Aki is a firecracker. The sumodb statistics list him as 165cm and 68kg. For us Imperialists, that translates to 5′ 5″, the minimum height required to be a sumo wrestler, and 150 lbs. That’s about two inches shorter than Enho and ~60 pounds lighter. His opponent tonight was Higohikari whom, at 173cm and 119kg, fits near the average height and weight for the division. He’s a lifer, with a 2003 debut at the tender age of 15. Aki, on the other hand, is a youngster from Ibaraki who started his career in the summer of last year at 16. He was quick off the line with a solid tachiai, and then a final blast near the tawara.
After match day two Tosamidori, from beautiful, verdant Kochi prefecture, is the largest and oldest of the undefeated as the winners’ bracket has shifted quite early in this tournament to the young and relatively compact.
Of the heaviest 22 wrestlers in the division, comprising the rightmost six of the twelve bins in the weight histogram below, only four remain undefeated. Tosamidori is the only one in the top 10.
Senho won his second match, as did Akinishiki, Sawada, and Numano. I wonder if Numano is a Seinfeld fan? I updated the colors in the chart to make more sense. Green is good, this time, 2 wins and 0 losses. They’re clustered firmly on the right side of the graph with Chida being the tallest undefeated wrestler, followed by Sekizukayama and Senho.
3 thoughts on “Jonokuchi Report: Match Day 2”
I met Aki briefly at the end of uh… Aki. He had a make-koshi and to say he was not happy would be an understatement. Physically, he is a very small dude. But he clearly has the heart inside, the feeling of absolutely hating to lose. If he sticks with it I wouldn’t be surprised to at least see him some day in Makushita. Actually I would be surprised if he’s 5’5, I know on a couple of occasions some folks have got the tippy toes treatment. Hopefully he can fill out a bit over the next few years.
Why are there lifers in sumo specifically in the lower divisions? Once a wrestler is broken and cannot advance to Juryo, for whatever reason, why do people just hang in there? It is not like there is a lot of money, respect or prestige associated with being a lower ranked rikishi. The lifestyle is also brutal. There are way easier means of making ends meet. Any ideas?
There are many reasons. Some folks really enjoy the sumo lifestyle. Doing sumo is more than tournaments, it’s what you do every day, so some people really like that. Other folks come from backgrounds where they maybe wouldn’t have access to free room & board, and this gives them a place to stay as long as they can remain in the system. Some folks may also be attached as a tsukebito to a sekitori, and want to continue to help that wrestler through their career.