When Takamisakari called it a day back in 2013, this paper carried a headline declaring that the “clown prince of sumo” had retired, while Kyodo News opened with a line that called the former komusubi’s pre-bout rituals “goofball antics.”

Those were somewhat harsh assessments, as Takamisakari was never really playing a role or hamming it up for the crowd with his face slaps and foot stomps. Those sometimes off-kilter comments and that Robocop routine were just the Aomori Prefecture native being himself.

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