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WAKATAKE

Rikishi Who Died While Active

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There are three rikishi that I know of who died while they were active, but I'm sure there are many more, but I can't seem to think of or find who.

The three I know of are:

Tokitaizan Takashi (died 6/27/2007), the unfortunate victim of the Tokitsukaze beya hazing scandal

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?shikona=tokitaizan&heya=-1&shusshin=-1&b=-1&high=-1&hd=-1&entry=-1&intai=-1&sort=1

Kenko Satoshi (died 3/10/1998), a former komusubi who contracted a rare form of leukemia but stayed on the banzuke while being treated, missing five basho and having fallen all the way to makushita 55 before passing away

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=1286

51st Yokozuna Tamanoumi Masahiro (died 10/11/1971), had surgery to treat appendicitis but died due to complications from said surgery

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=4028

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For example, you could add to your list Ryûkôzan in earlies 1990's, the 32nd yokozuna Tamanishiki in late 1930's or the great hope Okitsuumi in 1933.

Edited by Tony

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Japanese wikipedia has a list of about 100 rikishi who died while active, stretching back to yokozuna Maruyama who died in 1749.

As for active sekitori rikishi who died since Okitsuumi, there was also Matsuragata and Toyoshima, who were killed in the bombing of Tokyo.

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A morbid but interesting topic.

Some of them on that list seem to have almost been candidates for a Darwin award.

A long time ago I read about the rikishi who died after passing out in a convertible in 1914 so I suppose that list confirms it. Komagatake drank to much doburoku (unrefined sake) and died from complications after it fermented in his tummy in the sun.By the way how much is 6 bushels of sake?

Any stats on how many Gyoji had to commit seppuku after a bad call before they removed the blades or is that a bit of a romantic urban myth as I suspect?

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In instances such as this, do they cremate the rikishi with his chonmage, or do they cut it post-mortem?

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In instances such as this, do they cremate the rikishi with his chonmage, or do they cut it post-mortem?

OK, ok, this is pretty morbid... :) but an interesting question!

Why would they have to cut it? What do they do with it afterwards? I would guess they leave it on, because the important thing is the gesture, when the rikishi leaves behind the times of rikishihood, symbolized by his chonmage, and then moves on, growing some hair elsewhere in life. And of course naturally a dead person can't do that. But I'm just guessing here

Would somebody tell us more about this tradition? :)

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In instances such as this, do they cremate the rikishi with his chonmage, or do they cut it post-mortem?

OK, ok, this is pretty morbid... :) but an interesting question!

Why would they have to cut it? What do they do with it afterwards? I would guess they leave it on, because the important thing is the gesture, when the rikishi leaves behind the times of rikishihood, symbolized by his chonmage, and then moves on, growing some hair elsewhere in life. And of course naturally a dead person can't do that. But I'm just guessing here

Would somebody tell us more about this tradition? :)

I remember reading somewhere that in the late Edo period, when a samurai was killed away from home, his topknot would be carefully cut and delivered to his family together with his sword. I don't claim to know that this piece of historical trivia is accurate, but if it is, it wouldn't surprise me if something similar might be applied to a deceased rikishi.

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