Part 1: "Why am I like this?!" Her despair continued into her idol era. How Maki Itoh discovered her wrestling way of life.

  • text by Mugiko Ozaki
  • translation by Dana Maier

January 4th, 2018, Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling in Korakuen Hall. "Fighting Fired Idol" Maki Itoh enters the ring surrounded by a flurry of red and orange streamers. The way she captures the attention of the venue in an instant is incredible. However, her opponent is the exceptional genius entertainer Danshoku Dieno. During Dieno's entrance he runs riot going wherever he wants, and the audience absolutely explodes.

Power, skill, experience. As an opponent Dieno has more of everything. Itoh has no chance of winning. But just as everyone is thinking that, she uses Dieno's signature move - the Lip Lock. Which is a kiss. And on top of that for her, it was her first kiss.

She loses the match, but leaves people thinking she's actually an amazing joshi wrestler. But at the same time, I feel like, "You didn't have to do the kiss stuff, you were already a star on your own..."

"Because I was young I was just like, 'oh as long as I can make waves that's great.' Like as long as I'm interesting, great. I didn't think about it before or after. I didn't particularly hold it up as My First Kiss, because it was like, moving forward I'll probably get the chance to kiss lots of hot guys so it's fine. I didn't care about anything but pro wrestling." The August 2021 Maki Itoh cackles while reminiscing about that time.

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Because she injured her face a few days before the interview, she shows up at the interview location wearing black sunglasses and a black mask. I couldn't see her facial expressions, so I proceeded with the interview feeling like I was fumbling in the dark.

Itoh was born on July 22nd 1995 in Ogori City, Fukuoka. With Fukuoka City only an hour away by train, it's something of a commuter city. In such an insular town, she'd get teased just for wearing a mini skirt.

"From when I was a kid I was already a big attention seeker, stuff like Mezzo Piano or like, Blue Angel, I wore lots of super cute brand clothing, you know. The older kids would look at me with this feeling of like, "what the heck, what's with her?", like I stuck out and drew a lot of attention. So yeah, I did have problems. I was really bad at connecting with people, no matter what I did they hated me."

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