Harry Fujiwara, best known by his ring name Mr. Fuji and who pioneered in WWE as an entertainer and manager, died Sunday morning, WWE announced. He was 82.
“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Harry Fujiwara, known to WWE fans as Mr. Fuji, passed away this morning at the age of 82,” WWE said on a statement on its website. “His career will be remembered by different generations for different reasons but Mr. Fuji, whether as a Superstar or manager, is one of the most entertaining performers in the history of WWE.”
Mr. Fuji spent more than 30 years with the organization, and helped expand the sport to the mainstream. The entertainer was born in Honolulu in 1935, and began his wrestling career in 1965 under the name Mr. Fujiwara. After he began to gain notoriety in Hawaii, he shortened his name to Mr. Fuji and started to compete on the West Coast.
Donning a black tuxedo and a bowler hat, Mr. Fuji gained infamy with his signature move: taking a bag of salt out of his tights and throwing it in his opponents’ faces to blind them.
Mr. Fuji later became a manager to big names in the industry, including Kamala, George “The Animal” Steele, Demolition, Killer Khan, Yokozuna and the Powers of Pain. But perhaps his most notable client was “Magnificent” Don Muraco.
With Muraco, Mr. Fuji created a series of episodes that aired on WWE programming: “Fuji Vice,” “Fuji General,” “Fuji Bandito” and “Fuji Chan.” The series spoofed popular TV shows like “Miami Vice” and “General Hospital.”
Mr. Fuji left WWE in 1997, and headed training dojos until 2001. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.