Sumo stablemaster Keihito Tagonoura, former makuuchi-division wrestler Kushimaumi, died of unknown causes at a Tokyo hospital on Monday, police said. He was 46.
A native of Wakayama Prefecture, the wrestler, whose real name was Keita Kushima, won the first-ever amateur championship as a high school student and took 28 titles when he was a student at Nihon University.
He debuted in sumo from the Dewanoumi stable in January 1988, joined the makuuchi division in July 1989 and got promoted up to the maegashira No. 1 rank.
After retiring, Tagonoura founded his stable in February 2000 and Bulgarian No. 7 maegashira Aoiyama became the first juryo-division wrestler from his stable.