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Featured Heya - Oguruma & Oshiogawa

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Oguruma-beya is the heya where Oshiogawa-beya is merging to or has already done so. The timetable was "by the end of March" and this thread discusses the twists and turns regarding this merger:

Oguruma-beya will then have bunch of sekitori and sekitori-prospects. Wakatoba, Takekaze, Maikaze, Onishi, Wakakirin (when he gets recuperated from his knee operation) so it should have quite a good keiko atmosphere and every day a lot of good keiko chances for all.

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Interestingly enough Takekaze and Wakatoba weren't paired up last basho despite being very near in rank (J3 and J4 respectively) and both having winning records. Of course they can't pair up everyone with 15 bouts as there are lots more bouts missing. But still, maybe this was done to respect the fact that they are in the same stable at any moment now.

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Onishi is the main prospect at Oguruma-beya and about his debut and some history, you can find on this thread:

Meikenonami's Onishi-pictures:

Onishi has so far suffered one make-koshi and this time close call too winning the decisive 7th bout. He is high at makushita though but looked a bit injured at the second half of the basho. Maybe a some kind of thigh injury.

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Oguruma-beya's address is:

Oguruma Beya


2-15-5 Kiyosumi

Koutou-ku, Tokyo



Write them and support them if you wish.

Leading rikishi at the moment at Oguruma-beya is naturally cannonball Takekaze whose cannon ball tachi-ai is at times unstoppable as it comes from below and is strong. Of the 12 full basho as sekitori Takekaze has gotten kachi koshi 9 times including 13-2 juryo yusho and three makuuchi 9-6's. He suffered a bad combination injury in Haru 2003 by injuring both his ankle and knee, skipped Natsu and came back in Nagoya. He also missed Hatsu 2005 completely and fell to juryo but came back strongly and is back in makuuchi in Haru 2005.

Takekaze is an oshi-rikishi like his new heya-mate Wakatoba. I think Maikaze does a lot of oshi too and Wakakirin. Onishi is no stranger to oshi either so rather oshi-based heya the new big one will be.

Speaking of techniques, Takekaze may be a real oshi-cannon but he has very clever uchigake in his repertoire and even kawazugake. In addition to those he is also the only rikishi in makuuchi who has done as real ipponzeoi as is really possible against a makuuchi foe. He has won 4 times with uchigake, twice with ipponzeoi and once with kawazugake and susoharai. The ipponzeoi on senshuraku Natsu 2004 against Kinkaiyama is available at Dale's site with slow motion replays and all.

Takekaze's comment about drinking a while ago:

Takekaze Akira


"Well, for me, drinking and 'the 54 Club' go together.

It's a pretty well known drinking gettogether for

rikishis. It's made up of those

rikishis born in the Showa Year 54 (1979). I was

really happy that Hokutoarashi and Kainowaka invited

someone like me, a college grad.

Wheneve there is something happens to a member, we get

together. We can talk about anything. It's a club that

makes you feel a strong bonding beyond ordinary

winning and losses."

Takekaze's hobby is cycling.

Edited by Kaikitsune Makoto

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The Oguruma Family



Known for his indomitable willpower and unyielding spirit, Kotokaze overcame a series of serious injuries and was loved by many sumo fans for his dynamic yotsu style and radiating smiles. At his home, his wife Fumie says, former Ozeki Kotokaze, now Oguruma oyakata, 47, is "a hopelessly sweet man" .

As he got married after his retirment from active sumo, his two kids have never seen him compete on the dohyo. However through books, videos and listening to many others, they've discovered how wonderful the rikishi Kotokaze was and for that reason they can see him far more objectively.

In that sense, unlike some others who grew up getting spoiled as a child of such and such sekitori, they truly understand how great their father once was and appreciate him even more.

They can appreciate their father's kindness so much more because they know full well how he endured harsh training, trials and tributions of sumo life. That's why there is no trace of rupture in this family at all. Everyone can talk to everyone else

frankly without any hesitation.

The oyakata is a firm and active believer of positive thinking. He tries to switch around any negativity and push all the positives through. It shows in how he built his family life.

"You know, ever since I joined Ozumo at 14 years old, I was never able to spend any time together with my own family. So when I got married, I wanted to put my

family first and foremost and build a good family life. Unless you can't have fun with your family, eveything else is pretty much meaningless." Oguruma oyakata said. This was how he turned his minus into a plus.

Another positive thinking of his is to encourage his kids to try out sports. Not just because he has been a rikishi but he knows fully well how sports can enhance the quality of life as he has been a dedicated athlete throughout his childhood.

"Because sports can teach you a senior and junior relationship and order in a natural environment. It also teaches you that it's you who is ultimately responsible for your own action and you cannot put any blame to anyone else but you. It really makes you honest. You can learn a lot about life from it."

As well as receiving sound lessons from their father, his daugher Aki, 17, is now playing badminton at high school while his son Kohei, 15, is doing judo. Their

open and generous nature easily melts into the heya atmosphere too. They are so friendly to the heya's rikishis that they treat them more like their brothers and extended members of the family.

[sumo magazine - November 2004]

Edited by Jonosuke

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I'm afraid I don't really have anything to contribute, but I want to thank Kaikitsune and Jonosuke for their (it goes without saying, very interesting) posts. (Protesting...)

It does sound like the atmosphere at Oguruma-beya will be quite a shock to the group of former Oshiogawa rikishi. (Applauding...) I didn't get much of a vibe of positiveness out of Oshiogawa oyakata in recent times, that's for sure.

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The impressive common feature of Oshiogawa-Oyakata (former Ozeki Daikirin) and Oguruma-Oyakata (former Ozeki Kotokaze) is having gone up again and promoted to Ozeki, after falling from Makuuchi to Makushita by injury.

This fact proves that these two Oyakatas have strong rare emotional strength.

And this connection of two Oyakatas can be considered to have been necessary to me.

When especially Oshiogawa runs out of the Nishonoseki-beya, he has been a chain of difficulties in human relations since then.

Since I have stated in this forum before, I do not touch on the disturbance at that time to it any longer here.

Although Oshiogawa had extremely few choices for entrusting his pupil by the past circumstances, one of them was the most ideal place.

I imagine that the transferred rikishis do not have sense of incongruity so much.

If it is original, in the present, two Oyakatas must be in the same Shinpan-bu.

Oguruma has the popularity and track record which are sufficient for it.

He took over it only during one period in fact.

However, he declined it according to the reason for the ability not to bear that his knee sits down for a long time.

Since these two men are the rare Oyakatas who can see things objective, I am sorry about their not being there together. (Being unsure...)

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I think Oguruma and Oshiogawa-beya both are heya that haven't drawn much media attention and maybe not the hottest asageiko visiting places. Neither has much info on-line either. Only Oguruma-beya site has merely results of heya's rikishi's bashos.

So summing up a bit:

Oguruma-beya and Oshiogawa will be as one which in this case mainly means that Oguruma-beya sort of receives the rikishi and other personnel from Oshiogawa-beya since Oshiogawa-oyakata won't continue at Oguruma.

Oguruma-oyakata ex-ozeki Kotokaze is and was well liked, is hopelessly sweet man with emphasis on positive thinking.

Oguruma-beya will have many sekitori and sekitori prospects when the merger is ready.

Takekaze, Maikaze, Wakatoba, Wakakirin and Onishi at least.

We shall continue following Oguruma-beya closely in the future and root for all them.

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A Kotokaze Story


Ozeki Kotokaze Kouki

Sadogatake Beya

Real Name: Koichi Nakayama

Born: April 26, 1957 in Tsu, Mie Prefecture

Dohyo debut:: July 1971

Juryo debut:: November 1975

Makuuchi debut: January 1977

Last basho: November 1985

Shikona: Nakanoyama -> Kotokaze

Career: 49 Bashos 395 wins 249 losses 80 kyujo

Yusho - 2; Jyun-Yusho: 5; Shunkun 3; Kanto 2; Gino 1; Kin 6

Born second son of a contruction worker, Kotokaze suffered a serious jaundice at birth and his mother was told that he had a little chance to survive so she took him home. But soon he started to recover quickly and by the time he was in second grade at an elementary school, he already weighed 60 kg. As he was overweight, his mark in physical education class was not good but his other marks were outstanding so he had a dream of becoming a college professor some day.

His father once participated in sumo competition while he was in the navy and loved Ozumo. Kotokaze met Kotozakura through Kotogahama when they came around for a Jyungyo tournament held in a newly opened gymnagium at his sister's high school. Since then he asked to become a driver at Osaka Basho and Jyungyo but was declined (I believe he was too young). When he was 14 years old (the second grade in junior high school), he went to their heya keiko with his father and was asked to join immediately by Kotozakura who was planning to open a new heya when he retired.

Kotozakura asked him to transfer to another school near his home so he could live with him and go to school while training with him at a nearby park. However then Sadogatake oyakata soon learned of this and he was quickly taken back to the heya to continue his training.

Kotokaze was known to have a good sense of humor and was always cheerful. He did not have flexible lower body especially his thighs and knees but once he grabbed his opponent's mawashi from hidari-yotsu, he could push his opponent off with enormous power. However once he was put on defensive, he'd lost out easily.

Initially when he joined the heya, he was considered as a specially chosen recruit of Kotozakura, others at the heya treated him terribly and he was ready to quit just prior to the July basho in 1974 but during the basho. then Sadogatake oyakata passed away and Kotozakura inherited the heya so he stayed.

After he was promoted to Sekiwake, he suffered a serious injury to his left knee joint and his rank dropped all the way down to Makushita 30 level. With his undaunted tenacious spirit and totally offense-only strategy, he climbed back again to Makuuchi in only one year. In July 1980 he faced Tochihikari, the same opponent whom he had the injury initially and ended up suffering another injury. But even this setback did not faze Kotokaze as he eventually went on to become an Ozeki.

In May 1985 as he faced Kadoban, he suffered another injury to his knee joint but this time to his right knee and was forced to withdraw the next two bashos so he could put all his efforts in treating the injury but could not make a comeback and retired at the age of 28 years old.

As a rikishi Kotokaze was always remembered for his dedication to Keiko and Ozumo. He possessed a sincere and straight forward personality and was well liked by many.

Photo: Oguruma Nameplate - brushed by then Makuuchi level gyoji, Shinnosuke Shikimori (current Sanyaku level Kindayu Shikimori).

Edited by Jonosuke

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My Memorable Bout

(The 1984 September Basho Senshuraku - Kotokaze over Konishiki by Sukuinage)


By Oguruma Oyakata

I have more than a few memorable bouts of my own - the ones I beat a yokozuna, I won the Yusho and my last career bout - against Terao. But the most memorable bout of them all is the one I beat Konishiki after over a two minute of struggle in the Seshuraku at the very last basho we had in the old Kuramae Kokugikan.

This was Konishiki's second Makuuchi basho. He was then called the "Invasion of the Black Ship", as he defeated one by one, both Yokozunas Chiyonofuji and Takanosato, and then Wakashimazu-zeki by powerful tsuppari.

Normally on the Senshuraku, we had an Ozeki facing another Ozeki so I expected to go against Asashio-zeki but in this rather unusual situation, I was picked to face Konishiki. At this stage if I beat him, then we would had the Yusho by Hiramaku Tagaryu who had one loss but if I lost to Konishiki, with only two losses he still had a possilbilty of getting into a Yusho Kettei sen. In this basho I was experiencing a lot of problems with my knee and I could not have any quality training at all. As a matter of fact I was barely able to continue while extractng liquid out of my injured knee regularly.

On this day, all of Makuuchi rikishis and Kyokai executives stayed on till the end for the special farewell ceremony to be held at the conclusion. After the bout when I walked back on the Hanamichi, both former Mihogaseki oyakata (former Ozeki Masuiyama Daishiro) and former Kataonami oyakata (former Sekiwake Tamanoumi) were there at the back, watching me. I still remember that they were very happy for me as they congratulated me and said to me, "a great work".

I end up retiring one year later but I always have a special fondness for this bout as one of my most memorable bouts in the twilight years of my sumo life.

Edited by Jonosuke

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Oguruma Beya

The heya was founded by former Ozeki Kotokaze who retired his active career at November 1985 and left Sadogatake Beya to form his own Heya in Inari, Souka City Saitama Prefecture on March 23, 1987.

In June 1993 the heya was moved to Koto-ward in Tokyo and the heya opening ceremony was held on April 24, 1994. In July 2000 Tomikaze became the heya's first Juryo rikishi.

Initially they had a heya policy of not admitting a college or foreign born rikishi but when former College Yokouzna from Chuo University, Narita (current Takekaze) came to personally ask to join, the policy was lifted. Since then Morishita of Takushoku University who wanted to follow Narita and former Amateur Yokozuna at Nihon Taiiku University Onishi joined the heya. Onishi is now ranked at a high Makushita rank.

They also have a Mongolian rikishi who could not originally join Sadogatake Beya, Hoshikaze, (Tottori Johoku High School Sumo Club - an alma mater of Kotomitsuki), aiming for a high Makushita ranking.

Photo: Heya's dohyo. No sand heap decoration. The salt is thrown towars the zashiki seating.

Edited by Jonosuke

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The oyakata's fave:

Hoshikaze Yoshihiro (from Mongolia, 20 years old)

"He has a really sincere personality. Mostly he can quickly learn what he is told. He belonged to a high school sumo club but he broke his collar bone three times so he hardly had any time to train during his high school days. We've been telling him not to pull in training sessions but once in a real bout he tends to go back to the bad habit. Right now that is the biggest challenge for him.

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Heya Building

Reinforced concrete built 4 story occupying approximately 396 sq meter land, with total floor space of 920 sq meters.

1st flloor: Training dohyo, chanko room, bath, living room.

2nd floor: Grand room for non-sekitori rikishis, 3 private rooms.

3rd floor: Oyakata family private residence.

4th floor: Training gym and rooftop deck.

Cost: 200 Million Yen (at the time of construction)

Address: 2-15-5 Kiyosumi Koto-ku Tokyo Japan 135-0024

Train: Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line or Toei Chikatetsu Oedo Line "Kiyosumi Shirakawa" Station 3 minute walk

Edited by Jonosuke

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Very nice info package! (Sign of approval)

All this background info on Kotokaze made me watch a 10-minute special on Kotokaze with clips of his old bouts and interview. He surely looked like enourmously powerful when in full offense and also had a very distinctive gappuri-yori! You don't see that too much in makuuchi at the moment.

When he had that serious knee injury he came back with yusho both in makushita and juryo. He won his second yusho at a heavy duty kettei-sen victory over Asashio.

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I'm coming in a bit late to this discussion but I think it doesn't matter so much in this section.

I appreciate the information about Oguruma Oyakata and his charges. I would like to hear something about Nishikikaze if anything is known about him.

I know little about him though his father sends the banzuke to Canada each tournament and it gets passed on to me through my wife's uncle (who doesn't have much to say about it). I've been keenly following his progress (or lack of it) since I started receiving these (probably towards the end of 1999).

At times he's even been the top rikishi in his heya though that came to a definite end when Takekaze showed up!

I can say that he's been in Makushita for all but 2 or 3 basho in that time. He has been close enough to Juryo to have a match or two there (lost both) but has never earned a promotion.

Anytime he's fallen to Sandanme, he's bounced back quickly.

I doubt he'll ever make it to sekitoridom now but if he does I'll certainly be cheering him on.

I hope the merging of the heya works out well for him and prompts him to train hard and find a way to win consistently.


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