1921 (Taisho 10) Monday, May 16 Professional wrestler Kinji Shibuya was born in Utah, the United States. He was raised in Los Angeles as a second-generation Japanese American, and played an active role as an offense guard of American football at Belmont High School. He also played as an American football player at the University of Hawaii in the Hula Bowl, an all-star game at the U.S. National University, and joined semi-pro teams such as the Honolulu Polar Bears and the Honolulu Warriors.
In 1952, he was scouted by Shikina OKI and joined professional wrestling. The following year, he took on the NWA champion, Lou Thesz, and attracted attention. Active mainly in the West Coast of the United States, including the local cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and from the late 1960s, he supported Japanese athletes such as Masa Saito who had trained as samurai overseas, both publicly and privately. As a mentor for these athletes, he was called the “Kamikaze Oyabun”. The duo with Masa Saito won many tag championships in the U.S. and became popular in the U.S. He retired in 1977, lived in Hayward, California, and occasionally appeared in movies and television as an actor. He died in 2010 at the age of 88.
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