Kaishu Rintaro

Lower division sumo bouts are perfect prime-time viewing for those of us sumo fans living in exile in the Eastern US. Obviously, we miss out on most of the stars unless we take a nap through makushita and wake up at 3 to 4am for makuuchi. In the lower ranks, many of the wrestlers have yet to pack on the skills and girth necessary to climb up the ranks but there are some fantastic bouts with great finishing moves. This izori from Kaishu was one of my favorite bouts from the whole tournament.

Kaishu is a Musashigawa beya stablemate of Musashikuni and Wakaichiro. All of the coaches’ and wrestlers’ profiles are available on the Musashigawa homepage. He joined back in 2016 at the age of 18. Ladies, his blood type is B. https://musashigawa.com/rikishi-urakata/rikishi_kaisyu

He has three years of championship-caliber judo training in high school. If I’m getting my time frames right his High School, Shutoku, won the national judo title while he was there. With that experience under his belt, he’s come in with a strong grappling background. This was his first izori victory at Natsu 2019 but he’s already got a rather impressive slate of kimarite, including two ashitori wins and the zubuneri seen below, when he was fighting under the name Kobayashi. He’s young — but those guns, dude.

Now, for a statistic that blew me away when I saw it. For all of the 1107 wrestlers featured in the Tachiai Kimarite dashboard, which includes all active wrestlers plus those who retired after 2013, the median wrestler has won with 16 kimarite. Kaishu has already won by using 24 distinct kimarite. That puts him near the 90th percentile and he’s only been in sumo for 3 years. Granted, Aminishiki has nearly doubled that tally. But that’s Aminishiki. By the way, the data in the dashboard has been updated with data from Natsu 2019.

Median wrestler has won with 16 kimarite. Kaishu has 24. Mr 47 is Aminishiki.

For those fans with an interest in Japanese history, his current shikona, 海舟, is a nod to Katsu Kaishu. He also changed the character used for his first name, from 倫太郎 to 麟太郎, which was a name used by Katsu Kaishu, father of the Japanese Navy. When the West pressured Japan to open themselves to commerce in the 1850s, Kaishu pushed to establish a strong navy and to staff it with people based on capability rather than lineage. He commanded the ship which brought the first Japanese delegation to the US before playing a pivotal role in the Meiji Restoration.

He also likes mangoes. OK, I admit, that’s non sequitur. I just had to throw that in there because I had an amazing mango yesterday and his profile actually does say his favorite food is mango. In more Musashigawa fun facts, the stable will be participating in a beach clean up this Saturday at Enoshima’s Benten Bridge. If you’re in Japan, and in the area of Enoshima, this may be a great reason to go to the beach! There’s a great little train, too, the Enoden that you can take down there from Kamakura.

Kaishu Rintaro

Unfortunately, he’s been on a bit of a slide after peaking near the top of Sandanme. He had a winless hatsu and will be back in Jonidan in Nagoya because he finished with a 3-4 makekoshi record. One of those pivotal losses, though, came at the hands of Shiraishi who won the Sandanme yusho in his debut tournament from below Sandanme 100. He skipped Go — mae-zumo, jonokuchi, and Jonidan — based on his amateur pedigree from Toyo University. Without that tough match up, one wonders if he’d have been able to secure his kachi-koshi.

14 thoughts on “Kaishu Rintaro

  1. I assume that Judo is a great background for getting started in sumo. Not only for the flexibilty and throws you learn but also the immense grip strength one aquires in Judo training which probably translates well to yotsu sumo.

  2. So wait- is Go the collective term for the three lowest divisions then? (Admittedly, my first thought at the word went to the board game, and the second to the number five. The Japanese language is confusing.)

    • No…sorry…terrible joke. I was making a reference to Monopoly. Except a really bad one because went you pass Go, you’re headed straight to jail and don’t get to collect $200.

      • Right, right, right…. Wow, it’s so obvious now. Hooboy.

        Sorry, it’s really early, and my brain isn’t quite up to speed yet. I had hoped I was learning some shiny new vocab!

        • My jokes are the kind that have to be explained. Not because they’re smart and unfunny, like Dennis Miller, but because they’re dumb and unfunny, like Carrot Top.

      • (also funny and random- I was listening to a podcast just yesterday about the history of Monopoly. Apparently it was originally called The Landlord’s Game, and was designed to show the evils of capitalism and land ownership. It ended up evolving into the monster we know today through a series of truly odd events, and it wasn’t until someone tried to create an Anti-Monopoly game in the 80s that the full history of the game- and Parker Bros.’ theft of the original copyright- was revealed. Ironically, Anti-Monopoly was far more in line with the philosophy the game was originally espoused.

        And this has nothing to do with sumo. Sorry. Just thought it was interesting.)

        • Do you have the link to the podcast? I’d be interested to listen. With the link, the post will go into moderation but I’ll try to approve it quickly.

          • Sure! http://thedollop.libsyn.com/379-the-landlords-game

            The Dollop does some amazing, weird American history podcasts. Be warned going in that there is a lot of swearing and probably not-so-polite humor, so be cautious if you’re listening at work or something. But these guys are funny, and they do pretty good research on these stories, and it’s a lot of fun to learn about parts of history that the history books will never touch- Orphan Trains, the Naval destroyer WIlliam Porter, and it’s awful WW2 secret mission, the guy who designed a Ford Pinto to fly, the Kentucky Meat Shower- I could go on and on… and probably have gone on too much already. 😉

            • Thank you! I’ll check it out. May have to play a game with the kids tonight, though last time that ended in a lot of arguing and crying.

              • Hope you enjoy the podcast, and that the games don’t end in tears tonight!

  3. Glad you mentioned Shiraishi – he looked amazing for someone in their first tournament after the University Sumo system, and he made it look easy against Hokutotsubasa who up to that point was also looking very good.

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