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.