Antonio Inoki’s Weakness about Continuing to Live, which He Divulged Before his Death.
On October 1, pro-wrestler Antonio Inoki passed away. He was 79 years old and had been battling an intractable disease, systemic amyloidosis.
He launched the New Japan Pro-Wrestling banner. He fought many different kinds of martial arts fights, including a fight to the death with Muhammad Ali. Entered the world of politics. His struggles with Fujinami, Choshu, and others. His constant battles and challenges to new things have captured the hearts of many people. His great deeds will forever be talked about, as will the image of him wearing the towel of fighting spirit.
Inoki suffered from illness in his later years, but even in the midst of his battle with illness, he began to take on new challenges. Friday Digital interviewed Mr. Inoki at the end of 2020 and asked him about his “challenge” in detail.
The interviewers were also impressed by Mr. Inoki’s new challenges, which he took on with all the strength he had from his body. Until the very end, Mr. Inoki never forgot to show his fighting spirit. However, on the other hand, he also showed unexpected “weakness” during the interview. His heroic figure and his other figure are re-published here.
Inoki takes up the challenge of YouTube
In the world of online video, YouTube is now being used by celebrities, athletes, and other famous people who are active on TV, etc. In 2008, a major newcomer made his debut as a YouTube user. Antonio Inoki, the crown jewel of the pro-wrestling world.
For wrestling fans, YouTube is becoming one of the tools to know the true faces of wrestlers. Inoki’s “Fighting Spirit Channel” was launched with great anticipation. We asked Mr. Inoki, who turned 77 this year, about the story behind his YouTube debut.
I had no knowledge of YouTube, but I had a friend who knew a lot about the Internet and so on. To be honest, I thought it was a pain in the ass at first (laughs). (Laughs.) But at planning meetings, they would listen to what I wanted to do, and they would work with me. So I have to keep my head on a swivel, too. I started this project in the hope that it would not only be interesting, but also send out a message.
Inoki is not only a professional wrestler, but also a member of the House of Councilors, having formed the “Sports Peace Party” in 1989. Although he retired from politics in June 2007, his appearance in Iraq and North Korea, where there were conflicts and tensions, to pursue his policy of “world peace,” is etched in the memories of many people.
He has chosen YouTube as his new platform. He appreciates the environment in which anyone can transmit their videos to the world, saying, “It’s a good time.
“YouTube is something new, so I don’t think about it too much,” he says. But I appreciate the fact that there is a place to transmit my work. I really appreciate the fact that I can create my own works and transmit my thoughts. It’s a good time. On TV, you can talk for an hour, but it will be edited.
It seems that YouTube is a great weapon for Mr. Inoki, as it allows him to communicate his own opinions. In fact, he often uploads videos on the issue of waste disposal in water plasma, which is one of his life’s works and which he is trying to spread around the world.
He says, “You know, Choshu was on YouTube first. All the other wrestlers are doing their best. I want to make more and more videos as long as I’m healthy.”
There is a reason why he says “while I’m still healthy. This summer, Inoki announced that he is suffering from amyloidosis, an intractable disease that affects only a few in a million people. The disease causes a decline in heart function, making it difficult to pump blood throughout the body. When the disease becomes severe, it can cause dysfunction of all the body’s organs and breathing difficulties. The disease has been designated an intractable disease by the Japanese government.
“This is a very troublesome disease. We don’t know exactly what causes it. Is it genetic or not? There are only five doctors in Japan who can provide a treatment for it. It is a drug called Vindakel, which was released last fall. I had done so much during my working years, and now I am slapped and kicked when I am sick,” he said (laughs).
(Laughs.) This drug does not cure the disease, but rather stops its progression. Doctors don’t really understand the disease yet, so I guess we are the data. However, since we made the disease public, we have received feedback from many people. I received many letters saying, “Thank you very much. There are many people suffering from the same intractable disease, aren’t there? It has been designated as an intractable disease.
It is not only illness that strikes Mr. Inoki. In 2007, he lost his beloved wife, Tazuruko. His grief has not healed.
The way I deal with death has changed. I think about the theme of what it means to live. To be honest, it is difficult to think about death in a positive way, but everyone has to face it. So, how do we face it? I think there is a way to face it.
I wasn’t always popular, but I was never turned on by women. But after being in her hospital for so long, I started to feel all kinds of emotions. I felt affection, that there is a depth to the well in things…”
Then came the spread of the new coronavirus to follow. I was in touch with people, shouting, “How are you doing? Inoki, who has been in touch with people with a loud “How are you?
Thankfully, I have met so many people. But the most difficult thing about the new Corona is that meeting people was the source of my energy, but I was told not to meet them and not to speak out loud. This is the exact opposite of what I have been saying all my life. This is going to make the whole world sick.
Many people say to me, “Mr. Inoki, please do your best until you are 100 years old,” but I don’t want to do that anymore. Now I am being taken care of by various people, and they all take care of me. I would like to do everything myself without help from others, but that’s not going to happen.
Mr. Inoki says quietly. Everyone is creating their own image of me. On the one hand, I am grateful, but on the other hand, I feel annoyed (laughs).” His gentle smile is so warm that it is hard to believe that he is a man who is always fighting both in and out of the ring.
It’s no use being whiny, but it’s not right to be bull-headed either. In this kind of business, people around me are very careful to only show their good side. But in reality, I have my weaknesses, and I have to face them and fight against them. I have spent the past year or so looking at my weaknesses.
When I was active, no matter how bad my condition was, I could switch to the theme song as soon as it started playing. I wish I could do the same for Corona. If I could sort it out a little more, I would face it. Not that it’s gloomy, but I’d like to find a brighter way to face it, though.”
At the end, I felt I caught a glimpse of the true face of a man named “Kanji Inoki,” not the superstar Antonio Inoki. Perhaps one of Inoki’s charms was that he sometimes expressed his weakness in public. Thank you, Antonio Inoki.