WWE Hall of Famer Harry Fujiwara – known to much of the professional wrestling fanbase as Mr. Fuji – has passed away at the age of 82.
The former wrestler spent the better part of three decades performing inside the squared circle, serving as both an active competitor and manager. He won the WWF Tag Team Championship five times with Toru Tanaka (three times) and Mr. Saito (twice), while moving on to manage the likes of George “The Animal” Steele, Kamala, Killer Khan, Demolition, The Powers of Pain and “Magnificent” Don Muraco.
Fuji was arguably most popular for introducing a 6-foot-4, 580-pound Yokozuna to the WWF/E audience in 1992. Yokozuna went on to win the Royal Rumble in 1993, and defeating Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan to hold the WWF World Championship twice.
A Japanese American born in Hawaii, Mr. Fuji was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 following his retirement from pro wrestling in 1996. Shortly after his retirement, Fuji opened a dojo in Jefferson City and Dandridge in Tennessee.
WWE wrote 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.
WWE extends its condolences to Fujiwara’s family, friends and fans.”
Fujiwara got his start in professional on the regional scene in his native Hawaii, eventually touring the pacific northwest in the continental United States before debuting in the then-WWWF in 1972.