Chanko Thief

Where Are All Of The Hawaiian Rikishi?

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Posted (edited)

Why do we never see any Hawaiian wrestlers these days? Is sumo not as big in Hawaii as it used to be?

I miss Konishiki, Akebono, and Musashimaru, they put on great bouts and I would love to see another Hawaiian find success in sumo. 

I remember reading about Musashimaru’s nephew a few years back and how he was joining ozumo, whatever became of him?

Will we ever see a resurgence of Hawaiian sekitori?

Edited by Chanko Thief
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Better prospects in other sports would be my guess.

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1 hour ago, Chanko Thief said:

I remember reading about Musashimaru’s nephew a few years back and how he was joining ozumo, whatever became of him?

If I remember correctly, he retired after having a broken ankle that didn't want to heal. I am sure others here will correct me if that is not the case. 

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Posted (edited)

I don't remember the source now, but a few years ago I read an article in an online magazine asking the same question. I think it was in connection with an anniversary of some sort, like 20 years since Akebono retired or something. The author traced it back to a current lack of a connection to Japan, for one. Takamiyama opened the door, but I think he also actively sought out Hawaiian kids to do sumo. He's elderly now, and the other great Hawaiian rikishi are all busy with their own careers. Not that they don't try, they just haven't been as successful. For two, most of the big kids are Samoan, and getting tattoos is a rite of passage for them. That doesn't work for ozumo. I don't know if that's also the case for ethnic Hawaiians, but I do think it's pretty common among Pacific Islanders. For three, the author also pointed out these kids are poor and very family oriented generally, so traveling to Japan alone is intimidating. Konishiki mentions this, and it does hold some back. 

Edited by Churaumi
had to get the rites right, right?
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For the information of British fans, Konishiki features tonight at 2100 Channel 4 with Paul Hollywood.

 

Swami

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9 hours ago, Chanko Thief said:

Why do we never see any Hawaiian wrestlers these days? Is sumo not as big in Hawaii as it used to be?

I hope this lessens the pain a bit:

Spoiler

 

 

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1 hour ago, Swami said:

For the information of British fans, Konishiki features tonight at 2100 Channel 4 with Paul Hollywood.

 

Swami

What's the name of the show? I Googled around but it's not readily found here in the Land of the Big Cheeseburger.

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9 hours ago, Kishinoyama said:

If I remember correctly, he retired after having a broken ankle that didn't want to heal. I am sure others here will correct me if that is not the case. 

That’s most unfortunate, I had high hopes for him.

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Kena Heffernan is working hard with young athletes in Hawaii. This article is a couple of years old, but it gives the general overview. 

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Posted (edited)

How much of this is due to the foreigner quota system for each heya? Mongolia seems to be the country of choice for those with an opening these days. 

Edited by Katsunorifuji

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1 hour ago, Sasanishiki said:

Kena Heffernan is working hard with young athletes in Hawaii. This article is a couple of years old, but it gives the general overview. 

Very cool, thank you! The article mentions the 2019 World Sumo Championship was held in Hawaii. Unfortunately I don’t follow amateur sumo, do you know how the event went (turnout, winners, etc.)? And would scouts be sent from the professional sumo world to look for potential athletes to join pro sumo at this event? Sorry, my knowledge of these amateur tournaments is mediocre at best.

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3 hours ago, Katsunorifuji said:

How much of this is due to the foreigner quota system for each heya? Mongolia seems to be the country of choice for those with an opening these days. 

Mot definitely this is influential. With only one foreigner allowed per stable, the oyakata are very picky about who they choose. (Compare this with the fact that almost any Japanese youth who wants to join a heya can, even if they have no sumo background.)

This means the oyakata will likely look for someone who they think will fit in culturally with the heya and so they look to Mongolians, many of whom are already in the high school and university system in Japan. Because the foreign recruits often are of excellent sumo quality, they skip through the lower ranks where all the hardship takes place. Even if they don't quickly reach juryo or Makunouchi, the life as a makushita is not bad and they tend to stick around in sumo for quite a while. By sticking around in the sport, the openings for foreign recruits are few and far between.

2 hours ago, Chanko Thief said:

Very cool, thank you! The article mentions the 2019 World Sumo Championship was held in Hawaii. Unfortunately I don’t follow amateur sumo, do you know how the event went (turnout, winners, etc.)? And would scouts be sent from the professional sumo world to look for potential athletes to join pro sumo at this event? 

The 2019 Sumo World Championships were moved to Sakai, Osaka. The results can be found in the Results tab at the International Sumo Federation website.

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Posted (edited)

We’ll be asking a similar question about the Europeans (and other non-Asians) in a few years. The ‘heyday’ for the European rikishi is coming to an end. Tochinoshin and Gagamaru are nearing retirement and Aoiyama and Kaisei don’t have too many years left in them. Other than those, there isn’t anyone coming through. The Hungarian Masutoo (?) is just hanging around lower down the divisions and I’m not aware of any prospects now Naruto’s Bulgarian recruit has left (he did, right?) It will be a while before we see a Kotooshu or Baruto again, or even for that matter a Roho or Kokkai. Man, I loved seeing the Europeans when I first got into sumo ... 

Edited by Eikokurai
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Musashimaru is an oyakata now, wouldn’t he make a trip to Hawaii every now and then to look for prospects? And surely Konishiki would send someone his way if he saw potential in a young wrestler while visiting the islands, no? 

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2 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

We’ll be asking a similar question about the Europeans (and other non-Asians) in a few years. The ‘heyday’ for the European rikishi is coming to an end. Tochinoshin and Gagamaru are nearing retirement and Aoiyama and Kaisei don’t have too many years left in them. Other than those, there isn’t anyone coming through. The Hungarian Masutoo (?) is just hanging around lower down the divisions and I’m not aware of any prospects now Naruto’s Bulgarian recruit has left (he did, right?) It will be a while before we see a Kotooshu or Baruto again, or even for that matter a Roho or Kokkai. Man, I loved seeing the Europeans when I first got into sumo ... 

Not necessarily. The Russians are dominating the international amateur tournaments, even with the Wakanoho and Roho/Hakurozan incidents, there  will be some who enter in the future. Roga is from the Asian part of Russia and started as Mongolian, but still is now the first new from Russia in over 10 years. And we have a few new recruits from Europe, recently Sokolovsky/Shishi . Also there are the European "halfs" to cheer for, from Poland Tsuyukusa, and now also from another country partly in Europe, from Turkey Hagiwara.

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On ‎13‎/‎05‎/‎2020 at 05:05, Chanko Thief said:

Musashimaru is an oyakata now, wouldn’t he make a trip to Hawaii every now and then to look for prospects? And surely Konishiki would send someone his way if he saw potential in a young wrestler while visiting the islands, no? 

Yes, I'm surprised that Musashimaru hasn't built up contacts like Takamiyama did, which resulted in recruiting both Konishiki and Akebono.

 

Swami

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40 minutes ago, Swami said:

Yes, I'm surprised that Musashimaru hasn't built up contacts like Takamiyama did, which resulted in recruiting both Konishiki and Akebono.

 

Swami

Exactly. I hope that when the world goes back to normal, he gets on this right away. Now that his nephew is no longer in sumo, he has an open slot for a foreigner in his stable, and I would hope that he fills it with a fellow Hawaiian.

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Or just Americans in general. America has a lot of talent being wasted, and part of the problem is there isn't that star to get attention. I was hopeful for Wakaichiro, but it just wasn't in the cards. 

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11 hours ago, Churaumi said:

Or just Americans in general. America has a lot of talent being wasted, and part of the problem is there isn't that star to get attention. I was hopeful for Wakaichiro, but it just wasn't in the cards. 

Now that’s a good point. It would be cool to see more Americans getting into sumo for sure. I had never heard of this Wakaichiro until now, thank you for informing me. What was his reason for retiring, did he just lose his passion for sumo?

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I don't know for sure why he retired, but I do remember he said he was only going to give sumo so long when he started, and depending on how it went he'd stay longer. He stayed more than the year he said he'd stay initially, but I don't think he saw juryo in his future. 

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