Image © New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., Ltd.

A new episode means a new (belated) summary of Ibushi’s NJPW mobile site-exclusive podcast, “Ibushi’s World”, with commentator Murata Haruo.

As always, [] are annotations by the translator. The original content is © New Japan Pro Wrestling.

After a brief introduction, the episode opens with a question from a listener relayed by Murata. The question asks what type of behavior he likes or what kind of fetish he has when it comes to women. Ibushi wonders what, when it comes to detailed stuff like this, counts as a fetish or not, at what point it’s considered a fetish. Murata gives some examples of what he thinks (liking hands, liking smiles, etc; i.e. mostly unusual things about people that you’re attracted to), and they talk a bit about how people are different and like different things.

In the end, Ibushi says that he likes people who talk more than him. He talks a lot himself, but he’s more the type to answer questions and not ask them himself as much, preferring when others guide the discussion. He also states he likes people who laugh a lot, who smile a lot. He adds that he doesn’t have any weird, specific fetishes.

The listener also mentioned junk food before the question (how Ibushi keeps his physique despite eating and loving junk food), and so Murata asks if Ibushi has been doing that while in rehab. Ibushi clarifies that he divides his time into periods when he eats junk food and when he doesn’t, and that he he keeps a calculated eye on [his weight and shape].

Murata asks at what time then he allows himself to eat junk food. First, Ibushi says that, because once you start eating junk food you come back to it again and again and can’t stop, he has times when he just goes wild with it, and those are the aforementioned periods. Sometimes he also eat it before working out, contrary to what people might think.

Murata asks about cheat days, and the theme from a previous episode continues, wherein Ibushi says that he’s no good with plans and schedules, because it stresses him out immensely when he’s set up a plan and then feels like he has to adhere to it (like with the routine before matches). In this case, he doesn’t have a set time or amount for cheat days in a week, just going with the flow when his body tells him it needs junk food to go on.

Going on, Murata asks what Ibushi is eating these days when he can’t work out, or work out less than he usually does. Ibushi answers that he eat more freely and more healthy than usual. He eats a lot of fruit. Murata asks about all the doctor visits and examinations Ibushi goes through, and Ibushi says that his blood pressure has been low and that he intakes too much salt.

He explains that this isn’t just because of him eating so much cheese, but because he puts salt on everything, even if the thing is already pretty salty, like salty chips [he touched on this in interviews before]. Murata is in disbelief he would put extra salt on salty chips and Ibushi repeatedly says it’s because it’s not salty enough for him. They talk a bit about Kagoshima where Ibushi is from, and that in the northern, colder regions food is often deeply flavored and people like salty things, so they surmise that is probably one reason for Ibushi’s strange preference.

After talking more about foods which Ibushi puts salt on (like rice, and the various side dishes/toppings for it like chicken and fish), and what in order he eats it, Murata says once more that Ibushi eats too much salt, and Ibushi says that before, he probably lost a lot of it via sweating, which he can’t do as much these days.

Next, Murata reads more questions from listeners, with the theme of today’s episode being love and relationships. The first listener asks, because Ibushi has been saying in the past a lot that he wants to get married one day, what the progress with that is, and if his preferences [for partners etc] have changed as he got older. Murata reads another question right after, this one asking what he thinks marriage is. And a third questions asks about advice for romantic relationships and whether or not marriage is necessary or good.

To the first question, Ibushi says that this is the 8th year he’s been saying that of course, he wants to get married, but he can’t. So he hasn’t made any progress in that regard at all. As for the second part of the first question, about changes in what he likes in partners over the years, Ibushi answers that he gets asked a lot what his type is etc, but that the people he has been going out until now have all been very different. He wonders if he even has a type. Murata returns to the previous point about Ibushi being no good with things that are set in stone.

Ibushi also explains that every year, he says he wants to get married and this will be the year to do it, but as soon as he says it, he doesn’t want to get married anymore all of a sudden. Murata says this pertains to the second question that asks what marriage is for Ibushi. Ibushi says he’s like that in general with things he wants: he thinks he wants them, but when he isn’t able to attain them, he starts thinking about not wanting them at all. Murata says that probably, for people like Ibushi and the listener with the second question, “I want to get married” quickly becomes “I have to get married”, and that is draining for them. And when you’re tired and worried, you can’t get married. Ibushi agrees.

Murata summarizes that it’s no good to search for a marriage partner while thinking that marriage is something you have to do, and that you should enjoy your life [this is directed at both the listener with the question and Ibushi]. He goes over to the third question, in which the listener also says that they probably shouldn’t get married yet because they are really into wrestling right now and they don’t want to lose their freedom. Both him and Ibushi agree it’s okay to think like that and that it’s probably not yet the right time for that person then.

Murata advises the listener that the thoughts about potentially losing your freedom but wanting to married, and thoughts about the future are two different things. Ibushi adds that when focusing on just one thing, as he frequently does, you lose sight of everything else, and that goes for relationships too, [so finding a partner while focusing on wrestling as the listener with the question does is hard].

Murata says that he knows a lot of wives and mothers who watch wrestling, and that he wants the listeners not to think that just because they aren’t married or can’t married, that this is the reason why they can’t do or achieve anything.

Ibushi thinks that, if he got married, he wouldn’t be able to continue the life he leads now. Once he gets married he can’t just say, oh, my bad, and return to wrestling. He says that marriage is a life-changing event and that if you have to think about it properly and not halfheartedly, otherwise you won’t be able to do chores and things well. If you’re serious about love and marriage, wrestling [gets in the way of that]. Murata adds that Ibushi is like that too: he’s bad at multitasking or concentrating on multiple things at once, but that everyone is different.

Continuing, Murata asks what kind of spouse Ibushi wants to be, or if he has any thoughts about what marriage for him would be like once he did get married. Ibushi says that, simply put, he would become happy and would love his family, his children. He would love to have a boy and a girl. On Murata’s inquiry (Ibushi has an older brother), he says that he always wanted a younger and an older sister. He wants to experience what’s it’s like to have a family like everyone else does. He talks about a father he knows and how, when he sees him with his son, he wants that too.

When Murata says that after he’s fulfilled his goals in the ring, he should [fulfill his goals in life too], Ibushi says that he won’t give up on getting married, but that he thinks about what he would gain and what he would lose, and the balance between the two. Murata asks if the domestic Ibushi and the Ibushi that he’s showing to the fans right now would be able to coexist once he got married. Ibushi says that he thinks the Ibushi Kota he is right now would disappear. Instead, he would become Ibushi Kota the dad, someone more docile and careful.

Murata brings up Tanahashi and his balancing of wrestling and family and how, when you see him, you get the impression he’s definitely a good father. He asks if Ibushi is basing anything on Tanahashi. Ibushi says that he got used to the idea of marriage while seeing [Tanahashi’s] resolve, and that it made him want to support that. He says that while he is intent on getting married, he is also worried about it, and that if he got married right now, it would come across as really weird (the timing etc, but also that people would rather assume he’s not okay than that he’s okay if he got married now). Murata sums up that he wants to become a good wrestling dad, and Ibushi agrees.

They talk for a while about how Ibushi would change if he had kids, and he jokes that he would probably more often take the three count than risk injury and thus worrying his kids, even in a title match. If he came home and his kids would ask about why he lost, he would [lie and] say he didn’t feel good today or that he had a fever and had to excuse himself to bed. Murata jokes that it would be better than for Ibushi the family man to quit [wrestling] in that case.

At the end, Ibushi says that he doesn’t think marriage is as ordinary and expected for him as it seemingly is in today’s society. He thinks that, apart from attaining that happiness, he wouldn’t change much at all, and that one can achieve joy and happiness in life even if one is alone, as long as you don’t strain yourself too hard.