Terunofuji Granted Japanese Citizenship

I miss the crowds (photo: NicolaAnn08)

The good news continues for Terunofuji. Yokozuna promotion last week, Japanese citizenship this week. This clears the way for him to become oyakata upon retirement. Isegahama-oyakata will is building an incredible legacy, with beloved disciples in Ajigawa-oyakata and some day, Terunofuji-oyakata. After watching the Kakuryu citizenship drama drag on, this must present a bit of a relief.

After some of the news stories and drama over the past week, this really presents a great surprise. While we hope his reign at Yokozuna is a long and successful one, today’s announcement means we can also look forward to his second career, molding the next generation of young Kaiju. He came through the storied sumo program at Tottori Johoku High School and might use that connection to usher more champions through that dohyo. But I do wonder if he will look to a certificate or other program at Waseda when his active career draws to a close. Either way, I’m eager to see him guide young deshi. This week, we saw Araiso-beya open and Hakuho is already leveraging his GOAT-status to bring in talent and wonder whether Terunofuji will start bringing his own class through Isegahama.

Sometimes events come around that make you look forward to the future, you know?

12 thoughts on “Terunofuji Granted Japanese Citizenship

  1. I just wish there was more content for us non Japanese speakers where we can actively see more behind the scenes stuff in the stables and stuff like that. Imagine some sort of reality tv show where you get to follow your favorite stable and watch hakuho train his pupils.

    Oh well. Chris sumo and Tachiai are a godsend, I’m
    happy with what I have

    • Note that that sort of content is not even available to Japanese speakers. Some heya post some pictures from their practice sessions. Many post photos of their meals, which are a “safe subject”. Many post photos of materials and foods donated to them. But there are few live events – Naruto beya occasionally streams some practice or some festivity, and the NSK occasionally posts edited videos from practice sessions, and streams live events like Ozeki/Yokozuna promotions.

      Rikishi used to post stuff in their own social network accounts, but now that has been forbidden.

      The money that moves the sumo world comes from very conservative people. The Sumo World is trying to avoid public embarrassments (though it doesn’t always succeed). So anything live and uncontrolled is unlikely to become public any time soon.

      • Yeah, social media would be nice to have again but I guess they really didn’t like abi’s antics

  2. A few additional notes:

    • Apparently Terunofuji applied for citizenship back in 2019. I have seen some speculations as to the timing of this citizenship change, but this has been in the works long before his return to Makuuchi, and with no expectation of him becoming a Yokozuna at any point.

    • As part of the naturalization process, the new citizen is asked to choose a name. Some choose to retain their old name in transliteration (as did Kakuryu and Sokokurai), some choose to use their shikona as a name (this is apparently a Yokozuna privilege, and Hakuho chose that path), and some take the name of their wife or oyakata. In Terunofuji’s case, he took the name of his master, as he feels deeply obligated to him. His surname is now Suginomori, which he shares with Isegahama oyakata and with Ajigawa oyakata (who are related).

    • A news report said his wife and child are not going through naturalization at this time. I was surprised to hear that he has a child.

    • Maybe soon and not yet? His wife did seem fairly far along. I would be surprised, too, if he has an older child.

    • I had heard or read a rumor that Terunofuji had applied for and was to adopt the surname of his shisho once he was granted Japanese citizenship.
      Definitely the feelings are mutual, respect and deep gratitude on the deshi’s side, pride and affection for his hardworking deshi on Isegahama’s side. Also, does Isegahama have any children of his own, could it be that the choice of surname might mean that Isegahama oyakata intends to adopt Terunofuji as his son and successor, the next Isegahama oyakata?
      Well, Ms Terunofuji will have her work cut out as a future okamisan, we hope that she knew what she let herself in for when she fell in love with the Kaiju :))).
      With my best wishes to all the protagonists of our story and curious to know, is it a boy, is it a girl?

      … and when will we finally be seeing those kanreki dohyo-iri and dohyo-iri??

      • Isegahama will be handed down to Aminishiki (currently Ajigawa oyakata). He is Isegahama’s nephew (or second nephew, not sure), and this has never been questioned.

        Terunofuji will start his own heya.

        As for Ms. Kaiju, she knew very well, I believe. He said he decided to marry her after she told him, when he had all his illnesses and injury, that whatever he decided to do, even if he couldn’t work, she would be the bread winner. So he decided this one was a keeper.

        I’m not sure how well she’ll do as an okami-san, as this duty usually requires a Japanese woman who understands the social subtleties, in order to handle the support group. But nowadays it seems more heya are relying on managers rather than the unpaid labor of the oyakata’s wife. It’s a question of budget, of course.

        • It takes a strong man to accept his girl friend’s offer to be the bread winner should things not go as planned.
          I wish those two every happiness, they have been through much adversity together, may they enjoy every minute they get together with the little one :)).

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