WWE confirms Mr. Fuji Death
May 4, 1934 – August 28, 2016 (age 82)
The WWE has officially announced the passing of Mr. Fuji – real name, Harry Fujiwara.
It’s reported that he died early in the morning on August 28th, 2016.
Update: 8/29/16 1:10am
We’ve spoken with Harry’s granddaughter, Chelsea. She speaks of her late grandfather:
“He was a loving father and grandpa and he was as sweet as he was “devious”. His dry humor and smile was contagious and we will miss him dearly. I’ll keep the memories but would love to hear everyone else’s memories of him.”
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The cause of death has not yet been made public, although Fuji did not appear in the best of health in recent years. At his 2007 WWE Hall of Fame induction he was in a wheelchair.
After leaving the wrestling business in the late 90s, Fuji owned and operated a training dojo in Tennessee. He is said to have lived a simple life, at one point having a part time job as a ticket usher at a local movie theater.
Wrestler turned Manager
Before becoming the infamous heel manager that we all remember from the 80s and early 90s, Mr. Fuji was a successful wrestler. He was a tag team champion throughout much of his wrestling career in the 70s and 80s – partnering with Toru Tanaka and Mr. Saito in the WWWF (later renamed the WWF, and eventually renamed WWE).
Fuji was truly a master heel, both as a wrestler, and as a manager. Who could forget Fuji throwing salt into his opponents eyes? It became Fuji’s trademark.
As a wrestler, Fuji was retired by 1985. But that didn’t keep him out of the action.
Throughout the rest of the 80s, Fuji managed George “The Animal” Steel, as well as Don Muraco. He then took on several other notable clients including Demolition, Kamala, and the Powers of Pain.
Perhaps one of his most recognizable roles, in the early 90s, Mr. Fuji was managing samoan-turned Japanese sumo wrestler Yokozuna, who died back in 2000.
The salt-in-the-eyes assists by Fuji helped catapult Yoko to main event status. As a kid watching the WWF at the time, they were truly the duo you loved to hate. With Mr. Fuji in his corner, Yokozuna would go on to capture the WWF championship on two separate occasions.
In 2007, Mr. Fuji was inducted into his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Triple H Tweets about Mr. Fuji’s passing:
An unforgettable character in front of the camera and an even better one behind it. Rest in Peace, Mr. Fuji. pic.twitter.com/NkpQE8pyAU
— Triple H (@TripleH) August 28, 2016
Our condolences to the friends and family of Harry Fujiwara.