Kamogawa Genji (鴨川 源二, lit. Kamogawa Genji) is a retired prizefighter who founded the Kamogawa Boxing Gym. He acts as the trainer of both Ippo and Takamura, as well as a cornerman for the boxers under Shinoda Tomoyuki.
Kamogawa worked as a prizefighter in Japan shortly after the end of the Second World War. He has had multiple boxing matches with former prizefighter Nekota Ginpachi, 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, Kamogawa harboured strong feelings of national pride, refusing to accept food handouts.
Kamogawa witnessed American sergeant Ralph Anderson easily defeat Hama in an exhibition match. After Hama's loss, Anderson terrorised the population and chased Yuki into the alleys. Here, Kamogawa experienced the power of American boxing first-hand as he and Nekota were beaten up by Anderson while protecting Yuki. After seeing Anderson's clinical jabs and being hit by a Cross Counter, Kamogawa acknowledged that American boxing was at least a hundred years ahead of Japanese prizefighting. It was also here that he encountered Miguel Zale, a soldier and second to Anderson.
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, Kamogawa discovered that Yuki was a survivor from Hiroshima, who was dying from radiation poisoning.
Although Kamogawa's pride was hurt, he was aware of the gap between Japanese prizefighting and American boxing, and declined to challenge Anderson on the basis that true boxers fight against their own weight division, and as a bantamweight, Kamogawa was no match for Anderson. However, Nekota secretly arranged a fight with Anderson. Kamogawa furiously rushed to the match after realising Nekota had been brain-damaged after their last fight together. Despite Nekota's superior speed, he was crippled by an illegal Rabbit Punch and was severely beaten before Kamogawa interfered and stopped the match.
Swearing to avenge Nekota, Kamogawa trained by punching a log into an embankment, honing his fists into a deadly weapon. In the match against Anderson, Kamogawa was outclassed and unable to land a clean hit. Through the strength of his spirit and Nekota's desperate encouragement, Kamogawa absorbs Anderson's chopping right and lands two deadly body blows, breaking his ribs and puncturing his internal organs. Despite defeating Ralph, Kamogawa broke both his fists in the process, which ended his career thereafter.
With Nekota retreating to his mountain home to recover, Kamogawa put aside the feelings between himself and Yuki and dedicated his life to passing on his passion for boxing.
Sometime later, Kamogawa opened his own boxing gym, where he trained the future manager of the gym Yagi Haruhiko, the then-OPBF Featherweight champion Miyata-san, and the budding counter specialist Miyata Ichirou. By chance, he encountered Takamura Mamoru and convinced him to enter the world of boxing under his tutorship. Takamura then scouted Aoki Masaru, Kimura Tatsuya, and Makunouchi Ippo to the gym.
One day, Takamura brought over a newcomer named Ippo. Kamogawa was skeptical about the idea of Ippo becoming a professional, due to his appearance and attitude. In order to conclude what his chances were, he decided to have him spar against boxing prodigy Miyata. During the spar, Ippo went down several times and was unable to land a single hit on Miyata before losing via knockout. However, his durability, stamina and determination, earned Kamogawa's respect and a membership to his gym.
Kamogawa decided to supervise Ippo's training personally (which he did for no one other than Takamura) and announced that he would have a rematch against Miyata. During the months leading up to the rematch, Kamogawa taught Ippo how to perform an uppercut, and put him through intensive training in order to directly face the counter instead of avoiding it. In an attempt to have both aspiring boxers motivated, he instigated a rivalry between them, by constantly making comments about Ippo's growth. Kamogawa is Ippo's second on his second spar with Miyata. After Ippo won, Kamogawa had to hide his excitement. Kamogawa is impressed after receiving a picture of Ippo hitting the tip of Miyata's jaw from Fujii Minoru.
As Ippo "lost his goal" after sparring with Miyata, he no longer showed his punching power while mitt training with Kamogawa, seeing this, Kamogawa ordered him to train with Takamura in order to understand the hardships of the sport. Kamogawa is Takamura's second in his match against Hirano Kazuhiko, where Takamura wins and gets ranked first in Japan. Kamogawa announces that Ippo's opponent for his pro debut is Oda Yusuke. In the match against Oda, Kamogawa avoided a doctor stoppage by applying ice and lotion to Ippo's cut allowing him to continue the fight which he ultimately won via knockout. After Ippo won and everyone is outside, Kamogawa silently walked away and left Ippo, Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura money to celebrate.
Kamogawa announces Ippo's second opponent is Fujiwara Yoshio and states even with a 1 win and 1 loss record, anything can happen in boxing. Before the match begins, Kamogawa tells Ippo to do as practice and there will be no problem. Kamogawa congratulates Ippo on his victory, while laughing at Ippo's bump on his head.
After Jason Ozuma is revealed as Ippo's first opponent at the East Japan Rookie King Tournament and hearing about how he put his sparring partner in the hospital with a hook, Kamogawa decides to have Takamura train Ippo to dodge hooks. On the day of the match after round one, Kamogawa told Ippo that his punches are getting to Ozuma and to not show pain in his face. After Ippo's down in round two, Kamogawa helped him get up by yelling. Kamogawa notices the training paid off as Ippo wins his match.
As Kamogawa watches tapes of Kobashi Kenta and Hayami Ryuuichi's matches, he states that Ippo now has two obstacles to pass to get to Miyata. Ippo's match against Kobashi begins, Kamogawa acts as Ippo's second. Kamogawa noticed how bad Ippo is sweating during the match and how they both fell into Kobashi's trap. However, after Ippo found a chance for a hit, he and Kamogawa won.
Kamogawa acted as Takamura's cornerman during his Japanese middleweight champion title match against Yajima Yoshiaki. After Takamura's win and winning the JBC middleweight champion belt, Kamogawa and the others celebrated.
Kamogawa shows Ippo a recording of Hayami's match, showing Ippo's original plan was not going to work. Kamogawa states that in order to defeat Hayami, let him use the Shotgun and then attack while he is exhausted, Kamogawa then puts Ippo on defensive training. After Ippo states he wants to learn how to throw a counter when Hayami uses his uppercut, Kamogawa starts training Ippo for counters. On the day of the match, before Ippo is about to fight, Kamogawa states to use the counter only once. Kamogawa, with Ippo wins the match against Hayami.After Ippo damages his fist, Kamogawa states not to use it for two weeks. Kamogawa explained Mashiba Ryou's weakness in his Hitman style, which is his left guard always being down. On the day of the match, Kamogawa states to keep the match an in-fight in order to keep close to him. At the end, Kamogawa is proud of Ippo winning the tournament.
|9||WIN||6-2-1||Ralph Anderson||KO||8(12),||1947(?)||Tokyo, Japan||Retired after match from two broken fists due to overuse of Tekken.|
|8||DRAW||5-2-1||Nekota Ginpachi||Decision||10(10), 3:00||1947(?)||Tokyo, Japan||It went to a decision, as a draw. Both never accepted it.|
|7||LOSS||5-2-0||Nekota Ginpachi||KO||?(10),||19??||Tokyo, Japan||4th match against Nekota|
|6||WIN||5-1-0||Nekota Ginpachi||KO||?(10),||19??||Tokyo, Japan||3rd match against Nekota|
|5||WIN||4-1-0||Hama Dankichi||KO||?(10),||19??||Tokyo, Japan||N/A|
|4||WIN||3-1-0||Nekota Ginpachi||KO||?(10),||19??||Tokyo, Japan||2nd match against Nekota|
|19??||Tokyo, Japan||1st match against Nekota|
|1||WIN||1-0-0||Unknown||KO||?(4)||19??||Tokyo, Japan||Pro Debut|
In his youth, Kamogawa sported messy, dark-brown, hair and a muscular physique. He also had a very rigid face structure, with a bulky isometric nose and large eye-brows. This refined jawline is less prevalent in his older years.
In his twilight years, Kamogawa is partially bald with grey hair residing on the sides of his head, as well as at a small tuft above his forehead. His age also leaves him often walking with a wooden cane.
Kamogawa is a fairly stoic and introspective character, rarely displaying his emotions outwardly. He is deeply passionate about boxing as a sport and takes great pride in his boxers success. Despite this, he is prudish and does not tolerate indecency and debauchery, disciplining his disciples with his cane (mainly Takamura) when they step out of line.
He is repeatedly proud of Takamura and Ippo, though he rarely expresses it, but it is Ippo he regards as his "last son". He seeks to raise a world champion whose boxing is principled on fighting spirit, not just talent or skill.
Not much is known about Kamogawa's prior fighting style other than his weight class and his natural in-fighting tendencies. It is implied by Nekota that he used both an orthodox and southpaw style, as he said to Genji: "Your right cross hasn't faded at all," then told Ippo: "If I didn't look into his eyes, I would've taken his left cross." He invented Tekken, a destructive body blow which leaves an imprint of a fist behind. He possesses a stubborn and unyielding fighting spirit, which he seeks to pass down to a successor in the hopes of challenging the world.
- "I expected someone who could become a pro because you recruited him, but what is that? I don't feel any fighting spirit!" - To Takamura the first time Ippo joined the gym
- "Not everyone who works hard is rewarded. But! All those who succeed have worked hard!" - To Takamura before his fight with Bryan Hawk
- Despite being very knowledgeable about boxing and having years of experience with different techniques and styles, Kamogawa believes that "techniques are nothing against strength".
- As of Chapter 1012, Kamogawa is still able to do mitts hitting with Ippo and Takamura consecutively at his old age.
- ↑ Hajime no Ippo chapter 5, page 13