Japanese Wrestler Wins Assembly Seat, Will Continue to Wear Mask (5-3-03)

by Mike "80's" Butler


Wrestling and politics are more similar than you think. Watch a wrestler cutting a promo on the mic and then watch a politician give a speech. What you'll hear is pretty much identical: a whole lot of nothing designed to hype something and presented solely to get a loud response out of the crowd. Who are the best politicians? The ones who know how to work the mic. Who are the best wrestlers? The ones who know how to work the mic. Coincidence? Not likely.

America has toyed with the notion of mixing wrestling and politics together, as seen with Jesse Ventura's tenure as governor of Minnesota, but it hasn't quite caught on yet. Japan, on the hand, has fully embraced this idea.

Japanese wrestler The Great Sasuke was recently elected to the state assembly of Iwate Prefecture in northern Japan. Sasuke is the owner of the wrestling promotion Michinoku Pro and is an active wrestler as well. But that's not the problem some people have with his election. The minor squabble is about Sasuke continuing to wear his mask while serving as an assembly member. This is the clearest sign that Japan is without a doubt the most awesome place on Earth. No one has a problem with electing a wrestler; they just have a problem with the wrestler keeping on his mask.

Sasuke is quoted in the Sports Nippon newspaper saying, "If I take it off, it will go against my platform." He also told reporters that he's keeping on the mask because that's how the voters know him. That's actually pretty reasonable. No one knows what masked wrestlers look like under their masks and no one cares either. More politicians should wear masks. I wouldn't be able to pick most of our U.S. Senators out of a line-up, and I wouldn't know what a member of the House of Representative looked like even if they were sitting on my face and screaming their name over and over. But I know I'd remember who the junior senator from Michigan was if he was wearing a sequined lizard mask. And I'd probably watch C-SPAN if I knew at any time someone in the House could hit a Shooting Star Press while wearing a leopard print cape. Hell, if Al Gore, George Bush or Ralph Nader had campaigned during the 2000 Election while wearing Mexican luchadore masks, I might have actually gone out and voted.

The main problem some Japanese politicians have with Sasuke wearing his mask is that they believe that "it is important for the electorate to able to read expressions of approval or distress as decisions are made," according to Governor Hiroya Masuda. So they came up with a compromise. Sasuke's mask now shows more of his mouth area so people can properly gauge his reactions, as well as sporting the emblem of the Iwate Prefecture on the side. It's good to see this dispute resolved peacefully without resorting to a duel of giant robots, anime tentacle rape, or Pokemon, which I suspect are how most disputes in Japan are settled.

Not surprisingly, Sasuke is not the first wrestler to be elected to office in Japan. Legendary Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki made it to the National Parliament in 1989. He ran on the Sports and Peace Party ticket, which shows how cool Japanese politics are. Japan has over seven major political parties and probably tens of smaller ones like the Sports and Peace Party, making their elections much better than America's. We only have two major parties in America and they both stink. Perhaps one day Vince McMahon will bring an Independent third-party to power in the White House, seeing as people in the sports entertainment industry are the only viable third-party candidates in America.

If the Japanese continue their dominance in politics, technology, and perverted cartoons, the U.S. may no choice but to launch a pre-emptive strike against Japan to prevent them from being more awesome than God himself.

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This is The Great Sasuke. We're not sure what his campaign slogan was, but based on my knowledge of Japanese culture and its translation to English I can guess that it was either "Vote Sasuke for Shiny Happy Dragon Time" or "Vote Sasuke or Be Victim For Fire Thunder Power Bomb!"
Are you going to debate a congressman who can crush you with an Asai Moonsault? I didn't think so. If Sasuke wants to pass a middle-class tax cut bill, it's getting done. You can't vote "no" if your neck's been broken from a Tiger Driver '91 and no filibuster can stand up to the might of a 450 Splash. Believe it.
Sasuke stands with Tiger Mask, a possible Vice President for Sasuke's campaign for President in the near future. Rumors have it that the winners of the Super J Tournament and the King of the Deathmatch tournament will be eligible for seats in Sasuke's cabinet. Wrestling fans on the Internet say that Sasuke is strong on workrate, which either means more jobs will be created for the Japanese people or that Sasuke has a varied arsenal of wrestling moves and can maintain an up-tempo match with very few restholds. In either case, it's a win-win situation for voters.