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Kintamayama

Futagoyama Oyakata

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"His situation is serious but not critical. Our priority at the moment is to halt the advance of his illness. He can neither walk nor speak, but when I grip his hand, he returns the grip.", siad Takanohana concerning the situation of his father Futagoyama Oyakata, who is hospitalized in Tokyo with cancer of the mouth. He cannot eat on his own as well, and is being fed "nutrients". (I have no idea what that means, but I take it to mean through the veins.)

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The situation has taken a turn for the worst today, as it has been disclosed that he has pneumonia as well, and there is a definite deterioration in his situation. This from his son Takanohana Oyakata who visited him at the hospital yesterday. "He is conscious, but the situation is grave", he said. (The situation is grave..hmm.. That can be read in another way..)

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i wonder if Wakanohana is going to the hospital to see him also (never hear anything about him these days, so i wasnt sure what he is up to)

i hope their father pulls through

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Is a talk show subject to some extent now - Wajima on TV recently was asked how Taka senior was - no indication why so one to think over.

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After his visit to his father on May 29, Takanohana oyakata indicated that the condition of Futagoyama oyakata, has further deteriorated and still remains very grave. Futagoyama oyakata is suffering from a cancer of the mouth and is hospitalized at a

Tokyo area clinic.

"I cannot describe it in any positive manner. He is beyond a point of whether he can be cured or not. He is not talking and has his eyes closed throughout my visit yesterday. He is currently on IV and is mostly not conscious. We are in a rather precarious stage and

obviously we need to be close by in case his condition turns for the worst."

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A very sad day for sumo and an even sadder day for his family. My thoughts are with them during this time of dispair. (I am not worthy...)

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Tough time for the Hanada family... God bless the prince of sumo. (I am not worthy...)

014_b.jpg

Does someone know how many sekitori were raised by Fujishima / Futagoyama oyakata ? I guess the first one was Takatoriki, but I am not sure.

Regards,

Chienoshima

Edited by Chienoshima

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Thank you for the link Kintamayama. A very nice set of photos. (I am not worthy...) Brings back some good memories and some sadness. (Showing respect...)

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Does someone know how many sekitori were raised by Fujishima / Futagoyama oyakata ? I guess the first one was Takatoriki, but I am not sure.
The following rikishi became Sekitori with him as shishō:

1987.07 Akinoshima

1987.09 Takanohama

1989.05 Takatoriki

1989.11 Takahanada

1990.03 Wakahanada

1991.03 Takanonami

1995.03 Gokenzan

and almost-Sekitori Goto who topped at Ms1e in 2002.01.

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I guess it sounds macabre and heartless to talking about something like this but I am thinking of more in terms of his legacy.

I believe with his passing, Takanohana oyakata will come to possess Futagoyama Toshiyori Myoseki which is one of the most distingushed and reverred Myosekis in Ozumo.

Since he cannot keep two and may not feel like renting it to anyone with a lesser distinction or even sell it (the only person I know who really desparately wanted it that Myoseki is former Akinoshima as he worshipped Futagoyama oyakata but obviously he won't even able get close to the heya unless he buries the hatchet).

So I am wondering perhaps in a time, Takanohana will give up the one generation Takanohana Myoseki and inherit his father's Toshiyori name and change the heya name back to Futagoyama to keep the legacy and tradtions alive. The name meant a lot to his father.

If I may add a personal note of mine on this sad day that my father also passed away on this day exactly 19 years ago. I share their sorrows.

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I believe with his passing, Takanohana oyakata will come to possess Futagoyama Toshiyori Myoseki which is one of the most distingushed and reverred Myosekis in Ozumo.

Are You sure? I would think that the one generation Takanohana Myoseki would be far more prestigious than Futagoyama, being his late father's shikona as well. He might want to hold on to Futagoyama Myoseki too, but if that's not feasible, I guess he would rather stay with his own merit.

On the original topic again: I didn't think the situation was that serious until I read Jonosuke's report earlier this morning. Eventually, he left very quickly, which could be a blessing as well as a tragedy. Sayonara, prince of sumo! :-P

Edited by Jakusotsu

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Hopefully he didn't suffer too much.

We've just lost a legend. (Depressed...) :-P

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Futagoyama Mitsuru (real name: Mitsuru Hanada, former Ozeki Takanohana) passed away at a Tokyo's Bunkyo-ward area hospital at 17:40 May 30. He was 55 years old

(born February 19, 1950).

Mitsuru Hanada was a good swimmer while growing up in Aomori Prefecture but realized he could not earn the living with it so he switched to sumo and joined his

older brother who eventually became Yokozuna Wakanohana I. At the 1971 Natsu Basho he defeated Yokozuna Taiho who decided to retire after the bout. Ozeki Takanohana was known as the Price of Ozumo World.

He has made his dohyo debut at the 1965 Natsu Basho and three years later he become the youngest ever promoted to Makuuchi at 18 years and 8 months. He was

promoted to Ozeki after the Aki Basho in 1972 with his good rival Wajima. He has won the Yusho twice - at the 1975 Haru Basho when he beat Kitanoumi in the Yusho

Ketteisen to win the Yusho. Takanohana was the longest serving Ozeki with 50 bashos.

He was never able to achieve a Yokozuna due to his light weight but he has been always admired for his tenacious sumo techniques and intesity as he always went after his much bigger opponents straight on. He announced his retirement from active sumo during the Hatsu Basho in 1981.

"I've done all I possilbly could. I often felt certain pressures being a popular rikishi but without the support, I probably have ended up as a 20 basho Ozeki," the

oyakata said upon his retirement. His dream of becoming a yokozuna was eventually fulfilled by his own two sons.

As an oyakata, he had developed the first ever sibling yokozunas, his own sons Takanohana and Wakanohana as well as Ozeki Takanonami and a good number of Makuuchi rikishis. At Takanonami's Danpatsu Ceremony this January, he insisted on attending despite his serious illness and was assisted to the dohyo to fulfill his

responsibility as the Ozekis's original shisho. "More than techniques or forms, he taught me how I should live as a human being," Takanonami said.

In February 2004 he was elected to the Kyokai's second powerful position, Operations Director. He started his battle with the illness a year and half ago. The Kyokai officials indicated they have scheduled a meeting on May 31 to discuss the funeral arrangement.

At the hospital his older brother (former Futagoyama oyakata), his heya mate Matsugane oyakata (former Ozeki Wakashimazu) and his recruit Sendagawa

oyakata (former Sekiwake Akinoshima) were seen rushing in to pay their final respect.

Rijicho Kitanoumi Oyakata

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

(Ozeki Takanohana's Ketteisen opponent twice)

"I deeply regret his passing. He was indispensable for the advancement of the Kyokai. A tremendous loss. I'd like to express my sincere and deepest condolances."

(Seeing him for the last time at Takanonami's Danpatsu Ceremony.)

"I always felt he would recover somehow but he appeared to be suffering a great deal then..."

(Commenting on his most memorable bout with Ozeki Takanohana, the Yusho Ketteisen at the 1975 Haru Basho. It was the bout the Great Yokozuna Kitanoumi

became a heel.)

"I believed it was the Yusho many sumo fans have been expecting and waiting for. I remember there were so many zabutons flying all over to literally cover the whole ceiling."

Taiho Oyakata

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

(After the Directors meeting held on May 26, visited the oyakata at the hospital.)

"I told him to be strong...and I thought he would open his eyes for me. When you think of his age, I should be the one to go before. I can't believe he is gone before he even had the mandatory retirement."

(On the bout he decided to retire after his loss to Ozeki Takanohana.)

"After that bout, I remember asking my daughter if I could retire from competition...."

Former Yokozuna Wajima

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

"While I was still at Nihon University Sumo Club, we were located close to the training dohyo at Hanakago Beya and Futagoyama oyakata (former Ozeki Takanohana) who was with Nishonoseki Ichimon used to come around there often. After I turned a pro, we trained a lot together. He had a very strong and stable lower back so it was really tough to push him out. My most memorable time with him was when we both were promoted to Ozeki at the same time after the 1972 Aki Basho. We were both same age so we became good drinking buddies. I sense a deep loss now. I regret deeply."

Hanakago oyakata (former Sekiwake Daijuyama)

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

(Ozeki Takanohana's junior heya mate)

"On the morning my wife and I went to see him at the hospital. He was not in a condition to speak to us but his face did not look bad so I reall really cannot believe this."

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Very sad news...I guess just try and look at it that he is no longer suffering.

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With the Giants' slugger Sadaharu Oh in 1975:

0530hutagoyama_oh.jpg

Takanohana, Otowayama Oyakata (ex-Takanonami),Wakanohana and body at Takanohana beya:

05053101takanohanaGRA00218G050530T.jpg

Taka /Waka - they spent some last minutes alone with their father:

05053102hanadatakanoGRA00222G050530T.jpg

Edited by Kintamayama

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Many Oyakata came to pay their respects. Odake Oyakata (ex- Takatouriki), Futagoyama's pupil:

KFullNormal20050531047_l.jpg

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Futagoyama oyakata dies

James Hardy Daily Yomiuri Sumo Writer

Stablemaster Futagoyama, father of former yokozuna Wakanohana and Takanohana and one of sumo's most influential figures, died aged 55 at a Tokyo hospital Monday, after a long battle with mouth cancer.

Born Mitsuru Hanada in 1950, the younger brother of the first yokozuna Wakanohana was one of the most successful wrestlers to never make it to the sport's top rank.

He also was credited for sumo's boom in the early-90s, when the sons he had nurtured from an early age took the sport to new heights of popularity with their promotions to yokozuna.

Futagoyama himself had a long and illustrious career as an ozeki, and like his sons, was an immensely popular fighter.

Joining his brother's Futagoyamabeya stable in 1965, Hanada took the ring name Takanohana and in three years had become a sekitori, fighting in the top two divisions.

Promotion to ozeki came in 1972, but at 110 kilograms, he was a lightweight in a division filled with huge men.

Despite his slight build, he fought a record 50 consecutive tournaments as ozeki and picked up two Emperor's Cup, the first of which came in 1975 in a playoff against yokozuna Kitanoumi.

The two developed a fierce rivalry, and in contrast with the scowling grand champion, the ozeki became known as the "prince of sumo" for his good looks and stylish techniques.

After retiring with a career record of 726 wins, 490 losses and 58 withdrawals, Takanohana in 1981 was renamed Fujishima oyakata, a position from which he built an impressive power base that culminated with his becoming a director of the Japan Sumo Association.

As stablemaster Fujishima, he brought two future grand champions to the sport, his sons Wakanohana and Takanohana.

In 1993, he exchanged names with his elder brother, becoming Futagoyama oyakata and in the process merged the two stables.

The new Futagoyamabeya was a superstable that dominated the early to mid-1990s, with a host of wrestlers riding on a wave of popularity caused in no small part by his two sons' success.

Futagoyama fell ill in 2003, and after Takanohana's retirement in the same year, handed the stable to his son.

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Kokonoe oyakata (former Yokozuna Chiyonofuji)

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

"It is really regrettable. He was the man I have long admired. After our bout, Futagoyama oyakata decided to retire. That memory is etched in my mind forever as

being able to beat him then helped me gain more confidence later in my career. He was the man who influenced me more that anyone else in my entire sumo life."

Azumazeki oyakata (former Sekiwake Takamiyama)

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

"We faced about forty times so I have many memories of him. The most memorable bout was the last one at the Aki Basho twenty five years ago. The bout was an

incredible struggle. He may have been small but his legs and lower back were so powerful and he had solid techiques. He definitely was one cool rikishi."

Former Yokozuna Wajima

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

"We were like a Ying and Yang team but we were also best friends. Our friendship started when I was in third or fourth year student at Nihon University. Our Sumo Club and Hanakago Beya were located right next to each other so we trained together often.

His son Takanohana won a Kids Sumo Tournament one time and I still remember I showed him how to do a Yokozuna dohyo-iri.

We had a lot of fun together when we were both Ozekis together being called the "Taka-Wa Era". We used to say to each other, "let's become yokozuna togehter".

We went golfing in Okinawa, flew to Guam and we were together at the Hawaii Jyungyo too. The memory is endless.

We also went drinking together quite often. He had a truly star quality about him. While walking on street he used to get called "Oh Takanohana!" all the time. There was a glow around him. Back then Takanohana was described as Ozumo's Prince and I was "Star of Kuramae".

Now I kind of look back fondly on those days when seeing his enourmous popularity and the nickname that was given to him, I was realizing, here was a man something really different, compared to an ordinary guy like myself.

When we faced each other, both of us really got into it. However once I got promoted to Yokozuna, (considering the Banzuke ranking), Takanohana pulled himself back a little and afforded me a respectable distance so we rarely went for drinking anymore.

But I remember when he was in Makuuchi and I was in Juryo, he used to call me up often to go for drinking. Back then, he used to say,"Come up to Maku quickly. Let's have a few drinks". Our friendship endured and returned to what it was when he became an oyakata and I left Ozumo.

Takanohana retired from active competition before I did. I was asked to comment by a reporter then, and I said, "it was like your lover disappearing from you right in front of your eyes".

He was a great personal friend. To the Kyokai his presence was like a solid pillar. He was truly the only friend I ever had after I joined Ozumo. We were like a Ying and Yang. I was a good talker so I always went with him when he had a date with Noriko san (his former wife) so I could become a bridge between them.

Some say Takanohana was not blessed with a good physique but that is plainly wrong. It's not correct to say he could have been a yokozuna if he had a bigger body. There was Takanohana's sumo because he had his physique. He had an exploding force and uncommonly good sumo sense.

I'd like to offer my sincere prayer.

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