May 6, 2003
Sasuke defies his critics
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

Wrestler-turned-politician, The Great Sasuke (Masanori Murakawa), has made true on his promise. Elected to the prefectual assembly in Japan, Sasuke showed up for work in a three-piece suit and his traditional wrestling mask today. The move caused quite a stir even though Sasuke modified his mask to reveal more of his face and sported the emblem of the region he represents.

"I have absolutely no intention of taking it off, no matter how much opposition there is," Sasuke said before taking his place in the council chamber as the representative of the Iwate prefecture. Sasuke had campaigned with the mask on.

Critics have ripped into Sasuke calling his actions "indecent".

"Before you know it prefectural civil servants will all be wearing masks too," one Iwate council employee told Reuters news service.

Councilors will be meeting on Wednesday to rule on whether Sasuke can continue to wear his mask while in the assembly.

Japan is no stranger to wrestlers entering the political arena though. Grapplers Hiroshi Hase and Atsushi Onita (The Great Nita) are members of Japan's parliament. On Saturday, the two fought in their first match against each other at the Osaka International Convention Center. The match was thrown out by the referee when Onita and Hase went completely out of control, Japan Today reported.

Hase, is a House of Representatives member while Onita is a House of Councillors member. Both belong to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.



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