Yokozuna Kisenosato Injured In First Loss


Shoulder Wounded Falling From Dohyo

There were a lot of developments in the basho over night, but the most significant is Harumafuji’s defeat of Kisenosato in the final match of the day. The match was a rapid brawl with Harumafuji taking control from the tachiai, driving him backwards on launching him off the dohyo.

While a loss for the undefeated Yokozuna was a major development, the crowd was stunned when Kisenosato did not mount the dohyo to complete the match, but instead collapsed in pain, clutching his left shoulder. Later it was reported:

Kisenosato was transported to an Osaka hospital after his bout in an ambulance. His right arm was in a sling; he apparently also has some sort of chest injury to go along with his shoulder injury. The dislocated shoulder was reportedly affixed [Sankei] but Kisenosato told the reporter (referring to his arm): ” 動かない。痛みがあって動かすのが怖い ” (Close enough translation: “I’m not moving it. It hurts and I’m too scared to move it.”)

Kisenosato’s sumo depends on his strong left hand grip, and the chances are very good that he as at least dislocated his left shoulder, and possibly suffered a more significant injury. Fans should expect that he will by kyujo for the remainder of the Haru basho, forfeiting a solid chance at yusho in his first tournament as Yokozuna.

Fans should note, if Kisenosato withdraws from Haru (as I expect), the yusho winner would be Terunofuji. With 2 matches left there is likely no way anyone can catch him. Terunofuji’s day 14 opponent is scheduled to be Kotoshogiku.

9 thoughts on “Yokozuna Kisenosato Injured In First Loss

  1. :( :( will be surprised if he is back

    A quite remarkable victory from Harumafuji it must be said, he looks to be getting back into old Harumafuji mode

    • He won’t be back this basho, count on it. The NSK is panicking right now because he is their golden ticket to sumo being foremost in the Japanese pop culture. The fact that a Mongolian was his opponent may drive some people to have very hard feelings. Having watched the match about 20 times now, it’s a straight up bout and the injury came from the fall. I see nothing odd or malicious in what Harumafuji did. So this is just a tragic injury that resulted from a fall off the dohyo.

      Secondary to this, Kisenosato will be laid up for several weeks at minimum. This impacts Jungyo as well as training with Takayasu for the May basho. It’s bad all around.

    • Harumafuji was actually worried about Kisenosato, as I am pretty sure no one in sumo has EVER seen Kisenosato hurt. The guy was pretty much un-damagable.

  2. If Terunofuji won the tournament, what would that mean for promotion? I presume he would not be promoted to Yokozuna, despite it being his second makuuchi yusho, due to his terrible recent form before Haru

    • Basically they’re supposed to win two in a row. Kakuryu and Kise were promoted based on jun-yusho/yusho and Kise’s extremely consistent record of 10-12 wins, multiple jun-yusho. Terunofuji will need to win in May.

    • The NSK is rightly going to see if he can maintain his health. If he is able to retain his lock on his kaiju mode, he is Yokozuna material, no question there. But in the past few years he has not been able to muster this much energy at all, so I am sure they want to see if his knee an back problems are behind him.

  3. Tough break for Kisenato, but Harumafuji is a BEAST! I like both sumotori, Kise will be back, no worries there, and this nonsense of Haru early retirement, guys and gals…Hopefully not for a long while yet.

    • Kisenosato needs to be careful and heal that shoulder. Or he may find he has a problem that won’t go away. Word late is that he is going to attend day 14 and proceed with his match.


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