Yokozuna Hakuho Granted Japanese Citizenship

Today, September 3rd, Yokozuna Hakuho has been granted Japanese citizenship, according to multiple news sources, including Sponichi. Hakuho was granted special permission by the government of Mongolia to seek Japanese citizenship earlier this year, as part of the process to prepare for his eventual retirement, and transition to oyakata status.

While Team Tachiai firmly believes that Hakuho won’t retired before the 2020 summer olympics in Tokyo, he is clearly looking ahead and planning to continue to be a part of the sumo world for decades to come. As the greatest rikishi of modern times, this is good for Hakuho, good for the NSK, and great for sumo.

Congratulations to Hakuho!

20 thoughts on “Yokozuna Hakuho Granted Japanese Citizenship

  1. Congratulations, Hakuho!

    So we found out he was renouncing his Mongolian citizenship in April ( https ://achiai.org/2019/04/17/hakuho-renouncing-his-mongolian-citizenship/ ) and here in September he is officially a Japanese citizen. So about four month’s turnaround on his application? It seems to have gone through quickly.

    I infer Japan is glad to have him. It’s good to see him getting some love from his new country!

    Good move, Japan!

    • He is married to a Japanese woman and has four Japanese kids. That tends to accelerate the approval of such requests.

  2. That is incredible news indeed!!
    I’m so happy for him. And you are right Bruce, i also believe it will be very good for the NSK and for the Sumo in general. If Hakuho intent in leaving his inprint as a Elder has much as he did while being an active rikishi, the world of sumo is going into maybe a gold age. He is already so much involved in recruting young rikishi for the sport.

    Now all i wish for him, is that he start getting a little bit more respect from biased japanese and that people will start seeing him and treating him as a Japanese and not a Mongolian.

    • If they are still going with “Buraziru shusshin” with Kaisei, they will still go with “Mongoru shusshin” with Hakuho.

      • This is one thing i wish the NSK would reconsider and evolve/adapt in their mind set.

        To stop enforcing xenophobia vibes in sumo, they should stop labeling, annoncing on all roof and always “pointing with a huge finger” rikishi with non japanese bithplace origin everytime the poor guy is mounting on the dohyo.

        I know Sumo is supposed to be a JAPANESE sport and it’s even deeply rooted in japanase history and culture. That, i’m totaly fine with and i agree it should be like that.

        But japanese should accept that peoples don’t choose where they are born. Yet, people CHOOSE where they want to live, what culture, values and country they decide to honor and be loyal to.

        I may be speaking out of my hat here, but heck….i’m even sure some foreing young and not so young rikishi lived more time in japan in their entire life than in the country where they were born. And adopted/lived japanese culture more than their native culture.

        And yet, i’m sure a lot of japanese still see them as ” Ha! You are not japanese, you where born else where. Thus this is not your heritage and tradition.”

        I feel that most foreing Rikishi would i’m sure have more caring/honor and loyalties toward Sumo’s tradition than some japanese people.

        When foreigner rikishi leave everything behind them while very young to go to japan and live the live of a Rikishi, i feel that the NSK should at least recognize that. And labeling those foreing rikishi with a japanese “birthplace”. (Which would be the place where they settled first when they came to japan. Their “hometown”)
        Like that, it would at least diminish the ” You-are-not-japanese” train of thought the labeling from another country enforce on people’s mind.

        Alas….changing an entire nation mind take centuries sometime.

  3. I heard there could be trouble for him if he didn’t get the citizenship before retirement, meaning he wouldn’t be able to become oyakata. This makes me extra happy and i will closely follow his work as a coach when the time comes.
    Until then there are some yusho left to win.

    • Yes. You cannot become an oyakata unless you have a citizenship, and you can’t become one unless you do it immediately upon retirement. So basically you have to have a citizenship before you retire.

  4. Excellent news, indeed! I’m sure he weighed all the options. Hakuho…the future Oyakata! Ha! God, I just want to be ALIVE to see what he does with his young charges. To mold these young men into capable fighters will take a lot of time and plenty of patience. I wonder: can the G.O.A.T…become a game-changer? Hmmmm…

    • I think that’s still a bit up in the air…? There are rumblings that the NSK won’t offer him ichidai-toshiyori status (which would give him oyakata status under his shikona without having a normal kabu). If he isn’t offered it or if he turns it down the way Choyonofuji did then he’ll have to buy or borrow a kabu and will take his elder name from it. I imagine Miyagino oyakata, who is only three years from mandatory retirement, would do the honours.

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