A pretty, 26 year old beautician who works as a drugstore beauty and cosmetics consultant by day but works out in the masculine world of a boxing gymnasium after business hours has become Japan's first-ever woman boxing trainer.
EXT DRUGSTORE: MISS. TAKATSUKI AT COUNTER: DEALING WITH COSMETICS CUSTOMER: WALKING INTO GYM: GETTING KITTED UP: PREPARATORY EXERCISES: SKIPPING: PUNCHBAG WORK: SPEEDBALL WORK: MISS. TAKATSUKI AND JAPAN'S SIXTH RANKING JUNIOR FEATHERWEIGHT BOXER HIROSHI MASAI SPARRING: CHIEF TRAINER AND MANAGER WATCHING: SPARRING SCENES.
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Background: A pretty, 26 year old beautician who works as a drugstore beauty and cosmetics consultant by day but works out in the masculine world of a boxing gymnasium after business hours has become Japan's first-ever woman boxing trainer.
Five feet four inches tall and 128 pounds in weight, Miss. Masako Takatsuki, working form a gymnasium in Warabi, some 30 kilometres north to Tokyo, is now training some twenty hard-hitting young males. One of them, junior featherweight Hiroyuki Masai, has been so aggressively successful under the tutelage of this athletic beauty consultant that the Japanese boxing authorities have raised him to big-fight status.
To the men who use her gym - a converted garage which she practically runs by herself - Miss. Takatsuki is a female very far removed from her more gentle role as a beautician in a nearby drugstore. She is as fit as any of the fighters she trains, and her power as a sparring partner is a byword among the young boxers. Her work on the punchbag, speedball and skipping rope is the envy of many a novice, and her efforts to maintain a constant state of top physical fitness are a lesson to all.
As a female, she is forbidden by boxing laws to actually enter a ring in contest. But that does not prevent her from putting the gloves on and working out with a few hard-punching training rounds with her young hopefuls. Her one concession to her sex: a padded upper-body protector which allows her opponents to put in flurries of body punches without concern. But it is generally acknowledged that this is more for the peace of mind of her sparring party ??? to save her from physical hurt - her stomach muscles have a hardness that is a tribute to her dedication to months of painful training and the medicine ball.
This mild mannered beautician, however, is very conscious of the fact that she is, first and foremost, a female. She is an accomplished cook, and has, in addition to her qualifications as a beauty consultant, a teaching diploma in the very feminine art of flower arranging.
But, she says, she became addicted to boxing when she entered Junior High School at the age of thirteen, to the extent where she secretly erected a punchbag in her back garden.
Her first attempt to find work in a gymnasium ended somewhat ignominiously in her late teens - her parents discovered what she was up to and took her straight back home. But she persevered, and finally talked the manager of her current gymnasium into giving her a job there four years ago.
Now, after four years work, she has been granted a trainers' licence by the Japan Boxing Commission - the first woman ever to have received one.