TARU in 2009
August 23, 1964 |
Kobe City, Japan
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Fujiwara no Sumitomo
The Great Ruta
|Billed height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Billed weight||111 kg (245 lb)|
|Trained by||Koji Kitao|
Yoshikazu Taru (多留 嘉一 Taru Yoshikazu, born August 23, 1964 in Kobe City, Japan) is a Japanese professional wrestler, better known simply as Taru (stylised in all capital letters). He is currently signed to Makai, while also working for Pro Wrestling Zero1, where he is the leader of the Voodoo Murders. He has previously worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), Diamond Ring, Wrestle Association R (WAR) and Toryumon: Japan, later known as Dragon Gate.
Professional wrestling career
Taru trained in Koji Kitao's Buko Dojo and started wrestling in 1996 for Wrestle Yume Factory, Wrestle Association R and other independent promotions. He joined Toryumon shortly after it opened and formed a tag team with fellow Buko graduate Masaaki Mochizuki, but he betrayed him and joined Crazy MAX (Shiima Nobunaga, Judo Suwa and Sumo Fuji) after they spared him in an in ring attack. He became their manager and mouthpiece. For many years they were a powerful faction in Toryumon Japan and Dragon Gate but the group dissolved on November 2, 2004, and Taru left the promotion.
Taru soon showed up in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), where he started feuding with Taka Michinoku and his Roughly Obsess and Destroy (RO&D) faction. He proceeded to create his own faction, Voodoo Murders, composed of himself, Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, as well as former Dragon Gate trainees Shuji Kondo and "brother" YASSHI. Giant Bernard also joined, becoming the monster of the group. Voodoo Murders became AJPW's main heel group and began an intense feud with RO&D, clashing with them on many occasions. They were also known for putting their victims in body bags and attacking them with baseball bats.
Taru wrestled one match against The Great Muta as The Great Ruta in November 2005. Taru challenged Satoshi Kojima for the Triple Crown on January 8, 2006. However, Kojima successfully defended his title. in July 2007, however, Kojima shocked the All-Japan roster when he turned on them and joined the Voodoo Murders, where he was quickly made the group's co-leader alongside Taru. Soon after joining, Kojima and Taru won the World Tag Team Championship. Along with Big Daddy Voodoo, he also won the All Asia Tag Team Championship.
On June 1, 2011, Taru was suspended indefinitely by AJPW after an alleged attack on stablemate Nobukazu Hirai leaving Hirai hospitalised with an acute hematoma. All Japan later also suspended Taru's stablemates Masayuki Kono, Mazada and Minoru for not attempting to stop Taru's assault on Hirai and immediately disbanded the Voodoo Murders, while the promotion's president Keiji Mutoh took the blame for the incident and resigned from his position on June 7. On June 30, TARU's suspension was upheld, while his former stablemates were allowed to return to action.  Taru took a near two year hiatus from professional wrestling after the incident, but on January 22, 2013, announced that he would be returning to professional wrestling for the Diamond Ring promotion on February 11. Taru's return match, where he and Kazunari Murakami faced Kento Miyahara and Taishi Takizawa, ended in a no contest, following run-ins from "brother" Yasshi and Kengo Nishimura. Afterwards, Taru, Murakami, Yasshi and Nishimura, reforming the Voodoo Murders, were defeated in an eight-man tag team match by Miyahara, Takizawa, Satoshi Kajiwara and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya. After the match, Miyahara and Takizawa turned on their partners and joined the new Voodoo Murders, with Yasshi positioned as the leader.
On January 3, 2015, AJPW announced that Taru would be returning to the promotion on January 31 to take part in Giant Baba's memorial event. This would mark his first match for the promotion in four years. In the match, Taru and Jinsei Shinzaki defeated Taiyō Kea and Yuto Aijima.
Taru is known for his bizarre entrance attires and behaviour as well as his sinister and vicious personality, often attacking bystanders to vent his aggression. He has also become notorious for using his stablemates to help him during his matches, despite losing by disqualification. His non-wrestling attire and personality could be classed as practically suave, complete with yakuza-like mannerisms and presence.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Headbutt drop, sometimes to the opponent's groin
- Kakato Otoshi (Axe kick)
- MoonTaruto (Moonsault)
- Spinning heel kick
- Taru Guillotine (Diving leg drop, sometimes to the back of the opponent's head)
- T-Crush (Chokebomb, sometimes as a counter to an oncoming opponent)
- "Taru Drill a Hole" by King-Show
Championships and accomplishments
- Chō Hanabi Puroresu
- International Wrestling Revolution Group
- World Lucha Libre Martial Arts Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Pro Wrestling Zero1
- Tokyo Sports
- Tag Team Of The Year (2006) - with Suwama, Shuji Kondo, & "brother" YASSHI 
- The UWA Closed in 1995, since then various UWA titles have been used by promotions in Mexico and Japan, this title was promoted by Toryumon Japan at the time TARU won it.
- "Statistics for Professional wrestlers". PWI Presents: 2008 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. pp. 66–79. 2008 Edition.
- "魔界が新章「魔界呪恋歌」編に突入！生きていた鶴姫！武吉の娘を連れ去った純友と藤太！夕顔の窮地を救ったのは…". Battle News (in Japanese). 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- "Profile at Puroresu Central". Puroresu Central. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- Chatra, Mo (March 2005). "Toryumon Uncovered". Power Slam Magazine. Lancaster, Lancashire, England: SW Publishing LTD. pp. 34–35. 116.
- "The history of Puroresu". Fighting Spirit Magazine. England: Uncooked Media. November 2006. pp. 38–46. Issue 8.
- PWI Staff. "Mid-Year Report: the top 50 stories of the half year (21) Suwama wins Triple Crown Title". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Kappa Publications. p. 80. September 2008 Edition.
- 武藤敬司が社長を辞任 暴行事件の責任取り＝全日本プロレス. Sports Navi (in Japanese). 2011-06-07. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "All Japan: Suspendierungen aufgehoben". Purolove (in German). 2011-06-30. Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- "暴行Taru来月復帰 後楽園大会が有力". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- "健介が126日ぶりの復帰戦で勝彦から勝利！宮原と滝澤がまさかのVM入りし、TARUは新リーダーにYASSHIを指名！". Battle News (in Japanese). 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "馬場さん追善興行に天龍、ＴＡＲＵ、ケアが参戦". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. 2015-01-04. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-03.
- "全日本プロレス「ジャイアント馬場 十七回忌特別大会」". Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. 2015-01-31. Retrieved 2015-02-01.
- "All Japan Pro Wrestling - "Excite Series 2010"" (in German). PuroLove.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- "All Japan Pro Wrestling - "Real World Tag League 2010"" (in German). PuroLove.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- "Purolove.Com". Purolove.Com. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "AJPW Summer Impact tour results" (in German). PuroLove.com. Retrieved January 3, 2008.
- "長与壮絶に散る ＴＡＲＵの策略にはまり首輪監禁＆大爆破" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 13, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
- "大仁田＆長与 田中＆Taruに敗れ爆破王タッグ王座陥落". Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- "Cagematch" (in German). cagematch.net. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
- "The Great Hisa's Puroresu Dojo : Puroresu Awards: 2000s". Puroresu.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Universal Wrestling Association World Trios Title". Wrestling-titles.com. January 24, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010.