Tochiozan Retrospective

Now that the tournament is over and you’re hankering for sumo content, enjoy this video of Tochiozan’s career. It begins with his announcement, seated with Kasugano-oyakata, where I thought it seemed very hard for him to say the word 引退. He seemed to swallow it rather than say it.

The video is awesome. It shows his debut as a young Kageyama, and his quick rise, picking up the sandanme yusho and on to Juryo promotion within two years (virtual warp speed in the sumo world). It goes on to show his playoff loss to Kyokutenho for the top division yusho in May 2012. He defeated Kisenosato in that tournament, too. It’s amazing how long these rivalries last. And he seemed about as happy as Shodai, settling for a special prize. He was a mainstay of the top division, peaking at Sekiwake.

3 thoughts on “Tochiozan Retrospective

  1. I agree; this is a terrific video. When we see a rikishi like Tochiozan, held together by tape and moxie, struggling through his last few basho, it is easy to forget what an overpowering athlete he was not so long ago. This is a good reminder.

  2. I recently did a chart of the Yusho winners in the Hakuo era (2006 – 2020) and something struck me about this retrospective look of Tochiozan’s career.

    The chart >> https://imgur.com/a/2e0LsWG

    If he has won the playoff in 2012 Natsu, he would had ended the Japanese wait for a Japanese yusho winner since 2006. Instead, the Japanese would have to wait another 4 years for a Japanese yusho winner.

    • Yes, he really was a very talented rikishi, and one of the “Seven Samurais”. I can only imagine mental frailties as a reason for not having a more successful career.

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