Tochinoumi, who was the oldest living yokozuna, died Friday from a type of lung infection known as aspiration pneumonia at the age of 82, a Japan Sumo Association official said.
Tochinoumi, whose real name was Shigehiro Hanada, made his sumo debut in 1955 and was promoted to the sport’s highest rank at the spring meet in 1964. He won three makuuchi division titles and kept his yokozuna status for 17 tournaments before retiring in 1966.
Standing less than 180 centimeters tall, the Aomori Prefecture native was considered undersized but was known for his skillful belt grabbing and offensive fighting style. He won one fighting spirit prize and six technique prizes in his career.
Tochinoumi took on the role of Kasugano stablemaster in 1990 following the death of former yokozuna Tochinishiki. He oversaw wrestlers including former sekiwake Tochinonada before leaving the JSA in 2003 upon retirement.
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