Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

Tenshin Yonemura


Recommended Posts

Tenshin Yonemura (米村天心)

Real name: Tsutomu Yonemura (米村勉)
Professional names: Tsutomu Yonemura, Tenshin Yonemura
Life: 12/16/1946-6/20/2016
Born: Kasumi District, Akita, Japan
Career: 1972-1996
Height/Weight: 179cm/110kg (5'10";242 lbs.)
Signature moves: Bear hug
Promotions: International Wrestling Enterprise
Titles: none

Summary: Tenshin Yonemura was a lifelong undercarder for the IWE who remained in the business afterward through shows in his city.

Tsutomu Yonemura wrestled for the Takeshima sumo stable, debuting in September 1962. He eventually reached makushita under the shikona of Takanobori, but he struggled to perform well and retired after the first tournament of 1969. After this, Yonemura found work as a trainer in the bodybuilding gym of former lightweight weightlifting champion and onetime JWA wrestler Takao Kaneko. At Kaneko’s recommendation, Yonemura would join the IWE in June 1972. He was a quick study, debuting in September. Stylistically, Yonemura was a “rough” fighter who admired Dick the Bruiser. Profiles in the Showa Puroresu fanzine recall that Yonemura could be seen accompanying gaikokujin to the ring as a second while wearing their shirt. While seen as a promising candidate for an overseas expedition, Yonemura never got the chance. In spring 1980, he was rechristened Tenshin Yonemura.

After the IWE folded, Yonemura opened a chanko restaurant in Aizu-Wakamatsu. He would never wrestle fulltime again, but he aligned himself with the All Japan wing of his former promotion, making one or two special appearances a year when the promotion stopped by. This lasted until 1987, but even this wasn’t quite the end of Yonemura’s career, as he made appearances at local shows in the early 1990s. Cagematch records two of these: an SWS show in February 1992 and an Oriental Pro show in February 1993. However, Japanese sources state that he appeared for other promotions such as Goro Tsurumi's IWA Kakutō Shijuku, and that his final match was in 1996, two years after his retirement date as claimed by Cagematch. Yonemura was also responsible for introducing future AJPW wrestler Kazushi Miyamoto to Giant Baba, as Miyamoto was a member of his son's sumo club.

Yonemura died on June 2, 2016.


AJPW visits Yonemura's Yagura Taiko restaurant (circa late 1980s).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...