It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the death of one of the most famous professional wrestlers and managers of all time. Harry Fujiwara, better known as Mr. Fuji passed away on Sunday at age 82.
Mr. Fuji was best known for his time in the WWE where he was a member of its Hall of Fame.
From Huffington Post:
Although he played a flag-waving Japanese character with a heavy accent, Fujiwara was an American of Japanese descent, born in Hawaii in 1935. His schtick was especially effective during the 1980s and 1990s, when a powerful Japanese economy led to a protectionist backlash in the United States, and Japanese characters were often portrayed as villains in pop culture.
In a 2009 interview with World Wrestling Insanity, Fujiwara said angry fans threw chairs at him. He was even stabbed twice.
“That was my job,” he recalled. “I made them hate my guts real bad. I was really good at that.”
Fujiwara’s wrestling career began in the 1960s in Hawaii. In 1972, he joined what was then known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation ― which would ultimately become WWE, according to Deadline. Except for a couple of brief departures, he would remain with the organization until 1996.
“During his in-ring days, Fuji established himself as one of the great rule-breakers in WWE,” the organization said.
His signature move was hiding a bag of salt in his trunks. He would throw the salt into the eyes of his opponents, blinding them while he went in for the finish.
Mr. Fuji’s specialty was tag-team wrestling, where he was the co-holder of the championship five times with two different partners.
After his performing career ended, Fujiwara became one of the sport’s most colorful managers. He’d wear a tuxedo and tophat, and carry a cane, which could at times also become a weapon whenever a referee turned his back.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Fujiwara’s entire family during this difficult time!