came from.

The wrestler that Maiumi looks up to is Kazuchika Okada, who is at the top of the wrestling world. “He’s really good at dazzling people, and all of his moves are done perfectly. He’s great at winning over the crowd – without being too prideful, I want to become a wrestler like him,” she said excitedly.

Mirai wants to become “a fearsome presence” that threatens the top ranks of her promotion, but she has a strong feeling that “we three rookies (Maiumi, Suzume and Sena Shiori) will do it together.” She thinks that, “rather than going alone, I want the three of us to challenge each other and light a fire under ourselves.” In the ever-expanding TJPW, Mirai’s eyes are bright as she talks about building the future with her rookie classmates.

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