A professional wrestler who fought his way to victory in local assembly elections under his ring name and wearing his trademark mask has vowed the mask will not leave his face even after he enters the staid halls of Japanese politics.
“This is my face,” the wrestler — known as “The Great Sasuke” — was quoted by the Nikkan Sports newspaper as saying of his black and white full-face mask with bright scarlet streaks and golden wings by the eye holes.
“I won support from voters with this face, and to take it off would be breaking promises,” the 33-year-old wrestler, whose real name is Masanori Murakawa, said of his victory in conservative Iwate prefecture, some 460 km (290 miles) north of Tokyo.
Catching opponents on the back foot to take one of 10 assembly seats, the wrestler said he now hopes to demonstrate his “superabundant power” outside of the ring as well as in it.
Sasuke’s vow to go masked into the halls of power in Japan, where battles have been fought in the past over legislators refusing to don neckties, has authorities scratching their heads.