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Tosh Togo (1920 - 1982)

      

Real Name - Toshiyuki Sakata aka Harold "Oddjob" Sakata
Lifespan - 7/1/1920 - 7/29/82
5'10" 230 lbs. - Holualoa, HI

Athletic Background - Weightlifting (1948 Olympics - Silver Medal), Bodybuilding (Mr. Hawaii)

Teacher(s) - Tetsuro "Rubberman" Higami, Ben Sherman

Professional Background - Pacific Northwest(`50-`51), Midwest(`51), Hawaii(`51), Japan(`51), Pacific Northwest(`52-`53), Toronto(`54), Hawaii(`56), Los Angeles(`58), Dallas(`58), Gulf Coast(`58), Mid-Atlantic(`60), Hawaii(`62-`63), Australia(`63), Britain(`63-`64)

Aliases - Mr. Sakata, Tosh Tojo

Peak Years - `52-`62

Place in History - Harold Sakata is best remembered for his role in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, where he played a nearly invincible henchman with a razor-brimmed hat.  The character is easily one of the most famous in series and it launched Sakata into years of success in film.  The road to that point was like a Hollywood movie itself.  A child of Japanese-Americans who operated a Hawaiian coffee farm, Sakata longed to leave the farm to find success elsewhere.  He headed to Honolulu and discovered physical culture, which became a passion of his.  After Pearl Harbor, Sakata enlisted and spent much of his time in the service pushing iron on base.  After the war, Sakata was able to travel the mainland US and became competing with top lifters and eventually made the US Olympic team and took a silver medal in the 1948 Games.  He stuck with weightlifting for a few more years before discovering his next endeavor - pro-wrestling.  A solidly built athlete who served during World War II and won a medal for the US in the Olympics, it seemed like he would be an unlikely babyface.  After honing his skills, Sakata became one of the members of a touring troupe that brought pro-wrestling to Japan.  He returned to US and became the Japanese heel Tosh Togo.  He frequently tagged up with other heels, the most notable being the Great Togo throughout his career, but enjoyed some singles success from time to time.  Sakata would relocate to Japan in the late 1950s, where he raised his family and worked with trainee Rikidozan to establish the sport.  After his marriage fell apart, Sakata began traveling again and found himself in Britain, where he landed the Oddjob role.  From that point on he would frequently be billed as "Oddjob" and worked for several more years while doing films, commercials and TV spots, usually revisiting the unforgettable character.  Harold Sakata was a real trailblazer in the pro-wrestling world.  He is one of the very few Olympic medalists who achieved success in the pro-wrestling world, but oddly that prestige was downplayed or hidden in favor of playing up a sneaky, salt-throwing character.  Tosh Togo might not be the most memorable name, but Oddjob is a legendary film character and one that he truly built his legacy on.

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