WWE has announced this morning that WWE Hall of Famer Harry Fujiwara, best known as Mr. Fuji, has passed away at the age of 82.
For over 30 years, Mr. Fuji was a familiar face both inside the ring and at ringside.
Mr. Fuji made his debut in 1972 in Vince McMahon Sr.‘s World Wide Wrestling Federation (which is now World Wrestling Entertainment). At that time, he was most famous for an exceptional skill of ring psychology, which he used against his opponents as both a singles wrestler and tag team.
Partnered first with “Professor” Toru Tanaka, the two won their first WWWF World Tag Team Championship by defeating Sonny King and Chief Jay Strongbow on June 27, 1972. Quickly, the duo climbed their way up the ladder within the company, becoming two of the most popular heels in the industry. They held onto the titles until losing to Tony Garea and Haystacks Calhoun on May 30, 1973.
Both men left the WWWF in 1974.
During his active wrestling career, Mr. Fuji won over 20 total championships, but when he retired, he became an iconic manager.
From 1985-1996, Mr. Fuji managed some of the most memorable wrestlers of all-time, and was involved in some of the most famous moments. His greatest trait as manager was throwing salt into the eyes of wrestlers, or allowing his wrestlers to use his cane to hit their opponents.
WWE’s most feared Superstars, such as George “The Animal” Steele, Kamala, Killer Khan, Demolition, The Powers of Pain, Yokozuna and most notably, “Magnificent” Don Muraco, were all managed at some point by Mr. Fuji.
With Muraco, Fuji treated WWE fans to the classic Fuji Vice, Fuji General, Fuji Bandito and Fuji Chan series. Each one of the series’ were spoofs of other popular shows on television at the time, and cemented their legacy even more.
I personally would like to extend my sincerest condolences to the family of Harry Fujiwara at this time.