Iwao Shimabukuro (島袋 岩男, Shimabukuro Iwao) is a non-recurring character in Hajime no Ippo.

He was a featherweight professional boxer from Okinawa, formerly affiliated with the Mensore Okinawa Seaside Gym. After retiring he continued being a fisherman.

He was Makunouchi Ippo's 4th challenger, whom was first to find a way to break his Dempsey Roll and first opponent in the Rising Saga.

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


Known as the "Ryūkyū Warrior", Shimabukuro hailed from a small fishing village in Okinawa. As a man of the sea, his main occupation was being a fisherman, and was very well known as one. His body had grown strong from being in this environment. He later started boxing at the Mensore Okinawa Seaside Gym.

Starting his boxing career winning by knockout in his matches, Shimabukuro entered the West Japan Rookie King Tournament. After the winning first round, Shimabukuro faced against Sawamura Ryūhei in the second round. Shimabukuro was toyed around by Sawamura for four rounds. Shimabukuro lost by decision after the four rounds.

Sometime later, Shimabukuro entered the Class A Tournament and faced against Okita Keigo. Shimabukuro won against Okita by knockout in thirty-two seconds into the first round.[1]

Part II

Submarine Wars Arc

He was the first challenger to successfully and seriously exploit one of the Dempsey Roll's weaknesses, in this case the direct collision which was also very dangerous for him. He managed to drag oxygen out of Ippo, due to loss of stamina.

Shimabukuro retired after losing to Ippo to focus on his fishing duties and protecting the reefs.

Match History

Match History
# Result Record Date Opponent Location Time Type Notes
14 LOSS 12-2-0 1995-03-21 JapanMakunouchi Ippo Tokyo, Japan 7(10), 2:15 KO "SUBMARINE WARS"
JBC Featherweight Title Match
? WIN  ?-1-0 1994 JapanOkita Keigo Tokyo, Japan 1(8), 0:32 KO Class A Tournament
? LOSS  ?-1-0 1993 JapanSawamura Ryūhei Osaka, Japan 4(4), 3:00 Decision West Japan Rookie King Tournament
Round 2
? WIN ?-0-0 1993 JapanUnknown Osaka, Japan ?(4) KO West Japan Rookie King Tournament
Round 1
1 WIN 1-0-0 199X JapanUnknown Japan ?(4) KO Pro Debut


Shimabukuro Iwao - 002

Shimabukuro at the weigh-in.

Though even shorter than Ippo, his body is like a steel fortress, bulky and cabled with muscle. He has a rough appearance (like a fisherman) with some facial hair.


A stern, prideful, and powerful fisherman, Shimabukuro boasts his confidence against the Dempsey Roll even before they've fought; this indicates he is very analytical of his opponents long before they fight. He even envisions the actual fight as a battle between sons of the sea, until it became clear he was fighting in a ring, not in the water. Realising this too late, he illustrates his pride being shattered as Ippo delivers his finishing blow.

Boxing Abilities

Shimabukuro is a in-fighter who is even shorter than Ippo. This mean he has to step for the close range for his fights. His body is cabled with muscles that give him great power. He has great punching power, where even Ippo admits that Shimabukuro's power is greater than his, but the Ryukyu warrior isn't as fast as the latter. Shimabukuro is shown to be extremely durable, showcased when he took on Ippo's Dempsey Roll head on by hitting simultaneous punches against it. The seaman's greatest attribute is his stamina. He is able to hold his breath under water for 14 minutes, and his stamina outlasted Ippo.

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 7.14.08 PM

Shimabukuro exchanging with Ippo's Dempsey Roll.

  Shimabukuro's is a in-fighting expert. Thanks to his layers of muscle he never doubts his raw strength, but only wants to engage the opponent by either turtling and blocking everything or a non-stop infight. He's a careful fighter who will keep slowing down the opponent with as many body blows as possible. He aims to not only kill their legs but have them completely exhausted and unable to move, and will take almost any blow moving towards that goal, as he views boxing as a contest in stamina. He was capable of weight shifting during his fight against Ippo in their zero distance battle with each other. Coach Kamogawa stated that the Ryukyu warrior was a boxing genius equal to that of Miyata.[citation needed]



Like Ippo, Shimabukuro's short height means he cannot use hit and away tactics at all; he always has to press forward to enter an in-fight. Out-Boxers are his natural enemy.

He lost to Ippo after trying to trade punches with Ippo during the Dempsey Roll; Ippo's endurance proved greater than Shimabukuro's.




  1. Chapter 419, pages 1-4
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