Antonio Inoki Honored with Statue in Yokohama
Today, the wrestling world came together to pay tribute to the late Antonio Inoki, a Japanese legend who passed away one year ago at the age of 79. Inoki, known for his incredible contributions to the world of professional wrestling, was honored with the unveiling of a special statue in Yokohama.
The ceremony took place at the Sojiji Temple in Tsurumi, Yokohama, and was attended by several top stars from New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) including Tiger Mask, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Kazuchika Okada. Representatives from All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) and Pro Wrestling NOAH (NOAH) were also present, along with Inoki’s students Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Masahiro Chono, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Naoya Ogawa, among others.
The ceremony began with the burning of incense, following traditional Buddhist customs. Naoya Ogawa, acting as the representative of Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), led a call of ‘1,2,3, Daa!’ to honor Inoki’s fighting spirit. Then, a special ‘Burning Fighting Spirit’ statue was unveiled at the Inoki family grave. The statue, made of bronze, was created to be 110 percent of Inoki’s living size, with Kazuchika Okada serving as the model for the physique.
Inoki’s cremated remains are currently with his daughter Hiroko, who resides in the US. They will be laid to rest in Yokohama when she returns to Japan later this year. The Inoki family grave, along with the newly unveiled statue, will be open for viewing by the general public.
This special ceremony in Yokohama marks the one-year anniversary of Antonio Inoki’s passing, and it serves as a reminder of the impact he had on the world of professional wrestling. Inoki’s contributions to the sport cannot be overstated, as he was not only a legendary wrestler but also a visionary promoter and respected figure in the industry.
Antonio Inoki was a pioneer in the world of professional wrestling, known for his unique blend of martial arts and wrestling techniques. He was the founder of NJPW and played a crucial role in popularizing the sport in Japan and around the world. Inoki’s matches against international stars like Muhammad Ali and Ric Flair are still talked about to this day.
His influence extended beyond the ring, as he ventured into politics and even ran for office in Japan. Inoki’s commitment to humanitarian causes led to his involvement in diplomatic efforts, particularly with North Korea, where he organized historic wrestling events.
The unveiling of the statue in Yokohama is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to the world of professional wrestling. It serves as a reminder of Inoki’s legacy and the impact he had on the sport and its fans.
The wrestling community has been sharing their memories and tributes to Antonio Inoki on social media. Fans and fellow wrestlers alike have expressed their gratitude for his contributions and the inspiration he provided. The statue in Yokohama will undoubtedly become a pilgrimage site for wrestling fans from around the world.
For more information about the ceremony and the statue, you can visit https://t.co/lwEgJMYYwb. Stay tuned to prowrestlingwars.com for the latest news and updates from the world of professional wrestling.
— Jeff Wolfe (@prowrestlingw8r)