KinchStalker Posted April 23, 2022 Report Share Posted April 23, 2022 Ringu Yori Ai O Komete (“With Love From The Ring”) is a 1981 autobiography by Jumbo Tsuruta. At just over 200 pages, the book is an interesting snapshot of the kayfabe around the wrestler as he turned thirty. My series of posts on the 2020 biography by Kagehiro Osano already covers much of this, and for the most part I’m not going to repeat that stuff here. Think of this thread more as fun flavor text. There are six chapters, and I have transcribed all but the last, which appears to be largely poetry. (Note to Loss: This stuff is light enough that I don’t think it warrants a new thread for each post like the aforementioned bio.) Chapter One Tsuruta gives the kayfabe version of his birth, which goes that he was named Tomomi because he seemed small. He gives a little info about his mother’s first marriage. She bore two children to a man who “drank wine all day” and got on very badly with her mother-in-law, until she walked back home to her father and cried. Many years later, Tsuruta would meet his half-sister Toshiko, who he claims asked to see him backstage at a show. (Tsuruta would support her bar, Champion, with free advertising; I recently tweeted a photo of him there.) In the modern day, Tsuruta claims that his mother becomes “like a child” when she watches wrestling, shouting at the top of her lungs: “Tomomi! Go for it! Suplex! That's right, hit him! Go! Ref, count, count, count! Count!" However, when he asks her favorite wrestlers, she basically names everyone but him, then says “I don’t like how the Yamanashi boy is acting” when he asks what she thinks of him. His father was a veteran. (Tsuruta repeats the story that he died the day after his son returned from Munich, which Osano debunked.) Tsuruta recalls wanting to be like Takeda Shingen, the 16th-century warlord who was born in his native province, when he was a child. Tsuruta directly references Shingen’s famous Fūrinkazan banner—which literally reads “Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain", but is understood as shorthand for the line "as swift as wind, as gentle as forest, as fierce as fire, as unshakable as mountain” from The Art of War —and claims he thought of it to calm himself during his first flight to America. Possibly relevant cultural context: this book was published a year after Akira Kurosawa’s film Kagemusha, a historical drama about a criminal doppleganger of Shingen who is forced to impersonate the dying warlord. The Fūrinkazan banner is shown prominently in the film’s powerful ending, sunk in the river. Tsuruta claims that he is haunted by an incident where he fell asleep on top of a cat and suffocated it when he was a teenager. He recalls that he was locked in the barn one night without food for skipping on his farm duties (cutting grass for the cows). His first love was a classmate in fifth grade. So smitten was he that, when he was at their school for a summer track and field training camp, he snuck into their classroom one night. He wrote her name on the chalkboard, and took her seat cushion to use as a pillow. Now, he thinks that was strange, but at the time it made him feel happy and excited. This story ended in humiliation, as he was forced to sit across from her for lunch one day. Too nervous to eat until the girl next to him asked why, Tsuruta grabbed his milk…only to pour it into his nose. Tsuruta’s first year of college coincided with lengthy student protests. He still practiced basketball, but there were no classes. It was a time where he felt guilty over choosing to go to college, as his family was bearing this financial burden when he had so little to show for it. Tsuruta tells one lie about the Munich Olympics that bothers me a little. I believe him when he writes that the Black September attack was a traumatic event. However, he claims that he had been scheduled to wrestle one of the men who was killed. Neither of the two Israeli wrestlers who were killed, Eliezer Halfin and Mark Slavin, competed in Tsuruta’s division. This is the one passage of the book that makes me wish it was ghostwritten, although I could not find any compositional credit. On a lighter note, even a light drinker such as Tomomi could not go to Munich without a taste of beer. However, he was so taken by the beautiful blonde woman who served it that he spilled it on his lap. Tsuruta then comments that the Moscow Olympic boycott had been a great shame. (His future tag partner, Yoshiaki Yatsu, would most certainly agree.) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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