Akira Hokuto

By Brian Westcott

  • Real name: Hisako Uno Sasaki
  • Nickname/AKA: The Dangerous Queen, Reina Jubuki
  • Date of Birth: July 13, 1967
  • Height: 5' 6"
  • Weight: 132 lbs.
  • Promotions: All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling, GAEA Japan, WCW
  • Signature moves: Northern Lights Bomb, Dangerous Queen Bomb, Spin Kick, Missile Dropkick
  • Titles held: AJW Japanese Junior Title; AJW WWWA World Tag Team Title-(4); AJW All-Pacific Title-(2); Mexico: CMLL Women's World Title; WCW Women's World Title;
  • Awards won: AJW MVP (1993 & 1994); AJW Rookie of the Year (1985);

    Akira Hokuto, real name Hisako Uno, was born on July 13, 1967 in Yoshikawa, a rural village in Saitama Prefecture. She is the oldest of three sisters and grew up in a large country house. Hisako Uno made her pro debut on June 12, 1985 against Kumiko Iwamoto, just before her 18th birthday. She was respected almost immediately as being a standout among the many good athletes in the promotion that entered the sport in the midst of the Crush Gals phenomenon. She won the AJW Rookie of the Year Award in 1985. She won the AJW Japanese Junior Title on March 20, 1986 in Osaka defeating Condor Saito and lost the title to Yasuko Ishiguro on May 29, 1986. Also in 1986 she teamed with Yukari Omori to make it to the finals of the annual Tag League Tournament, where they lost to Chigusa Nagayo & Yumiko Hotta in AJW's 1986 Match of the Year on October 10, 1986 in Tokyo.

    Even without a special look or gimmick, Uno teamed with Yumiko Hotta to win the vacant WWWA World Tag Team Title defeating the Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) on April 15, 1987 at the age of 19. However, the title reign was a short one. On April 27, 1987, Uno and Hotta lost the belts to the Red Typhoons (Kazue Nagahori & Yumi Ogura) in a 2/3 Falls match. Uno took a tombstone piledriver off the top rope for the second fall finish, the first and last time such a move has been done in the AJW ring, since it resulted in a broken neck. Even more than her ability, where she gained her reputation was in guts. She got up, literally holding her head in place with her hands, and went through all her high spots, blocking out the pain, and worked the entire third fall.

    But it was about one year later before she could return to the ring, returning with bleached blond hair under the new character of Akira Hokuto, taking the first name of the most popular male wrestler in Japan at the time, Akira Maeda. Hokuto teamed up with Suzuka Minami to form the Marine Wolves. They defeated Grizzly Iwamoto & Bison Kimura to win the vacant WWWA World Tag Team Title on June 18, 1989 in Tokyo. They would lose the belts to the Fire Jets (Yumiko Hotta & Mitsuko Nishiwaki) on July 18, 1989 in Tokyo. Hokuto & Minami regained the title on February 7, 1990 in Osaka defeating the team of Aja Kong & Grizzly Iwamoto.

    Every year, All Japan Women holds the Grand Prix Tournament to decide a challenger to the WWWA World Singles Title. In 1990, Akira Hokuto was booked to win the tournament and finally get the much deserved push. The unthinkable happened yet again. During a match against training school classmate Manami Toyota, Hokuto attempted a plancha (a dive out of the ring onto her opponent) and missed her target, landing squarely with her knee on the metal guard rail. A gash opened on her knee and she was clearly in no condition to walk, let along continue wrestling. Still, she pulled herself into the ring, crying in pain. She tied a tourniquet around her knee and actually wanted to continue, even though she couldn't stand. This gutsy spectacle lasted for at least five minutes before an official came out to talk with her and she reluctantly left the ring. Toyota went on to win the tournament in Hokuto's place. On December 9, 1990, Hokuto & Minami lost the WWWA World Tag Team Title to Jungle Jack (Aja Kong & Bison Kimura).

    She returned, of course, and her gutsy legend grew. Hokuto would wear a thick bandage on her knee for the rest of her career and matches would occasionally focus on her opponent attacking her knee; the fans in Japan have a strong sense of history and they would always react to her knee being pummelled. New injuries arose and old injuries persisted; she became known as the mummy because she'd often come to the ring with bandages on. Along the way, she suffered arm injuries, a broken back, and another broken neck (although this time, only a small bone in neck was broken and she was able to still work incredible matches while injured).

    In 1991 and 1992, Akira Hokuto went back to singles competition, winning singles championships along the way. She won the AJW All-Pacific Title in 1991 and again in 1992. In 1993, in what was to be her final year as a pro wrestler, she had the usual incredible matches. Her Dream Slam I bout with Shinobu Kandori was just phenomemal, a very bloody match that is out of character for the promotion. Their rematch in December was also incredible stiff. Hokuto won Dream Slam I, while Kandori won their December rematch. Hokuto got injured again in August 1993. Her popularity soared in this year and she ended up with a WWWA World title shot on October 9, 1993 against Aja Kong. Prior to the match, Akira, the challenger, requested the match be made a non-title bout since having her challenge for the belt in her injured state would be an insult to the prestige of the title. Aja defeated Hokuto and retained the title. Also in 1993, Hokuto went on tour in Mexico. She got engaged and later in the year married a Mexican wrestler named Mascara Magica and was planning to move to Mexico permanently at the end of 1993. (She would later divorce Mascara Magica).

    On July 30, 1994, in Puebla, Mexico, Akira Hokuto took on a masked persona as Reina Jubuki and defeated La Diabolica to win the CMLL Women's World Title. 1994 would also be a memorable year for Akira. The Tokyo Egg Dome show on November 20, 1994 was originally advertised as her retirement show, but the promotion backed off and let Akira wrestle special one-shots. The Dome show featured the V*Top Woman Interpromotional Tournament. The show drew 42,500 fans to the Dome, with $300 ringside seats, and a gate of $4 million. Souvenir sales alone were $612,000. Total gross for the show: $8 million (without pay-per-view). Akira Hokuto won the final of the V*Top Woman Tournament defeating Aja Kong.

    1995 was a so-so year for Akira. She competed on the big New Japan North Korea show in April teaming with Bull Nakano to defeat Manami Toyota & Mariko Yoshida. On September 2, 1995, Akira Hokuto battled Manami Toyota in a classic match with Toyota winning the match pinning Hokuto with her own finishing move, the Northern Lights Bomb. On October 1, 1995, Hokuto married New Japan's Kensuke Sasaki. In November 1995, Hokuto teamed up with Bull Nakano to defeat Cuty Suzuki & Mayumi Ozaki at WCW's World War III pay-per-view event. In 1996, Hokuto left AJW to work for Chigusa Nagayo's GAEA Japan promotion. Hokuto returned to WCW to compete in a tournament to crown a new WCW Women's World Champion as herself and as Reina Jubuki. As a result of this, she was stripped of the CMLL Women's World Title on November 4, 1996. However, Hokuto defeated Madusa Miceli to win the tournament final to become the first WCW Women's World Champion on December 29, 1996 in Nashville, TN. Unfortunately, she would have to vacate the title on September 8, 1997 due to injury as well as her pregnancy. Hokuto gave birth to a 6 pounds, 6 ounce baby boy named Kennosuke Sasaki on November 6, 1998.

    Akira Hokuto proved to be the best female worker to never win the WWWA World Singles Title. She had guts and determination in each and every single match. She was also well-known for her interviews. She had great charisma. She will be missed in the ring.

    Recommended matches:

  • 04/15/87: Hisako Uno & Yumiko Hotta vs. Leilani Kai & Judy Martin
  • 04/02/93: Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori
  • 12/06/93: Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori
  • 11/20/94: Akira Hokuto vs. Aja Kong
  • 09/02/95: Akira Hokuto vs. Manami Toyota

    Brian Westcott
    Credit also to: WON, Tim Whitehead, Herb Kunze

    Take care. Let me know what you think about it.

    Brian Westcott
    brianw@micron.net

    Womens Wrestling