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Yubinhaad

Rijicho Kitanoumi passes away

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I was introduced to sumo in the early 1970s and saw him rise from baby phenom to dominance. His matches with Wajima were epic struggles, at least in my limited field of view. Quite the shock to hear the news early Friday...

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Sad. Even sadder, another ex-great is very ill as well. Kitanoumi has been away for some time now, but the press downplayed the severeness of his illness, as all health matters in sumo usually are. The same thing is happening with the other person. We never really know how grave it is until suddenly they are dead.

I don't like the sound of that... only a few possible names come to mind. It's probably just the American in me, but I can't stand the mentality of downplaying things like that. Most of my biggest regrets in life are due to not having taken more advantage of spending time with certain individuals before they were gone.

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I was wondering what was going to happen to the heya, does Ganyuu own the Yamahibiki kabu outright?

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Given Wajima's recent health problems, I don't think anyone would have predicted Kitanoumi passing first.

Swami

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I heard that Gan'yu will be taking over the heya as Yamahibiki Beya..

I am shocked. And very sad. Just like for some members here, Kitanoumi was my superman, though clearly much less popular than other "stars" back then. Incredibly powerful and rough. No looking back at the opponent he blasted away ( "That's the way a winner should show respect for his aite. It's rude to sport your victory by giving a hand to someone you've beaten up." ). Seriousness taken at times as rigidness and stubbornness. His conservative, seemingly even too simple renditions and measures on Kyokai issues which often drew criticism. And he was the one who committed a good reprimand on that dai-yokozuna for practicing that nekodamashi twice, no less.

Futabayama ( Tokitsukaze ) died while serving as rijicho, and Kitanoumi was the first one ever since that passed away as incumbent rijicho. Futaba's death was followed by his junior mates Haguroyama's ( and Wakahaguro's ) shortly afterwards. Kitanoumi's junior deshi Hokuten'yu is already "there" -- they might be sipping sake and watching this Senshuraku together.

Thank you very much, Kaiomitsuki, for putting these movies here. They put tears to my eyes.

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Just looking at the 1985 Hatsu Basho banzuke - Kitanoumi's final basho as an active yokozuna.

Of that Makunouchi group, Kitanoumi, Takanosato, Hokutenyu, Kurama, Hachiya (a close friend of Kitanoumi's) and Tochihikari are no longer with us.

I am still so sad today at the loss of such an outstanding figure.

Swami

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No, no, no, no, no, no, no... oh, just too sad. Not Kita. Not now. Not this young. Not as active rijicho. Not... Kita. Can they all just stop dying so young!?

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Please, let's not beat about the bush. Tell me something about ex-Chiyonofuji's health. Kitanoumi's death was a terrible shock, Kokonoe's would be 10 times that...

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While most american kids my age had posters of Pete Rose or Johnny Bench on their bedroom wall, mine were Kitanoumi and Wajima

Found one of them going through a box of old sumo stuff.. (It still has the yellowed tape marks on the edges)

post-1666-0-84413800-1448156396_thumb.jp

Edited by Washuyama
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I haven't been here for a couple days and came back to this?

What a sad loss to many.

I knew he had some type of cancer but I thought for some reason he's on remission, that he was sick because of something else (some urine blockage?).

I fare thee well, dai-yokozuna. You're one of those people that I have great respect for.

I found some Kyodo videos on yt about this sad news.

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Kitanoumi-beya won't be Yamahibiki-beya at once, Yamahibiki-oyakata is acting shisho for Kitanoumi-beya, because without a shisho a heya can't continue and no-one can take over a ichidai-toshiyori name.
http://mainichi.jp/sports/news/20151122k0000m050038000c.html
I guess they'll change the name officially with the next banzuke, not before the official kyokai funeral for Kitanoumi on the 22nd.

The private funeral will be tomorrow, the wake was today, no media.
The posthumous Buddhist name for Kitanoumi uses both the kanji for Kita- and for -umi (usually lake nor sea):

Koushou-inden Hoku-itoku-Jitsuhouko daikoji 弘照院殿 北偉徳実法湖 大居士
First and last parts are purely Buddhist. Koushou is the Buddhist name, with -inden something like -san, but high class. Daikoji denotes the highest class of -inden names.
The middle name itself contains Northern Great Virtue - Real Dharma Lake.
http://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/1571180.html

Edited by Akinomaki
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The plan is : Kitanoumi beya will be handed over to Yamahibiki Oyakata (ex-Ganyuu) and will be called Yamahibiki beya. Kitanoumi's body will remain at a local funeral home and will be moved to Tokyo on Saturday. A special rijikai session will convene tomorrow to discuss details of what will be.

This is happening. Kitanoumi beya will be called Yamahibiki beya and will include 16 rikishi including Kitataiki and Kitaharima. Kitarichards will retire. The heya's location, like the song, remains the same.

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The plan is : Kitanoumi beya will be handed over to Yamahibiki Oyakata (ex-Ganyuu) and will be called Yamahibiki beya. Kitanoumi's body will remain at a local funeral home and will be moved to Tokyo on Saturday. A special rijikai session will convene tomorrow to discuss details of what will be.

This is happening. Kitanoumi beya will be called Yamahibiki beya and will include 16 rikishi including Kitataiki and Kitaharima. Kitarichards will retire. The heya's location, like the song, remains the same.

Oh yes, when he set up a heya on the same street as Taiho's, it became, in local parlance, Ichidai-toshiyori street. Now two heya with different names, neither of them ichidai-toshiyori. Successors are there. Life goes on.

Orion

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The official kyokai funeral for Kitanoumi in the kokugikan on the 22nd is about to become the biggest ever, with about 1000 NSK related persons taking part: including all sandanme and above rikishi and all urakata (from gyoji to sewanin). The oyakata will not be in suits but all in Japanese style formal attire.
With fans more than 5000 persons are a real possibility. The kyokai funeral in June 2005 for Futagoyama-oyakata (Takanohana) saw 4000 fans and 800 kyokai related persons, with 4800 the most so far.
The other recent kyokai funerals (for active oyakata) were for Kagamiyama (Kashiwado) in Dec. 1996, 2000 persons came, and for Kasugano (Tochinishiki) in Jan. 1990 with 3000 persons, among them 500 kyokai related, including all sandanme and above rikishi.
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/sports/news/2015/12/08/kiji/K20151208011647650.html

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Taihou was a retired, not an active oyakata when he died. He had just the real funeral and later a farewell gathering for the fans.

About 1500 at the funeral service, afterwards the car went around to
places connected to Taiho, mainly the kokugikan (about 300 fans were
there for the farewell), then Nishonoseki-beya and Otake-beya (Taiho
dojo).


Taiho farewell gathering in the kokugikan today, about 2500 attended. Over 1000 waited in line when it opened at noon.

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Kitanoumi will be awarded posthumously

- another Hokkaido citizens honor award - this time the new special award: he got the main one in 1981 after his 22nd yusho and the same isn't awarded twice http://www.daily.co.jp/newsflash/sumo/2015/12/17/0008654426.shtml

- the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, the ceremony is on the 21st http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20151218/k10010345861000.html

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Kitanoumi will be awarded posthumously

- the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, the ceremony is on the 21st

The ceremony was at the Mombu-kagakusho today. The widow and the 2 sons of Kitanoumi were there to receive the decorations from the minister. He was also invested with a lesser 4th court rank, same as Futabayama, who also died as active riji-cho.

http://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/1582113.html

Hakkaku-rijicho was also present

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYHZ-tA5HXE

Link to paste into VLC or similar media players to watch and record or save the raw input of the video:

rtmp://flv.nhk.or.jp/ondemand/flv/news/k10010348201_201512211945_201512211949.mp4

NHK news page (remains for a week): http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20151221/k10010348201000.html

The video remains for a month.

0151221at61_p.jpg

kmr-bt-kita1648-20151221-ogp_0.jpg

dly1512210028-p1.jpg

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The pain is as apparent as it's going to be on the okami's face. I pray that the family will find healing during this time.

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Some memories by a present and a former rikishi
Hokutoryu, now the only rikishi from Hokkaido in the heya, continues also in Yamahibiki-beya. He had entered Kitanoumi-beya shortly after it was established and lived for 29 years under the same roof together with the oyakata.
Soon after he started he was once late to do the cleaning and a senior deshi was just about to beat him up. Kitanoumi didn't fail to notice it though and told the other deshi "One mustn't hit people! If there's something, tell me!"
He borrowed the chest of Kitanoumi at keiko then, but he couldn't move him.
Kitanoumi helped with chanko and shopping at that time, enjoyed sake with his deshi. In recent years when he already was in bad health he didn't drank himself anymore, but still joined in with the conversations.
Spring 2014 due to diabetes Hokutoryu lost the left big toe, he was in hospital for 2 months and the specter of retirement showed it's face. Kitanoumi came to the hospital at once and told him: "You mustn't let that aggravate so far. Cure it quickly."
He then decided to go on till Kitanoumi's retirement, "But the rijicho left us before that ..."
http://dd.hokkaido-np.co.jp/news/society/society/1-0215345.html
62e05be55cd4bb061184c35a674e85e8.jpg

Former juryo 8 Oshinoyama, a former tsukebito of Kitanoumi, entered Kasugano-beya at age 17 end of 1967 and left the sumo world less than 10 years later.
When he was 20 he met the 3 years younger Kitanoumi for the first time at degeiko. Kitanoumi had just entered juryo - Oshinoyama felt an overwhelming aura from him and couldn't even start a talk with him. When he was 24 and had entered juryo himself, the new ozeki Kitanoumi for the first time gave him a training lesson "It was like hitting a wall". After that he became for nearly 2 years the tsukebito of the youngest ever yokozuna.
Kitanoumi always did keiko for two. When keiko started, he was the only one already dripping with sweat, from the intense warming up exercises and the basics shiko, suriashi etc. At a rengo-geiko he alone took on 20 young sekitori.
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/local/shimane/news/20151121-OYTNT50128.html
20151121-OYTNI50026-L.jpg

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A meeting to remember Kitanoumi, organized by the Kitanoumi-beya Kansai koenkai, with about 1000 attending.
http://www.hochi.co.jp/sports/sumo/20160306-OHT1T50147.html
ex-prime minister Hatoyama
20160306-OHT1I50079-L.jpg
the widow
dly1603060019-p1.jpg
Yamahibiki-oyakata expressed his support for Takanohana as next rijicho http://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/1613465.html
yamahibikiP2016030603897-ogp_0.jpg

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