Birth Name: Daisuke Sugiyama
Home Town: Nakadomari, Japan
Highest Rank: Sekiwake
Takarafuji Daisuke was born with sumo in his blood. As a young child, the Nakadomari native would practice at a sumo stable near his home. As a teenager, Takarafuji garnered a lot of attention from several stables after competing in national competitions. Despite being scouted, Takarafuji chose to pursue his education and graduate high school. After high school, he attended Kinki University, the alma mater of Asahifuji Seiya, the 63rd Yokozuna, and shisho of Isegahama beya, who invited Takarafuji to join his stable after graduating. The young rikishi made his professional debut in January of 2009 and went on to have early success in his career, eventually collecting a Sandanme division championship with a perfect 7-0 record. After four great tournaments in Juryo, Takarafuji made his Makuuchi debut at the 2011 Nagoya basho, the same basho in which his fellow Isegahama stablemate Harumafuji won his first Emperor’s Cup. Although this fist top division basho resulted in a dismal 4-11 record that saw him back in Juryo by September, he eventually become a Makuuchi mainstay in March of the following year.
In 2015 Takarafuji broke into the san’yaku ranks and debuted at Komusubi for the Natsu basho, but found himself back in the Maegashira by the following tournament. 2016 proved to be one of the best years of Takurafuji’s career, as he would again have a short stint as Komusubi in March, and went on to attain his highest rank of Sekiwake after getting a kinboshi victory over Hakuho and the fighting spirit prize in Nagoya. After another terrible 4-11 record at Sekiwake, Takarafuji again found himself relegated to the Maegashira ranks, where he has remained to this day. Takarafuji heavily uses yotsu-sumo in his bouts, winning 35 percent of his matches with an oshidashi or push out technique. His favorite grip is a right hand outside, left hand inside hidari-yotsu. In addition to sumo, Takarafuji has dabbled in the world of acting and starred in a 2016 commercial for Nippon Paint.
Ishiura (left) vs. Takarafuji (right), Aki basho, 2017.