Wrestler to run for Iwate governor

MORIOKA (Kyodo) Iwate Prefectural Assemblyman and professional wrestler “The Great Sasuke” announced Sunday that he plans to run in the April 8 Iwate gubernatorial election as an independent candidate.

The Great Sasuke, 38, said in a press conference at a hotel here in Iwate’s capital that he intends to continue wearing his mask even if he is elected governor.

“I have been allowed to wear this when I am acting as a prefectural assembly member,” he said.

The Great Sasuke — his ring name and the name he uses as an assemblyman — is known for establishing the first local wrestling organization in Japan, Michinoku Pro Wrestling (Northeastern Wrestling), in 1993. His real name is Masanori Murakawa.