Item# ed103
Availability: Usually ships the next business day.
  • SKU ED103
  • Weight 0.25 lbs
  • Discs 1
  • Subtitle Rating Excellent
  • Video Rating Excellent
  • Audio Rating Excellent
  • Episodes 139 min
  • Subtitles English & Korean
  • Languages Korean//
  • A chronicle of the life of Korean-born wrestler Rikidozan, who, after being barred from Japanese wrestling because of his ethnic origins, became a sensation in the United States in the 1950s.The film begins in the years before Kim (played by local actor Sul Kyung-gu) became the celebrity wrestler Rikidozan, or Yokdosan in Korean. Immigrating from what is now North Korea, Kim joins a sumo stable with hopes of becoming a champion in the traditional Japanese sport. But despite his passion, Kim is treated cruelly by his peers for being of "Choson" or Korean descent, and is later barred from competing for the champion title of "yokozuna" because of his ethnicity.Just when it seemed that he's hit rock bottom, Kim gets his eyes opened to the newly emerging style of wrestling in the United States, the predecessor to the WWE we're all familiar with today. With the financial help from his patron and crime boss Kanno Takeo (Fuji Tatsuya), Kim goes to the US to learn the moves and returns as a star, one of the first to bring the sport to Japanese soil.Through fixed matches where Kim takes on and bests various "American foes" the wrestler becomes the pride of post-war Japan. The irony that Rikidozan is actually Korean - a fact that wasn't widely known in Japan at that time- isn't lost on director Song Hae-sung, who plays out the contradiction through the spectacle of a wrestling match.For much of the movie, Kim's outsider status becomes the driving theme, and his frustration is expressed through his tendency to go to extremes. The cartoon violence of professional wrestling slowly becomes intertwined with Kim's belligerence and his constant need to prove himself, to best opponents in and out of the ring.
  • Scroll to top