Pro Wrestling Legend Antonio Inoki Dies at 79

Sports Society Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 1 (Jiji Press)--Legendary professional wrestler Antonio Inoki died of heart failure at his home on Saturday. He was 79.

Inoki, whose real name was Kanji Inoki, greatly contributed to creating the golden age of "puroresu," or professional wrestling, in Japan during the country's Showa era with his famous catch phrase "moeru tokon," or "burning spirit."

Inoki also worked as a lawmaker of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament. He was suffering systemic amyloidosis, an intractable disease.

A native of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Inoki moved to Brazil with his family in 1957. He entered professional wrestling in 1960 at the age of 17 after being discovered by noted wrester Rikidozan.

With his signature wrestling techniques such as the "cobra twist" and "manjigatame" holds, and the "enzuigiri" kick, Inoki created a puroresu boom with other popular wrestlers including Giant Baba and The Destroyer.

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