Yokozuna Kakuryu kyujo

Yokozuna Kakuryu has pulled out of the November 2020 basho, citing lower back pain.

That will be Kakuryu’s third tournament in a row, where he failed to compete either partly or fully. His last performance was a 12-3 jun-yusho, back in March.

Prior to that result, the Mongolian champion also failed to last fifteen days, in January 2020, November and September 2019. He won the Nagoya basho 2019, though.

Given the yokozuna’s poor form of late, missing out sumo’s final tournament of the year will undoubtedly raise fears of being compelled to hand his retirement papers.

We wish the six time grand champion a smooth recovery!

13 thoughts on “Yokozuna Kakuryu kyujo

  1. Michinoku oyakata says January will be the basho where Kakuryu will either have to show recovery or retire. Of course, he has no control over the YDC and they may show their middle finger and issue a “recommendation to retire” following November. But I think in going to the press and saying so publicly, he is hoping to mellow their decision into a mere “encouragement”, the same way they did with Kisenosato. This will buy Kakuryu two more months, and we can all pray that the Mongolian government will be kind enough to act within that time.

    For those who are not in on the story:

    • The late Izutsu oyakata asked Kakuryu upon his death bed to take over the heya.
    • The heya itself no longer exists, but it has been expected that the Izutsu name will revert to him (Toyonoshima has it on temporary hold) and that he will re-form the heya at some point.
    • However, to become an oyakata, he has to do that on the minute of his retirement. He can’t retire and come back at a later date. The concept doesn’t exist in Grand sumo.
    • To become an oyakata, he has to have Japanese citizenship. This means he has to have it already when he retires.
    • He has submitted an application for citizenship in 2018 (or maybe even earlier, it’s not clear).
    • Approval of Japanese citizenship is conditioned on relinquishing your previous citizenship (that’s a national rule, not related to Sumo).
    • According to the Japanese press, the reason for the long delay is that the Mongolian government is not approving severance of his citizenship. They are saying it can take up to 5 years.
    • How often has the YDC actually issued a recommendation to retire? Re-reading the Kisenosato stories, it seems like that was the first time they issued an encouragement since their founding in 1950?

    • Given the COVID year, it would be pretty sh*tty of them to make such a recommendation (or really to convene at all). They should wait until a normal tournament can be held.

    • 5 years to renounce Mongolian citizenship? What do they do, plant a seed and wait for a tree to grow from it under which they will meet to decide the matter?

  2. Kyokai website says Hakuho is also out, but it only says Hakuho and there’s no torikumi yet. It should be posted in about 10 minutes.

    • Confirmed. Kotoyuki also out as expected (he had surgery, though I don’t remember for which injury).


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