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Featured rikishi - Kitazakura & Toyozakura

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Kitazakura and Toyozakura!

Edited by Rijicho

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One of my favorites at this time;

1 Crumbling fragile leg work to the degree makes a good impression(to me)

2 Theatrical triumphant expression with wins or frustrated gestures after losses

3 Still almost at the personal best at 32yrs old

(ADDED here; Just remembered. The way he crumbles and shows his emotion is very much like Takamiyama- thinking about his enormous popularity I would think Kitazakura should be more popular than he is)

Only thing don't like is his cheating loose mawashi. I don't remember anyone with this loose mawashi ever, do you guys?

Edited by hoshidango

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Lets approach with questions this time before kasakasa facts about him!

1. What is your impression on his sumo style and what do you like the most in his sumo?

2. Do you find his dohyo demeanor uniqueness negative or positive or something in between? Why?

3. Which Kitazakura-bouts do you expect the most? Against which foes and why?

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Lets approach with questions

Very interesting questions sir!

1. What is your impression on his sumo style and what do you like the most in his sumo?

I consider him a solid yotsu-rikishi who can absorb a lot of oshi-attacks. His yotsu is tenacious and never die-attitude radiates. His footwork is amazingly good often. What I like the most is the aforementioned spirit in his sumo when he is not injured. Also the atmosphere in his bouts in somewhat unique and he does big man's sumo with simplicity but often in style.

2. Do you find his dohyo demeanor uniqueness negative or positive or something in between? Why?

Positive. He is very pissed off when he loses a close bout or when he loses due to his own mistake in a good position but he is always pissed off at himself. Same goes for the wins. Really refreshing to see a rikishi who really can't hide his content (not that he tries that hard either) and this is very positive characteristics in my opinion. Of course Kitazakura is the only one who shows these kinds of feelings so openly so it is maybe a bit easier to accept such since most rikishi do maintain composure. 10 Kitazakura style emotion outbursters in makuuchi would ruin the special aspect of it soon.

3. Which Kitazakura-bouts do you expect the most? Against which foes and why?

Roho! Really great bouts between them! Both are very tall and very yotsu-prone rikishi and know each other's sumo well (have trained a lot together). Even bouts and a lot of power exertion present. In Nagoya basho they had one of the highlight power battles of the basho. Always full of spirit too!

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Kitazakura and yorikiri:

Since his debut to juryo in Aki 1998 until Haru 2000 he had 49 yorikiri wins and only 12 wins with other techniques (4 yoritaoshi, 3 uwatenage, 2 okuridashi, 1 sukuinage and 1 koshikudake). He is still wins often with yorikiri but much more with throws and other techniques nowadays. His roots are strongly in yorikiri sumo though.

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In March 2001 Katrina Watts wrote on ML:

Kitazakura has made an amazing leap in confidence. Is it his new salt throwing? His sumo has begun to have a little more variation, though he does still tend not to get the job done quickly enough and runs to long bouts where he gets worn out by his opponent and loses at the end, but generally he seems to have gained strength along with the weight he's put on.

As some of you who listen to the English sumo broadcasts will already know - since I seem to wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to my favourite rikishis - Kitazakura has long been one of my "pets". We were reminiscing yesterday about how I first met him in 1990 at the inaugural party for the Kitanoumi Kobe Koenkai (fan club) to which the greengrocer, who supplies fruit and veg for my university's Food Technology Department, had invited me. Kitazakura, who was in sandanme at the time, impressed me with his politeness and seriousness as well as a simple friendliness. Then when we visited the heya to watch keiko I was further impressed by his diligence. Then and now, he works harder than anyone else in the heya and always tries to do his best. I couldn't help wanting him to do well. Now that he's succeeding in working his way up the banzuke and getting noticed with his post-Mitoizumi salt throwing - he uses more salt than his predecessor but hasn't quite got the same stylishness, too much bend in the body - I hope all those years of hard work will pay off and he will make it to makuuchi. I don't want to bump into him in the stadium and have him apologize like he did the last time he got a makekoshi, bowing humbly and saying, "I'm sorry I couldn't live up to your expectations, but I'll try harder in the next basho so as not to disappoint you again."

---------------

Kitazakura's sekitori (+ high makushita) history:

Basho History

1998 Haru Ms3E, 4-3

1998 Natsu Ms2W, 6-1

1998 Aki J12W, 9-6

1998 Kyushu J10E, 6-9

1999 Hatsu Ms1E, 4-3

1999 Haru J13E, 7-8

1999 Natsu Ms1E, 5-2

1999 Nagoya J12E, 7-8

1999 Aki J13E, 8-7

1999 Kyushu J11E, 7-8

2000 Hatsu J12W, 7-8

2000 Haru J13W, 6-9

2000 Natsu Ms2W, 5-2

2000 Nagoya J11E, 7-8

2000 Aki J12E, 6-9

2000 Kyushu Ms2W, 4-3

2001 Hatsu J13W, 10-5

2001 Haru J4W, 9-6

2001 Natsu J1W, 13-2, Juryo Yusho

2001 Nagoya M9w, 6-9

2001 Aki M13e, 8-7

2001 Kyushu M11 West, 5-10

2002 Hatsu J1E, 6-9

2002 Haru J4E, 7-8

2002 Natsu J5E, 9-6

2002 Nagoya J2E, 6-9

2002 Aki J7e, 7-8

2002 Kyushu J8w, 5-10

2003 Hatsu J13e, 8-7

2003 Haru J10e, 5-10

2003 Natsu Ms1e, 5-2

2003 Nagoya J11e, 8-7

2003 Aki J8e, 9-6

2003 Kyushu J5e, 10-5

2004 Hatsu M15e, 3-12

2004 Haru J6e , 8-7

2004 Natsu J5w, 5-10

2004 Nagoya J8w, 11-4

He has been injured this year especially in Hatsu and Natsu basho. Knee injury and thigh muscles problems. Hopefully now with his promotion to makuuchi he can show good healthy sumo and spice up the low maegashira with his poise!

He'll be meeting Roho again at the dohyo and Kotooshu.

Some other facts/observations about Kitazakura:

He takes a full handful of salt. As much as his hand can take.

He walks in a very arm-whisking style. If you would see a person in public walking like that, it would definitely draw your attention.

He didn't join the same heya as his brother Toyozakura because their father wanted them to live separately too after years of sharing room at home.

This is the first time both brothers are in makuuchi at the same time! Both are also looking really sharp, the best they have ever looked so late bloomers these brothers.

For three years he stayed in between makushita 3w and juryo 11e. Broke free in Hatsu 2001 with a 10-5 at J13W, got promoted to J4w where he got another kachi-koshi before the highlight basho in Natsu 2001 at J1. 13-2 yusho!

Are there any Kitazakura-fans here?

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One of my favorites at this time;

1 Crumbling fragile leg work to the degree makes a good impression(to me)

2 Theatrical triumphant expression with wins or frustrated gestures after losses

3 Still almost at the personal best at 32yrs old

(ADDED here; Just remembered. The way he crumbles and shows his emotion is very much like Takamiyama- thinking about his enormous popularity I would think Kitazakura should be more popular than he is)

Only thing don't like is his cheating loose mawashi. I don't remember anyone with this loose mawashi ever, do you guys?

On occasion, Musoyama.

Kitazakura us definetly one of the more expressive rikishi I've seen, which does make him a bit refreshing.

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Are there any Kitazakura-fans here?

Well, my own fandom runs a bit more towards his brother, but much like Zentoryu above, I also find Kita's expressiveness on the dohyo quite refreshing (although he seems to be walking on a thin line there...the last time he lost several bouts in a row, frustration seriously seemed to get the best of him, and I'm not so sure that's good for his sumo).

But his yotsu-sumo of late has been really impressive. He still gets into long and protracted bouts (as mentioned by Ms. Watts in the post you quoted), but he's usually winning them nowadays, just being patient and measuredly driving his opponents back over the tawara. Unfortunately, lower Makuuchi is filled with plenty of oshi rikishi (against whom he usually has bigger problems than with the guys in the often yotsu-heavy Juryo division), so I don't think he has much of a shot at kachi-koshi this time around...

Anyway, Kitazakura is fun to watch, I'll confidently say that much. (I am not worthy...)

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Now that You mention Kitazakura's lenient wrappings, didn't Mitoizumi occasionally have a rather loose mawashi as well?

Rule of thumb here: You can't throw up with a strangled belly! (The salt, it is... (Shaking head...) )

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Yes, I also find Kita's lack of emtional control a positive thing, really. It's not that much worse than Robo's show, and has much less of a "showy" feeling about it. His salt throwing is all show, tho', but as Mito (In love...) fan I can't object to that.

I'm glad to see him back in makuuchi, and to see 'zakura curse broken. Both 'zakuras are well worth supporting...

I like his nirami-ai's, as well. He nirami-eyed Kokkai in some jungyo or other, and that made me remember Ake in his golden days... I miss nirami-ai, it's rarely shown on Eurosport anymore. Kokkai seems to be a good one to nirami with, I think Shuzan and he exchanged some really great nasty looks before their bouts. Does Kita nirami Roho as well? He must! (Shaking head...)

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1 BEST SHOT OUT OF ALL I HAVE SEEN AT SUMOFORUM!

2 Niramiai's cool. I like to see Kokkai & Asashoryu doing it, or Chiyotaikai & Kokkai. Their faces & eyes are made for it.

3 Mitoizumi did it too eh? I watched lots of his bouts on video but I don't remember that...

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This is from an interview section in Sumo Magazine called "Friendly Talk" - in this September issue, the interview was done with Toyozakura and Kitazakura (it was conducted after the Nagoya Basho, before the Aki Basho.)

Actually it has more to do with Toyozakura's performance in the Nagoya Basho but you can also get a glimpse of Kitazakura's personality.

So here's Part 1 of 2 parts (I will translate the next shortly):

===================================================

-Sumo Magazine: Last time we did an interview with you, Toyozakura-zeki just made the Juryo debut so it has been six years.

Kitazakura : How many bashos were you in Makushita since you fell from your Juryo debut basho? About a year?

Toyozakura : Over a year. I think it's around 10 bashos.

Kitazakua : If you were there for 10 bashos, that was a kind of waste of time, wasn't it. I've fallen down often too. I fell five times, a total of six bashos. I was stuck in Makushita for over a year.

Sumo: What was the hardest thing while you were in Makushita after you were demoted from Juryo?

Toyo: I've gone down due to an injury so until I had recovered from it, that was the toughest time for me. To be honest there were times when I was thinking of leaving.

Sumo: Have you talked to each other as brothers in such a time?

Kita: We've talked a lot. I guess we can talk about it now but at the time, you were crying a lot.

Toyo: Yeah, true, I've cried a lot.

Kita: I was worried about a surgery then, whether to do a surgery or not. But when I think about it now, it turned out he was better off not having it.

Toyo: Well, we still are not sure how it turned out though.

Sumo: The injury you are speaking of is the one you suffered when you made your Juryo debut.

Kita: Right. In the Juryo debut basho, he had 7 wins and 6 losses record on the Day 14 and he managed to get himself injured. On the Senshuraku he went in after getting a shot of painkiller, but it was simply no contest.

Toyo: It was a badly twisted ankle. I had some damages in the ligaments too, as well as some broken bones. Since it was only for one day, I just had it taped up

tightly and got a shot of painkiller. If I got Makekoshi, I'd go down to Makushita so I pushed myself through but it was no use.

Kita: Since he went back on the Senshuraku, he didn't qualify for a Kosho status so he had to go back the next basho. But he couldn't do any training whatsoever to prepare for the basho.

Toyo: After I got to Fukuoka (for Kyushu Basho), I went back to Tokyo to get it check over again. I withdrew for three days and decided to enter but I ended up only winning two bouts.

Kita: And after that basho, he just did this climbing up a bit and falling down a bit routine and stayed down there for 10 bashos.

Toyo: Even once I got back in Juryo, I stayed for two bashos and fell down, and then came up for three bashos and went down again. I just could not stay in Juryo for a long.

Sumo: In those days, as an older brother, what have you been saying to your younger brother?

Kita: Two of us discussed about getting a firm grip on the injury and how to best respond to it.

Sumo: When were you able to start training again?

Toyo: I started resuming working out about in January but it was still so painful so I needed to rest quite a bit. Even in March it was more like I work out a bit and then I rest a bit type of thing. I really couldn't train well at all.

Kita: You know, we went through a pretty tough time there. But even going through such a difficulty, him getting the Kantosho and the fact that right now both of us together are able to compete as Makuuchi rikishis, we are really happy.

Toyo: How many times in the sumo history did we have two brothers, competing at the same time in Makuuchi?

Sumo: You guys are the fifth in the sumo history.

Toyo: We have Terao-zeki, Waka-Taka, Ogi-zeki and who else?

Kita: I believe Tanikaze...

Toyo: So we are the fifth brothers. Wow!

Kita: For the brothers belonging to a different heya, aren't we the first?

Sumo: You are correct. But perhaps very soon we may have the sixth.

Toyo: Huh? Who are they?

Sumo: Roho and Hakurozan.

Kita: Well, they haven't faced any major injury yet. It could be possible they may get an injury as it's never a smooth sailing. You never know. This is sumo so you can never go on without suffering some type of injury so you need to wait and see.

Sumo: I guess it's true that you have to live with your injuries.

Sumo: In the Nagoya, both of you had good records. Kitazakura-zeki, you had consecuetive wins, didn't you?

Kita: Well in my case I was just lucky. But how many wins did you have?

Toyo: I won four straight, lost one, two straight wins, one loss, two straight wins and another loss and then finished with four straight wins.

Kita: That's amazing. I won nine straight, too. So it's really amazing (laugh).

Sumo: Until the Senshuraku, you both had a chance of winning the Yusho.

Kita: If you just looked at the record, that's true, but I never even thought about it at all. The winning streak was just one of those things, you know. The thing that pleased me the most was that I was able to get Kachikoshi without getting any injury. I was thinking even if I did get Makekoshi, if I could finish without suffering any injury, I would be happy. Actually around from the Day 14 onwards, I was more concerned what Toyozakura-zeki was doing, far more than my own situation.

Sumo: He was in the Makuuchi Yusho race and at that point, his winning a Sansho-award was pretty certain.

Kita: Well he has the same DNA as I have, it's just the way it's been lined up is little different. So from a point of view of someone sharing the same DNA, I was so happy that the same DNA got the Kantosho award (laugh). Actually not only I was really happy, it gave me a tremendous motivation.

Sumo: Toyozakura-zeki, you stepped on the dohyo after seeing your older brother competed, so I think it must have given you a motivation as well.

Toyo: Yes, that's true. It really gave me a boost.

Sumo: You'd always watch his bouts every day.

Toyo: Hmm...actually I missed several. What can I say...I've forgotten to see it.

Kita: You didn't want to watch it, did you?

Toyo: I just forgot about it. That's all. Like...oh it was already over, you know. I figured there was no point in worrying about it so much.

Kita: Well actually I have't seen all of his bouts either so...it's each individual's battle.

Toyo: This isn't a "friendly talk" at all then!

Kita: Hahahaha. But since you were winning you had a time to relax a bit.

Toyo: He had a pretty good record then so I figured even if he dropped one or two...

Sumo: Do you worry more when you two are not doing so well?

Toyo: Yes, especially when there is an injury involved.

Sumo: Weren't your father (former Sandanme with Tokitsukaze Beya) Yoshiharu, happy about your record?

Toyo: He was very happy. As soon as the basho was over, I immediately called him but he sounded rather nervous. Apparently there was a reporter from a local paper (the Chugoku Shimbun) there and he sounded like a stranger.

Kita: That's because the comment would get printed in the paper.

Sumo: He must have been ecstatic.

Kita: When an older brother like myself was that happy, I imagined he must have been way way happier. I hope he will try to do his best to stay healthy and live long by seeing both of us doing our best (laugh).

Toyo: Exactly.

Kita: Hahaha. But we are starting to sound rather serious.

Sumo: Your first Kachikoshi in your third Makuuchi Basho was 12 wins.

Toyo: My objective was to get Kachikoshi so I've outdone myself.

Kita: This was your third Makuuchi basho?

Toyo: Right. It was my third.

Kita: The next one is my fourth.

Toyo: So that means we have the same number of Makuuchi bashos under our belt.

Kita: In your just fourth basho, you'd be going up pretty high in the Banzuke. I must work much harder.

Sumo: You should go up pretty high.

Toyo: I figure I would climb up to around M5.

(note: Toyozakura went up to M5 from M14).

Sumo: It's a position that you may or may not face the yokozuna or ozekis.

Kita: If you get Kachikoshi at that rank, you may get to Maegashira 1 or possibly even a Sanyaku.

Toyo: To get to a Sanyaku, I probably need to win 13 bouts or so. It's pretty crowded up in the top ranks.

Kita: That may not be so. If a higher rank gets Makekoshi and Sanyaku rikishis also get Makekoshi, you will definitely have a good chance. So why don't you just shoot for a Sanyaku as well?

Toyo: It never goes that smooth.

(note: Toyozakura finished the Aki with 5 wins and 10 losses.)

(continues....)

Edited by Jonosuke

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An Interview with Kitazakura and Toyozakura.

from Sumo Magazine "Friendly Talk" section - September 2004

Part 2.

==========================================

Sumo Magazine: Has your older brother been like this since you were little, always talking about all these funny stories?

Toyozakura: I don't remember too well now but I remember I was laughing a lot.

Kitazakura: I remember you used to laugh a lot while watching comedy programs on TV. But once you started Judo class, you couldn't watch TV anymore. See, he went to his Judo class on Tuesaday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Toyo: When I didn't have the class, on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, I had to do practice at home.

Kita: But when you look back now, don't you appreciate those hard training you were told to do at home, right?

Toyo: In winter, I was told once I sweat enough, I could finish but you know it's winter, you don't sweat that much. So I used to pour water all over me. Yeah, when I think about it now, I was forced to live like I was living in a sumo beya or something.

Kita: You got the idea about throwing water over you from our old man. He was saying during winter jyungyo tours, to pretend he was working out hard by pouring water all over him. But you know you get caught pretty quickly as you could tell

pretty easily when you are really working out hard, rolling all over the place with sweat pouring from you and just splashing water over you a few times.

Sumo: I see.

Kita: But both of us hearing the story, we used to splash water around in winter, freezing our guts off.

Toyo: You know sometimes you really don't feel like working out. You keep telling yourself why I am doing something like this.

Kita: You were just slacking off.

Toyo: You thought if the training like this would help at all.

Sumo: What type of training have you been doing then?

Toyo: Oh..we used to run around the house, jumping around, weight training, push-ups, sit-ups and we've even done splits. You know there were neighbours watching us so it was a kind of embarrassing.

Sumo: You mean you were doing a sumo style leg split.

Kita: Oh Yeah, definitely, we've mastered it. We also did "teppos" as well as we wrapped a rubber rope around a pole and did pushing.

Toyo: I haven't done "teppo" myself.

Kita: What? Weren't you told to do it? I was told to do it.

Toyo: That's because you were going to be a rikishi while I was told not to.

Kita: Back then I was already pretty big but Toyozakura wasn't that big.

Toyo: I was bigger than average. In my school class, I was about the second or third tallest.

Sumo: I guess your father was thinking more like having the older brother joining Ozumo and the younger brother to go into another line of work.

Toyo: My brother was always saying he wanted to go into Ozumo.

Kita: Right. That's what I wanted.

Toyo: I think my old man wanted me to go to high school. But you know when you are told to go to high school, you feel as if you really don't want to go, you understand (laughs).

Kita: I also wanted to go to high school and do some judo as well.

Toyo: I asked Ma if we had any money to send me to a high school. She said if I wanted I could but it'd be easier if I had not. So I figured I'd better not go.

Kita: In those days we were spending so much money on food. Like we used to eat five bowls or so easy.

Toyo: Hey I didn't eat that much, maybe several bowls.

Kita: Well, so, we had this and that, and that's the reason you might say we are where we are right here, right now, you know.

Sumo: When did you decide you would join Ozumo? Around when you were Grade 9?

Toyo: Probably. I didn't like school but more than anything else I just did not like being at home anymore. After I joined the sumo world, there were times I felt like I had enough but then I thought I'd better off staying in Ozumo than going home so I

did endure the hardships. And you coud say the fruit of those efforts is now arrived with the Kantosho. OK, I guess I am stretching the story too far (laugh).

Kita: Oh...my...I wanted my Kantosho too...

Sumo: Well you can have it too if you get the same record.

Kita: I guess I can manage to get a Juryo's Kantosho....hehe (laugh).

Sumo: When Kitazakura-zeki comes on the dohyo, there are more cheers from the crowd. Do you feel it too?

Kita: Sure.

Sumo: That pose you do after you win your bout, is that your natural move?

Kita: Well do you want me to tell you the true story? You know the story is going to get longer.

Sumo: Why not. Go for it.

Kita: OK. You know when you win your bout, you will be happy. When you lose, you can't stand it. So each bout you will be psyching yourself up. But you know this is the world where "outlandish" behavior is frowned upon. But when everything goes well

and you are so happy, it just comes out naturally. I remember seeing Toyozakura showing a bit of the move too last basho (laughs).

Toyo: Have I done it too?

Kita: So if you do it with a small gesture, you get people arguing about whether he's done it or not done it. So I figured I might as well leave no doubt and do it really big so I can really convey what I am feeling to the spectators. By now I am really doing it big naturally (laughs). Those moves are really natural and nothing intentional. If I can show the fans really good sumo, personally I think it really does not matter if I win or lose. That's how I feel.

Sumo: I agree if both rikishis really display their all, even if you lose, the fans will go home happy and satisfied.

Kita: Exactly. When you get their applause even if you lose, there is nothing more valuable. Thank you.

Toyo: I agree.

Kita: You know, in Toyozakura's sumo recently I've been noticing something...what can I say, like "Samurai spirits". The older brother has been getting really moved by seeing those sharp tsupparis.

Toyo: Hey, are you feeling sick or something? You must be suffering from lack of sleep...

Kita: Right, this is no good, it's not going nowhere. Let's talk about something more useful like...ah..a secret training program.

Sumo: If it's a secret, can you talk about it?

Toyo: Actually it's no secret at all. It's just I am doing it all alone by myself.

Kita: Correct. It's no secret. It's been well publicized.

Toyo: No, what are you talking about? I haven't been publicizing it (laughs).

Kita: While he is doing physical training, I am training my voice. Yeah, just the other day, I went into a telephone booth to belt out a song, I was told the microphone had a wrong shape. Well that's just one of the episodes but I have more.

Toyo: Like he goes to a Karaoke place and he doesn't turn on the mike switch, like all we see is his mouth flapping around with no sound.

Sumo: Have you been going out together recently?

Kita: We don't go out much now but we have a good mutual friend so sometimes the three of us go out.

Sumo: Now your older brother has a family, do you go to his house for a dinner or something?

Toyo: I've been to his place but I don't recall getting a dinner there.

Kita: Well you know Toyozakura has been doing his secret training in evenings.

Toyo: Actually that's true. Either I am working out or getting a massage so I really don't have a time.

Kita: Me too. I am also involved in a secret training mission. So we are both busy. I am doing mountain cocooning.

Sumo: Mountain cocooning?

Kita: That's right but I haven't been publicizing it so I can't tell you what it is (laughs). But I still have seven scars on my chest left from that event. So I have been doing a lot while getting everyone to think otherwise (laughs).

Toyo: Is it really OK to keep talking about something silly like this? Let's start talking something more serious.

Sumo: OK, then let's hear about the next basho (the Aki Basho)?

Toyo: I have been trying to respond to the question by saying I'd approach it the same way as I have done in the Nagoya Basho. If I could do it, then I know it will lead to a good result.

Sumo: Your opponents will be much stronger but if you can compete using your own sumo style, I am sure you will be successful.

Toyo: Of course the big question is if they let me get in my own sumo style.

Kita: Me...well, my sumo is basically a total mess so I figure even if I lose, it would be OK. I am thinking of going full out and then try to go for a good defeat. I go forward and fall down on my face, as long as I can show a spirited youthful effort, it will be quite all right. And not suffering any injury helps.

Sumo: There will be a Makuuchi dohyo-ri with two of you together, so there is a lot to look forward to next basho.

Kita: Well our ranks are kind of far apart so it's not likely that we'd be next to each other but it should feel great.

Toyo: Yeah we will be real happy. Well, then why don't we close this by saying both of us will do our best the next basho.

Kita: You must be sleepy too.....

Toyo: Yeah, I was so sleepy......

Sumo: Thank you both so much for spending time with us today.

(Recorded on August 4, 2004 after Goshogawara Jyungyo Tour.)

Edited by Jonosuke

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:-O Thanks so much for translations such as these, Jonosuke!

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Yes, fabulous work indeed, and thanks from me, too. :-O

Kitazakura was the first rikishi I really noticed and recognized when I first started to watch sumo in Aki 2001, when he was in Makuuchi. Back then, all the rikishi looked about the same to me, with the few obvious exceptions (Musashimaru, Toki, etc.), and he caught my attention with the salt throw, after which I was eagerly waiting for his bout each day. One of my earliest memories of sumo is that basho when he fought Chiyotenzan, and Chiyotenzan imitated Kita's salt throw... it was a great little moment. :-P

It's really too bad I don't get to see Kitazakura on the TV Japan broadcast too often... I am always pleased when he comes back to Makuuchi for that reason... sure adds flavor to the show! :-)

Cheers

Zenjimoto

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Awesome translations as always Jonosuke! These add a lot to the big equation involving all rikishi in ozumo.

One question arose in my mind. Kitazakura has 3 sons I believe but how old are they? Does anyone have pictures of Kitazakura's family? I could swear I have seen one somewhere not too long ago but couldn't find it anywhere now.

Manekineko posted a picture of Kitazakura and 3 boys in the massive Sumo Pictures-thread but that picture is supposed to be "with fans"-picture and not a family portrait.

Kitazakura will now get back to juryo but is sure to add his own flavour there as always when healthy. Should be eager for fast return to makuuchi.

I'll change this featured rikishi-thread to "Kitazakura&Toyozakura" since Jonosuke's post has so much about Toyozakura too and there is a rather limited amount of information about him anyway so he could be discussed in this thread with his brother.

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One question arose in my mind. Kitazakura has 3 sons I believe but how old are they? Does anyone have pictures of Kitazakura's family? I

As far as I know Kitazakura has one daughter (I am not sure how old).

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Personal Data:

Kitazakura - Kitanoumi Beya

---------------------------------

Hidetoshi Mukou

Hiroshihama City, Hiroshima Prefecture

189 cm tall, 179 kg.

Hobby: Movies

Born: December 15, 1971, 32 Years old

Dohyo debut: March, 1987

Juryo debut: July, 1998

Makuuchi debut: July, 2001

Family: wife (Megumi) and one daughter

Nickname: Mukou

Favorite technique: migi-yotsu, hidari-uwate, yori-kiri.

Aki Basho: Maegashira East 17, 6 wins and 9 losses.

=======================================

Toyozakura - Michinoku Beya (initially with Tatsutagawa Beya, transnferred to the current heya when his shisho retired in September, 2000)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yasutoshi Mukou

Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture

181 cm tall, 142 kg.

Hobby: movies

Born: March 12, 1974.

Dohyo debut: March 1989.

Juryo debut: September 1998.

Makuuchi debut: November 2003.

Family: single.

Nickname: Toyo.

Favorite technique: Tsuppari, oshi-dashi, migi-sashi, yori-kiri.

Aki Basho: Maegashira East 5, 5 wins and 10 losses.

Their father, former Sandanme Toyozakura with Tokitsukaze Beya now runs a chanko restaurant.

Edited by Jonosuke

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Their father, former Sandanme Toyozakura

Oh, interesting that it wasn't the elder son who got the father's shikona...

Edited by Asashosakari

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Their father, former Sandanme Toyozakura

Oh, interesting that it wasn't the elder son who got the father's shikona...

Well Yokozuna Takanohana got his father's shikona.

But in this case Takanohana's uncle wanted Takanohana's older brother to have his shikona, Wakanohana, perhaps more prestigeous as the two previous holders were both Yokozuna.

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They have a younger sister as well. Kitazakura's blood type is A, Toyozakura's is O.

On a harsher note- If Toyozakura starts going up and down from Makuuchi to Juryo and vice versa, shall we call him Yoyozakura?

And we shall...

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Well Yokozuna Takanohana got his father's shikona.

But in this case Takanohana's uncle wanted Takanohana's older brother to have his shikona, Wakanohana, perhaps more prestigeous as the two previous holders were both Yokozuna.

Yes, and they both joined ozumo at the same time, so it was already clear that both the Takanohana and the Wakanohana shikona would have a new owner (assuming they made it to Ozeki later, which they did). I'm just surprised in the case of the Muko brothers because when the first one joined sumo, it apparently wasn't even clear that the second brother would also join later, so I would have expected that the first one gets the father's shikona...

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