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 101: Endorsements

Sumo May 18, 2019

Sumo 101: Endorsements

by John Gunning

One of the unique aspects of sumo's attire is a lack of associated wearable merchandise. While manufacturers are able to sell an endless array of baseball or football jerseys, caps, and jackets, there isn't much of a market for branded mawashi or "Air-Hakuho" seta (traditional ...

Kakuryu emerges as clear favorite to capture title

Sumo May 9, 2019

Kakuryu emerges as clear favorite to capture title

by John Gunning

Gambling on sumo, like most sports in Japan, is illegal. The Japan Sumo Association also takes a tough line with any of its members involved in such activities, even kicking an ozeki (Kotomitsuki) and stablemaster (Otake) out of the sport completely in 2010 over their ...

Hakuho pulls out of Summer Basho with arm injury

Sumo May 9, 2019

Hakuho pulls out of Summer Basho with arm injury

Yokozuna Hakuho, who was diagnosed with a torn biceps tendon after winning his 42nd title in March, has withdrawn from the upcoming Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, his stablemaster Miyagino said Thursday. According to Miyagino, the yokozuna told him Wednesday evening that he has not fully ...

Takakeisho set for ozeki debut

Sumo Apr 30, 2019

Takakeisho set for ozeki debut

Takakeisho's name was officially placed among the sumo elite on Tuesday when the rankings for next month's Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, the first of the Reiwa Era, were released by the Japan Sumo Association. On the last day of the Heisei Era, wrestlers picked up ...

Hakuho moves toward naturalization

Sumo Apr 17, 2019

Hakuho moves toward naturalization

Yokozuna Hakuho has applied for a renunciation of his Mongolian nationality in a move toward acquiring Japanese citizenship, a sumo source said Wednesday. The 34-year-old, whose real name is Munkhbat Davaajargal, had previously indicated a desire to become a naturalized Japanese citizen, a requirement of ...

Hakuho reveals muscle tear in upper right arm

Sumo Mar 31, 2019

Hakuho reveals muscle tear in upper right arm

Yokozuna Hakuho revealed Sunday he has a muscle tear in his upper right arm following an injury in the final bout of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament last week. "It will take time if I have surgery. I'll get stronger if I rest," Hakuho said ...

Dominant Hakuho continues to redefine greatness

Sumo | INSIDE SUMO Mar 27, 2019

Dominant Hakuho continues to redefine greatness

by John Gunning

Sumo columnist James Hardy once bemoaned the difficulty of doing daily tournament reports, saying, "There are only so many ways to write A pushed out B." With yokozuna Hakuho wrapping up his 42nd championship last Sunday, I'm beginning to feel the same way about describing ...

Injury looms over Hakuho's triumph

Sumo Mar 25, 2019

Injury looms over Hakuho's triumph

Yokozuna Hakuho said Monday he felt an "invisible weight" after suffering an arm injury in the final bout of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, where he racked up a record-extending 42nd top division title. Hakuho pulled out another close victory in Sunday's bout against fellow ...

Perfect Hakuho captures 42nd title

Sumo / Basho Reports Mar 24, 2019

Perfect Hakuho captures 42nd title

Yokozuna Hakuho extended his career championship haul to 42 on Sunday after winning the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament with a record 15th undefeated run. Needing a win against fellow Mongolian yokozuna Kakuryu to avoid a championship playoff, Hakuho was pushed to the limit in a ...