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Tor Kamata (1937-2007)

  

Real NameMcRonald Kamaka

Lifespan - 3/9/37 - 7/23/07

5’8” 300 lbs. - Saskatoon, SK


Athletic BackgroundWrestling (Air Force), Martial Arts

Teacher(s)Curtis Iaukea, Mark Lewin, Nick Bockwinkel

AliasesTor Kamaka, Dr. Moto, Mr. Moto, Killer Kamata, Killer Moto

Peak Years`72-`80

Place in HistoryIn the years following World War II, there were so many pro-wrestlers playing the role of the stereotypical Japanese bad guy and Tor Kamata was one of many.  An amateur wrestler who honed his skills while serving in the Air Force, Ron Kamaka was an excellent prospect when he returned to Hawaii in the 1960s. The local promotion, 50th State Wrestling, attracted some of the best in the world and he was able to learn how to wrestle in the ring and talk on the microphone.  Called “Tor Kamata” after the Spanish Inquisition Grand Inquisitor Tomas Torquemada, he was soon heading to the mainland to build his resume. He teamed with all the noted Japanese heels - Duke Keomuka, Sugi Sito, Tosh Togo and Tojo Yamamoto - learning the finer points of playing the role. In that era, Kamata dressed like and acted like most of those accomplished heels.  He found success as Mitsu Arakawa’s partner Dr. Moto, a name that evoked the famous Mr. Moto (Charlie Iwamoto) working in the Upper Midwest. By the 1970s, Tor Kamata had established his own version of the Japanese villain. He was a little bit Curtis Iaukea, a little bit Abdullah the Butcher and a different twist with his Fu Manchu mustache and "Noooo Chancee" catchphrase.  In Stampede Wrestling, Kamata achieved his greatest success. He not only met his wife and made his home in the territory, but his trademark saying became common in households across the region. Kamata battled the likes of Cowboy Dan Kroffat, Geoff Portz and Leo Burke around Western Canada. Outside of that area, Kamata left an impression on islands like Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and his home state of Hawaii.  He also had runs in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York with mixed results. After his career wound down, Tor Kamata continued to play off his Japanese persona by opening places that provided teriyaki and shiatsu to the public. He struggled with health problems for years before his death in 2007.

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