Famous People in Japan

Giant Baba

Real Name Baba Shohei
Date of Birth 23 January 1938
Place of Birth Sanjyo-city, Niigata

Giant Baba is famous as a professional wrestler all over the world, but most people do not know that he has been a professional baseball player. He gave up high school and entered the Giants as a pitcher. But one day he fell down in a bathroom and injured his shoulder, so he couldn't play baseball anymore.

After that, in 1960, he became a pupil of Rikidozan and became a professional wrestler. At the same time Antonio Inoki was initiated into Rikidozan, too. Baba and Inoki debuted in 1960 and they paired up from 1967 to 1971. The tag name was called BI-Ho(BI cannon). They were a very strong tag team at that time. But Antonio Inoki established New Japan pro-wrestling and Giant Baba established All Japan pro-wrestling, so they couldn't pair up and fight anymore. All professional wrestling fans want to watch Baba vs Inoki's fighting even now, but it is impossible, because between All Japan pro-wrestling and New Japan pro-wrestling have no exchange. It is a dream for all professional wrestling fans forever.

Baba has been very strong since he debuted, because he is 209cm tall. And his feet are very big. He has his own technique. It is called "Jurokumon-kick". The "Jurokumon-kick" is the size of his foot. The technique defeated many challengers.

He captured International Heavyweight Championship in 1965 and defended it 21 times continuously. And in 1974 he captured the NWA Heavyweight Championship a first for a Japanese.He is also active in TV programes, for example quiz show, variety show.

To our surprise though he is 58 years old now, he is still active. Certainly he isn't what he used to be, but he wrestles delightfully. The people who supported him from old times and even the people who have become professional wrestling fans lately love him very much.

Update: Giant Baba passed away on February 1, 1999 at the age of 61. He had been profession active until his hospitalization in December.

References: The Pro-wrestling 1990

Reported by: Humihide Asano
Data verified by: Tadashi Murakami
Date of Report: September 1996
Updated by: Masahiro Amano October, 1997
Updated by: Yuuko Mizutani, May 1998

Back to the main page