Former WWE RAW Women’s Champion Asuka sat down with Entertainment Tonight Canada to talk about her wrestling career and being an Asian star in WWE. The topic of the recent uptick in violence against Asians in North America was also brought up, something Asuka understandably feels strongly about.
“I hate it! I hate it! I don’t understand,” Asuka said. “It’s a waste of time to be hateful. Why people attack other people? We are people, right? I don’t understand. I hate it.”
Unfortunately Asuka herself hasn’t been immune to racism. She described an event that took place at airport last year, right around the time the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“I have only one experience with racism,” Asuka revealed. “It was around the time when COVID-19 started spreading. In America, I was at the airport. A woman came towards me. When she noticed me, she covered her mouth with her hand and ran away from me. I was shocked. It never happened before COVD-19. Oh my gosh. I didn’t understand. I was shocked.”
Asuka spoke about what non-Asians could do to support Asian communities during this time. She believes the most important thing is non-Asians embracing and learning to understand different Asian cultures.
“I think it’s important for non-Asians to understand and share the wonderful culture of Asians,” Asuka said. “I love Japanese culture such as anime and manga, cards and video games. I also love Japanese food such as sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki, takoyaki. I love beautiful nature. Some American people tell me they love Japanese anime such as ‘Dragon Ball’, ‘Naruto’. I’m proud of being Japanese.”
Formerly known as Kana in Japan, Asuka was asked what advice she would give to any Asian girls who wanted to become WWE stars. Her response was simple; keep working for it and don’t give up.
“I want to say to Asian girls, don’t give up on your dream,” Asuka said. “When I was sixteen, I wanted to be a WWE superstar. One day asked my mom if I could be a WWE superstar. And she said ‘no, you have to go to college.’ ‘Okay.’ Then I told my high school teacher ‘I want to be a WWE superstar.’ He laughed and said ‘don’t be silly.’
“I gave up on my dream once. Then I went to college and graduated to college. But when I started training, I couldn’t give up on my dream. Then my friend gave me confidence, ‘you can do it, you can do it!’ Then I called a wrestling company in Tokyo, and I left my hometown. And now I’m WWE superstar! Don’t give up on your dreams.”
Asuka lost the RAW Women’s Championship last month to Rhea Ripley on Night Two of WrestleMania 37. She is scheduled to wrestle for the title again at WrestleMania: Backlash this Sunday, where she will take on Ripley and Charlotte Flair in a triple threat match.