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Hakuho withdraws from New Year Basho on penultimate day

Sumo Jan 26, 2019

Hakuho withdraws from New Year Basho on penultimate day

New Year Basho Yokozuna Hakuho has withdrawn from the ongoing New Year Grand Sumo Tournament due to injuries, ending his bid for a record-extending 42nd top division championship, his stablemaster announced Saturday. The Mongolian won his first 10 bouts at the year's opening grand tournament, but ...

Sumo 101: Sumo's birthplace

Sumo Jan 25, 2019

Sumo 101: Sumo's birthplace

by John Gunning

Ryogoku is the center of the sumo world. The district on the east bank of the Sumida River is home to Ryogoku Kokugikan and several stables. There are also numerous sumo specific- stores, shrines and museums in the area. Despite all that, Ryogoku can't claim to be ...

Tamawashi pulls ahead after Hakuho drops third straight

Sumo / Basho Reports Jan 25, 2019

Tamawashi pulls ahead after Hakuho drops third straight

Newly promoted sekiwake Takakeisho handed yokozuna Hakuho his third straight loss on Friday at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. Hakuho gave up his share of the lead, falling one win behind Tamawashi (11-2) with two days remaining in the 15-day tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku ...

Sumo 101: Koenkai

Sumo Jan 24, 2019

Sumo 101: Koenkai

by John Gunning

On the surface sumo generates income the same way as most other sports —through ticket sales, merchandising and sponsorships. While that's the case for the Japan Sumo Association on a macro level; individually, stables and wrestlers also rely on another source of funding — supporters ...

Hakuho's winning streak snapped by Mitakeumi

Sumo / Basho Reports Jan 23, 2019

Hakuho's winning streak snapped by Mitakeumi

Komusubi Mitakeumi handed yokozuna Hakuho his first loss on Wednesday, returning from injury to pull off the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament's biggest surprise so far. Mitakeumi (6-2-3), who missed three days of competition with an injured left leg, faced the unenviable task of battling ...

Sumo 101: Trading cards

Sumo Jan 23, 2019

Sumo 101: Trading cards

by John Gunning

With a sport as ancient as sumo, trading cards aren't the first things that spring to mind when you think of memorabilia. A person could be forgiven for assuming that if such cards existed, they must be just a recent concession to western tastes. The reality ...

Sumo 101: Keshō-mawashi

Sumo Jan 22, 2019

Sumo 101: Keshō-mawashi

by John Gunning

One of the first orders of business for a rikishi promoted to sumo's second-highest division (jūryō) is getting a keshō-mawashi (ceremonial apron-style belt). Large and heavy, keshō-mawashi are only worn during ring-entering ceremonies and special events. The starched cords attached to a wrestler's regular mawashi during ...

Unbeaten Hakuho secures 10th victory with ease

Sumo / Basho Reports Jan 22, 2019

Unbeaten Hakuho secures 10th victory with ease

Yokozuna Hakuho claimed his 10th straight win on Tuesday to take a two-bout lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in his quest for a record-extending 42nd top division championship. On the 10th day of the 15-day tournament, Hakuho calmly dispatched No. 4 Okinoumi ...

Sumo 101: Pre- and post-bout rituals

Sumo Jan 21, 2019

Sumo 101: Pre- and post-bout rituals

by John Gunning

From once they are called to mount the dohyo, makuuchi division wrestlers have four minutes to prepare for their bout. After bowing to each other, they go to the corner, do shiko (foot stomps) and receive the chikara mizu and chikara gami (power water and ...

Hakuho stays spotless on ninth day

Sumo / Basho Reports Jan 21, 2019

Hakuho stays spotless on ninth day

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho maintained his lead after beating former ozeki Kotoshogiku on Monday, the ninth day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament. The 33-year-old Hakuho, the only yokozuna still in action, beat Kotoshogiku to keep a perfect record at the 15-day meet at Tokyo's ...

Sumo 101: Akeni

Sumo Jan 20, 2019

Sumo 101: Akeni

by John Gunning

Sekitori (wrestlers in the top two divisions) have a lot of accouterments. There are kesho-mawashi (ceremonial aprons), kimono, sandals, cushions and items like knee braces and tape that must be transported from the stables to the arena and brought on regional tours. While athletes in team ...