Tag Archives: Matsada Sorakichi

Sports And Pastimes

The Syracuse Standard – March 28, 1884

Joe Acton is anxious to wrestle any man in the world, catch-as-catch-can, for from $500 to $1,000 a side.

Duncan C. Ross will wrestle, in Cleveland on April 7, with Sorakichi, the Jap.  Two bouts will be Japanese style, and two catch-as-catch-can.  If a fifth turn is necessary, the choice of style will be tossed for.

The Jap Overmatched

Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette – June 17, 1884

Joe Acton Downs Him at His Own Game in Short Order.

Special to the Commercial Gazette.

PHILADELPHIA, PA., June 16. – About 500 persons were attracted to Pastime Park this afternoon to witness the wrestling match between the well-known Joe Acton, champion catch-as-catch-can style, and Matsada Sorakichi.  It was arranged that they should have two trials at the two kinds of wrestling and in the event of a tie score the final to be decided at Graeco-Roman.  A few minutes before 4 o’clock the men appeared stripped to the waist, Acton was very fleshy while the Jap with tanned skin looked like a bronze Hercules.  It proved to be a very tame affair, the Jap being very much overmatched.  The first fall was in Acton’s style and he secured it in two minutes and thirty-four seconds.  After a fresh of a few minutes the Japanese style was tried and by a clever trick Sorakichi let Acton overbalance himself, and to recover he touched the ground with his hands, thus losing the fall.  Another Japanese bout was tried, and Acton this time got hold of Sorakichi and had him down in one minute and thirty-five seconds.  The next, and what proved to be the last throw was catch-as-catch-can, Acton won in one minute and thirty-five seconds.

Latest Sporting

The National Police Gazette: New York – April 23, 1887

At Toronto on April 4 James Faulkner and Matsada Sorakichi, the Japanese champion wrestler, appeared in a wrestling contest.  Sorakichi and Faulkner came out stripped to the waist, the former weighing 155 pounds and the latter 138 pounds.  Both are splendid specimens of muscular manhood and look, owing to their enormous muscles, fine open chests and broad shoulders, to weigh a great deal more than they really do.  They wrestled three falls and gave a splendid exhibition of scientific work, bringing well out all of the finer points and positions of the art.  Many a so called match for stakes has been given in Toronto and not half so apparently earnestly contested as was this exhibition affair.  Catch-as-catch-can was the style all through.  For a full quarter of an hour they struggled in the first bout, each man exhibiting the agility of a cat in getting out of tight places.  Time and again it looked as if one or the other must give way.  But at the critical moment they would get from under.  A peculiar feature was the extraordinary strength of the Jap’s neck.  Any amount of straining on the part of his opponent appeared so much time wasted.  Ever and anon when Faulkner caught him by the legs he would straighten himself out and twisting like a top on his head save a fall and come up smiling for another tussel.  The greater part of the time Matsada was on the defensive, but Faulkner also proved himself remarkably quick and clever at wriggling out of unpleasant and threatening positions.  At length the Jap got a half Nelson hold and his lighter antagonist laid flat on his back.  A short interval and they tore at each other again, the work at times being decidedly rough.  This time Faulkner showed his adeptness by securing the Jap by his legs and giving him a fair flying fall.  Although it looked to the spectators as if Matsada could easily have kept his opponent from scoring, Faulkner declares that he has won scores of bouts in exactly the same way in genuine contests.  Time, 8 minutes.  Although each man was somewhat pumped from his previous efforts, the third fall, which came in six minutes, was equally as earnestly worked for as either of the others.  From the bridge the Jap got a half Nelson and hammerlock on the Englishman, and the three points went down.  The audience was evidently much pleased with the exhibition.  Mr. J. F. Scholes was referee.

The Jap Too Much For Daly

The Sun – March 25, 1884

Five Feet Six Whirls Six Feet Two Twice To The Floor.

Wasting Strength On The Vanquished Han After His Fall And Holding On Until Police Captain McCullagh Pulled Him Off.

Capt. James C. Daly, the Irish champion, presented a splendid physique when he appeared on the platform in Clarendon Hall last evening to wrestle with Matsada Sorakichi, the Japanese wonder.  Daly stood six feet two, and gave his weight as 220 pounds.  He wore bright green tights.  His skin had a healthy and transparent glow which showed the working of muscle and every movement of his body.  Sorakichi was also stripped to the waist, and appeared all muscle.  His broad face wore a smile of confidence.  He stood five foot six, and weighed 185 pounds.  A brother Jap stepped from the crowd of five hundred in the hall to act as interpreter, and Steve O’Donnell was his umpire and handler.  Mr. William Barry attended to Capt. Daly.  Pop Whittaker was master of ceremonies and referee. Continue reading

The Life Of The “Jap”

Rochester Democrat And Chronicle – August 18, 1891

A Biography of Matsada Sarakachi the Wrestler.

He Was Well Known Here

Having Wrestled in Rochester Theaters Many Times While Connected With Various Athletic Combinations – Ups and Downs of His Life.

Matsada Sorakichi, the wrestler, better known as the “Jap,” who died in New York on Sunday, was well known in Rochester, having wrestled here many times.  His last appearance was with the Turner Gaisty Girls Company at the Bijou Theater.  Then he wrestled with Hugh Leonard, the match being for $100 a side and exciting great interest.  Leonard won in two falls. Continue reading

A Wrestling Farce

The Evening Telegram – March 11, 1884

Sorakichi Astonishes Bibby By His Lightning Tricks.

About four hundred persons assembled at Clarendon Hall last night to witness a wrestling match on which it was said the sum of $400 stake money depended.  The men engaged for the performance were Edwin Bibby and Matsada Sorakichi, who claims to be the champion of Japan.  They had previously wrestled in catch-as-catch-can style at Irving Hall, when Bibby won easily, the Jap having no knowledge of that way of wrestling.  Last night the tables were turned when Bibby undertook to meet Sorakichi at the latter’s game of Japanese wrestling.  According to Japanese rules the men enter the nine foot circle and the first to go outside the lines loses the fall, or should either of the contestants touch the floor with any part of the body except the feet it is a fall.  “Pop” Whitaker was chosen referee and endeavored to find out what the rules were but Bibby did not know and Sorakichi could not speak English.  In sheer despair Whitaker called “time,” and the men, stripped to the waist, faced one another.  The Jap at once rushed Bibby across to the side of the stage, then turned round and threw up his hands to claim a fall.  Bibby clutched him around the neck, but the Jap carried him across the stage and hung on to the ropes.  The Englishman continued to haul away at the Jap till Captain McCullagh told him to stop.  Another attempt was then made to get at an understanding regarding the rules.  Bibby said he knew nothing about any nine foot ring, but he would wrestle “anything down a fall.”  Sorakichi consulted with a Japanese lady and gentleman in the audience, and Bibby’s terms were accepted as binding.  Time was called again, the men faced each other, the Jap jumped at Bibby, then jumped back again and the Englishman came forward on his hands and knees, whereupon Sorakichi gave him a resounding spank on his back – the whole occupying six seconds.  The audience roared with laughter, and even Bibby joined in at the idea of his being tricked so easily.  The second fall was taken by the Jap in 26 ¼ seconds, and a third in 10 ¼ seconds.  The latter was not allowed, for some reason not altogether plain to the onlookers, and Sorakichi held up four fingers to indicate he had already won four falls.  He obliged again, however, and this time Bibby stood up straighter and got a neck and arm hold, but before he knew what was the matter the wily Jap jumped back and Bibby was down on his hands and knees.  Time, 52 ¼ seconds.  This fall was allowed and ended the match, which was the best three in five falls.

The Jap Defeats Christol

The Roman Citizen – April 18, 1884

CLEVELAND, O., April 13. – Matsada Sorakichi and Andre Christol wrestled a mixed match at the City Armory, in this city, last night.  The first bout, Japanese style, was won by Sorakichi in ten seconds, the Frenchman going to the floor on all fours after two collisions, Sorakichi butting him twice about the neck.  Christol won the second bout, catch-as-catch-can, in four minutes by a leg and a half Nelson hold.  Sorakichi butted Christol like an animated battering ram in the third bout, but Christol had his revenge in the next round at catch-as-catch-can wrestling.  Each having won two falls, the final fall was determined by lot.  Sorakichi won, speedily settling the match by putting Christol to the floor in fifteen seconds.

Muldoon the Victor

The New York Times – July 5, 1887

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio, July 4. – William Muldoon and the Jap, Matsada Sorakichi, wrestled three bouts, Graeco-Roman style, at the fair grounds here this afternoon for a purse of $500.  Nearly 4,000 people witnessed the match.  Muldoon was declared the victor, winning the first and third bouts in eight and seven minutes, respectively.  The Jap won the second in four and a half minutes.


Otago Witness – April 17, 1886

The “catch-as-catch-can wrestling match between Matsada Sorakichi, the Japanese, and Evan Lewis, appropriately named “The Strangler,” took place at Central Music Hall, Chicago (Ill.), on February 15. The hall was crowded, and when the wrestlers faced each other for the first bout 3000 people cheered them. After a couple of unsuccessful manoeuvres on both sides, Lewis got the Japanese on his stomach, and placing his knee on the calf of the Jap’s leg seized his foot with both hands and began bending the foot in such a manner as to wrench the ankle out of the socket. A shout of indignation rose from the crowd at this inhuman treatment. The Jap., compelled by the pain to give in, was turned over on his back, and lay there unable to rise to his feet, and was carried off the stage in the arms of his trainer, Edwin Bibby. The referee (Mr Palmer) awarded the match to Lewis. Lewis appears to have no science, and relies solely on his superior weight and brute force to carry his point. Though no bone is fractured, one of the chords of the Jap.’s leg is broken, and all the muscles are so strained and twisted that Sorakichi is more badly hurt than if the limb had been actually broken. He will not be able to use the limb for some weeks.

Evan Lewis, who in the match with Matsada Sorakichi, at Chicago, disabled the Japanese wrestler, appeared on February 23 at the Olympic Theatre, Chicago, in an exhibition wrestling match with Edwin Bibby. The immense audience greeted the introduction of Lewis with groans and hisses, calling on Bibby to “break his leg.” Lewis bore the hissing calmly. When he threw Bibby the hissing was renewed. After the performance Lewis said to Charles E. Davis that time would change public opinion, and that lovers of sport would at least give him credit for being honest in his matches and doing his utmost to win in accordance with the rules under which he was contesting.

Sorakichi’s Leg Broken

The New York Times – February 16, 1886

CHICAGO, Feb. 15. – The catch-as-catch-can wrestling match to-night, under the management of Parson Davies, between Evan Lewis, of Madison, Wis., and Matsada Sorakichi, the Japanese, was decided in less than one minute.  Scarcely had the wrestlers shaken hands when the two were rolling each other about on the floor, and Lewis, seizing Sorakichi’s left leg, bent it over his own by main strength, until the Jap’s limb was dislocated.  Lewis was awarded the match, and was hissed and cursed without stint.  Over 300 people were present.