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Mr. Chin


KinchStalker

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Mr. Chin (ミスター珍)
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Real name: Yuichi Deguchi
Professional names: Yuichi Deguchi, Mr. Chin, Mr. Yoto, Mr. Kamikaze
Life: 10/12/1932-6/25/1995
Born: Takarazuka, Hyogo, Japan
Career: 1954-1995
Height/Weight: 168cm/83kg (5’6”/183 lbs.)
Signature moves: weapon attack
Promotions: All Japan Pro Wrestling Association, Japan Wrestling Association, International Wrestling Enterprise, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling
Titles: NWA World Tag Team [CWF] (1x, w/Tojo Yamamoto)

Summary: Mr. Chin had one of the most interesting careers in puroresu, a forty-year trajectory from puroresu’s first regional promotion to FMW.

Yuichi Deguchi was a judoka working for the Hyogo prefecture’s riot police unit when he joined the International Judo Association in 1950. Often called “Pro Judo” for short, this was an entertainment organization formed by judoka Tatsukuma Ushijima [Wikipedia]. Ushijima had objected to Kodokan’s recent shift in strategy—promoting judo as an amateur sport, in an effort to have it approved for reintegration into the school curriculum—and wanted to build a new path for impoverished judoka to make a living as sports-entertainers. The Association was short-lived, but its provincial tours and promotional strategies have been cited as an influence on the puroresu industry that it preceded.

A few years after the Association folded, Deguchi joined the All Japan Pro Wrestling Association. Headed by fellow Pro Judo alum Toshio Yamaguchi, the AJPWA was an Osaka-based regional promotion that had capitalized on the publicity surrounding the nascent Japan Pro Wrestling/JWA, running shows before the latter officially began tours and even beating it to the punch with puroresu’s first television broadcast. The Association could only afford to hire local American servicemen as foreign wrestlers, with the exception of P.Y. Chang. Deguchi teamed up with the future Tojo Yamamoto. According to puroresu journalist Etsuji Koizumi, the AJPWA officially folded when local Yakuza boss Shotaru Matsuyama withdrew from his duties as president and chief sponsor for health reasons. Deguchi was among those who remained with Yamaguchi, holding events in poverty as Yamaguchi Dojo in Toshio’s hometown of Mishima. Deguchi participated in the JWA’s interpromotional Japan Championship Series in October 1956; the following year, Deguchi was one of four Dojo wrestlers hired by the JWA, alongside Michiaki Yoshimura, Kanji Higuchi, and Hideyuki Nagasawa. In keeping with his character when working with Chang, and in a similar spirit to fellow JWA undercarder Yusef Turk, Deguchi worked the gimmick of a heel named Mr. Chin. He came to the ring in Chinese clothes while sporting a headband with the Japanese flag, on which kamikaze (神風) was written. Chin walked on geta which he used as a weapon, and also weaponized mouthwash in an early antecedent of the poison mist tradition.

FfU7UJUaMAAY_5x.thumb.jpg.687e1159b2155fd41e89e0a625ff7762.jpgChin with Rusher Kimura in his IWE era.

In 1961, Chin was seriously injured by an errant big boot from Giant Baba. He retired for two months but was encouraged to return to wrestling by a nurse whom he would marry. Upon his return, Chin bit Baba’s chest in a revenge match, leaving a scar that remained for the rest of his life. He would leave the JWA in 1964 after a stomach ulcer, and found work as an actor and television personality, but he returned to the business when he joined the IWE in 1970. Chin would go on an expedition to North America, working in Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and even Calgary. It was here that, as Mr. Kamikaze, he reunited with Tojo Yamamoto, and the two won tag gold in a couple territories. However, it was during this period that he developed diabetes. Returning to the IWE in 1976, Deguchi was booked as a foreign heel named Mr. Yoto, which I suspect was done to cut costs. He was inactive for a time, but when Goro Tsurumi and Katzuso Ooiyama formed the Independent Gurentai heel faction in 1980, Deguchi revived the Mr. Chin character to serve as their manager. He would also wrestle for the promotion in its last days. On the IWE’s final show, which took place in a school playground on August 9, 1981, Chin lost to Hiromichi Fuyuki by disqualification. After this, Chin worked abroad in the US, southeast Asia, and even the Middle East until the late 80s.

However, this would not be the end of his story. In 1993, the 60-year old Chin debuted for FMW. Despite requiring frequent dialysis at this point, Chin would consistently wrestle in (frequently comedic) undercard matches for about a year. In his final match on July 31, 1994, Chin worked as the spoof gimmick Jinsei Chinzaki against frequent opponent Gosaku Goshogawara, working as Undertaker Gosaku. Chin died of chronic renal failure almost a year later, on June 26, 1995.

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Chin shakes the hand of Masato Tanaka on July 24, 1993, after putting the rookie over in his second-ever match.

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