香山リカのココロの万華鏡:渕正信的な生き方 /東京

(Mainichi Japan) July 3, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Living life at your own pace, pro-wrestler Fuchi-style
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:渕正信的な生き方 /東京

Readers may be surprised to hear that I am a pro wrestling fan, and I even belong to the fan club for referee Kyohei Wada.

At a recent club meeting, veteran wrestler Masanobu Fuchi also made an appearance.

Fuchi is now 57 years old.

He made his debut at 20 and fought in bouts under legendary wrestler Giant Baba's All Japan Pro-Wrestling organization for his entire career.

The wrestling world, however, underwent seismic changes during Fuchi's time in the ring, particularly when Giant Baba passed away in 1999, sparking strife and division in the organization.
For a while, there were even fears All Japan Pro-Wrestling would disintegrate, but Fuchi stuck with it even through its darkest moments.

Fuchi is not the type to glory in the limelight of the marquee bouts, but rather spends a lot of time fighting in earlier matches and letting younger wrestlers practice their moves on him, gaining him the nickname, "The First-Bout Demon."

Looking at his career, I sometimes find myself wondering how Fuchi compares to regular company employees.

For example, imagine a new employee at a long-standing firm does well and nails down all her duties, but then gets caught in a wave of change that hits her entire industry.

The company founder dies, and coworkers leave one after another for new jobs or to start their own businesses.

Our theoretical employee knows that even if she stays, prospects for promotion are slim to nonexistent.

But, even so, she remains, doing her work at the same efficient pace as ever.

Generally speaking, this does not seem a wise life course in this day and age.

These days, it's thought clever to constantly build your appeal both inside and outside your office, hunt down good chances and change careers at the drop of a hat, always looking to better your position and your salary. もっと自分を内外にアピールして、チャンスを見つけて軽やかにキャリアチェンジし、年収や地位を上げていくのが“いまどきの賢い働き方”だと思われているからだ。

However, in this breathless daily competition you can think of your coworkers as nothing but rivals, while both your mind and your body slowly wear down under the strain, leading eventually to depression.
It is a simple truth that many a "business warrior" ends up just like this.

Fuchi has never spent an extended time out of the ring due to injury or any other cause.

He has persevered in the same organization and at the same level his entire career, and has earned the respect of both the wrestling world and its fans.

In person at the fan club meeting -- the first time I had ever seen him in regular street clothes -- he was the picture of gentleness and composure, and he greeted fans he was meeting for the first time, like me, and old acquaintances with equal grace.

Living life and working in a dog-eat-dog world isn't a bad thing.

Your antennae are always up, you're always looking to grow, and the daily tension involved in always making sure you never miss a chance to move up can be good.

But, I feel I have to say, for those of you rushing through daily life, what is it like to catch a glimpse of people like Fuchi, just moving along at their own pace?

For my own part, of course I think I want to do the same.

毎日新聞 2011年6月28日 地方版

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