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 ...

Sumo 101: Championship scores

Sumo Sep 21, 2019

Sumo 101: Championship scores

by John Gunning

One of the side effects of having Hakuho, the greatest rikishi of all time, succeed another legend in Asashoryu at the top of the sumo pile, is that fans in recent years have become accustomed to seeing dominant championship performances. There have been 24 perfect ...

Sumo May 25, 2019

Sumo 101: Controversial decisions

by John Gunning

Friday's controversial overturning of an apparent Tochinoshin win has people up in arms. Irate fans flooded social media with photos, videos and gifs that they felt proved the burly Georgian was hard done by. There is even a change.org petition to have the ruling reversed. That ...

Sumo 101: Mongolians

Sumo May 24, 2019

Sumo 101: Mongolians

by John Gunning

Sumo might be Japan's national sport, but for most of the last two decades it has been dominated by Mongolians. From November 2002, when Ulaanbaatar native Asashoryu won his first Emperor's Cup, to January 2016, when Kotoshogiku broke a 10-year title drought for Japan-born rikishi, ...

Sumo dominance down to heart over matter

Sumo | INSIDE SUMO Oct 31, 2018

Sumo dominance down to heart over matter

by John Gunning

The newly-released banzuke (rankings) for the upcoming Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament see Hakuho back in his old familiar 'Yokozuna 1 East' position. It is the 48th time that the Mongolian veteran has occupied the top slot — a sumo record. Indeed at this stage in his ...

Harumafuji retires with impressive legacy in ring

Sumo | INSIDE SUMO 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 ...

Young rikishi offer new hope for sumo

Sumo Nov 23, 2017

Young rikishi offer new hope for sumo

With Harumafuji's assault scandal seeing sumo's name dragged through the mud once again, a new generation of young wrestlers are looking to lift Japan's ancient national sport out of the muck. One such wrestler is 24-year-old up-and-comer Daiamami, a 14th-ranked maegashira who is the only ...