mikawa

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  1. There will be updates each basho on which of the Top 32 are in Ozumo, what their shikona is, which heya they belong to, and where on the banzuke they are currently at. Those who are not included in the updates have gone onto high school and university.
  2. 1 - Narita Rikido (成田 力道), Aomori 2 - Uchida Kyota (内田 京汰), Shizuoka 3 - Honda Kotaro (本田 豪太郎), Kumamoto 4 - Altangerel Sosorkhuu (アルタンゲレル ソソルフー), Mongolia 5 - Niijima Ibuki (新島 伊武起), Kagoshima 6 - Miura Tomokazu (三浦 智一), Aomori 7 - Takko Asahi (田子 麻聖), Akita 8 - Shinozaki Sota (篠崎 颯太), Ibaraki 9 - Sugahara Haruka (菅原 悠翔), Shizuoka 10 - Seki Masashige (関 真成), Niigata 11 - Kitamura Yuta (北村 優太), Nagano 12 - Shinto Akira (神藤 輝), Osaka 13 - Mochizuki Masaya (望月 大矢), Shizuoka 14 - Tateno Ryu (舘野 隆), Fukushima 15 - Komiyama Toa (小宮山 翔海), Tokyo 16 - Takeuchi Fumu (武内 楓夢), Fukui 17 - Kobayashi Arashi (小林 嵐), Saitama 18 - Yoda Shigeki (依田 蒼基), Kanagawa 19 - Shoda Haruto (正田 悠倫), Hokkaido 20 - Takayama Shunsuke (高山 瞬佑), Shiga 21 - Morita Akihito (森田 陽彦), Ishikawa 22 - Ikoma Tomoyuki (生駒 智之), Gifu 23 - Soma Shinya (相馬 伸哉), Tochigi 24 - Fukuda Shintaro (福田 真大朗), Tochigi 25 - Nishikawa Mirai (西川 宙生), Tokyo 26 - Sakai Yuma (坂井 勇麻), Hiroshima 27 - Oura Hirofumi (大浦 宏文), Nagasaki 28 - Kohara Sota (小原 颯太), Kanagawa 29 - Inagaki Akira (稲垣 明良), Mie 30 - Suzuki Yamato (鈴木 大和), Miyagi 31 - Sekiguchi Takeru (関口 健), Gunma 32 - Shimomura Yamato (下村 耶真人), Yamaguchi
  3. With the Class of 2018 and Class of 2019 posts having been completed now, let's move onto the Class of 2020, the year group who are first eligible for Ozumo from 2020. For a bit of context, one of my reasons for going to Japan for the first time back in 2016 was to see a showdown between Rikido and Kyota, the title rikishi of this post. They certainly didn't disappoint. As before, we'll list the Top 32 rikishi in this year group, ranked by their results in every national level tournament prior to graduating middle school. We will also be focussing on some of them, talking about what kind of wrestler they are, what notable results they've achieved, and more importantly, what their story is. Hopefully when they start appearing in Makuuchi in years to come, you could look back to the Amasumo section and see where they came from, and what they've been through.
  4. Update: July 2020 Makuuchi: Juryo: Makushita: Sandanme: Sd63e - Kume Kiyoshi (粂 貞), Kotokume, Sadogatake (#23) Sd70e - Ito Hikari (伊藤 暉), Kotoito, Sadogatake (#7) Jonidan: Jd52e - Honda Rikiya (本多 力也), Kochikara, Tagonoura (#31) Jonokuchi: Comments Both Middle School semi-finalist Kume Kiyoshi and former Hakuho Cup winner Ito Hikari are currently having a bit of trouble getting through Sandanme. It's been a year since they debuted in that division, but neither have yet come close to challenging for a Makushita spot. Not many of the top names in this year group have joined Ozumo thus far, looking forward to see how they would do once they do turn pro.
  5. 32 - Yanagisawa Tsubasa (柳澤 翼), Tokyo Type of Wrestler Low centre of gravity, clever in the ring Major Achievements Wanpaku quarter-final (Grade 4) National Club Championships runner-up (third year middle school, team captain) Personal Stories NEVER FORGOTTEN 16 years of age. This is normally a time when young sumo hopefuls are either looking forward to their careers in Ozumo, or perhaps one day representing their high school in national tournaments. For the talented Tsubasa however, all this was taken away from him. At the start of October in 2018, Tsubasa closed his eyes for the final time after a year-long battle with illness. 16 years, so young, so so young. One cannot help but wonder how far would Tsubasa's skills and strength have taken him? Could he have become High School Yokozuna? Would he have joined Ozumo and maybe one day appear in Makuuchi? Tsubasa has certainly left his mark on amateur sumo during those 16 years he was with us. He led his club (Komatsuryu Dojo) to their best ever finish at the National Club Championships (at the time), claiming second place. And who could forget this following bout, which propelled Tsubasa (on the left) into the spotlight and sent the entire Kokugikan Stadium into roars of delight? NEVER FORGOTTEN
  6. 21 - Nobehara Toma (延原 闘真), Osaka Type of Wrestler Strong, prefers oshi-zumo Major Achievements Middle School Student Championships quarter-final (third year middle school) Personal Stories Back in July 2017, Takatoriki appeared on a TV program where he faced off against Grade 6 Yokozuna Yamashita Shosuke. During the sequel episode, he was pitted against a "Super Middle Schooler" team of 1st year Uchida Kyota, 2nd year Kawazoe Fuma, and then 3rd year Nobehara Toma. It was revealed during this episode that Nobehara Toma is a very strong wrestler, but he hates studying. In fact, his mock exam's score was as low as 18 (out of 500) across five subjects. That's an average of just 3.6 marks per subject. However, it's a different story when he's in the dohyo, where he is able to remain focussed on the task at hand. Nobehara Toma prefers to stay off the belt and find opportunities to force his opponents out of the ring. Below is one of his bouts from the Kokutai Juniors last year, Nobehara Toma is on the right:
  7. 16 - Kitano Soma (北野 颯馬), Tochigi Type of Wrestler Big, strong Major Achievements Wanpaku quarter-final (Grade 5) Personal Stories Oyama City, Ibaraki. A full 90 minute journey by car to Sensoji Temple in the heart of Tokyo. It is a journey that Kitano Soma makes every Saturday and Sunday to attend sumo training at Komatsuryu Dojo (John Gunning's club). His coach once joked that with the amount of dedication that Soma shows to the sport, it would be hard for him to not improve. Kitano Soma is a pusher and thruster through and through, preferring to stay off the belt. A bit like this (Soma is on the left):
  8. 13 - Ikeda Ryo (池田 亮), Ishikawa Type of Wrestler Tall, big Major Achievements Wanpaku Yokozuna (Grade 4) Personal Stories Hailing from the same part of Japan as Kagayaki, Ikeda Ryo and his older brother Ikeda Shun are both talented sumo wrestlers. Although Ikeda Ryo isn't quite as good as his sibling Shun, he did accomplish something which his brother could never quite manage, and that is to win a national championship. Ikeda Ryo starts off his bouts with a push and thrust attack, and then he tries to find an opportunity to grab his opponent's belt and go from there. This worked well for him during Grade 4, when he won the Wanpaku Tournament. Here's a video of his Top 16 match against Murayama Go that day. Ikeda Ryo is on the right.
  9. 12 - Sakamoto Hirokazu (坂本 博一), Tokyo Type of Wrestler Strong, well-rounded Major Achievements Hakuho Cup Winner (Grade 4) Wanpaku runner-up (Grade 5) Middle School Championships quarter-final (third year middle school) National Club Championships winner (third year middle school, team captain) Personal Stories Being the son of an Ozumo oyakata (Tokitsukazu-oyakata in this case), Sakamoto Hirokazu was always going to have his time in the spotlight sooner or later. Hirokazu made known to the sumo world when he and his younger brother (Shoma) both won the Hakuho Cup back in 2013. Here's a photo of father and son inside the Kokugikan. Hirokazu rode this wave of momentum to achieve second place at the Wanpaku Tournament half a year later, losing only to Hanaoka Masaki in the final, who was statistically the best rikishi in his year group. Hirokazu (on the right) took quite a bit of punishment during his semi-final, but he persevered and came out on top. Four years later, Sakamoto Hirokazu would captain his team (Kashiwa Junior Sumo Club) to victory in the 14th National Club Championships, with Hirokazu himself playing a major role in his team's success. With the score tied at 2-2 in their semi0final match against Mitaka Sumo Club, Hirokazu (on the left) stepped up to face the talented Hanafusa Kai. The pressure of the situation was immense, but he remained calm and collected. As of 2020, Hirokazu is currently in his final year at Sanbongi Agricultural High School in Aomori Prefecture, and a member of their competitive sumo club. Will he follow in the footsteps of his Kashiwa senpai (like Takanosho, Kotonowaka and Kotoshoho) and join Ozumo in the near future? We'll wait and see.
  10. Absolutely, this year's Inter-High would have been great to watch
  11. 11 - Kojima Shu (小嶋 秀), Tottori Type of Wrestler Short, a bag of tricks Major Achievements Wanpaku quarter-final (Grade 5) Wanpaku quarter-final (Grade 6) Primary School Championships quarter-final (Grade 6) Personal Stories 29th July 2012. A young Hanaoka Masaki walked into the Kokugikan Stadium with hopes of winning the Wanpaku Tournament three years in a row. He would go on to win this competition in both Grade 5 and Grade 6, but on this particular day he would leave Tokyo bitterly disappointed. Knocked out in his first bout. His only opponent that day was Kojima Shu, a senpai of Ochiai Tetsuya at Tottori Inaba Sumo Dojo. Kojima Shu has a small stature (like Terutsuyoshi), but he uses this along with his superb agility to his advantage to outwit his opponents time and time again. Here's a video of that bout (Shu is on the left):
  12. 9 - Urayama Shusei (浦山 秀誠), Toyama Type of Wrestler Big and strong, prefers belt sumo Major Achievements Middle School Championships runner-up (third year middle school) Personal Stories January 2017, Asanoyama has just won the Makushita Yusho and has guaranteed himself a place in Juryo. He returns to his home prefecture of Toyama to attend the funeral of Urayama Hideki, his former coach at Toyama Commercial High School. Urayama Hideki was a pivotal figure in Asanoyama's development, transforming him from a thrusting rikishi into a belt specialist. When Asanoyama suffered a major injury during his final year of Middle School and was considering quitting sumo altogether, it was Urayama Hideki who convinced him to keep at it and come back stronger. He was the person whom Asanoyama owed his success to, and that's why Asanoyama's full shikona is Asanoyama Hideki. Asanoyama was undoubtedly deeply affected by his teacher's passing, and the same can be said about Coach Hideki's son, Urayama Shusei. Influenced by his father, Shusei is also a belt specialist, and has had multiple Top 16 finishes during his primary school days. His match against Hanaoka Masaki during Grade 5 was a straight up power battle, which doesn't happen often at that level. Here's a video of that bout, with Shusei on the right: The pinnacle of Urayama Shusei's sumo career so far was when he reached the final of the National Middle School Championships, where he faced Narumi Shoma from Aomori. Here's what happened in that bout (Shusei is on the right):
  13. Kotoeko Juniors Location - Awanomyo-machi (粟野名町), Nobeoka, Miyazaki Keiko - Unknown With the completion of the sumo dohyo in Kotoeko's hometown in 2017, Nobeoka Sumo Dojo was founded. As of the end of 2019, they have 18 club members in total, 7 of which are girls. They are coached by Kishimoto Takeshi (岸本 武). Despite being such a young sumo club, Nobeoka Sumo Dojo already have had their fair share of success. Not only have multiple members achieved fantastic results in regional tournaments (coming first or second in their year groups), Nobeoka as a team have even managed a second-place finish at the Kyushu tournament. Miyazaki TV went to one of their training sessions to find out more about the club: The club's star members are undoubtedly the Kai siblings. Older sister Kai Hatsuki (甲斐 葉月) was the Grade 6 national girls' champion, while younger brother Kai Yota (甲斐 陽太) was a Wanpaku quarter-finalist last year in Grade 4. As you can imagine, there's a nice sibling rivalry going on in the Kai household, Yota really wants to one-up his sister and become a national champion himself. His best chance so far came in February 2020, when he overcame both the Primary School Yokozuna (Nakamura Hayato) and the Kumamoto champion (Sato Iroha) to reach the Hakuho Cup final. Kai Yota (on the left) stepped up to face his larger opponent from Niigata Prefecture, with his sister watching on from the stands:
  14. 5 - Murayama Go (村山 豪), Chiba Type of Wrestler Large frame, strong on the belt Major Achievements Wanpaku semi-final (Grade 5) Primary School Championships quarter-final (Grade 5) Wanpaku semi-final (Grade 6) Primary School Championships quarter-final (Grade 6) Personal Stories In a parallel universe, Murayama Go might have been a multiple time national champion. Indeed, his style of getting a hand on his opponent's belt and then marching them out of the ring has helped him take down many rivals, but unfortunately for him, a certain Hanaoka Masaki is even more of an expert belt fighter. Twice Murayama Go reached the semi-finals of the Wanpaku Tournament, where he was outmanoeuvred by Masaki both times. Because of his achievements, Murayama Go was chosen for a TV program where he and two other rikishi (Hanaoka Masaki and Sakurai Yuki if I recall correctly) faced a team of Mongolian kids in a sumo match. Team Japan won. Here's a video of when Murayama Go (on the left) took down the defending champion back in Grade 5. He's now a member of Kaiyo High School in Niigata Prefecture.
  15. 4 - Yamamoto Takeru (山本 剛瑠), Kyoto Type of Wrestler Strong, tricky to deal with Major Achievements Wanpaku semi-final (Grade 4) Primary School Championships quarter-final (Grade 6) Middle School Student Championships runner-up (third year middle school) Middle School Championships quarter-final (third year middle school) Personal Stories Although not a big rikishi, Yamamoto Takeru has managed to develop a style of sumo that's proven to be very effective. From the tachi-ai, he charges head-first towards his opponent, and then pushes forwards from a low position. His strength and ability to prevent his opponent from getting a hand on his mawashi makes this strategy difficult to counter. This has allowed him to achieve some great results, including a third place finish at last year's Kokutai (Junior Division). Here is a video from last year's Kokutai, with Takeru (on the right), representing Team Kumamoto. He joined Buntoku High School after graduating from middle school.