Harumafuji Kōhei

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Harumafuji Kōhei
日馬富士 公平
Harumafuji 2011 Sep.JPG
Personal information
Born Davaanyamyn Byambadorj
(1984-04-14) April 14, 1984 (age 30)
Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 136 kg (300 lb; 21.4 st)
Web presence blog 
Career
Stable Ajigawa → Isegahama
Current rank Yokozuna
Debut January 2001
Highest rank Yokozuna (September 2012)
Championships 6 (Makuuchi)
1 (Jūryō)
1 (Sandanme)
1 (Jonokuchi)
Special Prizes Fighting Spirit (1)
Technique (5)
Outstanding Performance (4)
Gold Stars 1 (Asashōryū)
* Up to date as of Dec 24, 2014.

Harumafuji Kōhei (日馬富士 公平?, born April 14, 1984, as Davaanyamyn Byambadorj, Mongolian: Даваанямын Бямбадорж), previously known as Ama Kōhei, is a sumo wrestler. He is a yokozuna, sumo's highest rank, receiving his promotion September 26, 2012, the third consecutive Mongolian and fifth overall non-Japanese wrestler to attain yokozuna status.[1][2]

Regarded as a relative lightweight, Harumafuji is noted for his technical skill. He has won ten special prizes for his achievements in tournaments.

He began his professional career in 2001 and reached the top makuuchi division in 2004. In November 2008 he became the seventh foreign-born wrestler in sumo history to reach the second highest rank of ōzeki. In May 2009, he won his first championship, winning the Natsu basho (May tournament). He has won overall six top division championships, three of them with a perfect record.

Early career[edit]

Byambadorj is a native of Ulan Bator, Mongolia.[3] His father was a Mongolian wrestler, holding a rank roughly equivalent to sumo's sekiwake. He appeared at the Naadam, a Mongolian games festival that includes wrestling, at the age of 15. He was scouted by Ajigawa-oyakata in July 2000 and subsequently joined Ajigawa stable (now Isegahama stable). He took the fighting name Ama and made his first appearance in January 2001. He reached the top makuuchi division in November 2004, rising slowly to komusubi in May 2006. However, a disappointing 4–11 result in this tournament sent him back to the maegashira ranks.

On the eve of the January 2007 tournament, Ama's father was killed in a traffic accident. Nevertheless, he turned in a strong 10–5 record there and earned promotion back to komusubi for March. In May 2007, he made his debut at sekiwake rank, becoming the ninth foreign-born rikishi to do so. He held his rank with an 8–7 record.

Ama in May 2007

In September 2007, under the komusubi rank, Ama defeated Yokozuna Hakuhō on the opening day and also beat two ōzeki. He also memorably defeated newcomer Gōeidō with a spectacular technique known as okuritsuriotoshi or "rear lifting body slam."[4] He finished with a 10–5 score and won his first shukun-shō or Outstanding Performance award. He picked up his second Outstanding Performance award in November with another defeat of Hakuhō, and earned promotion back to sekiwake.

In the January 2008 tournament Ama was the only wrestler to defeat Hakuho during Hakuhō's successful bid for the tournament championship. This was also his third consecutive defeat of Hakuhō, and this victory helped him to win his third shukun-shō in a row. However, he failed to score more than nine wins, denting his hopes for ozeki promotion, which normally requires three consecutive double-figure scores. After a poor start to the March 2008 tournament, he had to win his last four matches to barely preserve his rank with an 8–7 record. On the 8th day at the May 2008 tournament, he amazed audiences by defeating Wakanohō with a perfectly executed utchari or spin throw on the bales.[5] After the match, Wakanoho acted violently and was warned.[6] On the 10th day, he also threw yokozuna Hakuho into the seats with an overarm throw, ending his winning streak.[7] After the tournament Ama was awarded his third Technique prize.

Promotion to ōzeki[edit]

In the July 2008 tournament he achieved a double figure score for the first time at sekiwake, and won another Technique prize. In the September 2008 tournament Ama finished with twelve wins, recording his second junyūshō (second place finish, an informal designation), and was awarded his fourth Outstanding Performance award.

The November 2008 tournament was the most successful yet for Ama, as he won 13 bouts (including his bout against Hakuhō) and his thirty five victories over the last three tournaments exceeded the thirty three generally required for ōzeki promotion. He reached a play-off against Hakuhō as a result and lost the play-off, still, his promotion was now inevitable.[8] He was awarded his fifth Technique prize and achieved another junyūshō. On November 26, 2008, Ama was promoted to ōzeki by the Sumō Association, and on the occasion had his fighting name or shikona changed to Harumafuji.[9] The name was chosen by his stablemaster, former yokozuna Asahifuji.

Ōzeki career[edit]

Harumafuji's debut tournament as an ōzeki in January 2009 was inauspicious. Debuting a new name and a new, silver-colored mawashi, he lost his first four matches. On the fifth day he returned to the ring in his customary black mawashi, rallied, and by the end of the tournament secured an 8–7 majority of wins. He did better in the following tournament in March, defeating Asashōryū and winning ten bouts.

In May he went undefeated in his first twelve matches until he was beaten by Hakuhō on Day 13 with a rare leg sweep, susoharai. Harumafuji recovered to defeat Asashōryū the next day with an outer leg trip, sotogake. With Hakuhō falling to Kotoōshū on the same day, both men went into Day 15 with identical 13–1 records. Harumafuji defeated Kotoōshū for a career-best 14–1 record while Hakuhō was victorious over Asashōryū, setting up a playoff. Harumafuji defeated Hakuhō with an under-arm throw, shitatenage, to win his first top division championship. He became the third Mongolian to win the Emperor's Cup, and the eighth foreigner overall.[10] Harumafuji's mother was in the audience to see him awarded the trophy by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.[11] However in the following July basho he recorded only a disappointing 9–6.

He pulled out of the November 2010 tournament on Day 4 having injured his right ankle in a defeat to Tochinoshin.[12] His preparations for the tournament had already been hampered by a shoulder injury sustained during training with Hakuhō.

In July 2011 Harumafuji won his second championship, defeating Hakuhō on the 14th day to win his fourteenth straight match and establish an unassailable two win lead over his rival.[13] This stopped Hakuhō's streak of consecutive yūshō at seven. It was also the first time since his first yūshō that he had won more than ten bouts in a tournament. Harumafuji commented after his victory, "I really wrestled the sumo of my life. I've had many troubles and injuries since becoming ōzeki but I kept training and got support from a lot of people."[14] He lost his final day match to Kisenosato to finish on 14–1. However, he scored only 8–7 in each of his next two tournaments.

Promotion to yokozuna[edit]

In a May 2012 tournament, Harumafuji finished with a nearly even record of 8–7. In his final match, he defeated Hakuhō for his 8th win of the tournament, beginning a winning streak. He bounced back in July as he won his third championship without losing a bout, beating Hakuhō on the last day for his first zenshō-yūshō (winning every match in that tournament).[15] Harumafuji got his chance to earn promotion to yokozuna for the third time in his career.

In a September tournament, Harumafuji defeated Hakuhō once again to win his 4th championship and another consecutive zenshō-yūshō. Having won two successive tournaments, Harumafuji met the criteria for promotion to yokozuna.[16] Following this performance, he was formally promoted to be the 70th yokozuna on September 26, 2012.[17][18] This promotion made him the third consecutive Mongolian-born wrestler, following Asashōryū and Hakuhō, to achieve this rank. He attended a ceremony bestowing him the title, and said "With the awareness of what it means to be a yokozuna, I will devote my body and soul to the way of sumo."[3]

He performed his first yokozuna dohyō-iri (ring-entering ceremony) on September 28, 2012, in front of 3,000 people at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, with Aminishiki as the tachimochi and Takarafuji as the tsuyuharai. After the two minute ceremony was over he said "I aimed to carry out a beautiful dohyoiri". His stablemaster had coached him the previous day on how to do the ring-entering ceremony in the Shiranui-style, the style used by himself as an active yokozuna.[19][20][21]

Yokozuna career[edit]

Harumafuji′s first tournament as a yokozuna in November 2012 was a disappointing one, as he gave up a kinboshi to Okinoumi on just the second day, and from 9–1 up finished with a 9–6 record. He became the first new yokozuna ever to lose his last five matches. Despite being criticized heavily for his lackluster debut at the rank of yokozuna, Harumafuji bounced back with a tremendous showing in the following tournament winning all 15 matches, for his third zenshō-yūshō.[22] He struggled again in March, giving up kinboshi to Takayasu, Chiyotairyū and Toyonoshima and also losing his last three matches. He did slightly better in the May tournament, scoring 11–4, but was never in contention for the championship. In the November tournament of 2013, he won the championship with a 14-1 record, decided by a final-day victory over yokuzuna Hakuhō.[23] He sat out the January 2014 tournament due to injury, and subsequently was not in contention for the championship on the final day of any tournament in 2014. Excluding the March tournament where he won his first 11 matches before losing 3 in a row, he was not a serious contender at all in the any of the tournaments' second weeks, having dropped at least 2 matches before the midway point in three of them, and withdrawing in the September tournament due to injury during the first week.

Fighting style[edit]

Harumafuji is a relative lightweight and is known for his speed, particularly at the tachi-ai, or initial charge. He is regarded as a technician, like many other Mongolian sumo wrestlers, specialising in throws and lifts. He has used 42 different winning kimarite in his career to date.[24] He is adept at both uwatenage (overarm throw) and shitatenage (underarm throw) as well as uwatedashinage (pulling overarm throw). He is also skilled at tsuki or thrusting techniques, and his second most common winning move after yori-kiri is oshi-dashi, or push out. He sometimes uses harite, or slaps to the face, a technique that was criticised by a member of the Yokozuna Deliberation Committee.[citation needed]

Weighing in at 133 kg in November 2012, Harumafuji is the first yokozuna since Chiyonofuji in 1982 to also be the lightest man in the top division.[25]

Personal life[edit]

D. Byambadorj married M. Battuul in Japan on October 10, 2011. The wedding ceremony was held according to sumo traditions, and the bride wore Japanese ceremonial clothes. Byambadorj and Battuul met in 2009, when Battuul graduated from Iwate University in Northern Japan. They were engaged in September 2010. The wedding ceremony had been postponed due to upheavals in the sumo world over the match fixing scandal. Their first daughter was born in December 2010.[26] Their second daughter was born in May 2012.[27]

In June 2013 he revealed that three years before in 2010, he had acquired the qualification to be a policeman in Mongolia through distance education, and that he had plans to go to Mongolia to publish his graduation thesis, which was about the differences between Mongolian and Japanese law.[28]

Career record[edit]

Harumafuji Kōhei[29]
Year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
2001 (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #29
7–0
Champion

 
East Jonidan #22
5–2
 
West Sandanme #88
5–2
 
East Sandanme #53
4–3
 
East Sandanme #42
4–3
 
2002 West Sandanme #28
4–3
 
West Sandanme #14
7–0–P
Champion

 
West Makushita #15
2–5
 
West Makushita #27
2–5
 
East Makushita #46
5–2
 
West Makushita #26
2–5
 
2003 East Makushita #46
4–3
 
East Makushita #38
5–2
 
East Makushita #23
5–2
 
East Makushita #11
5–2
 
East Makushita #7
6–1
 
East Makushita #1
3–4
 
2004 West Makushita #2
4–3
 
East Jūryō #12
10–5
 
East Jūryō #7
6–9
 
East Jūryō #9
9–6
 
East Jūryō #4
11–4–P
Champion

 
West Maegashira #14
8–7
 
2005 East Maegashira #13
8–6–1
 
West Maegashira #11
9–6
T
East Maegashira #9
8–7
 
East Maegashira #8
6–9
 
East Maegashira #11
9–6
 
West Maegashira #5
7–8
 
2006 East Maegashira #6
9–6
East Maegashira #2
8–7
T
West Komusubi #1
4–11
 
East Maegashira #4
6–9
 
East Maegashira #6
11–4
F
East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
2007 East Maegashira #4
10–5
 
East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
West Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
West Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
West Komusubi #1
10–5
O
East Komusubi #1
10–5
O
2008 West Sekiwake #1
9–6
O
East Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
East Sekiwake #1
9–6
T
East Sekiwake #1
10–5
T
East Sekiwake #1
12–3
O
East Sekiwake #1
13–2–P
T
2009 East Ōzeki #3
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #2
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
14–1–P
 
East Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
2010 West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
East Ōzeki #2
0–4–11
 
2011 West Ōzeki #2
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #2
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
West Ōzeki #2
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
14–1
 
East Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
2012 West Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
West Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #2
15–0
 
East Ōzeki #1
15–0
 
West Yokozuna #1
9–6
 
2013 West Yokozuna #1
15–0
 
East Yokozuna #1
9–6
 
West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
2014 East Yokozuna #1
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
West Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
East Yokozuna #2
3–2–10
 
East Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
2015 East Yokozuna #2

 
x x x x x
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mongolian Harumafuji promoted to yokozuna". Japan Today. September 26, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Sumo: Mongolian ozeki Harumafuji promoted to yokozuna". The Mainichi. September 26, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Harumafuji promoted to yokozuna". The Japan Times. 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  4. ^ this technique is illustrated here.
  5. ^ "Kotooshu secures ozeki rank". Yomiuri Shimbun. May 19, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  6. ^ "Sumo wrestler warned after dish-smashing tantrum". Reuters. May 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  7. ^ "Kotooshu in leading position after Yokozuna Hakuho winning streak ends". International Herald Tribune. May 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  8. ^ "Hak chalks up another, but a rival appears on the horizon". The Japan Times. November 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  9. ^ "Mongolian Ama promoted to ozeki". International Herald Tribune. November 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  10. ^ Buckton, Mark (May 26, 2009). "The dawning of a new era for sumo?". The Japan Times. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Rising Mongolian star wins first sumo tournament". AFP. May 24, 2009. Retrieved May 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Hakuho dominant in victory". The Japan Times. November 18, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Mongolian Harumafuji beats compatriot Hakuhō to win Nagoya sumo tournament". Washington Post. July 23, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Harumafuji clinches second Emperor's Cup of career". The Japan Times. July 24, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  15. ^ Buckton, Mark (July 28, 2012). "Harumafuji's third yusho marred by an ill-mannered yokozuna". The Japan Times. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Harumafuji wins title, set for yokozuna rank". The Japan Times. September 24, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  17. ^ "Harumafuji Promoted As The 70th Yokozuna In History". Japan Sumo Association Official Grand Sumo Home Page. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  18. ^ "Another Mongolian Grappler Scales Summit of Sumo: Harumafuji Promoted to Yokozuna". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Sumo ceremony marks Harumafuji promotion to grand champion". The Asahi Shimbun. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  20. ^ "3,000 fans watch Harumafuji perform ring-entering ceremony at Meiji Shrine". Japan Today. 2012-09-29. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  21. ^ "New yokozuna Harumafuji". Kyodo News. 2012-09-27. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  22. ^ "VOX POPULI: Harumafuji looks anything but a yokozuna". Asahi Shimbun. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Yokozuna Harumafuji clinches 6th title in Kyushu tourney". The Asahi Shimbun. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "Harumafuji bouts by kimarite". Sumo Reference. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  25. ^ "2012 November Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. November 2012. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. 
  26. ^ Famed Mongolian sumo wrestler gets married October 12, 2011
  27. ^ Suzuki, Kensuke (2012-09-28). "First new yokozuna in 5 years inspired by family, mentor". The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 2012-09-30. 
  28. ^ 日馬富士は警官だった!10年モンゴルで資格取得済み June 1, 2013
  29. ^ "Harumafuji Kōhei Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 

External links[edit]

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