Three of the four current yokozuna will miss part or all of the summer regional tour which begins this weekend, Japan Sumo Association deputy director Tamanoi said Wednesday.
Kisenosato and Kakuryu, who withdrew from the recent Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, both due to ankle injuries, and Harumafuji, the only yokozuna other than title winner Hakuho to compete in all 15 days of the meet, will not join Sunday’s first tour stop.
Harumafuji has been suffering from chronic elbow pain and finished the Nagoya meet with an 11-4 record.
Kisenosato has missed two tournaments in a row after suffering an ankle problem while still recovering from an upper arm injury. His stable master Tagonoura said fans may be able to see the Japan-born star in action if he is able to speed up his recovery.
“He has to get his body into top shape if he wants to take part in the tour. It all depends on how things go,” Tagonoura said.
Ozeki Terunofuji, who underwent knee surgery last month, and fan favorite maegashira Endo, who missed a majority of the Nagoya meet because of an ankle injury, will also sit out the tour.
The summer version of sumo’s regional tour, which includes ring-entering ceremonies, matches and sumo-related exhibitions around a sumo ring, starts in Gifu and ends Aug. 27 in Tokyo, the 21st stop.