Sign in to follow this  
Vikanohara

David vs Goliath in sumo

Recommended Posts

I had posted this elsewhere, but as it was rather off-topic I better open a new topic for it :

I've always been wondering a couple of things about length in sumo :

1) I thought Asian people were rather small. What makes the average rikishi so tall ?

2) Who have been the most successful <175 cm rikishi ?

3a) And what is the minimum required length ? As I don't see ones <165 cm.

3b) Perhaps Sagatsukasa still was too short a few years before his Hatsu Dohyo ?

4a) What has been the biggest length difference of some David winning against a Goliath ?

4b) Could it be Toyonoshima's victories over Kotooshu ?

4c) And in weight ?

Even more length/weight questions popped into my mind over the past few years, but those are the ones I can remember for now.

Bye the way, when entering David vs Goliath in Google images, those two appear on front row :-P :

david_goliath1206.jpg

david-vs-goliath.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think anybody except Doitsuyama can query this from Sumoreference. However, I have most of the bouts on my computer as well, and some Excel chores brought the following results:

The height mismatch record is at 33 cm, and as Vikanohara suggested, it has been Toyonoshima vs. Kotooshu (Natsu 2007, Aki 2007, and Hatsu 2008).

As for weight mismatch, I was almost sure that wins from Mainoumi vs. Konishiki would be the record, but in fact their record weight difference of 185.5 kg was eclipsed by the 198 kg weight difference in the victory of Ohara (75 kg) vs. Orora (273 kg). This in fact is the bout that kuroimori already linked to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was almost sure that wins from Mainoumi vs. Konishiki would be the record,

Am i right in thinking that Mainoumi had his leg broken by Konishiki accidently falling on it in one bout? a few months back i saw many old Sumo bouts on youtube and i think i remember seeing that happen, i wish i had the luck of seeing Mainoumi fight he really looked an exciting rikishi, although i feel lucky to watch the small/light and also excellent Takanoyama.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Takanoyama vs Gagamaru from a couple of bashos ago was legendary on these terms. Height? Same. Weight? Over 100kgs difference!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i wish i had the luck of seeing Mainoumi fight he really looked an exciting rikishi, although i feel lucky to watch the small/light and also excellent Takanoyama.

I loved watching Mainoumi doing his magic. Such a quick, tenacious guy. And very entertaining. I keep hoping Takanoyama will try some of the quick attacks that Mainoumi used to do, but maybe quickness just isn't his forte.

Here are a couple of my favorite links of Mainoumi.

vs Musoyama in 1994

vs Musoyama in 1993

I can't find it on youtube, but there was another one I remember where Mainoumi grabbed his opponent by the mawashi and spun the both of them around in about 3 full circles before gaining the advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) I thought Asian people were rather small. What makes the average rikishi so tall ?

Selection. What else?

2) Who have been the most successful <175 cm rikishi ?

Couple of Yokozuna (date of promotion):

Umegatani Totaro 168cm June 1903

Konishiki Yasokichi 168cm March 1896

Tochigiyama Moriya 172cm February 1918

Tamanishiki Sanemon 173cm November 1932

Kagamisato Kiyoji 174cm January 1953

Miyagiyama Fukumatsu 174cm January 1922

Otori Tanigoro 174cm February 1915

Terukuni Manzo 174cm May 1942

3a) And what is the minimum required length ? As I don't see ones <165 cm.

Minimum height for Mae zumo is currently 167cm.

Edited by Andreas21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Former rikishi and renowned artist Kototsurugi's interpretation of the Ohara-Orora bout:

adoC9mBX.jpg

Edited by Yubinhaad
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I right in assuming that the average height (& weight) of rikishi used to be quite a bit less 10 to 5 decades ago ?

So have there been more recent, let's say since 1980, examples of very successful <1,75m rikishi ?

And why a minimum height actually ? If someone 1,60 m tall is able to perform good sumo, why shouldn't he be allowed ?

And there are a couple of guys shorter than that 167 cm on the banzuke :

166,0 cm : Sagatsukasa

165,6 cm : Shosei (168,5 -> 165,5)

165,0 cm : Shobushi (167 -> 165)

Did they shrink or just had a false measuring ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best rikishi since 1980 with 175 or less probably is Akinoshima (his height varies between 174 and 176 in Sumo magazine, it may in truth well be below 175 since the only official measurement is the shindeshi kensa. He was 27 basho in sanyaku with 5 sansho and in his 64 basho in maegashira he had 16 kinboshi and 14 more sansho. Thanks to all the kinboshi which were mostly early in his career (15 until 1993) he had a huge salary add-on which made him paid like an ozeki really for the last 10 years of his career. Other sanyaku since 1980 at smaller than 175 are just Toyonoshima, Mainoumi and Takekaze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And why a minimum height actually ? If someone 1,60 m tall is able to perform good sumo, why shouldn't he be allowed ?

And there are a couple of guys shorter than that 167 cm on the banzuke :

166,0 cm : Sagatsukasa

165,6 cm : Shosei (168,5 -> 165,5)

165,0 cm : Shobushi (167 -> 165)

Did they shrink or just had a false measuring ?

Minimum height was probably instituted to try to keep untalented rikishi away. While there indeed are successful rikishi smaller than 173 cm since the old height limit was lowered to 167 cm, it must be noted that overall this group is unsurprisingly doing much worse than the rikishi at 173 and taller.

Regarding Shosei and Shobushi, it looks like a measurement error at the shindeshi kensa (wink, wink) is more likely than a shrinkage. With Sagatsukasa I don't really know; university entrants who qualify as tsukedashi entrants are exempt from these limits, maybe this also is true for mae-zumo entrants from college (again maybe under some qualifying conditions).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ichinoya was another member of the Amazing Shrinkers.

And I can't answer the question of why Sagatsukasa got in with apparently under 167 cm (typo on the first Kyokai profile entry perhaps?), but Asahi Shimbun's Shizuoka edition had a very nice career profile on him a few months ago that deals with his early sumo days - after losing extremely one-sidedly in wampaku sumo in fourth grade he set out to increase his weight by eating a lot and, on the advice of his father, drink 2 to 3 liters of milk to grow taller. "It didn't work at all!" he now laughs about the milk part of that equation.

Minimum height was probably instituted to try to keep untalented rikishi away. While there indeed are successful rikishi smaller than 173 cm since the old height limit was lowered to 167 cm, it must be noted that overall this group is unsurprisingly doing much worse than the rikishi at 173 and taller.

Until the recent news of the change of the 173 cm minimum I had no idea it had been instituted all the way back in 1959. Nowadays 173 cm isn't terribly tall even for Asian people, but for 50 years ago that strikes me as a pretty severe limit. Guess they could afford to be that selective with new applicants in those days...

Edited by Asashosakari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this