Hatsu Recap 6 – Wakaichiro’s Debut


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American Sumotori’s First Tournament

During the Kyushu basho, we noted with some excitement that a young man from Texas, Ichiro Young, had been training with the Mushashigawa stable in Japan, and had applied to join the ranks of professional sumo. He had been accepted during Kyushu after passing the the Maezumo competition successfully, winning all 3 of his bouts. We were eager to see what he could do in Jonokuchi.

Following the acceptance ceremony, Ichiro Young took the ring name “Wakaichiro” (若一郎), which literally means Young Ichirio. Jonokuchi ranked wrestlers only fight for 7 of a tournament’s 15 days. Wakaichiro faced a variety of opponents in is debut tournament, and fought well. But in spite of his efforts, he came away with a losing (3-4) record.

The Jonokuchi rank encompasses rikishi just starting their sumo careers, as well as more experienced rikishi who are re-entering sumo after medical treatment or some absence. Wakaichiro won decisively against opponents that were starting their careers, but had difficulty with opponents that had re-joined sumo from higher ranks.

Wakaichiro is 5′ 10″ 250 pounds, and played a fair share of American football during his youth in Texas, and is clearly very comfortable blasting off the line and using his strength to move his opponents. But in his first tournament, he was clearly new to the sport, and had much to learn. Tachiai thinks that even though he had a slight losing record, he shows a great deal of promise, and we are looking for significant improvements in Osaka.

5 thoughts on “Hatsu Recap 6 – Wakaichiro’s Debut

    • So Wakaichiro is part of Musashimaru’s stable, and he seems to be running a really good operation. As the heya is fairly new, most of his rikishi are fairly young, but they all look like they get plenty to eat, and they have some great coaches, including the legendary Konishiki.

      I have wondered if there is anything we could do to support him, but so far I have yet to have any idea that has immediate impact. There is the notion of putting together a fund later to help pay for his Keshō-mawashi should he get into Juryo.

      I am hoping to meet him in person if I get a to take a trip to watch sumo this year.

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  1. My question is, does he have a potential to be like Akebono, Musashimaru, or Konishiki? He has the potential of being very big right?

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    • Yeah, really too early to tell if he will even be able to stick with it. I have friended him on Facebook and send him words of encouragement from time to time. I think he has potential. I trust his coaches to help him find it.

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