The History of Antonio Inoki

Although Rikidozan introduced Inoki as the second generation of a Japanese-Brazilian family, he is truly a genuine Japanese who was born in Yokohama. Around the time when Inoki was born, most people were struggling to survive due to World War Two. However, the Inokis were comparatively wealthy by running various kinds of businesses on a large scale. Inoki is now famous for his large figure. As a surprising fact, when he entered an elementary school, he was short. However, growing astonishingly, he became the tallest student of all by the end of the fifth grade. Even though he was tall as the elementary school student, he was not rough. He even nicknamed "Don Kan" by his brothers and sisters for such a gentle personality. "Don" represented his slow movements and mild-mannered characteristics, and "Kan" was from his given name "Kanji". When he was the sixth grader, one of his brothers, Toshikazu Sagara, taught him Karate. It was his first time to experience fighting sports though he was not attracted to Karate at that time. In the seventh grade, Inoki stood 180 centimeters, so that he joined a basketball team. Meanwhile, he quit the team protesting against its older players who forced him to do unreasonable severe practices. Then, recommended by his another brother, named Yoshimori, he joined a track and field club as a shot-putter. Establishing various brilliant records, he finally won the championship at the Yokohama junior high school track and field competition. After all, Inoki spent moderately hard time under the influence of the war. However, this was the end of his quiet childhood. In due course, he set forth on the drastic path to becoming the majestic professional wrestler.