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Pro Wrestling

Kinji Shibuya (May 16, 1921 – May 3, 2010) was an American professional wrestler and actor.

Professional wrestling career

In 1952, promoter Al Karasick suggested Shibuya try professional wrestling. He was originally given a villainous gimmick of a Japanese bad guy after World War II. He wrestled in the United States and Canada's Stampede Wrestling and All-Star Wrestling. Shibuya credited Verne Gagne for first making him a popular as a villain in 1955.

Shibuya was the frequent tag team partner of Mitsu Arakawa, who was billed as his cousin. In 1957, they held the Minneapolis version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

Personal life

Shibuya was born in Utah and raised in California with his four brothers. He attended Belmont High School in Los Angeles. He and played football for the Los Angeles City football team, and he also played football at the University of Hawaii. After college, Shibuya played semi-professionally for the Honolulu Polar Bears and Honolulu Warriors.

Shibuya was featured on a "This is Your Life" segment on the television show Canvas Cavity and appeared on the show several times in the 1970s and 1980s. After retiring from wrestling, he also had small acting roles on shows such as Kung Fu and Mr. T and Tina. He also appeared in the films Days of a Bawdy Ballad and Hammett.

He was married for 59 years and had two children. Shibuya died on May 3, 2010 of natural causes. He was cremated, and his funeral service was held at a Buddhist temple.

Championships and accomplishments

  • NWA San Francisco
    • NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (San Francisco version) (3 times)
    • NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (3 times) - with Masa Saito (2) and Great Mephisto (1)
  • NWA Western States Sports
    • NWA North American Heavyweight Championship (Amarillo version) (1 time)

External links