Warning: A portion of this contribution deals with suicide, which some readers may find distressing.

In this age of medical miracles, it has become increasingly common to read accounts of women who have given birth in their 60s or even 70s. For professional sumo wrestlers, however, continuing to fight at the age of 30 is already old and at age 40 almost unheard of. So weekly magazine Shukan Jitsuwa (June 22) had to concede it was noteworthy that Hanakaze, a member of the Tatsunami stable ranked No. 58 in the lower jonidan division, had reached the venerable age of 50 on May 28.

Hanakaze, who joined his stable in 1986 at the age of 15, will go down in history with the unique distinction of being the only grappler to have competed in the Showa, Heisei and Reiwa eras. Stablemaster Tatsunami, who at 51 is just one year Hanakaze's senior, told the magazine that the wrestler’s remarkably long career can be attributed to his abundance of spiritual power and physical durability.