Kim Il
Kintaro Ohki 1962 Scan10015 161022.jpg
Born(1929-02-24)February 24, 1929
Goheung, Jeollanam-do, Japanese Korea
DiedOctober 26, 2006(2006-10-26) (aged 77)
Seoul, South Korea
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Kim Il
Kintaro Ohki
Trained byRikidōzan
Mr. Moto
DebutNovember 1959
RetiredEarly 1980s
April 2, 1995 ceremony

Kim Il (Korean: 김일; Hanja: 金一; February 24, 1929 – October 26, 2006), also known as his ring name Kintarō Ōki (Japanese: 大木金太郎), was a South Korean professional wrestler, and Ssireum (Korean wrestling) player.[1] He spent his wrestling career from the 1950s to the 1980s.


Kim was originally a Ssireum player, but he had hopes of becoming a student of Japanese wrestling legend Rikidōzan, another Korean. He entered Japan illegally in 1958 to do so, but was arrested in 1959. After being released he was able to train with Rikidōzan and joined the Japan Wrestling Association. Kim started to play wrestling under his ring name "Kintaro Ohki" after his debut in November 1959. On September 30, 1960, Ohki defeated fellow rookie Kanji Inoki, later Antonio Inoki, who was making his debut along with Shohei Baba, later Giant Baba. Ohki, Baba and Inoki were considered a part of a rookie trio groomed to become the eventual successors to Rikidōzan himself. Ohki was also trained by Mr. Moto and Yoshinosato.[2]

With Rikidōzan's murder in 1963 Ohki returned to his homeland to raise the profile of professional wrestling there, but returned to the JWA when Toyonobori and Inoki left the promotion, though he returned the next year. Also in 1967 Ohki became the top star in Korea with his defeat of Mark Lewin to win the Worldwide Wrestling Associates World Heavyweight Championship. With this the JWA wanted to rename him to Rikidōzan but the plan never went through.[2]

Inoki and Baba famously left the JWA in 1972 to found the All Japan and New Japan promotions in 1972, letting Ohki become the JWA's top star, winning the NWA International Heavyweight Championship.

In April 1973 the JWA closed and was absorbed into All Japan, and though he competed for the new organization for a time he wrestled mostly as a freelancer in Japan and a main event star in South Korea, famously wrestling against his former fellow rookies Inoki and Baba in 1974 and 1975. He defended the NWA International title in IPW and South Korea until ordered by the NWA to vacate it in 1981.[2]

Since then Ohki did not compete much, with his official retirement card on April 2, 1995, held at a Weekly Pro-Wrestling magazine sponsored show at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Wrestling legend Lou Thesz assisted Ohki at this, his last public appearance in Japan; Ohki was in a wheelchair at this time.

During his career Ohki also held the Far East Heavyweight title, All Asia Heavyweight and Tag Team title four times each, NWA Texas Tag Team title and NWA International Tag Team title, also four times.[2]

Ohki died in the Eulji General Hospital in Seoul on October 26, 2006, of a heart attack brought on by chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.[3]

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ 박치기왕 임종 이틀 전…“내 머릿속 큰 돌멩이 좀 빼줘” (in Korean). 7 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Kintaro Ohki". Puroresu Dojo.
  3. ^ Kang, Seung-woo (26 October 2006). "Obituary". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  4. ^[bare URL]
  5. ^ "Open Tag League 1977 « Tournaments Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Archived from the original on 9 August 2020.
  6. ^[bare URL]
  7. ^[bare URL]
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "NWA Texas Tag Team Title [E. Texas]". Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  10. ^ "東京スポーツ プロレス大賞:選考経過(1974~1979)". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved 14 December 2017.