California wrestling legend Shibuya passes away
Robert "Kinji" Shibuya, who was one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 60s and early 70s in California, passed away this past Monday at his home in Hayward, CA, at the age of 88.
Shibuya was a San Francisco wrestling institution, headlining the Cow Palace on numerous occasions, both as a single as well as with tag team partners Mitsu Arakawa and Masa Saito. Shibuya & Arakawa were best known for matches against Nick Bockwinkel & Wilbur Snyder and Ray Stevens & Don Manoukian during the heyday of San Francisco wrestling when the Cow Palace was the hottest wrestling arena in the United States.
He also dabbled in acting, and was well known after his retirement in the late 70s for raising koi fish.
Robert Shibuya played the stereotypical Japanese heel role, but he was actually from Utah, and was a college football star in the 40s at the University of Hawaii.
During the mid-60s, when he held the United States heavyweight championship, he was generally considered one of the top ten stars in the industry.
SHIBUYA, Kenji/Kinji (Robert Shibuya)
Born: 5/16/1921, Utah, U.S.A.
Died: 5/3/2010, Hayward, California, U.S.A.
Kinji Shibuya's western - actor:
Kung Fu (TV) - 1973, 1974 (Ah Quong, Pan Chao)