Birthday Boys

Birthday Calendar Screenshot

Followers of the Tachiai Twitter account, and followers of the Sumo Kyokai’s own official account, may have noticed that Monday was Enho’s birthday and Tuesday was Endo’s birthday. Well, very soon you will be able to track rikishi birthdays dynamically on the site because I plan to release a Birthday Calendar. I’m teasing the information now because I want to gauge interest in the visualization before putting it out there for the public to use.

I’ve been working on several data visualizations and this is one that I believe will be most helpful to experts AND new sumo fans, alike. Rather than focus on the well-known sekitori, this calendar has data on ALL wrestlers from the July tournament so we hopefully become a bit more familiar with some of those from the lower divisions, as well.

October 17 was the birthday of Takadagawa-beya’s chanko-cho, Sakura (pictured). Sakura has been a long-time rikishi, debuting under the shikona Maeamami in 2003. He spent most of the first three years of his career in Jonokuchi but has mostly been in Jonidan since. His top rank so far has been Jonidan 5 in 2013.

On the 18th, along with Enho and fellow sekitori Kyokutaisei, Hirose from Arashio-beya celebrated another orbit around the sun. On the 19th, Chiyohokkai and Miyakojima partied with individualized Strawberry Shortcakes.

Tomorrow, Tsugunohana will be the only active Birthday Boy. Onomatsu beya The tweet below shows him carrying a zabuton. Is the shikona on that cushion “Terutsuyoshi?” Onomatsu is way out in Chiba. That’s a long commute to downtown Tokyo for tsukebito duties at Isegahama-beya. He was promoted to Sandanme for the first time this past summer but will likely fall back into Jonidan for Kyushu.

These workhorses of the heya life are rarely noticed by the media so this will help us superfans dive a bit deeper into the sumo world. I am very interested in feedback from users but I’ve still got a little work to do before it’s ready for prime time. I’m enticingly close, though, so that’s why I’m teasing it out a wee bit early.

5 thoughts on “Birthday Boys

  1. Not sure how you can swing this but something that uses your data chops here to also bring in to the overall age of the rikishi/division would be pretty intriguing as well

    • It’s feasible. I was struggling for ideas of which summary stats to include. I think there is space for stats per division.

      • It would be super interesting. I just have this feeling now like we’re seeing more college rikishi than normal (this may or may not be true, I don’t know), and the top division in particular is starting to feel really old (as I just mentioned in a new post)

        So every time we get a sekitori birthday it’s like “happy birthday!!!” and also “oh man”


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