Former Ozeki Kotoshogiku Retires

After a lethargic 1-5 start in Juryo, Kotoshogiku has decided to retire.

Kotoshogiku was promoted to Ozeki in November 2011, coincidentally at his home Fukuoka tournament, after an impressive Jun-Yusho run in which he defeated Yokozuna Hakuho and then-Ozeki Harumafuji. He joined Baruto, Harumafuji and Kotooshu. Kisenosato joined the crowd of FIVE ozeki at Hatsu 2012.

Kotoshogiku went on to a long reign at Ozeki until 2017, which included a yusho at Hatsu in 2016. His bid for repromotion was famously ended by a Day 14 henka by Terunofuji but he remained in makuuchi until he was demoted to Juryo after September’s 2-10-3 record.

He’d previously hoped to face is childhood friend and rival, Toyonoshima before retirement but the banzuke did not cooperate and Toyonoshima retired in July after falling back out of the salaried ranks into makushita in March and was unable to recover. We at Tachiai have missed the backbend for a while now and we’d hoped to see perhaps a final rally but it is not to be.



23 thoughts on “Former Ozeki Kotoshogiku Retires

  1. When these guys retire, I tend to feel more relief than sadness. You know they have to be in constant pain at this point and probably have been for months, maybe years. Now they can get on with the business of living a healthy life well-armed with their elder stock. Great career, big man. We hope to see you at the tournaments for many many years to come.

  2. I thought the end must be near when I watched him go chest to chest with Chiyonoo and get yorikiried out.

  3. I will miss Kotoshogiku, I have always loved him and was lucky enough to see a few of those back bends…. I wish him much health and happiness. Goeido and Kisenosato have both looked much happier since retirement!

  4. third amigo out
    no one will ever be able to say he didn’t give everything he had

    in photos he shows as so amiable
    could be a good coach; we’ll see

  5. It’s sad that his last bout, technically, will be a fusen-sho loss to Akiseyama. I wish he’d retired before the basho started, to spare him this little indignity. But he did to go out at his “home” basho, even though it was held in Tokyo. Sumo will also be a tad more family-friendly now without his signature hip-bumping thrust-out, too. Sad, yet hopeful day.

  6. Watch this guy do his thing for a long time, and I wish Kotoshogiku all the BEST moving forward in to the next chapter of his life!

  7. Kisenosato, Goeido, Harumafuji, Yoshikaze and now Kotoshogiku. Soon the “old guard” will have all retired. I’m just happy I got to see them fight, even though it was mostly towards the end of their careers.

  8. I thought I could see something in his demeanor yesterday after his defeat to Chiyono-o; it was as though he was saying to himself “I’m losing to guys like this? Really?” Now we will have to get used to calling him Hidenoyama.

  9. With Kotoshogiku gone the last one remaining from “the seven Samurai” is Toyohibiki down in makushita…
    But a new generation of great japanese rikishi is here to stay, currently led by Takakeisho. I’m thrilled to see who else will join him at the top and if Asanoyama and Shodai can show their full potential in the coming years.

        • That’s what I was thinking. He’s
          become an elder statesmen. It just seem so sudden that the fire that propelled him seemed to so suddenly dissipate. It’s got to be challenging to keep that up for 15 days six times a year, and the tours in between, year after year. It’s not a middle-aged man’s sport for sure.

  10. I really wish he could have retired to his home crowd, but Covid took that away. would have been great if I had been able to channel the kyshuu bulldozer once more and walk away with a Juryo yusho, but it was clear over the last month that his body wasn’t cooperating anymore. One of my long time favorites, the one who broke the japanese yusho curse now gone too.
    Sad to see him go and looking for someone to take over that empty spot he leaves in my sumo heart, but glad he has more time for his family now;)

  11. My wife and I saw a great show with him on Japanese television early last head or late 2018. Two Americans travelled to Japan to watch him at a basho (I don’t recall which). They talked about what an influence and inspiration they glean from him. That he faces obstacles head on and always gives his best.

    So the TV production team on that is show secretly arranged unbeknownst to these guys to meet and spend the day with Kotoshogiku at his heya. It was so nice, and they dressed up these two in mawashi and they all practiced together.

    Kotoshogiku was so moved by them and their enthusiastic support. He said he was in a real rut mentally for some time but they brought him some fresh inspiration and encouragement.

    He has a very young son, so I am happy he will have more time for him. I wish him all the best and he will be missed, as attested to by all the comments here.


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