Kinji Shibuya
Birth nameRobert Shibuya
Born(1921-05-16)May 16, 1921[1]
Utah, United States[1]
DiedMay 3, 2010(2010-05-03) (aged 88)[1]
Hayward, California, United States
Alma materUniversity of Hawaiʻi
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Kinji Shibuya
Kenji Shibuya
Sato Keomuka
Billed height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Billed weight249 lb (113 kg)
Billed fromJapan
Trained byTsutao Higami

Robert "Kinji" Shibuya (May 16, 1921 – May 3, 2010) was an American professional wrestler and actor.

Professional wrestling career

In 1952, promoter Al Karasick suggested Shibuya try professional wrestling.[1] He was originally given a villainous gimmick of a Japanese bad guy after World War II.[1] He wrestled in the United States and Canada's Stampede Wrestling and All-Star Wrestling.[1] Shibuya credited Verne Gagne for first making him popular as a villain in 1955.[2]

Shibuya was the frequent tag team partner of Mitsu Arakawa, who was billed as his cousin.[1] In 1957, they held the Minneapolis version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship.[1]

Personal life

Shibuya was born in Utah and raised in California with his four brothers.[1] He attended Belmont High School in Los Angeles. He played football for the Los Angeles City College football team, and he also played football at the University of Hawaiʻi.[1] After college, Shibuya played semi-professionally for the Honolulu Polar Bears and Honolulu Warriors.[1]

Shibuya was featured on a "This is Your Life" segment on the television show Canvas Cavity and appeared on the show several times in the 1970s and 1980s.[2] After retiring from wrestling, he also had small acting roles on shows such as Kung Fu and Mr. T and Tina.[1] He also appeared in the films Days of a Bawdy Ballad and Hammett.[1]

He was married for 59 years and had two children,[1] including Robert Shibuya, the Chairman & CEO of Mohr Partners, global corporate real estate advisory firm based in Dallas, Texas. Shibuya died on May 3, 2010, of natural causes.[1][2] He was cremated, and his funeral service was held at a Buddhist temple.[2]

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Oliver, Greg (May 8, 2010). "Kinji Shibuya dead at 88". SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on November 29, 2021. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lano, Mike (May 20, 2010). "Remembering Kinji Shibuya: Hated and beloved". SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved 2010-05-22.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ "Honorees". Cauliflower Alley Club. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "Texas: NWA / World Class American Heavyweight Title [Von Eric]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 265–266. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  5. ^ "NWA United States Heavyweight Title (1967-1968/05) - American Heavyweight Title (1968/05-1986/02)". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  6. ^ Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal (2000). "Texas: NWA Texas Tag Team Title [Von Erich]". Wrestling Title Histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. pp. 275–276. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  7. ^ "NWA Texas Tag Team Title [E. Texas]". Retrieved December 27, 2019.