Kakuryu Retires

The 71st Yokozuna, Kakuryu Rikisaburo, announced his retirement. Kakuryu had been kyujo from the last four tournaments due to injury, last seeing action briefly in July. He had won six top-division yusho (championships) and eight jun-yusho (second place). Having successfully acquired Japanese citizenship, Kakuryu will pursue a new career as a stablemaster with his own stable.

Thank you, Nicola

His former tsukebito, Abi, expressed his surprise at the announcement, not knowing what to say. The sumo world is left with one Yokozuna, Hakuho, for the first time since 2012. Tachiai is eager to see Kakuryu write this next chapter of his career, now joining Araiso-oyakata (former Kisenosato), as Kakuryu-oyakata.

5 thoughts on “Kakuryu Retires

  1. Sad, but expected. Even more sad and expected is another Intai announcement.
    Somewhere in an alternate universe Kakuryu and Hakuho made a dohyo iri in a filled up Tokyo stadium last summer, and had a chance to retire with all the honours.
    PS: I believe it’s spelled Rikisaburō in romaji.

  2. That Abi didn’t know what to say and I saw Takarafuji’s Twitter post of just “Kakuryu…” suggests how well liked he is among the rikishi. Sad, yes expected, but Kakuryu can stop further injuries and recover and be a great oyakata. I might feel some feelings when I see him in a Kyokai blue anorak for the first time though.

  3. i have the utmost respect for Kakuryu at every level, both personal and professional. it’s a bittersweet announcement but he knows his own body and what it will/won’t do any more, to see him win his emporer’s cups was a joy. but now as Kakuryu oyakata i look forward to this evolution. what he’s doing with/for Kiribayama will pay dividends as they settle into their new normal. this may sound crazy but i can even see some of Kakuryu’s serenity in Kiribayama as he goes through his pre-tachiai routines… i wish Kakuryu and his family nothing but the best


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