Template - Date: Morihiro Hashimoto Passes Away
The 40-year-old from Okayama Prefecture who was Japan nicknamed The Ogre, competed twice in the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, winning through from the preliminary round in both 2011 and 2014.
The Ally Pally crowd took the Japanese ace to their hearts, serenading Hashimoto despite his loss to Gary Anderson in the 2011 tournament.
A star on the soft-tip circuit, Hashimoto also competed in the 2015 Japan Darts Masters as the World Series of Darts visited his homeland, and represented his country three times in the World Cup of Darts.
Hashimoto first appeared in the PDC circuit competing in the 2009 Las Vegas Desert Classic qualifiers, as well as a Players Championship. He attempted to qualify for the 2010 PDC World Darts Championship, but lost in the final of the Japanese Qualifying event to Haruki Muramatsu.
In 2010, Hashimoto won through the qualifier, beating Mitsumasa Hoshino in the final and qualified for the 2011 PDC World Darts Championship. A month later, he was a quarter-finalist in the Japan Open and in November, he reached the final of the WDF Asia-Pacific Cup men’s singles, losing to New Zealand’s Koha Kokiri.
Hashimoto was drawn in the preliminary round against PDPA qualifier Matt Padgett and quickly became popular with the crowd. After winning his first leg, levelling the match at 1–1, the crowd started chanting his name to the tune of “Reach Up (Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag)”, which was used as a walk on by Adrian Lewis.
Hashimoto went on to win the match by 4 legs to 2 and become the second Japanese qualifier to win through the premlinary round after Muramatsu. The song, performed by the Perfecto Allstarz, was played at the end of the match instead of the traditional “Chase the Sun” by Planet Funk, and Hashimoto would have it played as his walk on for his first round match against Gary Anderson.
He would not win a leg as Anderson whitewashed him 3–0 in sets. After the match, Hashimoto, speaking English, thanked the crowd for their support. Hashimoto represented Japan with Haruki Muramatsu in the 2012 PDC World Cup of Darts and together they were beaten 5–2 by Sweden in the first round.
Hashimoto beat Muramatsu 6–5 in the final of the Japanese qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Championship. He saw off Paul Lim 4–2 in the preliminary round and won the opening set in his first round match against Michael Smith, but went on to lose 3–1. In June, Hashimoto and Muramatsu watched as Canada missed seven darts for the match in the first round of the World Cup of Darts to step in and steal a 5–4 win.
In the second round they both lost their singles matches against the Northern Irish partnering of Brendan Dolan and Michael Mansell to exit the tournament. A year later, after whitewashing China 5–0, they were knocked out at the same stage this time by the top seeds England.
Hashimoto lost 6–2 in the first round of the inaugural Japan Darts Masters to James Wade.
Hashimoto passed away on 13 March 2017. A number of darts players paid tribute to him including Gary Anderson, Hashimoto’s opponent in the first round of the 2011 World Championship, the match he will be most remembered for.
RIP Morihiro Hashimoto