I applied myself!” Sara Dosei, the “Strongest City Hall Employee,” talks about her job: “It’s hard work, but every day is fresh! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

I applied myself!” Sara Dosei, the “Strongest City Hall Employee,” talks about her job: “It’s hard work, but every day is fresh!

Matsusaka City, Mie Prefecture "I wanted to give back to my hometown, so I applied for the job myself!" Working as a regular employee of the Board of Education since April

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The desk of the earthly nature is located in the secretariat of the Matsusaka City Board of Education. While receiving guidance from senior staff members, he also works hard at his desk.

The “strongest” civil servant in the history of the city was born.

Sara Dosho, 28, a gold medalist in the women’s wrestling 69kg division at the Rio ’16 Olympics, retired from the sport in March of this year and became an employee of the Matsusaka City Office in her hometown in Mie Prefecture. She did not use any of her connections to apply for the working experience quota, and entered the job using her married surname, so the city officials who were in charge of hiring her were not aware of it at first.

I am not a special person,” she said. If I am going to work in Matsusaka, where I was born and raised, I thought I should apply equally and in the same way as everyone else.

From among 25 applicants, he was selected as one of the two hired. He took the familiar surname “Doji” at the city office and handed out a business card with the title “Sports Section, Sports Division, Board of Education of Matsusaka City” in an unaccustomed manner.

My main job is to promote sports in the city. Usually, I handle the procedures for the city’s pep money for athletes who compete in national tournaments, and I make banners and hang them at Matsusaka Station for athletes who place second or higher in national tournaments. I was also encouraged in this way when I was active in the sport. Now I want to support athletes from Matsusaka who are aiming for the world.

From the time he wakes up in the morning to the time he goes to sleep at night, he has been thinking only about wrestling.

That’s why every day is so fresh! Even when dealing with computers, I can only do the blind touch that I learned in college, so there are a lot of things I have to learn. I feel a bit confused, but my bosses are kind enough to teach me (laughs). On my days off, I eat delicious food and go to karaoke; it’s like my youth finally arrived at the age of 28.”

Dojie began wrestling as a child at the Isshi Junior Wrestling School run by Saori Yoshida’s father, Eikatsu (now deceased), and after graduating from junior high school, she left her parents to attend Shigakukan High School in Aichi Prefecture and then went on to work hard at the same university. As a side note, the senior staff member who teaches Dobusei at city hall is a senior student at the junior class.

He has been a leading figure in the heavyweight division since his teenage years, and won the gold medal in the finals of the Rio Olympics with a stunning comeback. With her lovely smile, she was called “the athlete I would like to have as a daughter,” and was even featured in a weekly gravure magazine after the Games.

In the ’21 Tokyo Olympics, where she attempted to win again, she finished in fifth place. At first, she planned to continue until the Paris Olympics in 2012. However, her body did not allow her to continue.

I had no intention of retiring after finishing fifth, but the subluxation in my shoulder, which I had surgery on, had become a habit. It would come out once a month, heal, and then dislocate again. The fear was always there, and eventually my back and knees started to hurt. I couldn’t wrestle like I used to anymore.”

There was no mention of mentors.

Even though she had unfinished business, Dojiki recalls, “I was able to wrestle to my limits. After deciding to retire, he was reminded of the greatness of Saori Yoshida, who won three golds and one silver in four Olympic Games.

I think the reason why Saori was able to stay at the forefront of the sport for so long was that she never suffered any serious injuries. She was very good at using and managing her body.

Early last spring, she was informed by her mother that Matsusaka City was looking for a civil servant to join the workforce. As a gold medalist, she could have found any number of ways to become a leader.

She said, “No, there was no such talk. I am probably not suited to be a leader (laughs). There was no more rewarding job than contributing to Matsusaka. After leaving junior high school, I had been living apart from my parents as well, so I also wanted to live close to them.”

Dojie married a classmate from her college days in ’21. Her husband quit the company he had been working for and switched jobs with a company in Matsusaka for her.

He is a really understanding husband!

She is a very understanding husband!” Doe says, but she has lost more than 10 kg since her working days.

I had a wedding last October, so I went on a diet to prepare for it,” she says. But I rebounded (laughs).

At present, Dosei is focusing on PR activities for the “Mie Matsusaka Marathon” to be held in December, including a talk show with marathoner Mizuki Noguchi, a gold medalist from Ise City, also in Mie Prefecture, at the “Entry Start Event” on June 4.

I will be giving a talk show with Mizuki Noguchi, a gold medalist from Ise City in Mie Prefecture, who is also a marathon runner. I want to tell them to have dreams and enjoy life.”

Currently, he is busy learning his job at city hall and keeping his distance from wrestling. Eventually, he plans to visit Shigakukan to relieve his lack of exercise and to teach younger students.

There is also a chibi wrestling class in Matsusaka. If I get the chance, I’d like to teach there too.”

The Olympian who shined brighter than anyone else on the mat in Rio seven years ago has made a new start in life as a city hall employee in his hometown.

She won a gold medal at the ’16 Rio Olympics. She was the first female wrestler to reach the pinnacle in the heavyweight division.
It is also her job to create banners to honor local athletes who have achieved great success. The banners were loaded onto the PR car for the Mie Matsusaka Marathon.
Dosei says, “Right now, I want to concentrate on my job as a city hall employee. When we asked him to strike a fighting pose, he agreed with a bashful smile.
Sara Doji, gold medalist in women’s wrestling at the Rio Olympics, talks about her job: “It’s hard work, but every day is fresh!
Sara Dojisei, gold medalist in women’s wrestling at the Rio Olympics, talks about her hard work, but every day is fresh!

From the May 26, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text Yuji Yanagawa

    Nonfiction writer

  • PHOTO Hiroyuki Komatsu

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