WWE Hall of Famer Harry Fujiwara passed away Sunday morning at the age of 82, according to WWE. He was best known by his ring name, Mr. Fuji. He is remembered by fans for his unforgettable character, and devious ring psychology.
“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Harry Fujiwara, known to WWE fans as Mr. Fuji, passed away this morning at the age of 82,” the organization said in a statement. “His career will be remembered by different generations for different reasons but Mr. Fuji, whether as a Superstar or manager, is one of the most entertaining performers in the history of WWE.”
Fujiwara’s career spanned over two decades, before he became a manager to some of the most feared wrestlers in the WWE. Here’s more about Fujiwara’s life, and his accomplishments as a wrestler:
1. He Made His Professional Wrestling Debut in 1965
Fujiwara made his professional wrestling debut on December 15, 1965 in his native Hawaii under the ring name Mr. Fujiwara. He won his first championship, the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship, with Curtis Iaukea on January 7, 1966. Soon after, he shortened his ring name to Mr. Fuji and began performing in various regional wrestling companies.
2. He Was a 5-Time World Tag Team Champion
Mr. Fuji, alongside partner Professor Toru Tanaka, was a World Tag Team Champion three times. In the early ’70s, he and Tanaka were dominant.
Fujiwara and Tanaka continued to tour in 1979 however, later in that same year, they stopped teaming and began wrestling individually. Fujiwara went on to win several singles titles in a variety of promotions, including World Wrestling Council, NWA New Zealand and Maple Leaf Wrestling.
In 1981, Fujiwara would partner with Mr. Saito and capture the World Tag Team Championship two more times.
Fujiwara was managed by three of the best managers of his time— The Grand Wizard, Classy Freddie Blassie and Captain Lou Albano.
3. He Was Known For Throwing Salt in His Opponents’ Eyes
As a wrestler, Fujiwara became known for breaking the rules. He kept bags of salt well-hidden in his trunks and would throw the salt into his opponents’ eyes.
During the 1993 match at WrestleMania IX, when Fujiwara managed Yokozuna, he turned to his trademark move. Fuji threw salt into the eyes of Bret Hart, allowing Yokozuna to win the WWE Championship.
The salt toss remained one of his most memorable tactics throughout his career.
4. He Became a Manager After His Retirement From Wrestling
After retiring from the ring in 1985, Fujiwara managed many WWE stars in the wrestling boom of the 1980s and ’90s. His clients included George “The Animal” Steele, Kamala, Killer Khan, Demolition, The Powers of Pain, Yokozuna and “Magnificent” Don Muraco.
He wore a black tuxedo and bowler hat–– similar to the James Bond series character Oddjob. Fujiwara’s biggest success as a manager was in 1992 when he introduced the Yokozuna to the WWF, the predecessor to WWE. Under Fujiwara’s tutelage, Yokozuna won the 1993 Royal Rumble match and two WWF World Championships.
Fujiwara was last seen accompanying Yokozuna to the ring for a six-man tag team match involving Yokozuna against “Camp Cornette” at WrestleMania 12.
5. He Was Inducted Into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007
Fujiwara was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31, 2007. His unique style and memorable character left an undeniable mark in the wrestling world.
Many took to social media on Sunday to honor his legacy, including fellow veteran wrestler Tommy Dreamer, and WWE executive Triple H.