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Retirements after Hatsu 2022

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A long, long list this time, comprising no less than 25 names including the previously announced Kyokushuho intai. (Although that wasn't actually acknowledged on the Kyokai site at the time, hmm. Edit: it's there now.)

Asakishin (Takasago)
Kiritsubasa (Michinoku)
Wakanofuji (Hanaregoma)
Hokutoki (Hakkaku)
Kasugaryu (Tomozuna)
Taketsukasa (Irumagawa)
Hokutohomare (Hakkaku)
Nogami (Oguruma)
Hokutoiwami (Hakkaku)
Mifuneyama (Kise)
Akikaze (Oguruma)
Toho (Otake) - known two months ago (1, 2) but only now official
Mienosato (Kasugano)
Yashiroumi (Kise)
Hokutosora (Hakkaku)
Ishihara (Hanaregoma)
Arikawa (Hanaregoma)
Shunpo (Shibatayama)
Fujinokaze (Oguruma)
Hanakaze (Tatsunami) - Link (and Yubinhaad called it in November)
Asadaimon (Takasago)
Wakayama (Onomatsu)
Sadatsuyoshi (Sakaigawa)
Imafuku (Hanaregoma) banzuke-gai

So no less than four (ex-Nishonoseki) Hanaregoma rikishi won't be continuing under new shisho ex-Tamanoshima, and three Oguruma rikishi have also called it quits ahead of the heya's shuttering, including long-time makushita regular Nogami (Yubinhaad had an inkling here, too). Nogami was a standout competitor in his elementary to high school days, but struggled to stay healthy in the pro ranks.

Asakishin caught the public's eyes on joining due to his unusual bodybuilding background, and has arguably had a career both better and longer than nearly anyone would have expected back then.

Hokutoki came in from the collegiate circuit with a decent amount of fanfare, but had his left knee taped heavily pretty much from the start (e.g. here in his third basho, he's Ikegawa) and ended up not progressing beyond upper-mid makushita.

Another former university wrestler on the list is Mifuneyama whose turning professional attracted much less attention, his subsequent career arguably having panned out about the way one would expect after a lack of truly significant collegiate results. He was recently on the road back from a left knee injury, perhaps somebody knows why the comeback has suddenly been aborted?

Wakayama, absent from the dohyo for the last year, was a bit of a long ago cautionary tale about not putting too much stock into low-division results; he started his career 14-0 as a 19-year-old, but didn't have to beat anyone of competitive note for it, and proceeded to need a whole three years to leave sandanme behind him as well, taking off much of the prospect shine. Right as he was establishing himself as a makushita regular he ruptured his right knee ACL in 2015 and lost a year of his career for the first time. Initially not looking like his comeback was going to go very far, he slowly proceeded to progress through makushita again after all, to reach a one-time high rank in the single digits a year ago. Unfortunately the next tournament saw him re-injure his ACL and this time no comeback will happen.

Joining Hanakaze and Toho on the way out is another of Ozumo's most veteran rikishi in 44-year-old Fujinokaze of the disbanding Oguruma-beya, the 6th-oldest rikishi on the Hatsu banzuke. I suspect other people are able to write about him in much more informed fashion than I could, so I'll yield here.

Lastly, and also a member of the sumo world for 20+ years: 37-year-old Kasugaryu. A career that peaked with just a couple of cups of coffee in makushita, he is nonetheless notable for having competed out of four different heya (and for, umm, some other thing, see below), as a result of the protracted Kasugayama-beya shutdown five years ago and the not much less messy closure of the quasi-successor Nakagawa-beya a few years later.

(I'm sure there's stuff to note about all the others as well, but that's what I'm able to muster at this time.)

Edited by Asashosakari
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In college Hokutoki showed the power and had the results of someone you'd expect to achieve sekitorihood, but he looked a depleted force on the ozumo dohyo from early in his career. Definitely one who peaked in the amateurs.

Edited by Katooshu

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2 minutes ago, code_number3 said:

Kasugaryu the bow twirler!

*facepalm* Of course! That's some brainfart on my part.

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The Hanaregoma-beya quartet had a simultaneous danpatsu-shiki in the keikoba, with their original shisho (former Ozeki Wakashimazu) in attendance. I hope the heya will post more, but for now just one picture. Ishihara was the longest-serving of the four, ending one basho short of the small club of rikishi to appear on 100 banzuke under their family name.



Four retirees from Hakkaku-beya too, although I missed the fact that Hokutosora had actually retired between basho due to persistent lower back problems, and his danpatsu-shiki happened just before Christmas. Two pictures of that are in the box too. The three post-Hatsu retirees had a simultaneous danpatsu-shiki.

As Asashosakari mentioned, Hokutoki seemed like quite a prospect when he joined Hakkaku-beya in early 2016, having been runner-up in the national student championships the previous year. He was joined by two other Kindai recruits, Ishibashi (Asanoyama) and Tamaki (Asagyokusei), who joined Takasago-beya instead.

Hokutoiwami will return to Hokkaido to work at the rice farm run by his parents there, in due course taking over.


Hokutoki, Hokutoiwami and Hokutohomare ahead of the danpatsu-shiki.


Not sure who the cutter is here, maybe Okinofuji.


Okinoumi makes a cut for Hokutoiwami.


Kitanowaka this time.


Hokutofuji with Hokutoki.


Hakkaku-oyakata (former Yokozuna Hokutoumi) makes the final cut for all three.




And two pictures from Hokutosora's danpatsu-shiki just over a month ago, Okinoumi and Hokutofuji make their cuts.




A few pictures from Kiritsubasa's danpatsu-shiki. I'm afraid I can say little about the man himself, but his odd shikona always caught my eye with the kanji for left at the end. I note with regret that he didn't meet Migikataagari until after the latter had changed shikona to Denzan.

Note: I don't know when the danpatsu-shiki took place, he was kyujo this basho so it might have been some weeks ago. I don't think anyone need be alarmed by the presence of now COVID-positive Kakuryu-oyakata.


Some commemorative pictures with his heyamates.




Kiribayama makes his cut.


Kakuryu-oyakata's cut.


And afterwards with Dainichido and Kiribayama.



And finally to Takasago-beya for the danpatsu-shiki of Asakishin and Asadaimon.


Commemorative group picture.


Asakishin's shikona was suggested by pro-wrestler Zeus, they became friends when Zeus was the representative of an Osaka gym while Asakishin was working there as a trainer.

Asanoyama makes his cut. Heya gyoji Kimura Asanosuke is holding the tray.


Asanowaka, still sporting the shiner he picked up during the basho.


Final cut by Takasago-oyakata (former Sekiwake Asasekiryu).



Asadaimon's turn now. I liked his shikona, an alternative reading of the same kanji of his family name, Okado.

Same order as before, Asanoyama followed by Asanowaka and then the shisho.




The retirees with floral tributes.


Back in the keikoba after proper haircuts and new suits.






I hope some danpatsu-shiki pictures will emerge for the three Oguruma retirees, but I haven't seen any yet. Fujinokaze and Hanakaze set a new record for the greatest combined age in a torikumi last basho, at 95 years and 11 months.

Nogami always fought under his family name but the given name changed a few times, finally to Goki, using the same kanji as the given name used by his shisho (former Ozeki Kotokaze). Maybe he sympathised with Nogami's knee injuries, having suffered them himself in his active days.

Akikaze's intai is a bit unexpected, I had assumed he was an uchideshi of Takekaze being a fellow Akita native and having attended the same high school. But he's had a couple of significant injury interruptions to his short career, so maybe that's the reason.

Kasugaryu won't be going far, he'll be working as a coach at Tomozuna-beya. He performed the yumitori-shiki 167 times and was the second-oldest in the post-1952 era at the time of his last performance, behind Satonofuji of course.

Edited by Yubinhaad
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Poor Imafuku. You'd have to imagine he never recovered psychologically from Hibikiryu's unfortunate death. Extremely sad.

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18 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Arikawa (Hanaregoma)

This guy's twitter was entertaining back in the day. Former tsukebito to Kisenosato and seemed like quite a character.

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Wakayama's danpatsu-shiki took place recently and the heya posted the pictures, unfortunately most were of the speeches after the hair cutting, but that'll have to do.


Wakayama with his final oichomage. He did shokkiri performances in the past so he had some experience of wearing it before.


Final cut from Onomatsu-oyakata (former Maegashira Daido).


Danpatsu-shiki concludes.


Greetings and a gift from a Mr Sagawa, Wakayama's former coach in Tachikawa and currently president of the Tokyo Sumo Federation.


Back on stage after a proper haircut and a new suit. I think the man on the left is Taisuke Miyamoto, the Mayor of Narashino, where Onomatsu-beya is located.


Speech from Eisuke Mori, a former Justice Minister.


Speech from director Tsunoda of the sumo club at Koryo High School.


A farewell gift from Chairman Suzuki of the Chiba Koenkai.


Speech from Mr Kamogari, president of Chef Meat Chigusa Ltd. I wonder if he's a big wheel in the koenkai or if that's the career change for Wakayama.


And finally a farewell speech from Wakayama himself, before some commemorative pictures outside.





A late intai report came in from Musashigawa-beya, as Kenshomaru retires after almost six years. The heya posted a few pictures from his danpatsu-shiki and I thought I'd post them in this thread rather than wait until the post-Haru one.



Kenshomaru with his first and last oichomage.


Final cut from Musashigawa-oyakata (former Yokozuna Musashimaru).


The severed mage.


Better haircut and a new suit.


A commemorative picture with his stablemates.



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On 24/02/2022 at 21:08, Yubinhaad said:

Wakayama's danpatsu-shiki took place recently and the heya posted the pictures, unfortunately most were of the speeches after the hair cutting, but that'll have to do.

last cut by Onomatsu-oyakata, from the channel of Chiba pref. assembly member Masakazu Koujima, with the comment: aim for yokozuna on the path of social welfare, so Wakayama's 2nd career likely is in this area

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On 26/01/2022 at 21:21, Yubinhaad said:

Kasugaryu won't be going far, he'll be working as a coach at Tomozuna-beya. He performed the yumitori-shiki 167 times and was the second-oldest in the post-1952 era at the time of his last performance, behind Satonofuji of course.

Kasugaryu's danpatsu-shiki took place yesterday at the Ryogoku Daiichi Hotel. Miyagino-oyakata (former Yokozuna Hakuho) attended to make a cut for his former tsukebito.


Kasugaryu with his final oichomage, joined by singer Kaoru Yamaguchi who also sang at the event.


Kasugaryu performed the yumitori-shiki one last time.


Danpatsu-shiki underway.



Singer Yamaguchi makes her cut.


Miyagino-oyakata makes his cut.


Oshima-oyakata (former Sekiwake Kyokutenho) brings the ceremony to an end with the final cut.



Back on stage in a new suit and proper haircut.


With a friend.


And with Miyagino.



Elsewhere, an article appeared about former Makushita Toho who also retired after this basho.

He found it hard to gain weight throughout his 26-year career, reaching Makushita only when he was 31 years old. Unfortunately in his division debut he suffered a right knee injury, and never fought in Makushita again. At 32 he began studying for his high school diploma via a correspondence school, graduating three years later.

He first began contemplating retirement in November 2017 when he broke his shoulder blade during the basho, but he recovered quickly and continued, both for himself and those who were cheering him on. However, aware that he was closer to the end of his career than the beginning, he got the shisho's approval to begin a job search which lasted about a year and a half. He applied to 30 companies in numerous industries, but most declined without offering an interview. It was a harsh reality check for a man now in his early 40s who had spent his entire adult life in ozumo.

He narrowed his focus to sports management because of the enjoyment he got out of being an instructor at the sumo school, although he wanted to work with athletes of all kinds of sports rather than just sumo. Finally he applied to Athlete Marketing Co. Ltd, and after several interviews they offered him a position in their management division. After retiring from ozumo he began his second career, helping to manage current and retired athletes, as well as comedienne Kuniko Yamada.


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