Almost lost in the flood of storylines that emerged at the start of the ongoing Grand Sumo Tournament was news that Hidetoshi Tanaka — the former head of the International Sumo Federation (IFS) — passed away Saturday.

Current IFS President Kazufumi Minami released a statement to national sumo federations on Jan. 16 announcing the death, adding, “Mr. Tanaka made great contributions to the development of amateur sumo, including establishment of the International Sumo Federation and devoted himself to its development for many years. His passing is indeed a great loss to all of us. We would like to express our deepest sympathy. I would like to continue to follow Mr. Tanaka's will and make further efforts for the development of sumo.”

It was a noticeably short summation of a man who was, without question, the most dominant presence in both the international, and Japanese collegiate sumo worlds for most of the past four decades.