Antonio Inoki Biography

Muhammad Hussain Inoki was a Japanese professional wrestler, martial artist, politician, and promoter of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. He was born Kanji Inoki (Japanese:, Hepburn: Inoki Kanji) on February 20, 1943, and passed away on October 1, 2022. His full name was Muhammad Hussain Inoki. His most popular ring name was Antonio Inoki (, Antonio Inoki), which was a tribute to the professional wrestling ring name Antonino Rocca. Inoki won twelve times in his career to become the world champion in professional wrestling. He is most famous for being the first IWGP Heavyweight Champion and the first Asian to win the WWF Heavyweight Championship, although WWE does not acknowledge the latter reign.

Under the guidance of Rikidzan, Inoki started his career as a professional wrestler in the 1960s for the Japan Pro Wrestling Alliance (JWA). Inoki rose to prominence as one of the most recognizable figures in the annals of Japanese professional wrestling almost overnight. Through his wrestling career, he rose to become one of the most famous athletes in Japan, a reputation that was enhanced by his fight in 1976 against the world champion boxer Muhammad Ali. This fight was a forerunner to modern mixed martial arts. In 1995, Inoki and Ric Flair headlined two concerts in North Korea that attracted a total of 150,000 and 190,000 fans, respectively. This was the greatest attendance ever recorded in the history of professional wrestling. [5] Don Frye was the opponent for Inoki in his final bout, which took place on April 4, 1998. Inoki was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010. [2]

In 1972, Inoki established New Japan Pro-Wrestling, which marked the beginning of his career as a promoter (NJPW). Up until 2005, he continued to be the owner of NJPW; however, in that year, he parted ways with the promotion by selling the controlling portion of it to Yuke’s video game firm. In 2007, he established what is now known as the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF). ISM was established by Inoki in 2017, and he parted ways with IGF the following year. Additionally, he is a co-founder of the karate style known as Kansui-Ryu (), which he established alongside Matsubayashi-Ryu instructor Yukio Mizutani. [6]

Inoki entered politics in 1989 after being elected to the Japanese House of Councillors. At the time, he was still actively competing in the sport of wrestling. Before the start of the Gulf War, Inoki was able to successfully negotiate with Saddam Hussein for the release of Japanese hostages during his first term as a member of the House of Councillors. He served in the House of Councillors for the first time from 1993 until 1995, and then again from 2013 until the present. Inoki left his career in politics in 2019 and retired.


Early life

Inoki was the youngest child of a wealthy family and was born in Yokohama in 1943. He was the second youngest of the seven boys and four girls in the family. He was the sixth son overall. When Kanji was five years old, his father, Sajiro Inoki, who was a successful businessman and politician, passed away. Inoki enrolled in the first grade at the Higashidai School. When Inoki was in the sixth grade, one of his older brothers began teaching him karate. He had reached a height of 180 cm by the time he entered his seventh year at Terao Junior High School, where he was also a member of the basketball team. After some time, he gave up and started competing in track and field as a shot putter for a club. In the end, he was victorious in the track and field tournament held at Yokohama Junior High School and was awarded the championship.

After the war, the family fell on hard straits, and in 1957, Inoki, then 14 years old, immigrated to Brazil with his grandfather, mother, and brothers. He joined them there to start a new life. His grandfather passed away while they were traveling to Brazil. Inoki was victorious in the shot put, discus throw, and javelin throw competitions at the regional level in Brazil, and then went on to win the All Brazilian Championships in the shot put and discus throw competitions.


Personal life

During their marriage, which lasted from 1971 until 1987, Inoki and the actress Mitsuko Baisho were blessed with a daughter named Hiroko. Inoki operated a wrestling-themed restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo, named Antonio’s Inoki Sakaba Shinjuku. Tazuko Tada, who was Inoki’s fourth wife, passed away on August 27, 2019. In the year 2021, it was stated that Inoki’s spinal problems forced him to use a wheelchair.



Inoki made the journey to Karbala, the Shiite holy city in Iraq, in 1990, when he made the decision to convert to Shia Islam. He was in Iraq at the time conducting negotiations for the release of numerous hostages from Japan. This information became public in 2012, about the same time that he announced he had legally changed his name to Muhammad Hussain Inoki. According to the reports, Inoki has described himself as both a Buddhist and a Muslim convert.



Cause of Death

Systemic transthyretin amyloidosis was the cause of Inoki’s death on October 1, 2022, when he was 79 years old.



Antonio Inoki likely has a net worth of close to one million dollars in the United States.