Yesterday, it was Kotoshogiku. Today, Sokokurai had his danpatsushiki. He also retired back in 2020 but has already made a very quick, successful transition into running his own stable. Arashio-oyakata has ushered the younger Onami brothers, Wakatakakage and Wakamotoharu, into the top of Makuuchi. Josh recently wrote about his success in more depth, here.
This is quite the transition since he had to lawyer up and fight just for the right to continue his career. He’d been caught up, wrongfully, in the match-fixing scandal and banned from the sport in 2011. While that all worked its way to a decision, he sat out of the sport for more than two years, staying in shape the whole time. When he won in 2013, he didn’t get to ease his way back in from Jonokuchi…they threw him back in with the wolves of Makuuchi, giving him the rank he had earned back in 2011.
Their success featured highly in the retirement ceremony with a bout between the brothers — something we won’t see in a tournament unless they’re somehow both vying for the title in a playoff. Wouldn’t that be exciting?!?!
He’s setting up a real family operation with his nephew and the Tanji brothers joining the Onami brothers. We’ve seen several other stables pick up brothers as recruits, like Gaia and Byakuen at Tatsunami-beya and I wonder if it’s a growing trend in order to increase recruitment.