The public reaction to the death of Shohei Baba over the past week stunned even the most ardent Japanese followers of pro wrestling. The reaction, for someone described in almost every form of medium as a national hero, went far beyond any recent sports deaths in recent U.S. culture such as a Mickey Mantle, and was more comparable to the reaction to entertainment legends such as Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Frank Sinatra.
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