Wrestler-Turned-Politician Inoki Plans Trip to Pyongyang

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Japanese pro-wrestler-turned-politician Antonio Inoki is planning another trip to North Korea:

A nationally recognized professional wrestler known for his protruding jaw and for slapping people to “instill the fighting spirit,” Mr. Inoki is popular in North Korea for being the protege of the late Rikidozan. The legendary wrestler originally hailed from Korea and is considered the founder of professional wrestling in Japan. Coincidentally, Sunday was the 50th anniversary of Rikidozan’s death in 1963.

You may be wondering, so, how did Rikidozan die, anyway?

On December 8, 1963, while partying in a Tokyo nightclub, Rikid?zan was stabbed with a urine-soaked blade by a man named Katsuji Murata who belonged to the ninky? dantai Sumiyoshi-ikka. Reportedly, Rikid?zan threw Murata out of the club and continued to party, refusing to seek medical help.

Another report states that Rikid?zan did indeed see his physician shortly after the incident, and was told the wound was not serious. He died a week later of peritonitis on December 15. It is rumored by Kimura that his murder was in retaliation for when Rikidozan attacked Kimura during a wrestling match, after Kimura delivered an errant kick to Rikidozan’s groin, ignoring a pre-match arrangement and attacking Kimura for real.

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