Takakeisho Ozeki Promotion Video

Takakeisho Promotion – Courtesy of NHK’s Twitter Feed

Through the magic of the internet, we bring you a brief clip courtesy of NHK of the actual ceremony where the sumo elders delivered the good news that Takakeisho had been promoted to Ozeki. Rather than deliver any kind of yojijukugo acceptance phrase, Takakeisho stuck to literal Japanese to express is commitment to sumo, to his new rank, and his stable. As per Herouth’s translation:

  • “Not to shame the title of Ozeki”
  • “Respect the spirit of Bushido”
  • “Always remember to be thankful and considerate”

While not compact, pithy and represented by 4 lovely characters, I do like the intent of his words. I hope he reigns well and long as an Ozeki, and extracts a never ending stream of white stars from everyone around him.

Folks are already wondering if he is on track for some kind of Yokozuna billet, and I will just say that these discussions are extremely premature. While I truly enjoy Takakeisho’s sumo, and I think the whole tadpole concept is interesting, he need to greatly diversify his sumo to be able to be a dominant Ozeki, let alone consider advancement.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I am keen to see what he comes up with. I think Takakeisho would very much like to try for higher rank, and he may find ways to surprise us.

Takakeisho’s Upcoming Ozeki Promotion

Abema TV’s Takakeisho Title Card

Following his 10-5 finish at Haru, he was once again eligible for promotion to Ozeki. His first eligibility came following the Hatsu 2019 tournament, when he had reached 33 wins over the 3 prior tournaments (Aki 9-6, Kyushu 13-2. Hatsu 11-4), but the sumo elders declared that his sumo was not ready for the Ozeki rank, citing his final day loss to Goeido. For more details…

But at the close of Haru, he had added another double digit winning record to his roster, and this time the word from the sumo elders was that his promotion to Ozeki would be approved. Ounomatsu Oyakata and Hakkaku Rijicho were quoted on day 15 as saying that the promotion would be approved, and sumo fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the anticipated photos of Takakeisho, in formal black kimono, microphones on the floor with all present performing a saikeirei. Later, it will be time for Takakeisho to hoist “the fish” in triumph.

Beside the expected, there are a few things that might happen. First, there may be a change of shikona. This is not uncommon that as a rikishi moves higher in rank, their change their names to reflect their status. Takakeisho was once known as Sato, until he broke into Makuuchi, and he took the name Takakeisho. In the time since that promotion, Takakeisho has joined the Chiganoura heya, and it’s possible that he may take a new shikona out of respect for Chiganoura.

There is also a customary “acceptance phrase” or motto, that is represented both by words and by meaningful glyphs in kanji. Some folks (mostly in Japan) put significance in this phrase, and Tachiai is curious to see what Takakeisho might choose.

In the broader context, the timing of this 22 year old rikishi achieving the Ozeki rank might be cited in years hence as a further marker on this evolutionary period. With a new imperial period starting in May and the possibility of the Hakuho facing a career ending injury, we have a strong, fierce young man stepping into sumo’s second highest rank. He is the first of the “tadpole” cohort to ascend to this level, and we think it portends great things for sumo.

Team Tachiai wishes young Takakeisho well, and look forward to his powerful sumo for years to come.

Haru Review: Biggest Winners and Losers


Hello sumo fans! As you know, the 2019 Haru Basho wrapped up this Sunday and boy was it an exciting one! From Hakuho’s 42nd Yusho to Ichinojo’s incredible 14-1 performance, Haru did not disappoint! In today’s video, I’m going to go over the biggest winners and losers of the Haru Basho.

Next week I will be bringing you the next instalment of Learning the Lingo, so stay tuned for more sumo content. As always, thank you for supporting the channel, and I will see you guys soon.

Haru Story #2: A Tale of Two Ozeki Runs

The Countdown to Haru continues, and we are now one week away from the return of sumo action! Hello sumo fans, and welcome back to another breakdown of one of the big stories going into the Osaka tournament this march. Today’s video is about the two ozeki runs currently going on in the world of sumo.

Takakeisho and Tamawashi will be bringing their A-game this March and you won’t want to miss the Haru Basho!


Takakeisho – Ozeki Denied (For Now)

Rising star Takakeisho pressed hard during the Hatsu basho to make the case that he should be promoted to Ozeki. Among sumo fandom, a general guideline is thought to be 33 wins for consideration by the NSK for promotion. To be clear, it’s not a standard of “win 33 over 3 basho and you get promoted”; reality shows that is the minimum for consideration. [It’s not even a minimum: Kisenosato and Goeido were both famously promoted with only 32 wins, and further back in time there were promotions with even lower totals. -lksumo] On the road to his 33rd win, Takakeisho has won a yusho, a jun-yusho, and shown that he can beat Yokozuna and Ozeki. For most fans, it was almost a foregone conclusion that his bid would be approved.

But following the Hatsu basho, the NSK committee of sumo elders concluded that in spite of winning a tournament, and nearly winning a second consecutive tournament, his performance was insufficient to qualify for promotion to Ozeki at this time. They encouraged him to try harder (?) at Osaka. Part of their citation was his loss to Ozeki Goeido on day 15, where the struggling Goeido overpowered Takakeisho and quickly ejected him from the dohyo. Later we learned that in the course of this match, Takakeisho suffered a foot injury.

Takakeisho, at 22 years of age, represents the next generation of rikishi who have been pressing hard to dislodge the old guard, and take their place in sumo’s top ranks. Young, strong, lacking chronic injuries that never quite healed, the rise of both the Tadpole and Freshman cohorts is part of the natural evolution of sumo that Tachiai has been forecasting for the past two years.

But it’s quite likely that western fans felt the young fellow was robbed by the curmudgeons in the NSK, who as of late have been working in increasingly mysterious ways. I was not, however, surprised that the NSK had decided to make young Takakeisho work a bit longer before he became Ozeki. It’s clear he is on an ascendant path, and with his youth, strength and quality of sumo, he will be Ozeki no matter what if he can keep from getting hurt. It is undeniable that the drama around both Sekiwake coming from recent yusho, and both working to make a valid Ozeki bid, will bring a lot of attention to the Osaka tournament, and with the Japanese Yokozuna now retired, the NSK needs compelling stories to keep the public engaged.