Hoshino Kantarō

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Hoshino Kantarō
Ring name(s) Hoshino Kantarō
Great Yamaha
Real name Yeo Geon-bu
Hoshino Takeo (Japanese name)
Billed height 170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Billed weight 104 kg (230 lb; 16.4 st)
Born 1943/10/9(1943-10-09)
Kōbe, Hyōgo
Died 2010/11/25 (aged 67)
Shishō Rikidōzan
Debut 1961/12/22
Retired 1995/2/19

Hoshino Takeo (星野 建夫?), better known as Hoshino Kantarō (星野 勘太郎 ?), was a professional wrestler and promoter. He was a Japanese-born Korean, whose real name was Yeo Geon-bu (Hangul: 여건부; kanji: 呂建夫).

Japan Pro-Wrestling Association

Hoshino was a boxer in high school years and after graduation, he moved to Tōkyō, hoping to be a professional boxer. However, because of his short reach, he gave up his boxing career. Since he was also a fan of Rikidōzan, he joined the Japan Pro-Wrestling Association (JWA) in 1961/10. He debuted against Koma Atsuhide on 1961/12/22 at Riki Sports Palace.[1]

Hoshino was sent to the United States in 1967/1 with Yamamoto Kotetsu. In April, Hoshino ("Great Yamaha") and Yamamoto ("Toki Yamaha") formed the "Yamaha Brothers", named after the motorcycle brand. Hoshino returned to Japan later in the year.[1]

In 1970, Hoshino teamed with Antonio Inoki to participate in the First NWA Tag Team League, defeating Nick Bockwinkel & John Quinn in the final.[1] Hoshino picked this match as the best bout in his own career.

Hoshino is also remembered as Mil Mascaras' first opponent in Japan when they wrestled on 1971/2/19 at Kōrakuen Hall.

Hoshino went to the United States and Mexico in 1970 and 1973. However, the JWA closed down in 1973 while Hoshino was wrestling in Mexico.[1]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling

Hoshino returned to Japan in 1974/1 and joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling, which had just been founded about ten months ago. Yamamoto Kotetsu was already working for New Japan since its start, and together, Hoshino & Yamamoto revived the famous tag team.

On 1979/1/21, the Yamaha Brothers won the IWA World Tag Team Championship, which was the main tag team title of the International Wrestling Enterprise, from Great Kusatsu & Animal Hamaguchi.

Yamaha Brothers defeated IWE's Gorō Tsurumi & Ōiyama Katsuzō in Yamamoto's retirement match on 1980/4/4.

After Yamamoto's retirement, he was featured in the junior heavyweight division, usually as a tag team partner of the stars such as Fujinami Tatsumi and Tiger Mask. He was also a member of the New Japan team during an interpromotional feud against the UWF wrestlers.

Hoshino had his retirement match against Kido Osamu on 1995/2/19 at Ryōgoku Kokugikan.[1]


After the retirement, Hoshino became a promoter in his hometown of Kōbe.

He returned to the ring in 2002/8 as the non-wrestling leader of Makai Club, a heel group. Even after the group dissolved, Hoshino continue to appear on New Japan cards on an irregular basis.

On 2009/2/4, Hoshino was hospitalized. He suffered a stroke and remained to have a speech disorder.[2]

Hoshino passed away due to pneumonia on 2010/11/25.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e The Wrestler Best 1000. Nippon Sports Publishing. 1996. 
  2. ^ "小鉄さん急死に、星野勘太郎さん号泣". NikkanSports.com. 2010/8/30. 
  3. ^ "【訃報】星野勘太郎さん逝去". New Japan Pro-Wrestling Official Website. 2010/11/27.