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.