Haru Story #3: San’yaku Injury Woes

Hello sumo fans! I’m sure all of you are just as excited as I am that the 2019 Haru basho is just three days away! But before we get there, there’s still one more major story to talk about, and I think this one will have the biggest impact on the March Tournament. Throughout much of the Hatsu Basho, there were three key names missing from the torikumi. Yokozuna Hakuho, Kakuryu, and Ozeki Tochinoshin all pulled out of competition due to a verity of nagging injuries. In today’s video, I’m going to discuss their current status and what impact their absence could have on the Haru Basho.

As always, thank you for watching and supporting the channel, and I will see you guys soon!


6 thoughts on “Haru Story #3: San’yaku Injury Woes

  1. I’ve only been following sumo for the past 4 or 5 bashos, & one of the things that really stands out for me is how the present system really doesn’t allow injured wrestlers to heal & recuperate from injuries (unless they want to drop a million places down the banzuke). Success in a basho often seems to depend on how many of your opponents are injured rather than how strong you are.

    Has this always been the case? I mean, if I went back & looked at the sumo news from eg. 1985, would it be the same story – or have I just started watching sumo in injury-plagued times?

    • Excellent question! I feel that since we live in an age of media where Facebook and Twitter permeate every aspect of life, people are being exposed to all of these injury issues far more than they would have in the 80’s. We are also entering a period of change, or as Bruce would put it, “the Great Turnover” and a lot of sumo’s stalwarts are nearing the end of their careers. Their long years of combat are catching up to them and they’re just more susceptible to injuries.

    • I am reading a book on sumo that was published in 1989. The rules, and injury issues are not much different.

      Back in the day, there were some rikishi who managed to power through all injuries. Takamiyama was one notable.

      What does seem different is the size of opponents these days. Look at the video of Taiho in his 45 win streak. Taiho was about the same height and weight as Hakuho today. But in the video he is noticeably larger than many opponents.

      Welcome to sumo fandom, Timawashi.!!

      • My feeling is that the success of the enormous wrestlers from the Pacific islands in the 80’s and 90’s led the Japanese to adopt “go large” as a strategy. Before then the pictorial evidence and the data on weight show that wrestlers tended to be leaner.

        It’s true that wrestlers from before the mid 19th century are presented as colossal physiques but I suspect that was down to artistic licence.

  2. Not long ago (I don’t know when) I think there was a rule that prevented people from dropping rank due to injury but it was repealed. Correct me if I am wrong anyone.

    • You are correct. It was called “kosho”. It was scrapped about 15 years ago as it was felt that some wrestlers were gaming the system.


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