Future without sumo unthinkable for Hakuho

| May 9, 2018

Future without sumo unthinkable for Hakuho

by John Gunning

The Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, which gets underway on Sunday, is shaping up to be a make-or-break one for several wrestlers. Takayasu and Kisenosato have seen their respective hopes for a yokozuna run and triumphant comeback dampened by injuries both old and new. Ozeki Takayasu, coming ...

Family legacy weighs heavily on young sumo prospects

| Apr 18, 2018

Family legacy weighs heavily on young sumo prospects

by John Gunning

Jigjidiin Monkhbat, the father of yokozuna Hakuho, passed away recently. A legendary figure in Mongolian wrestling, the six-time Naadam festival champion was also a silver medalist at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Monkhbat's son, if anything, has surpassed his legendary father. Hakuho has 40 ...

Time for sumo to ditch ban on women in ring

| Apr 11, 2018

Time for sumo to ditch ban on women in ring

by John Gunning

Less than a month after International Women's Day, sumo found itself embroiled in a gender-discrimination controversy when a female nurse administering CPR was ordered to leave the ring by an official. The sport's long-standing ban on women entering the ring has periodically come under fire, ...

Osunaarashi trying to navigate post-sumo life

| Apr 4, 2018

Osunaarashi trying to navigate post-sumo life

by John Gunning

Disgraced former top-division wrestler Osunaarashi appeared on a late-night variety show this week. Head freshly shaven, the big Egyptian hammed it up, participating in sumo bouts with veteran TV personality Bobby Ologun and erstwhile UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett. The appearance, coming barely three weeks ...

Sumo-rich Osaka ready for stormy Spring Basho

| Feb 28, 2018

Sumo-rich Osaka ready for stormy Spring Basho

by John Gunning

That stretch in the evenings and the plum blossoms in bloom means just one thing to sumo fans — it's time for the Osaka Basho. With a historical propensity for surprising outcomes, the meet has acquired the nickname 'Areru Haru Basho' or 'Turbulent Spring Tournament.' It's ...

Harumafuji retires with impressive legacy in ring

| Nov 30, 2017

Harumafuji retires with impressive legacy in ring

by John Gunning

It was plain from both Harumafuji's words and body language at Wednesday's news conference announcing his retirement that he was going under duress and felt harshly treated. Still, the yokozuna understood that given his position, no other outcome was possible once it became clear he ...

Harumafuji had with no choice but to retire

| Nov 29, 2017

Harumafuji had with no choice but to retire

by John Gunning

Yokozuna Harumafuji announced his intention to retire at a press conference on Wednesday. The decision is the result of a scandal involving the violent beating of a junior wrestler, and now means the careers of the last two yokozuna to retire end under a cloud. The ...