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Rikishi Talk the Sehshuraku Aki Basho 2011

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The Senshuraku Aki Basho September 25, 2011


Hakuho downed Harumafuji with uwate-nage and kept his two loss record intact and won the 20th yusho after losing the yusho last basho. With the yusho he has joined a select group of yokozuna who won 20 or more yusho in their career. Kotoshogiku lost to Baruto and could not force Yusho Kettei-sen against Hakuho. His record up to Day 14 was considered to have met the standard ozeki promotion requirement. He will be officially promoted to ozeki after the basho. Harumafuji suffred his seventh loss while his ozeki mate Baruto won his 10th, Kisenosato won his 12th and will challenge for his ozeki promotion next basho. Komusubi Toyonoshima got his kachikoshi today.

Takamisakari (Juryo West 7, 6-9) losing to Hitenryu by yorikiri


(Just demoted to Juryo and already suffering makekoshi even in Juryo.)

"Please tell me again I will be still in Juryo next basho. I will be doing all my best for sure."

Tenkaiho (Juryo West 3, 8-7) over Kimurayama by oshidashi, 10.5 sec


(Juryo West 3 and getting kachikoshi and likely to be promoted to Makuuchi with Tsurigitake.)

"I feel really great now. I was so worried if I could get kachikoshi or not."

Kimurayama (7-8) losing to Tenkaiho


(With ranked at Maegashira West 16 and getting makekoshi on the senshuraku three straight basho and a possibility of demotion looms. In the previous two basho despite makekoshi at the Makuuchi bottom ranking he somehow escaped demotion due to additional openings after yaocho incidents. Even tried yogurt drink after Day 14 but it obviously did not change his fortune around.)

"I guess this time for sure I am doomed."

Tsurugidake (Juryo West 2, 8-7) over Takanoyama by oshitaoshi, 1.7 sec


(Getting kachikoshi at Juryo West 2 and likelihood of Makuuchi promotion.)

"I was so uptight last night I could not get any sleep but I feel so relieved now."

(Making his dohyo debut at the 2001 Haru Basho, taking 63 basho to reach Makuuchi, breaking a record set by Bushuyama's 59 for a former college rikshi to reach Makuuchi.)

"I have no knowledge of Makuuchi promotion so I won't think about it."

Takanoyama (5-10) losing to Tsurigidake


(Losing his 10th in his Makuuchi debut basho, certain demotion to Juryo.)

"I am still weak. I lack in too many areas I cannot even begin to count."

Gagamaru (11-4) over Tochiozan by oshidashi, 2.6 sec


(Getting his first Kanto-sho.)

"I wanted to win it so bad. I feel unbelievably great. I will send it (the winning money) to my mother (in Georgia)."

"I was able to focus on each and every bout this basho. But I now realize I would need to strengthen myself much more."

Tochiozan (7-8) losing to Gagamaru


(From 7 win and 4 loss mark, losing four straight.)

"I couldn't do anything this basho. It just shows you I am still weak. I feel so pathetic."

Okinoumi (8-7) over Asasekiryu by hikiotoshi, 1.3 sec


(Got kachikoshi ranked at Maegashira West 1 but appears not blessed with banzuke luck and not likely to be promoted to Sanyaku.)

"Why not them giving us three sekiwake? Can't you guys do anything about me???"

Homasho (10-5) over Tochinowaka by yorikiri, 14.0 sec


(Winning 10th ranked at Maegashira East 1)

"This basho was a real confidence builder for me. Both Kotoshogiku and Kisenosato are really motivating me to try harder. I want to do my best not to left getting behind them by keep winning the next basho too."

Toyonoshima (8-7) over Kitataiki by yoritaoshi, 2.1 sec


(Escaping from the cliff and winning seven straight to get kachikoshi as a return komusubi. Being inspired by Kotoshogiku, his long time rival from boyhood.)

"Prior to the bout today I was so tense and anxious in the dressing room, I was starting to get sick."

"I will try as hard as I can to get a double digit record as a Sanyaku."

(On having his wedding reception planned in October and was worried he might get injured this basho and attend the party with a walking stick.)

"I guess when you consider one time I had a one win and 7 loss record, I should have a good reception."

Kakuryu (9-6) over Miyabiyama by oshidashi, 2.1 sec


"I don't believe I was feeling the pressure at all. But I started thinking so hard I had to display good quality sumo somewhere, I think I just imploded."

Goeido (10-5) losing to Kisenosato by oshitaoshi, 2.0 sec


(Stopped decisively by Kisenosato and couldn't get more than 10 wins.)

"I saw Toyonoshima getting his win and knew I couldn't get promoted to Sanyaku. So somehow I couldn't get myself psyched up at all. But more than all that, his Ottsuke from left was amazingly effective."

Kisenosato (12-3) over Goeido


(Downing Goeido and getting his 12th win, even had a mathematical chance of winning the yusho on the Senshuraku but dissipated when Hakho won.)

"I've been feeling a good amount of tension."

"When I look back, I had some success but I still have a lot of work ahead of me as against the top rank rikishi, I was unsuccessful. So there is no time to rest."

(Needed the perfect sumo but missed by three bouts.)

"I learned how important each and every single bout was. Each bout can affect the entire basho and your career."

(Won 10 at Sekiwake last basho and won 12 this basho, will be aiming for ozeki promotion in the Kyushu Basho).

"Definitely I need to do something next basho."

Hanaregoma oyakata, Kyokai chairman


(On Kisenosato's ozeki promotion possibility.)

"If he display sumo like he has done this basho, there is no question he should have a chance in very near future."

Baruto (10-5) over Kotoshogiku by uwatenage, 17.6 sec


(Showing he is an ozeki and Kotoshogiku is still to-be.)

"I remained calm throughout but my opponent looked all tightened up."

Kotoshogiku (12-3) losing to Baruto


(Losing to Baruto and unable to place the pressure on Hakuho.)

"There is nothing you can do about it now. I have done all I could this basho. In a way I may even have exceeded my own expectation."

"I believe I really grew mentally this basho, avoiding an up-and-downs, not getting too concerned about winning and losing. I realize I would need to strengthen myself mentally to win my first yusho. The Kyushu Basho is my local basho so I will be doing all I can to make it a really exciting basho."

Sadogatake oyakata, former Sekiwake Kotonowaka, Kotoshogiku's shisho


(On Kotoshogiku)

"From now on the table will be turned. He will be the one to be challenged. There will be more pressure to win. He will need to work harder and strengthen himself both physically and mentally."

"The journey has not ended here obviously. There is one more higher. He will need to strive aiming for it."

Takanohana oyakata, Director of Judging


(On Kotoshogiku)

"His strength is his horse power. Just as he has done this basho, we hope he can really bring the energy and vitality to the next basho."

Hanaregoma oyakata, Kyokai chairman


"Kotoshogiku has done everything we could have hoped for and then some. We hope he would do all his best again next basho not taking anything for granted."

(At a health care facility near his home in Yanagawa City, Fukuoka Prefecture, around 250 gathered around to watch his bout and give him cheers today.)

Suiko Kikutsugi, 78, Kotoshogiku's grandmother


(Despite losing today's bout he still ensured ozeki promotion.)

"My late husband (Kazuo, passed away three years ago) looked so forward for this day, for our grandson to become an ozeki. I am sure my late husband is so pleased."

Ryoko Koga, 53, Kotoshogiku's aunt


"His nickname is 'Ka-tsu Kun' but I guess now we have to start calling him Ozeki."

Kazurnori Kikutsugi, 56, Kotoshogiku's father


(On his son missing the yusho.)

"Well in a way it may turn out to be better as now he can refresh his mind altogether and he can make a new resolve to win his first yusho."

Mieko Kikutsugi, 56, Kotoshogiku's mother


"I want him to keep working hard from now on."

Koichi Kikutsugi, 29, Kotoshogiku's older brother


"We will have the next basho right here so we are hoping he will be involved in the yusho race."

Kenji Kaneko, 63, Mayor of Yanagawa City


"Under intense pressure he persevered and did his best for the whole 15 days. We hope he can aim for the highest rank."

(They are planning to award Honorary Citizen award as well a parade on the river which is a well known tourist attraction in Yanagawa.)

"We will be having a party for him and even planning to present him with a new Kesho mawashi too."

* Kotoshogiku took 40 basho from his dohyo debut to ozeki promotion, which is the seventh slowest tying Musoyama. Being promoted at 27 years and 7 month is the tenth oldest since 1958 when the six basho per year system was enacted. Other rikishi taking 16 basho (6 as komusubi, 10 as sekiwake) in Sanyaku to reach ozeki were Mitsuneyama and Asashio (later Yokozuna Asashio) and seventh longest in sumo history.

* The Kokugikan Service which prepares all foods at the Kokugikan is planning to sell Kotoshogiku Bento Box from Day 1 at the next Hatsu Basho. Currently they are "researching" his favorite food (Kotoshgoku is known as a BBQ meat lover.)

Harumafuji (8-7) losing to Hakuho by uwatenage, 11.9 sec


(Supposed to be his yokozuna promotion challenge basho but managed to get only 8 win and 7 loss record.)

"It's been a good learning experience and good experience. I believe I can really do better the next time when I get the chance again."

Hakuho (13-2) over Harumafuji


"Today I came out prepare to go for two or three bouts. I was able to stay calm and I believe that helped me today."

"I felt the wall of 20 yusho to be huge. I was kind of wondering what would happen to me when I lost two consecutive bouts but someone trying to remember the first half of my sumo, I was able to do my best in the last two days."

"If I kept working hard and doing my best, I will get the result sooner or later. Ahead of me (with more yusho) are all yokozuna I have been admiring for so long."

"Now that I reached this significant milestone, I guess you can add an additional word and call me 'Dai-Yokozuna' from now on."

"But I know in the end, it's not what I say that matters. It's really meaningless unless I get recognized by everyone else."

"A yokozuna is a human too so you go through bad times as well as good."

Takuhiko Tsuruoka, YDC Chairman


(All yokozuna with 20 or more yusho excepting Asashoryu has been awarded one generation toshiyori designation.)

"He has been serving as yokozuna with distinction all alone for so long now, I am in favor of awarding him with the one generation toshiyori. He has been exemplary in and out of the dohyo."

(At the moment Hakuho does not possess Japanese citizenship, which is the requirement to remain with the Kyokai after active career however he is soon submitting the formal application according to several sources.)

Hanaregoma oyakata, Kyokai chairman


(On Hakuho's 20th yusho)

"This is only a pointin transit. He will win more yusho. Hakuho has been the wall for some time now for others but we are starting to see other rikishi chipping in."

Sayoko, Hakuho's wife


(Reflecting heavy pressure Hakuho has been under. On the night of Day 13 when he lost two straight.)

"He was so tense that he kept all to himself. It was the first time in our marriage that he has not even uttered one word even I tried to talk to him."

Takanohana oyakata with 22 yusho


(On Hakuho)

"I believe in the end the yusho flag went to the rightful owner. He should still have more yusho coming to him."

(On his own 20th yusho)

"Oh by that time I was truly exhausted. My wife was doing almost everything for me by then."

Kokonoe oyakata/Chiyonofuji, former yokozuna with 31 yusho


(On Hakuho)

"He has his set form he can rely on anytime. He is still young enough that he can still accomplish a lot more."

Unnamed oyakata


"It's plain simple. Quantity and Quality, his training level is insufficient. Perhaps he believes he still could have won anyway but sooner or later it starts to catching up to him."

(Yoshikiko Noda, presented the Prime Minister's Cup for the first time since he became the prime minister on September 2. Well known Ozumo fan, Noda, carried 40 kg cup and handed the cup safely to Hakuho.)

Hakuho Sho


Real name: M

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Rikishi Age at their 20th Yusho


5. Kintanoumi - 27 years 2 month at 1980 Nagoya (24)

My dad.

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Ryoko Koga, 53, Kotoshogiku's aunt


"His nickname is 'Ka-tsu Kun' but I guess now we have to start calling him Ozeki."

If, the next time I'm in a Japanese restaurant, I accidentally order "Katsu-kun" instead of katsudon, I'll have only myself to blame.

Shonosuke Kimura


(Reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 in October and finishing his last basho as the tate gyoji. After the bout he was presented with a bouquet of flowers from Hakuho as well matching Kesho mawashi and outfit. Later he was asked to ride on the yusho parade car with Hakuho.)

I noticed the uniform he wore for the dohyo-iri matched Hakuho's kesho-mawashi set. Now we know why it was so distinctive.

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Not to quibble Jonosuke-san but in your list of "Rikishi with most Yusho" you should add: 10. Kitanofuji - 10 prior to Akebono's name. He was the 3rd Yokozauna to win Yusho in double digits after Futabayama and Taiho.

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Not to quibble Jonosuke-san but in your list of "Rikishi with most Yusho" you should add: 10. Kitanofuji - 10 prior to Akebono's name.

That would be 11. Kitanofuji - 10 because Akebono has 11.

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Should Raiden, Tanikaze and Kashiwado figure in the list of rikishi with the most yusho?

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Should Raiden, Tanikaze and Kashiwado figure in the list of rikishi with the most yusho?

Not really since an individual yusho is officially awarded only since 1909.

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