Akio Kashiwagi (柏木昭男 Kashiwagi Akio, also known as "The Warrior"; 1938 – January 3, 1992) was a wealthy Tokyo-based real estate investor who was known for the large amounts of money he wagered at Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos.
Kashiwagi owned a home and office in Tokyo, out of which he ran the Kashiwagi Shoji Company. He stated that he was the sole principal of his real estate and investment business. He claimed an income of a hundred million dollars a year, and a billion dollars in assets. His finances were so secretive that a credit review for casino officials declared his profession only as 'business'.
Kashiwagi regularly played baccarat for large sums, betting $100,000 or $200,000 a hand, for hours at a time. He later got into a legal wrangle with the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City in 1990 over a deal in which Kashiwagi was to bet $12 million. Kashiwagi left the casino with two million dollars in chips, having lost ten million. He claimed the casino had failed to hold up its end of the deal. The character of K.K. Ichikawa (played by Nobu Matsuhisa) in the film Casino was based on Akio Kashiwagi. Kashiwagi's gambling successes at Donald Trump's Taj Mahal casino, followed by his recorded losses there and in other establishments, are narrated in Adam Curtis' documentary HyperNormalisation. Based on a story published in Politico magazine, it is alleged that his violent, unsolved murder caused Trump to lose millions of dollars in unrecovered gambling debts.
On January 3, 1992, Kashiwagi was killed, stabbed as many as 150 times with a samurai sword. His body was discovered in his home in Japan near Mount Fuji. At the time of his death, Kashiwagi still had casino debts in millions of dollars. The murder was never solved.
- Published: January 12, 1992 (1992-01-12). "A Top Gambler Is Killed Owing Casinos Millions - New York Times". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- Matt Assad (2010-06-26). "High rollers expect, and get, easy credit from casinos - Morning Call". Articles.mcall.com. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- "Gaming's Art | Gambling movies, music, paintings, literature (novels, poetry). The Art of Gambling". Artistcasino.com. 2013-08-12. Archived from the original on 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2013-08-20.
- "The whale that nearly drowned the Donald".
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