Which had Joe loved Yoko or Noriko?

The usual questions about 'Ashita no Joe’ are, the first, whether Joe was dead or alive.

The second is this, which Joe had loved Yoko or Noriko.

Actually, one of the creators Chiba answered the second question, “Noriko."

So why didn’t Chiba’s answer end the debate?

There are the circumstances.

'Ashita no Joe’ was created by two people.

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

Chiba wasn’t just a drawer but added some arrangement to the story.

Some characters in it were made by Chiba.

They were people in Sanya, except for Danpei.

He made Noriko, her parents, and the children.



 Hayashis behind Joe Yabuki
Joe is watching Rikiishi on TV during his work. Chiba says the models of Mr.and Mrs. Hayashi are his parents.

Ashita no Joe (6) P158 (c)TakamoriAsao ChibaTetsuya 2012


In the first draft by Takamori, Joe had already been a professional boxer at the beginning, and the story started on the match.

Chiba thought that the readers couldn’t follow such a heavy atmosphere from the outset, then he added the first part of Sanya.



Joe Yabuki passed the test to be a professional boxer
Sanya people celebrate Joe’s qualification for a professional boxer. Actually, Chiba is in this picture.
Chiba Tetsuya in the party for Yabuki Joe
This man on the far right of this large picture is a self-portrait of Chiba.

Ashita no Joe (6) P133-134 (c)TakamoriAsao ChibaTetsuya 2012



Takamori wasn’t going to write about the people in Sanya or their relaxing lives.

In brief, Noriko was not in the original 'Ashita no Joe.’ by the author.

We wonder whether we should obediently think that Joe had liked Noriko, who the author didn’t make.

On the other hand, Yoko was made by Takamori.

He has written a love story between a bad boy and an upper-class lady in his other work, 'Ai to makoto(For love’s sake).’


Ai to makoto TakamoriAsao
Ai to makoto/For love’s sake Takamori (=Kajiwara Ikki) wrote this as the original for comic, it was adapted to the movies several times


Yoko was the typical character of the works by Takamori.

He must have thought of her as the partner of Joe.

Takamori passed away without saying, so we’ll never know for sure.

To take only Chiba’s statements on the matter seems unfair to Takamori.

These are the reasons we continue to discuss “Yoko or Noriko."


Shiraki Yoko and Hayashi Noriko in Tange Gym
When Carlos visited Tange Gym. Yoko stared at Noriko taking care of Joe’s personal needs.

Tomorrow’s Joe (13) P94 (c)TakamoriAsao ChibaTetsuya 2012


As Joe’s love was an unspoken part of the comics, the creators have allowed us to believe each impression.

I have heard many opinions about this, and it seems that a person who likes Yoko says Joe had loved Yoko, and a person who likes Noriko says Joe had loved Noriko.

Which do you like Yoko or Noriko? And which do you think Joe had loved?