Kyokutenho was a trailblazer

Sumo | Rikishi Files Jan 25, 2020

Kyokutenho was a trailblazer

by John Gunning

In 1991, though most people didn't realize it at the time, the Oshima stablemaster made a decision that would dramatically alter the course of sumo over the next several decades. The former ozeki brought six young men from Mongolia into his stable and began a ...

Kokkai helped European rikishi arrive in sumo world

Sumo | Rikishi Files Jan 19, 2020

Kokkai helped European rikishi arrive in sumo world

by John Gunning

The first rikishi whose place of origin was listed as somewhere outside Japan was Hiraga, who joined professional sumo in 1934. Three decades later, Jesse Kuhaulua became the first wrestler of non-Japanese descent in ōzumō (professional sumo). It took almost another half-century for the first European ...

Yama succeeds after sumo

Sumo | Rikishi Files Jan 18, 2020

Yama succeeds after sumo

by John Gunning

Life after professional sumo (for those who don't qualify for elder status) is generally quite prosaic. The vast majority of wrestlers end up working in regular jobs. Most slim down a lot, and within five or 10 years are often indistinguishable from anyone else in ...

Tochiazuma's bloody rivalry with Asashoryu a spectacle

Sumo | Rikishi Files Jan 15, 2020

Tochiazuma's bloody rivalry with Asashoryu a spectacle

by John Gunning

In terms of sumo's vintage years, 1976 was one of the best. The bumper crop included three-time champion Chiyotaikai, fellow ozeki Kotomitsuki (also a title winner), long time sanyaku (the three ranks below yokozuna) occupant Wakanosato and several other top-division stalwarts. A third ozeki, Tochiazuma, was ...

Kisenosato is gone, but his impact lives on

Sumo | Rikishi Files Jan 14, 2020

Kisenosato is gone, but his impact lives on

by John Gunning

The current boom in sumo popularity is a product of many factors. Increased exposure through various media channels is one reason, as is the fact that a host of camera-friendly up-and-coming wrestlers rose to prominence at roughly the same time. The No. 1 cause of the ...