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Ginpachi Nekota (猫田銀八, Nekota Ginpachi) is a retired bantamweight prizefighter, rival and friend of Kamogawa Genji and Hama Dankichi. He runs a Pension Yoshio that the Kamogawa Boxing Gym members use as a training camp sometimes. He lives as a hermit in the mountains with his dog Hachi and is still very much involved with boxing by watching tapes and training Kamogawa's trainees when they visit.

Background

Post-War Arc

Nekota and Kamogawa fighting.

Nekota worked as a prizefighter in Japan shortly after the end of World War II. He had multiple boxing matches with former prizefighter Kamogawa Genji, two of which he lost, two of which he won, and another that ended a draw. He was also friends with fellow prizefighter and future trainer Hama Dankichi. During the American occupation of Japan, Nekota harboured strong feelings of national pride, refusing to accept food handouts.

Nekota witnessed American sergeant Ralph Anderson, with Miguel Zale as his cornerman, easily defeat Dankichi in an exhibition match. After Dankichi's loss, Anderson terrorised the population and chased Yuki into the alleys. Here, Nekota experienced the power of American boxing first-hand as he and Kamogawa were beaten up by Anderson while protecting Yuki.

During this time, Yuki and Nekota moved into Kamogawa's makeshift home. Yuki looked after the pair while they trained, inspired by their commitment to rebuilding the country through their fighting spirit. However, Nekota eventually knew that Yuki was a survivor from Hiroshima, who was dying from radiation poisoning.

Nekota suffering from Punch Drunk symptoms.

Nekota suffered from symptoms of Punch Drunk Syndrome after a fair match against Kamogawa, only to overcome it shortly before his fight against Ralph Anderson. Anderson's signature move, the Rabbit Punch however, forced Nekota's Punch Drunk symptoms to worsen and ultimately cost him the match as well as his career as a prizefighter. After watching Kamogawa defeat Anderson, Nekota and Kamogawa parted ways, with Nekota planning on living in the woods with a dog, along with Yuki. Before parting ways, Nekota wished to fight Kamogawa again one day when they both were better. Eventually, Nekota became an owner of his own pension and got a dog named Hachi. When Kamogawa opened up his own gym and discovered Takamura Mamoru, Nekota let Kamogawa use the woods in his pension so that Kamogawa could train his mitt practise techniques by using logs on a string hanging on tree branches.[1]

History

Part I

Mountain Training Arc

Nekota meeting Kamogawa.

To help Makunouchi Ippo prepare for his upcoming match against Sendō Takeshi, and for Takamura Mamoru's title defence, Kamogawa Genji decided to head to the Pension Yoshio as a training camp. When they arrive they meet Nekota. Nekota and Kamogawa immediately greet each other before getting into a fist fight. Nekota then recognised Takamura and Ippo, while mistaking Aoki Masaru and Kimura Tatsuya as someone else.

As Ippo, Kimura, Aoki, and Shinoda were about to leave for the woods to train, Nekota warned the group about bears. Nekota then helped Takamura train by holding the sandbag. That night, while eating the food that Yagi Haruhiko caught earlier, Nekota learned that Shinoda's group ran into a bear going downhill. Nekota advised them that they were lucky, as a bear going uphill is faster than downhill. He then told them that he would prepare something to avoid bears the next day. The following day, Nekota gave Ippo, Aoki, and Kimura bells, explaining that bears get scared of the sound and do not come close to it.

Nekota ready to attack a bear.

On the way back, Ippo got attacked by an animal, which made Aoki and Kimura run away to tell the others that Ippo was being attacked by a bear. Hearing this, Nekota got out his gun to prepare to kill the bear, only to find out that the "bear" was his dog, Hachi. Kamogawa announced to everyone at the training camp that he would be splitting the group for individual training. During this, Nekota went around trying to help them, but ended up becoming an annoyance instead. When he visited Ippo, Ippo asked him how to chop wood. After Nekota showed him, he showed Ippo his well-developed back muscles, explaining that he chopped wood every day since he got back to the pension from the army. He informed Ippo that the training is very effective, having a long list of popular successful boxers who did the same training.

Nekota warned Ippo that while he would need more power to push Sendō back, Ippo would break down, even if he won, if that was all he did. Nekota told Ippo his past, when he was a boxer who never stepped back, no matter how many times he fell, he always got up. However, he was forced to retire from brain damage. He worked hard to be able to live a normal life again, it took five years, but it never completely stopped. Nekota showed Ippo his hand shaking, a symptom of being Punch Drunk. Knowing that Ippo already decided to take Sendō head-on, Nekota informed Ippo to remember the first rule of fighting, in a hitting match, to not only use his hands. Nekota revealed that there was a way to punch without punching.

After Ippo finished his wood chop training, Nekota participated in Kamogawa's teaching of "punching without punching, the Sakki. After Kamogawa told the training camp members about his and Nekota's past, where his first lost to Nekota was because of Sakki, Nekota mentioned that thanks to Sakki, the final record of their five matches was 3 to 2 for him. However, Nekota and Kamogawa began fighting after Kamogawa disagreed with him that it was actually 3 to 2 in his favour, despite their record of their matches between each other being two wins, two losses and one draw.

After Takamura showed Ippo what Sakki looked like, Nekota claimed that, just like animals, one must gain full control of their five senses, where Sakki is something born from it. At night, Nekota and Kamogawa meet in the ring and reminisced about the old days. When Takamura hits a ring bell, they threw punches at each other, knocking each other out. On the final day of the training camp, when Takamura told Nekota to get ready for a bear nabe. Nekota joked how a bear would kill him, suggesting a boar instead.

Nekota noticed how Ippo improved at chopping wood, and told him that he would not see results in just a week. When Ippo was nervous about fighting Sendō again, Nekota agreed that fighting a man a second time was hard. Nekota then gave him advice, as he fought Kamogawa five times. Nekota later asked where Hachi was and learned he was running with Takamura.

Later that night, Takamura returned wounded with a bear claw mark on his chest, claiming to have knocked out a bear. Nekota then treated everyone what Takamura requested, a bear nabe. Nekota mentioned how the meat is fresh and perfect for replenishing their strength. Nekota explained how it was a big bear he killed, and that it was living a while ago. He continues, stating that it was all a coincidence, when he was wandering around the woods he found a bear stumbling, so he took his chance and shot it. Takamura then got angry at Nekota for killing the bear he let survive due to it having bear cubs. The next day, the Kamogawa members began to leave and Nekota gave them some parting advice. As they drove away, Nekota chased after them for a while. Later on, Nekota called the local newspaper to tell them about Takamura defeating a bear.

Nekota carrying a huge bag with the bear costume.

Nekota arrived to Kōrakuen Hall for Takamura's title defence against Itō Takaaki. Nekota attempted to bring Hachi inside the hall, hwoever there was a rule that dogs were not allowed in the hall, forcing him to leave his dog tied outside. Nekota went inside with a large bag containing something that Takamura requested. During Aoki's match against Boy Allade, Nekota yelled advice that proved to be helpful, impressing Ippo. Iimura Mari then sat by them, where she introduced herself to Nekota and Ippo. When Takamura's entrance began, Nekota was glad that Takamura wore the bear skin (which was in the large bag that Nekota brought).

When Takamura defeated his opponent using nothing but his left. Nekota mentioned that Takamura was going by the old proverb, "He who rules with his left, rules the world." After the match, Nekota and the Kamogawa members went to the Sugar Ray to celebrate, with Nekota forgetting about Hachi, leaving him tied at the hall. Nekota flirted with the ladies, and began singing "Champion" with Takamura, but they both had terrible voices.

Nekota training Kamogawa gym members.

Five days later, Nekota was still in the gym. He requested to do a mitt practise session with Kimura. To everyone's surprise, Nekota tired Kimura out after Kimura got serious. By the time they finish, Nekota was asked by the gym members to teach them as well.

After ten days of Nekota training the students at the gym, his popularity had grown beyond that of any other coach. During a "after training-meeting", which Kamogawa was spying on, when Nekota was telling a story about his youth with Kamogawa, and how Kamogawa would cry over women who left him, Kamogawa confronted Nekota. Nekota admitted he was simply jealous of the life Kamogawa lived surrounded by young people in the city, as opposed to alone in the mountains. Kamogawa forgave him and apologised himself for being to harsh on his friend. They were interrupted by the express delivery service (who Kamogawa jokingly said would call to send Nekota back), who Nekota called to take him back as it was the time of year young women go to the pension. Angry again at Nekota's habits, Kamogawa threatened him once more.

Lallapallooza Arc

Nekota encouraging Ippo.

After receiving a ticket to see Ippo's title match against Sendō, Nekota arrived to Kōrakuen Hall with Hachi hiding in a sack. Nekota went into Ippo's waiting room before the match and commented on how he had nothing to say to him as he was relieved when he saw his body, but he then told him to remember the training camp when he is in trouble.

Nekota giving Ippo a puppy

Nekota then watched the match, and after the first round, Nekota was shocked that Ippo was pushed during a standing exchange, telling Umezawa Masahiko that if it wasn't for the wood chopping training, he would be finished, and commenting how he had never seen weapons like Ippo's upper body and Sendō's lower body. Before round four began, Hachi barked at Ippo. That caused employees to ask Nekota if he had seen a dog, to which Nekota answered he had not. After the sixth round, both fighters stood at their corners instead of sitting. Umezawa wondered if that meant if they sat down they wouldn't be able to stand back up, but Nekota claimed that if they rested, their spirit would be sapped away. When Ippo won against Sendō and became the JBC champion, Nekota was overjoyed. After the employees discovered that Hachi was Nekota's dog, Nekota was lectured for three hours at the security office. A few days later Nekota attended Ippo's victory and birthday party at the Sugar Ray. He then gave Ippo a puppy that Hachi was a father of.

First Step Arc

A reunion between old rivals.

When Nekota discovered that Hama Dankichi was back in Japan, he called Kamogawa to warn him and had him check out the Monthly Boxing Fan newspaper to see for himself. A few weeks prior to Ippo's match against Dankichi's boxer, Sanada Kazuki, Nekota invited Kamogawa and Dankichi to Sugar Ray's for a reunion, with the two not knowing that they would meet each other. Kamogawa and Dankichi began to leave, not wanting to talk. Nekota then managed to get them to stay by making them feel bad as the three of them haven't talked together in decades. When a waitress asked Nekota how they met, he answered that they met as boxers and became best friends and rivals, meeting up often to talk about boxing. Nekota then expressed how he was looking forward to Ippo and Sanada fighting as he felt it was the same as watching Kamogawa and Dankichi fight.

Later, Nekota watched Ippo's first title defence match against Sanada, which resulted in Ippo's victory. As Dankichi headed to leave Japan by plane, Nekota and Kamogawa saw him off. Nekota that talked to Kamogawa about how Ippo is a responsible man who understands his feelings of his opponents, believing that the champion will get stronger.

Battle of Hawk Arc

Hachi and Nekota passed out on the beach.

When Nekota learned that Takamura, Kimura, and Itagaki Manabu went to the beach for training camp, he took Hachi with him to the beach. Nekota then spotted the group, along with Ippo, Aoki, Mashiba Kumi, and Tomiko. Nekota decided to join Ippo and Aoki in their vacation and have fun at the beach. That night, when Nekota pulled a prank on Takamura by pulling him into the water when Takamura was in the ocean, Nekota was beaten and was saved and brought out of the ocean by Hachi.

Nekota watching the stars with everyone.

On the final night of Ippo and Aoki's stay at the beach, Nekota brought fireworks for everyone. Nekota went to the beach with everyone but Takamura to the beach to enjoy the fireworks while Takamura planned his revenge against them for having fun without him, by aiming fireworks at the group. When Takamura was spotted, he was talked into having fun with them after everyone cheered for him to join them. As the group lit up fireworks, Nekota compared the boxers to them, wishing that they would bloom forever, Takamura, however compares himself and the others as the stars above. Then, the fireworks Takamura set began to go off, hitting Nekota as everyone else ran away from them. The next day, a typhoon hit the beach, causing Nekota's beach house to be destroyed.

Later, Nekota travelled to the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo with Hachi to watch Takamura's WBC junior middleweight title match against Bryan Hawk. When Takamura was having trouble during the match and his gym mates were not in their usual high spirits, Nekota encouraged them to cheer. The match resulted in Takamura's victory, earning him his first world belt. Nekota then went with Kamogawa to his Pension Yoshio.

Post-War Arc

When Ippo and Aoki visited the Pension Yoshio, Kamogawa and Nekota explained their past about Yuki and being prize-fighters after World War II to Ippo and Aoki.

Part II

A Passing Point Arc

Nekota arrived just in time to the Yokohama Arena to watch Takamura's WBC middleweight title match against David Eagle, which Nekota watched with Aoki, Kimura, and Itagaki. After Takamura won, Nekota went to the ring to celebrate with everyone. Nekota followed everyone as they went to Takamura's house to make sure he went to sleep. Nekota and the others were thrown out as Takamura was unable to sleep with everyone watching.

Under Siege Arc

Nekota searching for the thief, Takamura.

To get away from Aoki's Broccoman fad, Takamura decided to travel around Japan. During the travel, he stopped at the Pension Yoshio and trashed the place. When Nekota discovered his house was trashed, he suspected that it was a thief and that it was someone he knows since Hachi and other dogs were calm. He armed himself with a gun and followed Hachi in search for the "thief". While looking for him, Nekota went to a nearby hot spring and saw a group of monkeys passed out after being defeated by Takamura.

Chaos Arc

Nekota asking Takamura news about the boxing world.

Nekota was visited by Takamura at his pension and played a game of "A Boxer's Life" created by Nekota, who planned to sell it to children at the base of the mountain. Nekota asked how Kamogawa was doing and if Takamura's goal of giving Kamogawa champion belts was too much. Nekota remarked how Takamura was a reliable surrogate son to Kamogawa, which made Takamura irritated. After hearing about Takamura, Ippo's match with Miyata being postponed, and Mashiba Ryō and Sawamura Ryūhei having a match, Nekota decided that he wanted to leave the mountains to see the match between Mashiba and Sawamura. Nekota and Takamura travelled on foot to leave the pension during a snowstorm and almost died if not for Hachi and his sons rescuing the two.

Nekota explaining all that needs to be done for a perfect counter.

They arrived to the Kōrakuen Hall in time for Mashiba's seventh JBC junior lightweight title match against Sawamura. As Mashiba and Sawamura silenced the arena with their standoff, Nekota was impressed, believing the match will be worth risking his and Takamura's life getting there. During round six, Nekota noted the reason for Sawmaura hanging on is the stubbornness he has of not accepting someone similar being above him. As Aoki did not believe Sawamura has the strength to pull of a counter, Nekota explained that a perfect counter doesn't need weight behind it, one merely needs to stick their arm out, with timing and heart being the two key attributes. After watching the match end with Mashiba getting disqualified in the sixth round after knocking Sawamura out of the ring while the referee paused the match, Nekota delightedly noted the match was full of surprises. Outside the venue, Nekota claimed it was worth risking his life to come to Tokyo for, and boasted how he knocked others outside the ring when he fought also.

Seiken Arc

Nekota cheering for Kimura's baseball team.

Due to players from Kimura's local shopping district's baseball game dropping out, spots were needed to be filled for the local team. When the day of baseball game arrived, Nekota went to the stadium and cheered with Kumi and Nanako for the Santei Japan team consisting of Kimura, Aoki, Ippo, Takamura, and Itagaki. Nekota celebrated as Kimura's team wins. Before leaving for the mountains, Nekota left Kamogawa his "A Boxer's Life" game for him to play.

Operation World Domination Arc

Nekota received a picture of the Kamogawa gym members along with a note from Ippo. He read the note while atop a tree, which detailed the recent Kamogawa gym victory and Ippo's desire to move to the world stage. Nekota fell down the tree and decided to send Ippo the tree leaves with inspiring messages as well.

In the Jungle Arc

Nekota was visited by Kamogawa, discussing Ippo's next opponent, the Indonesian champion Wally. Nekota learned from Kamogawa that Wally's trainer is someone they both knew long ago and was in Hawk's corner: Miguel Zale.

Goals to Reach Arc

Nekota and Takamura talk after Takamura defeated Bison.

Nekota noticed Takamura chopping wood near his pension and noted the mental training benefits. Takamura explained how his meeting with Yamaguchi showed him that despite his combat capacity knowing no equal, the temptations still gets to him, revealing what happened to him while at her clinic. After hearing what happened, Nekota thought any man would have a similar reaction. Nekota made dinner for Takamura as Takamura expressed how he doesn't get enough respect. Nekota sympathised with him, and asked how Kamogawa is doing. Takamura instead commented on how Nekota's seasoning on his food makes it taste better. Nekota revealed it as a special ingredient he made by feeding different things to animals around the mountain and collecting their faeces to dry and grind it up for seasoning. The knowledge grossed out Takamura, however, he admitted it tasted good before answering Nekota's earlier question that Kamogawa was doing good.

Seeking Heights Arc

Nekota and Kamogawa talk about Ippo possibly being punch drunk.

While at his beach house and selling corn on the cob, he was visited by Kamogawa. Kamogawa requested Nekota's advice about the punch drunk syndrome and how being punch drunk felt, as he has suspicions that Ippo is punch drunk. Nekota explained the punch drunk symptoms he had, which led Kamogawa to decide to make Ippo retire when he gets back to the gym. However, Nekota's words made Kamogawa reconsider it. After getting into a fist fight with Kamogawa, Nekota claimed that they would settle the score once they reborn. Kamogawa expressed his beliefs that reincarnation does not exist, as living once is enough, wanting to live life to the fullest without regrets. Nekota mentioned to not let Ippo have any regrets either then and that he knows that Ippo is not punch drunk.

Later, Nekota went to get Kamogawa, who was in the woods, training to catch Ippo's punches by using logs attached to a string. Nekota ate dinner with Kamogawa as they discussed how the young boxers have evolved boxing and how Kamogawa can't contain his boiling blood thinking about the future of boxing, which Nekota commented that Kamogawa is like a monster. The next day, Nekota and Hachi went to pick veggies for Kamogawa and reminisced the time Kamogawa was excited when he discovered Takamura.

Part III

Second Step Arc

Two months after Ippo retired, Kamogawa was hospitalised as he was taken ill from a cold. Once he got out of the hospital, he stayed with Nekota at the Pension Yoshio before heading back to his gym.

Keith Dragon Arc

At the Pension Yoshio, Nekota plays a dog variant of mahjong with Hachi and his other five dogs. Nekota ended up getting mad when one got an inusangen (daisangen), and remembered that dogs can cheat at mahjong by marking their tiles by scent, however, he knew that Yagi would be able to defeat the cheating dogs.

Match History

Match History
Post WWII - "Prize Fighter"
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
10 LOSS 6-3-1 1947 USA.pngRalph Anderson[2] Tokyo, Japan 4(15) KO Regained symptoms of Punch Drunk Syndrome and retired after.
9 WIN 6-2-1 1947 Unknown[3] Tokyo, Japan ?(15) TKO N/A
8 DRAW 5-2-1 1947 Japan.pngKamogawa Genji Tokyo, Japan 15(15), 3:00 Decision 5th Match
Became Punch Drunk After
7 WIN 5-2-0 1947 Japan.pngHama Dankichi Tokyo, Japan ?(15) KO 3rd Match
6 WIN 4-2-0 194? Japan.pngKamogawa Genji Tokyo, Japan ?(15) KO 4th Match
5 WIN 3-2-0 194? Japan.pngHama Dankichi Tokyo, Japan ?(15) KO 2nd Match
4 LOSS 2-2-0 194? Japan.pngKamogawa Genji Tokyo, Japan ?(15) KO 3rd Match
3 WIN 2-1-0 194? Japan.pngHama Dankichi Tokyo, Japan ?(15) KO 1st Match
2 WIN 1-1-0 194? Japan.pngKamogawa Genji Tokyo, Japan ?(15) KO

2nd Match

(Used Sakki)

1 LOSS 0-1-0 194? Japan.pngKamogawa Genji Tokyo, Japan ?(15) KO 1st Match
Retired

Appearance

Nekota's back muscles.

Despite being muscular and physically fit in his younger years, Nekota's appearance has drastically succumbed to his old age. However, Nekota has extremely healthy bulging back muscles despite his age. Now, his height has taken a plunge along with the amount of hair on his head. Nekota is shown to have tanned skin, a progressively balding head of grey hair, dark eyes and a prominent oval-shaped pink nose. A tuft of his small amount of grey hair rests on his forehead and a small beard graces his chin. Due to his age Nekota has grown a fair share of wrinkles on his forehead, upper lip and chin.

Personality

Nekota showing off his "perfect condition" to an unamused Kamogawa.

Nekota is a cheerful old hermit who, despite having retired, still immerses himself in the world of boxing by watching tapes and helping Makunouchi Ippo and his group of gym mates train. He is shown to be competitive and vindictive, as seen during his first on-screen reunion with Kamogawa Genji in which both individuals attempt to land a punch on each other regardless of their age in order to "finish their fight". Nevertheless he remains a very supportive character for both Kamogawa and his trainees.

Boxing Abilities

Nekota as a prizefighter.

Nekota was known by both Kamogawa and Hama Dankichi for his superb agility, strength, and overall boxing prowess. He was known for being an out boxer, but anything else about his fighting style was not elaborated on in the series.Though it should be noted that he had a much easier time fighting Ralph Anderson than his rival Kamogawa. He is known for the technique Sakki, also known as bloodlust, in which he used to defeat Kamogawa in one of their matches.

Gallery

Main Article: Nekota Ginpachi/Gallery

References

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