Aki Genki Report Update


The Tachiai team has been somewhat apprehensive about the Aki basho this year, and we have made no secret about our concern. The confluence of an aging Makuuchi mainstay population, a series of injuries that never quite healed, and the relentless cadence of the current sumo calendar have combined to have a number of rikishi out from day one, or competing injured. There are / were a handful of Sekitori who should have probably sat out the basho, but eager to not be demoted out of the top division, took their chances.

As of the end of day 2, there are a several new developments (that will be apparent to anyone who watches summaries of footage from the basho). So we are going to break format a bit, and issue an update to our Genki Report.


Rikishi: Takayasu
Genki: ✭
Notes: In his day 2 bout with Tamawashi, sumo’s newest Ozeki took a tough fall, and was clearly unable to walk afterwards. He was unable to walk back to the dressing room, and so they brought out their wheel chair and took him directly to the infirmary. As is typical with sumo, the real extent of his injury is not being reported, and is somewhere between a thigh muscle strain and a rupture of the thigh. He was able to walk under his own power some time later to a car waiting to take him back to Tagonoura stable. On his way out, he put on a brave face, but it’s certain his condition will be assessed in the morning.
Forecast: Kyujo day 3 or 4 due to injury to thigh muscle


Rikishi: Tamawashi
Genki: ✭
Notes: In the same bout as Takayasu taking a fall and injuring his thigh, former Sekiwake Tamawashi twisted his ankle at the moment he forced Takayasu form the dohyo. Likewise he could barely walk following the match, but he did make it up the Hanamichi under his own power. But it was clear that he was having problems walking. In the dressing room, he did ask how Takayasu was.
Forecast: Kyujo day 3 or 4 due to sprained ankle, with a possible return later in the basho.


Rikishi: Ura
Genki: ✭-
Notes: Matches between Ura and Takakeisho are always grand battles of force vs maneuverability. We knew going into Aki that Ura’s knee was in delicate shape, and we suggested it was probably too damaged to support competition. During an attempt to execute a slippery move at the tawara, Ura’s knee collapsed. Immediately following the match, he was unable to walk and as with Takayasu had to be wheeled from the venue to the infirmary. As with Takayasu, he was later able to move about on his damaged leg, and displayed a brave face, and remarked that he would make every effort to appear day 3. The fact of the matter is that his damaged knee is now further damaged, and may now require surgery.
Forecast: Kyujo day 3 due to to damage to the ACL

14 thoughts on “Aki Genki Report Update

  1. So I think we can write off the theory that the wave of injuries is just due to top rankers being past their sell-by date.

    So, three elderly Yokozuna are kyujo. That’s fine. But we also started this basho with Endo (27), Ura (25), and Terunofuji (26) in various stages of injury, and I think also Ishiura (27).

    Now add to that Takayasu (27). And possibly elderly Tamawashi (33) who actually seems to have taken the lightest beating.

    But Hakkaku believes it’s all the rikishi’s fault. They should be tempering their bodies so that they are not injured. I wonder if he knows the way to the river Styx. The oyakata can grab the rikishi by their oicho-mage and dip them, Achilles style.

    Take responsibility, Hakkaku. You’re the head of this hospital ward. 😠 It’s really sad to see brilliant young talents like Terunofuji or Takayasu disappear because of silly injuries.

  2. I remain a sumo novice, but is there any evidence that today’s rikishi are heavier than ever and this being a contributory factor?Huge mass and routinely heavy falls from the dohyo do not excellent bedfellows make.

    When rugby went professional and players bulked up we saw many injuries due to players’ frames and joints simply not coping with the extra muscle mass.

    Or has 150 kilos plus been the norm in sumo?

    • I would say that on average, yes they are heavier, and that does make it more likely that they are going to injure themselves. There are limits to what the human body is designed to withstand, and I am guessing most of these guys exceed that frequently.

    • This is really something I wanted to check, but recently I found that the sumo database doesn’t update rikishi weights regularly, which means I don’t have any good source of data.

  3. Have just seen the bout that lead Ura to be wheeled out of the arena, and I gotta say that one looks painful as all hell and its grandmother.

    If it is indeed, as you say, his ACL, what are the possibilities of him returning to fight again in Sumo? Surely reconstructive surgery on his knee would be pretty much a lead to retirement, right?

    • I am not a doctor, but I will say that it’s possible to have ACL surgery and come back, but it would take months of recovery, and starting sumo again before its healed would negate any real repair. So Ura would have to start over from the bottom. Now personally I think he would tear everything up to Juryo in under a year, so he has the skill and strength to do it.

    • I’ve seen a basketball player who tore both his ACLs and continued to compete at an international level afterwards. Of course, sumo wrestlers are heavier, but basketball involves a lot more impact on the knees, so the two factors kind of cancel each other out. But Bruce is right – that player was off the courts for a whole year after his first tear, and several months after his second.

  4. I’m going to do a post soon about some former rikishi who benefitted from kyujo-time before the rule change.

    NSK is going to blow all its goodwill unless we start to think about reverting to the old rules.

    Endo and Ura and Terunofuji shouldn’t have to fight right now and Ura paid for it (I also think he’s too heavy though that’s another matter).

  5. Could someone define ‘genki’ for me? Or at least add it to the glossary? Thanks …

    Pity about Ura. and Takayasu.


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