Birth Name: Tatsu Ryoya
Home Town: Kanazawa, Japan
Highest Rank: Maegashira 4
Tatsu Ryoya, the future Kagayaki, was born in the city of Kanazawa in 1994. Despite being average size at birth Tatsu grew quickly, and by the time he reached Kindergarten he was already much larger than other children his age. His passion for sumo began early, and he started practicing the sport in the first grade. At the age of thirteen Tatsu already stood six feet tall, and weighed over 200 pounds. Two years later, having won the National Junior High School Sumo Championship, he would end his formal education and take up sumo full time. Joining Takagawa beya, Tatsu revealed during his maezumo that his idol was Yokozuna Hakuho. He also told the press that he hoped to be a Yokozuna in six or seven years. Tatsu moved quickly through the lower divisions and was promoted to sumo’s third highest rank, Makushita, after only seven tournaments. At the 2012 Hatsu basho, he lost the Makushita yusho in an eight-man playoff. He continued to find success in the division and received a promotion to Juryo at the 2014 November tournament. It was during this basho that he announced his new shikona, formally taking the name Kagayaki Taishi. He chose to name himself Kagayaki after the shinkansen train of the same name, which connects his hometown of Kanazawa to Tokyo.
After seven basho in Juryo, Kagayaki made his Makuuchi debut in January 2016 alongside fellow Makuuchi rookie Shodai Naoya. While Shodai would go on to a tremendous 10-5 record, a poor performance at the Hatsu basho saw Kagayaki back in Juryo the following tournament. He made his return to the top division two tournaments later. Kagayaki would reach his highest rank of Maegashira 4 after a 9-6 record at the 2017 Natsu basho. The following tournament marked the first time Kagayaki had ever taken on Ozeki and Yokozuna level rikishi, including his childhood idol Hakuho. As a result of this stiff competition, Kagayaki would only manage five wins in Nagoya. A similarly disastrous performance in September of 2017 saw him back in the lower Maegashira for the next basho. A pusher-thruster rikishi, Kagayaki primarily uses oshidashi push out and yorikiri force out techniques to win his matches.
Kagayaki (left) vs. Takakeisho (right), Aki basho, 2017.