Following up on Josh’s commentary about the SNS ban, I wanted to bolster the idea with a few tweets from Tokiwayama-beya (formerly Chiganoura) about their two new recruits. Social media is a great way to introduce fans to the wrestlers, particularly when they’re just starting out or in the lower divisions. But these official accounts will rarely feature the unpopular wrestlers and certainly will not allow us a glimpse into their personalities and the lifestyles of the stable. Their own personal accounts would.
First up is fifteen year old Takashoki, born Fujiwara Ikuto, who is graduating from Middle School in Toyota, Aichi prefecture. He likes tonkotsu ramen and is a pretty tall middle schooler. Your humble correspondent broke the 5-foot barrier his freshman year but young Takashoki is already 6 foot 2 and will have a distinct size advantage on Hattori… excuse me… Shonanzakura in May.
Surely that’s a typo? He’s 6’2″? Wow…
Yes, that Toyota is headquartered in Takashoki’s home town. Nagoya is also in Aichi prefecture so he will be going home for tournaments in July. Aside from the ninja-infested castle next door to the stadium, there’s an amazing museum there which I highly recommend for visitors to Nagoya, called the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.
It guides visitors through Toyota’s past as it produced textiles and textile equipment (under the founder, Sakichi) and then added automobiles (under his son, Kiichi). The econ geek in me is eager to go back. There’s also great entertainment and games for young kids. My son didn’t quite figure out that he could change gears. Oh well.
Next up we have Takatairiku. His name is Ito Riku, a fan of salmon sushi from neighboring Gifu prefecture. (Seriously, who doesn’t like salmon sushi? Mmmmm….) His hometown is Mizunami, a rural area with many luxurious-looking onsen and golf courses. Why on Earth is he leaving?
I do not (yet) have pictures of Gifu. However, I will — hopefully soon.
He just met the minimum height requirement for 15 year olds but as he’s so young, he’ll grow with his sumo. I’m eager to see both Takatairiku and Takashoki on the dohyo in May! As I’ve mentioned, I’m pretty bummed that these guys will miss out on the opportunity to wear kesho mawashi and participate in maezumo. I hope that changes in May.