Happy Birthday Akashifuji!!

While the DC area feels a bit of unseasonably warm weather, I’d like to extend warm Birthday greetings to Akashifuji, who turned 26 today. The pics in the tweet below are from an earlier year but with easing COVID restrictions, hopefully the young Tagonoura-beya rikishi will be able to spend a (responsible and socially-distant) night on the town.

I have updated the Birthday Calendar dashboard with data from the Kyushu basho. I also added a little more information in the “Career Tracker.” By hovering over a data point along a wrestler’s career path, you will see the rank (and old shikona) of the wrestler during that tournament. We can see that just before Hatsu 2020, Akashifuji had been Tagonofuji, borrowing the characters from his stable.

Akashifuji must have made the shikona change to honor his hometown in Hyogo prefecture. Akashi is in Western Japan, next to Kobe. It is on the coast, so along with Akashi Castle, there are beaches to visit. It is also convenient to Awaji Island which sits between the main island of Honshu and Shikoku.

Despite the 3-4 makekoshi record in Fukuoka, his rank has been trending upwards…coming very close to Makushita promotion earlier in the year. His best rank was Sandanme 6 during the Natsu basho. If plans hold, the Spring tournament will return to nearby Osaka in 2022, with even more fans in attendance. Perhaps that will give Akashifuji the drive to rise further and possibly earn that Makushita promotion!

Good luck in the New Year!

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