Here is a photo I found of Hakuho a couple of weeks back. I think it is very appropriate for his intai as I felt it not only encapsulated his essence, but also what he meant for many of his fans. Perhaps you all will remember him as such.
What should sumo look like, especially for a Yokozuna? How should a Yokozuna behave and what are the limits? To what extent should they be invested in the next generation? What does it mean to be a hugely successful foreigner in a traditionally conservative society and sport? While he might not have provided us the answers, I think Hakuho has provided us very good hints. His very presence is a living critique of the system itself - its good and bad.
He tested the limits of yotsu and strategic sumo, the standards of Yokozuna behaviour and occasionally my temper as well. I made no secret that I disliked what would be his final performance against Terunofuji. Many focus on his more reprehensible aspects, but I would instead like to encourage you all to consider his character and legacy more comprehensively. He was a rikishi and Yokozuna, for sure. But most importantly, at least to me, he was a supremely dedicated son, a loving father and a capable mentor for the next generation, whether they are 8 in the Hakuho Cup, or 18, about to make their shindeshi appearance, fighting alongside him. I am not his #1 fan, but he made the sport a meaningful part of my life.
Thank you, Hakuho.