Nakayama Ritsuko



 (Ritsuko in Competition)

 Do you believe in a miracle? I do! Why? When I was a 6th grader (1973), I went to a bowing alley one day. In one of the games I played, I scored “276.” That’s why! “276” out of the perfect “300” is an insane score in those days? In most frames I got strikes. Some others I got spares. In tenth frame, I got 2 strikes and…spared (As you may knowit, it doesn’t matter at all whether you get a spare or not in the tenth frame. It does matter how many you get in the first throw.)! Was I possessed by a bowling god or something? A professional bowler’s ghost threw a bowl for me but I just was unaware of it?

 It was a huge bowling boom in Japan in 70’s. You must wait for your turn at least for a couple of hours when you go to a bowling alley on weekends. Besides, you were not allowed to bowl more than 3 games a person! All other business owners rushed to turn their facilities into bowling alleys, however, there seemed to be not enough bowling alleys in those days. Every one of the Japanese bowled once or twice (at least) a week!


(Nakayama at Front while Suda at Back)

 Nakayama Ritsuko actually was NOT a best professional bowler in Japan. Suda Kayoko, Nakayama’s rival, was. Nakayama, however, was such a beauty that she almost became an female professional icon for the entire Japanese. Besides, a good luck goddess smiled at her – Nakayama played the first female perfect game (score 300) in 1980, which instantly brought her onto the stardom.


(Suda, Nakayama, and Namiki)

 Because of her achievement of the perfect game, Nakayama showed up everywhere in media! And this commercial became a big hit!

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 Nakayama is still active as a celebrity even after she retired from bowling because of the injuries in 1990. She officially assumed a couple of authoritative roles to support professional bowling industry. Nakayama with her beauty has established her reputation of “the Japanese Bowling Queen.” She became a true Japanese hero!

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(Is she really 73!?) 

Miracle happened ONLY ONCE to me 

when I scored 276 at the age of 12!

I didn’t become a professional bowler.

Nakayama scored 85 in her first game

and became the Bowling Queen later.

Life is interesting!

But I can tell – 

You have to keep trying

if you want to make a big achievement!

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