Retired international pro wrestling star Yu Ishino, who formerly wrestled under the name Kagetsu, came out as trans and opened up about his transition for the first time publicly in a YouTube video released Friday morning.

Opening with highlights from his 2020 retirement match against Meiko Satomora, Yu made his first on-camera appearance post-transition and discussed this new era of his life. According to translations from Post Wrestling’s Karen Peterson, Yu said, “I underwent the surgery and now I am living as a man … I feel like a 14-year-old boy (because everything is still so very new), but I hope moving forward, I’ll still have your support as I try new things.”

Yu happily showed off his “tiny little chin beard” and shared that he now uses he/him pronouns. The video also served as the launch of his new YouTube channel.

Prior to transition, Yu was known as one of the most influential female pro wrestlers of his generation. Under the Kagetsu name, he was well known for his time in Japanese women’s wrestling, or Joshi, promotion Stardom, Yu wrestled for nearly every major Japanese promotion that featured female competitors. He captured multiple championships, including the World of Stardom title and multiple tag team titles with Hana Kamura, during his time with Stardom.

Yu branched out internationally in the latter part of his decade-plus in-ring career, wrestling for American promotion Ring of Honor and British promotion Pro Wrestling EVE in 2018-19. He came out of retirement for last year’s Hana Kamura memorial event, wrestling out trans Japanese wrestler ASUKA, also known as Veny, in the main event.

Though much of his pro wrestling legacy is attached to the Kagetsu name, Yu expressed a desire to leave that name in the past going forward as he enters a new stage in his life. “I know how beloved the name Kagetsu is, but with this video, I would like to put that name to rest, so please use Yu Ishino moving forward,” he said.

Outsports congratulates Yu Ishino for showing the power to live openly and showing that Courage is Contagious.

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