Sign in to follow this  
mikawa

Class of 2012 (Yamamoto Masakatsu / Nishino Tomonori)

Recommended Posts

Let's take a look at the Class of 2012, the year group who were first eligible for Ozumo in 2012. We have already seen multiple members making it to sekitori and Makuuchi, and what's more, one of them has even been able to make it as far as Ozeki (and in the process getting his own fan club on this forum).

We'll list the Top 32 rikishi in this year group, ranked by their results in every national level tournament prior to graduating middle school. We will also be focussing on some of them, talking about what kind of wrestler they are, what notable results they've achieved, and more importantly, what their story is. Hopefully when more of them start appearing in Makuuchi in years to come, you could look back to the Amasumo section and see where they came from, and what they've been through.

Edited by mikawa
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 - Yamamoto Masakatsu (山本 正克), Nagano, Kiyonoumi, Tamanoi (Kyushu 2014)
2 - Nishino Tomonori (西野 倫理), Ishikawa
3 - Sato Takanobu (佐藤 貴信), Hyogo, Takakeisho, Chiganoura (Aki 2014)
4 - Utetsu Fumiya (打越 奎也), Aomori, Onosho, Onomatsu (Hatsu 2013)
5 - Koike Kazuki (小池 一毅), Niigata, Oki, Shikoroyama (Nagoya 2013)
6 - Okura Kakeru (大蔵 翔), Gifu
7 - Yamatake Ryo (山嶽 涼), Kumamoto
8 - Uno Masanobu (宇野 大将), Chiba, Tsugaruumi, Tamanoi (Haru 2012)

9 - Kubo Masahiro (久保 正博), Saitama
10 - Matsuo Masashi (松尾 将志), Aichi, Chiba, Kotoryusei, Sadogatake (Haru 2012)
11 - Yamamoto Isato (山本 勇人), Kyoto, Oisato, Minezaki (Haru 2012)
12 - Iwamoto Ryuta (岩本 龍太), Tokyo
13 - Kitagawa Hajime (北川 甫), Ishikawa
14 - Yamadate Atsushi (山舘 敦司), Iwate
15 - Kawai Takahisa (川井 誉久), Ibaraki
16 - Enami Masashi (榎波 将史), Fukui

17 - Tateishi Junpei (立石 純平), Nagasaki
18 - Nishi Taisei (西 大星), Osaka
19 - Ogasawara Ryusei (小笠原 隆聖), Aomori, Nishikifuji, Isegahama (Aki 2016)
20 - Takada Shunpei (高田 峻平), Chiba
21 - Motobayashi Kenji (元林 健治), Osaka, Oshoryu, Naruto (Natsu 2019)
22 - Harasawa Shuji (原澤 脩司), Tokyo
23 - Kanai Oga (金井 旺雅), Niigata
24 - Sato Katsuyasu (佐藤 勝泰), Hokkaido

25 - Kudo Daiki (工藤 大輝), Aomori
26 - Murakami Masaki (村上 雅季), Toyama
27 - Matsubara Kota (松原 康太), Nagano
28 - Matsuda Miju (松田 海珠), Tottori
29 - Morita Taiga (森田 大河), Shiga
30 - Hashimoto Masaki (橋本 昌樹), Wakayama
31 - Kawamura Shohei (河村 祥平), Kyoto
32 - Fukushima Takahiro (福島 貴裕), Hyogo, Fukushima, Nishikido (Haru 2012)

Edited by mikawa
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this the year that will finish university this upcoming March?  If so, how many of these lads went to uni--it might be nice to add that to the table, if known.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ryoshishokunin said:

Is this the year that will finish university this upcoming March?  If so, how many of these lads went to uni--it might be nice to add that to the table, if known.

I believe this group graduated university in 2018.

I know some of them competed in university sumo:

-Nishino (Toyo)

-Kubo (Toyo)

-Kitagawa (Toyo)

-Enami (Nihon)

-Nishi (Nittaidai)

-Ogasawara (Kindai; dropped out after 2 years)

-Motobayashi (Kindai)

Motobayashi and Nishino were the most accomplished as collegiate competitors, each winning multiple titles and regularly making the later rounds of competitions. Motobayashi, Nishino, Nishi, and Enami were all captains of their teams in their final years. I don't recognize every name of the 32 and probably missed some others who competed in university...

Edited by Katooshu
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Katooshu said:

I believe this group graduated university in 2018.

That sounds right by the numbers, if you're counting 16 y.o. as eligible for Ozumo.  2014 + 6 = 2020, and 16 + 6 =22, the usual graduation age for college.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 - Yamamoto Masakatsu (山本 正克), Nagano

Yamamoto.jpg

Type of Wrestler

Huge frame, prefers oshi-zumo

Major Achievements

Wanpaku Yokozuna (Grade 4)
Primary School Yokozuna (Grade 4)
Wanpaku Yokozuna (Grade 5)
Primary School Yokozuna (Grade 5)

Wanpaku Yokozuna (Grade 6)
Primary School Championships semi-final (Grade 6)

Personal Stories

Yamamoto Masakatsu's huge size advantage during his primary school days along with a pretty strong body meant that only a select few could match his sumo back then, namely Nishino Tomonori and Utetsu Fumiya (Onosho). Even then, Masakatsu was still able to power through them during their bouts, a bit like what happened here against Onosho (Masakatsu is on the right):

 

This dominance led to title after title, and with it, a huge hype started to materialize around him. In fact, during a TV show, ex-Yokozuna Asashoryu labelled Masakatsu as a future rival. The spotlight on him back in the day was very similar to when Hakuho scouted "future monster" Toma Tsuguto, except that Hakuho had an actual plan to nurture Toma.

Another TV program pitted Masakatsu against Munfu, a Mongolian wrestling champion of the same age. They faced each other in two matches, one in sumo and the other in Mongolian wrestling. Here's their sumo encounter (an interesting match to say the least):

 

As with a lot of sumo kids who had a large frame, Masakatsu's size advantage actually hindered the development of his technical skills and speed, and this became increasingly evident once the power gap was narrowed. The turning point came during his final Primary School Championships when he lost a bout at a national tournament for the first time ever, to long-time rival Onosho, and since then, the results gradually deteriorated. It also didn't help that he was plagued with injury problems throughout his middle school days.

Since joining Ozumo in November 2014, Masakatsu (Kiyonoumi) has, like Toma, spent most of his time in Sandanme, whereas his rival Onosho is already a veteran in Makuuchi.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 - Nishino Tomonori (西野 倫理), Ishikawa

Nishino.jpg

Type of Wrestler

Strong body, thrusting sumo

Major Achievements

Primary School Championships runner-up (Grade 4)
Wanpaku semi-final (Grade 5)
Primary School Championships runner-up (Grade 5)
Wanpaku semi-final (Grade 6)
Primary School Championships runner-up (Grade 6)
Middle School Student Championships runner-up

Personal Stories

Nishino Tomonori's story has always been one of team success over individual glory. Undoubtedly one of the strongest wrestlers of this year group, he helped Kanazawa Technical High School to a Kokutai Juniors triumph back in 2014. Later on, as a student at Toyo University, Nishino was an important member of their sumo club which dominated the college sumo team competitions over multiple years, winning title after title after title.

However, when it comes to individual competitions, Nishino just never seems to be able to get it done. Sure, he's reacherd more finals, semi-finals and quarter-finals than I can count, but various reasons he's never been able to take that extra step and actually win.

Back in the early days it was Yamamoto Masakatsu whom he always lost to, which wasn't all that surprising seeing as that was when no one (in Japan at least) could beat Yamamoto. By the time they reached Grade 6 and then Middle School, when Yamamoto's sumo was no longer all-conquering, another wrestler by the name of Utetsu Fumiya (Onosho) rose up and slotted into the role of always beating Nishino in national finals.

In this quarter-final bout against Sato Takanobu (Takakeisho) at the Inter-High, you can see what Nishino (on the right) is capable of. He lost in the next round.

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 - Sato Takanobu (佐藤 貴信), Hyogo

Takanobu.jpg

Type of Wrestler

Thrusting sumo, very good timing

Major Achievements

Wanpaku runner-up (Grade 5)
Primary School Championships semi-final (Grade 5)
Primary School Championships semi-final (Grade 6)
Middle School Yokozuna (third year middle school)

Personal Stories

I dedicate this post to the passionate members of the Takakeisho Fan Club.

This series mainly talks about wrestlers who may become future stars in Ozumo, but in this case, we are going to be talking about someone who has already reached the heights of Ozeki, and as such, is well known to everyone on the forum. He has certainly had an interesting journey prior to turning pro.

Sato Takanobu was born to a father who has extremely high hopes for him. So high in fact that he was named after two incredibly successful Japanese people - ex-Yokozuna Takanohana and the Sengoku warlord who unified most of Japan, Oda Nobunaga.

Young Sato was heavily influenced by the boom of K-1 martial arts contests back then, and took up karate when he was only 5 years old. However, after losing in a Grade 3 national final to what they felt was a controversial call, Sato gave up karate and instead turned his attention to sumo, joining the local Kansai Amami Sumo Federation.

Two years after that was when he first caught everyone's attention in amateur sumo. During the Grade 5 semi-finals of the Wanpaku Tournament, a 69 kg Sato Takanobu faced off against 100 kg Okura Kakeru from Gifu Prefecture. During this bout, Sato (on the left) already showed signs of his now-famous pushing attack and his impeccable timing when it came to pull-downs and sidesteps:

 

Sato Takanobu still had a belt game back then, but everything changed when, a year later, he faced off against the same opponent during his round of 16 bout. Sato started off with his signature thrusting and sidestepping attack, and then quickly went inside and got a morozashi (double inside) grip. Four throwing attempts, a leg trip and 30 seconds later, Sato still couldn't finish off his opponent.

Instead, a kotenage (armlock throw) move from his opponent and Sato found himself lying on the dohyo, contemplating what could have been. I've always believed that it was this one bout that convinced Sato to heavily lean into his thrusting sumo, as it was one thing that he could always depend upon, and was very good at. Hence the Takakeisho that we see today.

Sato's greatest moment in amateur sumo came when he reached the final of the National Middle School Championships, where he (on the left) faced long-time rival and future Makuuchi opponent Utetsu Fumiya (Onosho). Two future stars of Ozumo battling for the national championship.

 

After that, Sato Takanobu was persuaded by Coach Yamada to hone his skills at high school sumo powerhouse Saitama Sakae, and chose to turn pro during his third and final year there. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this