It’s been quite the day for vanquishing bullies here on RocketNews24. First we heard the story of a violent club host being arrested following outcry on the internet, and now a pro wrestling teenager has taken down a demon in an effort to raise awareness of the bullying in Japan’s schools.
As reported by Asahi Digital, in a special pro wrestling event held last Sunday in Kamigyou ward, Kyoto, a young man who once suffered at the hands of school bullies put on an incredible show by quite literally wrestling “The King of Bullies” to the ground.
Fourteen-year-old Naoki Higashi was asked to take part in the outdoor event after a scout from the Kyoto pro wrestling group heard that he had been subjected to bullying in the past and recognised him as an individual with a strong moral sense.
Bullying has become a increasing problem in Japan recently, and was brought into the media spotlight this year when a 13-year-old student at a junior high school in Shiga prefecture committed suicide after suffering months of abuse at the hands of bullies.
▼The bullied student tragically killed himself in September this year
Sunday’s event in Kyoto was organised by 43-year-old music producer and pro wrestling representative Kenji Nakamura, who, after hearing the sad news of the Shiga boy’s suicide, wanted to send a firm message of “bullying extermination” to the entire nation. Nakamura spotted young Naoki at a special youth-oriented pro wrestling summer camp, and, believing him to have a strong sense of justice, asked him to take part in an organised wrestling match to make a statement to bullies nationwide, as well as inspire bullying victims to find courage.
According to the Asahi Shinbun, Naoki has been interested in pro wrestling since he was very small, and would often watch matches with his grandfather, who taught him to lead a life to be proud of and to never commit an act as lowly as abusing the weak.
It was this instilled sense of justice, unfortunately, that led to Naoki himself being bullied at school when, standing up for a classmate who was being picked on, the bullies turned on him instead.
Thankfully, Naoki remains unshaken and trains hard every day using a set of weights that used to belong to his grandfather who, sadly, passed away last year. His ultimate goal is to be– of course– a full-time pro wrestler and “to grow stronger and give others hope.”
On the day of the match, young Naoki entered the ring wearing black trunks and awaited his opponent, a member of the pro wrestling group wearing a demon mask and calling himself the King of Bullies. Treated to quite a display of skill, the crowd of around 100 people soon whipped themselves up into a frenzy and began chanting Naoki’s name as he grappled with the fully grown man.
Six minutes into the match, Naoki caught the demon bully in a sleeper hold and forced him to submit. Standing before the crowd, Naoki gave bullied kids across Japan a message of hope, telling them to stand proud and to realise that “bullies are beneath you.”
The very best of luck to Naoki in his future career- we could do with a few more like him in the world!