Sumo Mar 13, 2021

First sumo stable run by foreign-born elder to close

The Azumazeki stable, sumo's first to be opened by a foreign-born sumo elder, former sekiwake Takamiyama, and home to the sport's first foreign yokozuna, Akebono, will close its doors and merge with the Hakkaku stable, the Japan Sumo Association announced Friday. After a trailblazing career ...

Despite goofball reputation, Takamisakari had solid career

Sumo Mar 10, 2020

Despite goofball reputation, Takamisakari had solid career

by John Gunning

When Takamisakari called it a day back in 2013, this paper carried a headline declaring that the "clown prince of sumo" had retired, while Kyodo News opened with a line that called the former komusubi's pre-bout rituals "goofball antics." Those were somewhat harsh assessments, as ...

Sumo 101: Charismatic rikishi

Sumo Jul 8, 2019

Sumo 101: Charismatic rikishi

by John Gunning

One of sumo's most defining features is the stoicism of its wrestlers. Win or lose, rikishi are expected to remain composed. Sometimes after a particularly hard fought or meaningful bout, emotion slips through, but that's the exception rather than the rule. Overt celebrations after wins quickly receive ...