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Rijicho, June 13, 2004 in Featured Rikishi & Heya
Born in 1976 weighing around 150kg and exhibiting quite a solid sumo body
with plenty of muscles and moderate amount of fat. Athletic sumotori and
Chiyotaikai had irokese hair style, work in construction site, love for
tuning up motorcycles and member of some kind of street gang. He quit all
those upon arrival in Kokonoe-beya. Irokese was shaved away and
construction of buildings/roads changed into constructing body into a sumo
monster body. Motorcycles were left out too and morning keiko took over.
Chiyotaikai was a kick-ass youngster who allegedly defended himself (with
a baseball bat) against dozen of competing gang's members in a some grizly
Chiyotaikai was very active in sport playing soccer and baseball and
especially liking karate and to some degree also judo. "I would like to
hit my foe's head off with my nodowa!" he said in an interview few years
ago with a tonque in cheek. Message was still clear. Karate is his real
love and his sumo style stems from that. Nodowa and harite of his are of
world class level and his explosiveness is that of a karateka.
When he entered sumo he made short work of his mae-zumo opponent with a
massive tsukitaoshi. It took him only couple of years to ascend to juryo
where he debuted as a mean looking 19 year old in Nagoya 1995. He wasn't
fully ready for makuuchi and needed to spend 2 years in juryo getting many
8-7 and some 11-4 and also horrible 2-13 (in Hatsu 1997). That touchdown
lead to another touchdown in Haru 1997 where he got his first juryo yusho
at J9 with 11-4. Whether it was the attitude of conservative Kyokai (He
may still be a punk!) or just simply baaaad banzuke luck, he really didn't
get promoted with 9-6 record at J1W in Natsu 1997. His blood boiled well
and in Nagoya 1997 he finally broke free from juryo chains and stormed
into makuuchi with another 11-4 yusho at J1E.
He took some 3 bashos to get the feel of makuuchi fumes before clincing a
nice 8-7 at M1 and first gino-sho in Haru 1998. His sumo worked well in
the following basho and two more gino-sho and solid foothold of
sekiwakehood was established. Then his prime time came in Hatsu 1999 where
he managed to beat Wakanohana twice on senshuraku and win his first yusho.
Strangely enough, this was the first basho where Taikai had many
hatakikomi wins (6)! He also got promoted to ozeki and promised to do his
His nose was broken in Haru though which was good as he was getting
destroyed as shin-ozeki (1-5 after 6 days, 3-8-4 at the end). Healing of
nasal bone ensued and rest was inevitable. In Nagoya he needed to prove he
deserved his ozeki promotion truly. It was an ok basho for him with 10-5
result. He was already 8-1 after 9 days but was manhandled by Dejima,
Nami, Akebono and Kaio. All the way up to HAtsu 2001 he was somewhate
mediocre ozeki never getting 12 wins and often staying at 9 wins. In Hatsu
2001 he twisted his ankle badly against Tochinonada and went kyujo. He
came back in Natsu with the best ozeki performance of his with 12-3
record. Nagoya 2001 was good too with 11-4. Then in Aki 2001 he went kyujo
again and came back in Hatsu 2002 with splendid 13-2 ju-yusho including
play-off loss against Tochiazuma. He was injured in Haru and suffered a
bad 7-8 make-koshi. In Natsu 2002 he did well with 11-4 and then had the
best basho of his career in Nagoya 2002 with 14-1 yusho including numerous
very powerful wins without a single hatakikomi. 10-5 at Aki basho was
followed by triceps injury in Kyusho 2002 against Tosanoumi. Kyujo was
necessary and he skipped Hatsu 2003 too even though he was reportedly "ok"
on the eve of basho although without having done any real keiko to prepare
for the basho. In Haru 2003 he got his 3rd yusho in a wonderful senshuraku
showdown against Asashoryu. Natsu was normal 10-5 and in Nagoya he had a
decisive senshuraku clash against KaioU and lost the yusho in that bout.
11-4, 10-5, 10-5 before strong 13-2 in Haru 2004. In Natsu 2004 he was
weaker than in some time and finished with 9-6 without much sparkle.
Taikai lives from oshi/tsuki sumo but somehow his forward sumo has become
less effective against in recent basho. Luckily he also has deadly
hatakikomi/hikiotoshi techniques which are set up with oshi/tsuki. These
are the core of his sumo but it has to be said that he has some surprising
victories in yotsu-sumo against the likes of Wakanosato and Kyokutenho.
His yotsu-wins are often such that he himself has a grip while his foe
hasn't. He is especially comfortable beating Wakanosato even after longish
stalemates. Kotenage/tottari is his best off-oshi attacking technique. He
is no stranger to throwing attempts either and some uwatenage wins he has.
But of course in general, his foes always want to force him into yotsu and
on the other hand he wants to keep the bout open.
Chiyotaikai is very strong against most foes while he has major problems
with his pears at the top. 0-11 in last 11 bouts against KaioU leaves no
room for excuses and he hasn't had much success against Shoryu either.
Musoyama has lost the grip on Taikai's sumo and has given Taikai a chance
to change the course of their bouts and nowadays Taikai is ahead in their
match-ups. Bright side is that Taikai has some foes he can beat with ease.
Toki and Shuzan are very helpless against him while also Shimotori and
Kotomitsuki seem to be badly beaten in honbasho against Taikai. He can
penetrate Tochinonada's defense well too after lot of work. Earlier on he
gave hard time to giant Hawaijians too. Used to dominate Takatoriki quite
He liked to do a lot of keiko with KaioU in the last 2 years and he also
suffered from vision problems due to repetitive head collisions. He wraps
more tape around his fingers than people think and his salt throwing
technique is airborne and imitation of his oyakata's style. Very
distinctive lateral throwing move. He dated some celebrity who dumped him
according to essential news snippets. He has trained in modern ways too.
Gym work outs with personal trainer and uphill running dashed to gain
speed. He is the second after KaioU in arm wrestling strength in ozumo
and is usually good in strength contests where things need to be thrown or
punched. Likes to sniff when collecting kensho. His mom likes him very
much and he likes his mom too which is good because moms like to be liked
by their sumotori sons. Susanoumi was perhaps an exception to this
praising of moms since when asked about his parents his reply was "Well
lights have been on when I have passed the house so I guess they are
Next Yusho winner-
Whether it was the attitude of conservative Kyokai (Hemay still be a punk!) or just simply baaaad banzuke luck, he really didn't
get promoted with 9-6 record at J1W in Natsu 1997.
get promoted with 9-6 record at J1W in Natsu 1997.
I have a feeling that the banzuke committee favour promotions over demotions more nowadays. Consequently, there is a lot more movement between juryo and makuuchi now than in 1997. Had it been today, I am sure that Yamato would have been demoted and Chiyotaikai promoted.
Chiyotaikai is a fine ozeki. Very predictable in his ability to beat lower ranked opponents, but also in his inability to beat top-rankers. Predictability is good in sumo games, so I know that I should probably select him for my Bench Sumo squad every time. But I can't bring myself to do that.
Bands together with Toki and Asanowaka in his tendency to use limited kimarite shall we say.
Aggressive yes but bread and butter only - no jam in my eyes.
And the kind of gang he belonged to was/ is called 'bosozoku' - teenage hooligans generally serving an apprenticeship for the yakuza and the types that have been known to kill at will to move up the ranks. (new laws make such less appealing even for the under 20s now)
""Chiyotaikai was a kick-ass youngster who allegedly defended himself (with
Sure they all have stories about taking on a dozen, going against the odds etc - nothing to be proud of. B-)
On his records though
And Taikai fans tell me again just how able he is to vary his techniques? :-D How many throws of 64 can you count in there?
PS - notice the error on his profile?
Can he become yokozuna in future?
Seems rare to have someone of his type of sumo and got up this high rank.
He seems mostly straight-facing Oshi & Hiki-waza, I mean not even much of side-oshi...
Interesting to see how long he can stay in this level or even move up. I would think lose strength relatively quickly, within two years he would be in kadoban type or worse...
He is actually born in Chitose, Hokkaido, but he is officially listed by the NSK as being born in Oita Kyushu, so technically his birth place info is wrong.
Though, that's due to a cultural difference, not an actual error, isn't it? It's possible I've misunderstood how it works, but in Japan one has to "register" the place of birth on one's own, right? (While in most Western countries your place of birth is (and remains) whatever your birth certificate says.) B-)
Chiyotaikai had irokese hair style, work in construction site, love fortuning up motorcycles and member of some kind of street gang.
tuning up motorcycles and member of some kind of street gang.
Last year he attended the Japanese TV program called "Junk sports". He was talking about his crazy childhood. He was asked that how often he had been arrested by police, and he answered "Only 5 times a week."
One day after his usual arrest, his mother was really pissed off, and shouted to him "I will kill you and myself, It was better not to give you a birth " holding a knife in her hand. Taikai was so scared and cried to his mom, promising that he would never do it again and would join to sumo according to his mother's wish. That time, Kyushu basho was held, and his mother directly brought him to Kokonoe oyakata, former Chiyonofuji. That put an end to his meaningless life. (Sign of approval)
He loves and respects his mother very much, coz he does not have a father.
Wow ... Taikai has an interesting past ......
he upped a notch in my "respect meter"
For having been a bad boy?
Or for having reformed?
Or for having done it for his mother?
for been a bad boy and then for having reformed .......
He was asked that how often he had been arrested by police, and he answered "Only 5 times a week."
Japanese police will go out of their way NOT to arrest a child.*
Routinely, and especially so in the sticks of Kyushu etc, they will return a child home with a finger wagging and flea in the ear. Nothing more. Arrest- hmmmm? :-/ Espec a gobby prepubescent teen.
I venture a mistranslation or an exaggeration trying to look tough here.
* long term residents look at all the bosozoku shows here after new year and in summer - police follow, try and sheperd the baddies away from main roads and merely contain the situation. If a prick is bad, they'll take him away, keep him a while and do as I said above.
Man, even the people who walk into a station covered in blood, clutching the knife, and confess openly are arrested 'on suspicion of committing murder' Suspicion? Rocket scientists eat your hearts out!
PS - only took 2 hours to get through Juryo for those who read Clyde Newton's book closely enough. :-D :-/
:-/ :-P :-D :-P (Applauding...) :-P (Applauding...) :-P (Laughing...) (Laughing...) (Laughing...) (Laughing...) (Laughing...) (Laughing...)
Oh, ama-san, how much you have to learn.
You might as well ask if ANR (me) can become Yokozuna. (Laughing...)
The question is - does he want to be a yokozuna? I think he
Japan Today's old article adds some info about Taikai.
"What have we got here?" Those were reported to be the first words of sumo stablemaster Kokonoe when he saw the erstwhile sixteen-year-old recruit. Although possessing an impressive physique, the newcomer had the bleached hair and impudent attitude of a street punk from Japan' rural back streets. Six years later, that same punk was to achieve national stardom as Chiyotaikai, the surprise winner of the 1999 Sumo Hatsu Basho (New Year's tournament), earning himself the promotion from sekiwake to ozeki.
Most sumo observers agree that Chiyotaikai's win was the high point of an otherwise unremarkable tournament. He completed an impressive record of thirteen wins to two losses, which climaxed in a dramatic final day on January 24 - taking on the reigning yokozuna Wakanohana not once, but twice. The first bout ended in a dead heat, with both wrestlers crashing out of the ring at the same time. The judges called for a replay, with Chiyotaikai shocking everyone, most of all himself, by emerging as the victor.
Chiyotaikai was born Yuji Hiroshima in 1976 in Chitose, Hokkaido. After his father's death when Yuji was six years old, he and his mother moved to Oita prefecture in Kyushu. When he was eleven, his mother married again, to a local businessman. What effect these upheavals had on his upbringing we can only guess, but after becoming a teenager Yuji showed no interest in school lessons or examinations. He was introduced to the vices of under-age drinking and smoking, and started hanging out with local gang members. Stealing bicycles and committing other petty crimes made him a known face with the local police. His formidable build and strength - over 170cm and 80kg when he was just eleven - made him a character at school feared by both teachers and students. The tabloids have recently printed stories from this hell-raising time in Chiyotaikai's past, with some doubtlessly exaggerated anecdotes coming to light. One example is when he allegedly took on thirty rival gang members with a baseball bat, and walked away without a scratch.
The young rebel did show an interest in martial arts, however, and showed considerable promise in judo, coming in third in the All-Japan Middle School Judo Championships. At his mother's prompting, he decided to try his luck at Kokonoe's stable lodgings in Fukuoka in 1992. He was accepted, and so began one of the fastest ascensions through the ranks in modern sumo history. He is the first new ozeki since Musashimaru and Takanonami were promoted in 1994.
Now that Chiyotaikai is not a young oshi-rikishi anymore and is suffering from injuries and pushing power deficit, it is interesting to read this interview which is over 5 years old and was found on Syd Hoare's sumosumo-site which has not been active in at least 2 years now. Archive.com found it though and here is Chiyotaikai in 1999 talking about his past and, what is interesting, his future plans in sumo. Note that he was thinking of learning more yotsu-sumo once he lost some of his pushing power. Well he is better now at yotsu-sumo but....
Q Its is said that you like the Japanese expression To-kon which means
Solid and fearsome Ozeki for many years I've always loved watching him and his "intense" tsuppari. While quick and powerfull however he lhas always lacked technique beyond this ability which has kept him from ascending the final hurtle in Ozumo and onto becoming a Yokozuna, and has been far to predictable and one sided to dominate those at or near the top alongside him (Kaio for instance!) and Of course Shoryu (but I think that goes for everyone! lol). Can't diss him at all though he has achieved more than many could ever hope for in Ozumo, he'll make an interesting oyakata should the opportunity surface.
thats true but if you do it too much they will press you to retire.
On the contrary: a yokozuna can take a basho off now and then, or pull out after a few days if things aren't going so well.
After Takanohana's 7 basho hiatus, "too much" can be quite a lot. :-/
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