38 Questions with Hiromu Takahashi (KAMAITACHI) Interview (translated by me!)
Hello everyone. After I attended Wrestle Kingdom 11 I picked up an issue of "New World" magazine, an official NJPW publication. I've always wanted to try translating Japanese wrestling articles and here is my first attempt! Hiromu is probably my favourite junior/cruiserweight currently going, his "suicidal" style, lunatic character and legit "star" aura make him very interesting to me, hence why I chose this article.
Firstly, I'm not exactly sure when this was written, but it's definitely before his return to New Japan which was in November.
Secondly... I have been in Japan for around 9 months. I am absolutely not fluent but have some knowledge, researched and done my best to be as accurate as possible. I'm no professional! Any comments by me I feel are necessary, I will use . Let's go!
Who is KAMAITACHI?
As we eagerly await his return to Japan, which could happen at any moment, we attempt to press this man to try and reveal his true colours!
1. Please introduce yourself to our readers!
I'm Hiromu Takahashi. Three years ago I went on a wrestling excursion. Currently I'm competing in CMLL under the name KAMAITACHI.
2. What do you think has changed about you the most during your excursion?
I think the things that have changed the most would be my outward appearance and my overall skill. My attitude since before the excursion hasn't changed at all.
3. What matches in Mexico have left an impression on you?
Mask/Hair vs Mask/Hair matches.
4. Up until now what do you consider your best matches?
Dragon Lee vs KAMAITACHI (January 24 2016, Korakuen Hall)
KAMAITACHI vs Dragon Lee (April 4 2016, Arena México)
5. Could you explain your usual work schedule in Mexico?
A typical week would consist of 1 match on Monday, 1 on Tuesday, 2 on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 1 on Friday, 2 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. Then another typical week would be taking Monday to Sunday off. [He could be joking here, but if that really was his schedule that's insane!]
6. Please tell us one of your signature moves!
The Rainbow Dream [I believe this is the dropkick to the outside when he lands flat on his back.]
What do the Mexican wrestlers and friends address you as?
Hiromu, Kama, also Takenouchi.
8. Can you tell us some Spanish you have learned?
Soy! el campeón!! (I am the champion!)
Soy! el número uno!! (I am number one!)
9. What do you do on days you don't have a match?
I sleep a hell of a lot, then I watch various videos of matches and study them.
10. Right now what are you crazy about/into/addicted to?
11. Do you have any hobbies?
12. Are there any differences between Japanese and Mexican wrestling?
The fundamentals thins are the same, but things like the timing and the spaces in between action differ, at first it took some getting used to. But both have the same goal of telling a story, no matter where the country. It's about people feeling emotion, being invested, that's what's important.
13. What places do you like in Mexico?
Acapulco, I find it's a town that heals me!
14. So, can you cook any Mexican dishes?
Carnita tacos, with lots of pork!
15. What was the thing that surprised you the most about Mexico?
Mexico City is a metropolis just like Tokyo, and that there weren't cactuses lining the streets.
16. When you wrestled at Fantasticamania on January 24, it had been a while since you had performed in Japan. how did you feel coming back?
Just as I had thought previously, being inside a NJPW ring is the absolute best place to perform in!
17. Have you ever watched NJPW matches on NJPW World?
Thanks to it, I watch matches every day! It would be a mistake or me not to do so.
18. Is there any other segment/show on NJPW World that has caught your eye?
19. Fujin and Raijin, who do you have a better connection with?
My relationship with both is so good, neither has entered inside me! [I'm really not sure what he means here. I know that Fujin and Raijin are wind and thunder gods that enter children's belly buttons if they are exposed during a thunderstorm. But yeah, really not sure on this one, sorry!]
20. Who are the wrestlers you respect the most?
Tetsuya Naito, Prince Devitt [Finn Balor] and Masahiro Chono.
21. Why did you want to become a pro wrestler?
It was in my first summer break of middle school,in 2002. When I turned on the TV, it was the G1 Climax Finals. In the ring the wrestlers were just too cool, and I wanted to be strong and athletic like them. It was then I decided I would become a pro wrestler.
22. How did you decide on your signature red hair colour?
My hair protruded out of my mask, and I dyed my hair red to match the colour of the mask. Even though not all of my hair could be seen I still dyed it all the way to the scalp. And it was a good thing I did, because I ended up losing a mask vs mask match!
23. Do you have any particular fashion style?
24. What type of woman do you like?
Someone who's earnest and family orientated. I don't care about looks or age!
25. What's something that somebody said to you that has stuck with you until today?
Even now I won't forget this. When I was a trainee, no matter what I did, everything was crap and I just couldn't perform at the required level. It pissed me off every sinks day and it continued for a while. Then one day, in the dojo, someone said to me "If it's okay with you, I'm gonna teach you to wrestle." If those words hadn't been said, I would never have debuted. And who was that person, who put his time and faith in me and said those words? Naito.
26. Until now what has been your happiest moment?
Becoming a champion in Japan.
27. What about your biggest regret?
Not being able to defend my CMLL title.
28. Do you have a favourite motto?
"Tread on a worm and it will turn."
29. What is your favourite book (including manga)?
Weekly Pro Wrestling magazine and Monthly Mu magazine. [which appears to be about UFO's and conspiracies!]
30. What kind of music do you listen to?
CHAGE and ASKA.
31. Do you have any habits or rituals before a match?
I pray for my family.
32. When do you find yourself missing Japan?
All the time. I love Mexico, but Japan will always be the most important to me.
33. Right now what's something you absolutely won't lose at?
Heart. I won't give up now!
34. If you have a weakness, can you (secretly) tell us?
35. What kind of nickname/tagline do you want associated with you?
I'm really feeling "The Red Whirlwind" right now!
36. Could you tell us exactly when you'll be returning to Japan?
I still don't know that myself.
37. What are your aspirations for the future?
Win the IWGP belt and have the best matches of my career.
38. Finally, do you have a few words for NJPW fans?
I'm not gonna be losing to anybody in the junior division!
So there you have it! Well now he's the IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, I guess we have some great matches to look forward to!