Takakeisho’s Upcoming Ozeki Promotion

Abema TV’s Takakeisho Title Card

Following his 10-5 finish at Haru, he was once again eligible for promotion to Ozeki. His first eligibility came following the Hatsu 2019 tournament, when he had reached 33 wins over the 3 prior tournaments (Aki 9-6, Kyushu 13-2. Hatsu 11-4), but the sumo elders declared that his sumo was not ready for the Ozeki rank, citing his final day loss to Goeido. For more details…

But at the close of Haru, he had added another double digit winning record to his roster, and this time the word from the sumo elders was that his promotion to Ozeki would be approved. Ounomatsu Oyakata and Hakkaku Rijicho were quoted on day 15 as saying that the promotion would be approved, and sumo fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the anticipated photos of Takakeisho, in formal black kimono, microphones on the floor with all present performing a saikeirei. Later, it will be time for Takakeisho to hoist “the fish” in triumph.

Beside the expected, there are a few things that might happen. First, there may be a change of shikona. This is not uncommon that as a rikishi moves higher in rank, their change their names to reflect their status. Takakeisho was once known as Sato, until he broke into Makuuchi, and he took the name Takakeisho. In the time since that promotion, Takakeisho has joined the Chiganoura heya, and it’s possible that he may take a new shikona out of respect for Chiganoura.

There is also a customary “acceptance phrase” or motto, that is represented both by words and by meaningful glyphs in kanji. Some folks (mostly in Japan) put significance in this phrase, and Tachiai is curious to see what Takakeisho might choose.

In the broader context, the timing of this 22 year old rikishi achieving the Ozeki rank might be cited in years hence as a further marker on this evolutionary period. With a new imperial period starting in May and the possibility of the Hakuho facing a career ending injury, we have a strong, fierce young man stepping into sumo’s second highest rank. He is the first of the “tadpole” cohort to ascend to this level, and we think it portends great things for sumo.

Team Tachiai wishes young Takakeisho well, and look forward to his powerful sumo for years to come.

8 thoughts on “Takakeisho’s Upcoming Ozeki Promotion

  1. I gotta be honest…the changing your name is so weird…like every fan of Takakeisho is going to have t-shirts or tegata with the wrong name on it? Fan towels are all garbage? I mean, yay for selling more stuff I guess, but I find it strange.

    • Well, what did all the Ama fans do when he switched to Harumafuji?

      Kept their memorabilia because now they are worth even more!

      • It certainly can work…but to me, as like a branding guy, it negates all the effort you’ve made into building your brand…like it makes sense that Goldstar rebranded as LG because Goldstar was synonymous with crap…or when Datsun became Nissan…but to change your name on success just feels weird to me…

  2. I wonder if he will change his shikona, as most Chiganoura rikishi already use Taka in reverence of Chiganoura Oyakata, the former Takamisugi. Shikona have deep meaning, but with all the merchandise the Kyokai pumps out now, they’ve also become a major part of each rikishi’s personal brand. I remember there was talk of Endo changing his shikona but he never did. Perhaps the “Endo brand” is too valuable to part with? Could be the same for Takakeisho? Just some musings.

    • If Takayasu hasn’t changed his name (like Endo, it’s his real name) when he was promoted, I seriously doubt Takakeisho will. In fact, Chiganoura oyakata was asked if the rikishi that joined his heya from Takanohana beya will have their shikona changed. He said “No. There are sekitori involved”. Besides the merchandising, a sekitori needs a new kesho-mawashi and akeni if he changes his shikona.

      • Mmm… if only a rikishi could have named finisher moves (a la WWE), “The Endo” would be a cool one for, you know, Endo.

        Takakeisho and his mesmerizing two-diminute-arms wave motion is what works for him. I hope for: A) he stick to his guns and continue to improve his diminute inmovable boulder with a wave-motion attack (batteries not included) act or B) start to spice his attacks with some new moves (i guess he will not be a mawashi fighter ever, but he could rip a page or two from Chiyotaryu’s and Mitakeumi’s book).

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