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Yahoo Japan is reporting that Antonio Inoki has passed away at 79 years old. Inoki had been battling health issues in recent years.

Born Kanji Inoki, he is one of the biggest names in the history of Japanese wrestling and a major name in the entire culture. He is considered one of the biggest names ever in the history of pro wrestling.

He began his wrestling career in 1972 when he founded New Japan Pro Wrestling. He remained as the owner of the promotion until 2005 when he sold his controlling shares to Yuke's video game company. In 2007, he founded the Inoki Genome Federation.

Inoki entered politics in 1989 and was elected to the Japanese House of Councillors. He served from 1989 until 1995 and again from 2013 until 2019.

Inoki's legacy is far reaching. He trained several wrestlers including Akira Maeda, Bad News Allen, the first Tiger Mask, Keiji Muto, Riki Choshu, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tatsumi Fujinami, Rocky Romero, and several other major names.

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We send our condolences to Inoki's family and friends.