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Best Sumo wrestler of All Time

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    1

    Takamiyama Torinosuke

    Takamiyama Torinosuke (髙見山酉之助, October 25, 1873 – January 11, 1924) was a Japanese sumo wrestler. He joined Takasago stable, reaching the top makuuchi division in 1907. In the June 1909 tournament, he defeated ozeki Tachiyama and won the first official championship in the history of the professional sumo. He reached his highest rank of sekiwake in January 1910. He reportedly feared Tamatsubaki Kentaro. After he retired in May 1913, he left the sumo world and returned to his hometown. *tournament actually held one month later than listed.
    7.57
    7 votes
    2
    Sakahoko Akihiro

    Sakahoko Akihiro

    Sakahoko Nobushige (born 18 June 1961 as Yoshiaki Fukuzono) is a former sumo wrestler from Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. He is now the head coach of Izutsu stable. He is the elder brother of Terao Tsunefumi. Sakahoko made his professional debut in January 1978, joining Izutsu stable, which was run by his father, ex sekiwake Tsurugamine. His elder brother, Kakureizan, had joined sumo in March 1975, but Sakahoko quickly caught up with him and they made their jūryō debuts together in July 1981. Sakahoko made his debut in the top makuuchi division in November 1982. (His elder brother, meanwhile, never got higher than jūryō 2 and slid down the rankings). He reached what was to be his highest rank of sekiwake for the first time in July 1984. This was his first ever tournament in the titled san'yaku ranks and somewhat unusually for a san'yaku debutant he was able to produce a winning score (kachi-koshi) of 8-7. He received the Technique prize for his efforts. In March 1985 Sakahoko's younger brother Terao joined him in makuuchi. They were the first pair of brothers to be in the top division simultaneously since Tanikaze and Tatsugesake 200 years
    9.00
    5 votes
    3

    Masuiyama Daishirō II

    Masuiyama Daishirō (born 16 November 1948 as Noboru Sawada) is a former sumo wrestler from Hyōgo, Japan. In 1980 he became the oldest man to be promoted to the rank of ōzeki in the modern era (since 1958). He is now a sumo coach and an elder of the Japan Sumo Association under the name Mihogaseki. Born in Himeji, he was the son of former ōzeki Masuiyama Daishirō I. He was a talented swimmer at school but wanted to follow his father into sumo. Initially turned down because of his size, he eventually persuaded his father to let him join his Mihogaseki stable in January 1967. He began at the same time as Kitanoumi, a future yokozuna. He began fighting under the name Suiryu, adopting the Masuiyama shikona the following year. He reached sekitori status in July 1969 upon promotion to the jūryō division and reached the top makuuchi division for the first time in March 1970. Weighing barely 100 kg, and prone to injury, he was not able to establish himself in the division until 1972, temporarily dropping back to jūryō where he won his only yūshō or tournament championship in January of that year. In November 1972 he won the first of his five Ginosho or Technique prizes and earned promotion
    7.83
    6 votes
    4
    Takanowaka Yuki

    Takanowaka Yuki

    Takanowaka Yūki (born 2 April 1976 as Yūki Ozaki) is a former sumo wrestler from Ikitsuki, Nagasaki, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. Takanowaka was born as Yūki Ozaki, the son of a professional baseball player. In his youth he played not only baseball but also basketball, for which he was offered several scholarships. He tried sumo at the suggestion of his school's sumo club manager, who had connections with Naruto stable. Takanowaka joined the stable in March 1992, making his debut alongside future sekiwake Wakanosato. As is common, he initially fought under his own surname, soon switching to "Takaozaki" before adopting the fighting name of Takanowaka in 1998. Initially weighing only 80 kg (180 lb), it took him several years to work his way through the lower ranks. He was promoted to the second highest jūryō division in May 1999 and reached the top makuuchi division just three tournaments later in November 1999. Takanowaka was ranked in the top division for 34 tournaments in total, with a win-loss rate of 229-242, with 39 absences. He earned one kinboshi, or gold star, by defeating yokozuna Musashimaru in May 2001, and three special prizes. His best performance was probably
    7.83
    6 votes
    5
    Tokusegawa Masanao

    Tokusegawa Masanao

    Tokusegawa Masano (德瀬川 正直, born August 6, 1983 as Badamsambuu Ganbold) is a former sumo wrestler from Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Joining the professional sport in 2003, he entered the top division for the first time in March 2010, and rose to the middle maegashira ranks. He was forced to retire by the Japan Sumo Association in 2011 after being found guilty of match-fixing. Tokusegawa's debut tournament in maezumo was considered a rather ignominious one, as he was cautioned by judges for cursing in Mongolian at a fellow Mongolian wrestler and slapping the wrestler's chest just after losing to him. He soon went on to distinguish himself though, steadily rising through the ranks. Except for a period in early 2005 where he suffered three consecutive losing tournaments while struggling in the sandanme division, he has never had two consecutive losing tournaments. Ironically, this is the division in which he would go on to take the championship in the November 2006 tournament with a 7-0 perfect record. His sumo became even more consistent and after a slow but steady rise to the upper ranks of the makushita division, he took the championship in the May 2009 tournament. As a result, he became
    7.83
    6 votes
    6
    Kagamisato Kiyoji

    Kagamisato Kiyoji

    Kagamisato Kiyoji (鏡里 喜代治, April 30, 1923 - February 29, 2004) was a sumo wrestler from Aomori Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 42nd Yokozuna. He was born Kiyoji Okuyama in a small fishing village in Sannohe District. He came from a poor family as his father had died when he was very young, and he had to support his mother when his older siblings left the house. He was already large as a teenager and soon spotted by a wrestler named Kagamiiwa and invited to join sumo. More interested in basketball, and with his mother also reluctant, the young Okuyama initially refused, but after his family was provided with financial assistance he eventually travelled to Tokyo to repay Kagamiiwa's kindness. In the summer of 1940, he joined the now retired Kagamiiwa's Kumegawa stable. He made his professional debut in January 1941 and was given the shikona or sumo name of Kagamisato. When the great yokozuna Futabayama Sadaji established his own stable, Kagamisato followed his stablemaster there, and it was later renamed Tokitsukaze stable. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in June 1947. In October 1949 he defeated two yokozuna and produced a fine 12-3 score, also becoming the first
    6.86
    7 votes
    7
    Hokutōriki Hideki

    Hokutōriki Hideki

    Hokutōriki Hideki (born October 31, 1977 as Hideki Kimura) is a former sumo wrestler, from Tochigi, Japan. He reached the top makuuchi division in 2002 and was runner-up in three tournaments. He has four special prizes in his career. The highest rank he reached was sekiwake. He was born in Kurobane, a town in the Nasu District of Tochigi Prefecture. Hokutōriki made his professional debut in March 1993, joining Kokonoe stable. In October of that year he transferred to the newly created Hakkaku stable run by former yokozuna Hokutoumi. It took nearly nine years for him to achieve sekitori status by gaining promotion to the second jūryō division in January 2002. However, it took him only two further tournaments to reach the top makuuchi division. On his debut outing in makuuchi in May 2002 he made an immediate impression, finishing as runner-up with a strong 11-4 record and the fighting spirit prize. He was also a runner-up in the March 2003 tournament. The highlight of Hokutōriki's career came in May 2004, the only occasion to date when he has recorded a winning score from the upper maegashira ranks. Ranked at Maegashira 1, he sensationally defeated Asashōryū on the sixth day - his
    7.67
    6 votes
    8

    Takamiyama Daigorō

    Takamiyama Daigorō 高見山大五郎 (born 16 June 1944 as Jesse James Wailani Kuhaulua) is a former sumo wrestler, the first foreign born rikishi to win the top division championship (in 1972). His highest rank was sekiwake. His active career spanned twenty years from 1964 to 1984, and he set a number of longevity records, including most tournaments ranked in the top makuuchi division, and most consecutive top division appearances. He is also the first foreign born wrestler ever to take charge of a training stable, founding Azumazeki stable in 1986. His most successful wrestler was fellow Hawaiian Akebono who reached the highest rank of yokozuna in 1993. He retired as a coach in 2009. Kuhaulua was born in Happy Valley, Maui to parents who were mostly of Hawaiian descent. Due to his impressive height of 6 foot 2 inches (189 cm) and 280 pounds (127 kg), he was recruited as a tackle for the Henry Perrine Baldwin High School football team. His football coach noticed that he had weak legs and hips, and recommended that he train his lower body through sumo, a sport popular among the local Japanese-American community. He joined a local amateur sumo club and it was there that he was spotted by
    8.40
    5 votes
    9

    Maedayama Eigorō

    Maedayama Eigorō (前田山 英五郎, May 4, 1914 - August 17, 1971) was a sumo wrestler from Ehime Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 39th Yokozuna. He was born in Nishiuwa District. On his school excursion to Oita in the spring of 1926, he met future yokozuna Futabayama Sadaji, who had not yet joined Tatsunami stable, and was participating in the track meet. After joining Takasago stable in the autumn of 1927, he met Futabayama again. Subsequently he and Futabayama practiced sumo together regularly after he entered sumo. He made his professional debut in January 1929. His early shikona or fighting name was Sadamisaki, but he changed it to Maedayama in honour of the surgeon who saved his career after he was forced to sit out the whole of 1934 through injury. He reached the top makuuchi division in January 1937. In May 1938, he was promoted to ōzeki, straight from the fourth komusubi rank, after finishing as tournament runner-up. It was the quickest rise to ōzeki since Ōnishiki in 1916. In January 1941, he defeated ōzeki Haguroyama and yokozuna Futabayama. His strongest technique was harite, or face slap. His technique caused a controversy over harite but Futabayama supported him,
    8.20
    5 votes
    10
    Akinoshima Katsumi

    Akinoshima Katsumi

    Akinoshima Katsumi (born 16 March 1967 as Katsumi Yamanaka) is a former sumo wrestler from Akitsu, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1982, and after reaching the top division in 1988 he remained there for 15 years. His highest rank was sekiwake. He was known as the "giant killer" having defeated more yokozuna than any other untitled wrestler (maegashira) in the history of sumo, earning himself 16 gold stars or kinboshi over his career, four more than his nearest kinboshi earning rivals, Takamiyama and Tochinonada. He also has received 19 performance prizes (sanshō), another record in sumo history. Akinoshima was a member of Futagoyama stable stable and was a stablemate of the wrestling brothers Takanohana II and Wakanohana III during their rise in sumo and subsequent yokozuna reigns. Akinoshima was a wrestler always capable of surprise wins, but lacked consistency, spending most of his career as a maegashira. After his retirement in 2003 he became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association and in 2009 he became head coach of the Takadagawa stable. Though he played judo in his junior high school years, Katsumi had dreamed from a very young age of becoming a
    9.25
    4 votes
    11
    Kitanoumi Toshimitsu

    Kitanoumi Toshimitsu

    Kitanoumi Toshimitsu (北の湖敏満, born May 16, 1953 as Obata Toshimitsu, Japanese:小畑 敏満) is a former sumo wrestler. He was the dominant yokozuna in sumo during the 1970s. Toshimitsu was promoted to yokozuna at age 21, becoming the youngest ever to achieve sumo's top rank, and he remained a yokozuna for a record 63 tournaments. He won 24 tournament championships during his career and was one of a series of truly great yokozuna who came from Hokkaidō, the most northerly of the four main islands of Japan. Following his retirement in 1985 he established Kitanoumi stable. Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association from 2002 until 2008, he returned to the post in 2012, the first man to do so. Born in Sōbetsu, Usu District, Kitanoumi began his professional career in January 1967 at 13, whilst still in middle school. He joined Mihogaseki stable, and was promoted to sumo's second highest jūryō division in May 1971 and the top makuuchi division a year later. He won his first top division yūshō or tournament championship in January 1974 and was promoted to ōzeki immediately afterwards. He secured promotion to yokozuna just three tournaments after that. At 21 years 2 months, he was the youngest ever
    8.00
    5 votes
    12
    Kaiketsu Masateru

    Kaiketsu Masateru

    Kaiketsu Masateru (Japanese: 魁傑 將晃, born February 16, 1948 as Teriyuki Nishimori) is a former sumo wrestler, who reached the second highest rank of ōzeki on two separate occasions. He also won two top division tournament championships. He is now known as Hanaregoma-oyakata and is the head coach of Hanaregoma stable. He was also chairman of the Japan Sumo Association from 2010 to 2012. While at Nihon University he practiced judo. He made his professional sumo debut in September 1966 at the age of 18. Initially fighting under his own surname of Nishimori, he reached the second jūryō division in January 1970. He adopted the shikona of Hananishiki before switching to Kaiketsu in November 1970. He reached the top makuuchi division in September 1971. In March 1972 from the maegashira 7 ranking he was the tournament runner-up to Hasegawa, who defeated him in a playoff, and he was given special prizes for Outstanding Performance and Technique. At the following tournament in May 1972 he made his san'yaku debut at komusubi rank. After scoring 11 wins there and finishing as runner-up to Wajima he was promoted to sekiwake. He was also a runner-up in January 1973. In September 1974 Kaiketsu
    6.83
    6 votes
    13
    Tsurugizan Taniemon

    Tsurugizan Taniemon

    Tsurugizan Taniemon (劔山谷右衛門, 1803 – October 17, 1854) was a sumo wrestler from Toyama City, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. He won six tournament championships on an official basis, before the yusho system was established and was offered, but rejected, a yokozuna licence. He joined Hatachiyama stable and was later trained under yokozuna Ōnomatsu Midorinosuke. At first he fought under the ring name Waniishi. He was one of few wrestlers to defeat yokozuna Inazuma Raigorō, who held a winning percentage of 90.9. After he won all bouts as sekiwake in the November 1841 tournament, he was promoted to ozeki in February 1842. He was to have the best individual record in six tournaments, equivalent to six yusho today, and recorded 29 consecutive wins. He changed his techniques according to the circumstances. He was granted a yokozuna licence, but rejected this and nominated Hidenoyama Raigorō. He held the ozeki rank for 11 years, but he finally retired from an active wrestler in February 1852 shortly before the age of 50. He is said to have died on October 17, 1854, but his death date remains vague. *2 tournaments were held yearly in this period, though the actual time they were held was
    7.80
    5 votes
    14
    Miyabiyama Tetsushi

    Miyabiyama Tetsushi

    Miyabiyama Tetsushi (born July 28, 1977 as Masato Takeuchi) is a sumo wrestler from Mito, Ibaraki, Japan. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 1998. He has been ranked in the top division of professional sumo since 1999, holding the second highest rank of ōzeki from 2000 to 2001. He has won eight special prizes and been runner-up in four tournaments during his top division career. He wrestles for Fujishima stable (formerly Musashigawa stable). Miyabiyama competed in amateur sumo tournaments while at Meiji University, but left before graduation to join the professional ranks. He was accepted by Musashigawa stable in July 1998 and given makushita tsukedashi status, meaning he could begin at the bottom of the third highest makushita division. He quickly worked his way through the ranks, logging in four consecutive championships, two in makushita and two in jūryō to reach the top makuuchi division in March 1999 just eight months after entering professional sumo. His rise to the middle ranks of makuuchi was so quick that he did not yet have a topknot, a true rarity and one that did not go unnoticed by announcers. He won a fighting spirit prize in his first top division
    6.67
    6 votes
    15

    Aotsurugi Kenta

    Aotsurugi Kenta (born December 16, 1982 as Tebita Rato Taufa) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Tongatapu, Tonga. He made his debut in 2001 but had many injury problems. In 2006, he obtained Japanese citizenship, adopting the official name of Tebita Togawa. He retired in May 2009. As an amateur he competed in the lightweight category at the Junior World Sumo Championships in 2000, just missing out on a bronze medal. He made his professional debut in March 2001, joining the small Tagonoura stable. His first shikona or fighting name was Hisanoumi. He reached as high as sandanme 24 in the fourth highest division in November 2004, but injury meant he was not able to participate in any tournaments from November 2005 until September 2006. As a result, he fell off the banzuke (ranking list) completely in July 2006. He finally returned to the ring in November 2006 and fought three maezumo (pre-sumo) bouts - effectively beginning his career all over again from the very bottom. He won all three bouts and reappeared on the banzuke in January 2007, ranked at jonokuchi 29. He then took the jonokuchi championship with a 6-1 record. By May 2007 he had progressed to jonidan 20 where he
    7.60
    5 votes
    16
    Kisenosato Yutaka

    Kisenosato Yutaka

    Kisenosato Yutaka (born July 3, 1986 as Yutaka Hagiwara (萩原 寛 Hagiwara Yutaka)) is a sumo wrestler from Ibaraki, Japan. He made his professional debut in 2002, and reached the top makuuchi division in 2004 at the age of just 18. His highest rank to date is ōzeki, which he reached in January 2012. Kisenosato joined Naruto stable and fought his first bout in March 2002 under his own surname of Hagiwara. He rose quickly through the divisions, entering the second jūryō division in May 2004, aged 17 years and 9 months, the second youngest ever jūryō wrestler after Takanohana, whom Kisenosato had idolised when he was a boy. Three tournaments later, in November 2004, he entered the top makuuchi division, again the second youngest (18 years 3 months) after Takanohana. To mark his entry into the top division he assumed the shikona name Kisenosato. After entering the top division his rise slowed significantly; his only spectacular result in 2005 was 12 wins against three losses in the September 2005 tournament, where he was runner-up and was awarded the Fighting Spirit prize. He was promoted to the rank of komusubi in July 2006, which he held until March 2007 when he fell back to maegashira
    7.60
    5 votes
    17
    Unryū Kyūkichi

    Unryū Kyūkichi

    Unryū Kyūkichi (雲龍 久吉, 1822 – June 15, 1890; aka Unryū Hisakichi) was a sumo wrestler from Yanagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 10th Yokozuna. He was born in Yanagawa, Fukuoka. He lost his parents and grandmother in 1833. He made an Osaka sumo debut in May 1846. He moved to Edo in 1847. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in February 1852. Unryu was a strong wrestler at the beginning of his career. He won four consecutive championships upon entering the top makuuchi division. He presented his power before the military of Matthew C. Perry. He was promoted to ōzeki in January 1858. He was awarded a yokozuna licence in September 1861, but by that time he had already passed his peak and was unable to win many more bouts. In the top makuuchi division, he won 127 bouts and lost 32 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 79.9. After his retirement in February 1865, he remained in the sumo world as an elder. He was the chairman (fudegashira) of Tokyo sumo in the early Meiji period, but he also acquired credit for his honesty. The name of one style of yokozuna dohyō-iri (the yokozuna ring entering ceremony) came from him. His ritual dance was said to be
    7.60
    5 votes
    18

    Ichinoya Mitsuru

    Ichinoya Mitsuru (born 28 December 1960 as Tetsuhiro Matsuda) is a former sumo wrestler from Tokunoshima, Ōshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was sandanme 6. At 46 years of age, Ichinoya was the oldest man in professional sumo since the start of the Showa era in 1926. When he began his sumo career in November 1983 his stablemate, former yokozuna Asashōryū was just three years old. Ichinoya was interested in sumo from a very young age. He grew up on Tokunoshima island, which was the birthplace of the 46th Yokozuna Asashio Tarō III. He studied physics at Ryukyu University in Okinawa, and started up a sumo club there. He joined Takasago stable upon graduating. He never rose higher than the fourth sandanme division, but he was much admired simply for his longevity and his determination in fighting opponents more than twenty years his junior. At the tournament in May 2007, ranked at Jonidan 87, he fought back from 0-3 down to achieve a 4-3 score and kachi-koshi. In November 2007, having completed 1000 professional bouts, he announced that he was retiring after 24 years in sumo. He also announced his intention to marry. Ichinoya will remain as the general manager of
    10.00
    3 votes
    19
    Taiho Koki

    Taiho Koki

    Taihō Kōki (大鵬幸喜, born May 29, 1940 as Kōki Naya) is the 48th Yokozuna in the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling. He is generally regarded as the greatest sumo wrestler of the post-war period. He became a yokozuna in 1961 at the age of 21, the youngest ever at the time, and he won a record 32 tournaments between 1960 and 1971. His dominance was such that he won six tournaments in a row on two separate occasions. He is the only wrestler to win at least one championship every year of his top division career, and he has the highest career winning percentage of any wrestler in the modern era. After his retirement he was the head coach of Taihō stable. He was born on the island of Sakhalin to a Japanese mother and an ethnic Ukrainian father who had fled the Bolshevik Revolution. However, he is regarded as having come from Teshikaga, Hokkaidō, where he moved to as a child after the Soviet Union took control of Sakhalin in 1945. While on a sumo tour to the Soviet Union in 1965 he tried to locate his father, but without success. Taihō was the first of three great yokozuna who all hailed from Hokkaidō, the most northerly of the main islands of Japan, and who among them dominated sumo during
    8.50
    4 votes
    20
    Tokitenkū Yoshiaki

    Tokitenkū Yoshiaki

    Tokitenkū Yoshiaki (born September 10, 1979 as Altangadasyn Khüchitbaatar, Mongolian: Алтангадасын Хүчитбаатар, in Altanbulag, Töv Province, Mongolia) is a sumo wrestler. He made his professional debut in 2002, reaching the top makuuchi division just two years later. The highest rank he has reached is komusubi, which he has held for just two tournaments so far. He has one special prize, for Technique. He wrestles for Tokitsukaze stable. Tokitenkū is the son of a Mongolian wrestler, who reached a rank equivalent to komusubi in Mongolian wrestling. He first came to Japan in 2000 to study at Tokyo University of Agriculture. Although he took part in sumo, winning the under 100 kg collegiate championships, he originally intended to return to Mongolia upon graduation. However, he was inspired to enter professional sumo by watching active wrestlers Asashōryū and Asasekiryū, with whom he had practised judo as a teenager in Ulaanbaatar. He joined Tokitsukaze stable just before turning 23 years of age, the upper age limit set by the Japan Sumo Association. He was given the shikona or fighting name of Tokitenku, a reference to Mongolia's clear sky. He began his career in July 2002, winning
    6.33
    6 votes
    21
    Shōtenrō Taishi

    Shōtenrō Taishi

    Shōtenrō Taishi (born 31 January 1982 as Nyamsuren Dagdandorj) is a sumo wrestler from Khovd Province, Mongolia. He joined professional sumo in 2001 and was known as Musashiryu Taishi until 2007. He made the top makuuchi division for the first time in 2009 and his highest rank has been maegashira 2. He wrestles for Fujishima stable (formerly Musashigawa stable). It has been reported that in his childhood in Ulan Bator he lived in the same apartment complex as future sumo contemporary Mōkonami, though they never met in person. As an amateur, Dagdandorj took third place in the open weight division in the Junior World Sumo Championships in 2000. He began his professional career in March 2001, at the same time as Hakuhō. He was given the shikona of Musashiryu, the prefix being a common one at Musashigawa stable. His rise through the ranks was relatively smooth until he reached the third highest makushita division in January 2003, where an early injury put him out of action and dropped him back to the sandanme division. He continued to struggle with his own sumo and injuries in the these two divisions for the next five years, changing his shikona to Shotenro in 2007 in a bid to improve
    7.20
    5 votes
    22
    Tanikaze Kajinosuke

    Tanikaze Kajinosuke

    Kajinosuke Tanikaze (谷風梶之助, Tanikaze Kajinosuke, September 8, 1750 – February 27, 1795) was a sumo wrestler in Japan in the Tokugawa era, and the first to be awarded the title of yokozuna within his own lifetime. He achieved great fame and won 21 tournament championships. He was also the coach of Raiden Tameemon. He was born in Sendai with Yoshiro (与四郎) as his infant name. He made his debut in sumo in 1769 when he was 19. With a height of 189 cm and a weight of 169 kg, he was extremely large in comparison with most Japanese men of his era. He debuted as an ōzeki but it was as a kanban ōzeki, or guest ōzeki, due to his size. However, he was promoted to a true ōzeki outright in March 1781. From October 1777 until February 1786, he lost only one bout. This was to Onogawa in February 1782. He recorded the longest run of consecutive victories in sumo bouts at that time, with 63. This record remained unbroken for about 150 years, until Futabayama in 1938. On November 19, 1789, he became one of the first two sumo wrestlers to be allowed to perform a yokozuna dohyō-iri (a special ring-entrance ceremony for the yokozuna alone, rather than entering as part of a parade of the top ranked
    6.17
    6 votes
    23
    Takekaze Akira

    Takekaze Akira

    Takekaze Akira (born June 21, 1979 as Akira Narita) is a professional sumo wrestler from Akita Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 2002, reaching the top division the following year. He has been a runner-up in one tournament and earned two special prizes for Fighting Spirit. His highest rank has been komusubi. Born in Moriyoshi, Kitaakita District, Takekaze practised sumo in college and was a very dominant player, having achieved the student equivalent of yokozuna after winning the Kokutai (Japan Games) and All Japan University Championship sumo tournaments in 2001, his fourth year at Chuo University. He made his professional debut in May 2002, joining former ozeki Kotokaze's Oguruma stable. He was given makushita tsukedashi status and allowed to enter at the rank of makushita 15 due to his amateur achievements. He reached sekitori level in just two tournaments, and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in March 2003, the first wrestler from his stable to achieve this. Takekaze had to pull out of his debut tournament in the top division due to injury and fell back to the jūryō division. However upon winning the jūryō championship in
    8.00
    4 votes
    24

    Tokitaizan Takashi

    The Tokitsukaze stable hazing scandal occurred on June 26, 2007, when Takashi Saito (斉藤 俊, Saitō Takashi) a seventeen-year old junior sumo wrestler who fought under the shikona of Tokitaizan, collapsed and died after a training session at the Tokitsukaze stable. It subsequently emerged that he was beaten with a beer bottle and a metal baseball bat at the direction of his trainer. Saito's cause of death was originally reported as heart failure, but his father insisted on an autopsy, which revealed the abuse. Saito's stable master, Junichi Yamamoto, admitted to beating the seventeen year old novice, who had only been in sumo for three months, and ordering other sumo wrestlers to beat him, due to Saito's "vague attitude" towards the sport. It was also reported that Saito had run away from the stable on a number of occasions. Yamamoto was expelled by the Japan Sumo Association. Yamamoto and three wrestlers from the stable were arrested in February 2008 and were charged with manslaughter. In May 2009 Yamamoto was sentenced to six years in prison. The incident brought substantial political pressure to the governance of the sport in Japan.
    8.00
    4 votes
    25
    Chiyonoyama Masanobu

    Chiyonoyama Masanobu

    Chiyonoyama Masanobu (千代の山 雅信, June 2, 1926 - October 29, 1977) was a sumo wrestler from Fukushima, Hokkaidō, Japan. He was the sport's 41st Yokozuna. He was also the founder of Kokonoe stable. The son of a fisherman, he joined Dewanoumi stable in January 1942. He injured his knee in his first tournament, an injury that was to trouble him for the rest of his career. He reached the second highest jūryō division in November 1944 and made his debut in the top makuuchi division in November 1945. In his first tournament he won all ten of his bouts but was denied the championship as in the absence of any playoff system in the event of a tie, it was simply awarded to the wrestler higher in rank (in this case, Yokozuna Haguroyama). In May 1949 he defeated three yokozuna, finishing with a 12-3 record, and was promoted to ōzeki. He won two consecutive championships in October 1949 and January 1950 but was denied promotion to yokozuna as the Sumo Association felt he was rather young at twenty three and with his second championship being "only" a 12-3 they wanted to wait until they were sure he was ready. He was eventually promoted in May 1951 after winning his third championship with a 14-1
    6.80
    5 votes
    26
    Chiyonofuji Mitsugu

    Chiyonofuji Mitsugu

    Chiyonofuji Mitsugu (千代の富士 貢), born June 1, 1955, as Mitsugu Akimoto (秋元 貢, Akimoto Mitsugu) in Hokkaidō, Japan, is a former champion sumo wrestler and the 58th yokozuna of the sport. He is now the stable master of Kokonoe stable. Chiyonofuji was one of the greatest yokozuna of recent times, winning 31 tournament championships, second only to Taihō. He was particularly remarkable for his longevity in sumo's top rank, which he held for a period of ten years from 1981 to 1991. He won more tournaments in his thirties than any other wrestler and retired in his mid-thirties, in contrast to most recent yokozuna who have tended to retire around 30. During his 21 year professional career Chiyonofuji set records for most career victories (1045) and most wins in the top makuuchi division (807). Both of these records were later broken by Kaiō Hiroyuki. He won the Kyushu tournament, one of the six annual honbasho, a record eight years in a row from 1981 until 1988, and also set the record for the longest postwar run of consecutive wins (53 bouts in 1988). That record stood for 22 years until Hakuhō broke it with his 54th straight win in September 2010. In a sport where weight is often regarded
    9.00
    3 votes
    27
    Hakuho Sho

    Hakuho Sho

    Hakuhō Shō (白鵬 翔, born March 11, 1985 as Mönkhbatyn Davaajargal, Mongolian: Мөнхбатын Даваажаргал) is a professional sumo wrestler (rikishi) from Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Making his debut in March 2001, he reached the top makuuchi division in May 2004. On May 30, 2007 at the age of 22 he became the second native of Mongolia, and the fourth non-Japanese overall, to be promoted to the highest rank in sumo, yokozuna. He has won twenty-two yūshō or tournament championships to date. In 2009, he broke the record for the most wins in a calendar year, winning 86 out of 90 bouts, and repeated with the same record again in 2010. He became the only active yokozuna in 2010, following the retirement of his rival and fellow Mongolian Asashōryū. In that year he established the second longest winning streak in sumo history. Like many of his countrymen in professional sumo, Hakuhō belongs to a family in the Mongolian wrestling tradition. His father Jigjidiin Mönkhbat won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and held the highest ranking in Mongolian wrestling, "Darkhan Avarga" (meaning "Invincible Giant"), which is the Mongolian equivalent of Yokozuna. Davaajargal did not
    9.00
    3 votes
    28
    Konishiki Yasokichi I

    Konishiki Yasokichi I

    Konishiki Yasokichi I (小錦八十吉, November 21, 1866 – October 22, 1914) was a sumo wrestler from Sanbu District, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 17th Yokozuna. Konishiki made his professional debut in May 1883 and reached the top makuuchi division in May 1888. He won 39 bouts in a row after his makuuchi debut. Konishiki was promoted to ōzeki in May 1890, and awarded a yokozuna licence by the house of Yoshida Tsukasa in March 1896. He was somewhat weak on technical skills, but had great speed. Around the time of his promotion to yokozuna, his stablemaster Takasago Uragoro suffered an illness, and so Konishiki took care of him. In spite of his amazing debut, he did not win any championships as yokozuna. On April 8, 1900, his stablemaster died. Konishiki was absent from the next tournament and retired in January 1901. In the top makuuchi division, he won 119 bouts and lost 24 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 83.2. The Hawaiian born ōzeki Konishiki Yasokichi was named after him. Ōzeki Konishiki was actually the 6th Konishiki, and three wrestlers named Konishiki have been promoted to the top makuuchi division. *Championships from this period were unofficial *There was no
    9.00
    3 votes
    29
    Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi

    Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi

    Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi (北勝海 信芳, born June 22, 1963 as Nobuyoshi Hoshi (保志 信芳)) is a former sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. He is the sport's 61st Yokozuna. He is now the head coach of Hakkaku stable. Hoshi was born in Hiroo town, Hiroo District, Tokachi, Hokkaidō, Japan. An uncle was an acquaintance of former yokozuna Kitanofuji, who by then had retired from wrestling and was running Kokonoe stable, and at his invitation Hoshi moved to Tokyo. Upon leaving school, his first appearance in the ring was March 1979, aged just 15, using his own name as his shikona, or fighting name. Also starting at the same time was future yokozuna Futahaguro. It took him four years to reach the second highest jūryō division in March 1983, aged 19, the same time as fellow Tokachi district rival Ōnokuni entered the top division. By this time his stablemate Chiyonofuji had been promoted to yokozuna. Hokutoumi made his debut in the top makuuchi division in September 1983. In March 1986 at sekiwake rank he won his first yūshō or tournament title with a record of thirteen wins and two losses. He was not immediately promoted to the second highest ōzeki rank as there were already five ōzeki at that time.
    7.75
    4 votes
    30
    Tochinishiki Kiyotaka

    Tochinishiki Kiyotaka

    Tochinishiki Kiyotaka (栃錦 清隆, February 20, 1925 - January 10, 1990) was a sumo wrestler from Tokyo, Japan. He was the sport's 44th Yokozuna. He won ten top division yūshō or tournament championships and was a rival of fellow yokozuna Wakanohana I. He became the head coach of Kasugano stable in 1959 and was head of the Japan Sumo Association from 1974 until 1988. One of few yokozuna to hail from the city rather than the country, he was born in what is now Koiwa, Edogawa. He was a fine all round athlete at elementary school, and although he had no family connections to sumo, he was introduced by a shop owner to Kasugano Oyakata, the former yokozuna Tochigiyama. Tochinishiki made his professional debut in January 1939. He was of such a small size that he had to drink copious amounts of water to met the weight requirement at his physical. However, his stablemaster, to whom Tochinishiki served as an attendant or tsukebito and was a great influence on him in his early days, expected him to become strong. He reached the top makuuchi division in June 1947. He made up for his lack of size by showing superb technique. He won no fewer than nine special prizes for Technique, and it was even
    7.75
    4 votes
    31
    Kashiwado Risuke

    Kashiwado Risuke

    Kashiwado Risuke (柏戸 利助, 1783 – December 3, 1828) was a sumo wrestler from Goshogawara, Aomori, Japan. Kashiwado was born in Aomori and went to Edo in 1806, joining Isenoumi stable. He was given the name Kashiwado and worked under Hirosaki Domain. His highest rank was ōzeki. He won 16 tournaments in the top makuuchi division, but his top division win ratio was not so high at .810, compared with Tanikaze (.949) and Onogawa (.917). In June 1823, the Gojo family granted yokozuna licences to Kashiwado and his rival Tamagaki, but he rejected his. The reason has been said to be that he was afraid that this would cause conflict with the Yoshida family. Tamagaki also rejected the licence. The following year Tamagaki suddenly died, and his death shocked Kashiwado. In January 1825, Kashiwado lost three consecutive bouts and retired. Kahiwado was not promoted to yokozuna but because 20th Yoshida Oikaze heard of his case, he made new yokozuna Ōnomatsu Midorinosuke. *2 tournaments were held yearly in this period, though the actual time they were held was often erratic *Championships from this period were unofficial *There was no fusensho system until March 1927 *All top division wrestlers were
    5.67
    6 votes
    32
    Akebono Tarō

    Akebono Tarō

    Akebono Tarō (曙 太郎, Akebono Tarō, born May 8, 1969 as Chad Haaheo Rowan) is a retired American-born Japanese sumo wrestler from Waimānalo, Hawaii. Joining the professional sport in Japan in 1988, he was trained by pioneering Hawaiian sumo wrestler Takamiyama and rose swiftly up the rankings, reaching the top division in 1990. After two consecutive yusho or tournament championships in November 1992 and January 1993 he made history by becoming the first non-Japanese-born wrestler ever to reach yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo. One of the tallest and heaviest wrestlers ever, Akebono's rivalry with the young Japanese hopefuls, Takanohana and Wakanohana, was a big factor in the increased popularity of sumo at tournament venues and on TV in the early 1990s. During his eight years at the yokozuna rank, Akebono won a further eight tournament championships, for a career total of eleven, and was a runner-up on thirteen other occasions, despite suffering several serious injury problems. Although his rival yokozuna Takanohana won more tournaments in this period, their individual head-to-heads remained very close. Akebono became a Japanese citizen in 1996, and after retiring in 2001 he worked
    7.50
    4 votes
    33

    Asashio Tarō IV

    Ōzeki Jūryō Asashio Tarō IV (born 9 December 1955 as Suehiro Nagaoka) is a former sumo wrestler from Muroto, Kochi, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. He is currently the head coach of Takasago stable. Joining Takasago stable in March 1978 after a successful amateur sumo career at Kinki University, he began his professional career in the third highest makushita division, and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in November 1978. He initially competed under his own surname, Nagaoka, but in March 1979 he was given the shikona of Asashio (or "morning tide"), which had previously been used by several past greats in Takasago stable, including his own stablemaster. Asashio was promoted to komusubi in May 1980 and sekiwake in July 1980. In November 1981 he lost a playoff for the tournament championship to new yokozuna Chiyonofuji. He was runner-up to Chiyonofuji once again in May 1982 and to Kotokaze in January 1983. After accumulating a record ten Shukun-shō, or Outstanding Performance prizes for his achievements in tournaments, he was promoted to sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki in May 1983. Having lost three top division championship playoffs in his career, he finally took his
    7.50
    4 votes
    34

    John Tenta

    John Anthony Tenta, Jr. (June 22, 1963 – June 7, 2006) was a Canadian sumōtori and professional wrestler best known for his work in the World Wrestling Federation as Earthquake. After a promising start to his sumo career, using the name Kototenzan, Tenta switched to professional wrestling and became a high-profile star for the WWF, feuding with Hulk Hogan and winning the WWF Tag Team Championship with partner, and personal friend, Typhoon. His professional wrestling career also encompassed runs in World Championship Wrestling, where he was known as Avalanche and The Shark, All Japan Pro Wrestling and a return to WWF as Golga. Tenta died in 2006 after a lengthy battle with cancer. John Tenta was born in Surrey, British Columbia. Named after his father, he was a large baby weighing 11 pounds, 3 ounces at birth. Inspired by professional wrestlers Gene Kiniski and Don Leo Jonathan, Tenta decided to pursue wrestling at age 6. He learned freestyle wrestling at North Surrey Secondary, becoming a Canadian junior champion in 1981. Shortly after his 18th birthday, he finished sixth in the super-heavyweight category at the World Junior Wrestling Championships at Vancouver. Tenta won an
    7.50
    4 votes
    35

    Kotogaume Tsuyoshi

    Kotogaume Tsuyoshi (born 5 October 1963 as Satoru Kitayama) is a former sumo wrestler from Yatsuo, Nei District, Toyama Prefecture, Japan. He joined sumo in 1979 and made the top makuuchi division in 1985. His highest rank was sekiwake, which he held on twelve occasions. After his retirement in 1997 he worked as a coach at Sadogatake stable until 2007. In his youth he practiced judo and was a black belt, 1st dan. He made his professional sumo debut in March 1979, after finishing junior high school. Initially he fought under his own surname of Kitayama, before being given the shikona of Kotogaume ("Harp of the Plum"). In his early career he served as a tsukebito or personal attendant to ozeki Kotokaze. He made his first appearance in the titled sanyaku ranks of the top division in November 1985, the same tournament in which Kotokaze announced his retirement. He reached his highest rank of sekiwake for the first time in September 1986. In 1989 he came close to ozeki promotion by producing two double figure scores at sekiwake in July and September, but he fell short with only eight wins in November 1989. In his later career he suffered increasingly from diabetes and fell to the second
    7.50
    4 votes
    36
    Rohō Yukio

    Rohō Yukio

    Rohō Yukio (born March 9, 1980 as Soslan Feliksovich Boradzov, Russian: Сослан Феликсович Борадзов, in Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia–Alania in the Russian Federation) is a former sumo wrestler. The highest rank he achieved was komusubi. His younger brother is also a former sumo wrestler, under the name of Hakurozan. In September 2008 both were banned from the sport for life after testing positive for cannabis. Rohō began wrestling at the age of 16. At 18 he won the world junior freestyle championship. As his weight increased beyond 130 kg he was unable to continue wrestling, so he took up sumo at the age of 20. In 2001 he came third in the heavyweight class in the Sumo World Championships, and won the European championship. He came to Japan in February 2002 with his brother, joining the stable of former Yokozuna Taihō (since transferred to Taihō's son-in-law, the former Takatōriki, and renamed Ōtake stable). His first appearance was in May 2002, and he won his first 19 bouts. He was promoted to jūryō in January 2004, then makuuchi for the September 2004 tournament. His result was 10-5 in this tournament, earning him the Fighting Spirit prize. He also achieved 10 wins in
    7.50
    4 votes
    37
    Asōfuji Seiya

    Asōfuji Seiya

    Asōfuji Seiya (born January 17, 1976 as Kiyotoshi Suginomori) is a retired sumo wrestler from Fukaura, Nishitsugaru, Aomori, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 13. He is the elder brother of Aminishiki. Asōfuji made his professional debut in January 1994. He joined Ajigawa stable, run by former yokozuna Asashifuji, who was also of Nishitsugaru District and a cousin of Asōfuji's father. He took a long time to climb up the rankings, mainly due to his relatively light weight (barely 100 kg). He was even outperformed by his younger brother, who, though he joined the stable three years after Asōfuji, had already reached sekitori status by 2000. Asōfuji first reached the second highest jūryō division in September 2003, but lasted only one tournament before being demoted back to the third makushita division. He reappeared in the second division a year later and in November 2006 he finally made his top makuuchi division debut at the age of 30. He was the ninth oldest makuuchi debutant since the end of World War II. In that tournament, there were three sets of brothers (Asofuji and Aminishiki, Kitazakura and Toyozakura, and Roho and Hakurozan) in the top division simultaneously for the
    10.00
    2 votes
    38
    Asahiyutaka Katsuteru

    Asahiyutaka Katsuteru

    Asahiyutaka Katsuteru (born 10 September 1968) is a former sumo wrestler from Kasugai, Aichi, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. He is now the head coach of Tatsunami stable. He joined Oshima stable and made his professional debut in March 1987, and was ranked in the lowest jonokuchi division in the following tournament. However due to various injury problems he fell off the banzuke ranking sheets and did not actually record his first win in jonokuchi until May 1988. By May 1990 he had progressed to the makushita division and after taking his second makushita yusho or tournament championship in September 1993 he was promoted to the second highest jūryō division. After winning the jūryō yusho in January 1995 he made the top makuuchi division. Asahiyutaka was ranked in the top division for 24 tournaments, winning two special prizes for Outstanding Performance and Technique. He also earned four kinboshi or gold stars for defeating yokozuna. He reached his highest rank of komusubi in 1996 and held it for three tournaments, but he lacked the weight to regularly beat the top men, and never managed to progress further. In 1995 he had married the daughter of Osamu Annen, the head coach
    8.67
    3 votes
    39
    Ōzutsu Man'emon

    Ōzutsu Man'emon

    Ōzutsu Man'emon (大砲 万右衛門, December 30, 1869 – May 27, 1918) was a sumo wrestler from Shiroishi, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 18th Yokozuna. Ōzutsu was a taller sumo wrestler compared with other wrestlers at that time. Although he was not very strong at first, he was rapidly promoted and reached sekiwake only three tournament after entering the top makuuchi division. He became strong and was promoted to ōzeki in May 1899. He had never lost any bouts as ōzeki and was awarded a yokozuna licence by the house of Yoshida Tsukasa in April 1901. He won the tournament with no defeat in May 1902. However, his strength rapidly declined after taking part in the Russo-Japanese War. He was absent from three tournaments due to the war. However, former yokozuna Umegatani Tōtarō I had taught him that yokozuna must not be defeated, so he recorded many draws late in his career. In the May 1907 tournament, he drew in all of nine bouts. He retired on the next tournament. In the top makuuchi division, he won 98 bouts and lost 29 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 77.2. He also recorded 51 draws. Ōzutsu (大砲) means "cannon" in Japanese but its reading is usually Taihō, and the name
    8.67
    3 votes
    40
    Yoshibayama Junnosuke

    Yoshibayama Junnosuke

    Yoshibayama Junnosuke (吉葉山 潤之輔, April 3, 1920 - November 26, 1977), real name Junnosuke Ikeda, was a sumo wrestler from Atsuta, Hokkaidō, Japan. He was the sport's 43rd Yokozuna. He suffered a number of injuries and only one won tournament championship, but he was a popular wrestler. After his retirement he was head coach of Miyagino stable. He entered sumo in a curious way. He had travelled to Tokyo on a train to attend school, but was met at the station by a sumo wrestler who was expecting a new recruit, who had in fact had second thoughts and not made the trip. The conspicuously large Ikeda was mistaken for him and taken back to Takashima stable before he even realised what was going on. He made his professional debut in May 1938. After suffering appendicitis he had to undergo emergency surgery and changed his shikona from Hokutoyama to Yoshibayama in honour of the doctor (a Shosaku Yoshiba) who had saved his life. He got to the verge of promotion to the jūryō division in 1942 but was then drafted into the Japanese army and took part in World War II. He was seriously wounded during gunfights. His death was reported for a while, and he was surprisingly thin when he returned to
    8.67
    3 votes
    41

    Nankairyū Tarō

    Nankairyu Taro (born 22 February 1965 as Kiriful Saba) is a former sumo wrestler from Samoa. His highest rank was maegashira 2. Born in Apia, Western Samoa, he joined Takasago stable in 1984. He was given the fighting name of Nankairyu, or "South Seas dragon." In November 1987 he became the third non Asian sumo wrestler, after Takamiyama and Konishiki, to reach the top makuuchi division. In May 1988 he reached his highest rank of maegashira 2 and upset ozeki Hokuten'yū. He also looked to have defeated yokozuna Onokuni but a rematch was called, which he lost. Nankairyu was a heavy drinker, and received adverse publicity after he got into a confrontation with a hotel clerk while drunk in July 1987. His problem was made worse by the fact that he spoke neither English nor Japanese well and consequently had difficulty making himself understood to the Japanese media. During the tournament of September 1988 he had a heated argument with his stable boss, former yokozuna Asashio Tarō III and fled the stable, never to return. His stablemaster died of a stroke just a few weeks later. Nankairyu became a professional wrestler for New Japan in 1990.
    6.40
    5 votes
    42
    Onogawa Kisaburō

    Onogawa Kisaburō

    Onogawa Kisaburō (小野川喜三郎, 1758 – April 30, 1806) was a sumo wrestler from Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 5th Yokozuna. Along with Tanikaze he was the first to be given a yokozuna licence by the House of Yoshida Tsukasa and the first to perform the dohyō-iri to promote sumo tournaments. Onogawa was promoted to the top makuuchi division in March 1781. He defeated ōzeki Tanikaze Kajinosuke in February 1782. The victory surprised people in Edo as it brought to an end Tanikaze's run of 63 consecutive victories. Onogawa became a rival of Tanikaze and was popular with the public, although in reality he was quite far behind his rival and won only seven tournament titles to Tanikaze's 21. Onogawa was much shorter than Tanikaze at only 1.76 m (5 ft 9 ⁄2 in) but he had a speedy, crowd pleasing sumo style which helped him overcome his small physique. Yoshida Oikaze certified both Onogawa and Tanikaze Kajinosuke as holders of the yokozuna rank in November 1789, in a ceremony which was also featured the introduction of the dohyō-iri display and the first appearance of the yokozuna's traditional ornaments: a thick girdle of white rope, supporting white paper gohei. He won 144
    6.40
    5 votes
    43
    Musashimaru Koyo

    Musashimaru Koyo

    Musashimaru Koyo (武蔵丸 光洋, Musashimaru Kōyō, born May 2, 1971 as Fiamalu Penitani), is a former sumo wrestler. He was the second foreign-born wrestler in history to reach the rank of yokozuna. He won over 700 top division bouts and took twelve top division tournament championships during his career. Musashimaru's sheer 235 kg (520 lb) bulk combined with 1.92 m (6 ft 3 ⁄2 in) of height made him a formidable opponent, and he was remarkably consistent and injury-free for most of his career. An amiable personality, his fan base was helped by a surprising facial resemblance to Japanese warrior hero Saigō Takamori. He now works as a coach at Musashigawa stable and an executive manager at the Japan Sumo Association. Fiamalu Penitani was born in eastern Samoa, the fourth son of a Tongan-German father and a Samoan-Portuguese mother. The family moved to Oahu, Hawaiʻi when he was ten years old. While attending Waianae High School in Waianae he played American football and was offered a scholarship to Pasadena City College, but he also had success in Greco-Roman wrestling, and his wrestling coach encouraged him to give sumo a try. He moved to Japan and joined former yokozuna Mienoumi's
    7.25
    4 votes
    44
    Kotoshōgiku Kazuhiro

    Kotoshōgiku Kazuhiro

    Kotoshōgiku Kazuhiro (born 30 January 1984 as Kazuhiro Kikutsugi (菊次 一弘, Kikutsugi Kazuhiro) in Yanagawa, Fukuoka, Japan), is a sumo wrestler. He made his professional debut in 2002, reaching the top division in 2005. He has earned seven special prizes in his career and been runner-up in two tournaments. He wrestles for Sadogatake stable. Long regarded as one of the most promising young Japanese wrestlers in sumo, in 2011 he achieved the standard for promotion to the second highest rank of ōzeki of winning 33 bouts over three tournaments, and he was formally promoted by the Japan Sumo Association on 28 September. Kikutsugi took up sumo whilst at school, becoming middle school yokozuna in 1998. He fought his first professional bout in January 2002 under the shikona of Kotokikutsugi. Rising quickly, he changed his name to Kotoshōgiku in January 2004 before reaching jūryō in July 2004 and the top makuuchi division in January 2005. He steadily climbed the top division ranks, reaching maegashira 1 in July 2006, but a disastrous 3–12 result sent him back to maegashira 7. However, two 10–5 results in the following two tournaments saw him rise back up to maegashira 1 and earned him his
    8.33
    3 votes
    45
    Satoyama Kosaku

    Satoyama Kosaku

    Satoyama Kōsaku (born May 31, 1981) is a professional sumo wrestler from Ōshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank has been maegashira 12. Somewhat unusually for a sekitori wrestler, he continues to compete under his birth name. A former amateur sumo champion at Nichidai University, Satoyama made his professional debut in March 2004, joining Mihogaseki stable alongside his team-mate at Nichidai Sumo Club, Shiraishi. Initially he was somewhat overshadowed by Shiraishi and Baruto, who made their jūryō division debuts together in September 2005. However, Satoyama was still highly regarded, despite his short height and relatively light weight. He made his way quickly up the ranks, recording only one make-koshi along the way to sekitori status, which he achieved in January 2006 upon promotion to the jūryō division. In September 2006 Satoyama, Shiraishi, Baruto and a number of other wrestlers scouted by the former komusubi Hamanoshima joined his newly created Onoe stable. In March 2007 Satoyama won the jūryō division championship or yusho with a 12-3 record and he entered the top makuuchi division for the first time in May 2007 at maegashira 12, where he scored seven wins
    8.33
    3 votes
    46
    Tosayutaka Yūya

    Tosayutaka Yūya

    Tosayutaka Yūya (born 10 March 1985) is a sumo wrestler from Tosa City, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in March 2007, reaching the top makuuchi division in July 2009. His highest rank has been maegashira 1. Morishita Yūya went to high school in his home prefecture, Kōchi. While attending the Kōchi Prefecture Industrial High school he took the high school sumo championship. Upon entering Tokyo Agricultural University, he was very active in sumo, but never achieved one of the four amateur titles that would have allowed him makushita tsukedashi status, which is can be conferred to allow experienced wrestlers to start professional sumo at a higher division than other wrestlers. The shikona that he eventually settled on takes the two Chinese characters used for the city of his birth Tosa City and the third kanji was taken from one of the characters from his father's dharma name. There are other wrestlers in the past from the same Tokitsukaze stable that used this character in their ring names but this is coincidental. In his May, 2007 jonokuchi division debut tournament, he posted an impressive 6-1 record. In the next three tournaments he would go on to win
    8.33
    3 votes
    47

    Wakanami Jun

    Wakanami Jun (born Jun Tomiyama, 1 March 1941 - 17 April 2007) was a sumo wrestler from Iwai, Ibaraki, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. He won a top division tournament championship in March 1968. He was also a sumo coach. He joined the Tatsunami stable in March 1957 and reached the top makuuchi division in May 1963. He was small, at just 178 cm and 103 kg, but he was very popular with sumo fans. In July 1964 he reached his highest rank of komusubi, which he was to hold on three occasions. He was runner-up to Kashiwado in the July 1967 tournament. In March 1968, ranked as a maegashira, he won the championship in the top division with a 13-2 record. Yokozuna Taihō and Sadanoyama were absent through injury, and he did not have to face anyone ranked higher than sekiwake during the tournament. He was promoted to komusubi for the following tournament but could manage only two wins there. He fought in the makuuchi division for 52 tournaments in total. He won four special prizes, two for fighting spirit and two for technique. He fell briefly to the juryo division in 1969 and won the second division championship, becoming the first wrestler to do this after winning the top division
    8.33
    3 votes
    48
    Konishiki Yasokichi

    Konishiki Yasokichi

    Konishiki Yasokichi (小錦八十吉, Konishiki Yasokichi, born Saleva'a Fuauli Atisano'e on December 31, 1963), is a Hawaiian-born Japanese–Samoan former sumo wrestler. He was the first non-Japanese-born wrestler to reach ōzeki, the second highest rank in the sport. During his career he won the top division championship on three occasions and came close to becoming the first foreign-born grand champion, or yokozuna, prompting a debate as to whether a foreigner could have the necessary cultural understanding to be acceptable in sumo's ultimate rank. At a peak weight of 287 kg (630 lb) he was also the heaviest rikishi ever in sumo, earning him the nickname "The Dump Truck." Atisano'e entered sumo in July 1982 at the age of 18, recruited by another Hawaiian born wrestler, Takamiyama of the Takasago stable. A promising student at the University High School in Honolulu, he initially wanted to be a lawyer and was also offered a music scholarship to Syracuse University. His father had regular work with the US Navy but had to support eight children. Atisano'e regarded Takamiyama as a local hero and found the opportunity to join sumo too hard to resist. Due to his potential he was given the name
    6.20
    5 votes
    49

    Kōbō Kenichi

    Kōbō Kenichi (born August 18, 1973 as Kenichi Mineyama) is a former sumo wrestler from Kumage, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 9. Kōbō made his professional debut in March 1989 at the age of 15. He worked his way quickly through the lowest three divisions, making his makushita debut shortly after his 18th birthday, less than three years into his career. However, he was unable to advance further for several years, reaching sekitori status only in January 1999 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division, after nearly ten years of toiling in the lower divisions. He reached the top makuuchi division for the first time in November 2001 but only lasted two tournaments before being demoted. He returned on two other occasions but he largely remained a veteran of the jūryō division, in which he spent 44 tournaments. For a long period he was the highest ranking wrestler in Miyagino stable, before the emergence of Hakuho, now a yokozuna. In July 2007, he fell to the unsalaried makushita division for the first time since September 2000, and he announced his retirement in December of that year. Kōbō has remained with the Japan Sumo Association as an elder
    9.50
    2 votes
    50

    Miyagino Nishikinosuke

    Miyagino Nishikinosuke (宮城野 錦之助, 1744 - July 18, 1798) was a Japanese sumo wrestler. His highest rank was sekiwake. He was an active top makuuchi division wrestler at the age of 52, which is the all-time recognized record. His shikona was named after Miyagino because he worked under the Sendai Domain. He made his debut in October 1766. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in March 1781. He was demoted to Juryo in November 1794, but returned to makuuchi in March 1796 at the age of 52. After the tournament, he retired. After retiring, he became a toshiyori, but died only two years after that. Modern Miyagino stable was named after him and he is regarded as the first Miyagino oyakata. *2 tournaments were held yearly in this period, though the actual time they were held was often erratic *There was no fusensho system until March 1927 *All top division wrestlers were usually absent on the 10th day until 1909
    9.50
    2 votes
    51
    Tamaasuka Daisuke

    Tamaasuka Daisuke

    Tamaasuka Daisuke (born January 26, 1983 as Daisuke Takahashi) is a sumo wrestler from Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank has been maegashira 9. After falling from the top division in 2005 through injury, he won promotion back in 2009. Born in Nagoya, he started sumo in the fourth grade of elementary school. He was enrolled by his father in the Choyko Sumo Club, based in the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium where the annual Nagoya honbasho is held. At Hibino Middle School, he became Middle School Yokozuna in 1997. He made his professional debut in March 1998, joining Tamanoi stable. Just weeks beforehand, his father had died of a heart attack. It had been he who had chosen Tamaasuka's shikona and had driven him to become a rikishi by installing a rigorous training program for him. His father's death only made Tamaasuka more determined to succeed in professional sumo. After six years of steady but unspectacular progress in the lower ranks, Tamaasuka was promoted to the second highest jūryō division in November 2004 after winning the makushita championship with a perfect 7-0 record. In his jūryō debut he scored eight wins against seven losses by winning and then
    9.50
    2 votes
    52
    Tochisakae Atsushi

    Tochisakae Atsushi

    Tochisakae Atsushi (born June 27, 1974 as Atsushi Okamoto) is a former sumo wrestler from Saga Prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1993, reaching the top division for the first time in 2000. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He suffered many illness and injury problems throughout his career. He retired in 2008 and is now an elder of the Japan Sumo Association under the name of Kiyomigata, working as a coach at Kasugano stable. Okamoto was born and raised in Nakano, Tokyo, although both his parents were from Saga and as he was fond of the city as well he chose to list it as his birthplace on the banzuke ranking sheets when he joined professional sumo. As a child he practised kendo, but was drawn to sumo after entering a Nakano ward Sumo Tournament in the fourth grade and finishing third. He trained at several heya, including Fujishima, Futagoyama and Dewanoumi, and while at middle school he trained at Nihon University Sumo Club with several future top division wrestlers such as Kushimaumi, Hamanoshima and Mainoumi. This led him to Saitama Sakae High School, where he became the High School Yokozuna in 1992. Rather than go to university, he instead joined Kasugano
    9.50
    2 votes
    53
    Kashiwado Tsuyoshi

    Kashiwado Tsuyoshi

    Kashiwado Tsuyoshi (柏戸 剛, November 29, 1938 - December 8, 1996) was a sumo wrestler from Japan. He was the sport's 47th Yokozuna, fighting at sumo's highest rank from 1961 to 1969. After his retirement he became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association and ran his own training stable from 1970 until his death. Born in the northern prefecture of Yamagata, Kashiwado made his professional debut in September 1954, joining Isenoumi stable. He initially fought under his own surname of Togashi. Upon reaching the top makuuchi division in September 1958 he rose rapidly up the rankings. In only his fourth top division tournament, following a shikona change to Kashiwado, he was runner-up to yokozuna Tochinishiki with a 13-2 record and earned special prizes for Fighting Spirit and Technique. He made the san'yaku ranks in November 1959, winning promotion to ōzeki in September 1960 and taking his first top division yūshō in January 1961. After taking part in a playoff for the championship in September of that year, he was promoted to yokozuna, joining the aging pair of Asashio and Wakanohana who were soon to retire. Kashiwado was to win five top division championships, a long way behind the
    7.00
    4 votes
    54
    Ōkido Moriemon

    Ōkido Moriemon

    Ōkido Moriemon (大木戸 森右衛門, November 2, 1878 – November 7, 1930) was a sumo wrestler. He was the sport's 23rd Yokozuna. He was second yokozuna to be recognised from Osaka sumo, and the only yokozuna who spent his whole active career in Osaka. Okido made a debut in Osaka sumo in September 1899. Between January 1908 and May 1909, he recorded 28 consecutive wins without any draw or hold. The Osaka Sumo Association attempted to promote him to yokozuna, but they hated Tokyo sumo's Hitachiyama, who had friendship with Okido. In January 1910, he was promoted to yokozuna by the Osaka Sumo Association, without agreements of Tokyo sumo and the house of Yoshida Tsukasa. The house of Yoshida Tsukasa became very angry and the Osaka Sumo Association apologized to the house. He was awarded a yokozuna licence officially in December 1912. However, he suffered from cerebral hemorrhage and retired from an active sumo wrestler in January 1914. *Championships from Osaka sumo were unofficial *There was no fusensho system until March 1927 *All top division wrestlers were usually absent on the 10th day until January 1910 and on the first day between May 1910 and January 1913 in Osaka. *tournament actually
    7.00
    4 votes
    55
    Chiyohakuhō Daiki

    Chiyohakuhō Daiki

    Chiyohakuhō Daiki (born 21 April 1983 as Daiki Kakiuchi) is a former sumo wrestler from Yamaga, Kumamoto, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1999 and broke into the top makuuchi division nine years later in 2008. His highest rank was maegashira 6. He wrestled for Kokonoe stable. After admitting his involvement in match-fixing, he retired from the sport in 2011 following an investigation by the Japan Sumo Association. At high school he preferred judo, and had little sumo experience, but his judo teacher was a friend of Kokonoe-oyakata, the 58th Yokozuna Chiyonofuji. After being introduced he joined Kokonoe stable, making his professional debut in March 1999. His heya mate, Chiyotaikai, made his debut at the rank of ozeki in the same tournament. He initially fought under his own surname, before adopting the shikona of Chiyohakuhō in November 1999. (He has no connection to the better known wrestler Hakuhō, who did not make his debut until March 2001.) He was first promoted to the third highest makushita division in November 2001. Chiyohakuhō slowly climbed the makushita division and upon taking his first yusho or tournament championship in January 2005 with a perfect 7-0 record
    8.00
    3 votes
    56

    Kenko Satoshi

    Kenkō Satoshi (剣晃 敏志, 27 June 1967 - 10 March 1998) was a sumo wrestler from Osaka, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. Debuting in November 1984, he reached the second highest jūryō division in March 1991. His first tournament in the top makuuchi division was in July 1992. Scoring only three wins there he fell back to jūryō, but reappeared in makuuchi in March 1993. He reached his highest rank of komusubi in May 1995. He fell back to maegashira 4 in July but turned in a strong 11-4 record, defeating yokozuna Akebono and returning to komusubi in September 1995. He also defeated yokozuna Takanohana in May 1996, the only wrestler to do so in that tournament. In May 1997 Kenko managed an 8-7 record at maegashira 11, but that was to be the last tournament in which he competed. He was hospitalised from July 1997, suffering from pancytopenia caused by an extremely rare form of leukemia (only four previous cases had ever been reported in Japan). His name remained on the ranking sheets, but unable to compete he had dropped to makushita 55 by March 1998. He died on 10 March, from a pulmonary embolism. Kenko favoured techniques involving grabbing the opponent's mawashi, or yotsu-sumo. His
    8.00
    3 votes
    57

    Takanonami Sadahiro

    Takanonami Sadahiro (born October 27, 1971 as Sadahiro Namioka) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. He held sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki from 1994 until 2000 and won two tournament titles. He is now a sumo coach. Born in Misawa, Aomori, the young Namioka did sumo at elementary school, but did not initially consider it as a profession, intending to follow his father and work in local government. However, he was introduced to Fujishima Oyakata (the former Takanohana Kenshi) who was in Misawa to give a speech, and was persuaded to join Fujishima Stable. Takanonami made his professional debut in 1987. He became an elite sekitori ranked wrestler in March 1991 when he was promoted to the second highest jūryō division, and he reached the top makuuchi division in November 1991. He led the race for the championship in the first week of the tournament, the first debutant to do so, and defeated Kotonishiki, the winner of the previous tournament. However he started losing in the second week and finished with a score of 8-7. He earned his first special prize in his first tournament at komusubi rank in May 1993. After a 13-2 runner-up performance from sekiwake rank in January
    8.00
    3 votes
    58
    Futatsuryu Junichi

    Futatsuryu Junichi

    Futatsuryū Jun'ichi (双津竜 順一, born February 28, 1950 as Jun'ichi Yamamoto) is a former sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. After retirement he became the head coach of Tokitsukaze stable. Following his involvement in the hazing and death of trainee Takashi Saito, in October 2007 he became the first serving stablemaster to be dismissed by the Japan Sumo Association. In May 2009 he was sentenced to six years in prison. Born in Muroran, he made his professional debut in September 1963, at just 13 years of age. He reached the second highest juryo division six years later in November 1969. He made his debut in the top makuuchi division in March 1972 but was demoted back to the second division a number of times. He was ranked in the top division for 29 tournaments in total, peaking at komusubi rank in July 1979. He was one of the heavier wrestlers in his time. His last top division tournament was in March 1980, but he continued to fight despite falling greatly in rank. He finished his career in the third highest makushita division. He retired from active competition in November 1982, becoming an elder of the Sumo Association under the name Nishikijima. After nearly twenty years working as
    6.75
    4 votes
    59

    Daikirin Takayoshi

    Daikirin Takayoshi (大麒麟 將能) (20 June 1942 – 4 August 2010), born Masakatsu Tsutsumi, was a sumo wrestler from Saga Prefecture, Japan. He began his professional career in 1958 and reached his highest rank of ōzeki twelve years later in 1970. He retired in 1974, and until June 2006 he was an elder of the Sumo Association under the name Oshiogawa. Born in Morodome in the city of Saga, he joined Nishonoseki stable and made his professional debut in May 1958. He initially fought under his own surname of Tsutsumi. After four years in the lower ranks he reached sekitori status in May 1962 upon promotion to the jūryō division, and changed his shikona to Kirinji. He did not make an immediate impact but in May 1963 took the jūryō yūshō or championship with a 13–2 score which pushed him up to Jūryō 1. A 10–5 record in the next tournament saw him enter the top makuuchi division for the first time but he had to pull out halfway into his debut tournament and returned to the second division. After suffering some more injury problems he finally won promotion back to makuuchi in July 1965. He slowly climbed up the maegashira ranks before earning three kinboshi in successive tournaments from May to
    9.00
    2 votes
    60
    Iwakiyama Ryūta

    Iwakiyama Ryūta

    Iwakiyama Ryūta (born March 2, 1976 as Ryūta Tsushima in Aomori Prefecture, Japan), is a former sumo wrestler. A former amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 2000 and reached the top division at the end of 2002. The highest rank he reached was komusubi. He was a runner-up in one tournament and earned two special prizes in his career. He was born in Hirosaki, Nakatsugaru District. After a successful start in amateur sumo at Aomori University, Tsushima worked as a member of staff at Aomori Yamada High School after graduating, not joining the professional sport until the age of 24 in July 2000. He was recruited by ex-komusubi Ryogoku, a former amateur champion himself, and joined his Sakaigawa stable (then known as Nakadachi stable). His shikona or fighting name came from Mount Iwaki, which is near his home town. Iwakiyama had makushita tsukedashi (promising amateur) status and so began in makushita (the third division), but an injury in his second tournament saw him demoted to sandanme. (His stablemaster had had a similar experience in his active days, also dropping to sandanme after beginning in makushita.) He recovered by winning the sandanme championship in March 2001
    9.00
    2 votes
    61
    Shiranui Dakuemon

    Shiranui Dakuemon

    Shiranui Dakuemon (不知火 諾右衛門, October 1801 – August 20, 1854; aka Shiranui Nagiemon) was a sumo wrestler from Uto, Kumamoto, Japan. He was the sport's 8th Yokozuna. He was the coach of Shiranui Kōemon. He married early to a woman at the age of 19 and had two sons. In 1823, he got into an argument with the head of his village. Forgetting his own strength, he pushed the village head too harshly. The village head fell to the floor and was knocked unconscious. Knowing the trouble this would cause him, he escaped from his hometown, leaving his family. He entered Osaka sumo and made his debut in May 1824. He didn't find much success in Osaka sumo and transferred to Edo sumo in November 1830. He was promoted to ōzeki in March 1839. He won only one tournament in February 1840 with an 8-0-2 record. He wasn't a particularly strong wrestler, but around the end of the Edo period the awarding a yokozuna licence had less to do with ability and more to do with the influence of one's backers. Shiranui was simply lucky to have powerful patrons. The actual date he was awarded the title is obscure, but the date is officially recognized as being in November 1840. His name wasn't written on the banzuke
    9.00
    2 votes
    62
    Takanoyama Shuntaro

    Takanoyama Shuntaro

    Takanoyama Shuntaro (born 21 February 1983 as Pavel Bojar) is a sumo wrestler from Prague, Czech Republic. He is the first man from the Czech Republic to join the professional sport in Japan. He reached the third highest makushita division in 2004, but due to his light weight he had difficulty in regularly beating his opponents, despite his skill. However, in May 2011 he finally earned promotion to the sekitori ranks. After becoming only the third new sekitori since 1958 to pass through juryo division in just one tournament, he made his debut in the top makuuchi division in September 2011. Bojar practised judo in the Czech Republic before becoming interested in sumo. The sport is more popular in the Czech Republic than in any other European country, with ten sumo clubs containing some 600 members, and he was trained by Jaroslav Poříz, president of the Czech Sumo Association. After winning the bronze medal in the 2000 Junior World Sumo Championships in Tokyo, he was accepted by Naruto stable, a heya in Chiba run by former yokozuna Takanosato. After passing the physical exam, he made his official debut in November 2001. He was given the shikona of Takanoyama, meaning "noble
    9.00
    2 votes
    63

    Tsunenohana Kan'ichi

    Tsunenohana Kan'ichi (常ノ花 寛市, November 23, 1896 – November 28, 1960) was a sumo wrestler from Okayama, Japan. He was the sport's 31st Yokozuna. He made his professional debut in January 1910 and reached the top makuuchi division in May 1917. He won his first top division championship in May 1921 from the rank of ōzeki, with a perfect record of ten wins and no losses. After his second championship in May 1923 and a runner-up spot in January 1924, he was promoted to yokozuna. He was to win eight more championships during his yokozuna career, including three in a row in 1927. He was much stronger than his competition and had no serious rivals. As result, turnout at tournaments was quite poor. His last title came in March 1930. He fought his last bouts in May of that year and officially retired in October. His retirement came very suddenly, as he was at the height of his powers, and it left Miyagiyama as the only yokozuna. After retiring from active competition he was the seventh head of the Dewanoumi stable and from 1944 to 1957 was also the head of the Sumo Association. However, he was blamed for Sumo Association's problems and attempted to commit suicide by a sword and gas in May
    9.00
    2 votes
    64
    Kasuganishiki Takahiro

    Kasuganishiki Takahiro

    Kasuganishiki Takahiro (born August 22, 1975 as Takahiro Suzuki) is a former sumo wrestler from Misaki, Isumi District, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He made his debut in 1991, reaching the top makuuchi division in 2002 His highest rank was maegashira 5. He retired in 2011 and became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association under the name Takenawa, but admitted involvement in match-fixing after text messages were found on his mobile phone that showed he had arranged the result of bouts with fellow wrestlers the previous year. His testimony was part of the Sumo Association's investigation into the affair which led to 22 other wrestlers being found guilty, most of whom were ordered to retire. Given a two year suspension, he has indicated that he will instead leave sumo completely. He made his professional debut in March 1991 (the same tournament as Chiyotenzan) and was immediately given the shikona or fighting name of Kasuganishiki, based on the name of his stable, Kasugano. He used the same shikona throughout his career. After eight years in the unsalaried lower divisions, he reached the jūryō division for the first time in July 1999, but could win only two matches. However, he
    5.80
    5 votes
    65
    Tosanoumi Toshio

    Tosanoumi Toshio

    Tosanoumi Toshio (born February 16, 1972 as Toshio Yamamoto in Aki City, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan), is a former sumo wrestler. He first reached the top division of professional sumo in 1995, winning 13 special prizes and earning 11 gold stars for defeating yokozuna over his long career. The highest rank he reached was sekiwake. He retired in 2010 to become a coach at his stable, Isenoumi stable under the name of Tatekawa. After success in amateur sumo competitions while at Doshisha University, where he was a two-time winner of the All Western Japan Sumo Championships in 1992 and 1993, Yamamoto was recruited by former sekiwake Fujinokawa and joined Isenoumi stable. He was given the shikona of Tosanoumi, meaning "sea of Tosa", from his native Kōchi Prefecture. Because of his amateur achievements he had makushita tsukedashi status and entered professional sumo in the third, makushita division in March 1994. He entered jūryō four tournaments later. Another four tournaments later he was promoted to the highest, makuuchi division. Because he had won the yūshō or tournament championship with a 14-1 record from the rank of Jūryō 1, he entered at maegashira 7, the second highest ever rank at
    5.80
    5 votes
    66
    Ayagawa Gorōji

    Ayagawa Gorōji

    Ayagawa Gorōji (綾川五郎次, c. 1703 – March 14, 1765) was a sumo wrestler. He is formally recognised as the second yokozuna (grand champion). Ayagawa came from Tochigi prefecture and was promoted to ozeki in 1717. According to tradition, he was the strongest wrestler in the Genbun era. He was a famous sumo wrestler in Edo, Osaka and Kyoto. The 17th Oikaze of the Yoshida family, allowed Ayagawa to be his pupil. Very little is known about his sumo career. He was of legendary size, perhaps 2 m (6 ft 7 in) tall and 150 kg (330 lb) in weight. He died on March 14, 1765. His grave can be found in Tochigi. It was not until over a century after his death that he was recognised as the 2nd Yokozuna.
    7.67
    3 votes
    67
    Gagamaru Masaru

    Gagamaru Masaru

    Gagamaru Masaru (born 23 February 1987 as Teimuraz Jugheli, Georgian: თეიმურაზ ჯუღელი) is a professional sumo wrestler from Georgia. The third Georgian national after Kokkai and Tochinoshin to make the top makuuchi division, he made his professional debut in November 2005, reaching the jūryō division in November 2009 and makuuchi in July 2010. Originally from Kise stable, he briefly fought for the Kitanoumi stable before moving back to the Kise stable after it was re-established. His highest rank has been komusubi. He has won two special prizes for Fighting Spirit and has been runner-up in one tournament. Jugheli was born in Tbilissi, he originally trained in judo and sambo, winning national junior championships in both sports by the age of 16. Invited to train by the Georgian junior sumo team, he accompanied them to the 2005 World Junior Sumo Championships in Osaka. (Also on the team was the future Tochinoshin). He came third in the individual and second in the team competition. Staying in Japan after the tournament, he joined Kise stable and made his first professional appearance in November 2005. He moved quickly through the lower divisions, reaching makushita one year later in
    7.67
    3 votes
    68
    Harumafuji Kōhei

    Harumafuji Kōhei

    Harumafuji Kōhei (日馬富士 公平, born April 14, 1984, as Davaanyamyn Byambadorj, Mongolian: Даваанямын Бямбадорж), previously known as Ama Kōhei, is a sumo wrestler. He is a yokozuna, sumo's highest rank, receiving his promotion September 26, 2012, the third consecutive Mongolian and fifth overall non-Japanese wrestler to attain that exalted rank. Regarded as a relative lightweight, Harumafuji is noted for his technical skill. He has won ten special prizes for his achievements in tournaments. He began his professional career in 2001 and reached the top makuuchi division in 2004. In November 2008 he became the seventh foreign-born wrestler in sumo history to reach the second highest rank of ōzeki. In May 2009, he won his first championship, winning the Natsu basho (May tournament). He won the championship for the second consecutive time with a perfect record, and fourth time overall, in the 2012 September Aki basho. Byambadorj is a native of Ulan Bator, Mongolia. His father was a Mongolian wrestler, holding a rank roughly equivalent to sumo's sekiwake. He appeared at the Naadam, a Mongolian games festival that includes wrestling, at the age of 15. He was scouted by Ajigawa-oyakata in July
    7.67
    3 votes
    69

    Kotokaze Koki

    Kotokaze Kōki (born 26 April 1957 as Koichi Nakayama) is a former sumo wrestler from Tsu, Mie, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. Scouted by the 53rd Yokozuna Kotozakura, he joined Sadogatake stable in July 1971. He reached the sekitori level in November 1975 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division and in January 1977 he made his debut in the top makuuchi division. He got as far as sekiwake before suffering a severe injury to his left knee joint which forced him to miss several tournaments and plunge all the way down to the unsalaried makushita division. He made his way back to the top division in just one year. By March 1981 he had returned to sekiwake and in September 1981 he captured his first tournament championship with a 12-3 record, finisihng one win ahead of yokozuna Wakanohana II. He was immediately promoted to sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki. He took his second championship in January 1983 with a 14-1 score, beating Asashio in a playoff. In September 1984 he defeated a newcomer to the division who was in contention for the tournament title, the gigantic Konishiki, in a mammoth two minute struggle on the final day. Kotokaze later recalled this bout as his
    7.67
    3 votes
    70
    Kotooshu Katsunori

    Kotooshu Katsunori

    Kotoōshū Katsunori (琴欧洲 勝紀) (born February 19, 1983 as Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov, Bulgarian: Калоян Стефанов Махлянов, in Dzhulyunitsa, Veliko Tarnovo Province, Bulgaria) is a professional sumo wrestler or rikishi. He made his debut in 2002, reaching the top division just two years later. In 2005 he reached the rank of ōzeki or 'champion', the second-highest level in the sumo ranking system behind only yokozuna. On May 24, 2008, Kotoōshū made history by becoming the first European sumo wrestler to win an Emperor's Cup. Upon the retirement of Kaiō, he became the longest serving active ōzeki. He was originally a Greco-Roman wrestler, coached by his father, and by the age of 14 he had already won a European championship. He was accepted by the Bulgarian National Sports Academy where he majored in wrestling. He hoped to compete for Bulgaria in the 2000 Olympic Games, but as his weight increased beyond the 120 kg upper limit, he switched instead to sumo. He was recruited by Sadogatake stable, whose stablemaster was impressed by his filial duty of sending money home to his parents. Mahlyanov's professional sumo debut was in November 2002, starting in the lowest-ranked jonokuchi
    7.67
    3 votes
    71

    Kotoryu Hirō

    Kotoryū Hirō (born 2 March 1972 as Katsumi Nakano) is a former sumo wrestler from Hyōgo, Japan. He joined professional sumo in 1987, reaching the top division in 1996. He defeated yokozuna three times and earned one Fighting Spirit Prize. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He was born in Takasago, Hyōgo Prefecture, but moved to Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture as a child. Kotoryū made his professional debut in March 1987 at the age of 15, joining Sadogatake stable. At the beginning of his career he used the shikona Kotonakano, switching to Kotoryū in March 1993. He was first promoted to sekitori status in July 1994 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division but could only last one tournament there. He returned to jūryō in May 1995 and made his debut in the top makuuchi division in July 1996. Kotoryū was ranked in the top division for 51 tournaments over a period of nine years, earning three kinboshi, or gold stars, for defeating yokozuna. He also received one sanshō for Fighting Spirit. He was a regular in the upper maegashira ranks but he was never able to earn promotion to sanyaku. He came back from a number of injuries that sent him down to the jūryō division but finally
    7.67
    3 votes
    72
    Ōnishiki Daigorō

    Ōnishiki Daigorō

    Ōnishiki Daigorō (大錦 大五郎, 1883 – May 18, 1943) was a sumo wrestler. He was the sport's 28th Yokozuna. Ōnishiki was born in Ama District, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in what is now Yatomi City. There are several theories about his birth date. He started sumo in Kyoto in 1898, later moving to Osaka. He entered the top makuuchi division in February 1906. He was promoted to ōzeki in June 1910. In April 1918 he became the 28th yokozuna (the third in Osaka sumo). The reason of his promotion to yokozuna was his dignity. He fought in eight tournaments as yokozuna, retiring after the January 1922 basho. After retirement he ran a tea house in Osaka. Some memorabilia is on display in a museum in Yatomi City. *1-2 tournaments were held yearly in this period, though the actual time they were held was often erratic *Championships from Osaka sumo were unofficial
    7.67
    3 votes
    73
    Tamanoshima Arata

    Tamanoshima Arata

    Tamanoshima Arata (born September 15, 1977 as Arata Okabe) is a former sumo wrestler from Izumizaki, Fukushima, Japan. A former amateur champion, he made his professional debut in 1998, reaching the top makuuchi division at the end of 2000. He was twice runner-up in a tournament, and earned six special prizes and two gold stars during his career. His highest rank was sekiwake. He wrestled for Kataonami stable. Tamanoshima was a college champion at Toyo University and so was given makushita tsukedashi status and allowed to make his professional debut in the makushita division. He was only twenty years of age, as he left the university in his second year, making him the youngest former amateur to join professional sumo in this way. Initially competing under the shikona or ring name of Tamanonada, he reached the second highest jūryō division in September 1999 and the top makuuchi division for the first time in November 2000. In March 2001, upon his second promotion to the top division, he adopted the Tamanoshima name, which had previously been used by a former yokozuna from his stable, Tamanoumi. Tamanoshima was twice runner-up in a tournament, in July 2001 and March 2005, and he
    7.67
    3 votes
    74
    Yamamotoyama Ryūta

    Yamamotoyama Ryūta

    Yamamotoyama Ryūta (born May 8, 1984 as Yamamoto Ryūichi) is a former sumo wrestler from the city of Saitama in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Making his professional debut in January 2007, he reached the top makuuchi division in January 2009. His highest rank was maegashira 9. At 265 kg (580 lb), he is the heaviest Japanese-born sumo wrestler ever. In April 2011 he was told to retire by the Japan Sumo Association after he and several other wrestlers were found to be involved in match-fixing. Yamamotoyamaa won several local, national and world sumo championships before entering Nihon University in 2003. He won a total of five championships at Nihon University. He then entered professional sumo as a member of the Onoe stable. He broke the record for the largest new recruit, weighing in at 233 kg in 2007. The previous record holder, Hokutomori, weighed in at 205 kg when he joined professional sumo in 1994. His shikona or fighting name was created simply by adding the suffix yama (meaning "mountain") to his own surname. This is common for lower ranked wrestlers but it was rather unusual him to keep it even after reaching sekitori status. Yamamotoyama however, shares his name with a
    7.67
    3 votes
    75
    Asanowaka Takehiko

    Asanowaka Takehiko

    Asanowaka Takehiko (born 11 December 1969 as Takehiko Adachi) is a former sumo wrestler from Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He is now a sumo coach. A former amateur sumo champion at Kinki University, he was recruited by ex-ozeki Asashio (himself a former collegiate competitor) and joined Wakamatsu stable (later Takasago stable) in March 1992. He began as a makushita tsukedashi, meaning he could make his debut at the bottom of the third makushita division. He was promoted to the second jūryō division in January 1993 and captured the tournament championship in that division in November 1993 with a score of 11-4. Following a 9-6 in January 1994 he was promoted to the top makuuchi division in March of that year. Asanowaka never managed to reach the titled sanyaku ranks or win a special prize. He was also unable to defeat any Yokozuna and had only one win against an ozeki (Takanonami in May 1997). Nevertheless, he fought in the top division off and on for ten years and his record of 346 wins there is the best amongst maegashira only wrestlers. He was also very popular with tournament crowds. At the peak of his career he wore an outlandish bright
    10.00
    1 votes
    76
    Azumafuji Kin'ichi

    Azumafuji Kin'ichi

    Azumafuji Kin'ichi (東富士 欽壹, October 28, 1921 - July 31, 1973) was a Japanese sumo wrestler from Taitō, Tokyo, Japan. He was the sport's 40th Yokozuna, and later a professional wrestler. He made professional debut in January 1936, joining Takasago stable. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in May 1943. On the sixth day of the November 1944 tournament, he defeated yokozuna Futabayama, the last wrestler ever to do so as Futabayama pulled out of the tournament the next day and only fought one more bout before his retirement. Azumafuji was promoted to ōzeki in June 1945 on the strength of two runner-up performances. He won his first top division championship in May 1948, and was promoted to the top yokozuna rank in October of that year after finishing as runner-up. Unusually, he managed to win his debut yokozuna tournament, in January 1949. On the 12th day of the September 1951 tournament, he recorded a azukari, or hold, a rare result. On that day, he had come down with acute pneumonia but he forced himself to continue in the tournament as he had only one loss. Azumafuji fought with then ōzeki Yoshibayama twice, but the outcome still could not be determined. After the second
    10.00
    1 votes
    77
    Kotonowaka Terumasa

    Kotonowaka Terumasa

    Kotonowaka Terumasa (born May 15, 1968 as Mitsuya Kamatani) is a former sumo wrestler from Obanazawa, Yamagata prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1984 and after reaching the top makuuchi division in 1990 he remained there for 15 years until his retirement in 2005. His highest rank was sekiwake and he earned seven special prizes and eight gold stars during his long makuuchi career. He is now the head coach of Sadogatake stable. At junior high school he practiced judo and shotput, and even represented his prefecture at the All Tohoku Shotput Championships. He was already 1.87 m (6 ft 1 ⁄2 in) tall by the age of 14. He was scouted into sumo by a supporter of Sadogatake stable. He had intended to join in March 1984 alongside Kotonishiki, but failed the physical because of high blood pressure, delaying his entry by two months. At first he wrestled under the name "Imano" and then "Kotoimano" before finally settling on "Kotonowaka" in 1988. It took him six years to achieve sekitori status by reaching the jūryō division in July 1990. He first reached makuuchi in November 1990 and remained continuously in the top division from March 1991. He advanced several times into the
    10.00
    1 votes
    78

    Shimizugawa Motokichi

    Shimizugawa Motokichi (13 January 1900 – 5 July 1967) was a sumo wrestler from Goshogawara, Aomori, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. Making his debut in January 1917, he was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1923 and made the fourth komusubi rank in January 1926, although he did not take part in that tournament. He competed in the maegashira ranks in 1927 but left the Japan Sumo Association temporarily and was not listed on the banzuke ranking sheets in the March and May 1928 tournaments. Returning in October 1928 he was listed at the bottom of the jūryō division and after winning two jūryō tournament titles he returned to the top division in 1930. Shimizugawa was promoted to the second highest rank of ōzeki in 1932 but never made the highest yokozuna rank, despite winning a total of three top division tournament championships. He was overlooked for promotion while two men with inferior records to him, Musashiyama and Minanogawa, were both promoted to yokozuna instead. It has been suggested that this was because Shimizugawa belonged to a small stable, Hatachiyama, whereas Musashiyama and Minanogawa were both members of much larger and more influential stables
    10.00
    1 votes
    79

    Tamanoumi Daitaro

    Tamanoumi Daitaro, real name Tomohiro Miura, (2 January 1923 - 27 September 1987) was a sumo wrestler from Oita, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. He won a top division tournament championship in 1957. He was later the head coach of Kataonami stable. He made his professional debut at the age of 14 in May 1937, joining Nishonoseki stable, then run by active yokozuna Tamanishiki, although upon Tamanishiki's death the following year Tamanoumi Umekichi became his stablemaster. He used the shikona of Fukusumi. However, during a sumo tour of Shanghai in 1940, he got into a drunken argument with a driver. Military police went to the site and he also began to fight with them. Police officers wanted him shot, but Ōzeki Haguroyama (later yokozuna) and his stablemaster apologized to them. He survived, but was forced to leave sumo and was drafted into the Japanese army. After escaping a POW camp in Siberia and returning to Japan to work in a shipyard, he was invited to return to sumo in 1950. He was allowed to resume his career in the third makushita division where he had left off, and made the juryo division in 1951, adopting the Tamanoumi name, and the top makuuchi division the year
    10.00
    1 votes
    80

    Tochigiyama Moriya

    Tochigiyama Moriya (栃木山 守也, February 2, 1892 – October 3, 1959) was the 27th Yokozuna in sumo wrestling from 1918 till 1925. Generally he is considered one of the pioneers of modern sumo. He is the lightest yokozuna with a weight of 104 kg. He is known as one of Herculean wrestlers. Tochigiyama entered sumo in February 1911 but his coach Hitachiyama Taniemon didn't expect him to be strong owing to his light weight. However, he lost only 3 bouts on his way to the top makuuchi division, achieving promotion in January 1915. Tochigiyama defeated Tachiyama Mineemon, ending his series of 56 victories, on the 8th day of May 1916 tournament. Tochigiyama was promoted to ōzeki in May 1917. After he won both championships on his two tournaments as ōzeki without suffering a single defeat, he was promoted to yokozuna in February 1918. Tochigiyama won his third championship at his first tournament as yokozuna. He won following two tournaments. He finally achieved five consecutive championships between May 1917 and May 1919. Tochigiyama defeated other wrestlers with his strong oshi, or pushing techniques. He compensated for his lack of weight by training extremely hard. He was nicknamed the
    10.00
    1 votes
    81
    Tochinoumi Teruyoshi

    Tochinoumi Teruyoshi

    Tochinoumi Teruyoshi (栃ノ海 晃嘉, born March 13, 1938) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. He was the sport's 49th Yokozuna. After his retirement he was the head coach of Kasugano stable. Born in Inakdate, Minamitsugaru District, he made his professional debut in September 1955. He joined Kasugano stable, a prestigious heya that had previously produced yokozuna Tochigiyama and Tochinishiki. He initially fought under his own surname, Hanada. After about three years in the lower ranks he reached the second jūryō division in January 1959 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in March 1960. After two make-koshi or losing scores he was demoted to jūryō but immediately won the second division championship with a 14-1 record and was promoted back. He then adopted the shikona Tochinoumi. He captured his first top division tournament championship in May 1962 at sekiwake rank and was promoted to ōzeki. After his second championship in November 1963 and a 13-2 record in January 1964, he was promoted to sumo's highest rank of yokozuna. He was only able to win one further championship, in May 1964, and achieved only three double figure scores after that. After an injury plagued
    10.00
    1 votes
    82
    Hochiyama Yukimi

    Hochiyama Yukimi

    Hōchiyama Kōkan (born January 18, 1982 as Yukimi Munakata) is a sumo wrestler from Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. He joined professional sumo in 2000. His highest rank has been maegashira 14, achieved in 2006. After illness saw him demoted to the third makushita division in 2008, he returned to the second highest jūryō division in 2010 and the top makuuchi division in September 2011. He was born in the city of Hirosaki (as was Wakanosato). Hōchiyama was a member of Kizukuri High School sumo club (also attended by Mainoumi) and he made his professional debut in March 2000. He joined the Nakadachi stable set up by former komusubi Ryogoku, which was subsequently renamed Sakaigawa stable. Hōchiyama took the jonokuchi championship with a perfect 7-0 record in his first tournament as a rikishi and he earned promotion to sandanme in November 2000 with another 7-0 score. However he found his opponents in the third makushita division much more difficult to deal with and his progress slowed. He narrowly missed out on promotion to the second highest jūryō division a number of times, recording 3-4 marks at makushita 1 in July 2004 and November 2005. After 24 tournaments in the third
    6.50
    4 votes
    83
    Ōnomatsu Midorinosuke

    Ōnomatsu Midorinosuke

    Ōnomatsu Midorinosuke (阿武松 緑之助, 1794 – January 20, 1852) was a sumo wrestler from Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 6th Yokozuna. He trained ōzeki Tsurugizan Taniemon. He was born in Shitsumi, Noto and went to Edo in 1815. His birth name remains ambiguous, but was claimed Sasaki Jokichi. He made a debut under a ring name Koyanagi in March 1815. He reached the top makuuchi division in October 1822. In January 1824, he was defeated by Inazuma, but defeated others at the maegashira #2 rank and was promoted to komusubi. In the summer of 1825, he defeated Inazuma at the Hirakawa Tenjin Shrine. He was promoted to ōzeki in October 1826. He changed his ring name to Ōnomatsu in March 1827. Ōnomatsu was awarded a yokozuna license in February 1828. On March 25, 1829, Ienari Tokugawa saw that Ōnomatsu defeated Inazuma. Because he grew up in a poor family, he attempted to win bouts by fair means or foul. To shake competitors' confidence, he would often do matta, or waiting, at the initial charge, or tachi-ai of his sumo bouts. He was often criticized for his fighting style. Even so, he was popular in Edo. He retired in November 1835. In the top makuuchi division, he won 142 bouts
    6.50
    4 votes
    84
    Oshio Kenji

    Oshio Kenji

    Ōshio Kenji (born 4 January 1948 as Kenji Hatano) is a former sumo wrestler from Kitakyushu, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. His career lasted twenty six years, from 1962 until 1988, and he holds the record for the most bouts contested in professional sumo. He was born in Yahata Higashi ward. He made his professional debut in January 1962 at the age of just 14, joining Tokitsukaze stable. His first stablemaster was the former yokozuna Futabayama. He initially fought under his own surname, Hatano, before adopting the shikona of Ōshio in 1969. He reached the second highest juryo division in November 1969 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division for the first time in September 1971. He reached his top rank of komusubi in January 1978, but held it for only one tournament. In the May 1978 tournament he defeated Wajima on the opening day, his first ever victory over a yokozuna. He was to earn two more kinboshi in September 1982 and January 1983, at the age of 35. He also earned two special prizes, for Technique and Fighting Spirit. During his extraordinarily long career Ōshio was ranked in makuuchi for 51 tournaments and 55 tournaments in juryo, for a total of 106 ranked as an
    6.50
    4 votes
    85

    Tamatsubaki Kentaro

    Tamatsubaki Kentaro (玉椿憲太郎, Tamatsubaki Kentarō, 10 November 1883 - 19 September 1928) was a sumo wrestler from Toyama City, Japan. He was known for his techniques, which covered his small size. Although his height was only 158 cm, he afflicted Hitachiyama and was called "mite". He was the shortest wrestler in sumo history, and also one of the lightest at 73 kg. His highest rank was sekiwake. After retirement he was known as Shiratama-oyakata.
    6.50
    4 votes
    86

    Itai Keisuke

    Itai Keisuke (板井圭介, Itai Keisuke, born 21 March 1956) is a former sumo wrestler from Usuki, Oita, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. After his retirement, he caused controversy by claiming that the outcomes of many of his matches were fixed. He won many national youth competitions as an amateur, but worked in the ceramics industry until he was 22. He did not turn professional until September 1978 when he joined the now defunct Onaruto stable. He rose up the rankings in record time, winning his first 26 matches and reaching the second jūryō division just six tournaments after his professional debut. He was given the shikona of Kōtetsuyama, also the fighting name of his stablemaster, former sekiwake Kōtetsuyama Toyoya. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division after winning the jūryō championship in July 1980. However he dropped out of his debut makuuchi tournament on the fifth day without even winning one match. He won promotion to the top division once again after winning another jūryō title in March 1981 but once again dropped out of the following tournament, this time after only three days. Struggling with injuries, he fell all the way down to the unsalaried makushita
    5.60
    5 votes
    87
    Kyokutenhou Masaru

    Kyokutenhou Masaru

    Kyokutenhō Masaru (born September 13, 1974 as Nyamjavyn Tsevegnyam, Mongolian: Нямжавын Цэвэгням in Nalaikh, Ulan Bator, Mongolia) is a professional sumo wrestler. He made his debut in March 1992 out of Ōshima stable, with the first group of Mongolians ever to join the sport in Japan, reaching the top makuuchi division in January 1998. Now the longest serving active member of the top division, he has received six special prizes for Fighting Spirit, has won one yusho, in May 2012, which made him at 37 the oldest first–time yusho winner in sumo history, and has been runner-up in one other tournament. His highest rank has been sekiwake, which he has held on three occasions. He acquired Japanese citizenship in 2005. In 1991, Tsevegnyam came to Japan with five other Mongolian wrestlers, including Kyokushūzan, joining Ōshima stable. They were the first Mongolians to join professional sumo. In Mongolia he had had little experience of wrestling or judo, concentrating on basketball in junior high school. Six months after they came to Japan, due to cultural difference, language problems, and the extremely harsh training methods used in sumo, Kyokutenhō, Kyokushuzan and three others ran away
    8.50
    2 votes
    88
    Sakaigawa Namiemon

    Sakaigawa Namiemon

    Sakaigawa Namiemon (境川 浪右衛門, May 28, 1841 – September 16, 1887) was a sumo wrestler from Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 14th Yokozuna. He made his debut in November 1857 and reached the top makuuchi division in April 1867, then fighting under the name Masuizan. He won his first tournament championship in June 1868 from the maegashira ranks, emerging undefeated with eight wins. He was promoted to ōzeki (then sumo's highest rank) in April 1870 after winning two tournaments in a row from the rank of sekiwake. Following his promotion, he changed his shikona to Sakaigawa. The name had previously been used by another wrestler from the same stable, who had been an ōzeki from 1857 to 1861. Sakaigawa was initially given a yokozuna licence by the Osaka based House of Gojo in February 1876. He was admitted as yokozuna by the House of Yoshida Tsukasa in February 1877. At that time, Meiji Restoration was confusing the sumo world. Many sumo wrestlers were promoted to nominal yokozuna and the worth of name yokozuna stayed very low. Among them, Sakaigawa became the only yokozuna admitted officially. Sakaigawa retired in January 1881. In the top makuuchi division, he won 118
    8.50
    2 votes
    89
    Daishoyama Naoki

    Daishoyama Naoki

    Daishōyama Naoki (born 7 July 1966 as Naoki Yamazaki) is a former sumo wrestler from Anamizu, Ishikawa, Japan. A former amateur champion, he made his professional debut in January 1989 and reached a highest rank of maegashira 2 before retiring in 1995. He is now the head coach of Oitekaze stable. Born in Anamizu, Hosu District, as an amateur he won eleven sumo titles, including collegiate and amateur yokozuna, while studying at Nihon University. He also served as captain of the school sumo team. He was recruited by the former sekiwake Annenyama of the Tatsunami stable. Yamazaki had stayed at the heya while taking part in junior high school competitions (as did Daishoho), and he had also met the former Tatsunami stable wrestler Wakanami as an infant, being held in his arms for a photograph (as top rikishi are often requested to do for luck). As an amateur champion he was given makushita tsukedashi status and made his debut in the third highest makushita division. His first tournament was in January 1989 and after two consecutive yusho with perfect 7-0 records in January and March 1990 he was promoted to the second highest juryo division, becoming the first sekitori from Tatsunami
    7.33
    3 votes
    90
    Hamanishiki Tatsurō

    Hamanishiki Tatsurō

    Hamanishiki Tatsurō (born November 23, 1976 as Tatsurō Takahama) is a former sumo wrestler from Kumamoto, Japan. A former amateur champion, he made his professional debut in 1999. His highest rank was maegashira 11, which he reached in 2002. He was mostly ranked in the makushita and sandanme divisions from 2005 until his retirement in 2012. He is now the head coach of Kasugayama stable. Takahama practised amateur sumo at Nihon University and joined the professional sport in March 1999. He made his debut alongside Kotomitsuki and Takamisakari. He began wrestling under his own name but upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division in July 2000 he adopted the shikona of Hamanishiki. After five tournaments in jūryō he made his debut in the top makuuchi division in May 2001. However he was unable to progress higher than the lower maegashira ranks and fell back to the second division in September 2002. In November 2004, ranked at the very bottom of jūryō, he produced a disastrous 1-14 record and was demoted to the third makushita division, where he had begun his career. He reverted back to his own surname in November 2005 but this did little to change his fortunes. He missed two
    7.33
    3 votes
    91
    Kitataiki Akeyoshi

    Kitataiki Akeyoshi

    Kitataiki Akeyoshi (北太樹 明義, born 5 October 1982) is a professional sumo wrestler from Machida City, Tokyo, Japan. Making his debut in March 1998, he reached the top division for the first time in September 2008, returning in January 2010. His highest rank to date has been maegashira 3. Born Sanuki Akeyoshi, he participated in swimming, soccer and some judo as an elementary school student. His only experience with sumo during this time was one national children's sumo competition. He went on to play basketball in junior high school. However, starting from his elementary school days he made several visits to the stable of Kitanoumi, who was an acquaintance of his father. Deciding he wanted something different he chose to join Kitanoumi stable after junior high school instead of going on to high school. He joined Kitanoumi stable and made his professional debut in March 1998. He spent over nine years struggling in the lower divisions, but finally achieved promotion to jūryō in July 2007. He was the first wrestler from his stable in nine years (following Kitazakura) to achieve sekitori status. After a year in jūryō he gained promotion to makuuchi in September 2008 where he lasted two
    7.33
    3 votes
    92
    Masurao Hiroo

    Masurao Hiroo

    Masurao Hiroo (益荒雄広生, born June 27, 1961) is a Japanese former sumo wrestler, born Hiroo Teshima (手島 広生, Teshima Hiroo) in Itoda, Fukuoka Prefecture. Making his professional debut in 1979, he reached the top division in 1985. His highest rank was sekiwake and he won five special prizes in his top division career. He was one of the lightest wrestlers in the top division, and very popular with tournament crowds. In his later career he suffered from a number of injuries, particularly to his knee, and he retired in 1990 at the age of 29. He is now the head coach of Ōnomatsu stable. In his youth he excelled at judo but was persuaded to give sumo a try by Oshiogawa Oyakata, the former ōzeki Daikirin. He entered sumo after his second year of high school, and fought his first match, under the name Tejima, at age 17 in the March tournament of 1979. In 1985 he entered the makuuchi ranks, having already taken the name Masurao. He won his first special prize in November 1986, and his first kinboshi in January 1987. The March tournament of 1987 saw Masurao ranked in the titled san'yaku ranks for the first time, at komusubi. In the first seven days he defeated two yokozuna (Chiyonofuji and
    7.33
    3 votes
    93

    Washūyama Yoshikazu

    Washūyama Yoshikazu (born 2 April 1949 as Yoshikazu Sukui) is a former sumo wrestler from Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. He is now the head coach of Dewanoumi stable. His shikona or sumo name was derived from the Washuzan mountain in his native Okayama prefecture. (He was to become so popular that people would refer to the mountain as Washuyama.) He made his professional debut in March 1967, reaching the second highest jūryō division in July 1972. He was promoted to the makuuchi division in May 1973 and made an immediate impression, finishing as the tournament runner-up with 11 wins and earning the Fighting Spirit prize. However, injury problems over the next couple of years prevented him from progressing much further and he was demoted back to the jūryō division on two occasions. His fortunes turned around towards the end of 1975 when he won his second Fighting Spirit prize, and in January 1976 he was once again tournament runner-up. This earned him promotion to the titled sanyaku ranks for the first time in March 1976 at the rank of komusubi. Another strong showing earned him immediate promotion to sekiwake, which was to be his highest rank. Washuyama
    7.33
    3 votes
    94
    Musashiyama Takeshi

    Musashiyama Takeshi

    Musashiyama Takeshi (武藏山 武, December 5, 1909 – March 15, 1969) was a sumo wrestler from Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 33rd Yokozuna. He had a rapid rise through the ranks, setting several youth records, and was very popular with the public. However he did not fulfil his great potential at sumo's highest rank, missing many matches because of injury and winning no tournaments. Born in Kohoku ward, he came from a poor peasant family, and he entered local sumo tournaments to provide for them. He was scouted by the former Ryōgoku Yūjirō, who persuaded him to join Dewanoumi stable. Musashiyama made a professional debut in January 1926. He was far superior to his early opponents, becoming an elite sekitori at the age of just 19. He reached the top makuuchi division in May 1929, and was runner-up in his second makuuchi tournament. He reached the san'yaku ranks at komusubi in May 1930. His rapid rise was considered miraculous in an era when it was not unusual for new recruits to take several years to even progress from the lowest jonokuchi division. He missed out on the yūshō or tournament championship in March 1931 only because he was of a lower rank than
    6.25
    4 votes
    95
    Nishinoumi Kajirō II

    Nishinoumi Kajirō II

    Nishinoumi Kajirō II (西ノ海 嘉治郎, February 6, 1880 – January 27, 1931) was a sumo wrestler. He was the sport's 25th Yokozuna. Nishinoumi was promoted to the top makuuchi division in May 1906. He was awarded a yokozuna licence by the house of Yoshida Tsukasa in February 1916 after winning a championship at January 1916 tournament. He was 36 years old at the time of his promotion, making him the oldest wrestler to be promoted to yokozuna in the 20th century. In the top makuuchi division, he won 106 bouts and lost 38 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 73.6. He favoured the yokozuna dohyō-iri (yokozuna ring-entering ceremony) style that has come to be known as unryū . After his retirement, he was an elder known as Izutsu and produced many top division wrestlers, such as yokozuna Nishinoumi Kajirō III. He augmented an effect of Izutsu on Japan Sumo Association but he was blamed for using his position unfairly by his opponents. He committed suicide by hanging on January 27, 1931. His adopted daughter's sons are Sakahoko Akihiro and Terao Tsunefumi. *tournament actually held one month later than listed.
    6.25
    4 votes
    96
    Sōkokurai Eikichi

    Sōkokurai Eikichi

    Sōkokurai Eikichi (born 9 January 1984) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Inner Mongolia, China. He is the only Chinese national to reach the top makuuchi division. Sōkokurai is of Mongolian descent. He made his professional debut in 2003 and was promoted to the top division in September, 2010. In April 2011 he was ordered to retire by the Japan Sumo Association after being found guilty of involvement in match-fixing. Refusing to do so, he was dismissed. He was born to a livestock farmer and as a child tended farm animals in a yurt. From the age of seven, he began participating in Mongolian wrestling, and at the age of 16 he won the national championship in this sport. He then joined a national wrestling school where at 84 kilograms he achieved 8th in the national junior rankings. He was scouted in April 2003 by the former Oyutaka, head of Arashio stable, who was visiting China in search of new recruits. He came to Japan as to join this stable in June of the same year, and made his debut in the September tournament. In the very next tournament in November 2003, he won the jonokuchi championship. However he was forced to sit out the following January 2004 tournament due to
    6.25
    4 votes
    97
    Aran Hakutora

    Aran Hakutora

    Aran Hakutora (Japanese 阿覧・欧虎 born January 31, 1984 as Ала́н Габара́ев Alan Gabaraev) is a Russian sumo wrestler. He began his professional career in January 2007 and made the top division in a record eleven tournaments. The highest rank he has reached is sekiwake. He was runner-up in consecutive tournaments in May and July 2010 and has earned two sansho or special prizes for Fighting Spirit. He wrestles for Mihogaseki stable. Aran was born in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia–Alania, Russia, the same area as Roho and Hakurozan. He began as an amateur wrestler, winning the Russian National Junior Championships. In October 2006 he won the open division of the World Amateur Sumo Championships held in Saitama, Japan, defeating Ichihara. In December of that year, he joined Mihogaseki stable. Sumo rules allow only one foreigner per heya, and the departure of Baruto to the newly formed Onoe stable created an opening for him. He made his professional debut in January 2007, alongside Yamamotoyama. Although he was able to win only 2 out of 5 bouts in maezumo, he won the jonokuchi division championship in the next tournament with a perfect 7-0 record, and reached the second highest jūryō division
    7.00
    3 votes
    98
    Futen'ō Izumi

    Futen'ō Izumi

    Futen'ō Izumi (born August 28, 1980 as Izumi Uchida in Tensui, Tamana District, Kumamoto, Japan), is a former sumo wrestler. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 2003, reaching the top division the following year. He earned two special prizes. His highest rank was komusubi. He retired in May 2011. He was born to a family of orange farmers. He had loved sumo since elementary school and had the full support of his parents in turning professional, although his father wished him to complete his education first. After finishing high school he went to Nihon University, where he gained the amateur equivalent of the yokozuna title, winning the All Japan Championship in 2000 and the Kokutai (Japan Games) in 2002. Futen'ō entered professional sumo in January 2003. He joined Dewanoumi stable, one of the most prestigious heya in sumo. Its longstanding history was one of the reasons he chose that particular stable. Because of his amateur achievements he was given makushita tsukedashi status and so was allowed to leapfrog the lower divisions, beginning his career as a makushita (third division) wrestler at the rank of makushita 15. He was runner-up in his first tournament, only
    7.00
    3 votes
    99
    Tamanishiki San'emon

    Tamanishiki San'emon

    Tamanishiki San'emon (玉錦 三右衛門, December 15, 1903 – December 4, 1938) was a sumo wrestler from Kōchi, Japan. He was the sport's 32nd Yokozuna. He won a total of nine top division yūshō or tournament championships from 1929 to 1936, and was the dominant wrestler in sumo until the emergence of Futabayama. He died whilst still an active wrestler. He joined Nishonoseki stable but the stable was very small at that time. Therefore, he often visited Dewanoumi stable and was trained by yokozuna Tochigiyama Moriya. He later became head coach of Nishonoseki stable whilst still active in the ring, and under his leadership the stable enjoyed one of its most successful periods in its history. Tamanishiki won three consecutive championships from October 1930 to March 1931, but he wasn't promoted to yokozuna. In January 1932, the "Shunjuen-Incident" (春秋園事件, Shunjuen-Jiken) broke out. The incident was the biggest walkout in sumo history. He was one of eleven top division wrestlers who remained in Ozumo and became the first head of Rikishikai (力士会), or the association of active sumo wrestlers. He won his fifth top division championship in May 1932 and was finally awarded a yokozuna licence in
    7.00
    3 votes
    100
    Toyonoshima Daiki

    Toyonoshima Daiki

    Toyonoshima Daiki (born June 26, 1983 as Daiki Kajiwara) is a professional sumo wrestler from Sukumo, Kōchi, Japan. He made his professional debut in January 2002, reaching the top makuuchi division in September 2004. He has been a runner-up in three tournaments, and has earned eight special prizes. His highest rank has been sekiwake, which he first reached in September 2008 and has held for four tournaments to date. Following a suspension in July 2010 he was demoted to the jūryō division, but upon his return to makuuchi in November 2010 he took part in a playoff for the championship. Toyonoshima is the oldest son of a tofu maker. In his early years, he was an avid soccer player. However, his destiny changed after winning an area boys' sumo tournament championship. In junior high and high school, he was rivals with another future sumo wrestler who would go on to take the fighting name Kotoshōgiku. Kotoshōgiku is now a rival of his in professional sumo as well. After graduating from high school, Toyonoshima joined Tokitsukaze stable through a connection a friend of his father's had with the stable. He was below the minimum height requirement of 173 cm but was allowed to make his
    7.00
    3 votes
    101

    Hakurozan Yūta

    Hakurozan Yūta (born February 6, 1982 as Batraz Feliksovich Boradzov Russian: Батраз Феликсович Борадзов, in Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia–Alania in the Russian Federation) is a former sumo wrestler. The highest rank he reached was maegashira 2. His older brother is also a former sumo wrestler, under the name of Rohō of Ōtake stable. In September 2008 both were dismissed from professional sumo after testing positive for cannabis. Hakurozan began wrestling at the age of 14, winning the world junior championship aged 16. He started sumo aged 18, winning the Moscow over 100 kg championship. He came to Japan in February 2002 with his brother. They had intended to join the same stable, but sumo regulations limit the number of foreign wrestlers to one per stable, so Batraz joined Hatachiyama stable while Soslan entered Ōtake stable. As with his brother, his shikona contains the character 露, which can mean Russia. Hatachiyama stable folded upon the death of its stablemaster, former ōzeki Hokutenyū, and Hakurozan joined the Kitanoumi stable. Hakurozan fought his first bout in May 2002, rising to jūryō in September 2004, and makuuchi in July 2005. After a 10-5 result in May 2006 he
    6.00
    4 votes
    102
    Kakuryū Rikisaburō

    Kakuryū Rikisaburō

    Kakuryū Rikisaburō (born August 10, 1985 as Mangaljalavyn Anand, Mongolian: Мангалжалавын Ананд) is a professional sumo wrestler from Sükhbaatar Province, Mongolia. He has been a member of the top makuuchi division since November 2006 and has earned seven special prizes, mostly for Technique. He reached the third highest sekiwake rank in July 2009, and in March 2012 he secured promotion to the second highest rank of ōzeki after finishing runner up to yokozuna Hakuhō and accumulating a total of 33 wins in his previous three tournaments. Unlike many of his Mongolian sumo rivals Kakuryū's family have no background in Mongolian wrestling, his father instead being a university professor, and Kakuryū had no experience in wrestling before coming to Japan. He made his professional debut in November 2001, joining Izutsu stable. At the time he weighed just 82 kg (180 lb). After reaching the fourth highest sandanme division fairly quickly he then struggled somewhat, being demoted back to jonidan a couple of times. However, he eventually won the sandanme championship in July 2004 with a perfect 7-0 record and earned promotion to the third makushita division. Kakuryū first reached sekitori
    6.00
    4 votes
    103

    Kyokudozan Kazuyasu

    Kyokudōzan Kazuyasu (旭道山 和泰) (born 14 October 1964 as Kazuyasu Hato) is a former sumo wrestler and politician from Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. He began his sumo career in 1980, reaching the top division in 1996. He was one of the lightest men in makuuchi. but he nevertheless reached the fourth highest rank of komusubi and won four special prizes. After retiring in 1996 he was elected to the Japanese Diet, serving until 2000. He is now a businessman. Kyokudozan was born in Tokyo, but moved to his mother's hometown of Tokunoshima in Ōshima District as a child. In high school he was offered a volleyball scholarship, but he opted for sumo. He joined the newly formed Ōshima stable, making his professional debut in May 1980. He was one of the lightest sumo wrestlers ever, capable of running the 100 metres in 11 seconds. He did not reach 100 kg in weight until 1989, the year he was promoted to the top makuuchi division. Kyokudozan stayed in the top division for 48 tournaments. Mainoumi was the only makuuchi wrestler lighter than himself during this period. In May 1992 he defeated ōzeki Konishiki, winner of the previous tournament and some 150 kg heavier than him, with the rare
    6.00
    4 votes
    104
    Kimurayama Mamoru

    Kimurayama Mamoru

    Kimurayama Mamoru (born 13 July 1981 as Mamoru Kimura) is a professional sumo wrestler from Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank has been maegashira 7. Born in Gobo, he was an amateur champion at Toyo University, but did not have enough collegiate titles to receive makushita tsukedashi status and join professional sumo in the third highest makushita division, instead beginning at the bottom of the rankings in March 2004. He joined Kasugano stable, run by another Wakayama Prefecture native, the former sekiwake Tochinowaka. His shikona or fighting name was adapted from his own surname, which is also a time-honoured name in Kasugano stable, being the name of a gyoji or referee, Kimura Soshiro, who ran the stable in the early 20th century. Kimurayama reached sekitori status in January 2008 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division and won his first yusho or tournament championship in the following tournament with a 12-3 record. He made his debut in the top makuuchi division two tournaments later at maegashira 12, but fell short with a 7-8 record. He won his second jūryō championship in March 2010, after a three way playoff with Koryu and Tamaasuka. He did not manage a
    8.00
    2 votes
    105

    Kitabayama Hidetoshi

    Kitabayama Hidetoshi (17 May 1935 – 20 July 2010) was a former sumo wrestler and coach from Muroran, Hokkaidō, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. Kitabayama entered sumo in May 1954, joining Tokitsukaze stable. He was recruited by the legendary former yokozuna Futabayama. He was 173 cm tall and weighed 119 kg, which would make him extremely small by today's sumo standards. After winning the jūryō championship in September 1958 with a 14–1 record he entered the top makuuchi division in November 1958. He was a runner-up in only his second top division tournament and quickly made the san'yaku ranks, reaching sekiwake in November 1959. He was to remain at sekiwake rank for nine of the next ten tournaments. After finishing runner-up to maegashira Sadanoyama in the May 1961 tournament with an 11–4 record he was promoted to ōzeki. He had won 28 bouts over the previous three tournaments, not normally enough for ōzeki promotion, but there were only two ōzeki at the time, and two ageing yokozuna (Asashio and Wakanohana) and so the standard was lowered slightly. In an era dominanted by Taihō he was only able to win one tournament championship, in July 1963, when he defeated Sadanoyama in a
    8.00
    2 votes
    106

    Kiyokuni Katsuo

    Kiyokuni Katsuo (born 20 November 1941 as Tadao Sato) is a former sumo wrestler from Ogachi, Akita, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki, which he held from 1969 to 1974. He won one top division yūshō or tournament championship and was a runner-up in five other tournaments. He also earned seven special prizes and seven gold stars. After his retirement he was the head coach of Isegahama stable. Recruited by former sekiwake Kiyosegawa, he made his professional debut in September 1956 (in the same tournament as Taihō). Initially fighting under the shikona of Wakaikuni, he rose slowly up the ranks, eventually reaching the second highest jūryō division in May 1963, after 26 tournaments in makushita. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in November 1963. In just his second makuuchi tournament, ranked at maegashira 13, he produced a superb 14-1 record, losing only on the final day and finishing runner-up to yokozuna Taiho who won with an unbeaten score. He was awarded the Technique Prize and was promoted straight to sekiwake, sumo's third highest rank. He defeated yokozuna in three consecutive tournaments from September 1964 to January 1965, earning promotion back to the san'yaku
    8.00
    2 votes
    107
    Raiden Tameemon

    Raiden Tameemon

    Raiden Tameemon (雷電爲右衞門), born Seki Tarokichi (January 1767 - February 11, 1825) is considered one of the greatest sumo wrestlers in history, although he was never formally promoted to yokozuna. Raiden was born to a farming family in a village in rural Shinano province. He is said to have possessed great physical strength even in childhood. His father Hanemon, who enjoyed sumo as much as sake, allowed 14 year old Raiden to attend sumo classes at Nagaze (today called Murokocho), the neighbouring village. When Raiden was 17, the Urakaze-beya stablemaster noticed him when he came through the area while on jungyo (Spring tour) with his wrestlers. He was especially impressed with the young man's physique, which was extraordinary at the time. Young Raiden was 1.97 metres (6 ft 5.6 in) tall, which was three headlengths taller than most of his contemporaries. He also had matching long arms and large hands; a handprint at the Shofukuji temple near Okayama, which is said to be of Raiden's hand, measures 24 cm (9.4 in) from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger. When Raiden trained as a wrestler, he developed a weight of 167 kg (368 lb). When Urakaze Kazuki invited him to Edo and started
    8.00
    2 votes
    108
    Rikidozan

    Rikidozan

    Mitsuhiro Momota (百田 光浩, Momota Mitsuhiro), better known as Rikidōzan (Japanese: 力道山, Korean: 역도산 Yeokdosan, November 14, 1924 – December 15, 1963), was a Korean Japanese professional wrestler, known as the "Father of Puroresu" and one of the most influential men in wrestling history. Initially, he had moved from his native country Korea to Japan to become a sumo wrestler. He was credited with bringing the sport of professional wrestling to Japan at a time when the Japanese needed a local hero to emulate and was lauded as a national hero. Rikidōzan is of similar professional wrestling fame in Japan as Santo in Mexico, Bret Hart in Canada, Big Daddy in the United Kingdom, or Hulk Hogan in the United States. Kim Sin-rak (Hangul: 김신락; Hanja: 金信洛) was born in South Hamgyong, in Korea under Japanese rule, on November 14, 1924. He became the adopted son of the farmer "Momota family" of Nagasaki Prefecture when he was young and trained to be a sumo wrestler. He joined Nishonoseki stable, and made his debut in May, 1940. Due to the discrimination against Koreans by the Japanese at the time, Sin-rak claimed that his name was Mitsuhiro Momota (Momota being the surname of the family which
    8.00
    2 votes
    109
    Wakanohana Kanji II

    Wakanohana Kanji II

    Wakanohana Kanji II (若乃花 幹士, born April 3, 1953) is a former sumo wrestler from Ōwani, Aomori, Japan. He was the sport's 56th Yokozuna. He is now the head coach of Magaki stable. Born as Katsunori Shimoyama, he began his sumo career as a 15 year old in July 1968. He joined Futagoyama stable at the same time as another future yokozuna, Takanosato, who came from the same area of Japan. Initially fighting under his own surname of Shimoyama, he changed to the sumo name of Wakamisugi in 1973. It took him five years to reach the status of a salaried sekitori wrestler, when he broke into the jūryō division in May 1973. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in November 1973. From September 1974 to January 1975 he won three consecutive technique prizes and was promoted to sekiwake. Over the next two years he had some up and down results, but from September 1976 to January 1977 at sekiwake rank he put together three 11-4 marks, won three more special prizes and was promoted to ōzeki. In May 1977 he won his first yūshō, or tournament championship, with a 13-2 record. In 1978 Wakamisugi emerged as the chief rival to Yokozuna Kitanoumi, as the other grand champion at the time, Wajima,
    8.00
    2 votes
    110

    Hidenokuni Hajime

    Hidenokuni Hajime (born August 23, 1971 as Nathan John Strange) is a former professional sumo wrestler, who was active from 1989 until 1990. The highest rank he reached was jonidan 89. He was the first, and so far only sumo wrestler from the United Kingdom. A former photographic print worker from Herne Bay, Kent, he was inspired to join sumo after seeing broadcasts on Channel 4. After nine months of training in martial arts techniques with Syd Hoare of the British Sumo Association, he went to Japan and joined the Azumazeki stable run by former sekiwake Takamiyama, who had already taken on a number of foreign recruits from Hawaii. The name Hidenokuni was chosen to acknowledge his pioneering status as the first ever rikishi from the United Kingdom: the first and last characters of Hidenokuni together mean England. Hajime is a common given name in Japan, and can be taken to mean start or beginning. Hidenokuni's sumo career was short. After coming though maezumō (pre-sumo) in September 1989, he fought his first tournament in the bottom jonokuchi division in November 1989, and performed sufficiently well to be promoted to jonidan for the January 1990 tournament. He celebrated by going
    9.00
    1 votes
    111

    Kyokushūzan Noboru

    Kyokushūzan Noboru (born March 8, 1973 as Davaagiin Batbayar (Mongolian: Даваагийн Батбаяр) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) is a former professional sumo wrestler and current politician of Democratic Party. He was the first wrestler from Mongolia to reach sumo's top makuuchi division. He was a diligent practitioner of Mongolian wrestling from a young age, but had ambitions of becoming a policeman. However in 1991, a Japanese sumo training stable master, Ōshima-oyakata (the former ōzeki Asahikuni) went to Mongolia to recruit promising wrestlers for sumo. The young Davaagiin Batbayar happened to notice the advertisement and applied along with 120 others. He was selected and went to Japan with five others, including Kyukotenhō and Kyokutenzan. They were the first Mongolians ever to join sumo. However six months later, due to cultural differences, language problems, and an extremely hard training regime, five of them including Kyokushūzan ran away from the training stable to the Mongolian embassy. He was eventually persuaded to return by his stablemaster, and also Kyokutenzan. In March 1995, he was promoted to the jūryō division, and in September 1996 to the top makuuchi division. After his
    9.00
    1 votes
    112

    Minanogawa Tōzō

    Minanogawa Tōzō (男女ノ川 登三, September 17, 1903 - January 20, 1971) was a sumo wrestler from Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. He was the sport's 34th Yokozuna. He had lost his father in the Russo-Japanese War at the age of two, and worked as a labourer to support his mother. Already 1.82 m (5 ft 11 ⁄2 in) tall at the age of 15, very large for Japanese youths in his time, he was spotted by Takasago stable's Akutsugawa. He made his debut in January 1924 and reached the second highest jūryō division after only six tournamnents in January 1927. He initially relied on pushing techniques, or oshi-sumo, but began to develop a more rounded technique after being given instruction by former sekiwake Kiyosegawa. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1928. In 1929 Akutsugawa, the wrestler who had discovered him, retired and encouraged him to join his newly established Sadogatake stable. However Takasago's stablemaster did not want his promising rikishi to leave and even changed Minanogawa's shikona to the prestigious Asashio Tarō to obligate him to stay. Eventually a compromise was worked out and Minanogawa divided his time between the two stables. He made komusubi in January 1930, and
    9.00
    1 votes
    113
    Takanohana Kōji

    Takanohana Kōji

    Takanohana (II) Kōji (貴乃花 光司, Takanohana Kōji, born August 12, 1972 as Kōji Hanada (花田 光司 Hanada Kōji)) is a former sumo wrestler from Suginami, Tokyo, Japan. He was the 65th man in history to reach sumo's highest rank of yokozuna, and he won 22 tournament championships between 1992 and 2001, the fifth highest total ever. The son of a popular ōzeki ranked wrestler from the 1970s, Takanohana's rise through the ranks alongside his elder brother Wakanohana and his rivalry with the foreign born yokozuna Akebono saw interest in sumo and attendance at tournaments soar during the early 1990s. Takanohana was the youngest ever to reach the top division at just 17, and he set a number of other age-related records. He had a solid but aggressive style, looking to get a right hand grip on his opponents' mawashi and move them quickly out of the ring. He won over half his bouts by a straightforward yori-kiri, or force out. In his later career he suffered increasingly from injuries, and he retired in January 2003 at the age of 30. He is now the head coach of Takanohana stable and a senior member of the Japan Sumo Association. Takanohana comes from a family with a great sumo history, sometimes
    9.00
    1 votes
    114

    Takeshi Rikio

    Takeshi Inoue, known by his stage name Takeshi Rikiō (力皇猛, Rikiō Takeshi), born December 20, 1972, is a Japanese retired professional wrestler, who worked for Pro Wrestling Noah. He is also a former sumo wrestler. He made his sumo debut in March 1988, after leaving junior high school. He joined at the same time as future yokozuna Takanohana and Wakanohana. He initially trained at the same stable as these two, Futagoyama-beya, but when former yokozuna Takanosato branched off to set up Naruto-beya in March 1989, Inoue was one of the young recruits to follow him to the new stable. He also changed his shikona, or fighting name, from Futagozakura to Rikio. In July 1993 he was promoted to the second highest jūryō division, becoming the first wrestler from Naruto stable to reach elite sekitori status. He was demoted from that division after just one tournament, but returned to jūryō in May 1994 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in July 1996 after winning his second jūryō yusho, or tournament championship. In September 1997 he was promoted to his highest rank of maegashira 4, but he did not take part in the tournament. This was initially said to be due to a liver disorder, but
    9.00
    1 votes
    115
    Hitachiyama Taniemon

    Hitachiyama Taniemon

    Hitachiyama Taniemon (常陸山 谷右衞門, January 19, 1874 – June 19, 1922) was a sumo wrestler from Mito, Ibaragi Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 19th Yokozuna from 1903 till 1914. His great rivalry with Umegatani Tōtarō II created the "Ume-Hitachi Era" and did much to popularise sumo. He is remembered as much for his exploits in promoting the sport as for his strength on the dohyō. In his later years as head coach of Dewanoumi stable he trained hundreds of wrestlers, including three yokozuna. Many consider him the most honorable yokozuna in sumo history, which earned him the nickname "Kakusei" (角聖), or "sumo saint". Hitachiyama was born as Tani Ichige, on January 19, 1874, to a samurai family which belonged to the Mito Domain. His family was dismissed by the Meiji restoration authorities and was ruined financially. He moved to Tokyo and became dependent on his uncle. He attempted to enter Waseda University where his uncle was employed. At around this time, however, his uncle observed that he was able to lift a rock weighing 58 kan, or 217.5 kg (480 lb). His uncle advised him to become a sumo wrestler. At that time, sumo wasn't seen as a sport of much regard, so his father opposed the
    6.67
    3 votes
    116
    Kokkai Futoshi

    Kokkai Futoshi

    Kokkai Futoshi (born March 10, 1981 as Levan Tsaguria, Georgian: ლევან ცაგურია) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Georgia. He began his career in May 2001. He is the first Caucasian rikishi to reach sumo's highest division, makuuchi, which he achieved in 2004. His highest rank was komusubi, which he reached in 2006. He earned two special prizes for Fighting Spirit and two gold stars for defeating yokozuna. He wrestled for Oitekaze stable. Kokkai was born as Levan Tsaguria in Sukhumi, Abkhaz Autonomous Republic in then-Soviet Georgia. The secessionist war in Abkhazia forced his family to move to Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, in 1992. He started amateur wrestling from the age of six, being taught by his father who represented the Soviet Union in the sport. Levan enrolled in the National Academy of Sports of Georgia and quickly got interested in sumo, taking part in the World Amateur Sumo Championships in Riesa, Germany. In January 2001, he arrived in Tokyo, Japan, and joined a local sumo school. He made his professional debut in May 2001, joining Oitekaze stable. His stablemaster, former maegashira Daishoyama, gave him the shikona or ring name of Kokkai, named after the word
    6.67
    3 votes
    117
    Mitoizumi Masayuki

    Mitoizumi Masayuki

    Mitoizumi Masayuki (born 2 September 1962 as Masato Koizumi) is a former sumo wrestler from Mito, Ibaraki, Japan. His professional career spanned 22 years, from 1978 until 2000. The highest rank he reached was sekiwake. He won over 800 career bouts and took the yusho or championship in the top makuuchi division in 1992. Mitoizumi was nicknamed the "Salt Shaker", due to his habit of throwing enormous quantities of purifying salt onto the ring (dohyō) during the pre-match preliminaries. He is now a coach, and is known as Nishikido-oyakata. Mitoizumi was discovered by Takamiyama, a famous Hawaiian born sumo wrestler, who met the 16 year old and his brother at a department store where Takamiyama was making a personal appearance. He was persuaded to join Takasago stable and made his professional debut in March 1978. Initially fighting under his own surname of Koizumi, he switched to the shikona of Mitoizumi (reference to his birthplace) in 1981. He was troubled early in his career by illness and in 1982 he seriously injured his knee and was hospitalised for four months, causing him to miss tournaments and plunge down the rankings. This was just one of many injuries he would have to
    6.67
    3 votes
    118
    Mōkonami Sakae

    Mōkonami Sakae

    Mōkonami Sakae (born 5 April 1984 as Ganbold Bazarsad) is a former sumo wrestler from Mongolia. After making his professional sumo debut in March 2001, he had his top makuuchi division debut 8 years later in July 2009. His highest rank was maegashira 6. He has acquired Japanese citizenship. In April 2011 he was ordered to retire by the Japan Sumo Association after an investigation found him guilty of match-fixing. Ganbold Bazarsad was born and raised in Ulan Bator. It has been reported that he lived in the same apartment complex as later makuuchi contemporary Shōtenrō, though they never met in person. During his school years, he was focused on basketball and only participated in Mongolian wrestling occasionally as recreation. But after seeing the well-known Mongolian sumo wrestler Kyokutenhō in action, he was inspired to try out sumo. He came to Japan in 2000 with an invitation to try out for Tatsunami stable through a connection with Kyokutenhō's contemporary Kyokushūzan, and entered sumo in March, 2001, the same tournament as the later Mongolian yokozuna Hakuhō. The ring name he took uses the pronunciation of "Mōko", the name the nomadic people of the Mongolian plateau called
    6.67
    3 votes
    119

    Hokuten'yū Katsuhiko

    Hokuten'yū Katsuhiko (北天佑勝彦) (August 8, 1960 – June 23, 2006) was a sumo wrestler, from Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan. The highest rank he achieved was ozeki which he held for seven years from 1983 until 1990. He won two top division yusho or tournament championships. After his retirement as an active wrestler he worked as a sumo coach until his death in 2006 from cancer. Hokutenyu was scouted at the age of nine by former ozeki Masuiyama Daishiro I of Mihogaseki stable, and given 3,000 yen to ensure his commitment. He made his professional debut in March 1976. He served as a tsukebito or personal attendant to the great yokozuna Kitanoumi, another Hokkaidō native who belonged to the same stable. In his early career he fought under his own surname of Chiba, but in 1978 he was given the shikona of Hokutenyu, or "heavenly gift from the north", a reference to his birthplace. He was the first wrestler to have a fighting name including the "tenyu" character, which has since been used in a number of other shikona. After four years in the lower ranks, Hokutenyu reached the second highest jūryō division in May 1980 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in November of that year. He made
    5.75
    4 votes
    120

    Katayama Shinji

    Katayama Shinji (born September 6, 1979) is a former sumo wrestler from Yaizu, Shizuoka, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 13. Katayama practised amateur sumo at Senshu University, finishing third at the All Japan Sumo Championships. He made his professional debut in March 2002 at the age of 22, joining Onomatsu stable. He did not have enough amateur titles to enter at the makushita level, instead beginning his career at the lowest level of sumo entry, maezumo. Nevertheless he moved moved through the divisions quickly, reaching sekitori status upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division in July 2004. Katayama was promoted to the top makuuchi division in May 2005. He earned eight wins against seven losses in that tournament, but did not manage to achieve kachi-koshi in the top division again. He could manage only a 7-8 score at the rank of jūryō 13 in March 2008, leaving him dangerously close to demotion to the unsalaried ranks. He maintained his sekitori status with a 9-6 mark in May 2008, but a disastrous 2-13 in July meant he was demoted to makushita for the September tournament. He retired in January 2009. Unlike most sumo wrestlers, Katayama never adopted a
    5.75
    4 votes
    121

    Terukuni Manzō

    Terukuni Manzō (照國 万藏, January 10, 1919 – March 20, 1977) was a sumo wrestler from Ogachi, Akita Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 38th Yokozuna. He was promoted to yokozuna without any top division tournament titles to his name, although he later attained two. In the summer of 1930, he was scouted by Isegahama, former sekiwake Kiyosegawa Keinosuke, his distant relative. However, he was forgotten due to the disruption caused by the Shunjuen Incident of 1932, in which a large number of wrestlers went on strike. After the dispute was settled, he joined Isegahama stable in 1934, making his debut in January 1935. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in May 1939, and reached the ōzeki rank in May 1941. After two tournaments at ōzeki, he finished in a three way tie for the championship in May 1942 with Futabayama and Akinoumi, on 13-2. The championship was awarded to Futabayama (whom Terukuni had defeated in their individual match) simply because he was of a higher rank, as was the rule at the time. Nevertheless, after the tournament both Terukuni and Akinoumi were promoted to yokozuna. At 23 years of age, Terukuni was the youngest wrestler to reach the yokozuna rank until
    5.75
    4 votes
    122

    Tochinohana Hitoshi

    Tochinohana Hitoshi (born February 28, 1973 as Hitoshi Yachi) is a former sumo wrestler from Yamagata, Kunohe, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 1995, reaching the top makuuchi division in 2000. His highest rank was komusubi. He retired in 2008 and is now a sumo coach. Tochinohana practised amateur sumo at Meiji University, but unlike many former amateur wrestlers, he still began his professional career at the very bottom of the rankings. He joined Kasugano stable in March 1995 at the age of 22. Initially fighting under his own surname, Yachi, it took him four years to become a sekitori. Upon reaching the second highest jūryō division in January 1999 he adopted the shikona Tochinohana. After capturing the jūryō yūshō or tournament championship with a 13-2 record, he made his debut in the top makuuchi division in May 2000. He made an explosive start, defeating two ozeki, winning twelve bouts and receiving two special prizes. In the September 2000 tournament he defeated another ozeki and was awarded his second Technique prize. He was promoted to komusubi in the next tournament in November, but could only manage a 3-12 record. This was to be
    5.75
    4 votes
    123
    Asasekiryū Tarō

    Asasekiryū Tarō

    Asasekiryū Tarō (born August 7, 1981 as Badarchiin Dashnyam, Mongolian: Бадарчийн Дашням, in Ulan Bator, Mongolia) is a sumo wrestler. He made his debut in January 2000, reaching the top division in March 2003. He has won four special prizes, and has spent a total of five tournaments to date in the titled sanyaku ranks. The highest rank he has reached is sekiwake. Asasekiryū first came to Japan in 1997 and fought his first professional sumo bout in January 2000, joining Wakamatsu stable (now Takasago stable). Yokozuna Asashōryū was a stablemate of his, and both men originally came to Japan as exchange students at Meitoku Gijuku High School and learnt the Japanese language before entering professional sumo. Asasekiryū often served as a tachimochi or sword bearer during Asashōryū's dohyō-iri or ring entering ceremony. His shikona or fighting name literally means morning red dragon, very similar to Asashoryu's morning blue dragon (in both cases, the Asa character is taken from his stablemaster's fighting name of Asashio, who was a classmate at Kinki University of Asashoryu and Asasekiryu's high school sumo coach). Asasekiryū won the tournament championship or yusho in the jonidan
    7.50
    2 votes
    124
    Asashio Tarō III

    Asashio Tarō III

    Asashio Tarō III (朝潮 太郎, November 13, 1929 - October 23, 1988) was a sumo wrestler from Kobe, Hyogo, Japan. He was the sport's 46th Yokozuna. He was also a sumo coach and head of Takasago stable. Making his professional debut in October 1948, he at first fought under his own surname of Yonekawa. In September 1950 he reached the second highest jūryō division and won the championship at his first attempt with a 14-1 record. This earned him immediate promotion to the top makuuchi division in January 1951. He adopted the shikona of Asashio ("morning tide") in 1952. In his early career he earned seven kinboshi for defeating yokozuna, three of them coming in one tournament in January 1955 when he beat Yoshibayama on Day 5 and then Chiyonoyama and Tochinishiki on Days 8 and 9. Asashio won five top division tournament championships, all but one of them in Osaka. He won this tournament three years in a row from 1956 to 1958. His first title was won at sekiwake rank in a three way playoff that also involved future yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji I and maegashira Wakahaguro. He earned promotion to ōzeki a year later after winning his second championship. In November 1958 he won the tournament in
    7.50
    2 votes
    125

    Kotofuji Takaya

    Kotofuji Takaya (琴富士 孝也, born 28 October 1964 as Takaya Kobayashi) is a former sumo wrestler from Chiba City, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. In 1991 he won a top division yusho or tournament championship from the maegashira ranks. Kotofuji made his professional debut in March 1980. He had a long apprenticeship in the junior ranks, not breaking through to the jūryō division until November 1986. He had an awkward build for sumo, as his long legs meant his hips were high and therefore his centre of gravity was much higher than the ideal. He reached the top makuuchi division in September 1988, scoring 11 wins in his top division debut and receiving a share of the Fighting Spirit prize. He made his sanyaku debut at sekiwake in July 1990 but held the rank for only one tournament. He earned his first gold star in January 1991 with a win over Onokuni. Kotofuji is best remembered for his extraordinary performance in the Nagoya tournament of July 1991, where he became the first maegashira to win the tournament championship in nearly six years. After a poor 5-10 record at maegashira 7 the previous tournament he was ranked at maegashira 13, and fought only his fellow maegashira for the
    7.50
    2 votes
    126

    Kyokutenzan Takeshi

    Kyokutenzan Takeshi (born August 4, 1973 as Batmönkhiin Enkhbat, Mongolian: Батмөнхийн Энхбат) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Ulan Bator, Mongolia, one of the first Mongolians to join the sport in Japan. In 2005, he obtained Japanese citizenship, but he has now moved to Germany to run a business. Kyokutenzan joined sumo in March 1992 at the same time as his more famous Mongolian colleagues Kyokushūzan and Kyokutenhō, but unlike them he never reached sekitori status. He served as a tsukebito, or personal attendant, to Kyokutenhō. During his early days in sumo, when five of the six Mongolians in Ōshima stable ran away and sought refuge in the Mongolian embassy, Kyokutenzan was the only one who remained, and he persuaded his countrymen to return. During the January 2007 tournament Kyokutenzan attracted criticism over the amount of time he was spending in the two dressing rooms in which the wrestlers prepare for their bouts. He was interviewed by the Japan Sumo Association as part of their investigation of alleged match-fixing involving Yokozuna Asashōryū. Kyokutenzan responded by saying he was just giving advice to Mongolian junior wrestlers, declaring, "I have never
    7.50
    2 votes
    127

    Maenoyama Tarō

    Maenoyama Tarō (born 9 March 1945 as Kazuichi Kaneshima) is a former sumo wrestler from Osaka Prefecture, Japan. He began his career in 1961, reaching the top makuuchi division in 1966. His highest rank was ōzeki which he held from 1970 until 1972. He retired in 1974 and became head coach of the Takadagawa stable. He left the Sumo Association in 2010 upon turning 65. He was born in Moriguchi, of Korean descent. He entered Takasago stable and made his professional debut in March 1961. He reached sekitori status in November 1965 upon promotion to the jūryō division and reached the top makuuchi division in September 1966. He made his san'yaku debut in March 1968 at sekiwake. In May 1969 he defeated yokozuna Kashiwado on opening day and went on to win 11 bouts, receiving his first sanshō or special prize, for Fighting Spirit. He was promoted to sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki in July 1970 after two consecutive runner-up performances to yokozuna Kitanofuji, the second coming in a play-off. His ōzeki debut was inauspicious as he missed the entire tournament through injury. He was unable to win more than nine bouts in any of his ten tournaments at ōzeki rank, and was demoted from
    7.50
    2 votes
    128
    Ōtsukasa Nobuhide

    Ōtsukasa Nobuhide

    Ōtsukasa Nobuhide (born February 18, 1971 as Nobuhide Ōuchi) is a former sumo wrestler from Miki, Hyōgo, Japan. A former amateur champion, he made his professional debut in 1993. The highest rank he reached was maegashira 4. He retired in March 2009 and is now a sumo coach. Ōtsukasa began sumo whilst at Miki Middle School and was a member of Ichikawa High School's sumo club, where he won national high school sumo championships. He continued his amateur sumo career at Nihon University. Ōtsukasa was recruited by the former sekiwake Tochitsukasa, also a Nihon University alumni and head of the then newly formed Irumagawa stable. He made his professional debut in March 1993. Due to his amateur achievements he was given makushita tsukedashi status, meaning he could enter in the third highest makushita division. Initially fighting under his real name of Ōuchi, he won the makushita championship in only his second tournament, with a perfect 7-0 record. However, it was not until January 1996 that he became a sekitori by earning promotion to the second highest jūryō division, upon which he adopted the shikona of Ōtsukasa. He made the top makuuchi division for the first time in September 1999.
    7.50
    2 votes
    129
    Ryūhō Masayoshi

    Ryūhō Masayoshi

    Ryūhō Masayoshi (born June 18, 1977 as Keisuke Urazaki) is a former sumo wrestler from Nakagami, Okinawa, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 16. He entered sumo in March 1993, joining Tatsutagawa stable. He initially wrestled under his own surname of Urazaki, first adopting the shikona of Ryūhō in 1997. He changed the second part of his shikona several times, from Keisuke to Shokichi before settling on Masayoshi. In 2000 he moved to Michinoku stable when his old heya was closed down upon the retirement of its stablemaster. After over nine years in the unsalaried apprentice ranks, he finally became a sekitori for the first time in November 2002 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division. He could only manage a 5-10 score in that tournament and was demoted back to the makushita division. He finally managed a return to jūryō in September 2005, after nearly three years away, and slowly moved up the division until an 8-7 score at jūryō 1 East in July 2006 saw him promoted to the top makuuchi division. It took him 81 tournaments from his professional debut to reach makuuchi, which at the time was the tenth slowest since the introduction of the six tournaments a year system
    7.50
    2 votes
    130
    Tamawashi Ichirō

    Tamawashi Ichirō

    Tamawashi Ichirō (玉鷲 一朗), born 16 November 1984 as Batjargal Munkh-Orgil, Mongolian: Батжаргалын Мөнх-Оргил, is a professional sumo wrestler from Ulan-Bator, Mongolia. He made his debut in January 2004 and reached the top makuuchi division in September 2008. His highest rank has been maegashira 3. He wrestles for Kataonami stable. In Mongolia, Batjargal was working toward a career in the hotel industry, but was encouraged to come to Japan by his older sister who was studying there. On a visit to see his sister in Japan, they went to Ryōgoku where Tokyo's official tournaments are held. They happened to wander by Izutsu stable and had a chance to meet the up and coming Mongolian sumo wrestler for that stable, Kakuryū. They talked about the prospects of Batjargal joining a stable and Kakuryū put him in touch with former senior Mongolian sumo wrestler Kyokushūzan. Through this connection, he was recruited by the former sekiwake Tamanofuji and joined Kataonami stable in January 2004. He made steady progress through the lower divisions, recording only one make-koshi on the way to the third highest makushita division in May 2005. He went up and down the division until taking the
    7.50
    2 votes
    131
    Tochinowaka Kiyotaka

    Tochinowaka Kiyotaka

    Tochinowaka Kiyotaka (born 22 May 1962 as Kiyotaka Kaseda) is a former sumo wrestler from Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 1985, reaching the top makuuchi division in 1987. His highest rank was sekiwake. He was a runner-up in one tournament and earned six special prizes and four kinboshi. After 76 tournaments and 1114 bouts in the top division he retired in 1999. He is now an elder of the Japan Sumo Association and the head coach of Kasugano stable. He was born in Shimotsu, Kaisō District. He was named Kiyotaka after the great yokozuna of the 1950s, Tochinishiki Kiyotaka. He played baseball in junior high school and ambitions to be a professional, but switched to sumo in high school due to his size. He was an amateur champion at Meiji University, and finished runner-up in the national collegiate yokozuna competition. He made his professional debut in March 1985 in the makushita division, having been given makushita tsukedashi status because of his amateur achievements. The first graduate of Meiji University to have a major impact in professional sumo, he quickly moved up the ranks, progressing through jūryō in just two tournaments and
    7.50
    2 votes
    132

    Wakamisugi Akiteru

    Wakamisugi Akiteru (24 September 1937 - 2 November 1983) was a sumo wrestler from Kagawa, Japan. The highest rank he achieved was sekiwake. He was the brother in law of yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji I. He was born as Noburu Sugiyama in Marugame. He entered professional sumo in March 1955, recruited by Hanakago stable. He used a variety of different shikona, including his own surname of Sugiyama, Kunikaze and Misugiiso, before adopting the name Wakamisugi when he reached sekitori status upon promotion to the juryo division in May 1958. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in November 1958. He won the top division championship in May 1960 from the rank of maegashira 4. After losing to ozeki Wakahaguro on the opening day of the tournament he won his next 14 bouts. One of his wins was by default, over yokozuna Tochinishiki who had announced his retirement the previous day. He had a genuine victory over yokozuna Asashio on Day 4. He finished with a 14-1 record, one win ahead of yokozuna Wakanohana, who he did not have to fight as they were members of the same stable. It was his first and only tournament win. In September 1962 Wakamisugi changed his shikona once again, to Daigō
    7.50
    2 votes
    133

    Ryōgoku Kajinosuke

    Ryōgoku Kajinosuke (born 30 July 1962 as Hideaki Kobayashi) is a former sumo wrestler from Nagasaki, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. He is now a sumo coach. He was a premature baby, who had to be given special care because of his tiny size. He was interested in sumo from a young age, but played soccer until high school as there was no opportunity to practise sumo at his junior high. He was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University, where he won six major titles. Upon joining the professional sport he had makushita tsukedashi status, allowing him to make his debut at the bottom of the third makushita division. He had a losing score in his first tournament and so his first appearance on the banzuke ranking sheets was actually in the fourth sandanme division. However, he responded with five straight winning records and was promoted to the second jūryō division for the first time in March 1986. After taking part in two playoffs for the jūryō championship in November 1986 and January 1987 he was promoted to the top makuuchi division for the January 1987 tournament. Until this point he had been fighting simply as Kobayashiyama, based on his own surname, but to mark his promotion
    4.80
    5 votes
    134

    Asahikuni Masuo

    Asahikuni Masuo (旭國斗雄, , born April 25, 1947 as Takeo Ōta ( 太田武雄)) is a former sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. After his retirement he set up Ōshima stable which he ran from 1980 until he left the Japan Sumo Association in 2012 upon reaching the age of 65. Born in Aibetsu, Kamikawa District, Asahikuni made his professional debut in July 1963, joining Tatsunami stable. He reached the second highest jūryō division in March 1969 and the top makuuchi division just two tournaments after that. In 1970 he dropped to jūryō once again but he returned to the top division in 1972, reaching sekiwake in November. At the beginning of 1976 Asahikuni put together two strong records of 12-3 and 13-2, finishing as runner-up in both tournaments, and this earned him promotion to the rank of ōzeki. It had taken him 77 tournaments from his professional debut to reach ōzeki, which at the time was the slowest ever. His best tournament result came in July 1977 when he lost just one bout, but he finished as runner-up to Kitanoumi who won with a perfect record. Asahikuni was never able to win a top division championship, this being his fourth and final runner-up
    5.50
    4 votes
    135
    Kōryū Tadaharu

    Kōryū Tadaharu

    Kōryū Tadaharu (光龍 忠晴, born 4 February 1984) is a Mongolian former sumo wrestler from Ulan Bator. His highest rank was maegashira 11. He was forced to retire from sumo in 2011 after being found guilty of match-fixing. Munhorgil Erdene's father was a Motorcross rider, and he followed in his footsteps by participating in the sport from ages 10–16. He was also active in basketball and his team won the national high school first and second years' championship. Later, the Hakkaku stable coach, former yokozuna Hokutoumi came to Mongolia looking for new wrestlers. A competition was held and Erdene did sufficiently well, along with two other tryouts, later wrestlers Hoshihikari and Hoshizakura to gain acceptance into the stable. However, at the time, each stable was limited to two foreign wrestlers each, so the other two went to Hakkaku stable and Erdene was allowed to enter another stable, Hanakago. He came to Japan to join this stable and entered professional sumo in November 2000. The first character of his shikona or ring name was at the behest of his coach, who on his first visit to Mongolia, found the sun of the high plains of Mongolia bright and glorious. He did not manage to
    5.50
    4 votes
    136
    Masatsukasa Kōshin

    Masatsukasa Kōshin

    Masatsukasa Kōshin (born 7 June 1984 as Masahito Ono) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 8. He was forced to retire in April 2011 after an investigation by the Japan Sumo Association found him guilty of match-fixing. Born in Fukaura, Nishitsugaru (also the home town of Kaiho, Aminishiki and Asofuji), he made his professional debut in January 2003 joining Irumagawa stable. In his first tournament on the banzuke ranking sheets in March 2003 he took the yusho or tournament championship with a perfect 7-0 record. Six consecutive kachi-koshi or winning scores saw him reach the third highest makushita division in March 2004 and he became a sekitori on his promotion to the jūryō division in September 2005. After three poor performances he was demoted back to makushita in March 2006 but made an immediate return to the second division, and although he was never able to win more than nine bouts out of fifteen in any one tournament, a series of steady scores took him up to Jūryō 3. A 9-6 score in May 2008, winning his last four matches, was enough to earn him promotion to the top makuuchi division for the July 2008 basho. He scored an
    5.50
    4 votes
    137
    Goeido Gotaro

    Goeido Gotaro

    Gōeidō Gōtarō (豪栄道 豪太郎, born April 6, 1986 as Sawai Gōtarō) is a sumo wrestler from Osaka Prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in January 2005 and reached the top makuuchi division in September 2007. His highest rank to date has been sekiwake, which he achieved in May 2009. He is regarded as one the most promising Japanese wrestlers in sumo today. Born in Neyagawa, he attended Sakami Sakae high school, where, as a member of the school sumo club, he won 11 national titles. At the 53rd All Japan Sumo Championships held at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in December 2004, in which he was the only high school student to compete, he finished in the top four. He made his professional debut one month later in January 2005, joining Sakaigawa stable. He initially fought under his own surname of Sawai. He moved through the lower ranks quickly and took the championship in the third highest makushita division in September 2006 with a perfect 7–0 record, which earned him promotion to the second highest jūryō division. At this point he adopted the shikona of Gōeidō. Gōeidō was promoted to the top makuuchi division after a 12–3 score and runner-up honours at the rank of jūryō 5 in July 2007.
    6.33
    3 votes
    138
    Nishinoumi Kajirō III

    Nishinoumi Kajirō III

    Nishinoumi Kajirō III (西ノ海 嘉治郎, November 2, 1890 – July 28, 1933) was a sumo wrestler. He was the sport's 30th Yokozuna. He joined Izutsu stable and made a debut in January 1910. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1916. He was promoted to ōzeki in January 1922. After Ōnishiki Uichirō left the sumo world, there remained only one yokozuna Tochigiyama in Tokyo sumo at that time. Tokyo Sumo Association wanted to get one more yokozuna. Although he didn't record good results, he was awarded a yokozuna licence in April 1923. He was promoted to that rank without winning any championships in top makuuchi division. Therefore, his promotion was controversial, although championships (yūshō) before January 1926 were officially awarded by not the Sumo Association but a newspaper, the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun. He won his only championship in May 1925. He was striken down by heart disease in November 1925 and was absent from next tournament. His strength declined and he retired in October 1928. In the top makuuchi division, he won 134 bouts and lost 60 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 69.1.
    6.33
    3 votes
    139

    Takatōriki Tadashige

    Takatōriki Tadashige (born September 28, 1967 as Tadashige Kamakiri) is a former sumo wrestler from Kobe, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1983, reaching the top division in 1990. His highest rank was sekiwake. Known for his great fighting spirit, he won 14 tournament prizes, including a record ten Kantō-shō, and earned nine gold stars for defeating yokozuna ranked wrestlers. He wrestled for the highly successful Futagoyama stable. He was twice runner-up in top division tournaments and in March 2000, from the maegashira ranks, he unexpectedly won the yūshō or championship. He retired in 2002 and became the head coach of Ōtake stable, having married the daughter of the previous owner of the heya, the great yokozuna Taihō. However, he was dismissed from the Sumo Association in 2010 for his role in an illegal gambling scandal. As a young boy Takatōriki idolised Takanohana Kenshi and even stayed with the former ōzeki and his family in Tokyo for a while. He joined Takanohana's Fujishima stable in March 1983 after leaving junior high school, where he had also done judo. Initially fighting under his own surname of Kamakari, he rose up the ranks rather slowly, finally becoming a
    6.33
    3 votes
    140
    Araiwa Kamenosuke

    Araiwa Kamenosuke

    Araiwa Kamenosuke (荒岩 亀之助, February 29, 1871 – September 3, 1920) was a Japanese sumo wrestler from Tottori Prefecture. His highest rank was ōzeki. He made a debut in January 1894. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1897. He won six championships before the modern yūshō system was established. In two of these championship runs did not suffer a single defeat or draw. In May 1900, he won a championship as sekiwake without a single defeat or draw but was not promoted to ōzeki. The reason is said to be that he was small compared to other ōzeki. In May 1905, he managed to reach ōzeki, and won a championship without a single defeat or draw. However, he was finally never promoted to yokozuna. He retired from an active wrestler in January 1909. His winning average in the top makuuchi division was over .800. *Championships from this period were unofficial *There was no fusensho system until March 1927 *All top division wrestlers were usually absent on the 10th day until 1909
    8.00
    1 votes
    141
    Asahifuji Seiya

    Asahifuji Seiya

    旭富士 正也 (Asahifuji Seiya) (born July 6, 1960 as Seiya Suginomori (杉野森 正也 Suginomori Seiya)) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. He joined professional sumo in 1981, reaching the top makuuchi division just two years later. He reached the second highest rank of ōzeki in 1987 and became the 63rd Yokozuna in the history of the sport in 1990 at the age of 30. He won four tournaments and was a runner-up on nine other occasions. He retired in 1992 and is now the head coach of Isegahama stable. He was born in the fishing town of Kizukuri in Nishitsugaru District. His father, who worked as an electrician, was a keen amateur sumo enthusiast and Vice President of the Prefectural Sumo Federation. He was determined to see his son succeed in sumo and even built a dohyō in the garden for him to practise. Asahifuji also did well at sumo at school, finishing third in a national schoolboy competition, and later winning the West Japan Student Newcomers tournament while studying at Kinki University. However, tiring of the never-ending training, he gave up sumo for a while and spent his time fishing. Eventually an acquaintance of his father introduced him to Ōshima Oyakata, formerly Asahikuni,
    8.00
    1 votes
    142
    Dejima Takeharu

    Dejima Takeharu

    Dejima Takeharu (出島 武春, born March 21, 1974) is a former sumo wrestler from Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan. A former amateur champion, he made his professional debut in 1996, reaching the top makuuchi division the following year. In 1999 he won the yusho or tournament championship and earned promotion to the second highest rank of ōzeki, but he lost the rank in 2001 and, for the most part, remained a maegashira until his retirement in 2009. He won ten special prizes and six gold stars over his long career. He wrestled for Musashigawa stable. Dejima did sumo at elementary school, where he was a rival of fellow top division wrestler Tochinonada. He was an amateur champion at Chuo University. Dejima joined professional sumo in March 1996 at the age of 22, recruited by Musashigawa stable, home to then ōzeki Musashimaru. Due to his amateur success he was given makushita tsukedashi status and was allowed to make his debut in the third makushita division. He did not adopt a traditional shikona, and he only ever used his real name as an active wrestler. In January 1997 he captured the tournament championship in the second jūryō division and was promoted to the top makuuchi division. His rise
    8.00
    1 votes
    143
    Hananosato Yukio

    Hananosato Yukio

    Hananosato Yukio (塙ノ里幸与, born 8 May 1983 as Yukio Murakami) is a sumo wrestler from Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan. Hananosato was a junior member of the Takasago stable, home to yokozuna Asashoryu, and he serves as one of Asashoryu's tsukebito, or personal attendants. He made his professional debut in March 1999, an entry class that also included ozeki Kotomitsuki, komusubi Takamisakari and former maegashira Wakakirin. He initially fought under his own surname of Murakami, switching to Hananosato in January 2000. His highest rank was makushita 8, which he achieved in March 2005. This brought him close to sekitori status, but he was unable to achieve the necessary number of wins to earn promotion to the second highest jūryō division. Following this his progress faltered and he was in the fourth sandanme division from March 2006 until September 2007, and again from July to September 2008 after he was forced to pull out of the May 2008 tournament with an injury after only one bout. He fell to sandanme again in July 2009. At just 114 kg, very light for a sumo wrestler, he seemed to lack the weight necessary to make it to the top. In January 2010, he managed to again gain promotion to the
    8.00
    1 votes
    144
    Kasugaō Katsumasa

    Kasugaō Katsumasa

    Kasugaō Katsumasa 春日王 克昌 (born July 1, 1977 as Kim Sung Tak 김성택) is a former Japanese sumo wrestler from Incheon, South Korea. He was the first sumo wrestler to reach the top makuuchi division officially representing South Korea. (Several other top wrestlers in the past have hid a Korean or half-Korean background). He joined sumo in 1998, making the top division for the first time in 2003. His highest rank was maegashira 3. In September 2009, he acquired Japanese citizenship. In April 2011 he was ordered to retire by the Japan Sumo Association after an investigation found him guilty of match-fixing. His father died when he was just three years old and his mother brought the family up alone, working days and nights as a cleaner. He went to the same high school as South Korean footballer Kim Nam-Il (and they remain very close friends). After winning a national Ssireum competition in 1998, he was invited by the stablemaster of the recently opened Kasugayama stable to come to Japan. He saw the opportunity to support his family back in Korea, and took a leave of absence from his university. He made his professional debut in November 1998. For his first couple of tournaments he fought
    8.00
    1 votes
    145

    Tachiyama Mineemon

    Tachiyama Mineemon (太刀山 峯右衞門, August 15, 1877 - April 3, 1941) was a sumo wrestler from Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 22nd Yokozuna. He was well known for his extreme strength and skill. He won 99 out of 100 matches from 1909 to 1916 (not counting draws), and also won eleven top division tournament championships (two of them unofficial). Tachiyama joined Tomozuna stable at the insistence of Taisuke Itagaki and Tsugumichi Saigo. However, he was so strong that most of the wrestlers in the stable were unable to practice with him. Therefore, Hitachiyama Taniemon became his practical coach. He was promoted to yokozuna in February 1911. His most feared skill was tsuki, or pushing. On the 3rd day of June 1910 tournament, komusubi Kohitachi Yoshitaro flew over spectators by Tachiyama's thrust and then fell on the 4th line of seats. Kohitachi was wounded and left the tournament. Tachiyama is reported to have waved a shell weighing 400 kg (880 lb) with one arm. He was, however, good on the mawashi as well. Much taller and stronger than his contemporaries, Tachiyama never had a losing record (make-koshi) in his eighteen year career, and whilst at the yokozuna rank
    8.00
    1 votes
    146
    Tamakasuga Ryōji

    Tamakasuga Ryōji

    Tamakasuga Ryōji (born January 7, 1972 as Ryōji Matsumoto) is a former sumo wrestler from Seiyo, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur sumo champion, he made his professional debut in 1994 and reached a highest rank of sekiwake in 1997. He fought in the top makuuchi division for twelve years, won five special prizes and earned seven gold stars for defeating yokozuna. He retired in 2008 and is now a sumo coach. In February 2010 he took over the running of Kataonami stable. He entered professional sumo in January 1994, after having practiced sumo in Chuo University. He joined Kataonami stable, adopting the shikona of Tamakasuga ("Tama", meaning "jewel", being a common prefix at his stable). Because of his achievements in amateur sumo he was allowed to enter at the bottom of the third makushita division, skipping the lower divisions. After steady but unspectacular progress he reached the jūryō division in March 1995 and was promoted to the top division five tournaments after that, in January 1996. He scored ten wins in his top division debut and was awarded the Fighting Spirit prize. Tamakasuga had a long career in the top makuuchi division of sumo, earning seven gold stars for
    8.00
    1 votes
    147

    Teila Tuli

    For other people named Tuli see Tuli Teila Tuli, also known as Taylor Wily (born 14 June 1969) is an actor and a former sumo wrestler and mixed martial artist. He is from Honolulu, Hawaii and is of Samoan descent. He is commonly known for his recurring role as Kamekona on Hawaii Five-0. In March 1987, Tuli was recruited by former sekiwake Takamiyama, another Hawaiian, and joined Azumazeki stable, which Takamiyama had founded the previous year. He was given the sumo name of Takamishu. He was unbeaten in his first 14 official bouts, winning two consecutive yusho or tournament championships. Weighing nearly 200 kg (440 lb), he was one of the largest wrestlers in sumo. In March 1988, he was promoted to the third highest makushita division, and became the first foreign born wrestler to ever win the championship in that division. In the same month, future yokozuna Akebono, also from Hawaii, joined Azumazeki stable. As the highest ranking wrestler in the stable, Takamishu was a mentor to Akebono and gave him advice on how to adjust to life in Japan. In March 1989 Takamishu reached his highest ever rank of makushita 2, and even fought two bouts with elite jūryō ranked wrestlers. However,
    8.00
    1 votes
    148
    Towanoyama Yoshimitsu

    Towanoyama Yoshimitsu

    Towanoyama Yoshimitsu (born July 10, 1977 as Akihito Kobayashi) is a sumo wrestler from Toshima, Tokyo, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1993. His highest rank has been maegashira 13, achieved in March 2002. He has had many injury problems and has had perhaps the unluckiest (and shortest) top makuuchi division career of any wrestler in sumo, being injured before even fighting a match in the division. Towanoyama made his professional debut in November 1993, joining Dewanoumi stable straight from high school. At the time Dewanoumi stable was extremely strong and he had many powerful training partners. He served as a personal attendant to such top division men as Kushimaumi, Oginohana and Oginishiki. In March 1999 he won the makushita division championship with a perfect 7-0 record and earned promotion to the second highest jūryō division, becoming an elite sekitori wrestler. He suffered an injury to his right ankle which required surgery and affected his performances, resulting in demotion back to makushita after only four tournaments. However, in May 2001 he won his second makushita championship and returned to the second division. A strong 11-4 record in January 2002 earned
    8.00
    1 votes
    149
    Yoshikaze Masatsugu

    Yoshikaze Masatsugu

    Yoshikaze Masatsugu (born March 19, 1982 as Masatsugu Ōnishi) is a sumo wrestler from Saiki, Oita Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 2004, reaching the top division two years later. His highest rank has been maegashira 1. He has won two special prizes for Fighting Spirit. Yoshikaze was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon Taiiku University, and won the college equivalent of the yokozuna title in his third year. Because he wanted to wait until after his graduation from university before joining professional sumo, he missed out on the chance to enter at the level of the third makushita division. He joined Oguruma stable and made his debut at maezumo level in January 2004. He was of course considerably older and more experienced than most of the competition there and quickly worked his way up the ranks, winning two tournament titles in the jonokuchi and sandanme divisions with perfect 7-0 records. He initially competed under his own surname of Onishi, but upon reaching the second highest jūryō division in July 2005 he changed his shikona to Yoshikaze. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 2006. It took him only 12 tournaments to
    8.00
    1 votes
    150
    Bushūyama Takashi

    Bushūyama Takashi

    Bushūyama Takashi (武州山 隆士, born May 21, 1976) is a Japanese sumo wrestler from Aomori, Aomori Prefecture. He made his professional debut in January 1999. At the age of 32, he was promoted to the top makuuchi division in the November 2008 tournament. His highest rank has been maegashira 3. Bushuyama was a member of the sumo club at Daito Bunka University, and reached the round of 16 in the 1998 All Japan Sumo Championship. As his club did not have many members, they regularly trained at Musashigawa stable, and this was the heya he joined upon entering the professional ranks. He made his debut in the same tournament as Asashōryū. He was given special dispensation to begin his career in the third highest makushita division because of his achievements in amateur sumo, but in 2001 fell to the jonidan division because of an elbow injury. He reached the second highest jūryō division in September 2003, the first member of his university to attain sekitori status. In 2005 he fell back to makushita, and did not return to jūryō until January 2007. He won the jūryō division championship for the first time in July 2008, with a 12-3 record. He followed up with a 10-5 score in September. In
    7.00
    2 votes
    151
    Genichiro Tenryu

    Genichiro Tenryu

    Genichiro Tenryu (天龍源一郎 Tenryū Gen'ichirō), real name Genichiro Shimada (嶋田源一郎 Shimada Gen'ichirō, born February 2, 1950), is a Japanese professional wrestler. At age 13, he entered sumo wrestling and stayed there for 13 years, after which he turned to Western-style professional wrestling. "Tenryu" was his shikona. As a sumo wrestler, Tenryu was ranked as a sekitori for 27 tournaments, 16 of them in the top makuuchi division. His highest rank was Maegashira 1. He retired from sumo in September 1976 at the early age of 26 after a dispute with the Japan Sumo Association over his transfer to a newly created training stable. Scouted by Giant Baba, the All Japan Pro Wrestling owner, Tenryu was sent to the Amarillo territory to get trained by Dory Funk, Jr. and Terry Funk, and debuted in Texas in 1976, against Ted DiBiase. After returning to Japan, he stayed in the undercard until about 1982 when he began to get a slight push in that year's Champion's Carnival tournament. In 1983, following a brief stint in Jim Crockett Promotions, his push began in earnest when Jumbo Tsuruta pursued the NWA International heavyweight title, now the main title in the Triple Crown. 1984 saw Tenryu winning
    7.00
    2 votes
    152
    Kakizoe Tōru

    Kakizoe Tōru

    Kakizoe Tōru (垣添 徹, Kakizoe Tōru) (born August 12, 1978 in Usa City, Ōita Prefecture, Japan), is a former sumo wrestler. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 2001 and reached the top division in 2003. His highest rank was komusubi, which he held for just one tournament. He won one special prize, for Technique. After injury problems he fell to the third makushita division in 2011 and retired in April 2012, becoming a sumo coach. Kakizoe was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon Taiiku University, winning the Kokutai (Japan Games) and the All Japan University Championship in 2000, his final year, which earned him the Amateur Yokozuna title. He joined Musashigawa stable, which at time was one of the strongest in sumo with yokozuna Musashimaru and other successful former collegiate competitors such as Dejima and Miyabiyama amongst its wrestlers. Because of his amateur success Kakizoe was given makushita tsukedashi status, meaning he was able to debut at the makushita 15 ranking. He fought his first professional bout in September 2001, fighting under his real name. Unusually, he never adopted a traditional shikona. He rose to the jūryō division in March 2003, and the top
    7.00
    2 votes
    153

    Kimenzan Tanigorō

    Kimenzan Tanigorō (鬼面山 谷五郎, 1826? – September 7, 1871) was a sumo wrestler. He was the sport's 13th Yokozuna. Kimenzan was born in Yoru, Gifu Prefecture, Japan and his real name was Shin'ichi Tanaka. He entered sumo in February 1852 in the second highest jūryō division and reached the top makuuchi division in January 1857. He was employed by the Tokushima Domain. He was promoted to ōzeki November 1865. However, he was unenrolled in the November 1866 banzuke. It was reportedly because he had a quarrel with sumo elders. He was promoted to ōzeki again in June 1868. He was awarded a yokozuna license in February 1869. He became a yokozuna at the age of 43, the oldest ever. In the top makuuchi division, he won 143 bouts and lost 24 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 85.6. He retired from an active wrestler in November 1870, but died in the next year. His grave can be found in Sayama, Saitama. There is a monument to him in Yōrō, Gifu. *2 tournaments were held yearly in this period, though the actual time they were held was often erratic *Championships from this period were unofficial *Yokozuna were not listed as such on the ranking sheets until 1890 *There was no fusensho system
    7.00
    2 votes
    154
    Kitazakura Hidetoshi

    Kitazakura Hidetoshi

    Kitazakura Hidetoshi (北桜 英敏), born December 15, 1971 as Hidetoshi Mukō (向 英俊, Mukō Hidetoshi) is a former sumo wrestler from Asakita ward, Hiroshima City, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 9. He is the elder brother of Toyozakura, also a top division wrestler. He was a popular figure with sumo fans. He is now a coach and elder of the Japan Sumo Association under the name Onogawa Oyakata. Kitazakura made his professional debut in March 1987, joining Kitanoumi stable. His brother Toyozakura became a sumo wrestler two years later. Unusually for brothers in sumo, they joined different stables, Toyozakura being recruited by Tatsutagawa stable. This was the wish of their father, a former sumo wrestler himself who reached the fourth highest sandanme division. Kitazakura and Toyozakura never met in competition, as brothers are not matched against each other. Initially wrestling using his real name, Kitazakura first adopted his current shikona in November 1987. It took a long time to get to the salaried sekitori ranks and he spent seven years from 1991 to 1998 in the third highest makushita division. He got as high as makushita 5 in September 1995 and a good performance might have got
    7.00
    2 votes
    155
    Sadanoyama Shinmatsu

    Sadanoyama Shinmatsu

    Sadanoyama Shinmatsu (佐田の山 晋松, born February 18, 1938 as Shinmatsu Sasada) is a former sumo wrestler from Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 50th Yokozuna. After his retirement he was the head coach of Dewanoumi stable and served as head of the Japan Sumo Association. Born in Arikawa, Minamimatsuura District, he made his professional debut in January 1956, and reached sekitori status four years later upon promotion to the jūryō division in March 1960. He made his top makuuchi division debut in January 1961. Sadanoyama won his first tournament title in only his third tournament in the top division, from the rank of maegashira 13. The achievement of winning a tournament from the maegashira ranks is sometimes seen as a jinx on subsequent success in sumo, but Sadanoyama disproved that theory by going on to reach ōzeki in March 1962 after winning his second title, and then yokozuna in January 1965 after capturing his third championship. He made a cameo appearance in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, as himself. Sadanoyama announced his retirement suddenly in March 1968, despite having won the previous two tournaments, following a surprise loss to a new
    7.00
    2 votes
    156

    Takashi Ishikawa

    Takashi Ishikawa (石川 孝志, Ishikawa Takashi, born February 5, 1953) is a former professional wrestler and sumo wrestler from Fujishima, Higashitagawa District, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur sumo champion while at Nihon University, from 1975 to 1977 he was a sumo wrestler with the Hanakago stable and used the fighting name of Onoumi. He reached a highest rank of maegashira 4. After retiring from sumo, he joined All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he made his debut on November 17, 1977, and won the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship twice with Akio Sato, and five times in total. In 1990, he joined the AJPW exodus to Super World of Sports; two years later, he would join WAR. In 1995, he joined fellow former AJPW star Great Kojika in forming Big Japan Pro Wrestling, where he won its Tag Team Championship once in 1997. He retired from pro wrestling on January 19, 1998.
    7.00
    2 votes
    157

    Wakatoba Hiromi

    Wakatoba Hiromi (born June 15, 1977 as Hiromi Yamada) is a former sumo wrestler from Fuchū, Tokyo, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 11. He made his professional debut in March 1993, joining Oshiogawa stable, run by former ōzeki Daikirin. He initially wrestled under his own surname of Yamada. After a long apprenticeship in the junior ranks he achieved senior sekitori status in May 2001 upon promotion to the jūryō division. To mark the occasion he changed his shikona to Wakatoba. After a 10-5 record at the rank of jūryō 4 in July 2003 he was promoted to the top makuuchi division. An 8-7 mark in his top division debut saw him promoted to his highest rank of maegashira 11. He fought in the top division for a total of seven tournaments. He was demoted back to jūryō in March 2006 and after pulling out of the January 2007 tournament after only five days with an injury to his left leg he was relegated to the unsalaried ranks. In August 2007, having fallen to the rank of makushita 57, he retired from active competition and became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association. He worked as a coach at Oguruma stable, the stable to which he was transferred in March 2005 when his old stable was
    7.00
    2 votes
    158

    Kirishima Kazuhiro

    Kirishima Kazuhiro (Japanese: 霧島 一博, born April 3, 1959) is a former sumo wrestler from Makizono, Kagoshima, Japan, who held the second highest rank of ōzeki from 1990 to 1992 and won one top division tournament championship. He is now known as Michinoku-oyakata and is the head coach of Michinoku stable. Beginning his career in March 1975, Kazumi Yoshinaga, as he then was, joined the Izutsu stable. He was given the sumo name Kirishima, which came from the national park in his native Kagoshima Prefecture. He did not become established as an elite sekitori wrestler until November 1983 when he produced a 9-6 score at the rank of jūryō 10 (he had made the jūryō division briefly in May 1982 but had lasted only one tournament there). He reached the top makuuchi division for the first time in July 1984, and won a sanshō or special prize for Fighting Spirit in his very first tournament. Persistently struggling to gain weight, he enlisted the help of his girlfriend and future wife Naoko in the quest to bulk up and avoid frequent defeats by simple push-out. He was also a fitness fanatic who started his career by running several kilometres even before morning training started at 6am. One of
    6.00
    3 votes
    159
    Ōnokuni Yasushi

    Ōnokuni Yasushi

    Ōnokuni Yasushi (大乃国 康, born October 9, 1962 as Yasushi Aoki (青木 康)) is a former sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. Making his professional debut in 1978, he reached the top division in 1983. In 1987 he won his first yūshō or tournament championship with a perfect score and became the sport's 62nd yokozuna. However, he was able to win only one more championship before his retirement in 1991. He has remained in sumo as a coach and in 1999 became the head of Shibatayama stable. Aoki was born in Memuro Town, Kasai District, Tokachi, Hokkaidō, Japan. At school he did judo, but after a sumo tournament in the area, he was recruited to Hanakago stable by wrestler Kaiketsu Masateru and fought his first bout in March 1978 aged 15. When Kaiketsu retired from the ring in 1981 he set up his own stable, Hanaregoma stable, and took Aoki with him. He reached the second jūryō division in March 1982, and the top makuuchi division a year later in March 1983. He made his san'yaku debut at komusubi just three tournaments later. In November 1983, ranked as maegashira 3, he won his first special prize and three gold stars by defeating all three yokozuna (Kitanoumi, Chiyonofuji and Takanosato). This
    6.00
    3 votes
    160
    Takanosato Toshihide

    Takanosato Toshihide

    Takanosato Toshihide (Toshihide Takaya, September 29, 1952 – November 7, 2011) was a sumo wrestler from Namioka, Aomori, Japan. He was the sport's 59th Yokozuna from 1983 to 1986 and won four top division tournament championships. After retirement he established Naruto stable which he ran from 1989 until his death. Takanosato played football and judo before turning to sumo. He was from the same area of Japan as Wakanohana Kanji II and the two entered professional sumo together in July 1968, joining Futagoyama stable. Takanosato reached the top makuuchi division in May 1975 but had some indifferent results and fell back to the jūryō division on several occasions. A late developer, he did not reach the san'yaku ranks until 1979, by which time Wakanohana was already a yokozuna. In 1980 he was runner-up in two consecutive tournaments, but he did so from the maegashira ranks. Nicknamed "Popeye" because of his brawny physique, by 1981 he was a san'yaku regular, and in January 1982 he produced his third runner-up performance, this time at sekiwake rank, and earned promotion to ōzeki. Following his promotion he announced that he had been suffering from diabetes for many years, and had
    6.00
    3 votes
    161
    Daimanazuru Kenji

    Daimanazuru Kenji

    Daimanazuru Kenji (born January 16, 1977 as Kenji Omae) is a former sumo wrestler from Kawakami, Yoshino District, Nara, Japan. He began his professional career in 1992, and spent a total of 19 tournaments in the top two divisions, peaking at maegashira 16 in 2006. He retired at the end of the January 2010 tournament and has chosen to work outside of the Sumo Association. He made his professional debut in May 1992, joining Asahiyama stable, then run by the former wrestler Wakafutase. In 1997 his stablemaster died suddenly and for the remainder of his career he was coached by former ozeki Daiju. He initially fought under his own surname of Omae, before adopting the shikona of Futasewaka in 1994. He switched to his familiar name of Daimanazuru at the beginning of 2000. He reached sekitori status in November 2003, after more than eleven years in the unsalaried divisions, by winning the makushita tournament championship or yusho with a perfect 7-0 record. He made his jūryō debut alongside future yokozuna Hakuho. After two losing scores in January and March 2004 he slipped back to makushita, but he returned to jūryō in January 2005. He made steady progress, rising slowly up the jūryō
    5.00
    4 votes
    162

    Shunketsu Yūji

    Shunketsu Yūji (born July 13, 1976 as Yūji Ishide) is a former sumo wrestler from Misato, Saitama, Japan. The highest rank he reached was maegashira 12. Shunketsu made his professional debut in March 1992, alongside several future top division regulars such as Kyokushuzan, Wakanosato and Takanowaka. He weighed only just over 100 kg (220 lb) and remained one of the lightest wrestlers in the senior ranks, only managing to put on around 20 kg (44 lb) in subsequent years. Shunketsu used several different shikona during his career. He began using his own surname, Ishide. Upon promotion to sekitori status for the first time in January 2001 he was given the name Komahikari. However after falling back to the unsalaried makushita division he reverted to Ishide. He retained this name until November 2005 when he became Shunketsu. Shunketsu spent only five tournaments in the top makuuchi division, and only made kachi-koshi there once. He was ranked in the second jūryō division for 25 tournaments. In recent years he was the only sekitori from Hanaregoma stable, which once produced yokozuna Onokuni. Since falling from the top division with a 4-11 record in January 2006 he rarely looked like
    5.00
    4 votes
    163
    Toyozakura Toshiaki

    Toyozakura Toshiaki

    Toyozakura Toshiaki (born March 12, 1974 as Toshiaki Mukō) is a former sumo wrestler from Hiroshima, Japan. He made his debut in 1989, and after many years in the lower ranks he reached the top division for the first time in 2003. His highest rank was maegashira 5. He was a runner-up in one tournament and earned one special prize for Fighting Spirit. He is the younger brother of Kitazakura. He was forced to retire in April 2011 after an investigation by the Japan Sumo Association found him guilty of match-fixing. Toyozakura's father was also a sumo wrestler, who fought under the same shikona or sumo name, but he never climbed higher than the fourth sandanme division. He encouraged his son to join a different stable than Kitakazura, so Toyozakura joined Tatsutagawa stable. This stable folded in 2000 upon the stablemaster's retirement and Toyozakura moved to Michinoku stable. He made his professional debut in March 1989. He first reached elite sekitori status in September 1998 upon promotion to the second jūryō division but he could not maintain that rank. It took him another five years to reach the top division, which he finally achieved in November 2003 after re-entering the second
    5.00
    4 votes
    164
    Ushiomaru Motoyasu

    Ushiomaru Motoyasu

    Ushiomaru Motoyasu (born May 11, 1978 as Motoyasu Sano) is a former sumo wrestler from Shizuoka, Japan. He began his professional career in 1994 and first reached the top division in 2002. His highest rank was maegashira 10. He retired in May 2009 to take over the Azumazeki stable. Ushiomaru made his debut in March 1994, joining Azumazeki stable. He began using the fighting name of Takamisano, switching briefly to Tenfuku before adopting his current name in November 1995. In his early career in the lower ranks, he served as a tsukebito, or personal attendant, to yokozuna Akebono. After a long stint in the third makushita division, he reached sekitori status by winning promotion to the second jūryō division in January 2002. After winning the jūryō division title in July of that year with a 13-2 record, he was promoted to the top makuuchi division for the next tournament. He was injured during his second top division tournament and had to withdraw, resulting in demotion back to the second division. He struggled in 2005, losing sekitori status on two occasions, but then made something of a comeback, returning to the top division for four straight tournaments from November 2006 to May
    5.00
    4 votes
    165

    Wakanoyama Hiroshi

    Wakanoyama Hiroshi (born May 12, 1972 as Hiroshi Nishizaki) is a former sumo wrestler from Gobo, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. Wakanoyama made his professional debut in March 1988. Joining at the same time as him were future yokozuna Akebono, Takanohana and Wakanohana, and ōzeki Kaiō. He began wrestling under his own surname, Nishizaki, but from November 1989 onwards adopted the shikona of Wakanoyama, the name adapted from his home prefecture. He reached sekitori status in July 1991 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division, and made his debut in the top makuuchi division in May 1992. However, he lasted only four tournaments there before being demoted back to jūryō. Although he reappeared in makuuchi once in September 1994, he could not stay there. In July 1996 he fell back to the unsalaried makushita division where he languished for thirteen tournaments, before winning promotion back to jūryō in November 1998 and makuuchi in July 1999. Wakanoyama had been absent from the top division for 28 tournaments. No other wrestler had ever managed to return to makuuchi after so long away. His remarkable comeback may have been helped by the fact that
    5.00
    4 votes
    166
    Asashōryū Akinori

    Asashōryū Akinori

    Asashōryū Akinori (朝青龍 明徳, born September 27, 1980, as Dolgorsürengiin Dagvadorj, Mongolian Cyrillic: Долгорсүрэнгийн Дагвадорж) is a former sumo wrestler (rikishi) from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He was the 68th yokozuna in the history of the sport in Japan and became the first Mongol to reach sumo's highest rank in January 2003. He was one of the most successful yokozuna ever. In 2005 he became the first wrestler to win all six official tournaments (honbasho) in a single year. Over his entire career, he won 25 top division tournament championships, placing him third on the all-time list. From 2004 until 2007, Asashōryū was sumo's sole yokozuna, and was criticized at times by the media and the Japan Sumo Association for not upholding the standards of behaviour expected of a holder of such a prestigious rank. He became the first yokozuna in history to be suspended from competition in August 2007 when he participated in a charity soccer match in his home country despite having withdrawn from a regional sumo tour claiming injury. After a career filled with a multitude of other controversies, both on and off the dohyō, he retired from sumo in February 2010 after allegations that he
    5.67
    3 votes
    167

    Hoshitango Imachi

    Hoshitango Imachi (星誕期 偉真智, born September 5, 1965 as Imachi Marcelo Salomon) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His highest rank was Jūryō 3. A former swimming instructor, Salomon joined Michinoku stable in May 1987. He was the first Jew in professional sumo. He was given the shikona of Hoshitango, with "Hoshi" (star) a common prefix in Michinoku stable, and "tango" a reference, of course, to the popular dance. He reached the second highest jūryō division for the first time in September 1992, but lasted only one tournament there before being demoted back to the unsalaried third makushita division. He managed another three tournaments in the second division in 1994 but once again fell back. In September 1998, at the age of 33, he demonstrated his fighting spirit by once again returning to jūryō, this time remaining for 12 straight tournaments. He was not able to break into the top makuuchi division, peaking at jūryō 3 in January 2000. In July 2000 he lost every one of his fifteen bouts and fell, once more, to the third division where he remained until his retirement in January 2004. His retirement ceremony or danpatsu-shiki was attended by around
    5.67
    3 votes
    168
    Kotokasuga Keigo

    Kotokasuga Keigo

    Kotokasuga Keigo (琴春日 桂吾, Kotokasuga Keigo, born 25 August 1977 as Keigo Yamada) is a former sumo wrestler from Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. He began his professional career in 1993, reaching the top makuuchi division some 15 years later in 2008. His highest rank was maegashira 7. He retired in April 2011 after the Japan Sumo Association found him guilty of involvement in match-fixing. At junior high school he excelled at baseball. After his graduation he was recruited by Sadogatake stable, and made his professional debut in March 1993. Initially fighting under the shikona of Kotonoyama, he progressed to the sandanme division in 1995, and first reached the makushita division in 1997. He adopted the name of Kotokasuga in 1999, in honour of his hometown. In November 2004 he finally made the elite sekitori ranks when he was promoted to the jūryō division. He was ranked in jūryō for four further tournaments in May, July and September 2005 and January 2006, but then struggled again in makushita. After injuries to both his elbows he considered retiring, but he won promotion back to jūryō in September 2007 at the age of 30, and then four consecutive kachi-koshi or winning records
    5.67
    3 votes
    169

    Tochiazuma Tomoyori

    Tochiazuma Tomoyori (born 3 September 1944 as Hayao Shiga) is a former sumo wrestler from Sōma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake, which he held for one tournament in 1970. He won the top division championship in January 1972. After retirement he worked as a coach at his stable, Kasugano, until 1990 when he set up his own Tamanoi stable. He is the father of the former ōzeki Tochiazuma Daisuke, and upon his retirement as a coach in 2009 his son took over from him. He made his debut in November 1960, joining the then recently retired yokozuna Tochinishiki's Kasugano stable. He reached juryo in May 1965 and the top makuuchi division in March 1967. He was relatively small, standing only 177 cm tall and weighing around 110 kg. In May 1968 he was runner-up to Tamanoshima with a 10-5 record, earning promotion to komusubi. He also won the first of his six Ginosho or Technique Awards. He was runner-up once again in September of that year. He reached his highest rank of sekiwake in March 1970 but fell short with a 7-8 record. He had the unusual experience in January 1971 of defeating a yokozuna on the opening day, and then losing 13 of his remaining 14 bouts, with
    5.67
    3 votes
    170
    Tōki Susumu

    Tōki Susumu

    Tōki Susumu (born July 4, 1974 as Jun Tamaki) is a former sumo wrestler from Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. He is now a sumo coach. Tōki began his career in January 1991 after joining the Takasago stable. Just like ex-sekiwake Takamiyama, who was a member of the same heya during the 1970s and 80s, Tōki wore long sideburns as a distinctive feature. In 1998 Tōki managed to enter the top makuuchi division for the first time and quickly became a regular maegashira, although his results were not sufficient to make him a sanyaku wrestler (although he was a komusubi for one tournament in September 2003, he could not retain this rank). He was not a great challenge to the top wrestlers in his Makuuchi days, losing every bout he fought against both Musashimaru and Takanohana. He never managed to defeat a yokozuna or win a special prize. On December 18, 2000 in Osaka Tōki was behind the wheel of a car which hit a pedestrian and killed her. He should not have been driving at all because the Sumo Association had banned all wrestlers from doing so following a previous incident. Tōki was forced to sit out the January 2001 tournament as a result, and fell to the
    5.67
    3 votes
    171
    Wakashimazu Mutsuo

    Wakashimazu Mutsuo

    Wakashimazu Mutsuo (born 12 January 1957 as Mutsuo Hidaka) is a former sumo wrestler from Nakatane, Kagoshima, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. He won two top division yūshō or tournament championships. He retired in 1987 and is now the head coach of Matsugane stable. Wakashimazu wrestled for Futagoyama stable, joining in March 1975. Unlike most professional sumo wrestlers, he did not join from junior high school but instead joined after completing high school. He was a high school sumo champion but needed some persuasion from his stablemaster that he would be able to put on enough weight to succeed in professional sumo. He reached the salaried sekitori ranks in March 1980 upon promotion to the jūryō division and reached the top makuuchi division in January 1981. He scored 10 wins in his makuuchi debut. He moved quickly through the division, winning five special prizes, two for fighting spirit and three for technique. He reached sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki in January 1983. He broke his leg in the following tournament in March of that year, but made a remarkably quick recovery, posting 13-2 in the next tournament in May 1983. Wakashimazu was popular with the crowds and his
    5.67
    3 votes
    172
    Akashi Shiganosuke

    Akashi Shiganosuke

    Akashi Shiganosuke (明石 志賀之助) (c. 1600 – c. 1649) was officially acknowledged as the first sumo wrestler to hold the title of yokozuna. A legendary figure, his historical existence is disputed. He is said to have been active in the Kan'ei era (1624–1643). He was described as being of gigantic size, being 2.58 m (8 ft 6 in) tall and weighing 184 kg (410 lb). He is said to have been born in Utsunomiya, Tochigi prefecture in central Japan, the son of Yamanouchi Shuzen, a samurai who served Sumaura Rinemon. According to sumo folklore, he took part in a sumo tournament in Yotsuya, Tokyo in 1624 and became an instant star, enabling sumo organisers to charge admission for the first time. He is said to have been given the title of Hinoshita Kaisan (a Buddhist term signifying a man of exceptional power) by the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu. By 1800 his reputation as a huge and powerful rikishi had been confirmed and his exploits were retold and embellished through the years. He became so legendary that when the 12th Yokozuna Jinmaku Kyugoro came to compile the first list of yokozuna in 1900, Akashi was placed at the beginning, followed by two dominant champions from the Edo period, Ayagawa
    6.50
    2 votes
    173

    Buyūzan Takeyoshi

    Buyūzan Takeyoshi (born July 29, 1974 as Takeyoshi Tominaga in Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan) is a former sumo wrestler. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He is now a sumo coach. A former amateur sumo champion at Meiji University, Buyūzan made his professional debut in the third makushita division in March 1997. It took him over three years to reach sekitori status, but after his makuuchi debut in November 2001, Buyūzan rose quickly rose in the ranks, winning special prizes for Fighting Spirit in two consecutive tournaments. He was listed as maegashira 1 when he was injured in March 2002 and dropped back to the lower maegashira ranks and even further into the jūryō division. After his return to makuuchi, he remained in the middle and lower maegashira ranks. In 2005, he dropped to jūryō again, but he returned to the top division in March 2006. By September he had returned to jūryō where he put up a disastrous 1-14 record. He was demoted to the non-salaried makushita division in November 2006 where he again turned in a losing score. In January 2007 he managed a 6-1 mark which put him in contention for a return to jūryō, but he faltered again with three straight makekoshi scores. He
    6.50
    2 votes
    174

    Daiju Hisateru

    Daiju Hisateru (born 19 March 1950 as Toshiaki Sakaiya) is a former sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki, but he held the rank for only five tournaments, fewer than any ōzeki in the modern era. He won eleven sansho or special prizes during his top division career which lasted from 1970 to 1977. He is now head coach of Asahiyama stable. Born in Setana, he joined the small Takashima stable run by former ōzeki Mitsuneyama in March 1965. He reached the top makuuchi division in May 1970 after winning the jūryō division championship with a 14-1 record. He was awarded the Technique Prize in his first top division tournament. He was to win a total of eleven special prizes in his career, which at the time was second only to Tsurugamine's fourteen. His six prizes for Technique put him in equal sixth place on the all-time list, as of 2009. In March 1971 he made his san'yaku debut at sekiwake and defeated his first yokozuna, Taihō. He earned promotion to ōzeki in 1973 after three consecutive double figure scores. He was a runner-up in the May 1973 tournament to Wajima with a score of 11-4 and defeated two more yokozuna, Kotozakura and Kitanofuji (the latter for the
    6.50
    2 votes
    175
    Futabayama Sadaji

    Futabayama Sadaji

    Futabayama Sadaji (双葉山 定次; February 9, 1912 – December 16, 1968), born as Akiyoshi Sadaji (龝吉 定次) in Oita Prefecture, Japan, was the 35th Yokozuna in sumo wrestling, from 1937 until 1945. He won twelve yūshō or top division championships and had a winning streak of 69 consecutive bouts, an all-time record. Despite his dominance he was extremely popular with the public. After his retirement he was head coach of Tokitsukaze stable and chairman of the Japan Sumo Association. Born in Usa, he worked on fishing boats as young boy. He joined professional sumo in March 1927 at the age of 15, recruited by Tatsunami stable. He entered the top makuuchi division at the beginning of 1932. He was promoted from the middle of the second jūryō division to maegashira 4, as many top division wrestlers had just gone on strike (the so called "Shunjūen Incident"), and the Japan Sumo Association needed to fill the gaps in the ranks. However, he soon proved himself worthy of the promotion, finishing as runner-up in his second top division tournament. Futabayama is particularly remembered for achieving the longest run of consecutive victories in sumo bouts, with 69, a record that still stands today. This
    6.50
    2 votes
    176
    Takamisakari Seiken

    Takamisakari Seiken

    Takamisakari Seiken (born May 12, 1976 as Seiken Katō) is a sumo wrestler from Aomori Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 1999 and established himself in the top division in 2002 after a brief appearance in 2000. He has received five special prizes for his achievements in tournaments and earned two gold stars for defeating yokozuna. The highest rank he has reached is komusubi, which he has held on two occasions. He is one of the most popular wrestlers in sumo today, largely due to his eccentric warm-ups before his matches. Born in Itayanagi, Kitatsugaru District, Katō was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University, winning the College Yokozuna title in his final year. He began his professional sumo career as a makushita tsukedashi (a promising amateur allowed to start at a level significantly higher than entry level) in March 1999, wrestling under his own name. He reached jūryō, the second-highest division, in January 2000, at which point he changed his fighting name to Takamisakari. Three tournaments later, in July of the same year, he was promoted to the top makuuchi division, becoming only the second wrestler (and first Japanese born) from
    6.50
    2 votes
    177
    Tamagaki Gakunosuke

    Tamagaki Gakunosuke

    Tamagaki Gakunosuke IV (1784 – August 29, 1824) was Japanese sumo wrestler from Minamitakaki, Nagasaki, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. He made a professional debut in 1806 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in 1810. In April 1814, he was ranked at maegashira 1, but, in the next November 1814 tournament, he was ranked at ōzeki. The reason was that the banzuke (the sumo wrestlers' hierarchy) changed to that based on real ability. In June 1823, Tamagaki and Kashiwado were awarded yokozuna licences by the Gojo family. However, after Kashiwado rejected the licence, he also rejected this. In the next year, he died while being an active wrestler. In the top makuuchi division, he won only four tournament, but his win ratio finally reached .815. Kashiwado won 16 tournaments, but he recorded the win ratio .810. *2 tournaments were held yearly in this period, though the actual time they were held was often erratic *Championships from this period were unofficial *There was no fusensho system until March 1927 *All top division wrestlers were usually absent on the 10th day until 1909 *In April 1819, March 1820 and October 1822, he was tied with east ozeki Kashiwado Risuke, so
    6.50
    2 votes
    178
    Onigatani Saiji

    Onigatani Saiji

    Onigatani Saiji (鬼ヶ谷才治, April 19, 1855 – February 2, 1931) was a Japanese sumo wrestler who is known for being active in the top makuuchi division at the age of 51, which is a record after the beginning of the Meiji era. At first, he joined Tokitsukaze stable in Osaka sumo but was recruited by former yokozuna Umegatani I and moved to Ikazuchi stable in Tokyo sumo. From January 1887, he recorded 20-years' career in makuuchi. He had been the oldest active wrestler in makuuchi since January 1897 when he was 41 years old. He retired in January 1907 when he was 51 years old. He was specially awarded a silver cup by the Sumo Association. He also trained future yokozuna Umegatani II. *tournament actually held one month later than listed.
    4.75
    4 votes
    179
    Haguroyama Masaji

    Haguroyama Masaji

    Haguroyama Masaji (羽黒山 政司, November 18, 1914 – October 14, 1969) was a sumo wrestler from Nakanokuchi, Niigata, Japan. He was the sport's 36th yokozuna. He was a yokozuna for a period of twelve years and three months dating from his promotion to that rank in May 1941 until his retirement in September 1953, which is an all-time record. During his career Haguroyama won seven top division championships and was runner-up on six other occasions. However, he was always in the shadow of yokozuna Futabayama Sadaji, who came from the same stable. After his retirement he was the head coach of Tatsunami until his death in 1969. Haguroyama made his professional debut in January 1934 at age 19, joining Tatsunami stable. His progression was remarkably rapid. He passed through all the lower divisions in just one tournament each, in every case winning the divisional championship – a feat unlikely ever to be equalled. He made his debut in the top makuuchi division in May 1937. He was promoted to the ōzeki rank after just one tournament at sekiwake. After finishing as runner-up in the January 1941 tournament and winning his first top division title in May 1941 he was promoted to yokozuna. After
    7.00
    1 votes
    180
    Hōmashō Noriyuki

    Hōmashō Noriyuki

    Hōmashō Noriyuki (born April 16, 1981 as Yōsuke Yamamoto in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan), is a sumo wrestler. He turned professional in March 2004 and reached the top makuuchi division in May 2006, without any losing scores on his record. The highest rank he has so far reached is komusubi. He has earned seven special prizes in his top division career to date and been a runner-up in three tournaments. He is the first sekitori from Shikoroyama stable. He graduated from Saitama Sakae High School and was accepted by the Nihon University sumo club. However due to illness, he had to quit the club and instead did various part-time jobs in between attending lectures at the university. He did not make his professional debut until March 2004, at the age of nearly 23. He was recruited by former sekiwake Terao, the head coach of the newly opened Shikoroyama stable, who Homashō had admired as a young boy. Initially fighting under his real surname of Yamamoto, he rose through the lower divisions quickly, capturing the yusho or tournament championship in the sandanme division with a perfect 7-0 record in November 2004, upon which he changed his shikona to Hōmashō. He achieved
    7.00
    1 votes
    181
    Kaisei Ichirō

    Kaisei Ichirō

    Kaisei Ichirō (born December 18, 1986 as Ricardo Sugano) is a professional sumo wrestler (rikishi) from São Paulo, Brazil. Making his debut in September 2006, he reached the top makuuchi division in May 2011. His highest rank has been maegashira 1. Born Ricardo Sugano in São Paulo, he did judo while growing up. He joined Tomozuna stable in 2006 (already home to another Brazilian wrestler, Kaishin) and was given the shikona or ring name of Kaisei Ichirō. Ichirō was the name of Kaisei's late grandfather, who was Japanese. Kaisei moved through the lower divisions quickly, reaching the fourth highest sandanme division in March 2007. He was promoted to the third makushita division after the March 2008 tournament, but then his progress stalled somewhat. He came through the September 2009 tournament undefeated (although he lost a playoff for the yusho to Gagamaru) and in May 2010 became a sekitori by earning promotion to juryo. He was the fourth Brazilian to make the juryo division after Ryuko, Kuniazuma and Wakaazuma, but Kaisei was to surpass all of them by winning promotion to the top makuuchi division. After winning the juryo division yusho in November 2010 with an 11-4 record, he
    7.00
    1 votes
    182

    Tsurugamine Akio

    Tsurugamine Akio (26 April 1929 – 29 May 2006), real name Akio Fukuzono, was a sumo wrestler from Aira, Kagoshima, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. After his retirement he was the head of Izutsu stable and coached two of his sons, Sakahoko and Terao, to the top division. Tsurugamine began his professional career in June 1947. He was a light but extremely skilful wrestler. His ten sanshō (special prizes) for Technique remain a record to this day. He also earned ten kinboshi (gold stars) for defeating yokozuna. He had an exceptionally long top division career, which lasted fourteen years from March 1953 to his retirement in July 1967 at the age of thirty eight. He fought in the top division for 77 consecutive tournaments and was one of the first wrestlers to win over 500 bouts there. His best result was in January 1956 when he lost only one bout and took part in a playoff for the tournament championship with yokozuna Kagamisato. Following his retirement from active sumo Tsurugamine became an elder of the Sumo Association under the toshiyori name of Kimigahama, and set up his own Kimigahama stable. However, he really coveted the stock of his old Izutsu stable, but was unable to
    7.00
    1 votes
    183
    Koji Kitao

    Koji Kitao

    Kōji Kitao (born August 12, 1963) is a former sumo wrestler and professional wrestler, born in Mie, Japan. He was sumo's 60th Yokozuna, and the only yokozuna in sumo history not to win a top division tournament championship. He was forced to leave sumo at the end of 1987 after a falling-out with his stable master Tatsunami, and became a professional wrestler in 1990. Born in Tsu, Kitao made his professional sumo debut in March 1979 at the age of 15, joining Tatsunami stable, and he reached the top, makuuchi division in September 1984 after winning the championship in the jūryō division. In his second tournament in the top division he defeated yokozuna Kitanoumi and was awarded the Outstanding Performance prize and promotion to komusubi. He made his sekiwake debut in May 1985. In July 1985 he was back in the maegashira ranks but defeated two more yokozuna and was tournament runner-up with twelve wins. After finishing runner-up once more in November 1985 he was promoted to the second highest rank of ōzeki. Kitao continued his rapid rise with his third runner-up performance in May 1986, followed by a 14-1 score in July, his only loss being to Hoshi. He defeated yokozuna Chiyonofuji on
    6.00
    2 votes
    184
    Tamarikido Hideki

    Tamarikido Hideki

    Tamarikidō Hideki (born April 19, 1974) is a former sumo wrestler born in Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan. Though born in Japan, he is a Zainichi Korean. His highest rank was maegashira 8. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 1997, reaching the top makuuchi division in 2001. He had many injury problems throughout his career, missing over 100 matches, and last fought in makuuchi in 2003. He announced his retirement in January 2010. He was a teammate of Takanohana at the Meidai Nakano High School's sumo club. He was also a former amateur sumo champion at Meiji University, and was considered extremely promising. He came third in the All Japan Sumo Championships. He made his professional debut in March 1997 at the bottom of the third makushita division. He was a runner-up in his first tournament but had a few setbacks before finally reaching the second highest jūryō division in September 1999. Tamarikidō made his debut in the top makuuchi division in January 2001. He has spent eleven tournaments in the top division in total, the last in November 2003 when he had to withdraw after winning only two bouts. 2004 was a disastrous year for him as a knee injury in May meant he missed
    6.00
    2 votes
    185
    Tokitsuumi Masahiro

    Tokitsuumi Masahiro

    Tokitsuumi Masahiro (born November 8, 1973 as Masahiro Sakamoto) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Fukue, Nagasaki, Japan. A former amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 1996. His highest rank was maegashira 3. He became the head coach of Tokitsukaze stable in 2007 following the dismissal of the previous stablemaster. With influence from his father, Tokitsuumi participated in sumo competitions from the age of three, and after a stint with judo in junior high school, he began practicing sumo again in high school and university. He did very well in sumo at Tokyo University of Agriculture, but after graduating, he passed an entrance test to began working at a printing company and was planning to have a career with them. But, his father, after seeing his continued success in amateur sumo, suggested he try his hand at professional sumo. Soon afterwards, he was recruited by the former ozeki Yutakayama, a fellow Tokyo University of Agriculture graduate, and joined his Tokitsukaze stable. He made his debut in March 1996 at the age of 22. After joining at the bottom of the third makushita division, Tokitsuumi took just over a year to reach the elite sekitori ranks,
    6.00
    2 votes
    186
    Wakanohana Masaru

    Wakanohana Masaru

    Masaru Hanada (花田 勝, Hanada Masaru, born January 20, 1971) is a former sumo wrestler from Tokyo, Japan. As an active wrestler he was known as Wakanohana III Masaru (若乃花 勝), and his rise through the ranks alongside his younger brother Takanohana Koji saw a boom in sumo's popularity in the early 1990s. He is the elder son of the former ōzeki Takanohana I, who was also his stablemaster, and the nephew of Wakanohana I, a famous yokozuna of the 1950s. Wakanohana was a long serving ōzeki who won five tournament championships, and eventually joined his brother at yokozuna rank in 1998, creating the first ever sibling grand champions. After a brief and injury plagued yokozuna career he retired in 2000, becoming a television personality and restaurant owner. The death of his father in 2005 saw a very public falling out with his brother. He entered sumo in March 1988, at the same time as his younger brother Takanohana, and joined his father's training stable, then known as Fujishima stable. The two brothers moved out of the family quarters and joined all the other new recruits in the communal area, and were instructed to refer to their father as oyakata (coach) only. Future rivals Akebono
    6.00
    2 votes
    187
    Baruto Kaito

    Baruto Kaito

    Baruto Kaito (把瑠都 凱斗, born 5 November 1984 as Kaido Höövelson) is a professional sumo wrestler from Estonia. Making his debut in May 2004, he is one of only two Estonians ever to join the sport in Japan, and the first to reach the top division, in May 2006. After suffering a number of injury problems in 2007, he reached the third highest rank of sekiwake in November 2008, and was promoted to ōzeki rank after finishing the March 2010 tournament with a score of 14–1. He has been a tournament runner-up four times and earned five special prizes for Fighting Spirit, one for Outstanding Performance and one for Technique. In the 2012 January tournament he recorded his first top division championship. Höövelson was born in Väike-Maarja, but grew up in the nearby Rohu village in current Laekvere Parish. His family owned a cattle farm and he became accustomed to hard physical labour as a child. His father died when Höövelson was sixteen years old and he worked as a nightclub bouncer to earn a living. He played basketball as a teenager and also won a national judo championship in Estonia. He was introduced to amateur sumo when he was a little boy.Through his judo coach Riho Rannikmaa, and an
    5.00
    3 votes
    188
    Kotomitsuki Keiji

    Kotomitsuki Keiji

    Kotomitsuki Keiji (born April 11, 1976 as Keiji Tamiya) is a former sumo wrestler from Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in 1999. He reached the top makuuchi division in November 2000 and won one yūshō or tournament championship, in September 2001. He was a runner-up in eight other tournaments, and earned thirteen sanshō or special prizes. He is one of five wrestlers in the history of sumo to receive all three sanshō in the same tournament, accomplishing the feat in the November 2000 honbasho. After a record 22 tournaments at sekiwake, he achieved promotion to sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki in July 2007 upon winning 35 out of 45 bouts in three consecutive tournaments. This made him at 31 the oldest man to reach ōzeki in the modern era. He wrestled for Sadogatake stable. On July 4, 2010, he was expelled from professional sumo by the Japan Sumo Association for his involvement in an illegal gambling ring. Kotomitsuki had an extremely successful college sumo career, winning a record 27 amateur national titles while at Nihon University. He made his professional debut in March 1999. Because of his achievements as an amateur, he
    5.00
    3 votes
    189
    Hidenoyama Raigorō

    Hidenoyama Raigorō

    Hidenoyama Raigorō (秀ノ山 雷五郎, 1808 – June 16, 1862) was a sumo wrestler from Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 9th Yokozuna. He was also known as Amatsukaze Kumoemon (天津風 雲右衞門), Tatsugami Kumoemon (立神 雲右衞門) and Iwamigata Jōemon (岩見潟 丈右衞門). In 1823, he attempted to make his debut, but he was completely ignored at first due to his short height of only 1.51 m (4 ft 11 ⁄2 in). He joined Hidenoyama stable in 1827 and made his debut in March 1828. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1837. He recorded 30 consecutive wins and won six championships before the modern yūshō system was established. In the top makuuchi division, he won 112 bouts and lost 21 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 84.2. Hidenoyama was awarded a yokozuna licence in November 1847. His height of 1.64 m (5 ft 4 ⁄2 in) is lowest among yokozuna. He was not one of the greatest wrestlers of his time, but received the licence because he had influential backers. Ōzeki Tsurugizan Taniemon reportedly handed over the yokozuna licence to Hidenoyama. After his retirement, he was an elder known as Hidenoyama and produced later yokozuna Jinmaku. He served as a judge (naka-aratame, modern
    5.50
    2 votes
    190
    Mainoumi Shuhei

    Mainoumi Shuhei

    Mainoumi Shuhei (born 17 February 1968 as Shuhei Nagao) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. During the 1990s he was one of the most popular wrestlers in sumo due to his wide variety of techniques and great fighting spirit in battling opponents nearly twice his size. Born in Ajigasawa, Mainoumi was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University, where he studied economics. He originally wanted to be a teacher, but decided to join professional sumo in honour of a close friend who died before he could achieve his own ambition of being a sumo champion. Mainoumi initially failed the Sumo Association's physical entrance exam, because he was too short to meet their height requirement, which at that time was 173 cm. He got round this by persuading a doctor to inject silicone into his scalp, giving him the necessary couple of centimetres. To prevent any future hopefuls from having to go through this painful procedure, the Sumo Association changed its rules to allow special dispensation for amateur champions who do not meet the height requirements. Mainoumi made his professional debut in May 1990 in the third makushita division and reached jūryō in
    5.50
    2 votes
    191

    Ryōgoku Yūjirō

    Ryogoku Yujiro (両國 勇治郎, March 18, 1892 – August 10, 1960) was a Japanese sumo wrestler. His highest rank was sekiwake. He made a debut in June 1909. He reached the top makuuchi division in May 1914 and won the championship with a 9-0-1 record. He is the only wrestler since 1909 to win the top division championship at his first attempt. After the win, he changed his shikona to Ryōgoku Kajinosuke. He reached sekiwake rank in January 1915 but was unable to climb any higher and spent most of the rest of his career as a maegashira. He retired in January 1924. After retirement, he worked under the name Takekuma in the Dewanoumi ichimon, and recruited Musashiyama. However, he later left the Dewanoumi ichimon and established Takekuma stable. *tournament actually held one month later than listed.
    5.50
    2 votes
    192

    Sentoryu

    Henry Armstrong Miller (born July 16, 1969) is a former sumo wrestler, raised in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, who competed under the shikona Sentoryū Henri (戦闘竜 扁利). The first wrestler from the US mainland to reach the top makuuchi division, he made his professional debut in 1988 and reached a highest rank of maegashira 12 before retiring in 2003. He is currently a mixed martial artist. He was born in Tachikawa, Japan, the son of an African American father and Japanese mother. He lived on Yokota Air Base until the age of six, when he moved with his family to St Louis, Missouri. He grew up in Ferguson. His dream of becoming a professional football player was ended by a knee injury in his senior year of high school, but he had also been wrestling since elementary school and he had qualified for the state championships. After graduating in 1987 he returned to Japan to try professional sumo. He joined the Tomozuna stable of wrestlers, also the home of future ozeki Kaio. He was given the shikona of Sentoryu, meaning "fighting war dragon" but also a play on words, namechecking his home town of St Louis. He was relatively small at 174 cm and 94 kg when he made his debut in July
    5.50
    2 votes
    193

    Wakanohana Kanji I

    Wakanohana Kanji I (若乃花 幹士, Wakanohana Kanji, March 16, 1928 – September 1, 2010) was a sumo wrestler, the sport's 45th Yokozuna (the highest-ranking position). Wakanohana's younger brother (by twenty-two years) was the late former ōzeki Takanohana Kenshi and he was the uncle of Takanohana Kōji and Wakanohana Masaru. He won ten top division yūshō or tournament championships during his career and at a fighting weight of around 100 kg was one of the lightest yokozuna ever. He had a long-standing rivalry with Tochinishiki and was one of the most popular wrestlers of the 1950s. After his retirement in 1962 he established Futagoyama stable and was also head of the Japan Sumo Association from 1988 until 1992. He was born in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture and moved to Hokkaidō as a child. After working as a stevedore, he was scouted by the maegashira Onoumi, joining Nishonoseki stable in November 1946. He was trained harshly by Rikidōzan in Nishonoseki stable, but he reportedly bit Rikidōzan's leg in retaliation for his training. Onoumi became head coach of Shibatayama stable after his retirement in May 1952, and Wakanohana followed him to the new stable. It was renamed Hanakago stable in
    5.50
    2 votes
    194

    Chiyotenzan Daihachirō

    Chiyotenzan Daihachirō (born February 6, 1976 as Daihachirō Sumi) is a former sumo wrestler from Osaka, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. He was a premature baby, and had to spend more than a year and a half in an incubator. Chiyotenzan made his professional debut in March 1991, joining the Kokonoe stable that was then home to yokozuna Chiyonofuji and Hokutoumi. He reached the second highest jūryō division in January 1997, and the top makuuchi division two years after that. He had an explosive start to his makuuchi career, winning three special prizes in his first three tournaments (the first wrestler ever to do so) and reaching the fourth highest rank of komusubi in July 1999. However, that was to be his only tournament in the top ranks and his initial promise quickly faded. His last winning score in the top division came in November 2001 and after suffering a fractured leg in the January 2002 tournamment he fell back to jūryō in July 2002. Hampered by diabetes, his fortunes slumped even further. After making a final appearance in the sekitori ranks in November 2005, in January 2006 he was demoted to the unsalaried makushita division, and in May 2007, to the fourth sandanme
    4.67
    3 votes
    195
    Ichihara Takayuki

    Ichihara Takayuki

    Kiyoseumi Takayuki (born 16 August 1984 as Takayuki Ichihara) is a former sumo wrestler from Nagoya, Japan. An extremely successful amateur, his highest rank in the professional sport was maegashira 13. He was forced to retire in April 2011 after an investigation by the Japan Sumo Association found him guilty of match-fixing. Initially competing under his real surname of Ichihara, he was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University, where he won eleven national titles. He won the Japan Games and the National Amateur Championships and was runner-up in the Japanese university championship. He was crowned the "Amateur Yokozuna" of 2006. He joined Kise stable, run by another former Nihon University champion, the ex-maegashira Higonoumi. Because of his amateur achievements, Ichihara was able to make his professional debut at the rank of Makushita 10, the first makushita tsukedashi entrant to begin as high as the tenth rank. After steady scores of five wins to two losses in his first two tournaments in January and March 2007, followed by 4-3 in May and July, he was promoted to the second jūryō division in November 2007 after a 6-1 at Makushita 1 East in September. He scored 13 wins to 2
    4.67
    3 votes
    196

    Hayateumi Hidehito

    Hayateumi Hidehito (born July 5, 1975 as Naohito Saitō) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. Born in Itayanagi, Kitatsugaru District, Hayateumi was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University where he held the "College Yokozuna" title. Given makushita tsukedashi, or promising amateur status, he made his professional debut in the third makushita division in March 1998. He reached the second jūryō division in January 1999 and made his debut in the top makuuchi division in March 2000. In September 2000 he scored nine wins, winning the Gino-sho award and promotion to sekiwake. He had to pull out of the November 2000 tournament with an injury and never made the sanyaku ranks again. Persistent injuries meant Hayateumi never realised his true potential, forcing him back down to the lower divisions. He announced his retirement in January 2006 at the rank of makushita 49. In all he had missed all or part of 12 of his 48 career tournaments through injury. Hayateumi had his danpatsu-shiki, or official retirement ceremony, in October 2006. He chose not to stay with the Sumo Association as an elder and has now left the sumo world. He is married to Endo
    6.00
    1 votes
    197
    Kaihō Ryōji

    Kaihō Ryōji

    Kaihō Ryōji (born April 17, 1973 as Ryōji Kumagaya) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. An amateur champion at Nihon University, he entered professional sumo in 1996. He was one of the lightest sekitori wrestlers in recent years. He won two special prizes for Technique. He retired from active competition in 2010 and became a coach, but in April 2011 he was asked to resign from the Japan Sumo Association after being found guilty of match-fixing. He was born in Fukaura, a town in the Nishitsugaru District of Aomori Prefecture. He was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University, and won the middleweight world title for Japan in the 2nd World Sumo Championships held at the Ryogoku Kokugikan. He entered professional sumo in January 1996 at the age of 22, joining Hakkaku stable. Because of his amateur achievements, he was given makushita tsukedashi status and allowed to enter at the bottom of the third highest makushita division. He won the makushita championship in his very first tournament with a perfect 7-0 record, defeating Kyokutenho in a playoff - the only yusho of his career. He was promoted to the second highest jūryō division in May
    6.00
    1 votes
    198
    Oga Atsushi

    Oga Atsushi

    Oga Atsushi (born 22 October 1977 as Atsushi Moriyasu) is a former sumo wrestler from Nogata, Fukuoka, Japan. His highest rank was jūryō 6. He was well known to sumo audiences for his performance of the bow twirling ceremony (jumitori-shiki) which takes place at the end of every tournament day,a role he began in 2004. It is normally performed by an apprentice ranked in the makushita division or below, but Oga continued to do it even after promotion to the jūryō division. He retired in May 2007.
    6.00
    1 votes
    199

    Tagaryū Shōji

    Tagaryū Shōji (Japanese: 多賀竜 昇司, born February 15, 1958) is a former sumo wrestler from Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. The highest rank he reached was sekiwake. In 1984 he won a top division yusho or tournament championship from the maegashira ranking. He is now a sumo coach and head of the Kagamiyama stable. Tagaryu made his professional debut in March 1974. It took him seven years to make the sekitori ranks, his promotion to the second highest juryo division coming in January 1981. He reached the top makuuchi division in May 1982. He made his sanyaku debut at sekiwake rank in November 1983 but lasted only one tournament there and fell back to the maegashira ranks. At the September 1984 tournament, the last to be held at the Kuramae Kokugikan, Tagaryū was ranked maegashira 12 and knew that another make-koshi would leave him in danger of demotion from makuuchi altogether. Tagaryū started excellently, and the end of the middle day saw him the only wrestler with an eight-win clean sheet. Ōzeki Wakashimazu, who had won the previous tournament 15-0, had only lost one bout thus far. Tagaryū lost to maegashira Tochitsurugi on the ninth day. Wakashimazu lost to Konishiki on the
    6.00
    1 votes
    200

    Yamato Gō

    Yamato Go (born 17 December 1969 as George Kalima) is a former sumo wrestler from Oahu, Hawaii, United States. His highest rank was maegashira 12. He was a schoolfriend of future yokozuna Akebono. He made his professional debut in November 1990, joining Magaki stable. His brother, Glenn, joined two months later, competing under the name of Onami. Yamato reached the salaried sekitori ranks in March 1995 when he was promoted to the jūryō division. He reached the top makuuchi division in January 1997, the first wrestler from his stable to do so since it was re-established in 1983. He chalked up a winning record of 8-7 in his debut and was ranked there for seven tournaments. He was forced to sit out the March 1998 tournament with a life-threatening bout of pneumonia which sent him down to jūryō. Still not fully recovered in May, he turned in a disastrous 1-14 record and fell to the unsalaried makushita division. Just before the July tournament he was hit by a car and was forced to withdraw once again. This sent him down to the bottom of makushita. After a 5-2 score in September he decided to retire rather than face another long struggle back up the rankings, and started up his own
    6.00
    1 votes
    201
    Mienoumi Tsuyoshi

    Mienoumi Tsuyoshi

    Mienoumi Tsuyoshi (三重ノ海 剛司, Mienoumi Tsuyoshi) (born February 4, 1948 as Gorō Ishiyama (石山五郎, Ishiyama Gorō) is a former champion sumo wrestler, the 57th yokozuna of the sport. He is the founder of Musashigawa stable and a former chairman of the Japan Sumo Association. He was born in Matsusaka, Mie, Japan. His father was a construction worker who competed in amateur sumo tournaments. The young Mienoumi did judo at junior high school and was introduced to a coach at Dewanoumi stable, but was initially rejected due to his lack of height. He contacted the stable again a few years later, and this time was accepted by Dewanoumi Oyataka himself, the former Dewanohana. His first bout was in July 1963, aged just 15. At first fighting under his family name of Ishiyama, he switched to the shikona of Mienoumi in 1966. After being personally trained by the new Dewanoumi Oyakaya, former yokozuna Sadanoyama, he developed his technique and was promoted to jūryō division in March 1969, and makuuchi, the top division, in September 1969. In July of the following year, he reached the rank of komusubi, defeating two yokozuna (Taihō and Tamanoumi) and receiving his first prize (shukun-shō). He was
    5.00
    2 votes
    202
    Miyagiyama Fukumatsu

    Miyagiyama Fukumatsu

    Miyagiyama Fukumatsu (宮城山 福松, February 27, 1895 – November 19, 1943) was a sumo wrestler from Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 29th Yokozuna. He was the last yokozuna in Osaka sumo. In the fall of 1909, he joined Dewanoumi stable. He made his professional debut in June 1910. However, he was punched by Kyushuzan Juro and escaped from Tokyo sumo in May 1912. He didn't abandon the idea of becoming a wrestler and moved to Osaka sumo. He reached the top makuuchi division in 1916 and he was promoted to ōzeki after only 2 tournaments. In January 1920, he won his first championship with a 8-1-1draw record. In March 1921, he fought against wrestlers in Tokyo sumo and defeated sekiwake Genjiyama, ozeki Tsunenohana, yokozuna Ōnishiki and Kyushuzan. He compromised with Kyushuzan. In June 1921, he won a championship with a 8-2 record. In January 1922, he won a championship with a perfect 10-0 record. After winning two consecutive championships, he was awarded a yokozuna licence. He was absent from two tournaments in 1923 due to phlegmon on his righthand's middle fingertip. In January 1926, he won a championship with a 9-1 record. In 1927, Osaka Sumo Association disbanded
    5.00
    2 votes
    203
    Tomonohana Shinya

    Tomonohana Shinya

    Tomonohana Shinya (born 23 June 1964 as Shinya Narimatsu) is a former sumo wrestler from Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. He is now a sumo coach. He had been an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University but worked as a high school physical education teacher after graduation. He did not join the professional sport until March 1992, when he was nearly 28, an extraordinarily late age. (The Sumo Association have since changed its rules and all former amateurs must now make their professional debuts before the age of 25). He made his debut in the third highest makushita division, fighting out of Tatsunami stable. At just 174 cm and 100 kg, he was not much bigger than Mainoumi, the lightest wrestler at the time. Tomonohana had winning records or kachi-koshi in his first twelve tournaments, reaching the second highest jūryō division in November 1992 and the top makuuchi division in July 1993. A popular wrestler, he was nicknamed "Sensei" because of his teaching background. He used a wide variety of techniques to counteract his light weight, and won the prestigious Ginosho, or technique prize, in two consecutive tournaments in September and November
    5.00
    2 votes
    204
    Toyohibiki Ryūta

    Toyohibiki Ryūta

    Toyohibiki Ryūta (born November 16, 1984 as Ryūta Kadomoto) is a sumo wrestler from Toyoura, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. He turned professional in 2005, reaching the top division in July 2007. He has earned two special prizes for Fighting Spirit, and one gold star for a yokozuna upset. His highest rank has been maegashira 2. He wrestles for Sakaigawa stable. Toyohibiki made his professional debut in January 2005, initially fighting under his own surname of Kadamoto. He won the jonidan championship in his second full tournament with a perfect 7-0 record. He recorded only one make-koshi or losing score on his way to elite sekitori status, which he achieved two years after his debut, upon promotion to the jūryō division in January 2007. To mark the occasion he adopted his present shikona of Toyohibiki. He won the jūryō championship in his debut tournament with a 10-5 record, and reached the top makuuchi division for the first time in July 2007. Toyohibiki produced a strong 11-4 record on his debut in makuuchi and was awarded the Fighting Spirit prize. One of the heaviest men in the division at 173 kg (380 lb), he is a wrestler with great power but he also has suspect footwork. In the
    5.00
    2 votes
    205

    Wakahaguro Tomoaki

    Wakahaguro Tomoaki (25 November 1934 - 2 March 1969) was a sumo wrestler from Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. A former swimming champion while at junior high school, Wakahaguro made his professional debut in October 1949, joining Tatsunami stable. To meet the weight requirement, he had to drink an enormous amount of water prior to his physical. However, he was able to put on more weight as he moved up the ranks. He reached the second highest jūryō division in March 1954 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in March 1955. His first big success in a tournament came in March 1956 when he won 12 out of 15 bouts and took part in a three way playoff for the championship with ōzeki Wakanohana and sekiwake Asashio. Although he was defeated, he was awarded the Fighting Spirit prize. After three years of steady progress he worked his way up to sekiwake rank and in the September 1959 tournament was runner-up once again. This performance earned him promotion to ōzeki. In his ōzeki debut he took the tournament championship with a 13-2 record, the first ōzeki debutant to do so since Chiyonoyama ten years earlier. After the tournament a party was held at the
    5.00
    2 votes
    206

    Ryūko Seihō

    Ryūko Seihō (龍虎 勢朋, born January 9, 1941) is a former sumo wrestler with the Hanakago beya and an actor and celebrity in Japan. He was born in Ōta, Tokyo. His highest rank in sumo was komusubi. Ryūko made his tournament debut in the January 1957 basho. He reached the juryō division in March 1967, and makuuchi in March 1968. The following year, he defeated yokozuna Taihō, scoring the first of his two kinboshi. He was a runner-up in three top division tournaments, in March 1969, November 1969 and September 1970. His 1970 rise to sanyaku was followed by a 1971 torn achilles tendon, as a result of which he missed three successive tournaments and was demoted from makuuchi all the way down to the third makushita division. He returned to sumo, and after winning championships in the makushita and juryo divisions he regained his position in makuuchi in 1973. He scored his second kinboshi (against Kitanoumi) in 1974. He even managed a return to sanyaku at komusubi in January 1975, the first time that any wrestler had done this after dropping to makushita. Unfortunately, on the first match of the May tournament in that year, he tore the other achilles tendon, and retired from sumo. He once
    4.33
    3 votes
    207
    Okinoumi Ayumi

    Okinoumi Ayumi

    Okinoumi Ayumi (born 29 July 1985 as Ayumi Fukuoka) is a sumo wrestler from Okinoshima, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. He joined professional sumo in 2005, reaching the top division in 2010. His highest rank has been maegashira 1. He wrestles for Hakkaku stable. At school he attended local sumo clubs and took part in national competitions, but had no desire to take up sumo as a profession, instead wanting to go to sea and taking examinations to become a licensed mariner. However, he ended up dropping out of high school and was introduced by an acquaintance to Hakkaku-oyakata, the 61st Yokozuna Hokutoumi, who persuaded him to join his Hakkaku stable. He began his professional career in January 2005, fighting under his family name of Fukuoka. He was promoted to the second highest jūryō division after taking the yūshō or tournament championship in the makushita division in January 2009 with a perfect 7-0 record. He changed his shikona to Okinoumi, a reference to his birthplace of Okinoshima (a tiny and remote island in Western Japan) which had been suggested by his father. He became the first sekitori from the Oki Islands since 1960. Troubled by a shoulder injury, he was demoted from
    4.50
    2 votes
    208
    Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi

    Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi

    Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi (born 13 October 1987 as Levan Gorgadze, Georgian: ლევან გორგაძე) is a professional sumo wrestler from Mtskheta, Georgia. He is a member of the Kasugano stable and made his debut in March 2006. He reached the top makuuchi division just two years later in May 2008. His highest rank has been komusubi. As a teenager he practised judo and sambo. He competed in amateur sumo at the World Junior Championships in 2004, held in Osaka, Japan and at the World Championships in 2005. He trained at the prestigious Nichidai sumo club at Nihon University and it was a member of that club who encouraged him to turn professional. At the beginning of 2006 he was recruited by the former sekiwake Tochinowaka. After eleven straight kachi-koshi or winning scores he gained sekitori status in January 2008 upon promotion to the jūryō division and immediately took the yusho or championship in that division with a 12-3 record. He took his first ever make-koshi or losing score in his top division debut in May 2008, but still won enough bouts to remain in the division. He reached maegashira 4 in November 2008, but facing the highest ranking men for the first time he could only record three
    4.50
    2 votes
    209

    Fujinishiki Takemitsu

    Fujinishiki Takemitsu (18 March 1937 - 17 December 2003) was a sumo wrestler from Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan. After his retirement he was the head coach of Takasago stable. Making his debut in 1953, he first entered the top makuuchi division in 1959 and was runner-up in two tournaments that year. His highest rank was komusubi. He spent a total of ten tournaments at that rank but never managed to earn promotion to sekiwake. The highlight of his career came in July 1964 when he took the top division championship or yusho with a 14-1 record. He was ranked as a maegashira at the time and did not meet any ozeki or yokozuna during the tournament. He was perhaps fortunate that yokozuna Taihō, who won four championships in that year alone, dropped out after five days. He wrestled for Takasago stable and following his retirement as an active wrestler in November 1968 stayed there as a coach. In 1988 he became head of the stable, following the death of former yokozuna Asashio Tarō III. He coached Konishiki and Mitoizumi amongst others. He also served on the Japan Sumo Association's board of directors. In February 2002, in failing health, he passed on ownership of the stable to former ozeki
    5.00
    1 votes
    210
    Inazuma Raigorō

    Inazuma Raigorō

    Inazuma Raigorō (稲妻雷五郎, 1802 – March 29, 1877) was a sumo wrestler from Inashiki, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 7th Yokozuna. Inazuma means lightning in Japanese. His birth date is ambiguous. According to a strong theory, he was born in 1802. Another claimed that he was born in 1795. If the former is correct, he was the youngest yokozuna until the promotion of Umegatani Tōtarō II in 1903. If the latter is correct, he died at the age of 82. He was worked under Matsudaira clan in Izumo, where legendary sumo wrestler Raiden worked. Inazuma entered Edo sumo in February 1821 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in October 1824. He reached the highest rank of ōzeki on ability alone, after only 6 tournaments (some ōzeki of the period were merely given the rank because of their size or status). Ōnomatsu Midorinosuke was his rival. They differed in that Inazuma hated false starts at the tachi-ai, or the initial phases of sumo bouts. As an Osaka based wrestler, Inazuma was awarded a yokozuna licence by the Gojo family in July 1828. This licence was disputed, but, in September 1830, he was also awarded a yokozuna licence by the house of Yoshida-tsukasa, and thus has
    5.00
    1 votes
    211

    Kongō Masahiro

    Kongō Masahiro (born 18 November 1948 as Masahiro Yoshizawa) is a former sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. He is now a sumo coach and head of the Nishonoseki stable. He was born in Fukagawa, and joined Nishonoseki stable (home of the great Taihō) in May 1964 at the age of 15. He initially wrestled under the shikona of Oyoshizawa, based on his own surname. He first appeared on the banzuke ranking sheets in July 1964 and won all seven of his bouts, taking the jonokuchi championship with a perfect 7-0 record. However his progress slowed somewhat after that. In 1966 he made the third makushita division, and gradually climbed up to Makushita 3 before dropping to Makushita 6 for the July 1969 tournament. There he took his second divisional championship, again with an unbeaten 7-0 score, and was promoted to the second juryo division, giving him elite sekitori status. He was relatively light for a sumo wrestler at just 82 kg (180 lb). To mark his promotion he was given the new name of Kongo. He remained in the juryo division for just over a year, recording a couple of make-koshi or losing scores, but in May and July 1970 he won two consecutive juryo
    5.00
    1 votes
    212
    Kushimaumi Keita

    Kushimaumi Keita

    Kushimaumi Keita (久島海 啓太; 6 August 1965 – 13 February 2012), born as Keita Kushima (久嶋 啓太), was a sumo wrestler from Shingū, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. A successful amateur, his highest rank in professional sumo was maegashira 1. After his retirement he became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association and established Tagonoura stable. He began doing sumo from the age of four, due to his father's love of the sport. He was the first person to earn the Amateur Yokozuna title whilst still in high school (at which time he already weighed 160 kg), and he continued amateur sumo at Nihon University. In total he captured 28 collegiate sumo titles, a record at the time. He joined the prestigious Dewanoumi stable and made his professional debut in January 1988, beginning in the third highest makushita division. He fought under his own name until he reached the second highest jūryō division, whereupon his shikona was modified slightly from Kushima to Kushimaumi. Although it took him seven tournaments to progress from makushita to jūryō, he won two consecutive yūshō or tournament championships from his jūryō debut to reach the top makuuchi division in July 1989, the first wrestler to do so since
    5.00
    1 votes
    213
    Musōyama Masashi

    Musōyama Masashi

    Musōyama Masashi (born February 14, 1972 as Takehito Oso) is a former sumo wrestler from Mito, Ibaraki, Japan. A former amateur champion, he turned professional in January 1993, and he won promotion to the top makuuchi division in just four tournaments. He won thirteen special prizes and spent a total of 31 tournaments at komusubi and sekiwake before finally reaching the second highest rank of ōzeki in 2000, shortly after winning his only top division tournament championship or yūshō. He retired in 2004. He is now the head coach of Fujishima stable. Musōyama was interested in sumo from a young age, as his father was the director of the Ibaraki Prefecture sumo association. Musōyama won national amateur titles at high school and at Senshu University, where he was a rival of Tosanoumi. He made his professional debut in January 1993 in the third makushita division, as due to his amateur achievements he had been given makushita tsukedashi status. He breezed through makushita undefeated with two consecutive 7-0 scores to earn promotion to the second jūryō division, and he made his debut in the top makuuchi division in September 1993. It took him only seven tournaments from his
    5.00
    1 votes
    214

    Nishinoumi Kajirō I

    Nishinoumi Kajirō I (西ノ海 嘉治郎, February 19, 1855 – November 30, 1908) was a sumo wrestler from Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 16th Yokozuna, and the first to be officially listed as such on the banzuke ranking sheets, an act which strengthened the prestige of yokozuna as the highest level of achievement in professional sumo. He began his career in Kyoto sumo, joining Tokinokoe stable in 1873. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in 1879, and made sekiwake in September 1879, a tournament which was held under the joint auspices of the Kyoto and Osaka sumo organisations. He was persuaded by Uragoro Takasago, formerly of Osaka sumo, to join Tokyo sumo in his newly founded Takasago stable. He made his debut in a special makuuchi division rank in January 1882. He had a rapid rise, making ōzeki just seven tournaments later in January 1885. His rivals included stablemates Odate, Ichinoya and Konishiki. Nishinoumi fell to sekiwake in January 1886, despite recording a kachi-koshi winning score, as at the time a sekiwake on the east side of the banzuke with a better record could overtake an ōzeki on the same side. After winning a yūshō equivalent with an
    5.00
    1 votes
    215

    Shimotori Norio

    Shimo'otori Norio (born 18 March 1978) is a sumo wrestler from Niigata Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank has been komusubi. Unusually, Shimotori used his family name as his shikona for a number of years, but has since changed his fighting name to the current Shimo'otori. He competed in amateur sumo at Tokyo University of Agriculture. He made his professional debut in May 2000 in the makushita division, almost a year later than intended due to injuries from a traffic accident. He reached sekitori status in May 2001 upon promotion to the second highest juryo division, and he entered the top makuuchi division in March 2002. He made his sanyaku debut in March 2004 at komusubi but managed only a 6-9 score and has not managed to return to sanyaku since. Recently he has struggled to maintain his position in makuuchi, spending most of 2006 in juryo. He returned to the top division in March 2007, but his stay was short-lived as he was unable to compete at all in the May 2007 tournament due a herniated disk suffered during training in April. Japan Sumo Association profile
    5.00
    1 votes
    216

    Tadao Yasuda

    Tadao Yasuda (born 9 October 1963) is a retired sumo and professional wrestler from Ōta, Tokyo, Japan. He competed in sumo from 1979 to 1992, under the shikona of Takanofuji, achieving the rank of komusubi, and afterwards turned to professional wrestling, in which he competed from 1994 to 2011. He made his professional sumo debut in March 1979 at the age of 15, after leaving junior high school. He was recruited by Kokonoe stable. In 1980 he adopted the shikona of Fujinomori, before switching to Takanofuji in 1984. He first reached sekitori status in March 1985 upon promotion to the second highest jūryō division, but could manage only 4 wins against 11 losses and was demoted back to the unsalaried makushita division. After winning promotion back to jūryō in January 1986 he made his debut in the top makuuchi division only two tournaments later in May 1986. Takanofuji was ranked in the top division for 33 tournaments, winning one special prize for Fighting Spirit. His two gold stars for defeating yokozuna were both earned against Futahaguro (who, as Koji Kitao, also turned to professional wrestling). Takanofuji had the advantage of belonging to a stable that included two yokozuna,
    5.00
    1 votes
    217
    Wakanohō Toshinori

    Wakanohō Toshinori

    Wakanohō Toshinori (born July 8, 1988 as Сосла́н Алекса́ндрович Гагло́ев Soslan Aleksandrovich Gagloev in Alagir, Republic of North Ossetia–Alania in the Russian Federation) is a former sumo wrestler. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He became the first active wrestler to be dismissed from sumo, after being arrested for possession of cannabis in August 2008. He is currently playing college football at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He was a freestyle wrestler in Russia, but as his weight continued to increase past the 120 kg (260 lb) upper limit for competitions, he switched to sumo. Having known fellow Russian sumo wrestler Rohō for many years, when he first arrived in Japan he stayed at Rohō's training stable, Ōtake-beya, for about six months to learn the basics. Due to the restrictions on foreigners, he could not join that stable, but its stablemaster Taihō had connections to the former Wakanohana Kanji II, and he joined Magaki stable instead. His shikona of Wakanohō was formed as a combination of Wakanohana II and Taihō's names. Wakanohō made his professional debut in March 2005. He moved through the lower divisions quickly, winning the championship in the
    5.00
    1 votes
    218

    Yutakayama Katsuo

    Yutakayama Katsuo (born 18 August 1937 as Katsuo Uchida) is a former sumo wrestler from Niigata, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki. Although he never managed to win a top division tournament championship he was a runner-up on eight occasions. Before wrestling professionally he was an amateur champion at Tonodai University and he was the first former collegiate competitor to reach the ōzeki rank. After retirement he was head coach of the Tokitsukaze stable. From 1998 until 2002 he was the chairman (rijicho) of the Japan Sumo Association. Born in Shibata, he attended the Tokyo University of Agriculture, and in amateur sumo earned the Collegiate Yokozuna title. He made his professional debut at the age of 23 in May 1961, joining Tokitsukaze stable, run by the former yokozuna great Futabayama. Due to his amateur achievements he was given makushita tsukedashi status and began in the third makushita division, fighting under his real name of Uchida. He reached the second jūryō division in three tournaments and after winning the jūryō division yūshō or championship with a perfect 15-0 score in November 1961 he was promoted to the top makuuchi division. He adopted the shikona of Yutakayama
    5.00
    1 votes
    219

    Umegatani Tōtarō II

    Umegatani Tōtarō II (梅ヶ谷 藤太郎, March 11, 1878 – September 2, 1927) was a sumo wrestler from Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 20th Yokozuna. Umegatani had a great rivalry with yokozuna Hitachiyama Taniemon. Their era was known as the Ume-Hitachi Era and it brought sumo to heights of popularity never before seen in the Meiji period. He was adopted by the 15th Yokozuna Umegatani Tōtarō I and joined his Ikazuchi stable in June 1892 at the age of 14. His father was initially reluctant to let him join at such a young age but Umegatani I personally guaranteed his well-being. In the stable, he was trained by Onigatani. He rose through the ranks quickly, making his jūryō debut in January 1897 and reaching the top makuuchi division in January 1898. Initially wrestling under the sumo name of Umenotani Otomatsu, he officially took on the Umegatani Totaro name before his fourth basho as an ōzeki in January 1902. He met Hitachiyama in May 1903 when both ōzeki were undefeated. The clash caused great excitement throughout Japan. Although Umegatani lost the match, after the tournament both he and Hitachiyama were promoted to yokozuna. Umegatani had reached sumo's highest
    4.00
    2 votes
    220

    Kaido Yasuhiro

    Kaidō Yasuhiro (魁道 康弘) (born October 24, 1975 as Yasuhiro Tanaka (田中 康弘, Tanaka Yasuhiro)) is a former sumo wrestler from Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan. He was a member of the Tomozuna-beya (Tomozuna stable), and he was a tsukebito or personal attendant to Ōzeki Kaiō for a number of years, as well as a frequent training partner of Sentoryu. Kaidō went to Meiji Nakano High School where he was a year senior of Tochiazuma. He played baseball and did amateur sumo at Chuo University before making his professional debut in March 1998, at the bottom of the third highest makushita division as a makushita tsukedashi entrant. He initially fought under the shikona of Tanaka, before changing to Kaito and then Kaido (the character "Kai" being a common one in his stable or heya). He never made the top makuuchi division, but he spent 11 tournaments in the second highest jūryō division, which he first reached in 2003, reaching a high of jūryō 4. He was demoted to makushita in May 2005 and never made his way back. He announced his retirement in September 2006. He had been injury-prone throughout his career, suffering a number of knee injuries, although diabetes was the major factor in his decision.
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    221
    Kitanofuji Katsuaki

    Kitanofuji Katsuaki

    Kitanofuji Katsuaki 北の富士勝昭 (born March 28, 1942 as Takezawa Katsuaki) is a former sumo wrestler, born in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō, Japan. He was the sport's 52nd Yokozuna. He was also the head coach of Kokonoe stable. Kitanofuji began his professional career in January 1957 at the age of just 14, joining Dewanoumi stable. In November 1963 he achieved a perfect 15-0 score in the second highest jūryō division (a feat not equalled until 43 years later by Baruto) and was promoted to the top makuuchi division. In his debut top division tournament he scored 13 wins, although he faced only his fellow maegashira. He won the Fighting Spirit award and was promoted straight to komusubi. By 1966 he was firmly established in the san'yaku ranks at sekiwake. He reached ōzeki rank in July 1966. Although he had won only 28 bouts in the previous three tournaments (at least 33 are normally needed), Yutakayama was the only ōzeki at the time, and he was promoted largely because of his potential. In January 1967 he followed the coach who had scouted him, former yokozuna Chiyonoyama, to a new stable, Kokonoe. His first tournament championship came in March of that year. Kitanofuji was competing in an era
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    222
    Kotozakura Masakatsu

    Kotozakura Masakatsu

    Kotozakura Masakatsu (琴櫻 傑將, November 26, 1940 – August 14, 2007) was a former sumo wrestler from Kurayoshi, Tottori, Japan. He was the sport's 53rd Yokozuna. He made his professional debut in 1959, reaching the top division in 1963. After several years at the second highest rank of ōzeki, in 1973 he was promoted to yokozuna at the age of thirty-two years two months, becoming the oldest wrestler to be promoted to yokozuna since 1958, when the current six tournaments system was established. After his retirement he was head coach of Sadogatake stable and produced a string of top division wrestlers. Born Norio Kamatani, he came from a sumo background, as his father was involved in organising regional amateur sumo tournaments and his grandfather's brother had been a professional rikishi. The young Kamatani at first competed in judo, achieving shodan level while still in middle school. However, after doing well in a national high school sumo competition he decided on a career in professional sumo. Initially his parents wanted him to continue with judo but they were persuaded by former komusubi Kotonishiki Noboru to let him join Sadogatake stable. Kotozakura made his professional debut
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    223
    Ryūō Noboru

    Ryūō Noboru

    Ryūō Noboru (born March 11, 1983 as Erkhem-Ochiryn Sanchirbold, Mongolian: Эрхэм-Очирын Санчирболд) is a professional sumo wrestler from Ulan-Bator, Mongolia. His highest rank has been maegashira 8. He joined sumo in March 2000, shortly before his 17th birthday, making him young by the standards of most foreign recruits. He took part in a seven way play-off for the title in the third makushita division in January 2003, but his progress was slowed by a neck injury that forced him to sit out the November 2003 tournament. After a year of steady progress he won promotion to the second highest jūryō division in July 2006. He entered the top makuuchi division in May 2007, producing a 10-5 record at maegashira 14. However he could manage only five wins in the next tournament and was demoted back to the second division after a 3-12 score in September 2007. An 8-7 mark at the rank of Jūryō 2 in January 2008 was enough to return him to the top division but he could not manage a winning score and so was demoted once again. In May 2008 he turned in a disappointing 5-10 score at Jūryō 5. In July he recovered from a poor 1-6 start to finish 8-7. However a 4-11 mark at Jūryō 10 in November 2008
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    224
    Tochiazuma Daisuke

    Tochiazuma Daisuke

    Tochiazuma Daisuke (born November 9, 1976 as Daisuke Shiga in Tokyo, Japan) is a retired sumo wrestler. He began his professional career in 1994, reaching the top division just two years later after winning a tournament championship in each of the lower divisions. After winning twelve special prizes and four gold stars, he reached his highest rank of ōzeki in 2002 and won three top division tournament championships before retiring because of health reasons in 2007 at the age of 30. In 2009 he became the head coach of Tamanoi stable. Born in Adachi, Tochiazuma is the youngest son of former sekiwake and January 1972 tournament winner Tochiazuma Tomoyori, who was the first bearer of the Tochiazuma shikona (fighting name). After his career, Daisuke's father became an elder in the Japan Sumo Association with the name Tamanoi Tomoyori and began his own sumo stable, of which his son was a member. The younger Tochiazuma entered professional sumo in November 1994, using his birth name as a shikona. He had a remarkably rapid rise, winning his first 26 matches (equalling Itai's record) and reaching the jūryō division in May 1996, only nine tournaments after his debut. At that point he adopted
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    225

    Umegatani Tōtarō I

    Umegatani Tōtarō (梅ヶ谷 藤太郎, March 16, 1845 – May 15, 1928) was a sumo wrestler from Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 15th Yokozuna. He was generally regarded as the strongest wrestler to emerge since the era of Tanikaze and Raiden. Umegatani entered Osaka sumo in 1863 and was promoted to ōzeki in 1870. He wasn't content with the rank and so gave it up. He transferred to Tokyo sumo in December 1870, and began his career over again from the bottom of the rankings. Umegatani won 58 bouts in a row from January 1876 to January 1881. It is the fourth best record of consecutive victories behind Futabayama, Tanikaze and Hakuhō. He was awarded a yokozuna licence in February 1884, receiving it simultaneously from both the Osaka and Tokyo based organisations. Emperor Meiji took pleasure in seeing his bout on March 10, 1884. The event made sumo more famous. He won 116 bouts and lost only 6 bouts in the top makuuchi division. He achieved a winning average of 95.1, the highest record among yokozuna, though could not surpass ōzeki Raiden. He was not a particularly large wrestler but was remarkably strong. After his retirement he remained in the sumo world as a coach under the
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    226

    Wajima Hiroshi

    Hiroshi Wajima (輪島大士) (born January 11, 1948) is a former sumo wrestler and professional wrestler from Nanao, Ishikawa, Japan. He was sumo's 54th Yokozuna. He won a total of 14 tournament championships or yusho during his career and retired in March 1981. He was later head coach of Hanakago stable, but was forced to leave the sumo world and turned to professional wrestling. After graduating from Nihon University where he was an amateur sumo champion he made his professional debut in January 1970 at the age of 22, joining Hanakago stable which was just a short distance from his university sumo club. He was given makushita tsukedashi status, meaning he could begin in the third highest makushita division. He was undefeated in his first 14 matches and reached the jūryō division after just two tournaments. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1971. After finishing as runner-up in the November 1971 and January 1972 tournaments he was promoted to sekiwake and took his first top division championship or yūshō in May 1972. He was promoted to ōzeki shortly afterwards and after winning his second championship with a perfect 15-0 score in May 1973 he was promoted to
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    227
    Wakakōyū Masaya

    Wakakōyū Masaya

    Wakakōyū Masaya (born 24 February 1984 as Masaya Yakigaya) is a professional sumo wrestler from Funabashi, Japan. His highest rank has been komusubi. The last two characters of his ring name are taken from his mentor and coach at Ōnomatsu, the former Masurao. He is only the second wrestler from his stable to reach the top division. He has been runner-up in one tournament and earned one special prize, for Fighting Spirit. Two years after his birth in Funabashi, his father was killed in a car accident and he was subsequently raised alone by his mother. Ōnomatsu being very near the home of one of his relatives, he began visiting the stable from a young age. This eventually led to him entering the stable in 1999. Fighting under his own surname of Yakigaya, he rose steadily through the ranks until reaching sandanme where he started to struggle. He managed to reach makushita in September 2002 but was demoted back to sandanme after one tournament. In 2003, he missed two tournaments, but upon returning earned two impressive records topped off with a perfect 7-0 record to win the sandanme championship in the last tournament of that year. He fought for four years in the makushita ranks with
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    228
    Wakashima Gonshirō

    Wakashima Gonshirō

    Wakashima Gonshirō (若島 権四郎, January 19, 1876 – October 23, 1943) was a sumo wrestler from Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 21st Yokozuna. Wakashima is the first official yokozuna from Osaka sumo. He began his career in Tokyo sumo at the Tomozuna stable, joining in May 1891 at the age of 15. He reached the top makuuchi division in 1896, peaking at maegashira 7. He was very popular with geisha, but it caused his slackening in growth. In addition, he suffered from smallpox. He left in January 1898, joining Osaka sumo. He entered Nakamura stable. He was awarded the Osaka sumo yokozuna licence by the Gojo family in January 1903. In June 1903, he fought against wrestlers in Tokyo sumo. He was so strong that he defeated yokozuna Umegatani Tōtarō II and emerged as a threat to the dominance of the strongest yokozuna in Tokyo sumo, Hitachiyama. His strength was acknowledged when, after a series of meetings between the Osaka and Tokyo sumo associations, he was awarded a yokozuna licence by the Yoshida family in April 1905. He retired at the early age of 31 in January 1907 owing to an injury suffered in a cycling accident in September 1905, Yamaguchi Prefecture. *There was
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    229
    Akinoumi Setsuo

    Akinoumi Setsuo

    Akinoumi Setsuo (安藝ノ海 節男, May 30, 1914 – March 25, 1979) was a sumo wrestler from Hiroshima, Japan. He was the sport's 37th Yokozuna. Akinoumi made his professional debut in February 1932 and reached the top makuuchi division in January 1938. He was the man who ended Futabayama's record 69 bout winning streak in January 1939. As he was only ranked as a maegashira at the time, it was regarded as an enormous upset. He defeated the yokozuna by sotogake, an outer leg trip. His only top division championship came in May 1941 when he was ranked as a sekiwake. He earned promotion to yokozuna in May 1942 after two runner-up performances. Akinoumi was not a particularly successful yokozuna, lasting only eight tournaments at the rank and not managing to win any further championships. He is arguably better remembered for his victory over Futabayama than his exploits as a grand champion. He married the daughter of Dewanoumi Oyakata, the former yokozuna Tsunenohana, but was unfaithful to her, his geisha mistress giving birth the same day that his wife did. They were later divorced. Akinoumi retired in November 1946, and became an elder of the Sumo Association with the name of Fujishima, but
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    230
    Aminishiki Ryūji

    Aminishiki Ryūji

    Aminishiki Ryūji (born October 3, 1978 as Ryūji Suginomori) is a Japanese sumo wrestler. He made his professional debut in 1997 and has been ranked in the top division since 2000. He has earned ten special prizes and won seven gold stars for defeating yokozuna during his career. He has twice been runner-up in a tournament. The highest rank he has reached is sekiwake. He is the younger brother of Asōfuji. Aminishiki was born in Fukaura, Nishitsugaru District, Aomori Prefecture. He joined Ajigawa stable, run by former yokozuna Asahifuji. He made his professional debut in January 1997. He reached the second highest jūryō division after three years in January 2000. He made the top makuuchi division just three tournaments later in July 2000. He won his first special prize in his debut top division tournament, for Fighting Spirit. In January 2003, he scored his first win over a yokozuna by defeating Takanohana, who announced his retirement the next day. He was a runner-up in the May 2003 tournament. In 2004, he briefly fell to jūryō after suffering an injury in the July tournament. Aminishiki has won the prestigious ginō-shō or Technique Award on four occasions, and has earned seven
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    231
    Chiyotaikai Ryuji

    Chiyotaikai Ryuji

    Chiyotaikai Ryūji (born April 29, 1976 as Ryūji Hiroshima in Chitose, Hokkaidō), is a Japanese former sumo wrestler. He made his professional debut in 1992 and reached the top makuuchi division in 1997. He held the second highest rank of ōzeki or champion for 65 consecutive tournaments from 1999 until 2009, making him the longest serving ōzeki in the modern era. He won three top division yūshō or tournament championships, and was a runner-up on seven other occasions. However, he also held the dubious record of being in danger of demotion from ōzeki fourteen times. He wrestled for Kokonoe stable until his retirement in January 2010 at the age of 33. After his father's death, Chiyotaikai's family moved to Ōita, which is considered his hometown and listed as such on the banzuke ranking sheets. When he was eleven, his mother remarried, to a local businessman. (In May 2009, Chiyotaikai finally adopted his mother's remarried surname of Sudō as his own.) He was an enthusiastic player of baseball and soccer as well as martial arts. He excelled at karate, and in judo he came third in the All-Japan Middle School Judo Championships. However, he also got into fights and petty crime as a member
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    232

    Daishoho Masami

    Daishōhō Masami (7 May 1967 – 4 December 1999) was a sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. Born in Sapporo, he took up skiing as a young boy, as he came from an area famous for its ski slopes. He also played basketball at school. However his father was an amateur sumo enthusiast and encouraged his son to try the sport. In his third year of junior high he took part in the National Junior High School Sumo Championships, held in Tokyo, and was put up in Tatsunami stable during the championships. Daishoho was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University, and after graduation he returned to Tatsunami stable. He entered professional sumo in January 1990 at the makushita level, and quickly reached the top makuuchi division in July 1991. His best performance in a tournament was in September 1992 when he was runner-up to Takahanada with 11 wins. He reached his highest rank of komusubi in January 1993, but after that he was plagued by a number of injuries to his knees, back and triceps. He fell back to the jūryō division after pulling out of the January 1997 tournament on the 4th day. In 1999 Daishoho was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He wanted to receive
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    233
    Gojōrō Katsuhiro

    Gojōrō Katsuhiro

    Gojōrō Katsuhiro (born 18 August 1973 as Akitomo Kojima) is a former sumo wrestler from Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan. Making his professional debut in 1989, he spent a total of 53 tournaments as an elite sekitori ranked wrestler, reaching a highest rank of maegashira 3 in 1998. After a number of injury problems he retired in 2005 at the age of 32. He is now a sumo coach under the name Hamakaze Oyakata. As a teenager he did judo and fencing. He was recruited by former yokozuna Wakanohana of the Magaki stable. He made his debut in November 1989 at the age of 16. After very briefly having shikona based on his own surname of Kojima, in 1990 he was given the name Wakasenryu, which was modified to Wakatenryu in the following year. In January 1992 he reached the third highest makushita division, although he was able to score only two wins and five losses. He responded with his first ever yusho, a perfect 7-0 record in sandanme, which earned him immediate promotion back to makushita. However, in 1993 he missed four successive tournaments, which saw him drop all the way down to the rank of jonidan 52. After another shikona change to Gojōrō, he returned to the dohyo in November 1993, winning 14
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    234
    Hakuba Takeshi

    Hakuba Takeshi

    Hakuba Takeshi (白馬毅, born May 5, 1983) is a former sumo wrestler from Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Joining the professional sport in 2000, he entered the top division for the first time in 2008, returning in 2010. His highest rank was komusubi. He was forced to retire from sumo in 2011 after being found guilty by the Japan Sumo Association of involvement in match-fixing. Ariunbayar Unurjargal had little background in sports. However, his aunt living in Japan had an acquaintance who knew the coach of Tatsugawa stable. He was encouraged to come to Japan and try out. The Tatsutagawa coach had originally intended for Hakuba to join another stable in the same ichimon, Michinoku, as his own stable would be disbanded upon his impending retirement. However, at the time of Hakuba's entry in January 2000, Michinoku already had its JSA designated limit of foreign wrestlers. Hakuba was therefore allowed to join Tatsutagawa after all, with the understanding he would join Michinoku upon Tatsutagawa being shut down, which occurred in September 2000. His shikona was chosen by Michinoku's support committee and combines the character for "white", because a white star is what a winning bout is called in
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    235

    Hasegawa Katsutoshi

    Hasegawa Katsutoshi (born 20 July 1944) is a former sumo wrestler from Sorachi, Hokkaidō, Japan. He began his professional career in 1960, reaching the top division in 1965. He won eight special prizes for his achievements in tournaments and earned nine gold stars for defeating yokozuna. He won a tournament championship or yusho in 1972 and was a runner-up in two other tournaments. His highest rank was sekiwake. He retired in 1976 and became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association, working as a coach at Sadogatake stable until his retirement in 2009. Hasegawa joined professional sumo in March 1960 at the age of 15, recruited by the former sekiwake Kotonishiki. Unusually, he fought under his own surname for his entire career (he is the only top division wrestler from Sadogatake stable not to have adopted a shikona or fighting name with the prefix "Koto"). He made the juryo division in January 1963 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division two years later in January 1965. Hasegawa quickly rose up the ranks, defeating his first yokozuna (Tochinoumi) in September 1965 and earning his first special prize, for Technique. In the following tournament in November he made his debut in the
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    236
    Jinmaku Kyūgorō

    Jinmaku Kyūgorō

    Jinmaku Kyūgorō (陣幕 久五郎, June 4, 1829 – October 21, 1903) was a sumo wrestler from what is now Shimane, Japan. He was the sport's 12th Yokozuna. Jinmaku was born in Ou District, Izumo Province (modern Yatsuka District, Shimane). His real name may have been Shintaro Ishigura (石倉 槇太郎, Ishigura Shintarō). In 1847 became a pupil of wrestler Hatsushio Kyūgorō in Onomichi, Hiroshima. When Hatsushio died in 1848 he moved to Osaka and became a pupil of Asahiyama Shirouemon, fighting his first bout in 1850. He worked under Tokushima Domain and moved to Matsue Domain and then Satsuma Domain. In 1850 he moved to Edo (modern Tokyo) and became a pupil of Hidenoyama Raigorō, the 9th yokozuna. He entered the makuuchi division in January 1858. In January 1867, he was initially awarded a yokozuna licence by the House of Gojo and not the Tokyo based House of Yoshida Tsukasa. He was awarded an official yokozuna licence in July 1867 but the November 1867 tournament became his last tournament. On December 25, 1867, he saw the beginning of the national fight and sent a letter to Saigo Takamori. He escaped from Edo and moved to Kyoto. Boshin War began in January 1868 and he protected his master Shimazu
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    237
    Jūmonji Tomokazu

    Jūmonji Tomokazu

    Jūmonji Tomokazu (born 9 June 1976) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. Joining the professional ranks in 1992, he reached the top division in 2000 and was ranked there for 34 tournaments until 2007. His highest rank was maegashira 6. He was forced to retire in April 2011 after an investigation by the Japan Sumo Association found him guilty of match-fixing. Jūmonji was born in Hashikami, Sannohe District. He made his professional debut in November 1992, joining Tatsutagawa stable (which was absorbed into Michinoku stable in 2000 upon the retirement of its stablemaster). He spent six years in the lower divisions, picking up a tournament championship or yusho in the sandanme division in 1995. He reached the second jūryō division in January 1998, fighting under the shikona or ring name of Kaigatake, but he lasted only one tournament there. Upon winning promotion back to jūryō in November 1999 he reverted to his own surname, which he used for the rest of his career. He used various names as the second part of his shikona, including Akinori and Masayasu, but returned to his given name of Tomokazu in 2008. Jūmonji made his debut in the top makuuchi division in May 2000. He made
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    238
    Kaiō Hiroyuki

    Kaiō Hiroyuki

    Kaiō Hiroyuki (born July 24, 1972 as Hiroyuki Koga) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Nōgata, Fukuoka, Japan. He made his debut in 1988, reaching the top makuuchi division in 1993. He held the second highest rank of ōzeki or champion for eleven years from 2000 to 2011, and is the longest-serving ōzeki of all time in terms of number of tournaments fought. In his career he won five top division yūshō or tournament championships, the last coming in 2004. This is the modern record for someone who has not ultimately made the top rank of yokozuna. He was a runner-up in eleven other tournaments, and also won 15 sanshō or special prizes, the third highest ever. In November 2009 he broke the record previously held by Takamiyama for the most tournaments ranked in the top division, and in January 2010 he surpassed Chiyonofuji's record of most top division bouts won. In the May 2010 tournament he became the only wrestler besides Chiyonofuji to reach one thousand career wins, and he surpassed Chiyonofuji's career wins record of 1045 in July 2011. He retired in the same tournament to become a coach at Tomozuna stable under the elder name Asakayama. Koga did karate for two years in
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    239

    Kotonishiki Hideyuki

    Kotonishiki Katsuhiro (born June 8, 1968 as Hideyuki Matsuzawa) is a former sumo wrestler from Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. He began his career in 1984, reaching the top makuuchi division in 1989. He won two top division tournament titles from the maegashira ranks (the only wrestler ever to do so), the first in 1991 and the second in 1998. His highest rank was sekiwake, which he held 21 times. He earned eighteen special prizes during his career, second on the all-time list, and defeated yokozuna eight times when ranked as a maegashira. He retired in 2000 and is now a sumo coach at Sadogatake stable. He was born in the former Misato, Gunma. At the wish of his father, he practiced both sumo and judo from a young age. After competing in the National Junior High School Sumo Championships at the age of 14, he met former yokozuna Kotozakura who persuaded him to join Sadogatake stable. He made his professional debut in March 1984. His first shikona or fighting name was Kotomatsuzawa, based on his own surname. He switched to Kotonishiki in late 1987 and shortly afterwards made the elite sekitori ranks, being promoted to the jūryō division in March 1988. A losing score of 4-11 meant
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    240

    Maruyama Gondazaemon

    Maruyama Gondazaemon (丸山 権太左衛門, December 23, 1713, Miyagi Prefecture – November 14, 1749) was a sumo wrestler. He is officially recognised as the third yokozuna (grand champion). His real name was Haga Gindayu (芳賀 銀太夫). He came from a village in the Sendai Domain (part of what is now Miyagi Prefecture). Gondazaemon went to Edo at the age of just 17, and was trained by Nanatsumori Oriemon (七ツ森折右衛門). His height was 197 cm and his weight was 166 kg. He left Edo to fight in Osaka sumo. In Osaka, he debuted at west ōzeki in 1737. It is said that he lost only two bouts in his career. He is considered to have been a strong wrestler but it has not been proven that he was awarded a yokozuna license. In honor of him, the house of Yoshida Tsukasa allowed him to be their disciple from August 1749 but this did not confer him the status of yokozuna. However, there are tales told that he wore a black-and-white rope. Though it was not a traditional shimenawa, Masahiko Nomi conjectured that it may have been related to the shimenawa. Gondazaemon died in Nagasaki while an active sumo wrestler on November 14, 1749 possibly from dysentery. His grave lies in Nagasaki, Nagasaki Prefecture. A statue of
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    241
    Ōnishiki Uichirō

    Ōnishiki Uichirō

    Ōnishiki Uichirō (大錦 卯一郎, November 25, 1891 – May 13, 1941) was a sumo wrestler. He was the sport's 26th Yokozuna. On November 2, 1922, he became the first yokozuna to perform the yokozuna dohyō-iri at the Meiji Shrine. Born in Osaka, he trained under former yokozuna Hitachiyama Taniemon, joining his Dewanoumi stable. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1915. After finishing the May 1915 tournament with a 9-1 record at the komusubi rank, he was promoted to ōzeki. He won his first yūshō or championship with a perfect 10-0 record in the January 1917 tournament and was promoted to yokozuna. He reached the top yokozuna rank after only 5 tournaments, which is the all-time record. He lost only 16 bouts in his entire career. He won five top division tournament championships and was runner-up in four others. He was very smart in comparison with most sumo wrestlers of his era, and so he was very strong and recorded the high winning percentage of 88.1. He also recorded only three draws. However, his career suddenly ended. In January 1923, sumo wrestlers went on strike against the Tokyo Sumo Association. The walkout is called Mikawajima-Incident (三河島事件, Mikawajima-Jiken).
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    242

    Ōtori Tanigorō

    Ōtori Tanigorō (鳳 谷五郎, April 3, 1887 – November 16, 1956) was a sumo wrestler from Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 24th Yokozuna. He fought out of Miyagino stable and made his debut in the jonokuchi division in May 1903. He reached the top division in January 1909 and won his first tournament championship in his debut tournament at ōzeki rank in January 1913. He was undefeated in that tournament, recording seven wins, one draw and one no decision. His second championship in January 1915, which he took with ten straight wins, saw him promoted to yokozuna. Okuma Shigenobu presented a tachi, or long sword, to him. However, his record at sumo's highest rank was very patchy and he did not manage to win any further championships. He was known for his wide variety of techniques, but at that time the most popular yokozuna was Hitachiyama and so his fighting style was regarded as unacceptable. His record as yokozuna was 35 wins against 24 defeats, compared with 36 wins and only four defeats at ōzeki rank. He retired in May 1920. In the top makuuchi division, he won 108 bouts and lost 49 bouts, recording a winning percentage of 68.8. He was head coach of Miyagino stable
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    243
    Shinichi Suzukawa

    Shinichi Suzukawa

    Wakakirin Shinichi (born September 21, 1983 as Shinichi Suzukawa) is a former sumo wrestler from Hyogo prefecture in Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 9. He was thrown out of the sport in February 2009 after being arrested for cannabis possession. In 2010 he became a professional wrestler. Born in Kawanishi, he made his professional debut in March 1999. He is the fourth wrestler from that class to make the top division, following Kotomitsuki, Takamisakari and Hamanishiki, but the first to do so after making his debut at the lowest level of sumo entry, mae-zumo. He joined Oshiogawa stable. He began competing under his own surname, but upon reaching the second highest jūryō division for the first time in July 2004 his stablemaster Oshiogawa Oyakata honoured him with the name of Wakakirin. The "Kirin" part of his name, meaning giraffe or qilin, had only been given to three previous wrestlers: his own stablemaster (former ōzeki Daikirin), former sekiwake Kirinji, and Tamakirin, who quit sumo to become a professional wrestler. Wakakirin scored an impressive ten wins in his jūryō debut, but in January 2005 he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that forced him to sit out
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    244

    Shiranui Kōemon

    Shiranui Kōemon (不知火 光右衛門, March 3, 1825 – February 24, 1879) was a sumo wrestler from Kikuchi, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 11th Yokozuna. He was well known in local amateur sumo tournaments by the age of 16. He entered Osaka in the autumn of 1846. His coach was Minato-oyakata, former yokozuna Shiranui Dakuemon, who was also from Kumamoto and powerful within the Osaka organisation. In May 1847, he made his professional debut in Osaka sumo. His stablemaster realised his potential, and in 1849, he transferred to Sakaigawa stable in Edo sumo. He made his debut in November 1850 and reached the top makuuchi division in November 1856. He adopted the Shiranui shikona soon after that. He was promoted to ōzeki in March 1862. He was awarded a yokozuna licence in October 1863. He was more known for his technique than his strength, and was feared especially for his right hand technique. He was an expert at leg grabs, once downing Ryōgoku Kajinosuke I, himself an expert on the technique, with one clean move. Shiranui became a yokozuna at the age of 38, and his record as an ōzeki had not been particularly strong. The granting of the licence was more due to his popularity with
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    Takanohana Toshiaki

    Takanohana Kenshi 貴ノ花健士 (born Hanada Mitsuru; February 19, 1950 - May 30, 2005) was a sumo wrestler from Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank was ōzeki, which he held for fifty tournaments. As an active rikishi he was extremely popular and was nicknamed the "Prince of Sumo" due to his good looks and relatively slim build. He was the father of Wakanohana Masaru and Takanohana Kōji, and as head of the Futagoyama stable coached both of them to the yokozuna rank. He had been a champion swimmer while at school, but did not think he could make a living out of it. He was determined to join professional sumo, in spite of some opposition from his family. He began his career in the spring of 1965, joining Futagoyama stable which had been set up his elder brother, former yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji I, three years previously. He initially fought under his own surname of Hanada. He reached the top makuuchi division in November 1968 at the age of just 18, the youngest ever at the time (the record is now held by his son Takanohana). He weighed barely 100 kg, and would remain one of the lightest men in the top division for the rest of his career. He adopted the shikona of Takanohana
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    246
    Tamanoumi Masahiro

    Tamanoumi Masahiro

    Tamanoumi Masahiro (玉の海 正洋, February 5, 1944 - October 11, 1971), was a sumo wrestler, born in Aichi, Japan. He was the sport's 51st yokozuna. Born in Gamanori, he did judo in his youth. Tamanoumi began his professional career in March 1959, joining Nishonoseki stable, the same stable as the great yokozuna Taihō. At that stage he used a different shikona, or fighting name: Tamanoshima. In 1962 his coach, former sekiwake Tamanoumi Daitaro, set up his own Kataonami stable and Tamanoshima joined it. He reached the top makuuchi division in March 1964. In 1965 a change in the rules meant that wrestlers from the same group of stables could meet each other in tournament competition, and Tamanoshima defeated Taihō in their first official match. He was promoted to sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki in November 1966 at the age of 22. At first, he was unable to reach a score in double figures at ōzeki rank, but his results began to improve significantly from November 1967. In May 1968, after three runner-up performances in a row, he finally captured his first yūshō, or tournament title, with a 13-2 record. His second title came in September 1969. In November 1969 he posted a 10-5 record, and
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    Terao Tsunefumi

    Terao Tsunefumi

    Terao Tsunefumi (寺尾 常史, born February 2, 1963 as Yoshifumi Fukuzono (福薗 好文)) is a former sumo wrestler. He was born in Tokyo, but brought up in Kajiki, Aira District, Kagoshima, Japan. He fought out of Izutsu stable. The highest rank he reached was sekiwake. Despite his relatively light weight he had an extremely long career, spanning 23 years from 1979 until 2002, and was known as the "iron man" of sumo. He is now the head coach of Shikoroyama stable. Terao has a long sumo pedigree. He is the third son of former sekiwake Tsurugamine, and younger brother of Kakureizan (former jūryō) and Sakahoko (former sekiwake). His paternal grandfather was a cousin of Satsumanishiki (former makushita). His father married the adopted daughter of former makushita Kaganishiki, who was adopted by Nishinoumi, the 25th yokozuna. His cousin is Tsurunofuji (former jūryō). Terao and his brothers Kakureizan and Sakahoko together hold various sumo records: they are the first three brothers ever to reach sekitori status; in September 1986 Terao and Sakahoko were the first brothers to win prizes together; and in March 1989 they were the first brothers to hold sekiwake rank simultaneously. In November 1990
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    248
    Tochinonada Taiichi

    Tochinonada Taiichi

    Tochinonada Taiichi (栃乃洋 泰一 born February 26, 1974 as Taiichi Gotō) is a former sumo wrestler from Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. An amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 1996 and reached the top makuuchi division in 1997. He earned twelve kinboshi or gold stars for defeating yokozuna, the second highest ever, and he was a runner-up in two tournaments. His highest rank was sekiwake. He is now a coach at Kasugano stable under the name Takenawa Oyakata. Born in Nanao, he was a rival of fellow top division wrestler Dejima in elementary school. He was an amateur sumo champion at Takushoku University, winning the College Yokozuna title. He joined Kasugano stable through a connection to Chigonoura Oyakata (the former sekiwake Masudayama), who was a fellow Takushoku University alumni and a coach at the stable, and made his professional debut in January 1996. Because of his amateur achievements he had makushita tsukedashi status, and so his debut tournament was in the third highest makushita division. He made the jūryō division in November 1996, switching from his family name of Gotō and adopting the shikona of Tochinonada. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division three
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    249
    Tochiozan Yuichiro

    Tochiozan Yuichiro

    Tochiōzan Yūichirō (born March 9, 1987 as Yūichirō Kageyama) is a sumo wrestler from Kōchi Prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in January 2005 and reached the top makuuchi division in March 2007. His highest rank has been sekiwake. He is regarded as one of the most promising Japanese rikishi in sumo today. He practiced sumo at Meitoku Gijuku High School, where he was a kōhai of Asashoryu. Several different heya were interested in recruiting him for professional sumo, but he chose Kasugano stable. He made his ring debut at the March 2005 tournament, under his family name Kageyama. He rose through the divisions quickly, winning the third lowest sandanme division championship in November of that same year. In September 2006 at the age of 19 he became a salaried sekitori wrestler when he entered jūryō, the second highest division, adopting the ring name Tochiōzan. He made his debut in the top makuuchi division in March 2007, where he was in contention for the championship until the 14th day. He finished with a strong 11-4 record and won the Fighting Spirit award. Promoted to maegashira for the May tournament, he faced all the top ranked wrestlers for the first time and
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    250
    Wakanosato Shinobu

    Wakanosato Shinobu

    Wakanosato Shinobu (born July 10, 1976 as Shinobu Kogawa) is a professional sumo wrestler from Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan. He has been ranked mostly in the top division since 1998, and his highest rank has been sekiwake. He holds the record for the most consecutive tournaments ranked in the junior sanyaku ranks of sekiwake and komusubi (19 from 2002 until 2005). He has won ten special prizes and has twice been runner-up in a tournament. He first tried sumo in the third grade when he entered a competition for fourth graders and up and came in third. By middle school he was training every day at a sumo dojo. He met Takahanada (later the 64th yokozuna Takanohana) when a regional tour came to Hirozaki City, getting into the ring with him. He entered professional sumo in March 1992 after completing middle school, although he had been admitted to Hirosaki Jitsygyo High School. He had received offers from four or five different heya upon his graduation, but the small and relatively new Naruto stable appealed to him. Like many sumo wrestlers, he initially competed under his family name, Kogawa, but upon reaching the second highest jūryō division in November 1997 he was given the fighting name
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