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What did they say today?

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The most moving moment I've seen for a long time - if not ever - in sumo was when Wakanosato stepped off the dohyo for the last time and did his customary bow...but it lasted for almost ten seconds, as if he was saying a deep, final thanks for all the dohyo has given him. His expression was stricken. The response of the fans was truly heartfelt. As an old fan of Wakanosato who well remembers his sturdy power in the sanyaku, it was heartbreaking to watch for me. The really sad thing is he wants to carry on - he'd fight until 60 if he could! Someone who truly loves his sport with all his heart.

Well, Sumo has been Wakanosato's life through and through. And it will be from now on as an Oyakata. He loved Sumo, he was proud to be a Sumotori and to him, there was a Sumodou, he always asked himself what a Sumotori is supposted to do! He would never have quit as long staying Sekitori.

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Here's a short Wakanosato interview on Aomori local newspaper on July 27th:

Q: (As for the last bout ) Do you think you were able to give all you had?

A: Yes, but my sumo was no good even with the uwate I managed to get.. So hard to admit but that was yet another moment I realized I am not as good any longer.

Q: Now it’s likely that you’ll be demoted to makushita..

A: My heart is torn in two – one part says I can still do this, but the other says I could not keep going if I am to lose the sekitori status. I am still not ready to make the decision, but to be honest, I do know I am not going to do sumo in makushita. It’s very difficult but I think I will have to accept this [ = being not capable any more ] in the end.

So I want to talk to Oyakata, and many other people involved as well. I know I should be deciding even today, at this very moment, but you sometimes need time before you can swallow the reality. Me being indecisive, taking time here when everybody is anticipating "the announcement" is probably my last wagamama ( literally, “selfishness”), but I’d like to have some more time now. I will make some form of statement sometime later.

Q: So how are you feeling now finishing this tournament?

A: To tell you the truth, it feels like quite a load-off my shoulders, little of being released from tension/nervousness. Finishing the last bout, I could hear the audience warmly clapping for me and it really touched my heart. As walking back on hanamichi, I couldn’t hold back my tears. I am very grateful, really, that so many people have given me concerns and kindnesses like this. I have seen numberless rikishis leave sumo without receiving very much attentions.

Well, furo-ba ( bath room ) has always been the place where I shed tears -so I won’t cry here in front of you, Mr. Reporter (Sigh...)

...and now he is going to join the summer jungyo! Yes, Itachiyama-zeki, Wakanosato does love sumo and sumo loves him too.

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Thank you for this update. It would be fantastic if the jungyo was in Aomori. Thank you for the translation. I miss Aomori and hope some local rikishi will move up to the Juryo-Makuushita divisions.


Great words. Thanks.

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