Retirees after Hatsu 2016 in Ozumo Discussions Posted January 27, 2016 Why do guys hang around in mid-maegashira for 10 years? Even lower down the banzuke there's guys in their late 20s or 30s: is it simply a lack of somewhere else to go? I'll take it you mean mid makushita, as anyone would be really happy to get sekitori (maegashira) pay for 10 years or so :). To answer your question though, there is a large number of rikishi that are not really "professional athletes", but still feel themselves part of the sumo world. They live in a community that has a place for them and a job to do (even if its sort of a servant position really), a community that feeds them, houses them and provides them with medical insurance. Not to mention the fact that for a lot of those guys its really all they have known. Take for example Hanakaze, the oldest active rikishi. The guy has been a rikishi for 30 years. Goes without saying that since in all those years he has a career high rank of Sandame 18, banzuke-wise he has consistently been going nowhere fast, but do you doubt that he feels his heya like his home and family by now? And even when he retires, the heya will probably keep him around in some role, or arrange for a job for him through a koenkai or something... And, of course, there are also some guys that are bouncing around in mid makushita that still have a bit of potential, and maybe for some of them it feels worth it to try to make it to sekitori even at a relatively advanced age.