Talk to anyone personally acquainted with recently deceased former yokozuna Akebono and almost immediately the words “generous” and “kind” will arise.

It’s incredible that a superstar athlete who both personified toughness and perseverance, and broke arguably the greatest glass ceiling in all of sports, is best remembered for his kind-hearted and caring nature.

Following two decades of foreign dominance of sumo, it can be hard to remember just how much of an achievement it was for Akebono to make it to yokozuna.