Antonio Inoki Wiki – Antonio Inoki Bio
Antonio Inoki was a Japanese professional wrestler, martial artist, politician, and promoter of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. He was better known by the ring name Antonio Inoki, an homage to his fellow professional wrestler Antonino Rocca. Inoki was a twelve-time world champion in professional wrestling, notably being the first IWGP Heavyweight Champion and the first WWF Asian Heavyweight Champion, a reign not officially recognized by WWE.
Inoki was born into a wealthy family in Yokohama in 1943. He was the sixth child and the second youngest of seven boys and four girls. His father, Sajiro Inoki, a businessman and politician, died when Kanji was five years old. Inoki entered Higashidai Elementary School. Inoki learned karate from an older brother when he was in sixth grade. When he was in seventh grade at Terao Junior High School, he was 180 centimeters tall and joined the basketball team. He later quit and joined a track club as a shot putter. He eventually won the championship at the Yokohama Junior High School track meet.
Antonio Inoki died at the age of 79 years old.
Family & Siblings
Inoki was married to actress Mitsuko Baisho from 1971 to 1987, and together they had a daughter, Hiroko. Inoki operated a wrestling-themed restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo called Antonio’s Inoki Sakaba Shinjuku. Inoki’s fourth wife, Tazuko Tada, died on August 27, 2019. In 2021, spinal problems were reported to have confined Inoki to a wheelchair. Inoki converted to Shia Islam in 1990 during a pilgrimage to Karbala, the holy Shia city in Iraq. He was in Iraq negotiating the release of several Japanese hostages. While in Iraq, Inoki was given the Islamic nickname of Muhammad Hussain, but later said that “usually” he is a Buddhist. Inoki reportedly described himself as a Muslim convert and a Buddhist. In 2014, he described himself as simply a Buddhist.
Cause of Death
On October 1, 2022, at age 79, Inoki died of systemic transthyretin amyloidosis.
Popular Japanese professional wrestler and lawmaker Antonio Inoki, who faced world boxing champion Muhammad Ali in a mixed martial art match in 1976, has died.
Inoki brought Japanese professional wrestling to fame and pioneered mixed martial arts matches between top fighters and champions of other combat sports such as judo, karate, and boxing.
He was also the first in his sport to enter politics. He promoted peace through sports and made more than 30 trips to North Korea during his time as a legislator in hopes of forging peace and friendship.
Inoki, who was battling a rare disease called amyloidosis, died early Saturday, according to the New Japan Pro-Wrestling Co., of which he was the founding president. Inoki was upbeat and in good spirits, even as he battled the illness.
With his characteristic red scarf hanging around his neck, Inoki last appeared in public in August on a television show, in a wheelchair.
“As you can see, I am pushing myself to the limit and gaining power as I see you,” he said.
He retired as a wrestler in 1998 but remained active in politics until 2019.