July 26, 2018
Oct. 1987:Won All Japan Professional Tournament, Bantam Weight
Sep. 1990:Won Japan Bantam Weight Championship in his 4th professional match, then the fastest in Japan (tie)
Sep. 1991:Won WBC World Bantam Weight Championship in his 8th professional match, then the fastest in Japan
Sep. 1992:Lost WBC World Bantam Weight Championship (integrated match)
Jul. 1993:Won WBC Interim Championship; returned it for his retinal detachment in the same year
Dec. 1994:Lost WBC World Bantam Weight Championship (integrated match)
Mar. 1996:Lost WBC World Bantam Weight Championship (challenging match)
Apr. 1997:Lost WBC World Bantam Weight Championship (challenging match)
Nov. 1997:Won WBC World Bantam Weight Championship (integrated match)
Dec. 1998:Lost WBC World Bantam Weight Championship (integrated match)
Lost his domestic professional license in 2008
Had 2 matches (1 win, 1 loss) in Thailand, in 2008 and 2009
Professional records: 20 wins (14 KOs), 7 losses, 1 tie
辰吉: Tatsuyoshi (his family name)
丈一郎: Joichiro (his first name)
In his family name, Tatsuyoshi, for “吉” (yoshi part) the second horizontal line should formally be longer than the first; in his first name, Joichiro, for “丈” (jo part) it should formally have “、” to its upper-right corner.
There is no boxer who is loved by and engrosses people as much as Joichiro Tatsuyoshi. Even if you are hurt or at a loss over your failures, you can be much stronger when you stand up again to overcome them. We want to be a human being who takes the path he / she has believed in, not fearing the rough wave named life. “Our Joe” (a famous cartoon of a boxer in Japan) is still struggling. Let us fight on, too.
Kojima, Okayama prefecture I was born in was a town of fiber, such as denims and school uniforms. Fish seem to have gone away somewhere else, too, as Seto-ohashi Bridge has changed the tide. As my neighbor also was a town for fishers, the number of fishers has greatly declined and the shape of the mountain where I used to catch stag / rhino beetles also has been changed. 30 years have passed, but as I have a vivid memory on that time, such great changes are shocking to me. As Okayama also has the tombstone of Tatsuyoshi ancestors including my father’s, I go home at least once every two years. While I am planning to go back to Okayama in the future, now I have a reason not to. But anyways, Okayama is a good place, as Rumi (= my wife, Rumi Tatsuyoshi) and my kids love it, too. While I have already lost my parents’ home in there, I still miss the looks of Okayama.
I was born in 1970’s, when there were many kids in the last period of *Baby Boom. That there are many means there are a variety of people, right? Then, there are many who do something funny, which does include me (laughter). There are types who concentrate or are versatile, or sporadic. There are so many, anyways. I already knew that I was not normal at the time of junior school; I am interested in what they don’t see, not something decent. There are many types, indeed. Can’t be compared, either. As they don’t understand me, I don’t think they understand my standards of value.
Most parents, when their kids say that “they will go to play at the pond”, will tell them “not to, since it would be dangerous”. But Joichiro’s father, Kumeji’s education was different, as he told his son to “swim his way if he drops into the pond”. When Joichiro at the age of 5 punched others to run away from bullying, he told his son that “he was not wrong and had to believe in himself”, where there is his intention that you should daringly take risks and should not hurt others but support yourself. Folks in Tatsuyoshi family won’t change their determination. But behind this, what plight or suffering had they had before they thought that out and reached that decision? Wasn’t to tap the spiritual toughness at the base of Kumji’s education?
I was a target of bullying, having been bullied until the age of 5. But if I remember correctly, kids just kicked, mostly, while holding or pulling you over or something. As I had a sandbag and practiced punching at home, one day I punched back a bully. Then, as he was just intent on kicking, his upper body was completely open, or someone trying to kick just watches the part to kick, with no guard plus no defense to be punched right on the nose (laughter). I think it took a 5-year-old kid some courage but I thought why I had been bullied by someone like that. But I didn’t fail to attend school from 1st grader at junior school to 9th grader at junior high school, the period of mandatory education, though at junior school, I had to sometimes be late or made go home. But I attended school for 9 years anyways. This is maybe because I rather loved school, or my personality is Tatsuyoshi-type. As the mandatory education is given by the nation, I thought I had to attend without reason, then I had to attend all of the classes.
Joichiro who lived a life fighting all the time from junior school to junior high school, whose name was renowned not only in Kojima but in the entire Kurashiki. But he says he didn’t form a group and never engaged in a fight of a coward. He was popular and the boss of delinquents as he was humorous and straightforward. When he was a *Yankee (a delinquent in Japanese English) in full bloom, Ajino junior high school he was in didn’t have any bullying and everyone was laughing in it.
Junior high schools themselves were just terrible in our generation. I was practicing boxing every day with my dad, though in my own way. I fought about 300 days per year, almost every day. Though I fought less in junior high school, I was awful in junior school. My nerve or way of winning, if not such a gut feeling or hunch for victory, has been indeed nurtured in fighting. Mr. Yoda (= Shingo Yoda, the teacher in charge of his class at the junior high school) visited our home often, as I was a student like that. Normally, he would have called up first to tell your parents to “talk about your kid a bit”. But he had to visit us as our home didn’t have a telephone. Analog, indeed (laughter), But whether he was present or not, I never failed to practice on time. He witnessed it and “might have been impressed”. We talked about what to do after graduation which led to topics on boxing. I was vaguely thinking about becoming a boxer, which gradually got more specific. Sometimes I may have been tired or discouraged, but at 9 o’clock at night, I had to practice anyways. It was not about brushing your teeth or washing your face in the evening, or it was not that if I hadn’t practiced, I couldn’t have gone to bed, but just as my daily habit, similar to eating your meals (in Japanese traditional meals, you’d want to have Miso soup for white rice, right?). I had to as if I couldn’t have welcomed the next day if not. Time came, I just felt like to practice.
I had a lot of cartoons of Showa era, which I remember as our home didn’t have TV at the time. Most of them were about toughness, from *“Ashitano Joe”, *“Ganbare Genki”, *“Otokogumi”, to “Karate Baka Ichidai”, and all these. I don’t know why buy most of the men in the era read them. Especially Yankees read “Otokogumi” (laughter). Many by “Ikki Kajiwara or Hiroshi Motoyama, after all, about toughness. I also love or am interested in people who have left their name on our history. For example, I love *Ryoma Sakamoto, who ignited the revolution, with all the politics and the current system attributed to him who just came out of a non-metropolitan area, a great achievement indeed. He must have had the power to move people. It might not be enough, but he probably strived to work and think with whatever he got.
Talking about the ancient times, while there is a strong image that *Musashi Miyamoto is the one who wielded two swords at the same time, in actuality he allegedly performed that just once or twice. When he fought with Kojiro (his archrival) in Ganryujima (a certain island), he happened to use two swords, but there must have been a lot of changes and difficulties he went through before he reached the mentality and final battle. As no one who lived in that age is living now, I can’t tell the truth, but I love him anyways. If he really lived in the way described in various novels and programs related to them, he should be more than great. Probably it was his dream that drove him. He must have all the time stipulated what he would aspire to. There are rarely such things as short cuts or fastest tracks, right? I am also of an opinion that what you can gain through such changes and difficulties is something called experience and thus interesting. If you try to avoid them, however, you may end up making excuses or having to look at cunning parts everyone has got at the corner of his / her mind.
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