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Terunofuji marked his return to sumo’s second-highest rank Sunday with a solid win as he and his three fellow ozeki opened the Summer Basho with victories. Here’s a roundup of recent sumo coverage to get you back in the spirit:

  • With Hakuho out and Kakuryu retired, Terunofuji will go into every fight over the next basho or two as the favorite and has a genuine shot at a future promotion to yokozuna, writes John Gunning in his tournament preview.
  • It’s time for Gunning’s NFL-style mock draft again! So who’s he referring to here? “With age and momentum on his side, the burly ozeki has what it takes to add to his two Emperor’s Cup titles over the next several years.” Hint: It’s not Terunofuji.
Kototsurugi illustrated countless pieces of merchandise for the Japan Sumo Association, including an Osunaarashi charm (left) and Terunofuji magnet. | JOHN GUNNING
Kototsurugi illustrated countless pieces of merchandise for the Japan Sumo Association, including an Osunaarashi charm (left) and Terunofuji magnet. | JOHN GUNNING
  • Rikishi Hibikiryu died on April 28, a month after landing on his head during a bout in a horrifying injury that sent shockwaves through the sport. Video showed the 28-year-old lying unaided for minutes after the bout.
  • The same day as Hibikiryu’s fateful bout, wrestler-turned-artist Kototsurugi passed away aged 60. His caricaturish style, a longtime fixture of sumo merch and media, is considered by many to be the definitive representation of the sport.
  • Sumo’s banzuke ranking sheets, which have been produced since the 18th century, serve not only as keepsakes but as snapshots of the sport’s changes over time, explains Gunning in a look at the tradition.

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