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Now Entering the New Millennium and Sumo World's 28th Year!

Sumo World

ln This Issue

On the Coyer - After winning four of the six yusho in 1999, yokozuna Musashimaru is riding the crest of a new "Maru Wave" as he enters the new millennium in the New Year's Tournament ofJanuary 2000. Photo by Clyde Newton. On the Back Coyer - A tate-gyoji (chief referee) is shown in aIl the colorful splendor of his traditional costume in this water-color painting by Doris Adams.

* ln This Issue, Editorial.: SW Goes Ail-Color. * Greetings by Tokitsukaze Rijicho * Predictions for 2000 by SW Editors * Review of 1999 by Andy Adams * Heart-to-Heart Talk With Dejima By Shino bu Suzuki. * Kyushu Basho Roundtable/Photo HiLites * Ex-Chiyonofuji Recounts Fabulous Career. * Daishoho's Sad Danpatsu by Mark Schreiber. * Techniques Revealed: Maru's Yusho Sukuinage By C. Newton * Kyushu Basho Was 'The Pits' By Ryo Hatano * Behind the Curtain By David Meisenzahl, Juryo Results by A. Adams * Ten Greatest Rikishi - Part 10: Chiyonofuji By C. Newton * Ichinoya Interview: Part 2 By L. Sharnoff, Foreign Rikishi Scores * Kyushu Basho Preview by Lora Sharnoff * Hatsu Basho Banzuke Makunouchi Division: Rankings and Profiles Juryo Division: Rankings and Profiles Makushita Division: Top 15 Ranks * Kyushu Basho Roshitorihyo

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14 15 16 17-18 19 20 21-26 27-29 29 30

Editorial Staff: Andy Adams Editor and Publisher Clyde Newton Associate Editor Ryo Hatano Associate Editor Shinobu Suzuki Staff Columnist Lora Sharnoff Staff Columnist David Meisenzahl Staff Columnist Mark Schreiber Features Columnist C. Newton Photographer C. Newton, S. Suzuki Translators AlI subscription checks should be made out to: Sumo Worldl Andy Adams AlI checks and correspondence should be mailed to: Andy Adams, Ed&Pub Sumo World Foreign Press Club 1-7-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0006,Japan Tel: (03) 3476-3774/3211-3161; Fax: (03)3476-7424 e-Mail: <sumowrld@gol.com> URL: <www.sumoworld.com> Annual Subscription Rates: Japan: Regular Mail--V3,900; Express Mail: V4,900 Japan: US. Military Mail--Subscriptions to APO: $30 Overseas Airmail: East Asia: $32.50 -- US, Europe and Rest of the World: $35--except South America: $37.50 -- UK.: 22.85 pounds sterling Overseas Seamail: Anywhere in the world: $30

On-Line SW, AII-Color Issues Newly Launched Sumo W orld announces another innovation in its new series of format and text changes commensurate with the birth of the new millennium. Following up the first big change in offering on-line subscriptions by credit card, we are introducing an all-coler Sumo W orld in this J anuary issue in hopes that our readers will welcome our efforts to constantly enhance the quality of the magazine. Meanwhile, as our readers will note, our staff has changed, hopefully for the better. We are also introducing the inaugural issue of our On-Line Sumo World, which will be available only to our subscribers--free of charge for the immediate future. It will require a password to access this new adjunct to Sumo World. It will include the officiaI banzuke, a preview of each new basho, a daily summary of the bouts of every basho together with a list of the results in Makunouchi, a mid-basho review, the final basho results, a review of the basho, the hoshitori-hyo, the complete, unedited roundtable of each basho, the latest news in the world of sumo as it happens--and much more! Although many of the above features have been offered on our Sumo World Homepage, they will no longer appear there once we launch our On-Line Sumo World exclusively for our subscribers with a secret password to gain entry.

" Our thanks to"Sumo" of Baseball Magazine-sha for use of photos


Tokitsukaze Rijicho, flanked the sanyaku rikishi at the beginmng o/bis Kyokaiby Goaisatsu greeting

GREETINGS FROM TOKITSUKAZE RIJICHO

As the Chairman of the N ihon Sumo Kyokai, let me extend m y hearty. congratulations editors and staff of the English-language sumo magazine Sumo World.

to the

At the beginning: of the new millenium, l would like to express my satisfac-tion and appreciation for theasrapid the popularity throughout through su ch publications Sumogrowth Worldin and the advent of ofsumo internet as welltheas world our overseas exhibItion tournaments. l have watched with great satisfaction the ever-expanding interest in sumo by foreigners, Japan as Australiasia, weil as visltingandtourists and fans in world. Hawaii, inc1uding living and mainland those D.S., Europe, theworkiny; Middle in East, Asia, other parts of the l wish continued success to Sumo World in its dedicated effort over the past 27 years to keep foreign readers fully informed and up to date on sumo. We hope that our friendly relationship will continue to prosper in the years ahead.

Tokitsukaze Katsuo Chairman

Nihon Sumo Kyokai Uapan Sumo Association)

2


PREDICTIONS OF THINGS TO COME By Sumo W orld Editors Predictions

for Sumo in the Year 2000

Will 2000 see Musashimaru prevail almosst unrivaled, or will Takanohana somehow regain his lost power and regain supremacy? ln aIl likelihood, Musashimaru will be able to maintain his current level of perfor-mance, though it will difficult for him to consistenly surpass the 12-win yusho mark unless he trains mu ch harder and becomes less laid back. On the other hand, Takanohana' s career is likely to go in one oftwo paths--that ofTaiho in late 1968, when after nearly a year of absence he achieved a successful comeback and one last, shortlived, blaze of glory. The other path is that of Kitanoumi after he had two poor years in 1982 and 1983, with severe wear and tear at a relatively early age. Kitanoumi never truly recovered, but won one last zensho yusho in May 1984. Takanohana: Takanohana win will the yusho inJanuary or March, but not with more th an 13 wins. He may win one more yusho late in the year, but his overaIl level of performance will be mediocre-many Il records and one or two withdrawals from basho. He will survive into 200 l, but only as a shadow of his old self. Musashimaru: Musashimaru will be the strongest of the yokozuna. He will win three yusho and complete another year without any absences, possibly faIling to 10-5 records in one or two basho, but no lower. Akebono: Akebono's last real chance to win the yusho will come early in the year. He may survive until the end of the year if he remains in good condition, but another injury willlikely result in retirement. Wakanohana: Wakanohana's prospects are not bright. He will probably not return until March, and at best will only narrowly survive. The odds of him winning the yusho are very dim, and he is likely to be retired by September. Dejima: Dejima will win one yusho in 2000, but will not be promoted to yo-kozuna. His overaIl level of perfor- mance will be quite good, with Il or more wins in four or five basho. Chiyotaikai: Chiyotaikai will reaIly shi ne in one basho, perhaps March, and will only narrowly miss winning another yusho. He will, however, not be an especiaIly strong ozeki. He will have be able to hold the rank, but will have mostly 9-6 and 10-5 records. Takanonami: Takanonami will make an alI-out effort inJanuary and will win at least the 10 bouts necessary to guarantee promotion back to oze-ki. However, he will have an uphill battle to remain at ozeki, and will have ano-ther kadoban crisis later in the year. Other predictions are as foIlows: (Adams/Newton) Yusho: Musashimaru--2, Takanohana--2, Akebono-l, Kaio--l/Musashimaru-3, Dejima-1, Takanohana-1, Kaio-1 New Yokozuna: N one/N one New Ozeki: Takanonami--return, Kaio by July or Sep(Cont'd on pg. 15) 3

A Look Into the Future of Sumo By C. Newton 2000-2001: Futagoyama Beya further declines, with only two or three sekitori remaining by the end of 2001. There will be a Musashigawa Beya Golden Age led by Musashimaru and Dejima. 2002-2005: Kitanoumi Oyakata becomes rijicho. Musashimaru fades, but Musashigawa Beya remains strong with Dejima coming close to yokozuna promotion. 2005-2010: TV broadcasts of sumo move into an internet environment. More than haH of aIl sumo tickets sold over the internet. Kotonishiki, the last rikishi to have competed at Kuramae, retires. Three great yokozuna begin their careers during this period. One is a former gakusei yokozuna, another is a Russian born close to Mongolia, the third is from the Tohoku area and destined to be a legend of the caliber of Taiho and Futabayama. Sumo's popularity recovers to its highest level since the late 1980s. 2010-2015: At the end of this period, Kokonoe Oyakata (ex-Chiyonofuji) succeeds Kitanoumi as rijicho, but only for 4 years. Automatic judging system instaIled in Kokugikan, but initiaIly seldom used. 2015-2020: Severe shortage of shin-deshi due to aging population in J apan. Door opened almost totaIly to foreigners. Ex-yokozuna Wakanohana becomes rijicho. 2020-2025: Average age of sekitori is over 30. 2025-2030: Advances in virtual reality faciliate exhibition basho featuring long deceased or retired rikishi competing again current rikishi. 2030-2035: Number of heya drops to 25. Number of basho reduced to four. Advances in sports medicine significantly reduces time spent away from the dohyo due to injuries.

III


Reviewof

'99

By Andy Adams 1999 was a bad year for three of the four yokozuna--Takanohana, Wakanohana and Akebono-aIlowing Musashimaru to fiIl the vacuum by winning four of the six annual basho and gaining Rikishi of the Year honors for the best annual record of 70 wins and 20 losses. The Hanada brothers as weil as Akebono managed to compete aIl 15 days only twice during the year, creating an opening near the top for a pair of oshi-zumo sekiwake to rise to ozeki. Chiyotaikai upset Wakanohana in a 13-2 playofffor the Hatsu Basho title in j anuary and was promptly promoted to sumo's second-highest rank, while Dejima shocked Akebono in another 13-2 playoff in the Nagoya Basho injuly and was also boosted to ozeki. Musashimaru won two consecutive basho on two occasions during the year--in March and May, scoring 13-2 in both, and. again in September and November, slipping slightly to 12-3 in both. The first two yusho earned Maru promotion as the 67th yokozuna, while the third one gave him his first yusho as a yokozuna in only his second basho at the top rank. At year's end, the Samoan-born rikishi from Hawaii firmly underlined the accepted fact that he was in the midst of launching a new Musashimarujidai. Wakanohana lost a heartbreaker to sekiwake Chiyotaikai in a playoff for the Hatsu Basho yusho after the two of them wound up in a 13-2 tie on senshuraku. Although Waka appeared to have won the first playoff, the shimpan huddled in the middle of the dohyo and called for a rematch. This time, the burly Taikai easily bulled the yokozuna out to clin ch the yusho. But it was aIl downhill for Waka after that. After a miserable 8-7 performance in j anuary, Musashimaru suddenly came alive in the Haru Basho in March by overpowering ail opposition to rack up his fourth yusho with a strong 13-2 record. The basho was highlighted by a senshuraku showdown between Maru and feIlow-ozeki Takanonami. Although they were tied for the lead, Maru won in a surprisingly one-sided bout. That was the highpoint of Nami's performance during the year as weil as the beginning of Maru's phenomenal resurgence to the to top. Only one big win away from promotion to the top, Musashimaru pulled out ail the stops in May, climaxing his inexorable march toward yokozuna promotion by overpowering Akebono in a mighty "Clash of the Titans" on senshuraku. A win by Akebono would have left them tied at 12-3 and forced a playoff, but Maru was not to be denied in the exciting, hard-fought finale, as he captured his second straight yusho and his fifth title over-all. Musashigawa Beya continued its new do minance by winning its third consecutive championship, as sekiwake Dejima outfoxed Akebono in a play-off to walk off with the Emperor's Cup. Coing into the final day with a 13-1 record, Akebono seemed on the verge of chalking up his elusive 10th yusho, but the bottom suddenly fell out, as he lost his last bout to Musa-

Climax to '99 - Yokozuna Musashimaru, seated beside ozeki Dejima, waves to sumo fans after Kyushu yusho.

shimaru and the foIlowing playoff for the yusho to sekiwake Dejima. Days later Dejima was promoted to ozeki. ln September, Musashimaru reasserted his dominance by powering his way to his third yusho of the year to boost his total to six. No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima had a chance to catch him on the last day but lost in a disappointing, one-sided bout to komusubi Musoyama, who as Maru's Musashigawa Beya stablemate cleared away the last obstacle to the yokozuna's third yusho of the year. Wakanohana suffered a humiliating 7-8 make-koshi record, becoming the first yokozuna in 10 years--since Onokuni in 1989--to fall short of a winning record. The 32-year-old Akinoshima, however, managed to chalk up his second runnerup record with an 11-4 effort. ln the final basho of 1999, Musashimaru racked up his fourth yusho of the year by overpowering fellow-yokozuna Takanohana in a Titanic struggle at the edge. It was the seventh yusho for the 28-year-old grand champion and marked the second time in the year that Maru took the title twice in a row. Hs triumph also underlined the new Musashimaru Jidai that he set in motion during the year and which is expected to dominate sumo for the next two or three years --or more. Meanwhile, six veteran rikishi hung up their mawashi during the year: ex-sekiwake Tochinowaka, ex-komusubi Mainoumi, ex-komusubi Daishoho, ex-komusubi Asahiyutaka, ex-komusubi Kotoinagashira and ex-No. 2 maegashira Toyonumi. Ex-komusubi Misugisato and ex-No. 2 maegashira Oginohana had their topknots snipped off at danpatsu-shiki ceremonies after the Hatsu Basho in late january. Ex-No. 1 maegashira Kushimaumi held his intaizumo ceremony at the end of May. The three latter-named rikishi have assumed the newly established jun-toshiyori status, holding an oyakata position for three years without the need for a toshiyori kabu. Daishoho, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer and had his retirement ceremony at a local Tokyo hotel, died Dec. 4th. (See the special article on him by Mark Schreiber elsewhere in SW.) Both Mainoumi and Tochinowaka have quit sumo altogether. 4


Heart-to Heart Talk With Ozeki Dejima By

Shinobu Suzuki

(This interview with newly promoted Musashigawa Beya was made on Oet. 8th, autumn jungyo at Odawara Arena Kangawa-ken, in the shitaku-beya room

ozeki Dejima of the first day of the in Odawara-shi, for ozeki.)

Q: You became an ozeki on the strength of your yusho in the Nagoya Basho lastJuly as a sekiwake with a 132 record and you appeared on the dohyo for the first time as a newly promoted ozeki in the recent Aki Basho, finishing your ozeki-debut basho with a strong 10-5 record. What is the biggest difference between ozeki and the ranks below it? A: You feel a lot of mental pressure because an ozeki is expected to win. So 1 felt a kind of pressure that 1 had never experienced before. Q: Did that pressure keep you from performing well in the first half of the recent Aki Basho when you ended with a 2-5 mark? A: Yeso Not only in the first part of the basho. 1 couldn't fight in my usual style except in my last two bouts--against yokozuna Wakanohana on the 14th day and ozeki Chiyotaikai on senshuraku. 1 was finally able to move on the dohyo the way 1 wanted to after making kachi-koshi on the 13th day by defeating Chiyotenzan. Getting my eighth win in the Aki Basho gave me a sense of relief and allowed me to resume my usual style of sumo. Q: Please explain the way you made your tachi-ai in your bout with Chiyotaikai. On the final day of the recent Aki Basho you prevented him from using his usual thrusting attack against you immediately after the tachi-ai before driving him out. On the 10th day of the Nagoya Basho, however, you were slapped by Chiyo so fiercely that you retreated to the edge before you were able to pull him down at the last second as you slipped to the left. You handed him his second setback while you remained with only one 10ss at that point. A: 1 didn't intend to change anything with my tachi-ai, but there was a remarkable difference in the two bouts. ln one, 1 was on the offensive, but in the other where 1 was completely on the defensive and almost lost, 1 only managed to turn the tables on him at the last possible second. ln both tachi-ai, however, 1 only tried to hit him head-on as hard as 1 could and 1 can safely say that a slight difference in my mental attitude produced a major difference in the outcome. Compared to the bout with Chiyo-zeki in the Nagoya Basho, 1 was much less tense when 1 fought him in the recent Aki Basho since 1 had already made kachi-koshi two days before. Q: ln the recent Aki Basho you avoided a head-on collision with three of your opponents-- Kyokushuzan on the second day, Chiyotenzan on the 13th day and yokozuna Wakanohana on the next day. Would you explain why you didn't smash head-on against Shuzan 5

and Waka, and why you moved to the left in your tachiai with Taikai? A: As for Kyokushuzan-zeki 1 carefully watched his opening move because he's not the type of rikishi who charges straight at you at the tachi-ai, although it ended up as my second loss in three days when he spilled me by hidari-uwatenage. As for the yokozuna, 1 rushed head-on at him, but he was so low that my head missed the target, but 1 was able to easily drive him out by shoving my right arm through his guard on the left side and pinning his right arm against his body with my left arm. Q: After you were promoted to ozeki, were there any special changes you had to make to get used to your new rank? A: So many 1 can't count them aU, from the way of training with other rikishi to the change in my dressing areas and the different accommodations assigned to me on jungyo. Fortunately enough, the summer jungyo after the Nagoya Basho gave me the chance to solve any problems when they came up. Akebono-zeki willingly extended me a helping hand when 1 came up against something 1 didn't know how to deal with. Takanonami-zeki has also been very helpful. Q: 1 read a report that said when you first came up to Makunouchi in March 1997, Akebono-zeki gave you sorne tips on how to make a more effective charge at the tach-iai A: 1 not only owe him for that. He also gave me several chances to train with him so 1 was quite fortunate sin ce


it allowed me to exert ail my strength against the chest of one of the strongest rikishi in the sumo world. 1 really appreciate what he did in devoting his time and efforts to pro duce strong rikishi with the who le sumo world watching and not just sticking to the practice of training only with those in your own ichimon but taking advantage of the entire world of sumo. Q: What is the most satisfying thing you found in winning the yusho last July? A: It was great that 1 could make my oyakata and my parents happy, but the two things that gave me an even greater sense of satisfaction were in overcoming the injury 1 had in the 1977 Kyushu Basho and repaying the people who have been constantly supporting me, especially when 1 was flat on my back in the hospital at the end of 1977. 1 was really depressed back then, especially at night while 1 was alone in my hospital room. Q: On the 7th day of the 1977 Kyushu Basho, you had severed a ligament and fractured your left ankle when you were twisted down by Tamakasuga, who was a member of the sumo team that also included former Juryo rikishi Mutetsuyama and two others from Chuo University. You helped your school win the All-Japan University Sumo Championships for the first time in 34 years in November '92, but you ended up hospitalized for more than five weeks. A: Tama-zeki is one of the people 1 respect the most. l've been trying to emulate him, both personally and in my way of doing oshi-zumo, by relying on pushing techniques. 1 have never held a grudge against him. On the contrary, 1 actually felt a sense of satisfaction, although it may sound strange. Tama-zeki is two years senior to me. His favorite technique is tsuki-oshi just like mine. As a member of the sumo club at Chuo Daigaku, he trained me hard in my first two years there until he joined Kataonami Beya in 1994. So 1 owe him a lot. On that particular day of my injury, even though we were on good terms, we could still fight with ail our strength as rikishi. That's how 1 got injured. We trained each other and always went to the limit. l'm satisfied with the fact that we were able to go ail the way to the limit regardless of how close we were as friends. The greater part of the responsibility for an unpredictable accident lies with the rikishi who gets injured. We rikishi fight each other with such seriousness that it's impossible to stop in the middle while you're executing a technique so that the rikishi on the defensive has to do his best to avoid getting injured. This is the way we rikishi train almost every day. We do our best to reduce the possibility of an injury, but it's impossible to eliminate it completely. Q: You won your first bout as an ozeki on the second day of the recent Aki Basho from Tamagasuga by pushing him out. A: 1 would say that God controls our fate. Q: What has made Musashigawa Beya so dominant in the sumo world? A: The way we train has allowed us to rise to a leading position. We do keiko so intensively in such a relatively short time, with each guy going ali-out to pursue his own personal goal in sumo. As a result, our heya is always full of tension during morning keiko. Q: ln the recent Aki Basho, the sekitori from your stable co-operated with each other amazingly weil in helping Musashimaru get the yusho. Your coopera-

tion with each other was wonderful, especially on senshu-raku when your stablemate, komusubi Musoyama, drove out No. 3 maegashira Akinoshima by oshidashi for the latter's fourth loss. Of course, that ended Akinoshima's chances of forcing a play-off with Maru. Also, you handed ozeki Chiyotaikai his fifth loss and prevented him from also forcing a playoff with the yokozuna in case Maru lost his last bout. So Musashimaru was able to win his first yusho as a yokozuna by . forcing out yokozuna Wakanohana in the final bout of the day and winding up with a 12-3 record. A: 1 was really determined to beat Chiyo-zeki at ail costs to help clear the way and rem ove any obstacles to the yusho for the yokozuna in order to repay him for what he did for me in lastJuly when 1 took the Makunouchi yusho for the first time. On the final day of that basho, the yokozuna opened the way for me to reach a playoff with Akebono-zeki by beating the yokozuna with a sukuinage armthrow. That win resulted in a 132 tie with Akebono-zeki and forced a playoff. Without Musashimaru-zeki's helping hand, 1 would never have had a chance to fight Akebono-zeki. As you know, 1 beat the yokozuna in the playoff by forcing him out after side-stepping him at the tachi-ai. Q: Although six other stables tried to recruit you, what brought you to Musashigawa Beya after you graduated from the university in April '96 ? A: There were three key points that attracted me to Musashigawa Beya when 1 was trying to make up my mind which heya 1 should join. First, many strong sekitori already belonged to the stable. Second, the heya was weil equipped with many up-to-date training facilities. Thirdly, a rikishi who graduated earlier from Chuo University, Mutetsuyuama, already belonged to the heya. 1 was able to accomplish much more in my first six months at my new heya than 1 had done in the four years at the university in terms of strengthening my sumo. When 1 was a junior at the university in 1994, the leading guys in the sumo club such as Kurimoto-san (ex-Juryo Mutetsuyama) and Matsumoto-san (now, maegashira Tamakasuga) had already graduated, so there was no one in our sumo club who was strong enough to compete with me. So what 1 was able to achieve in my last two years as a college sumotori was less than what 1 accomplished in my first two years at the university. But at Musashigawa Beya the situation Iwas qui te different from that of the university. There were a lot of powerful sekitori Ă round like Musashimaru-zeki and Musoyama-zeki. The best way to improve your strength is to train with an opponent who doesn't move back, even a single step, when you push him with ail your strength. 1 also changed my style of sumo according to the advice of the oyakata (ex-yokozuna Mienoumi). Immediately after 1 joined the stable, he told me that 1 would never make it to the higher divisions if 1 stuck to the style of sumo 1 had adopted in which 1 would stop the momentum of an opponent with my chest without making my own headon charge at the tachi-ai. The third thing that attracted me to Musashigawa Beya was Kurimoto san, former Juryo Mutetsuyama, who joined the heya in 1993 together with Musoyama. (To be continued)

6


Kyushu Basho Roundtable/HiLites

Opening Upset - Komusubi Akinoshima stuns favorite yokozuna Musashimaru on the 7 st day of the Kyushu Basho. (The Sumo World roundtable for the Kyushu Basho was held on Nov. 28th at the Foreign Press Club in the Hibiya section of Tokyo and was hosted by Sumo World editor and publisher Andy Adams (AA) and included Clyde Newton (CN), associate editor, Tom Q,uinn (TO) and Dave Wiggins (DW), both sumo commentators for the NHK Englishlangauge sumo broadcasts.)

hump and win the basho they needed to help them make ozeki. It looked like a changing of the guard, but the yokozuna came on strong and that provided the interest in the second half of the basho. TQ: 1 noticed that the ozeki didn't quite live up to the way they've performed in previous basho. The yokozuna took over this time, CN: 1 think the level was very, very, very low, but the basho was still interesting because it was changing on a daily basis. The two rikishi who were eliminated on the ninth day when they both went down to 6-3 ended up exclusively deciding the winner on senshuraku. AIthough the level was very poor, it was also very interesting--a kind of paradox. AA: 1 don't agree that it was aIl that poor. It was certainly better than most of the other basho this year, and the excite ment level was quite high with four or five rikishi vying for the lead in the first week, then the race narrowing down to two or three until the yokozuna started coming on strong down the homestretch and deciding the outcome on the last day. It was the most exciting basho of the year in that respect. 1 wouldn't say that the level of sumo was very high, but

AA: We'Il start with a brief, overall discussion of the basho from each one, starting with Dave. DW: 1 thought it was an interesting basho from many points of view. Early on, Tosanoumi and Tochiazuma looked like they were on the way to perhaps a breakthrough basho. They had a chance to get over that

Taka Storms Back - Takanohana

turns it around on the second

day by swinging down komusubi Musoyama to even it up at

Taka Loses, Too - No. 7 maegashira Tamakasuga upsets yokozuna Takanohana in a tumultuous first day at Fukuoka. 7

7 - 7.

it wasn't any lower than it was in any of the previous tournaments this year. OK, let's now discuss each of the individual rikishi. We'Il start with the yusho winner, Musashimaru. Dave? DW: Whenever Musashimaru falls behind, he seems to fight better th an he do es if he's leading the race and has the others chase him. Another thing that impressed me is that when you least expect it, Maru will suddenly unleash spectacular, technical sumo. He really flipped Takanohana with that armthrow in the final bout. Just about the time you think that aIl he does is paw and maul his opponents to defeat, he suddenly unleashes a spectacular move like he did in beating Takanohana. TQ: 1 agree. He is going to the mawashi first and then, if he has to, he uses oshi-zumo. ln that way, he is dramatically better than he has been in previous years. CN: If Musashimaru had really gone alI-out, he could have got up to the 14-win level, but 1 think he prefers to take it easy without overdoing iL It was typical of his


sumo this year. His first two yusho were 13-2 and the next two were 12-3. That's his pattern. He had one zensho yusho, but never again. He has a personallevel and he's going to perform at that level almost always now that he is yokozuna, regardless of whether or not he gets the yusho. Someone has to be able to totally outperform him to get the yusho. ln other words, get at least 13 wins. If the level faIls below that, Musashimaru feels his responsibility as a yokozuna to absolutely win the yusho. AA: It's ironie that the two yokozuna both lost on opening day to opponents that ended up with almost the worst records in the basho. Akinoshima and Tamakasuga both finished with 3-12 records. And by the ninth day when the yokozuna both lost for the third time, no one really considered that they had any Kaio on a Roll- Sekiwake Kaio (5-4) powers out Takanohana on the 9th day in no uncertain terms for the yokozuna s 3rd loss.

has won in aIl his previous years put together. He should be able to continue his dominance in sumo for the next two or three years or so. Let's talk about Takanohana. Clyde? CN: 1 thought Takanohana did very weIl because 1 thought he would definitely drop out winless after three or four days. He looked like the walking dead on the first day. You have to give him credit for his strong fighting spirit because he stuck with it against hopeless odds and gradually warmed up with each passing day. His previous performances this year were terrible. He didn't ev en get 10 wins, so his surviving to the end and getting Il wins was qui te an achievement for him this time. Of the two yokozuna participating this time, Taka had the stronger fighting spirit. (Con 't. on next page)

Maru S 2nd Loss - Seizing the front of Musashimaru s mawashi, komusubi Tosanoumi drives out the yokozuna on the 8th day.

chance to take the yusho. Dejima seemed to be running away with it, but suddenly everything changed when Dejima lost his last four bouts one after another. That made it really interesting. Takanohana was competing for the yusho for the first time this year, and although he didn't win, he was doing quite weIl at the beginning of his showdown bout with Musashimaru. Maru, however, took over toward the end of their bout. It was poor strategy for Takanohana to keep trying to force him back because that's where Maru is strongest. He becomes like a great stone statue and won't budge another inch beyond a certain point. Takanohana should have realized how vulnerable he was when Maru first countered with sukuinage but didn't qui te make it. He should have backed away and got Maru moving again because that's when Musashimaru is most vulnerable--when he's moving around the dohyo in pursuit of his opponent. But Takanohana stubbornly clung to his grip so that when Maru unleashed that powerful armthrow the second time around, it completely upended Takanohana. It was a brilliant climax to Musashimaru's most successfuI year in sumo. He won four yusho--more than he

Terao s Big Win - No. 4 maegashira Terao surprizes Muashimaru on the 9th day by handing the yokozuna his 3rd setback.

8


sufficient preparation. But now there has been a general de cline in Futagoyama Beya, so to keep an edge he has to go out and get battle-tested and fine-tuned against opponents from other stables. AA: It has obviously been Takanohana's worst year since he started making his move in the early '90s. At least, he made noticeable progress since he was 9-6 in the Nagoya Basho inJuly, which was the first tournament this year that he competed on all 15 days. AIthough he lost that final bout this time, at least he challenged for the yusho on the final day, which is what is expected of a yokozuna. He did quite well with 114, and if he can continue to progress in this way, he should be able to take the yusho inJanuary. Let's move on to the ozeki. Dave? DW: 1 think Chiyotaikai has lost what he had, that special something that made him ozeki--that forward push and thrust with power. ln this basho and the previous one as well, he has been back on his heels as often as not. As for Takanonami, it's hard to say whether his skills are starting to de cline or whether it's his

Maru Bounces Back - Musashimaru thottles komusubi Tochiazuma to get back on the winning track and rack up his 7th win.

TQ: He had fighting spirit, but he looked stiff and one of the reasons is that he does not do proper keiko. When he was all but invincible, 1 could understand that, but 1 don't think he can get back on track unless he's humble enough to go over to Musashigawa Beya and work out with Musashimaru, much like Takanonami did. Get out of Futagoyama because they don't do the same kind of keiko there. They just tend to work with lower-ranked rikishi so that he's not really being challenged enough. DW: A good point because at one time that's all he had to do was fight his own stablemates--and that was

Dejima s Down/aU - Yokozuna Takanohana downs the ozeki on the 74th day for Dejima s 3rd straight loss, setting up a senshuraku showdown for the yusho with Musashimaru, both tied at 77-3.

Keeping Pace - Takanohana muscles out Tosanoumi for his 7th win on Day 70 to stay level with fellow-yokozuna Musashimaru. 9

ankle that's bothering him because he doesn't move as well as before around the ring and at the edge of the dohyo. It's premature to say that he's losing it, but we'll have to see whether he can recover his skill and his rank once his ankle has healed properly. TQ: Takanonami looks as though he's not going to be around as ozeki again unless something dramatically changes. Chiyotaikai is looking for the quick win all the time, he's looking to push or pull. His sumo is not three-dimensional. He needs to work on his nage or even sharpen his skill on the mawashi before he can be rounded out. Dejima is another guy who has a couple of very good moves, but he's not a well-rounded rikishi. They came up to ozeki when sumo was at its weakest, so they weren't really challenged. If they want to be really good ozeki and not just 9-6 ozeki, they are going to have


to work hard on their technique. CN: Dejima has tremendous power, but he's basically erratic. Once his rhythm is working, he's hard to stop. He's incredibly strong, but as soon as that rhythm is broken, he's almost helpless. He needs to develop a strong defense to use when he loses the momentum of that initial forward thrust. As for Chiyotaikai, the question is whether he was mature enough when he was promoted to ozeki. He has the ability just to barely hold his rank, but not much beyond that. As for

Clash ojOzeki - After a briefstruggle, Dejima at lower left steps out with his right Joot to give jèllow-ozeki Chiyotaikai a narrow victory on the last day of the Kyushu Basho. Taikai ended up with 9-6 and Dejima, who led the basho most of the way, finished at 70-5.

AA: Kaio has yet another chance to make ozeki, but this could very weil be his last. He really looked powerful in the second week as if he were on his way. Sorry, we have to end it there. Thanks for coming. Losing His Rank - No. 5 maegashira Toki booms out Takanonami on the 74th day to hand him his crucial 8th loss, ensuring Nami's demotionfrom his ozeki rankJor the]anuary Tourney.

Takanonami, he has lasted a long time as ozeki--36 basho. The Hatsu Basho is reaHy crucial because if he ever gets back to ozeki, it will be because he gets 10 or more wins inJanuary. AA: Chikotaikai is struggling already just to get his eight or nine wins and no longer seems to be in the double-digit loop anymore. He has to go aH-out from now on in every basho just to get his eight or nine wins. If his opening oshi-zumo doesn't do the trick, then he resorts to a kind of hatakikomi--pulling his opponent down onto aH fours. As for Dejima, he was seemingly headed for the yusho with a 10-1 record on the Il th day, but he suddenly lost his last four bouts in a row. It showed that he was trying too hard to protect his lead and resorting to safe sumo. But his powerful, aH-out sumo is mu ch more effective than Chiyotaikai's style. He has a big advantage in having so many high-ranked stablemates. Let's move on to the lower sanyaku. Tom? TQ: Tosanoumi was reaHy impressive. 1 remember when he first came up. He was supposed to be the next great thing and he was until he was injured. Lately, his sumo has improved, his tach-ai has improved. Over-aH, 1 was not too impressed with the lower sanyaku this time. CN: 1 was impressed with Kaio. He came back from 2-4 and just ran through the rest to 11-4. When he's on the rampage, he's unstoppable. He looked to be even beyond an ozeki and sometimes looked like a yokozuna. But can he keep it up?

Maru S 7th Yusho - Musashimaru flips jèllow-yokozuna Takanohand over onto his back with a powerjùl sukuinage armthrow at the climax of their senshuraku battle to clinch the championship of the Kyushu Basho with a 72-3 record. Taka ended up 77-4.

Kyushu Basho Awards * Jun-Yusho:

y okozuna y okozuna

* Shukun-sho: * Kanto-sho: * Gino-sho:

Sekiwake Komusubi Sekiwake Sekiwake

* Yusho:

Musashimaru: 12-3 Takanohana 11-4 Kaio: 11-4 Tosanoumi: 10-5 Kaio: 11-4 Tochiazuma: 10-5 10


Kokonoe Recounts Fabulous Career (This is the second part of the Foreign Press Club appearance by former yokozuna Chiyonofuji, now Kokonoe Oyakata (KO), who was the featured speaker at a luncheon on Oct. 2nd. The expert translation was provided by Usui-san.)

As a stablemaster, 1 had a lot of problems trying to get my young deshi to work hard to become strong rikishi. No matter how hard 1 scolded them to get them to train harder, 1 soon realized how hard it is to get today's younger generation to act on my advice. ln the good old days, the language was the fist, which was usually enough to persuade the young rikishi to take action. But if you use your fist today, you end up with sorne broken heads, with the result that your young deshi give up and go home. One of my young deshi phoned his parents and complained about tough sumo life was even though he was doing his best to persevere. His parents, instead of encouraging him to hang in there, said: "Ok, come on home. We'll pick you up." This is exactly the opposite from what the parents should have said. They should have urged him to keep doing his best and not give up. Instead, they said: "If the life there is so tough, why don't you come home?" But that's exactly the kind of thing that spoils these young teen-agers. What 1 now have in mind is to acknowledge that it's my dut Y as well as the dut Y of their parents to encourage these young guys not to give up. Children today are being raised by parents who give them their own private rooms at home. If there are two boys in the family, each one is given his own room. But when you enter sumo and join a stable, it becomes a group life in a very large, dormitory-style room. Everybody in the lower ranks lives together, but 1 find that many young guys today are not capable of living together as a member of a group. For example, someone may complain that because someone sleeping near him snores too much, he wants a private room. That, of course, is impossible. But if you work hard and if you produce results, then you can get your private room. The sumo community is an extremely vertically segregated world and everything depends on the banzuke. So the first priority goes to the yokozuna, the second to the ozeki and so on down in strict ranking order. At sorne point after joining a heya, a young deshi may wonder "Why does that guy get to eat first or take a bath first," but then they soon realize that if you work hard and if you distinguish yourself, then you can become the top guy. That's exactly what 1 want to teach to these young guys. Once they get the message, they start competing against each other. Sorne of the better results l've managed to produce are Chiyotenzan and Chiyotaikai. These two rikishi are competing against each other in a very positive sense, and, at the same time, they are encouraging each other in the same way. That's why they have attained their present ranks. There's an old saying about using the stick and 11

carrot. What l'm trying to emphasize is the effective use of the stick and carrot so that each of my deshi can live up to his full potential under the right circumstances. At the same time, 1 am trying to teach them the pleasure of winning. If a rikishi works very hard and if he produces good results, 1 will give him sorne kind of incentive. For example, a chance to take a trip overseas. It's a kind of intentional discrimination, but at the same time you have to emphasize to those who had po or performances that if they work harder, you can make it. 1 now have about 25 deshi in my heya, and obviously there were also sorne who quit. But essentially 1 am not overly concerned about their ranking. For example, if one gets stuck in J onokuchi and another is promoted to J onidan, that's fine. What matters is that they all do their best every time. This is the kind of environment that 1 am trying hard to create in my heya. Last but not least, if you know of any young sumo prospect, please don't hesitate to recommend him to me, but never, ever, to other stables. RS: Thank you very much for a very brilliant speech. We'll begin with questions from the press. KO: No difficult questions because 1 think there are sorne reporters here. Q: Your comments are particularly surprising because when we see sumo wrestlers being interviewed on television, they almost never say anything. KO: They do so because they're in a situation in which they're unable to speak out. They're breathing hard because they have just fought a long fight and they're really exhausted by the time they get back to the shitaku-beya. Then they suddenly have a microphone shoved at them, but all they can do is to keep breathing heavily. Q: You anticipated the question. KO: 1just assumed that was what you were going to ask me. Q: ln other words, it's not that you're told not to say anything. It's just that you're tire d, as you explained. KO: That's the circumstances a rikishi finds himself in. Besides the fact that he's out of breath, NHK allows a very limited time for these interviews. But seriously speaking, it's generally accepted that the winning rikishi shouldn't be too arrogant and brag too mu ch about how he won. That's the kind of mind-set that


prevails at these interviews. If there are no more questions, can 1 go home now? AA: Andy Adams, Sumo World. 1 wonder ifyou have any more up-and-coming deshi in your heya that you think can make it to Makunouchi and reach sorne of the higher ranks in the division? KO: Of course, 1 have experience as an active rikishi and also in educating and training my deshi. So in the process of operating a heya you eventually are capable of estimating how far a young kid can go. You can also evaluate his possibilities, that if he develops a certain effective style of sumo wrestling, then there is a good chance he can go further up the ladder. ln this way, 1 do my best to transfer the results of my experience and knowhow to the younger generation of rikishi. But even if you are a very talented rikishi, you have to move effectively on the dohyo; otherwise, you will remain an unpolished diamond. How can you produce a polished diamond? You have to prepare an environment in which he can flourish by working very hard, but you also have to convey your own enthusiasm and aspirations to him. 1 don't want to talk about rikishi from other heya, but 1 am convinced that Chiyotenzan will go far in sumo. Among the ozeki hopefuls from other heya, 1 would mention Tochiazuma, Miyabiyama, Musoyama and Kaio, although Kaio has slowed down a bit lately. Q: First, 1 would like to comment on the modesty the oyakata has shown in speaking about how he was able ta overcome sorne adversities and was able to achieve success. A lesser man would not have been able to do what you have done. The fact that you were able to overcome so many factors and become a champion makes you a hero to ail of us. As for my question: you mentioned that you had a rivalry with Hokutoumi that kept you motivated. 1 know in interviews that Chiyotaikai mentioned that he has a rivalry with Dejima and that he really got angry with Tochiazuma. 1 wonder if you have given him that to keep him motivated. KO: You ask too many questions. Chiyotaikai is my ozeki. Actually, my heya has two sekitori, the other being Chiyotenzan, who entered my heya a year earlier than Chiyotaikai, but Chiyotaikai became an ozeki much earlier. But Chiyotenzan didn't get desperate because of this. He thought: "What the hel!' l'm going to catch up with him." This kind of rivalry between these two young rikishi has blossomed into what they have become today and 1 think this is very good. Talking about the three rikishi: Tochiazuma, Dejima and Chiyotaikai, they are ail 23 years old. The one who is the most frustrated right now is probably Tochiazuma because he started the earliest among these three. But they have passed him up as far as ranking goes. ln the last basho, Tochiazuma received the Shukun-sho (Outstanding Performance Award), but 1 don't think this is what he really wanted. He must be aspiring to become an ozeki or yokozuna. 1 believe that in the near future he can make it. But at the same time, 1 have to criticize him because he is so skillful that he depends too much on his skil!. This limits his style of sumo. Incidentally, 1 am writing a daily column for the Tokyo Shimbun and if you're interested in further details, please refer to that newspaper.

Q: Most major sports these days engage in vigorous marketing so that you can buy mascots, shirts and caps with ail the logos. Do you see sumo eventually moving that way? And should it engage in more aggressive marketing of the sport across] apan and perhaps internationally? A second question that 1 think we ail have to ask is whether or not Wakanohana should have retired during the last basho. KO: Regarding the marketing of various souvenirs, ev en today at the Kokugikan and the other sumo arenas outside of Tokyo, we are actually selling these souvenirs, although 1 don't think we're doing it on an international scale. Eventually, this kind of marketing is bound to expand. This gentleman who just asked the question Oim Treece) was very casual in the anteroom a while ago. 1 was wondering why and now 1 know who he is. (FCC] vice president). Concerning yokozuna Wakanohana, there are two contradictory views. First, he competed in ail 15 bouts, which is spectacular. But the result is that the number of losses exceeded the number of wins, which is regrettable because a yokozuna is not supposed to lose. But despite ail his handicaps, he fought ail 15 days throughout the basho and this is worthy of praise. Actually, 1 had a similar experience. When 1 was active as a yokozuna, 1 had a colleague, also a yokozuna, named Onokuni, who like Wakanohana lost more bouts than he won. 1 competed against Onokuni and 1 tell you that it's very, very hard fighting him because 1 know l'm going to win. When you enter the main part of the arena and you look at your opponent, you immediately know you're going to win. And, of course, 1 won. But you feel a bit awkward, somewhat strange after that victory. And 1 want to say to him: "Hey, buddy, work hard!" ln summary, from one angle, Wakanohana fought ail the way to the end of the 15-day basho. But from another angle, one must ask: "What has he done to the dignity of a yokozuna?" 1 don't know how he ended up as he di d, but obviously he spoiled a yokozuna's dignity. If 1 had been allowed to do sumo like that, 1 would have been able to continue in sumo for another three or four years. Nevertheless, 1 have to praise his enthusiasm and spirit in continuing to participate throughout the basho, but 1 regret his stubborness in doing that despite the mounting criticism of public opinion. It has now been decided that he will remain active in sumo. That's fine. What he has to do, however, the next time he competes is to be extremely weil prepare d, mentally and physically, and his sumo must be good enough to impress the public and convince everyone that he has done what he is expected to do. ln retrospect of the 15 days of the last basho, 1 would have to say very frankly that he did not prepare himself thoroughly for the tournament. His training and workout were insufficient and incomplete, and he ended up as he did as a natural result of his unpreparedness. As a result, he spoiled the dignity of a yokozuna. So what he has to do from now on is to work hard and rebuild a very solid body that is strong enough so that he can carry out his mission as yokozuna. Q: 1 heard that wh en you were an active yokozuna, your body fat was only 7 percent--a very amazing figure because my own body fat is more than 10 percent. 1 wonder how you were able to keep your (To be continued) 12


Daishoho's Danpatsu Is Sad Affair at Hotel By

Mark Schreiber

(Based on an article published dai issue of Oct. 23rd.)

in the Shukan

Gen-

When a sobbing woman took her turn with the scissors and snipped off a few strands of Daishoho's topnot, you knew it wasn't your ordinary dampatsu-shiki. A member of his koenkai, the woman was one of those in attendance at the October 3rd cerĂŠmony at which friends and close colleagues snipped strands from the oicho-mage, marking a high-ranking rikishi's formai retirement from active sumo. According to Shinto custom, however, women are prohibited from stepping onto the dohyo where sumo bouts are held. This deviation from tradition was made possible because the venue was not at Tokyo's Kokugikan, where the ceremony ordinarily takes place, but at a Tokyo hote!. Former komusubi Daishoho died of pancreatic cancer at a Tokyo hospital on Dec. 4th. He was 32. After graduating from Nihon University, he entered professional sumo in January 1990 at Makushita tsukedashi (the bottom rank of the Makushita Division) and reachedJuryo a year later. He made his Makunouchi debut in July '91 and reached his highest rank of komusubi twice, in March '95 and again inJuly '96. He was ranked in the top division for nearly six years. His final basho was last May, when he was ranked atJuryo 10. However, the onset of cancer forced him to retire. Daishoho, of course, is not the first to hold his danpatsu outside the Kokugikan. Most retirement ceremonies, especially those for the lower-rankers, are held in the retiring rikishi's heya. Up until shortly after the war, nearly ail of the danpatsushiki, including those for yokozuna, were held in the heya. (ln the N ovember '99 issue, Sumo W orld ran an old photo of former yokozuna Umegatan II seated in his own heya for his danpatsu-shiki, with Admirai Uryu making the final cuL) Just a little over 10 years ago, another exyokozuna, Futahaguro, had his topknot severed at a retirement ceremony at the Imperial Hote!. But in his case, it was the ignominious climax of disgraceful behavior that resulted in his being kicked out of sumo at the end of 1988. His father made the final cut. The danpatsu ceremony for Wakatakami (Bryn George) of Hawaii,. who never became a sekitori, was held at the Tokyo Kaikan in October '83, while Kotonoryu of Sadogatake Beya had his retirement rites at the New Otani Hotel in September '84. Despite being an active rikishi for 18 years, ex-sekiwake Tochihikari (Korean parentage) was forced to hold his danpatsu in the basement of the Kokugikan in June '87. Ex-No. 2 maegashira 13

Tochitsurugi, who gained a measure of fame for upsetting Konishiki in a famous "David-Goliath bout, also had his hair cut in the Kokugikan basement in March '89. Most danpatsu-shiki are unpublicized affairs held at the rikishi's heya. For example, even someone once ranked as high as sekiwake, Ho-o, had his chonmage severed at his stable, Nishonoseki Beya, inJune '90. The ceremony at which the rikishi's mage is removed, is an important event honoring his sumo career. It typically takes place six months or more after retirement from active competition. But from the once-husky rikishi's haggard appearance, it was clear that the onetime komusubi, who is 32, might not have made it. Daishoho, who withdrew from competition only four months ago, is reportedly battling pancreatic cancer, and his weight has declined rapidly from a peak of 140 kg. (309 Ibs.) to around 90 kg. (198 Ibs.). Given his deteriorating condition, stablemaster, Tatsunami, apparently made no effort to move up the date. But at least sorne felt faster action was warranted. "Sure, it's customary to wait six months or so," grumbles sorne one connected with Daishoho's Tatsunami Beya. "But with his sickness and ail, we decided that we should try to move up the date." When no moves were forthcoming, Mainoumi--a fellow-graduate of Daishoho's alma mater, Nihon University--reportedly initiated arrangements to hold it instead at the Takanawa Prince HoteL ln addition to Mainoumi, Daishoho's Tatsunami Beya stablemaster and the former oyakata along with his stablemates, two Hawaiians--yokozuna Musashimaru and former ozeki Konishiki--chose to disregard convention and attend. But among the 400 attendants and sports reporters on hand,Shukan Gendai noted that not a single Sumo Kyokai bigwig was to be seen. Even the coach of Nihon University's own sumo club, Hidetoshi Tanaka, who had trained Daishoho as a college student, refrained from attending on the grounds that he feared the unauthorized ceremony would "destroy sumo tradition." "The ceremony seems to have been arranged by Mainoumi. But he didn't take steps to go through proper channels," Tanaka limply explained. "If the Kyokai felt that l had arranged it, they would be furious with me. l sent a congratulatory gift on a personal basis, but l couldn't very weil attend the ceremony." Shukan Gendai opines that when hardly a single ranking member of the Sumo Kyokai shows up for the ceremony, what sort of conclusion can you draw but that it is unfeeling and inhuman? Daishoho, who reportedly required morphine-based painkiller to make it through the ceremony, wept tears of emotion while his stablemates took their turns with the scissors. But his face remained expressionless when his former and current stablemaster stepped forward to perform their ritual cuts. Daishoho was unable to amass the 200 million yen needed to purchase one of the limited shares for becoming a member of the Sumo Kyokai, and he failed to forge a "political" marriage to Tanaka's niece, which would have enabled him to inherit the position of coach at Nihon University. Left without a power base in sumo and forced to end his career through no fault of his own, he was callously forsaken. Now as he battles for his life, Shukan Gendai wonders what is going through his mind.


Sumo Techniques Revealed By Clyde Newton It would have been difficult to imagine Takanohana losing to Musashimaru by sukuinage in his prime years. Takanohana nearly defeated Takanohana early in the bout, as shown in the sequence below. However, he sim ply lacked the strength to overpower Musashimaru. On the other hand, Musashimaru's strategy was little more than total1y defensive. ln the final frames of the sequence below, we can see how Takanohana tried to throw Musashimaru off balance, but failed to break Maru's balance. At just the right moment, Musashimaru managed to break Takanohana's balance, then threw him over on his back. Takanohana looked stunned at the end of the bout, sitting dejected at the side of the dohyo amid a sea of cushions hurled toward the dohyo by excited fans. ln a somewhat similar bout, the-then young Futabayama used sukuinage to dispose of the still surprising strong, 38-year-old former ozeki N oshirogata in May 1933. 1.

2.

14


Boring Kyushu Basho Was 'The Pits' Futabayama's Birthplace Rebuilt

By Ryo Hatano A clash between two yokozuna on senshuraku is the ideal way in which the yusho should be decided. However, in the case of the Kyushu Basho, both yokozuna had 11-3 records. This situation was the epitome of the recent boring basho. To be frank, the Kyushu Basho was the pits. Of the four yokozuna, Akebono and Wakanohana were absent, while Musashimaru and Takanohana both lost on the first day. ln the first half of the Kyushu Basho, Dejima, Tochiazuma and Tosa-noumi seemed to be in good shape. It appeared that one of these rikishi might go ail the way, but in the second half of the basho, the situation changed. And in the end it came down to an 11-3 clash between the two remaining yokozuna, who somehow saw the need to save their honor. Kaio and Musoyama also made a comeback in the second week, thus somehow bringing a conclusion to the basho. 1 have watched sumo for many years, both in a professional capacity and also as a fan. However, 1 have never seen such boring sumo as the last several basho. Recently there has been !ittle direct reportage of the keikoba and of the rikishi themselves. However, most reporters say that the amount of keiko that contemporary rikishi do is extremely low compared with the past, so low as to be "absolutely terrible." Shouldn't rikishi, and the oyakata who lead them, be concerned about tomorrow's sumo, and, of course, about today's sumo? To get back to the final bout between Musashimaru and Takanohana, Takanohana was thrown down on his back and completely defeated. This is the most embarrasing way for a rikishi to lose. Takanohana, who was once the top rikishi in sumo and gained self-confidence from that fact, thus lost to a junior yokozuna. After losing, Takanohana sat stunned on the dohyo. What was going through his mind at that moment? Would Takanohana have lost in this way if he had do ne enough keiko and made a sufficient effort? Takanonami is being demoted from ozeki. However, he can return to ozeki by winning 10 or more bouts in january. He is strong, so hopefully he will take advantage of this opportunity to return to ozeki. Mainoumi, though a very small rikishi but with outstanding technique, retired at the end of the Kyushu Basho. His bouts with Akebono come to mind. Dejima, Tochiazuma, and Tosanoumi still need to become stronger. They can do this through keiko, and this will help sumo recover.

***

SUMO CALENDARS

***

A FEW STILL LEFT OfficiaI 6-page Sumo Kyokai 2000 Calendar Credit-Card Orders Accepted: $20 reg.l$15 15

By Ryo Hatano The birthplace of the great yokozuna Futabayama of the World War II Era (Iater the leader of the Sumo Kyokai as Tokitsukaze Rijicho), has been rebuilt in Usa-shi, Oita-ken. Usa-shi used $154 million to rebuild Futabayama's birthplace and to create a surrounding compound called "Futaba no Sato." The house where Futabayama was born had become rundown, and was totally demolished and replaced with a replica. There are those who say that it does not really bring back memories of Futabayama. An exhibition corner will be set up to display articles related to Futabayama.

Predictions

(Cont'd)

tember/Kaio after the Natsu Basho New Sekiwake: Toki, Miyabiyama/Miyabiyama, Toki New Komusubi: Takanowaka, Kotoryu/Miyabiyama, Takanowaka, Aogiyama, Hayateumi Return to Sanyaku: Kotonishiki, Kotonowaka, Tamakasuga, Tochinonadal Koto-nishiki, Tochinonada, Kotonowaka, Akinoshima New Makunouchi Rikishi: Wakakosho, Aminishiki, Kato, Kimenryu, Hayateumi, Midorifuji/Hayateumi, Kotomitsuki, Takamisakari, Tamanonada. New juryo Rikishi: Wakakosho, Aminishiki, Takamisakari, Goto, Hokutomine, Tanaka, Tomkaze, Takahama, Midorifuji, Choseiryu, Asahibenten. Retirements: Akebono, Wakanohana, Kitakachidoki, Tomonohana, Mitoizumil Wakanohana, Akebono, Mitoizumi, Tomonohana, Kitakachidoki.

Rikishi Plagued by Knee Injuries Both Wakanosato and Ganyu were forced out of the Kyushu Basho with severe knee injuries. Waka may be side!ined for as long as three months--until the Haru Basho. He twisted his knee the wrong way in a loss to No. 12 maegashira Tokitsuumi on the llth day of the Kyushu Basho and was diagnosed to be suffering from cartilage damage to his left knee. Ganyu has been suffering inflamation to both knees and was forced to pull out on the ninth day of the Kyushu Basho so that his final 0-10-5 record resulted in his demotion to thejuryo Division after 4 years in Makunouchi. The first day of the Kyushu Basho coincided with the victory parade of the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks ofjapanese pro baseball. The popular team attracted a very large crowd in marked contrast to sumo on that day. There was not even a man-in onrei on that day. 1 remember one oyakata saying: "If only sumo could attract that much popularity (referring to the Hawks).


Three 'Behind the Curtain' Rildshi Up From Mal(ushita

Juryo Results By Andy Adams

By David Meisenzahl

J ,j

The Kyusho Basho has come and gone, so it's time to take a look at what's happening behind the sumo curtain, the barrier separating the have's from the have-not's, the line between Makushita and Juryo (10 ryo--the one-time salary of a sekitori at this rank). As always there are winners and losers, those who move up the banzuke from Makushita and those who move down the ranks fromJuryo. It's meritocracy at its best. With Mainoumi going intai (retirement from the dohyo), this opens up one more slot for sorne lucky kachi-koshi Makushita sumotori to become a Juryo sekitori. Which bottom-feeders of Juryo had a bad enough record to be sent back behind the curtain? Juryo No. 13 Tamarikido looks likely to step back behind the curtain for the Hatsu Basho inJanuary 2000. He finished the Kyushu Basho with a 6-9 record. Tama, who has been inJuryo for two basho now, won the right to move up to Juryo when he scored a 5-2 record in the Nagoya Basho lastJuly. This guy has the right stuff to return to J uryo for the Haru Basho in Osaka in March, so we will see him back in front of the curtain sooner rather than later. Juryo No. Il Towanoyama had an awful basho in Kyushu, walking away with a 3-12 record. He originally moved up to Juryo with one of those perfect 7-0 records. If a rikishi ranked in the top 15 levels of Makushita wins all 7 of his bouts, he is automatically promoted to Juryo. Since that 7-0 record he earned in March 1999 at Osaka, Towa went 8-7, 8-7, 6-9, and finally 3-12 last November. Again, here is a guy only 22 years old and with all the right tools to return to Juryo, barring a major injury. There ought to be three winners moving into Juryo from Makushita, due in part to Mainoumi's retirement. Makushita 2 Kato from Azumazeki Beya made a 6-1 record at Kyushu and will definitely be one of the new sekitori stepping up to Juryo. He is changing his shikona, or fighting name, from Kato to Takamimori (or Takamisakari???). He is the second sekitori following Kotomitsuki among the three rikishi that entered sumo before the Haru Basho earlier this year from Nihon University. Commonly known as Nichidai, the university is well-known for its powerhouse sumo club. Look out for the kanji characters for Nichidai on the kesho-mawashi, the silk aprons worn during the dohyo-iri. You'd be surprised at how many there are. Note that the last of the three from Nichidai-Takahama of Oitekaze Beya and ranked at Makushita 14, went 4-3 in the Kyushu Basho. Takamimori's (previously Kato) entry toJuryo will mark the first time that yokozuna Akebono has had a sekitori stablemate since Daiki in 1995 and the first J apanese sekitori produced by Azamazeki Oyakata. (ex-sekiwake Takamiyama/ex-Hawaiian Jesse Kuhualua). Both Makushita 1 Wakakosho and Aminishiki, have had

Veteran, 28-year-old Oginishiki finally won his firstJuryo yusho after 13 basho in the junior division, including nine before his Makunouchi debut and three since he fell back toJuryo inJuly '99. The No. 5Juryo rikishi easily defeatedJuryo No. 2 Oikari in a playoff bout after they both wound up with 11-4 records. His best previous effort inJuryo was a 10-5 mark in September '92--just six basho after his promotion toJuryo in November '91. Standing 185 cm. (6-3/4) and weighing in at 138 kg. (304 lbs.), Oginishiki reached his highest rank of komusubi inJuly '97, but fell back with a 4-11 record and was never able to return to sanyaku after that. After about six years in the top division, Oginishiki was demoted toJuryo in the Nagoya Basho oflast year after a 5-10 record at No. 14 maegashira. He has been plagued with injuries in the last year or so, including a painful elbow injury. Since only No. 15 maegashira Ganyu (0-7-8) and possibly No. 9 Wakanosato (5-7-3) will be falling back toJuryo inJanuary,Juryo No. 1 Kinkaiyama (105) and Oikari (11-4) will probably be the only ones promoted to Makunouchi. It will be Kinkaiyama's third try to make good in the top division, since his two-basho total is 14-16 so far, while Oikari will be making his second attempt to succeed in Makunouchi, having suffered a 5-10 mark at No. 15 maegashira in the Kyushu Basho of November '97. Others coming up with winning records at Kyushu also include Juryo No. 1 Hayateumi (8-7), No. 5 Wakanojo (8-7), No. 6 Mitoizumi (8-7), No. 7 Yotsukasa (9-6), No. 8 Hoshitango (9-6), No. 9 Daishi (8-7), No. 12 Kotomitsuki (9-6) andJumonji (9-6), and No. 13 Sentoryu (9-6). Among the ex-Makunouchi veterans with losing marks were No. 2 Kitakachidoki (5-10), No. 3 Akinoshu (5-10) and Dewaarashi (7-8) and No. 6 Tomonohana (7-8). Meanwhile, former komusubi Mainoumi announced his retirement after a 6-9 losing effort at Juryo No. 10, leaving open the possibility of his demotion to the lower Makushita Division. Gojro, No. 7 Juryo and a Makunouchi veteran, was out with an injury and should return in January. consecutive 4-3 records for at least the last three basho. Of course, they will both be promoted toJuryo. It happens that Aminishiki's father is the cousin of Ajigawa Oyakata, ex-yokozuna Asahifuji. Also Aminishiki's younger brother, Asofuji, ranked at Makushita No. 31, was 5-2 at Kyushu. On the Musashigawa Beya side of things, Makushita 3 Buyuzan dropped the ball with a 3-4 record at Kyushu. He got 5-2 and 4-3, respectively, in his previous two basho. Shiro Kumo of the Sumo ML saw Buyuzan in action during his visit to the Kyushu Basho and commented: "Buyuzan is for real. We will be seeing him in Makunouchi before too long." So it looks like another possible sekitori willjoin the members of the new Musashigawa "factory." 16


10 Greatest Rikishi 路 10:

Chiyonofuji

By Clyde Newton Chiyonofuji began his career as a scrawny 15 year old at the same time that the great Taiho was reaching the end of his active career. He thought of giving up on a number of occasions, but persevered and gradually made progress on the banzuke. Just a typical small rikishiki while inJonidan and Sandanme, he was not considered especially promising. However, by September 1972, he had reached Makushita, and in September 1974, while still 19, he won the yusho with a 7-0 record and was promoted to Juryo in November along with his future rival, Takanosato. Though still weighing less than 100 kg. (221 lbs.), Chiyonofuji was strong and skillful enough to hold his own in Juryo. He was promoted to Makunouchi for the first time in September 1975, but failed with a poor 5-10 record. Back in J uryo in the following basho, he dislocated his shoulder for the second time, and was forced to withdraw. The injury took months to heal, and as a result Chiyonofuji was demoted back to Makushita. He returned to Juryo in July 1976, but was not able to return to Makunouchi untilJanuary 1978. Through the luck of the banzuke, Chiyonofuji was promoted to komusubi inJuly 1978 on the strength of two 8-7 records and one 9-6 as a maegashira. He showed considerable promise in his sanyaku debut, upsetting ozeki Takanohana and Asahikuni, but failed with a 5-10 record. Another shoulder dislocation sent Chiyonofuji back down to Juryo, but in May 1980 he returned to komusubi. Meanwhile, Chiyo's original mentor, exyokozuna Chiyonoyama, had died in October 1977 and had been replaced by ex-yokozuna Kitanofuji as Kokonoe Oyakata. Chiyonofuji had been a favorite of the old Kokonoe, and it is believed that in his final months he left instructions that Chiyonofuji eventually take over Kokonoe Beya. It was not until his third return to komusubi, in September 1980, that Chiyonofuji began to become an ozeki candidate. He achieved a 10-5 record at komusubi in September and 11-4 as a new sekiwake in November. ln both basho, he upset the fading ozeki Takanohana, which the ozeki later indicated was a factor behind his decision to retire inJanuary 1981. ln the last months of 1980, Chiyonofuji started to become extremely popular, as mu ch for his remarkable tenacity on the dohyo, even when in a seemingly hopeless position, as for his good looks. January 1981 marked the beginning of the Chiyonofuji Era. The 25year-old sekiwake went undefeated the first 14 days. He was only one win away from becoming the first sekiwake to reach a perfect 15-0 record. On senshuraku, he faced yokozuna Kitanoumi, who was one win behind at 13-1. After a yotsu struggle, Kitanoumi succeeded in lifting out Chiyonofuji, setting the stage for a 14-1 playoff. ln the playoff, Kitanoumi seemed to lose his stamina and agility, and was thrown down by Chiyonofuji in the middle of the dohyo. Chiyonofuji thus won his first yusho at age 25. 17

Chiyonofuji was immediately promoted to ozeki, and though he lost to Kitanoumi in the two following basho, he achieved a foothold for promotion to yokozuna with 11-4 and 13-2 records. InJuly, he lost to rival Takanosato on the first day, but then breezed on towards the yusho by winning on the next 14 days, overcoming Kitanoumi on senshuraku, for his second yusho and promotion to yokozuna. Chiyonofuji was promoted to yokozuna after the Nagoya Basho. He still weighed less than 120 kg. (265 lbs.), though he was relatively tall at 183 cm. (6 feet). ln relative terms, he was thus one of the lankiest yokozuna since the great Tochigiyama in the 1920s. After suffering repeated shoulder dislocations, Chiyonofuji switched from reliance on utchari and tsuridashi to yotsu-zumo. By the time of his promotion to yokozuna, he already tremendous power in his arms, with unparalleled power in executing nage. However, few commentators thought Chiyonofuji would become a great yokozuna or last very long at the top, given his lack of weight. Chiyonofuji injured his ankle on the summer jungyo of 1981, and though he insisted on competing in September, he was forced to withdraw from his yokozuna debut with a 1-2-12 record. Though still recovering, he took part in the November Tournament and took his third yusho with a 12-3 record after defeating Asashio in a playoff. It was to be the first of eight consecutive yusho in Fukuoka for Chiyonofuji.


With Kitanoumi declining and the third yokozuna, Wakanohana II, nearing retirement, Chiyonofuji dominated sumo in 1982, winning four yusho. ln March of the following year, he achieved his first zensho yusho. ln 1983, Takanosato launched a successful drive toward yokozuna, and became a threat to Chiyonofuji. Chiyonofuji lost to Takanosato in a dramatic 14-0 senshuraku clash in September 1983, but overcame his rival to win the yusho in November. ln 1984, Chiyonofuji was sidelined by injuries, and won only the Kyushu Basho. At 29, he appeared to nearing the end of his peak years. However, in 1985, he put on a few more kilos, and with Kitanoumi retired and Takanosato nearing the end, he ruled supreme, winning four yusho in 1985 and five in 1986. He won five consecutive yusho between May 1986 andJanuary 1987. Chiyonofuji's "rebirth" after he turned 30 was in sorne part due to the lack of an exceptionally strong successor among the young generation of contendors: Onokuni, Futahaguro, Hokutoumi and Asahifuji, all of whom became yokozuna. Chiyonofuji seemed to grow in strength as he aged, and in May 1988, he launched the greatest postwar winning streak, with 53 consecutive wins between then and senshuraku of the Kyushu Basho. Though 33, Chiyonofuji was in fine shape and supremely confident. However, he underestimated the challenge from yokozuna Onokuni on senshuraku in 1988 Kyushu Basho. The huge Onokuni charged forward relentlessly from the tachi-ai, and displaying a presence of mind so often lacking in his career, succeeded in crushing Chiyonofuji over the edge before the great yokozuna could get a proper grip. It was to be the final bout of the 64-year-Iong Showa Era. With Futabayama's 69-bout winning streak out of reach, Chiyonofuji still had two major objectives-to become the first rikishi to win 1,000 bouts and to break Taiho's record of 32 yusho. From 1989, the going became tougher for Chiyonofuji. He dislocated his shoulder again on the 14th day of the Osaka Basho. He had no choice but to withdraw, but made a dramatic appearance on senshuraku to collect the Tenno Shihai (Emperor's Cup) from Futagoyama Oyakata. ln the customary pose with the Ten-no Shihai in the shitakubeya afterwards, Chiyonofuji held his month-old third daughter in his good arm. (Weeks later, the baby died from crib death.) The dislocation was a severe blow to Chiyonofuji, whose shoulder took two months to heal. However, Chiyonofuji returned to the dohyo inJuly, and took his 28th yusho after defeating fellowKokonoe Beya yokozuna Hokutoumi in the historic first playoff between yokozuna from the same heya. Chiyonofuji was awarded the National People's Hero Award the same year by then Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu. ln March 1990, Chiyonofuji won his 1,000th bout by defeating Hananokuni on the 7th day. ln November 1990, at 35, he won his 31st and final yusho with a 13-2 record. The aging yokozuna withdrew early in the J anuary Tournament of 1991 and also missed the following Haru Basho in March. Finally showing his age as he neared his 36th birthday, he had only one objective remaining, to

equal and surpass Taiho's yusho record. But it was not to be. ln a dramatic bout on the 1st day of the 1991 N atsu Basho, Chiyonofuji was overpowered by the 18-year-old Takanohana. The end was at hand. The aging yokozuna won the next day, but then lost again on the third day to Takatoriki. Chiyonofuji decided the time had come to end his career. He had become one of the greatest yokozuna in history, but he was tearful and almost choking with emotion at his retirement press conference. Chiyonofuji had competed for a remarkable 21 years, and had the rank of yokozuna for a decade. Weeks away from his 36th birthday at the time of his retirement, he was also the oldest yokozuna since the 1950s. There are those who say that Chiyonofuji remarkable suc cess after he turned 30 was due to the lack of strong rivaIs, but nonetheless his performance was remarkable, given his small size and numerous injuries. He was something of a phoenix, always returning when he had been written off. Chiyonofuji initially became Jinmaku Oyakata, but Kokonoe Oyakata soon stepped down in his favor, and thus he took over a powerful heya with a yokozuna and several sekitori. Now 44, Chiyonofuji has strengthened his heya, which now houses his own deshi: ozeki Chiyotaikai and maegashira Chiyotenzan. He has risen to yakuin-taigu (ex-officio director) rank in the Sumo Kyokai and is a deputy head of the Judging Division. Someday, he may become rijicho.

18


Ichinoya Interview · 2 By Lora Sharnoff Ichinoya points out that he hasn't suffered any major injuries in recent years--and the spirit is strong! Moreover, he regards spirit as the most important element among the three basic components of a rikishi (spirit, technique and body). He feels ready to compete well into his 40s. ln fact, Ichinoya said he wouldn't mind dying on the dohyo if it came down to that. Ichinoya regards his main attraction to sumo as "its depth," that unlike other sports sumo has several significant tradidtions as well as many excellent techniques. But he is critical of the current trend toward ever-Iarger rikishi in the pro ranks, complaining that sumo is being reduced to a collision of big, powerful bodies rather than a contest of finely honed techniques. "This is the main reason for the recent decline in the popularity of sumo," he said. Not surprisingly, all of Ichinoya's brothers and sisters as well as most of his former classmates are married by now, but he claims that he doesn't feel left out and alone because he is far from being the only single attending school reunions in the Tokyo area. This is partly because there has been a recent increase in the trend towardjapanese remaining single until well into their 30s. AIso, he admits that he enjoys the communal life in Wakamatsu Beya. . Although marriage is still not on Ichinoya's mmd these days, traveling overseas is. Besides making a trip to Bali with all his Wakamatsu Beya stablemates, he has also visited London to see his brother, who was living there at the time. He noted that wh en he was in London, people sometimes ealled out "sumo wrestler" or came up and shook hands. But most of the time, he wandered around the city undisturbed. Ichinoya says he would also like to visit other big cities like New York and Los Angeles someday, and look at the paintings of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Vatican. But unlike mostjapanese he's not especially intrigued by the ide a of visiting Hawaii, partly because he has spent mu ch of his earlier life on the southern islands

Foreign-Born Rikishi Scores Makunouchi: Yokozuna Musashimaru (formerly USA): 12-3 (yusho), yokozuna Akebono (formerly USA): absent, No. 3 maegashira Kyokushuzan (Mongolia): 5-10 and No. 8 maegashira Kyokutenho (Mongolia): 6-9. juryo: No. 8 Hoshitango (Argentina) 9-6 and No. 13 Sentoryu (Missouri, USA): 9-6. Makushita: : No. 18 Waka-azuma (Brazil): 4-3, No. 21 Kuniazuma: 6-1, No. 27 Asashoryu (Mongolia): 6-1, No. 52 Hoshiandesu (Argentina): 6-1 and No. 59 Kyokutenzan (Mongolia): 2-5. Sandanme: No. 11 Azumao (Brazil): 2-5, No. 28 Kasugao (Korea): 6-1, , No. 81 Takao (China): 5-2 and No. 66 Kaihakuzan (S.Korea): 4-3 Jonidan: No. 94 Kotonomori (Brazil) 4-3 and No. 131 Ryukyuyama (S. Korea): 4-3. 19

in Tokushima and Okinawa, j apanese places that he feels are probably quieter and more peaceful than Hawaii. Ichinoya enjoys going to izakaya Uapanese-style taverns) and especially enjoys the food that's served with the liquor there. ln fact, he generally prefers j apanese food to western dishes, although he has no particular dislikes and will eat almost anything. He enjoys drinkingjapanese shochu (potato gin) as well as whisky and wine, claiming that one of the advantages of being a rikishi is that they often get to eat sorne of the best-quality food as well as rare seasonal or regional delicacies. Enka Uapanese-style torch songs) hold a special appeal for Ichinoya, but he also enjoys listening to classical music, especially Beethoven and Chopin. He used to read a lot when he had sorne spare time and particularly likes the works of the late Ryotaro Shiba, who wrote many books about his travels. He notes that it was exciting to track down several of the places described by Shiba when he went on jungyo in various parts of j apan. But these days, he spends most of his free time surfing the internet and is in charge of creating both Wakamatsu Beya's website as well as its regular newsletter. For those interested in contacting Ichinoya àr Wakamatsu Beya, the e-mail address is: <wakamatsu@mue.biglobe.ne.jp> and the homepage is <www.2s.biglobe.ne.jp/ ••wakamatsu/> This writer was the 146,829th person to hit the Wakamatsu Beya homepage.

SUMO WORLD SUMO WORLD is a bimonthly magazine published in English on sumo for the foreign community injapan, the U.S. military stationed injapan, foreign tourists visitingjapan and sumo fans in Hawaii, mainland United States, the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, Brazil and Latin America, Asial Oceania and elsewhere in the world. Make out aIl checks, including those for subscriptions, back issues, books, etc., to Sumo W orldl Andy Adams, payable by a U.S. bank or the U.S. branch of a non-U.S. bank or in pounds sterling payable by a British bank. Payment can also be made in cash (dollars or yen) or by international money orders. Do not send bank drafts or remittances payable by a Japanese bank. As forj apan, all those living outside Tokyo should pay by postal cash envelope (genkin kakitome) or by postal check. PLEASE DON'T WRITE YOUR NAME lN THE LOWER LEFT SPACE FOR RECIPIENTS ON POSTAL CHECKS! Yen checksdrawnonTokyo banks are acceptable so long as no handling charge is involved. We are now set up to receive payment by credit cardo Access the Sumo World Homepage and click "Subscribe," then on that inside page click on the direct link to Kagi Co. AlI subscribers should print their name and address in block letters.J apanese names and addresses should be printed in ROMAJI-not kanji-since kanji characters can be read in more than one way. ALL COMMUNICATIONS WITH SUMO WORLD MUST BE lN ENGLISH SINCE IT IS AN ENGLISHLANGUAGE PUBLICATION.


Hatsu Basho Preview

AlI Bets Off as New MilIennium Ushers ln New Era: 5-Way Yokozuna/Ozeki

Struggle Seen in Hatsu Basho

By Lora Sharnoff

t 1

Will the Y2K bug hit the sumo world in the year 2000? The first basho of the new millennium, at least, may not be a particularly turbulent one. Musashimaru seems to be coming into his prime as yokozuna and he is likely to dominate the first year of 2000. Even the Sumo Kyokai has great expectations for him, as indicated by the adoption of his smiling face in poster ads for the New Year's Tournament. Musashimaru's two consecutive basho as yokozuna have undoubtedly served to raise his confidence. And unlike his fellow-yokozuna from Hawaii, Akebono, Maru at least has one zensho yusho (perfect 15-0 record) to his credit. N evertheless, he has sel dom made it through the first week in recent basho without losing to sorne one unexpectedly from lower sanyaku or the maegashira ranks, as happened in Kyushu Basho when he lost to komusubi Akinoshima on opening day. Mushashimaru also has the advantage of not having to face any of the strong rikishi in Musashigawa Beya, including ozeki Dejima, komusubi Musoyama and top-ranking maegashira Miyabiyama. ln contrast to the barbs aimed at Futagoyama Beya, it's interesting that hardly anyone complains that Maru's heya has an unfair advantage with so many strong rikishi. The question is who, if anyone, will be able to challenge Musashimaru. The last basho indicated that Takanohana is recovering and it seems likely that he will win a couple yusho this year. He could even be a contender injanuary, with 12 or 13 wins. The picture is not so rosy for his older brother, Wakanohana. If he appears in the Hatsu Basho at all, he's likely to be an also-ran at best. AIthough he is perhaps the best technician currently in sumo, he's sim ply too small and injury-prone to hold sumo's highest rank for long. Reports that his marital problems have yet to be completely resolved can't help raise his spirits either. 9-10 wins. The outlook for Akebono seems to be better. He performed well injuly and was off to a good start in September before an injury forced him out. Unlike Wakanohana, Akebono has his body size on his side. Moreover, with his wife Christine pregnant with their second child, he has good reason to try hard. Maybejanuary will be too early for him to show his mettle, but he certainly could be in the running later in the year. 10-11 wins. For a good part of the Kyushu Basho, ozeki Dejima was in the lead in the yusho race but blew it with four consecutive losses at the end of the

basho. Since all his los se s, including one to Tosanoumi on the second day, were all at the hands of the sanyaku, they weren't embarrassing compared to those suffered by his Musashigawa Beya stablemate, Musashimaru. Still, Dejima needs to improve his all-round defense and his ability to beat opponents in the upper third of Makunouchi. Nevertheless, the 25-year- old ozeki has demonstrated a certain consistency and reliability in the past year as well as an ability to emerge as a dark horse for the yusho and looks like one again this time. 11-12 wins. The other ozeki, Chiyotaikai, could join Dejima as another dark horse, although he has not proven to be quite as consistent as Dejima. N evertheless, he is only 23 and is probably anxious to prove that his promotion was not a mistake, especially in light of his disastrous ozeki debut in March. 9-11 wins. Takanonami will be struggling to regain the ozeki rank he held for nearly six years. All he needs to do to recover his lost rank is get 10 wins, but this may not be as easy as it sounds. Of all the ozeki demoted since the inception of the system that allows them to regain their rank if they chalk up at least 10 wins in the following basho, only Mienoumi (now, Musashigawa Oyakata) has managed to do it. Nami is probably capable of making kachi-koshi but not the required 10 wins. 8-9 wins. Tournaments with strong sekiwake are said to be the most interesting and there should be a strong lineup, not only in the sekiwake ranks this time but in komusubi as well. ln particular, Kaio and Musoyama, the "perennial ozeki candidates" will still be up there along with Young Turk Tochiazuma and another erstwhile ozeki candidate, Tosanoumi, all of whom performed well in N ovember. All are certainly capable of upsetting the top-rankers, but will any one of them go as far as filling the ozeki rank recently vacated by Takanonami? One of them, at least, will probably get a losing score this time and drop out of sanyaku again. Although Musoyama logically should have the best chance to make a grab at ozeki, as he is spared having to face Musashimaru, Dejima and Miyabiyama. But Tochiazuma may have more of a chance to make it. At the same time, all hope shouldn't be abandoned for Kaio either. "Young Hope" Miyabiyama should be making his debut in sanyaku, so it will be interesting to see if he can upset any of the top-rankers. ln any case, Miyabi is still a long way from becoming a contender for the yusho or ozeki promotion, if he ever gets that far at aIl. It should be interesting to see if Takanowaka, one of the most promising young rikishi, will be able to upset any sanyaku should he be pitted against them in the Hatsu Basho. 20


2000 Batsu Basho Banzuke MAKUNOUCHI-EAST

MAKUNOUCHI-WEST

Y-Musashimaru: 12-3 (Y-C)

Y-Takanohana: 11-4 (Y-R)

Y-Wakanohana: Ab. (Y)

Y-Akebono: Ab. (Y)

O-Dejima 10-5 (0)

O-Chiyotaikai: 9-6 (0)

S-Kaio 11-4 (S-R-F) S-Musoyama 10-5 (K)

S-Tochiazuma: 10-5 (S-T) S-Takanonami: 6-9 (0)

K-Tosanoumi: 10-5 (K)

K-Miyabiyama: 8-7 (Ml)

M1- Toki: 9-6 (M5)

M1- Kotoryu: 9-6 (M6)

M2- Kotonowaka: 8-7 (M5)

M2-Asanowaka: 9-6 (M9)

M3- Kotonishiki: 7-8 (M2)

M3-Hignoumi: 8-7 (M7)

M4-Tochinonada: 10-5 (M12)

M4-Akinoshima: 3-12 (K)

M5-Hamanoshima:

M5-Shikishima: 8-7 (MlO)

8-7 (MlO)

M6-Kyokushuzan: 5-10 (M3) M7-Terao: 5-10 (M4)

M6-Aogiyama: 6-9 (M4) M7 -Wakanoyama: 7-8 (M6)

M8-Tamakasuga: 3-12 (Ml)

M8-Asanosho: 4-11 (M2)

M9- Kaiho 8-7 (M11) M10-Takatoriki: 2-13 (M2)

M9-Minatofuji: 7-8 (M7) M10-0tsukasa: 8-7 (M11)

M11-Chiyotenzan: 7-8 (M8)

M11- Tokitsuumi: 8-7 (M12)

M12-Takanowaka: 9-6 (M14)

M12-0hinode:

M13-Kyokutenho: 6-9 (M8)

M13-0ikari:

M14-Kinkaiyama:

M14-Wakanosato: 5-7-3 (M9)

10-5 (11)**

8-7 (M13) 11-4 (12)**

Abbreviations: E-East W-West S-Stable P/C-PrefectureoMajor City H-Height W-Weight (Ib.) A-Age N-Name O-Outstanding Performance Award F -Fighting Spirit Prize T -Technique Prize Y -Yokozuna O-Ozeki S-Sekiwake K-Komusubi M-Maegashira J-Juryo MD-Makunouchi Division C-Championship PO-Playoff R-Runnerup *K-Kinboshi

Prospects:

Musashirnaru

MUSASHIMARU jĂ&#x2039;JiiHL

TAKANOHANA ~7J1E

Yokozuna E S: Musashigawa PIC: Hawaii, V.S.A. H: 191 cm (6-3 1/2) A: 28 W: 224 kg (494) 0: 1; F:1; T:2 Top Rank: Y Titles: 7 Runnerup:lO 'KO Nov. Record: 12-3 (Y-C) Name: Fiamalu Penitani MD Career Mark: 526-209 1999 Record: 70-20

Yokozuna W S: Futagoyama PIC: Tokyo H: 185 cm (6 3/4) A: 27 W: 160 kg (353) 0: 4; F: 2; T: 3 Top Rank: Y Titles: 20 Runnerup:10 *K:1 Nov. Record: 11-4 (Y-R) Name: Koji Hanada MD Career Mark: 594-188-58 1999 Record: 36-23-31

is the obvious favorite co cake his 3rd consecutive

Prospects:

Takanohana

hopes co come through with his first yusho in more

yusho, but he will he facing sorne newly inspired anxious to end his string. bath

man a year and scems co be solidly on the comeback trail. This will be a crucial

in the yokozuna and ozeki ranks. Likely to relax and rest a bit on his laurels.

test for him ta decermine whether he can recaprure whar he had untillast

Runnerup with 11-12 wins. (A.A.)

Look for him

21

CO

go ali-out from Day 1 and get the yusho with 13 wins.

yeu.


ti

W AKANOHANA

AKEBONO /Iii Yokozuna W2 S: Azumazeki PIC: Hawaii, V.S.A. H: 204 cm (6-8 1/4) A: 30 W: 235 kg (518) 0: 4; F: 2 Top Rank: Y Titles: 9 Runnerup:10 *K:4 Nov. Record: Ab. (Y) Name: Chad Rowan MD Career Mark: 490-184-166 1999 Record: 26-8-56

JJ1P, Yokozuna E2 S: Futagoyama PIC: Tokyo H: 181 cm (5-11 1/4) A: 28 W: 134 kg (295) 0: 3; T: 6 Top Rank: Y Titles: 5 Runnerup:9 *K:2 Nov. Record: Ab. (Y) Name: Masaru Hanada MD Career Mark: 485-246-109 1999 Record: 28-20-42

Prospects:

Wakanohana is nor expecced

co

make his comeback unül March

and thereforeit is highly unlike/ythat he wiHenter the Hatsu Basho,although he resumed

training

În mid-December.

Since he can't afford arrocher bad perfor-

mance,he will SUtelywatch this basho from the sidelines.

Prospects: Akebono has almost passed the point where he can come through with his long-awaited 10th yusho. lt is now (fitst halfof 2000) or neverfor the 30-year-old yokozuna. He has ro win quickly and decisive/y,and avoid protracred bouts and bad spills off the dohyo. 11-13 wins and a chance for the yusho.

te ~

DEJIMA

CHIYOTAlKAI

-=f1t::*:5m Ozeki W S: Kokonoe PIC: Oita H: 181 cm (5-11) A: 23 W: 158 kg (348) 0: 1; F: 1; T: 3 Top Rank: 0 Titles: 1 Runnerup:O *K:1 Nov. Record: 9-6 (0) Name: Ryuji Hiroshima MD Career Mark: 114-77-19 1999 Record: 45-26-19

Ozeki E S: Musashigawa PIC: Ishikawa H: 180 cm (5-10 3/4) A: 25 W: 161 kg (355) 0: 3; F: 3; T: 3 Top Rank: Y Titles: 1 Runnerup:O *K:4 Nov. Record: 10-5 (0) Name: Takeharu Dejima MD Career Mark: 140-78-37 1999 Record: 61-29 Prospects:

Dejima is the stronger,

more versatile

rhrear to cake the yusho.

as was evident

should

tesson

serve as a salutary

in

ozeki and Îs mus a perennial

November.

and encourage

His

collapse at the end

him to diversify

his technique,

especiallyhis yotsu-zumo. 10-11 wins.

KAIO

Prospects:

Chiyotaikaihas alreadyreachedthe point whereby he has ro go aIl-

out every clay ifhe his onc-two

hopes

punch--a

to cernain at the 9-10

srrong charge and a sudden

scrong and decermined

I!~

Kaio is again on the verge of ozeki promotion

mance would

put him over the top.

and a 12-win

Since he's only 23.

TOCHIAZUMA :tJjJ* SekiwakeW S: Tamanoi PIC: Tokyo H: 180 cm (5-10 3/4) A: 23 W: 150 kg (331) 0: 2; F: 2; T: 4 Top Rank: S Titles: 0 Runnerup:O *K:2 Nov. Record: 10-5 (S) Name: Daisuke Shiga MD Career Mark: 154-107-24 1999 Record: 53-37 perfor-

If he can recapcure whac he had in the second

half of the KyushuBasho, he will make it. Must continue to focuson a sharper, monger tachi-aiand follow-through. 10-12 wins.

MUSOYAMA

pulldown.

as ever-9 wins.

Sekiwake E S: Tomozuna PIC: Fukuoka H: 184 cm (6 1/4) A: 27 W: 169 kg (373) 0: 8; F: 4 Top Rank: S Titles: 0 Runnerup:4 *K:6 Nov. Record: 11-4 (S-F) Name: Hiroyuki Koga MD Career Mark: 315-233-22 1999 Record: 59-31 Prospects:

win level. He al50 needs to vary

ït5lxl1J

Sekiwake E2 S: Musashigawa PIC: Ishikawa H: 186 cm (6-11/4) A: 27 W: 173 kg (381) 0: 4; F: 4; T: 2 Top Rank: S Titles: 0 Runnerup: 2 *K:2 Nov. Record: 10-5 (K) Name: Takehito Oso MD Career Mark: 299-209-62 1999 Record: 40-23-27

Prospects: Tochiazuma's law-stance, onsuke-attack style serves him weil most of the time, but is ptobably not good enough to proepelhim ro ozeki. He needs ta be more aggressive, ta give him an ali-round

especially offense.

at the tachiaÎ and strengthen 9-10

his nage technique

wins.

TAKANONAMI

fi J

5'&

Sekiwake W-2 s: Futagoyama PIC: Aomori H: 196 cm (6-5) A: 28 W: 169 kg (377) F: 2; Top Rank: 0 Titles: 2 Runnerup:7 *K:O Nov. Record: 6-9 (0) Name: Sadahiro Namioka MD Career Mark: 467-260-8 1999 Record: 44-38-8

'Lt:l_ Prospects: Musoyamais trying to pick up wherehe wasbefore he was injured last March, but he stillseemsto lack that extra punch he needsto make ozeki. If he can win in double figuresagain,he has a chance to go for it in the Haru Basho. 10 winsagain if he goesalI-our.

Prospects: It is crunch lime fot Takanonami. Ten wins Otmore will result in his return to ozeki, but if he falls short, he rnay lose heart and gradually slip down the ranks. Since he is now ttaining harder than evet, even going to Musashigawa Beya for keiko, it is likely that he will get his 10 wins.


TOSANOUMI

±1ltJ~m

Hw

MIYABIYAMA

Komusubi E S: Isenoumi PIC: Kochi W: 166 kg 366)

H: A: 27 0: 4;187F:cm5; ~-1: 1 1/2) Top Rank:

S

Titles: 0 Runnerup:l *K:I0 Noy. Record: 10-5 (K-O) Name: Toshio Yamamoto MD Career Mark: 204-185-16 1999 Record: 51-39 Prospects:

TosanoumÎ

gO[

off ta a brilliant stan fast November, but levelcd

cnd. He still gor 10 wins and chat may be the encouragement mentum as yer another ozeki candidate.

off[oward

he needs to maintain

the

his mo-

If he keeps working hard on his tachi·ai and de-ashi,

he might make ie. 9 wins.

TOKI ~~7f

KOTORYU ~il~

Maegashira lE S: Takasago PIC: Chiba

Maegashira 1W S: Sadogatake PIC: Chiba

W: H: 189 169 cm kg (373» (6-2 1/4) A: 25 Prizes: 0 Top Rank: Ml

W: H: 183 148 cm kg (326) (6-0) A: 27 F: 1 Top Rank: Ml

Tilles: Noy. Record: 0 Runnerup': 9-6 (M5) 0 "K:O Name: Jun Tamaki MD Career Mark: 68-67 1999 Record: 44-46

Titles: 0 Runnerup':O Noy. Record: 9-6 (M6)*K:l Name: Katsumi Nakano MD Career Mark: 152-163 1999 Record: 44-46 He Îs a rcal comender with

Prospects:

Kotoryu is maJcing

one of his rare appearances

The most he can hope for chis cime is opponcnts. 6wÎns.

ASANOWAKA

Maegashira 2E S: Sadogatake PIC: Yamagata

Prospects:

Kotonowaka Now

experience fighting sanyaku

~7JÊ

~ W: H: 176 139 cm kg (306) (5-9 1/4) A: 29 Prizes: 0 Top Rank: M2

Noy. Titles:Record: 0 Runnerup':O 8-7 (M5)*K:5 Name: Milsuya Konno MD Career Mark: 386-423-3 1999 Record: 40-50

Titles: Noy. Record: 0 Runnerup':O 9-6 (M9)*K:O Name: Takehiko Adachi MD Career Mark: 226-254 1999 Record: 24-21; J: 25-20 November il wasAsanosho's tum to hald a high

will be nearby to give Kotoryu sorne much~needed

moral sup-

rikishi trio are ranked about as close to cach olher as

31. Koto's best days afe obviously

clay.

Maegashira 2W S: Wakamatsu PIC: Aichi

W: H: 190 172 cm kg (379) (6-2 3/4) A: 31 0: 2; F: 3 Top Rank: S

port. ln fact, ail three of Sadogatake's Ihey have ever becn.

in bouts \Vith the tOp~rankers.

get sorne rnuch-needed

Gctting 6-7 \Vins would almost be a moral victol)'. Survive and fight another

KOTONOWAKA ~

tO

behind him. But he has a

chance for kachikoshi.

Prospects:

Last

il is Asanowaka's such a high rank. stablemate's

maegashira

Tank,

DOW

tum to see what he can do. lt has been a couple of years since he has held But he is out of his deplh againsl

dowDward plunge.

the sanyaku

and will follow in his

3-4 wins.

HIGONOUMI

~~~~J ~m

Maegashira 3W PIC: Gunma S: Mihogaseki W: H: 182 150 cm kg (331) (5-11 1/2) A: 30 Prizes: 0 Top Rank: Ml Titles: Noy. Record: 0 Runnerup':O 8-7 (M7)*K:2 Name: Naoto Sakamoto MD Career Mark: 269-329-17 1999 Record: 40-50 Prospects:

At 30, Higonoumi

such a high level.

upset seems unlikely.

Prospects:

Maegashira 4W S: Futagoyama PIC: Hiroshima

H: 186 cm (6-11/4) A: 25 W: (362)K F: 2164 TopkgRanle

W: 155 kg 342) H: 176F:cm A: 32 S 0: 7; 8; ~-9 : 4 1/4) Top Rank: Titles: 0 Runnerup: 2 *K:16 Noy. Record: 3-12 (K) Name: Katsumi Yamanaka MD Career Mark: 508-464-78 1999 Record: 48-42

23

starl of his upward thrust?

again and apparently

of his threat to the yokozuna.

If he is back in top shape, he could

Prospects:

After his \Vorst record ever in Makunouchi,

back with a strong performance

Akinoshima

9 wins.

at 32 must storm

in January to show that he is far from finished.

getting 8+ wins al this low rank, but long, hard training is necessary the ranks.

Even a minor

~~73~

AKINosmMA

Maegashira 4E S: Kasugano PIC: Ishikawa

healed from his lalest injury. His 4 kinboshi is an indication

come up 9 or more wins.

rikishi out of his depth.

He might win 5 bouts if he goes an~out every day.

TOCHINONADA ~7J~~

Titles: 0 Runnerup:O *K:4 Noy. Record: 10-5 (MI2) Name: Taichi Goto MD Career Mark: 110-112-18 1999 Record: 34-37-19 Tochinonada is back in the upper maegashira level

So is Ihis the long-delayed

may no longer be able to win more than 3 or 4 bouts al

He is a typical mid~maegashira

No trouble

to ensure his return up


~IJ

HAMANOSHlMA

SHIKISHlMA

iIJ..~

~~

Maegashira 5E S: Mihogaseki prc: Kumamoto W: H: 178 120 cm kg (265) (5-10) A: 29 0: 1 Top Rank: K Titles: 0 Runnerur.:O Nov. Record: 8-7lM10)*KO Name: Keishi Hamasu MD Career Mark: 247-293 1999 Record: 46-44 Prospects: Hamanoshima isHigonoumi's stablemate and prctty tion for him al an upper-macgashira

much the

samcpredic-

rank holds truc. Not to say that he doesn't

have plenty

of spirit, but his smaIJ size is starting to wo$k against him

DOW

h§.W

AOGIYAMA ~fMW

Maegashira 6E S: Oshima prc: Mongolia

Maegashira 6W S: Tokitsukaze prc: Shiga

W: H: 182 133 cm kg (293) (5-11 3./4) A: 26 T: 1 Top Ranle K Titles: 0 Runnerup:O *K:2 Nov. Record: 5-10 (M3) Name: Daver Batbayal MD Career Mark: 134-166 1999 Record: 42-48

W: 151 cm kg (5-11 (333) 1/4) A: 29 H: 181 F: 1 Top Rank: Ml Titles: Nov. Record: 0 Runneru{J: 6-9lM4) 0 *K:3 Name: Hideki Teraki

Just when he seemed on the verge of rctuming to sanyaku, Shuzan collapsed

with 10 losses al Fukuoka.

[f he cao

add anothcr 10 kg. and reach the 300-lb. levcl, he will

be able to add more weight to a renewed upward surgc.

be exact. He

that he's ncarly 30. 5-6 wins.

KYOKUSHUZAN

Prospects:

10

Needs

lo

come up

WitJl

8 wins.

Prospects:

\ 1999 MD Career """"'" Record:Mark: 38-52179-241 has Dever had kachikoshi al a raok higher

Aogiyama

than No. 6 maegashira,

but he has come close more than once at higher ranks. Trouble is that he's helpless against high-ranking

yotsu-zumo

opponents.

TERAO~~

But he is always in lhere giving it his best. 6-7 wins.

WAKANOYAMA ~D~7JW Maegashira 7W H: 176 cm 5-9 1/4) A: 27 S: W: Musashi[awa 164 kg 362) prc: Wakayama Prizes: 0 Top Rank: M6 Titles: Nov. Record: 0 Runneru{J: 7-8 lM6) 0 *KO Name: Hiroshi Nishizaki MD Career Mark: 56-64 1999 Record: 24-21; 1-27-18 Prospects:

Wakanoyama

gai make-koshi

year. He is the masler of powerful,

low-stance

(176 cm./164 kg.). Having lhrcc, high-ranked once once he's a liule higher.

in November

for the firsi lime in more than a

sumo because of his low, very heavy build stablematcs

also will make il casier for him

8 wins.

ASANOSHO ~7J~~

KAIHO

Prospects:

MINATOFUJI

51Um

Maegashira 9W S: Minato PIC: Gunma

H: W: 177 126 cm kg (278) (5-9 1/4) A: 26 Prizes: 0 Top Rank: M2

H: (6-1 1/4) A: 31 W: 186 172 cm kg (379) F: 1 Top Rank: M2

Nov. Tilles:Record: 0 Runneru{J: 8-7lM11) 0 *K:O Name: Ryushi Kumagai MD Career Mark: 69-81 1999 Record: 42-48

Titles: Nov. Record: 0 Runneru{J: 7-8lM2)0 *K:3 Name: Takayuki Miura MD Career Mark: 255-301 1999 Record: 39-51

Scrappy littJe Kaiho makes up for Jack of size with a strong fighting spirit,

. (. Prospects:

After 5 consecutive

speed and skill. He may never make sanyaku, but he is still strong enougb ta hoLd his own

31. Still basking

in rnid-to-Iower

most of last year ranked be-tween

maegashira.

ter. 8 \Vins again.

~~~±

Maegashira 9E S: Hakkaku PIC: Aomori

His one forny into the higber levels, No. 2, was a 3-win disas·

years in Makunouchi,

Minalofuji

in the glow of his upset win over Musashimaru No. 4 and 6 maegashira.

is still going strong at in September.

He spent

More of the same this year?

7-

8wins.

24


OHINODE 7\. B

J Ifj

KYOKUTENHO 1Iยง~DI Maegashira 13E S: PIC: 1/4) Mongolia H: Oshima 191 cm (6-3 A: 25 W: 141 kg (311) Prizes: 0 Top Rank: M8 Noy. Tilles:Record: 0 RunneruJ2:0 6-9 (M8)*KO Name: Myamujab Suebekunyamu MD Career Mark: 49-56 1999 Record: 30-30; J: 17-13 Prospects:

Going

on 5 basho naw. Kyokutenho

has been struggling

to remain

in the top

division, never moving higher Ihan No. JO. But the pressure is on him once again to gel his 8 wins or fall back to Juryo. Needs to add a lot more weight to his tall frame and strengthenhis sumo.

8 wins.

KINKAIYAMA ~mJL1J

WAKANOSATO

Maegashira 14E S: Dewanoumi PIC: Nagasaki

Maegasbira 14W S: Naruto PIC: IAomori

W: 149 cm kg (329) H: 183 (6-0) A: 23 Prizes: 0 Top Rank: M13

W: 185 H: 155 cm kg (6-3/4) (342) A: 23 F: 1; T: 1 Top Rank: M2

Tilles: 0 Runnerup:O Noy. Record: 10-5 (11)'KO Name: Ryusei Kin MD Career Mark: 17-28 - 1999 Record: 10-20; J: 36-24 Prospects: Makunouchi

They

say the third lime is the charm.

by close margins,

Kinkaiyama--the

sion--may finally be able to get kachikoshi on his side. 8 wins.

25

AfteT fail-ing

only Korean-bom

~O)~

Tilles: 0 Runnerup:O *K:O Noy. Record: 5-7-3 (M9) Name: Shinobu Kocrawa MD Career Mark: 63-68-19 1999 Record: 31-41-18 to make the grade in rikishi in the top divi-

and leave Juryo behind him. Has youth and size

Prospects:

Wakanosato

almost fell to Juryo following

his re-injury and abortive 5-6-4

record in November.

He is beginning lo develop into a what-might-have-been

is an indiction ofhow

a severe injury can wrecka

his leg, he should sideline himself until then.

budding career.

6 wins.

story, which

Ifhe can completely

heal


t

HAYATEUMI

,

0',;.-

,

""\

,,

-'....

~IIUm

7ç~

DAIZEN

Juryo NO.lE S: Oitekaze PIC: Aomori

Juryo NO.1W S: Nishonoseki PIC: Osaka

W: 182 H: 131 cm kg (289) (5-111/2) A: 24 Noy. Record: 8-7 (11) Name: Naohito Saito Techniques: Shitatenage, yori Sumo Entry: 3/98 Top Rank: 11

W: H: 189 160 cm kg (353) (6-2 1/4) A: 35 Noy. Record: 7-8 (M13) Name: Norio Takahashi Techniques: Yori, nage Top Rank: K Prospects:

Daizen seems

10

be bouncing

up and down betwecn

thcse days, indicating there's still plenty oflife rcasonably

in Ihis 34-year-old.

good shape, he should continue to bouncc.

the Iwo top divisions

As long as he rcmains in

8 wins.

YOTSUKASA ~iPJ Juryo NO.2W S: lrumagawa PIC: Mie W: H: 177 156 cm kg (344) (5-9 1/2) A: 26 Noy. Record: 9-6 (17) Name: Daishi Suzuki Techniques: Tsuki, oshi Sumo Entry: 1/96 Top Rank: M7 Prospects: hard for a

Having overcornc his injury from carly lasi Septcmber,

rClUrn

engagement

in Makunouchi.

January or March provided Ile stays healthy.

He has what il takes

Yotsukasa 10

isdriving

make il back in

8·9 wins.

HOSHITANGO

~~JŒ

Juryo No.3W S: Michinoku PIC: Argentina H: W: 183 168 cm kg (370) (6-0) A: 34 Noy. Record: 9-6 (J8) Name: Marcello 1mach Techniques: Sumo Entry: Tsuki, 5/87 oshi Top Rank: J5

tfj~~jj,

DEWAARAsm

Juryo NoAW S: Dewanoumi PIC: Nagasaki H: 184 cm (6-1/4) A: 29 W: kg (421) Noy.1.91 Record: 7-8 (13) Name: Kiyoshi Sugawa Techniques: Tsuki, oshi Sumo Entry: 3/89 Top Ranle M14

/ Prospects:

is slruggling

Dewaarashi

to stay

in the

upper ranks of Juryo, but doesn't

show any signs of making a third return to Makunoucbi.

His 191kg. body is getting bard to

move around now tbat be is nearly 30. 7-8 wins

DAISHI

Prospects:

H: W: 181 170 cm kg (5-111/4) (375) A: 31 Noy. Record: 8-7 (19) Name: Nobuyuki Takano

W: 145 cm kg (320) H: 183 (6-0) A: 34 Noy. Record: 5-10 (12) Name: Hayato Kuga

Techniques: 3/84 oshi Sumo Entry: Tsuki, Top Rank: M3

Techniques: Sumo Entry: Yori, 3/81 nage Top Rank: M3

Still going strong in tbe mid-Juryo

he will continue

KITAKACHIDOKI Juryo NO.5W S: Isenoumi PIC: Hokkaido

No. 6 or [cIl below No. 10 1a5t year. wavering,

7ç~

1uryo No.5E s: Oshiogawa PIC: 1baraki

to produce

ranks at 31, Daishi !lever rose higher than

Still strong

and steady and showing

more of the same in 2000.

7-8 wins.

no signs of

Prospects:

The sekitori from Hokkaido,

Kilakachidoki

::ltjgjlJ€!

is dogpaddIing

against the cur-

rent that wül probab1y swecp bim away ta retirement sametime this year. Still strong enough now ta hold his own. 8 wins.


AKINOSHU

Juryo NO.6E S: Izutsu PIC: Hiroshima

H: W: 184 233 cm kg (6-1/4) (514)

H: W: 179 119 cm kg (262) (5-10 1/4) A: 30 Noy. Record: 5-10 (13) Name: Kenji Imada Techniques: Tsuki, oshi Sumo Entry: 9/84 Top Rank: M9

A: 27

Noy. 6-9 (J4) A: 27 Name:Record: Zenji Kanesaku Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 3/88 Top Rank: J2 Prospects:

As the second-heftiest

reach Makunouchi

rikishi in sumo, Susanoumi

anxious to Oyakata

~7é@

DEWATAlRA

tf:15.P.I~

Juryo NO.7E S: Sadogatake PIC: Aichi

Juryo NO.7W S: Dewanoumi PIC: Tokyo

H: w: 180 150 cm kg (5-10 (331) 3/4) A: 23 Noy. Record: 9-6 (112) Name: Keiji Tamiya Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 3/99 Top Rank: 112

H: 177 W: 153 cm kg (337) (5-91/2) A: 25 Noy. Record: 5-10 (14) Name: Shinichi Taira

is ooly Kotomitsuki's

second basho in Juryo. He scored 9 wins at Kyushu

and appears to have a bright future and should keep moving tiny with Makunouchi.

KitanoumÎ

8 wins.

KOTOMITSUKI

This

is undoubtedly

at least once before he gelS tao heavy 10 move.

needs to lighl a flre under this human mastadon.

Prospects:

~~:P.dii

SUSANOUMI ~Ji1~(l)5m Juryo NO.6E S: Kitanoumi PIC: Aicill

up the ladder toward his des-

Techniques: Sumo Entry: Tsuki, 3/97 oshi Prospects: way

10

GOJORO

Mler struggling

Juryo No. 4 in November,

quite hefty at

8-9 wins.

1-\ Top Rank: J4

•..••..

through the first ha1f of 1ast year, Dewataira c1imbed aU the but a 5-10 has sent him back down the ladder.

SmaU but

153 kg., he should bounce back with 8 wins.

1i~t~

Juryo NO.8E

Juryo NO.8W PIC: Aomori S: Tatsulagawa

S: Magaki PIC: Miyagi H: 190 cm (6-23/4) A: 25 w: kg (315) Noy.143 Record: Ab. (J8) Name: Tomoaki Kojima Techniques: Tsuki, oshi Sumo Entry: 11/89 Top Rank: M3

H: W: 186 144 cm kg (318) (6-11/4)

A: 23

Noy. 9-6 (112) Name:Record: Tomokazu Jumonji Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 11/92 Top Rank: J8

SENTORYU

ti~~~

JuryoNo.9W S: Tomozuna PIC: Missouri, V.S.A. W: H: 176 136 cm kg (300) (5-9 1/4) A: 30 Noy. Record: 9-6 (113) Name: Henry Miller Techniques: Tsuki, oshi Sumo Entry: 7/88 Top Rank: J9

Prospects:

return 10 Makunouchi

27

TAMANONADA ~

Juryo NO.lOE S: Kitanoumi PIC: Hyogo

Juryo NO.10W S: Kataonami PIC: Fukushima

W: H: 184 171 cm kg (377) (6-1/4) A: 29 Noy. Record: 0-10-5 (M14) Name: Kenji Hirano Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 3/86 Top Rank: Ml

H: W: 187 151 cm kg (6-11/2) (333) A: 22 Noy. Record: 6-9 (17) Name: Shin Okabe

Back in Juryo after nearly 4

especially 10 his knees.

J 5~

GANYUlïiU!

yeaTS,

Ganyu is a walking collection of injuries,

If he can ever regain his peak physical condition, he has a chance to Ihis year. 6-7 wins.

Techniques: Sumo Entry: Yori, 3/98 nage Top Rank: 17 Prospects:

Tamanonada

and fell short with 6-9. has the equipment

came up a bit 100 quÎckly sÎnce he entered Juryo in September

He is Ihe same size as Ihe greal yokozuna

10 gel back on the winning

Taiho, which means he

track Ihis year. 9 wins.


Prospects:

TOCHINOHANA fffiJJ:ffi

KOBO

Juryo NO.lIE S: Kasugano PIC: Iwate

JuryoNo.11W S: Miyagino PIC: Kagoshima

H: (6-11/2) A: 26 w: 187 151 cm kg (333) Noy. Record: 7-8 (J9) Name: Hitoshi Yachi Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 3/95 Top Ranle J9

W: H: 182 140 cm kg (309) (5-111/2) A: 26 Noy. Record: 7-8 (110) Name: Kenichi Mineyama Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 3/89 Top Rank: J4

Tochinohana

bas had 8-7 and 7-8

in his

first two

Juryobasho,

indîcatîng

J'é5li.

he

is holding his own 50 far. He has a good body for sumo, bUI does he have the drive to keep moving up. This basho could be a key indicator.

Prospects: tS

KITAZAKURA

Juryo NO.12E S: Azumazeki PIC: Aomori

Juryo NO.12W S: Kitanoumi PIC: Hiroshima

W: 138 kg 304) H: 187 cm ~6-2) A: 23 Noy. Recor : 6-1 (Mak.2) Name: Haruhiko Kato Techniques: Yori Sumo Entry: 3/99 Top Ranle 112

W: 189 H: 166 cm kg (366) (6-21/4) A: 27 Noy. Record: 7-8 (111) Name: Hidetoshi Mukai Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 3/84 Top Rank: 110

Takamisakari,

Azumazeki

Wakakosho

Beya's first sekitorÎ since Daiki back

who shows ceal promise.

and fceuses on tsuki/oshi-zumo.

Prospects:

~ttti

TAKAMISAKARI f.5J ~~

a 23~year-old ex-collegian

Matsugane

6-8 wins.

in '96,

Be is 187 cm. and weighs

Kata

137 kg.,

8-9 wins.

~~am

WAKAKOSHO ËJ'ém

AMINISHIKI

Juryo NO.13E

Juryo NO.13W

S: Matsugane PIC: Hyogo H: W: 184 170 cm kg (375) (6-11/4) A: 24 Noy. Record: 4-3 (Mak.l) Name: Taihei Miura Techniques: Yori, nage Sumo Entry: 5/90 Top Rank: 113

S: Ajigawa PIC: Aomori W: H: 183 108 cm kg (238) (6-0) A: 21 Noy. Record: 4-3 (Mak.l) Name: Ryuji Suginomori

isonly

the second sckilorÎ developed by ex-ozeki Wakas!ümazu's

Beya after sorne 10 years or 50,50 the heya has high expectations

has most of the right statistics

Techniques: Sumo Entry: Nage 1/97 Top Rank: 112

in his favor.

7-8 wins.

MAKUSHITA EAST 1. Kotoiwakuni 2. Wakatsutomu 3. Tochisakae 4. Goto 5. Kinchika 6. Juzan 7. Futatsukuba 8. Kuniazuma 9. Tamanokuni 10. Senshuyama 11. Takahama 12. Maenowaka 13. Ushiomaru 14. Wakaazuma

for him. He

Prospects: Aminishiki,

Ajigawa

Beya of ex-yokozuna

a 21~ycar-old nage specialist.

Asahifuji

has pro-duced

its first sekitori in

He stands 183 cm., but is on the slcnder side at

113 kg. May fall short in his dcbut with 6-7 wins.

DIVISION

RANKINGS WEST

1. Tamarikido 2. Hokutomine 3. Midorifuji 4. Saigo 5. Toyozakura 6. Tochinofuji 7. Buyuzan 8. Towanoyama 9. Tomikaze 10. Tanaka 11. Arauma 12. Asashoryu 13. Torafusuyama 14. Furuichi 28


29

EAST

WEST

15. Hisatsuryu 16. Asahibenten 17. Aranonami 18. Yutakafuji 19. Natsubori 20. Komahikari 21. Karatsunada 22. Nadatsukasa 23. Wakahayato 24. Kotohikari 25. Hokutoriki 26.0toryu 27. Hokutohikari 28. Maikaze 29. Nishino 30. Takamihana 31. Wakakaze 32. Daimanazuru 33. Sekiyama 34. Teruazuma 35. Wakakinryu 36. Wakashinobu 37. Wakatenro 38. Ominato 39. Chiyononada 40. Masunobori 41. Daiden 42. Tsurunomori 43. Yamauehi 44. Toehitenko 45. Aoba 46. Nanbara 47. Masutsuyoshi 48. Toshinyama 49. Teniehi 50. Komanofuji 51. Kasugao 52. Wakayuki 53. Seigoryu 54. Gokokuyama 55. Asahiumi 56. Fujitsukasa 57. Arashi 58. Ueda 59. Nishikikaze 60. Kaiseizan

15. Minami 16.0gura 17. Kotokanyu 18. Kotohino 19. Asofuji 20. Haruyama 21. Wakainami 22. Kotonomine 23. Wakanomiya 24. Tsurusaki 25. Hoshiandesu 26. Kimenryu 27. Hidanodake 28. Fukuseyama 29. Takanagai 30. Hokutoiwa 31. Kiyonoumi 32. Kabutonishiki 33. Fukuzono 34. Genkai 35. Kasuganishiki 36. Nodera 37. Toehinoyama 38. Tokiyutaka 39. Kyonankai 40. Raido 41. Dewanosato 42. Tsujimoto 43. Y oshiazuma 44. Gokenzan 45. Fukunoryu 46. Raiko 47. Tsuehihashi 48. N aminooto 49. Wakatenyu 50. Wakaehikuba 51. Higashino gai 52. Toshinriki 53. Matenro 54. Yamada 55. Sumanofuji 56. Tatsukabuto 57. Fukokuyama 58. Shigezakura 59. Shiganoumi 60. Toyoizumi


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Sumo World January 2000  

Kyushu basho 1999. Kokonoe Press Conference. gGeatest Rikishi. Talk with Dejima. Predictions for Year 2000. First All Color Issue.

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