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Rijicho

Featured rikishi : Chiyotaikai

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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

round face.

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

Japanese alley.

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

best.

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

thoroughally.

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

alive".

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Next Yusho winner-

Nuff sed!

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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.

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.

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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

a baseball bat) against dozen of competing gang's members in a some grizly

Japanese alley.""

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

http://sumo.goo.ne.jp/eng/ozumo_meikan/rik...rikishi_30.html

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?

Edited by Adachinoryu

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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...

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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.

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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-)

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Chiyotaikai had irokese hair style, work in construction site, love for

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.

Edited by Asashoryu1

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Wow ... Taikai has an interesting past ......

he upped a notch in my "respect meter"

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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?

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for been a bad boy and then for having reformed .......

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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!

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PS - only took 2 hours to get through Juryo for those who read Clyde Newton's book closely enough. :-D :-/

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Can he become yokozuna in future?

:-/ :-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...)

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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.

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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

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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.

Edited by Ryukaze

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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.
thats true but if you do it too much they will press you to retire.

After Takanohana's 7 basho hiatus, "too much" can be quite a lot. :-/

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