Christmas conundrum! the answer

Today is Mitakeumi’s 28th birthday!

The Nagano-ken born rikishi has been rocketed to makuuchi, in the blink of an eye – makushita tsukedashi 10 in March 2015, maegashira 11 in November of the same year, for his debut in sumo’s first division.

Mitakeumi stayed down the maegashira ranks until September 2016, and then things spiced up a bit: he went 6-9 as a shin-komusubi in November, earned two kinboshi in January 2017, defeating Harumafuji and Kakuryu. That basho, of course, was won by Kisenosato, who got promoted to yokozuna.

Mitakeumi returned to san’yaku in March 2017, and stayed there for an incredible number of seventeen tournaments in a row – either as a komusubi or a sekiwake.

He won two basho, but, disappointingly, never got promoted to ozeki – only Kotonishiki had done so before.

Happy birthday, Mitakeumi Hisashi!

He’s born on December, the 25th of 1992. Happy birthday!

Quiz! 2020 in sumo

Just like in recent years, 2020 has been quite an eventful year in sumo: surprise winners, stunning comebacks and the Covid pandemic all coloured this year. The dust might settle a bit next year, but still, how much do we remember about sumo highlights this year?

1. 2020 has been a year to forget for the yokozuna, who will both need to get at least ten wins in January. How many wins did they get combined in 2020?

a. 29

b. 33

c. 37

d. 41

2. In how many bouts did Hakuho actually participate in 2020 (during honbasho, of course; not counting fusen losses and torinaoshi)?

a. 25

b. 30

c. 35

d. 40

3. What about Kakuryu? How many times did he fight in 2020?

a. 15

b. 20

c. 25

d. 30

Both yokozuna will face a make or break situation in January 2021.

4. Let’s now focus to 2020’s ozeki. How many times did an ozeki finish with a losing record?

a. Three

b. Four

c. Five

d. Six

5. Going further down the banzuke, Mitakeumi had a (very) disappointing year 2020. How many make koshi did he get?

a. One

b. Two

c. Three

d. Four

Mitakeumi won a yusho in 2018 and 2019, but was less successful this year (Photo Courtesy Rob Donner)

6. Tokushoryu, on the other hand, obviously had a great year 2020, winning the first yusho, then keeping a place in makuuchi. Following his surprise win in January, how many more kachi koshi did he get?

a. None

b. One

c. Two

d. Three

7. Let’s have some fun with names: which one of these pairs of rikishi have shared the same division at some point (1/3)?

a. Hoshoryu – Shohoryu
b. Hoshoryu – Oshoryu
c. Oshoryu – Shohoryu
d. Kaisei – Kaisho

8. Same question: which pair of rikishi has fought together in the same division in 2020 (2/3)?

a. Daieisho – Daishoho

b. Terunofuji – Fujinoteru

c. Tomisakae – Tokisakae

d. All three pairs

9. This time, which pair of rikishi has NOT been together in the same division (3/3)?

a. Chiyonokuni – Chiyonoumi

b. Churanoumi – Chiyonoumi

c. Churanoumi – Chiyonokuni

d. None of the above – they have all shared the same division at some point.

10. Kotoshogiku’s body could not enable him to remain fully fit in 2020. He hasn’t been able, in either tournament, to get more than…

a. Six wins

b. Seven wins

c. Eight wins

d. Nine wins

11. How many newcomers have been welcomed in makuuchi?

a. Six

b. Seven

c. Eight

d. Nine

12. Who got five kachi koshi in makuuchi this year?

a. Nobody

b. Takakeisho

c. Takanosho

d. Takakeisho and Takanosho

13. How many bouts did Ura lose this year?

a. Four

b. Six

c. Eight

d. Ten

Ura produced a stunning comeback this year.

14. Hanakaze is still wrestling, being half a century old! But how many kachi koshi did he get this year?

a. Zero

b. One

c. Two

d. Three

15. Going right to the bottom of the banzuke, how many bouts did Hattorizakura win this year?

a. Zero

b. One

c. Two

d. Three

The answers:

1. 2020 has been a year to forget for the yokozuna, who will both need to get at least ten wins in January. How many wins did they get combined in 2020?

c. 37. 24 for Hakuho, and only 13 for Kakuryu. In my opinion, it comes as no surprise they are facing the risk of having to retire early next year.

2. In how many bouts did Hakuho actually participate in 2020 (during honbasho, of course; not counting fusen losses and torinaoshi)?

b. 30. Three bouts in January, fifteen in March and twelve in July.

3. What about Kakuryu? How many times did he fight in 2020?

b. 20. Four times in January, fifteen in March, and just one in July.

4. Let’s now focus to 2020’s ozeki. How many times did an ozeki finish with a losing record?

b. Four times, by four different sekitori: Asanoyama (1-2-12) and Shodai (3-2-10) in November; Takakeisho (7-8) in March, and let’s not forget Goeido (5-10), in January!

5. Going further down the banzuke, Mitakeumi had a (very) disappointing year 2020. How many make koshi did he get?

b. Two, in January and November. Mitakeumi will start 2021 approximately where he started in 2020: below the rank of sekiwake, no yusho and one more aborted ozeki run. Put it briefly, trademark Mitakeumi.

6. Tokushoryu, on the other hand, obviously had a great year 2020, winning the first yusho, then keeping a place in makuuchi. Following his surprise win in January, how many more kachi koshi did he get?

b. One time only, in November (8-7). He got payback right in March (4-11), but had decent efforts in July and September, barely missing kachi koshi (7-8).

7. Let’s have some fun with names: which one of these pairs of rikishi have shared the same division at some point?

c. Oshoryu – Shohoryu. Hoshoryu has reached juryo in November 2019, whereas Shohoryu is still in makushita. Kaisho got relegated from juryo in November 2019, while Kaisei returned to makuuchi in January 2020. So the only pair having shared the same division is Oshoryu – Shohoryu. Actually, they’re still together in makushita.

Bow twirler Shohoryu

8. Same question: which pair of rikishi has fought together in the same division in 2020 (2/3)?

c. Tomisakae – Tokisakae. Daishoho wasn’t higher than juryo 3, and actually finished the year in makushita. Terunofuji went so low down the banzuke that he chould say hi to Fujinoteru in jonidan, but actually started the year in juryo. Tomisakae and Tokisakae have seen each other in makushita.

9. This time, which pair of rikishi has NOT been together in the same division (3/3)?

d. None of the above – they have all shared the same division at some point. That one was tricky. Churanoumi and Chiyonoumi have been together in juryo thrice, in March, July and November. Churanoumi actually spent the whole year in juryo; therefore, he met Chiyonokuni during his sole basho in juryo, in September. Chiyonoumi sat in makushita in September, and has NOT met Chiyonokuni – but they BOTH were in makushita, in January 2020.

10. Kotoshogiku’s body could not enable him to remain fully fit in 2020. He hasn’t been able, in either tournament, to get more than…

c. Eight wins, in July.

11. How many newcomers have been welcomed in makuuchi?

a. Six: Kiribayama (January), Kotonowaka (March), Kotoshoho (July), Tobizaru, Hoshoryu (September) and Akua (November) have all been new to makuuchi – and will begin 2021 in sumo’s first division.

12. Who got five kachi koshi in makuuchi this year?

a. Nobody. If both mentioned rikishi had a fine 2020 year, both finished 7-8 earlier this year (Takanosho in January, Takakeisho in March).

13. How many bouts did Ura lose this year?

c. Eight. One bout in July, one in September, and six in November. He won back to back yusho in jonidan and sandanme

14. Hanakaze is still wrestling, being half a century old! But how many kachi koshi did he get this year?

b. One, a 4-3 record in March. He’ll be relegated to jonokuchi in January.

15. Going right to the bottom of the banzuke, how many bouts did Hattorizakura win this year?

Hattorizakura has not won a single bout since January 2019.

a. Zero. No big surprise here, unfortunately…

Quiz ! l’année 2020 en sumo

Comme les années précédentes, 2020 a été une année assez mouvementée en sumo: de surprenants vainqueurs, d’improbables retours, et la pandémie liée au Covid-19 ont tous marqué cette année. Nous pourrions avoir un peu de repos l’an prochain ; mais de quoi pouvons-nous nous remémorer de cette année ?

1. 2020 a été une année à oublier pour les yokozuna, qui vont devoir obtenir au moins dix victoires en janvier. Combien de victoires ont-ils obtenu à eux deux en 2020 ?

a. 29

b. 33

c. 37

d. 41

2. A combien de combats Hakuho a-t-il participé en 2020 (en prenant en compte uniquement les honbasho, mais ni les défaites par défaut, ni les torinaoshi) ?

a. 25

b. 30

c. 35

d. 40

3. Et Kakuryu? Combien de fois a-t-il combattu en 2020 ?

 a. 15

b. 20

c. 25

d. 30

Les deux yokozuna auront leur fin de carrière en jeu en janvier 2021

4. Concentrons-nous à présent sur les ozeki. Combien de fois un ozeki a-t-il obtenu un résultat négatif ?

a. Trois

b. Quatre

c. Cinq

d. Six

5. Allons plus bas dans le banzuke. Mitakeumi a eu une année 2020 (très) décevante. Combien de make koshi a-t-il obtenu ?

 a. Un

b. Deux

c. Trois

d. Quatre

Mitakeumi a remporté un tournoi en 2018, et en 2019. Mais il n’a pas été aussi décisif cette année (Photo Courtesy Rob Donner)

6. Tokushoryu, de son côté, a de toute évidence eu une belle année 2020, remportant le premier tournoi, puis conservant sa place en makuuchi. Après sa victoire surprise en janvier, combien d’autres kashi koshi a-t-il obtenu ?

 a. None

b. One

c. Two

d. Three

7. Amusons-nous à présent avec les noms: laquelle de ces paires de lutteurs a été dans la même division, à un moment quelconque de l’année 2020 ? (1/3)?

a. Hoshoryu – Shohoryu
b. Hoshoryu – Oshoryu
c. Oshoryu – Shohoryu
d. Kaisei – Kaisho

8. Même question: laquelle de ces paires de lutteurs a combattu dans la même division en 2020 (2/3)?

a. Daieisho – Daishoho

b. Terunofuji – Fujinoteru

c. Tomisakae – Tokisakae

d. Toutes ces trois paires

9. Cette fois, laquelle de ces paires n’a PAS combattu dans la même division (3/3)?

a. Chiyonokuni – Chiyonoumi

b. Churanoumi – Chiyonoumi

c. Churanoumi – Chiyonokuni

d. Aucune de ces paires – ils ont tous partagé la même division à un moment donné

10. Kotoshogiku n’était pas suffisamment rétabli pour combattre à 100 % en 2020. Dans aucun tournoi, il n’a pu engranger plus de…

a. Six victoires

b. Sept victoires

c. Huit victoires

d. Neuf victoires

11. Combien de lutteurs ont découvert le makuuchi en 2020 ?

a. Six

b. Sept

c. Huit

d. Neuf

12. Qui a obtenu cinq kashi koshi en makuuchi, cette année ?

a. Personne

b. Takakeisho

c. Takanosho

d. Takakeisho et Takanosho

13. Combien de combats Ura a-t-il perdu cette année ?

a. Quatre

b. Six

c. Huit

d. Dix

Ura a réalité un superbe retour cette année

14. Hanakaze combat toujours, âgé d’un demi-siècle ! Mais combien de kashi koshi a-t-il obtenu cette année ?

a. Zero

b. Un

c. Deux

d. Trois

15. Allons tout en bas du banzuke. Combien de victoires Hattorizakura a-t-il remporté cette année ?

a. Zéro

b. Une

c. Deux

d. Trois

Les réponses :

1. 2020 a été une année à oublier pour les yokozuna, qui vont devoir obtenir au moins dix victoires en janvier. Combien de victoires ont-ils obtenu à eux deux en 2020 ?

c. 37. 24 pour Hakuho, et seulement 13 pour Kakuryu. Ce n’est à mon avis pas une surprise si tous deux risquent d’être contraints à la retraite, début 2021.

2. A combien de combats Hakuho a-t-il participé en 2020 (en prenant en compte uniquement les honbasho, mais ni les défaites par défaut, ni les torinaoshi) ?

b. 30. Trois combats en janvier, quinze en mars et douze en juillet.

3. Et Kakuryu? Combien de fois a-t-il combattu en 2020 ?

b. 20. Quatre combats en janvier, quinze en mars, et un seul en juillet.

4. Concentrons-nous à présent sur les ozeki. Combien de fois un ozeki a-t-il obtenu un résultat négatif ?

b. Quatre fois, et par quatre lutteurs différents: Asanoyama (1-2-12) et Shodai (3-2-10) en novembre ; Takakeisho (7-8) en mars, et n’oublions pas Goeido (5-10), en janvier !

5. Allons plus bas dans le banzuke. Mitakeumi a eu une année 2020 (très) décevante. Combien de make koshi a-t-il obtenu ?

b. Deux, en janvier et en novembre. Mitakeumi va débuter l’année 2021 tout comme il a débuté 2020 : en-dessous du rang de sekiwake, pas de yusho, et une campagne d’ozeki avortée. En un mot, typique de Mitakeumi.

6. Tokushoryu, de son côté, a de toute évidence eu une belle année 2020, remportant le premier tournoi, puis conservant sa place en makuuchi. Après sa victoire surprise en janvier, combien d’autres kashi koshi a-t-il obtenu ?

b. Une seule fois, en novembre (8-7). Il a eu un retour de bâton en mars (4-11), mais a obtenu des résultats corrects en juillet et septembre, ratant le kashi koshi de peu (7-8).

7. Amusons-nous à présent avec les noms: laquelle de ces paires de lutteurs a été dans la même division, à un moment quelconque de l’année 2020 ? (1/3)?

c. Oshoryu – Shohoryu. Hoshoryu a atteint le juryo en novembre 2019, alors que Shohoryu est toujours en makushita. Kaisho a été relégué du juryo en novembre 2019, tandis que Kaisei est revenu en makuuchi en janvier 2020. Ainsi, la seule paire à avoir partagé la même division est Oshoryu – Shohoryu. En réalité, ils se trouvent toujours tous les deux en makushita.

Le yumitori shiki : Shohoryu

8. Même question: laquelle de ces paires de lutteurs a combattu dans la même division en 2020 (2/3)?

c. Tomisakae – Tokisakae. Daishoho n’a jamais été mieux classé que juryo 3, et a terminé l’année en makushita. Terunofuji est descendu si bas dans le banzuke qu’il a pu saluer Fujinoteru, mais il a débuté l’année en juryo. Tomisakae et Tokisakae ont été ensemble en makushita.

9. Cette fois, laquelle de ces paires n’a PAS combattu dans la même division (3/3)?

d. Aucune de ces paires – ils ont tous partagé la même division à un moment donné. C’était une question piège ! Churanoumi et Chiyonoumi ont été trois fois ensemble en juryo, en mars, en juillet et en novembre. Churanoumi a finalement passé toute l’année en juryo ; ainsi, il a rencontré Chiyonokuni lors de son seul tournoi en juryo, en septembre. Chiyonoumi était en makushita en septembre, et n’y a donc PAS rencontré Chiyonokuni – mais les DEUX étaient en makushita, en janvier 2020.

10. Kotoshogiku n’était pas suffisamment rétabli pour combattre à 100 % en 2020. Dans aucun tournoi, il n’a pu engranger plus de…

c. Huit victoires, en juillet

11. Combien de lutteurs ont découvert le makuuchi en 2020 ?

a. Six : Kiribayama (janvier), Kotonowaka (mars), Kotoshoho (juillet), Tobizaru, Hoshoryu (septembre) and Akua (novembre) sont les nouveaux venus de 2020 – et ils débuteront tous l’année 2021 en makuuchi.

12. Qui a obtenu cinq kashi koshi en makuuchi, cette année ?

a. Personne. Si les deux lutteurs mentionnés ont eu une belle année 2020, tous deux ont eu un résultat négatif de sept victoires pour huit défaites, plus tôt cette année (Takanosho en janvier, Takakeisho en mars).

13. Combien de combats Ura a-t-il perdu cette année ?

c. Huit. Un match en juillet, un en septembre, et six en novembre. Il a remporté deux yusho consécutifs en jonidan et sandanme.

14. Hanakaze combat toujours, âgé d’un demi-siècle ! Mais combien de kashi koshi a-t-il obtenu cette année ? b. Un seul, 4-3 en mars. Il va être relégué en jonokuchi pour le tournoi de janvier.

15. Allons tout en bas du banzuke. Combien de victoires Hattorizakura a-t-il remporté cette année ?

Hattorizakura n’a plus remporté le moindre match depuis janvier 2019

a. Zéro. Pas une grosse surprise, malheureusement…

Quiz ! About shikona changes…

As we previously mentioned it, Shodai decided to keep his shikona following his promotion to the ozeki rank. Let’s try to figure out how much we know about rikishi’s shikona, shikona changes and real names…

As usual, try your best to get your kashi koshi!

1. Let’s start this quiz quietly. Ama became ozeki…

a. Goeido

b. Kakuryu

c. Harumafuji

d. Baruto

2. Which one of these wrestlers is currently fighting with his real name ?

a. Takarafuji

b. Takayasu

c. Takanosho

d. Takagenji

3. Who started wrestling using his real name – Fukuoka ?

a. Hokutofuji

b. Okinoumi

c. Ryuden

d. Daieisho

4. Who is the other Mr. Fukuoka in makuuchi ?

a. Abi

b. Terutsuyoshi

c. Meisei

d. Enho

5. Who started his sumo career with the shikona Wakamisho ?

a. Kiribayama

b. Tamawashi

c. Ichinojo

d. Terunofuji

6. The Bulgarian wrestler Aoiyama was given his current shikona after being asked a few questions about things he likes. What does “Aoiyama” mean ?

a. Red wind

b. Red mountain

c. Blue wind

d. Blue mountain

7. And by the way, Big Dan’s (Aoiyama) real name is…

a. Petkov

b. Dimitrov

c. Kotov

d. Ivanov

Big Dan: Aoiyama Kosuke.

8. Let’s now have some fun (and a few headaches !) with Sadogatake’s wrestlers. Who used to be called Kotokikutsugi ?

a. Kotoosho

b. Kotoeko

c. Kotoyuki

d. Kotoshogiku

9. Kotokamatani, on the other hand, is now known as…

a. Kotonowaka

b. Kotoeko

c. Kotoshoho

d. Kotoshogiku

10. Whereas Kotoenomoto has become…

a. Kotooshu

b. Kotoeko

c. Kotoshoho

d. Kotoyuki

11. And finally, Kototebakari is currently known as…

a. Kotoshoho

b. Kotoyuki

c. Kotonowaka

d. Kotoshogiku

12. Takanohana and Wakanohana are one of sumo’s most famous brothers. Their real name is :

a. Hanada

b. Koga

c. Sawai

d. Hagiwara

A sumo legend: former yokozuna Takanohana.

13. Which one of these rikishi used to be called “Sato” and changed his shikona as he got promoted to makuuchi ?

a. Takakeisho

b. Asanoyama

c. Mitakeumi

d. Shodai

14. Hanakaze is known for his incredibly long career, which started back in 1986 (!). Under how many names has he wrestled so far ?

a. One

b. Two

c. Three

d. Four

15. And finally, the great Hakuho has changed shikona :

a. Once

b. Twice

c. Thrice

d. He never changed his shikona

The answers :

1. Let’s start this quiz quietly. Ama became ozeki…

c. Harumafuji. Of course ! He took that name after his promotion to ozeki, following the Kyushu basho 2008.

Nine time grand champion: former yokozuna Harumafuji.

2. Which one of these wrestlers is currently fighting with his real name ?

b. Takayasu Akira.

3. Who started wrestling using his real name – Fukuoka ?

b. Okinoumi. He actually semmed to have some remorses after changing his shikona to Okinoumi, in March 2009. Two basho after, he went back to Fukuoka Ayumi, during just one basho. He then changed once again – for good – to Okinoumi Ayumi.

4. Who is the other Mr. Fukuoka in makuuchi ?

b. Terutsuyoshi. He has used only one shikona so far : Terutsuyoshi Shoki.

Terutsuyoshi Shoki, also known as Fukuoka Shoki.

5. Who started his sumo career with the shikona Wakamisho ?

d. Terunofuji. Terunofuji likes changes : he used to be called Wakamisho Yoshiaki, then Wakamisho Noriaki, then Wakamisho Yoshiaki again, then Terunofuji Yoshiaki, then Terunofuji Haruo.

6. The Bulgarian wrestler Aoiyama was given his current shikona after being asked a few questions about things he likes. What does “Aoiyama” mean ?

d. Blue mountain. Aoiyama likes blue color, and prefers mountain over sea.

7. And by the way, Big Dan’s (Aoiyama) real name is…

d. Ivanov. Daniel Ivanov, to be exact.

8. Let’s now have some fun (and a few headaches !) with Sadogatake’s wrestlers. Who used to be called Kotokikutsugi ?

d. Kotoshogiku. His real name is Kikutsugi Kazuhiro.

9. Kotokamatani, on the other hand, is now known as…

a. Kotonowaka. Outside the dohyo, he’s Kamatani Masakatsu

10. Whereas Kotoenomoto has become…

d. Kotoyuki, also known as Enomoto Yuki.

11. And finally, Kototebakari is currently known as…

a. Kotoshoho. His real name : Tebakari Toshiki

12. Takanohana and Wakanohana are one of sumo’s most famous brothers. Their real name is :

a. Hanada. Koga is Kaio’s name ; Sawai is Goeido’s name and Hagiwara is former Kisenosato’s name. Some great wrestlers down there.

13. Which one of these rikishi used to be called “Sato” and changed his shikona as he got promoted to makuuchi ?

a. Takakeisho. Asanoyama did change his shikona, but after promotion to juryo. Mitakeumi took just one shikona, whereas Shodai is fighting under his actual name.

14. Hanakaze is known for his incredibly long career, which started back in 1986 (!). Under how many names has he wrestled so far ?

c. Three. He started fighting under his real name, Yamagushi Daisaku, then switched to Tatsuyamagushi Daisaku, and to Hanakaze Daisaku. He holds that name since July 1999 !

15. And finally, the great Hakuho has changed shikona :

d. He never changed his shikona. Hakuho Sho. That’s the GOAT’s shikona.

Simply the best: yokozuna Hakuho Sho.