Ajigawa-beya Scores New Recruit

Ajigawa-oyakata, Hasegawa Kaoto, and Mayor Kuramitsu: Photo from the Mutsu Shimpo.
Ajigawa, Hasegawa, and Mayor Kuramitsu Photo: The Mutsu Shimpo

Hasegawa Kaoto, 17, will join Ajigawa-beya and debut during Kyushu’s maezumo*. This one may be a contender for Jonokuchi yusho in January with an active highschool sumo background, taking third-place at this summer’s National High School “Inter-High” Tournament. He started sumo in elementary school under the tutelage of his father, who has a background competing in corporate sumo.

Rather than the usual high school powerhouses, like Tottori Johoku, he comes from Goshogawara Agricultural and Forestry High School in Aomori. His hometown is Tsugaru-city…near Ajigawa’s hometown AND hometown of three former Yokozuna: Wakanohana I, Takanosato, and Asahifuji (current Isegahama-oyakata and Ajigawa’s relative and former shisho). He is already childhood friends with fellow stablemate and HS senpai, Anzakura.

On a side note, if my local high schools offered agricultural and forestry programs, I would have been totally into that. I might have actually paid attention. As it is now, I get funny looks when I’m alone in the woods investigating random mushrooms. (I found some great Laetiporus the other day.) It’s funny, we try to introduce programs like that at our local schools and the parents shut us down with, “Not for my kids! They gotta go to college!” Young Hasegawa will be entering the Kakukai (sumo world) before graduating high school, however; So, maybe the programs weren’t for him, either? Anyway, it’s just one of my fascinations with the sumo world. But, I digress.

We are eager to see Hasegawa mount the dohyo in Kyushu! Gambare!

* Note: We are investigating whether Hasegawa will actually debut in Kyushu at the bottom of Sandanme under the new Tsukedashi privilege regime. Changes to the tsukedashi process were announced after Aki and under those new rules, the top four finishers in the national high school championships will be eligible for a debut on the last rung of Sandanme. Hat tip to Pedrolu (@ aasgdaas) on Xitter.

9 thoughts on “Ajigawa-beya Scores New Recruit

  1. Off-topic for sumo, on-topic for mushrooms, I have such a better appreciation for them after reading “Finding the Mother Tree” by forest ecologist Suzanne Simard, about mycorrhizal fungal networks and how trees can share resources through them. (College and forestry are not mutually exclusive!) There is even going to be a board game about this (Undergrove, from the designer of Wingspan). So now I have a friendly feeling toward the many mushrooms suddenly popping up in the yard this fall.

    • If the book has anything to do with edible mushrooms it is on topic via Chanko. I will check it out, regardless. Thank you!

      • It’s more about the trees, but fascinating. She was trying to prove that forests did better when they weren’t monocultures and she showed, among other things, that birch and fir trees could transfer resources to each other (across species) through fungal connections at the root.

        • I was at the bookstore today (with a full bar in it?) and the computer said they had a copy but we couldn’t find it.

  2. Don’t take the “before graduating” part too seriously. He’ll have completed most/all the school requirements already, so there are no attendance issues with him going to Tokyo already. While the kids out of middle school generally can’t do it, it’s very common for high school graduates to do their maezumo in January and then just travel back home for their graduation ceremony in March. Rather less common for somebody to start in November already, but it has happened before, too – Kotonowaka for instance. (Heck, Takakeisho somehow started in September and still graduated!)


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