Yokozuna Kisenosato Resumes Training


Word from the summer jugyo that Yokozuna Kisenosato resumed some sumo keiko (training) during the tour’s stop in Aomori Prefecture. The Yokozuna was seen engaging in butsukari with former sekitori Takagenji, which would indicate that Kisenosato now feels strong and healthy enough to resume practice.

Of course this sparked a great deal of discussion in the sumo fan world, with many fans taking exception with a declaration that “Kisenosato’s Recovery Is Complete” drawing great skepticism. An article from Yahoo Japan points out, the chances that all of his various injuries are repaired enough for him to compete are a long shot. The article even quotes someone from a Tokyo hospital that frequently treats sumotori, who cautions that Kisenosato has been urged by the YDC to not participate in Aki, and to ensure that his health is excellent and his damage to his chest and foot are completely healed before he resumes competition.


As for myself, I suspect Kisenosato joined the jungyo to re-assure the fans, and to test out his recovery and readiness for Aki prior to making some manner of go/no-go call within 2 weeks. While the entire sumo world wants to see Kisenosato back on the dohyo, we are all looking for him to return strong, powerful and ready to challenge Hakuho for dominance in the ring.

12 thoughts on “Yokozuna Kisenosato Resumes Training

  1. Any videos of said butsukari? All I see are pictures where he is basically used as a big slightly mobile wall.

    I don’t really believe the theory that he’s trying to hide weakness by pretending his injury is more serious than it is. If he is in normal, uninjured shape then he is supposed to be safely in the double-digits zone. It’s not as if they made a Yokozuna out of a serial-kadoban Ozeki, even if “two yusho or equivalent” became “one yusho and a Japanese birth certificate” in his case. His performance was solid enough.

    The article does mention, again, that theory of the physical trainer – that what Kisenosato suffers are basically phantom pains, the result of sensitive nerves in the upper part of the body. And that these should go away more or less in time for Aki. It sounds like a more plausible theory than that he is just hiding weakness.

    But still, I think he should skip Aki and get two full months of training into his muscles if they are ready to take it. With just four weeks of training, limited by lingering pain, he is in serious danger of make-koshi even if the pain goes away completely on September 10th.

    That is, if indeed the best case scenario, that his injury is really gone, is true. We all saw that something was torn in that arm, with that ugly hematoma underneath it. So again, I’m looking for real evidence of butsukari.

  2. Yeah, been scrounging YouTube with no success yet on video of the Great Pumpkin doing anything interesting. I don’t think he is sandbagging either. I think what he is doing is testing the waters as back home he has the 600 Bhp wrecking ball in Takayasu or a bunch of starter rikishi to spar against. Someone like Takagenji fits the bill nicely. The guy is strong and motivated, and will be a Sekitori (for real) before long.

    I think that he actually is hurt and needs surgery, but it’s been determined that it would end his career, and that he trying to muddle through. His toying around on Jungyo is a way of testing things out without having to result to full power engagements.

      • There seems to be some matters around Kisenosato that I would call “out of the ordinary”. I don’t know if its because he is the first Japanese born Yokozuna in a long time, or if the sumo press is far overboard every time they talk about the guy. If you will recall right after his elevation, it was all Kisenosato all the time. Frankly, it was over the top.

        I maintain the poor guy is in a tight spot, and has no easy way out. The NSK and his handler’s window dressing to keep him a fixture for public sumo fandom may be what we are seeing here.

          • Dear lord. Sadly more than I would like. Being outside of Japan, I struggle to hunt up info on the rest of the crowd. If my Kanji skills were higher I am sure it would be more successful.

            For example – what’s happening with Terunofuji? Or Kakuryu? Yeah, we have room to improve.

          • I don’t think you’re missing out on anything. Japan’s privacy laws being what they are, the quality papers aren’t going to dig into the guys’ medical issues to report anything that hasn’t been volunteered. Add in that rikishi sitting on the sidelines (even during exhibition stuff like jungyo) aren’t supposed to make waves in public without authorisation, and you get these situations where rehabbing rikishi basically drop off the face of the earth, even the high-profile guys. And “regular” people who happen to have privileged access to heya and rikishi usually also respect these unwritten rules, so blogs and Twitter tend to be pretty scoop-free zones as well.

            I’m sure we’ll hear some about both guys once the tour is over, though of course this one’s running so long that we’ll be in the regular pre-basho preparation period then anyway.

  3. Asashosakari – thank you for that explanation, it helps a lot. I rather suspected some of that, but it helps to have confirmation from someone who probably knows better / more than I do on the matter.

    • Well, since you’re already chasing ambulances through the Internet, here’s an update about Endo. Apparently he underwent an endoscopic procedure and had some torn cartilage removed, and is now… wait for it… aiming to participate in Aki, subject to his condition in the pre-tournament keiko. Yet another case of “Kyujo is for wusses”.

      P.S. you are using Rikai-chan or Rikai-kun, aren’t you? Kanji shouldn’t pose a problem these days, unless it’s in ink-and-paper.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.