After 15 years as one of the most successful and popular rikishi in the history of sumo, Takanohana called it quits Jan. 20. In his usual unflappable manner, the yokozuna (grand champion) commented at the press conference that he felt “it was a good time to retire,” and though a lot of his peers have had longer careers, none have been as illustrious. Takanohana won 22 tournaments, four of them with perfect 15-0 records.
On June 1, Takanohana’s intai danpatsu shiki(retirement hair-cutting ceremony) will take place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan. During the ceremony, the yokozuna will have his topknot cut off and he will receive his post-rikishi name as an oyakata (sumo elder), though it appears that his new name will be the same as his wrestling name. As befits a man who commanded the attention of pretty much the entire nation for the last 15-plus years, the ceremony will be broadcast live on Fuji TV, starting at 1 p.m.
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