Ryō Mashiba (間柴了, Mashiba Ryō) is a recurring character in Hajime no Ippo. He was the main antagonist during the events of the Rookie King tournament.

He is a multi-weight class (currently lightweight) professional boxer affiliated with Tōhō Boxing Gym, the OPBF lightweight champion, and the older brother of Mashiba Kumi.

His important fights are against Miyata Ichirō, Makunouchi Ippo, Kimura Tatsuya, Sawamura Ryūhei, Aaron Domingo, and Iga Shinobu.

His surname is Mashiba. In Japan, surnames are listed before given names.



Mashiba and Kumi at their parent's grave.

Ever since he was young, Mashiba would always misbehave.[1] He lived a life where he always felt alone and felt like he could trust no one but himself as no one trusted him. As a school student, Mashiba was considered troublesome was asked to act properly like a student should.[2]

When Mashiba was still in high school, his parents died in an accident and he swore two things on their graves: that he would never rely on anyone but himself and that anyone who harmed his little sister, Mashiba Kumi would pay dearly.

After both of their parent's death, while Kumi was accepted to people's homes, they had seconds thoughts about Ryō. Mashiba also had co-workers blame things on him and the police suspecting him of violence he did not do.


Part I

Main Article: Mashiba Ryō/History/First Part
(Volumes: 1-46 & Episodes: 1-104)

Part II

Main Article: Mashiba Ryō/History/Second Part
(Volumes: 46-121 & Episodes: 105-Current)
During Makunouchi Ippo's fifth JBC featherweight title defence, Mashiba met Ippo's opponent Sawamura Ryūhei, who threw a punch at Kumi, leaving a mark on her face, after she got in front of Sawamura's motorcycle. This caused Mashiba to try and hit Sawamura back in revenge before being stopped by Ippo. Mashiba watched the match between Ippo and Sawamura where Ippo won.

Mashiba sparring Itagaki

Mashiba sparring with Itagaki.

Later while Mashiba was training at his gym, Itagaki Manabu and Shinoda Tomoyuki arrived looking for a spar to help prepare him for his match against Makino Fumito. Mashiba told him to leave since he doesn't know how to go easy on someone, until Itagaki told him to say hi to his sister since she help take care of him. When Mashiba heard that, he wanted to know what that meant, and told him to get in the ring. He told him, when they are done he going to tell him everything. Itagaki agreed as long as he fought him seriously. Mashiba defeated him easily and gave him a black eye, and a few other bruises on his face. At home, Mashiba told Kumi to stay away from Ippo since he was an enemy, but Kumi disagreed with him. She wanted to know who told him all this, when she noticed Mashiba face had some swelling.

Itagaki meeting Mashiba

Mashiba meeting Itagaki for shopping.

A few days later, Itagaki and Shinoda arrived again for another spar. Mashiba told him to leave again, but Itagaki offered up more gossip about Ippo and Kumi when they went to the beach. Mashiba told him to get into the ring again after he heard that. A few days later, Mashiba met up with Itagaki to do some clothes shopping. Itagaki shown him a few stores that sold cheap clothes, and they went to Hirosue after words for food, where Itagaki talked about Ippo and Kumi. Itagaki told him they weren't making any progress in their relationship, which Mashiba liked since he can't accept Ippo going out with her. Itagaki asked him if he would say the same thing if the person wasn't Ippo, since he was the reason Kumi's single. Mashiba told him that he was Kumi guardian since their parent's death. Itagaki disagreed with him since he believed Kumi should make her own decision. If he tried to repress her, she might end up rebelling. Mashiba somewhat agreed. Later, he talked with Itagaki about his situation and the All Japan Rookie King Tournament, where he wanted to regain his self-confidence that was destroyed by Ippo. He wanted to have a good match, where Ippo told him that he looked like a Pro. At home, Mashiba was waiting for Kumi to arrive. When she did, Mashiba decided to be less strict with her, and not question where she was.

Part III

Main Article: Mashiba Ryō/History/Third Part
(Volumes: 121-Current)

Match Poster - Mashiba vs Iga - Execution

Match Poster for Iga vs Mashiba

Before Mashiba went on to fight on the World stage, he wanted to test himself to see if he was ready. He requested his coach to find a strong lightweight challenger, in order to see if he was ready, or not. His coach arranged a match with new lightweight JBC champion, Iga Shinobu. At the weight in, Iga's trainer boasted they would win since Mashiba had three weakness. Prior to the match, Mashiba met Makunouchi Ippo with hair shaved. Ippo told him his opponent strong, and Mashiba answered him by hitting his shoulder. The match between was Iga tried to use the weakness the previous weakness that Mashiba had in his match against Ippo (Peek-a-Boo Style while trying to land a Liver blow close range), Kimura Tatsuya (Dragonfish Blow), and Sawamura Ryūhei (fouling), but Mashiba was able to keep calm and over come each of those difficulties and defeat Iga proving that he was ready to challenge the World. In the interview after the match, Ana asked about the three weakness, and if he overcame them. Mashiba told her the opponent was one short. As he left the ring, his coach announced they were relinquishing the OBPF belt in order challenge the world for their next match.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
22 WIN 20-2-0[3] 1999-10-20 Japan Iga Shinobu[4] Tokyo, Japan 3(12) 1:56 TKO "EXECUTION"
2nd OPBF Lightweight Title Defence Match
Relinquishes Title
21 WIN 19-2-0 1998-06-12 Philippines Romeo[5] Tokyo, Japan 5(12), 2:30 TKO "Battle of the Beasts"
1st OPBF Lightweight Title Defence Match
20 WIN 18-2-0 1997-04-27 Thailand Aaron Domingo[6] Tokyo, Japan 10(12), 0:44 TKO "The Second Coming of Death"
Comeback Match from Suspension
OPBF Lightweight Title Match
19 LOSS 17-2-0[7] 1996-04-21 Japan Sawamura Ryūhei[8] Tokyo, Japan 6(10), 1:04 DQ Champion Carnival
7th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match[9]
18 WIN 17-1-0 1995 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision 6th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
17 WIN 16-1-0 1994 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision 5th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
16 WIN 15-1-0[10] 1994-02-17 JapanKimura Tatsuya[11] Tokyo, Japan 9(10), 2:30 TKO Champion Carnival
4th JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
15 WIN 14-1-0 1993 JapanUnknown Tokyo, Japan ?(10) KO 3rd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
14 WIN 13-1-0 1993 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(10) KO 2nd JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
13 WIN 12-1-0 1993 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan 10(10), 3:00 Decision 1st JBC Junior Lightweight Title Defence Match
12 WIN 11-1-0 1993 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan 7(10), 2:12 KO Champion Carnival
JBC Junior Lightweight Title Match
11 WIN 10-1-0 1992-11 Japan Unknown[12] Tokyo, Japan 6(6), 3:00 Decision Class A Tournament Final
10 WIN 9-1-0 1992-9 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(6) KO Class A Tournament Semi-Final
9 WIN 8-1-0 1992-7 Japan Unknown[13] Tokyo, Japan ?(6) KO Class A Tournament First Round
8 WIN 7-1-0 1992-3 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan ?(6) KO Comeback Match
(Junior Lightweight)
7 LOSS 6-1-0 1991-12-24 Japan Makunouchi Ippo[14] Tokyo, Japan 3(6), 2:13 KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament Finals
6 WIN 6-0-0 1991-11 Japan Miyata Ichirō[15] Tokyo, Japan 3(4), 2:22 KO East Japan Rookie King Tournament Semi-Finals
5 WIN 5-0-0 1991-08 Japan Kawaishi Tetsuya[16] Tokyo, Japan ?(4), 2:58 KO East Japan Rookie King Second Round
4 WIN 4-0-0 1991-06 Japan Masahiro Fujisawa[17] Tokyo, Japan 2(4) KO East Japan Rookie King First Round
3 WIN 3-0-0 1991-01 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 0:25 KO N/A
2 WIN 2-0-0 1990-12 Japan Unknown Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 0:25 KO N/A
1 WIN 1-0-0 1990-12 Japan Unknown[18] Tokyo, Japan 1(4), 0:25 KO Debut Match



Preceded by Title Succeeded by
Unknown JBC Junior Lightweight Champion
February, 1993 - April, 1996
Sawamura Ryūhei
Aaron Domingo OPBF Lightweight Champion
April 27, 1997 - November 20, 1999


Mashiba - Manga - Waiting - 01

Mashiba's appearance.

Mashiba had short black hair before growing it into shoulder length hair that is tousled at the top and bangs hanging close to his eyes, thick bushy eyebrows, and visible cheekbones. His appearance is intimidating to Ippo, and is called the "reaper" due to his appearance, notably his long arms that, when swinging, has the resemblance of a scythe. Mashiba is said to have the best physique in lightweight division by Ippo.


Ippo v74 c693 p022

Mashiba's killer instincts coming back against Sawamura.

Mashiba is one of the most intimidating characters in the series, appearing markedly more hostile and unsociable than most other characters. His intimidating demeanour is usually used for comical effect, as other characters, notably Ippo, are terrified of him. All of this is in complete contrast in character to his sister, Kumi, who is portrayed as light-hearted and sweet. Despite still being very stoic, brash and rude, he seems to have mellowed out later in the series, appearing more often in social gatherings with fellow boxers (though he usually ends up provoking/arguing with them).

One of few characters, aside from his sister, that Mashiba can notably get along well with is Itagaki Manabu, who's carefree and naive personality even seems to be able to hold some influence on the former. Additionally, he, despite never outwardly admitting to it, has somewhat come to respect Kimura Tatsuya after almost losing a very close match against him, with Mashiba constantly getting angered whenever witnessing him lose/draw a match (mainly out of embarrassment to almost losing to him) and even internally wishing for Kimura to win in one of his matches.

Because of what happened to his parents, Mashiba chooses to be distant and cynical, rarely associating with anyone but his sister, which has often resulted in him being fired from jobs. He does seem to be resentful of the world at large, but he is legitimately drawn to boxing, believing it to be fair.

Mashiba is usually seen to be one of the meddlers in Ippo's relationship with Kumi, being protective to the point of overbearing. He has slackened somewhat but does still keep an eye on them if the mood strikes him. In cases revolving her love life and with Ippo present, they usually have rather comical quarrels (making him one of the few characters to actually anger Kumi to a degree). He also does not tell Kumi when his matches are, perhaps knowing that she dislikes boxing anyway and even warned her not to come to the match with Sawamura as he knew that it would most likely turn into a bloodbath.

He is a rather deadly boxer, having earned his nickname, "Shinigami" (God of Death), because many of his opponents retired after facing him.

Surprisingly, Mashiba fears and respects Takamura. This is seen in the bar fight when Mashiba outwardly sweats when confronted with an enraged Takamura (even though it was a five-on-one fight alongside Sendō, Date, Fujii and Saeki). His fear proves to be well-founded when the outcome shows the five of them utterly defeated.

Boxing Abilities

Hitman Style

Mashiba's Hitman Style.

Mashiba uses an offensive Hitman Style developed by Thomas Hearns, and his style is also modelled after the same. Mashiba's height and reach allows him to have a fast and very quick Flicker Jab that is almost impossible to get past. The jab has become so sharp over the course of the series it is now compared to a reaper's scythe, and can even have a whiplash effect on the skin if thrown at maximum range. Besides the flicker jabs Mashiba also uses long hooks with both arms and right straights. Most of his techniques are long range.

His typical KO pattern involves using the flicker to corner and weaken the opponent and then slam in a Chopping Right to their jaw. If pressured into medium to close-range fights he knows to use his arms to deflect most attacks with ease, often via elbow blocks. During his one year suspension, Mashiba added a right uppercut to his arsenal to deal with in-fighters. This later turned into a left uppercut.



Mashiba's Hitman Style is also his greatest weakness since he has to drop his left guard, which gives his opponent a chance to drive a major attack on his left side. Also, due to Mashiba's height he suffers against close range fighters, such as Ippo. One of the major ways to take down Mashiba would also be to attack his jaw, as seen when Ippo and Miyata managed to give him a down with one attack straight to his jaw, but they would have to attack his body a couple of times to make it come down lower. He uses the elbow block to deal with strong punches, but continued attacks can render his left arm damaged and he would lose his Flicker jabs.

Generally speaking, Mashiba is poor at taking hits. He shows fear towards opponents with strong fighting spirit, such as Ippo and Kimura, though Mashiba himself possesses formidable spirit born of desperation.

Originally, Mashiba had to deal with severe weight control, but he has since moved from featherweight, junior lightweight, to his natural lightweight weight class.


Main Article: Mashiba Ryō/Gallery


  • "I will never rely on anyone, and anyone who harms my little sister will pay." - Oaths he took before his parents' graves (paraphrased)
  • "As long as I exist, you'll never make it to the top of the Featherweight class." - Episode 9, Mashiba's very first line in the anime and to Ippo


Mashiba's Boxing Robe

Mashiba (間柴) spelled phonetically on the back of his boxing robe.

  • Mashiba's surname (間柴) is spelled phonetically on the back of his boxing robe in different characters that have meanings more suited to his despotic personality.
    • MA = Demonic
    • SHI = Death
    • BA = Tyrant
  • Mashiba is based on Thomas Hearns.[19]
    • Although Mashiba mentions that he has no idea on who Thomas Hearns is when Sendō mentioned Hearns name.[20]
  • Mashiba has a hard time finding opponents. Even though, Ippo and him took the boxing exam at the same time, Mashiba has less matches on his fighting record. Despite the fact that he was suspended for one year after fighting Sawamura Ryūhei.
  • Although not directly stated in the story, Mashiba probably faced and defeated Ryūzaki Takeshi in the Class A Tournament finals, since he went on to face the junior lightweight JBC champion in the Champion Carnival.
  • Mashiba has his name printed on the OPBF title belt.
  • Aoki Masaru is the only member of Kamogawa Boxing Gym that he has not been in a fight against, despite being in the same weight class - Ippo (Match and Spar), Kimura (Match), Itagaki (Spars), and Takamura (Bar Fight)
  • Despite losing his JBC junior lightweight title defence in the Champion Carnival to Sawamura Ryūhei, and coming off a year suspension for the DQ, Mashiba was able to get a OPBF lightweight title match as his comeback match.


  1. Chapter 503, page 6
  2. Chapter 1260
  3. Known Wins
  4. Round 1253
  5. Round 1082
  6. Round 853
  7. Match Poster - Fight Record 18 Total - 17 Wins, 13 KO, 1 Loss
  8. Round 678
  9. Note: Ippo mentions Mashiba's defended 6 times prior to match
  10. Match Poster Fight Record - 15 Total - 14 Wins, 12 KO, 1 Loss
  11. Round 78
  12. Ryūzaki Takeshi - The person who beat Kimura
  13. Round 148 - Kimura mentions Mashiba winning
  14. Round 78
  15. Round 66
  16. Round 37 - Name shown on Rookie King Tournament Paper
  17. Round 37 - Name shown on Rookie King Tournament Paper
  18. Round 16
  19. Takarajima No. 49 "The Manga Artist" pages 212-215
  20. Chapter 1093
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