Kisenosato – A Kyujo Ultimatum?


At last poor Kisenosato went kyujo.  His injury was reported to Sumo Kyokai as a strain to the lumbar region of his back, along with more damage to his left foot. As Kisenosato is left-hand (and foot) dominant, all of the accumulated damage to his left side, coupled with his light training program have left him well below even San’yaku level condition. Since injuring his pectoral muscle in the spring, he has not (as far as we can tell) sought out surgery to repair the damage. In all probability, there would be little use for surgery now, as the tear has healed to scar tissue, leaving his pectoral muscle permanently degraded.

It was clear from day 4 that he was in no condition to compete. Takakeisho described the Yokozuna as “surprisingly light” in his post-kinboshi interview. Some readers and others remarked that it was a strange thing to say about a man who weighs 177kg (390 pounds). What you were seeing instead was young Takakeisho noting that Kisenosato made himself easy to move around and off the dohyo.

Video thanks to Jason’s All Sumo Channel

In his pre-injury days, Kisenosato was tough to defeat in part because he would always keep himself very low to the ground. Furthermore, if you watch his old, pre-injury matches, his movement was almost always forward, and the soles of his feet barely cleared the surface of the dohyo when he was moving strongly forward on offense. This allows a rikishi to answer any offense from his opponent by locking his feet to the earth and applying force. By contrast, watch Kisenosato’s feet in this basho. He steps high and with a lot of vertical leg motion. With that 177kg balanced on one foot, he is easy to move. He becomes “light”, in that little force is required to push him around.

Today, there is news in the Japanese press (thanks, Herouth) that Kisenosato has run out of excuses. His next basho he is in fighting form, and finishes all 15 days, or resigns from sumo’s highest rank.

14 thoughts on “Kisenosato – A Kyujo Ultimatum?

  1. “His next basho he is in fighting form, and finishes all 15 days, or resigns from sumo’s highest rank.”

    Wow, that would be…interesting, to say the least.

    Which makes me think of something: anyone know who had the shortest reign as a Yokozuna? Surely Kisenosato would be on the list should the worst happen?

    • At least to me the answer seems clear – Kisenosato must train, train and train again. Stay home from that blasted Jungyo, keep Takayasu home too. Go back into “Beast Mode” and do what it takes.

      Sure his body is damaged, but I would guess he is one stubborn fellow who won’t give up. So use that to make the best of what you have, and if you are going to go down, go down putting it all out on the dohyo.

      That being said, I would not look for him at Hatsu. In fact, the Yokozuna corps may be severely depleted at Hatsu.

    • Like I said many times,Kise is not Yokozuna material! They made him Yokozuna to please the Japanese fans who were green with envy and resented the more talented Mongolians.

  2. Might be a typo in this sentence:
    “Since injuring his pectoral muscle in the spring, he has (as far as we can tell) sought out surgery…”

    I was expecting to see the word “not” in there, unless he did get surgery?

  3. Are you sure that Takakeisho said that? I know Ichinojo descried him as “llight”. I didn’t know two rikishi made that frank comment.

    • As sure as I can be when digging through a language I have a shaky grasp of. I have bits of paper that I jot things down on, and it had this whole thing about the “Yokozuna Felt Light’. If it matters I can go diving through the browser history looking for the exact hit.

  4. Suppose Harumafuji, Kakyru, and Kisenosato are forced to retire due to injuries, scandal, etc. Then suppose Hakuho decides he has set enough records and retires too. Can sumo operate without a yokozuna, or must they promote someone who probably isn’t really ready for the job yet?

    • There is no requirement for there to be a yokozuna. There was a spate of retirements back in the early 90s followed by about three or four tournaments with no yokozuna until Akebono was promoted.

      I believe there is a rule that there must always be at least two ozeki at any basho.

    • Sumo has been without a Yokozuna before; it’s not a problem from the point of view of tradition. It may be a problem for selling out the seats and getting sponsorship money, though.


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