Tachiai is delighted to partner with BuySumoTickets.com to bring our readers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We are giving away two tickets to see the legendary former dai-Yokozuna Hakuho’s Danpatsushiki, his intai-zumo event in the Kokukigan where the all time record 45 Yusho winner’s oicho-mage will be severed amidst a special day of sumo activities and action.
We are grateful to the team at BuySumoTickets.com for giving our readers this opportunity!
Hakuho’s haircut extravaganza will take place on January 28. If you don’t know what a Danpatsushiki entails, official Kyokai YouTube channel Sumo Prime Time has recently produced a really cool video that shows some of what to expect, featuring footage from another recent event.
While Hakuho has recently been installed as elder Miyagino and has been running his stable for some months, this traditional event has been carried out for generations upon generations and marks the official end of life as a rikishi.
What You Need to Do
Please read this VERY CAREFULLY:
If you would like to enter this contest, please comment on this post with your favourite memory of Hakuho. It could be a classic match, a winning move, a record setting achievement, or another accomplishment from his career. Be as direct or as detailed as you like. Tachiai’s editor-in-chief, Andy will also be joining the judging panel. We want to send dedicated Hakuho fans to this event!
Your username on this site must be connected to the email address where we can reach you. If you win, we will need to verify certain criteria for our partner:
Tickets will ONLY be shipped to a hotel or residence IN JAPAN. To win, you will either need to live in Japan, or be able to receive the tickets at your hotel.
If you win this contest and do not live in Japan, you must be able to book and travel to Japan for the event on January 28 (or have a trip already booked) and you must be able to confirm your itinerary including flight details within seven days of the closing of the contest. As you can imagine, these tickets are in extremely high demand and BuySumoTickets needs to confirm that our contest winner will be able to use the tickets. If we are not able to confirm your itinerary, we will need to select another winner.
The contest will conclude on December 1st, and the winner will be notified in the days following, once judging is complete.
The winner will receive 2 Arena “C” tickets in the Kokugikan’s upper deck.
The doors open at 10:00 and the event time is from 11:00-16:00. COVID protocols will be in place, please read more on BuySumoTickets.com’s event page.
If you would like to ensure your place at the event, you can also simply order tickets in the remaining seating categories from BuySumoTickets.com by clicking here.
Multiple members of Team Tachiai have used the BuySumoTickets service on many occasions, and would recommend it also should you wish to travel to Japan upcoming basho, now that international visitors are once again permitted to enter the country.
If you missed it, we also interviewed them a couple years ago to learn more about what folks might not know about sumo ticketing. While times have changed in sumo since then, there are still some great insights in that conversation.
Thanks once again to BuySumoTickets.com for this opportunity – we look forward to enjoying our readers’ memories of Hakuho!
12 thoughts on “Hakuho Danpatsushiki Ticket Giveaway!”
Tickets are on the front side of the venue, near centre! Good luck, everyone!
My favourite memory of Hakuho is meeting him at a training session back in 2011. After the training, he came and sat down next to me. I had some Oreos, so I looked at him and held out the package and asked (in Japanese), “Yokozuna, do you like Oreos?” He stared at me for a few seconds before taking a cookie. I still wonder why he looked at me like that. Was he surprised that this foreigner knew that he was a yokozuna? Was it strange to address him as “Yokozuna” (I learned later that it wasn’t). Was he wondering what kind of uncivilised person wouldn’t like Oreos?
Anyway, we had Oreos and some bottled tea, and we got chatting a bit. He had just won his 6th consecutive tournament and I asked him if he could win a 7th. He told me that he couldn’t do it because he got weak, like me, grabbing my arm and shaking it around to show me how weak I am. He did win that tournament to extend his streak to 7 consecutive wins.
Huge thank you!! I purchased travel to Tokyo as soon as I learned about Hakuho’s retirement date, but up until your post I did not and could not get tickets. Thanks to you, the trip will be complete and now I know where to go for the May tournament tickets.
I have a ticket so not entering competition, just saying thank you and thank you to you and buysumotickets.com.
Andrew from Australia
My favourite memory of Hakuho was the last Heisei era Championship. Hakuho’s stated goal was to win the Championship, and by the final day things were looking good – he was undefeated. However, his opponent, the yokozuna Kakuryu, was also undefeated. So, a classic winner-takes-all bout for the last Heisei championship, with Hakuho having to overcome the next strongest guy who was in good form.
The match started off pretty evenly. However, part way through Hakuho tore his bicep (rupture of the coracobrachialis to be precise). Their bout was, naturally, a yotsu-sumo bout – the kinda thing where bicep strength is not unimportant. But, undeterred by his injury, Hakuho then proceeded to throw Kakuryu down and out of the ring WITH HIS TORN BICEP ARM. I’m not even sure that’s anatomically possible. The greatest example of desire, of mind over matter, I’ve ever seen in sport.
There are many things memorable about Hakuho, but to me that bout epitomizes what Hakuho is.
Hakuho changed my life. Almost 6 years ago one boring rainy night I was flipping through TV channels and happened upon NHK Sumo highlights. Hakuho happened to be getting ready to fight. My husband said my eyes got big and I was like “Whoa this looks awesomeeeee” I don’t recall who Hak was fighting but I know it was an impressive win and I instantly checked TV listings for when I could watch more of this fascinating sport.
From then on I never missed a day of highlights for a couple years. I eventually found live streams of top-ranks and became a regular in those. Then when that wasn’t enough Sumo action for me I started getting into the live streams that show ALL ranks. Made so many English-speaking Sumo fans in those streams that are now like family to me. Cut to present day, we watch literally any & all Sumo. School Sumo from elementary to university, corporate Sumo, and women’s Sumo.
Sumo is such a huge part of my life and it all started with Hakuho! Thank you king.
Best memory of Hakuhō comes from the Las Vegas tour! Back then (2005), he was recovering from an injury that dropped him from Sanyaku and his results in the prior tournament were enough to return him for the next (November) tournament. While I enjoyed the three days of sumo, the highlight was when I went to the Mandalay Bay pool and found a relatively isolated spot to relax with my wife. A few minutes later, Hakuhō and Ama (later Harumafuji) arrived and started wrestling in the pool nearby. Not one to miss this chance, I ran over and started to officiate (Hakkeyoi!! Nokkota!). They were a bit shocked to see a foreign gyōji (but who wouldn’t be). So they wrestled for a while, I officiated, and then we had a brief chat. My wife, a red head, they called “Nicole Kidman”! They were very kind to hang out with us. Later on, they both achieved the rank of Yokozuna. Meeting them early in their careers was one of my favorite memories.
Hakuho from the start of becoming a sekitori was intriguing to watch. I believe that the only real bump in his ascension was maybe a broken toe. Yet, my first lasting memory of him was the rye smile he gave Asashoryu after a henka that crushed Hokutoriki’s chance to wrap up a yusho title. Maybe not the coolest move, but I suppose that look juxtaposes so well the intense stares that were to soon come with this Mongolian senior. That the rivalry between the light and dark knights created some of the best tension that sumo had in some time and it is really too bad that it was cut short by off dohyo actions. Sadly, not that last of that either.
I can say that my introduction to the world of sumo began when the evil empire of Futogayama-beya was dominating the four directions of dohyo and the rebel alliance of Musashigawa-beya was just gaining a foothold to strike back, so I have a bit of sumo fandom under my belt. I generally don’t lean towards the top dogs, but I am loyal and my respect grew as Hakuho displayed his range of skills. However, it was really two circumstances that pulled me into Hakuho’s corner.
First, as my toddler daughter grew, she took a liking to him and that created many opportunities to share some sumo time in front of the tv, take a few family trips to the kokugikan and even an early morning rise for father-daughter viewing of a general soken practice. Of course, this was the heyday of Hakuho’s domination not long after when he claimed, slightly paraphrased here, “15 days of boring yorikiri wins is my goal”. It never was boring though and with each yusho and record topped, it was more a sense of awe that something incredibly special was happening.
Still, I am a fan of sumo and not a fanboy. It always seemed a bit odd as I aged in adulthood to “worship” athletes, especially those younger than me. It was the excitement that he gave my child and the bonding opportunity that really pulled me in as it would any parent.
The second point that I alluded to above was during a yusho victory speech. Hakuho made a brief statement to address latent or deep culture racism with a shout out to Takayasu and my respect grew immensely for the man. I was shocked in a very positive way by this outspoken gesture, but I understand that this created trepidation in others and even some subtle scorn in others. I have actually held back on posting this hoping to add a pleasant twist to end this story but unfortunately that was not to be. Certainly, it is not everyone’s pleasure, but I like it when athletes are true to their hearts and try to improve the institutions they work within and the general society we all live in. I feel Hakuho has really tried to do that as he aged as a yokozuna, even if he made a few missteps or two. I hope going forward Hakuho can make a positive difference as an oyakata.
Well, to add an end cap to my story, I asked my now 16 year old kid if she would like to see Hakuho’s danpatsu ceremony if I were able to get tickets. She gave me a slightly snotty “huh” and a look like I was a total square for even asking. I would really like to think I could change her mind. Wow, I just did a proofread and realized this is a bit long and rambling. Sorry. lol
Pandemic isolation and the treatment side effects for a Really Big Disease had burned my once-active life completely to the ground. A year and a half before, I had hiked parts of both the Kumano Kodo and Shikoku pilgrimages in Japan; now I could barely get off the couch. My legs were so weak I had to occasionally even use a cane.
I began watching videos online to pass the time and came across some of NHK’s sumo highlights. I wasn’t entirely ignorant about sumo: I had watched a bit with my brother in Honolulu and had even seen rikishi striding majestically through Tokyo’s Ueno station during my student days. I had always hated sports but this didn’t seem to exactly be one somehow.
This was how I originally met up with Hakuho, through videos of his amazing career. I was gobsmacked by his graceful moves as well as the beauty of all the other rikishi. The ritual involved was the icing on the cake; I was getting hooked. I didn’t get to watch the entirety of his last basho live because I didn’t know about the sumo resources I have now; I had to be content with what I could scrape up off the internet with my limited knowledge. I was riveted even by these meager scraps.
On winning his 15th bout and the basho, Hakuho made the fiercest face I’ve ever seen. Of course I couldn’t know that was Hakuho’s last bout ever. He reminded me of the my guardian, the wrathful Buddhist deity Fudo Myoo who I had prayed to both during my pilgrimages and my illness. Fudo-sama is often depicted chained to a rock in hell, vowing to rescue all beings. He is strong, frightening and loving.
I began schooling myself about sumo and even bought an e-bansuke, the one that has both him and Terunofuji in the top yokozuna spots, and I was eagerly anticipating the next basho when word filtered down through my meager sources that he had decided to retire. I was saddened and sorely disappointed but by then the grand river that is sumo had swept me up.
Something else began happening too: as my strength slowly returned, I found myself identifying with these men who trained nearly every day and kept up a grueling schedule of matches with such dignity. This is totally ridiculous: I have nothing in common with them in age, sex, national origin, but somehow that didn’t matter. With help from a physical therapist, I built an exercise schedule (the PT was okay with me wanting to do shiko as part of it!) and decorated it with photos of Hakuho. I also began walking as much as I was able, at first with hiking poles around the block, getting progressively stronger, increasing my mileage.
Nowadays I get up in the morning, look at the workout chart and think ”They’re training today-are you?” I can now run/hike 3-4 mile several times a week which I alternate with weight training and calesthetics. I usually wear a t shirt with Hakuho’s tegata on it, his printed hand near my heart to honor him for leading me out of hell and back into the land of the living.
Thanks for sharing this. I too have been rescued by Hakuho from illness. Difficult to put words to it so thank you. A truly inspiring warrior. I hope you have seen his battle through the silent covid basho when he fought to save Japan, awe-inspiring.and the documentary that follows his rehab and final basho is fascinating. They put sand on the roof of the hospital so he could shiko up there!
I’m unable to travel but I will be at the Danpatsu in spirit.
A favorite Hakuho moment is hard, there are so many.. but one of my favorites is Hakuho vs Shodai July ’21 where Hakuho sets up for the tachiai from almost the edge of the tawara. I’ve never seen anything like that and apparently neither had Shodai! Mind games to match the physical.. definitely a memorable Hakuho moment for me
Of course my favourite memory of Hakuho is when he fought his last match and beat Terunofuji! I cried and nearly broke my wife’s table by banging on it with my fist. I really think that was a golden era of sumo during his reign and miss his little victory punches. He truly is the GOAT.
While I have been watching Sumo for only a few years now, I was able to see Hakuho live on the opening day of the last pre-Covid basho at Hatsu 2020.
While I was certainly impressed by his sheer aura and physical presence I must say that my favorite moment was also one of his last: Almost everything about the final bout for Nagoya 2021… the stare down with Teru, when Teru finally yielded and went down first and fantastic fight itself (didn’t like his elbow at the beginning…) and the visceral shout at the end with his family in tears.
He appeared in Japanese TV shows quite frequently including a little documentary (him pushing Ishiura and Enho to continue carrying some sand filled sacks up and down the street in front of the beya and showing a glimpse into his family life) and he is a rather impressive person in and out the ring.
Miss him a lot already and would be super glad to get the chance to go to the Danpatsushiki in person. Thanks for doing this and good luck to all!