Since when did Yoko love Joe? – Author’s comments are available


When did Yoko Shiraki fall in love with Joe Yabuki?

Hadn’t Yoko loved Rikiishi when he lived?

They weren’t talked about in the comics, but the author Takamori clearly spoke to his family during his lifetime.

At the 50th anniversary event in 2018, Takamori’s words were open to the public by his elder son.


According to them,

“Though Yoko didn’t realize it, she had loved Joe since he resisted her at the juvenile training school."


Yoko Shiraki Esmeralda
After acting Esmeralda, Yoko was pointed out her hypocrisy by Joe.

Ashita no Joe (2) P9 (c)TakamoriAsao ChibaTetsuya 2012


Are you surprised?

Or is it just as you thought?

I think that Rikiishi was too submissive to be an object of romantic interest to her.

On the other hand, Joe saw through her hypocrisy and gave her a strong shock.

'Shock’ was something that Yoko, who was bored her rich life, was looking for without being conscious of it.

So I was convinced by his explanation, but Yoko’s love was more complicated than I imagined.


Takamori said,

“At the same time, she had wanted to see Joe be broken."

Comics were considered just children’s things when 'Ashita no Joe’ was serialized.

Who could imagine that a character in a comic had such a complicated love?


Takamori continued,

“The contraction in Yoko’s mind was broken in the fifth round of the oriental title match against Kim.

Joe was almost dying by being struck continuously.


Joe Yabuki
During the title match, after Chom Chom by Kim

Tomorrow’s Joe (16) P90 (c)TakamoriAsao ChibaTetsuya 2012


It must have been the thing Yoko desired.

However, she pressed Danpei to withdraw from the match in her ardent desire to save Joe.

It was the moment she was prostrated her own love."


Yoko Shiraki
Joe splashed water on Yoko, when she pressed Danpei to withdraw.

Ashita no Joe (16) P100 (c)TakamoriAsao ChibaTetsuya 2012


We know that love sometimes involves hate and Yoko surely seemed to, but it’s impossible for children to understand it.

Of course, Takamori knew it, but he hid in Yoko such a real love that puts novels for adults to shame.

He precisely hid it.


I must explain this again,

'Ashita no Joe’ was created by two persons.

The author Takamori wrote the manuscripts and the artist Chiba made its comic.

Chiba sometimes added some arrangement to the story.


Chiba has asked Takamori once during the serialization, “Yoko formerly seemed to like Rikiishi, but now, she seems to like Joe. Which does she love?"

Takamori then replied, “You’ll see before long."

No one knows the reason why Takamori didn’t tell Chiba of Yoko’s thinking.


Takamori was known as a lady’s man and his love affairs with actresses were talked about several times.

He must have learned women’s minds.

In contrast, Chiba wasn’t a romantic type at all.

In fact, Chiba, who added many elements to Takamori’s manuscript, revealed afterward that he avoided writing the relationship of Yoko, Rikiishi, and Joe.

“I knew that there was a complicated triangle among the three, and I should write it, but I was not good at the romance genre."

Takamori may have thought Chiba couldn’t understand Yoko even if he explained it.


Chiba had gotten no clear information about Yoko’s love.

As if he was a reader.

The story progressed without Yoko’s real thinking coming to the surface.


The author Takamori led 'Ashita no Joe’ disguise it as a children’s comic.

The gimmick he set in it started working after many years had passed since the end of its serialization.


Yoko Shiraki
Joe has gone to the ring to fight against Jose. Yoko was left behind in the empty room.


Ashita no Joe (20) P8 (c)TakamoriAsao ChibaTetsuya 2012


The readers had grown and read this series again, then they found behind Yoko something different than they had in their childhood.

After more few years, they read it again and found something again.


Thus, 'Ashita no Joe’ hasn’t disappeared from the book stores in Japan for fifty years.


If you are interested in Joe’s love, read this:

Which had Joe loved Yoko or Noriko?