Kitazakura Hidetoshi

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Kitazakura Hidetoshi
北桜 英敏
Kitazakura 08 Sep.jpg
Personal information
Born Hidetoshi Mukō
(1971-12-15) December 15, 1971 (age 42)
Hiroshima, Japan
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 168 kg (370 lb)
Web presence website
Career
Stable Kitanoumi
Record 713-711-15
Debut March, 1987
Highest rank Maegashira 9 (July, 2001)
Retired March, 2010
Championships 1 (Jūryō)
1 (Makushita)
* Up to date as of Mar 2010.

Kitazakura Hidetoshi (北桜 英敏?), born December 15, 1971 as Hidetoshi Mukō (向 英俊 Mukō Hidetoshi?) is a former sumo wrestler from Asakita ward, Hiroshima City, Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 9. He is the elder brother of Toyozakura, also a top division wrestler. He was a popular figure with sumo fans. He is now a coach and elder of the Japan Sumo Association under the name Onogawa Oyakata.

Career[edit]

Kitazakura made his professional debut in March 1987, joining Kitanoumi stable. His brother Toyozakura became a sumo wrestler two years later. Unusually for brothers in sumo, they joined different stables, Toyozakura being recruited by Tatsutagawa stable. This was the wish of their father,[1] a former sumo wrestler himself who reached the fourth highest sandanme division. Kitazakura and Toyozakura never met in competition, as brothers are not matched against each other.

Kitazakura, right, in 2007

Initially wrestling using his real name, Kitazakura first adopted his current shikona in November 1987. It took a long time to get to the salaried sekitori ranks and he spent seven years from 1991 to 1998 in the third highest makushita division. He got as high as makushita 5 in September 1995 and a good performance might have got him promotion to the second jūryō division but he fell short with a 2-5 record. Reverting to his own surname failed to change his fortunes and he fell right to the bottom of the makushita division. However after changing back to the name Kitazakura he took the makushita championship with a perfect 7-0 record in September 1997 and three more winning records finally earned him promotion to jūryō in July 1998, after a total of eleven years in the lower divisions.

Kitazakura did not reach the top makuuchi division until July 2001 when he was in his thirtieth year, after winning the jūryō championship in May 2001. The 86 tournaments it took him to get there was the fourth slowest ever at the time (now the sixth slowest). He never managed to become a makuuchi regular, spending 48 of his 60 sekitori tournaments in jūryō, but he was very popular with the tournament crowds, due to his adoption of Mitoizumi's trademark salt throwing routine in the pre-bout rituals.[1] He was also renowned for his sheer eagerness to fight, forever imploring his opponent to start battle before the allotted time was up, demonstrating complete commitment to the principles of classic sumo.[2]

Kitazakura's salt throw

After a 5-10 result at jūryō 11 in January 2009 he was demoted to the unsalaried makushita division for the first time since 2003. Kitazakura did not retire as some expected and compiled a 4-3 record at Ms2w in March 2009, including one win against a jūryō sekitori (J13e Wakatenro). This however was not quite enough to send him back to sekitori status for the Natsu Basho, the three available places going to Sagatsukasa, Jumonji and Tamaasuka. He produced another 4-3 score in May and this time he was promoted back to jūryō. He is the second oldest wrestler in the modern era after Ōshio to earn promotion back to the jūryō division. However, he could score only 3-12 in the July 2009 tournament and returned to makushita.

Retirement from sumo[edit]

Kitazakura announced his retirement from active competition in March 2010, bringing an end to a 23 year career. His announcement came on the same day that Sendagawa Oyakata (the former ōzeki Maenoyama) reached the mandatory retirement age of 65. This allowed Onogawa Oyakata (the former maegashira Yotsukasa) to switch to the Sendagawa kabu, leaving the Onogawa name free for Kitazakura. He remained at his old stable as a coach, until December 2012 when he took over the Shikihide stable in anticipation of Shikihide Oyakata, former komusubi Ōshio reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Fighting style[edit]

Kitazakura was a yotsu-sumo wrestler, his favourite grip on his opponent's mawashi while grappling being migi-yotsu, or left hand outside, right hand inside his opponent's arms. His most common winning kimarite by far was a straightforward yori-kiri or force out, which determined the outcome of over half his victories at sekitori level.[3]

Family[edit]

Kitazakura is married, with one daughter.

Career record[edit]

Kitazakura Hidetoshi[4]
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
1987 x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #2
4–3
 
West Jonidan #124
5–2
 
West Jonidan #84
2–5
 
West Jonidan #110
4–3
 
1988 East Jonidan #85
4–3
 
West Jonidan #49
4–3
 
East Jonidan #25
3–4
 
West Jonidan #41
6–1
 
East Sandanme #81
1–6
 
East Jonidan #16
3–4
 
1989 East Jonidan #31
5–2
 
East Sandanme #93
3–4
 
East Jonidan #41
5–2
 
West Sandanme #76
2–5
 
West Jonidan #3
3–4
 
West Jonidan #20
5–2
 
1990 West Sandanme #72
6–1
 
West Sandanme #22
3–4
 
West Sandanme #40
3–4
 
East Sandanme #59
4–3
 
East Sandanme #39
5–2
 
East Sandanme #8
5–2
 
1991 East Makushita #47
5–2
 
East Makushita #30
1–6
 
West Makushita #60
3–4
 
West Sandanme #11
4–3
 
East Makushita #56
2–5
 
East Sandanme #19
4–3
 
1992 East Sandanme #8
6–1
 
East Makushita #37
3–4
 
West Makushita #51
3–4
 
West Sandanme #1
4–3
 
West Makushita #46
5–2
 
West Makushita #28
4–3
 
1993 West Makushita #22
5–2
 
East Makushita #14
3–4
 
East Makushita #22
3–4
 
West Makushita #28
4–3
 
West Makushita #23
3–4
 
East Makushita #33
5–2
 
1994 East Makushita #21
4–3
 
West Makushita #14
2–5
 
West Makushita #29
1–6
 
West Makushita #60
5–2
 
East Makushita #36
5–2
 
East Makushita #24
4–3
 
1995 West Makushita #17
4–3
 
East Makushita #11
2–5
 
West Makushita #27
6–1
 
East Makushita #11
5–2
 
East Makushita #5
2–5
 
East Makushita #17
4–3
 
1996 East Makushita #12
4–3
 
West Makushita #7
3–4
 
East Makushita #15
2–5
 
West Makushita #31
2–5
 
East Makushita #50
5–2
 
West Makushita #31
5–2
 
1997 East Makushita #18
3–4
 
West Makushita #25
3–4
 
West Makushita #33
5–2
 
East Makushita #20
2–5
 
West Makushita #44
2–5
 
West Makushita #60
7–0
Champion

 
1998 West Makushita #7
5–2
 
East Makushita #3
4–3
 
West Makushita #2
6–1
 
West Jūryō #12
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
West Jūryō #12
9–6
 
East Jūryō #10
6–9
 
1999 East Makushita #1
4–3
 
East Jūryō #13
7–8
 
East Makushita #1
5–2
 
East Jūryō #12
7–8
 
East Jūryō #13
8–7
 
East Jūryō #11
7–8
 
2000 West Jūryō #12
7–8
 
West Jūryō #13
6–9
 
West Makushita #2
5–2
 
East Jūryō #11
7–8
 
East Jūryō #12
6–9
 
West Makushita #2
4–3
 
2001 West Jūryō #13
10–5
 
West Jūryō #4
9–6
 
West Jūryō #1
13–2
Champion

 
West Maegashira #9
6–9
 
East Maegashira #13
8–7
 
West Maegashira #11
5–10
 
2002 East Jūryō #1
6–9
 
East Jūryō #4
7–8
 
West Jūryō #5
9–6
 
East Jūryō #2
6–9
 
East Jūryō #7
7–8
 
West Jūryō #8
5–10
 
2003 East Jūryō #13
8–7
 
East Jūryō #10
5–10
 
East Makushita #1
5–2
 
East Jūryō #11
8–7
 
East Jūryō #8
9–6
 
East Jūryō #5
10–5
 
2004 East Maegashira #15
3–12
 
East Jūryō #6
8–7
 
West Jūryō #5
5–10
 
West Jūryō #8
11–4
 
East Maegashira #17
6–9
 
East Jūryō #3
8–7
 
2005 West Jūryō #2
8–7
 
East Jūryō #1
5–10
 
West Jūryō #5
8–7
 
West Jūryō #4
7–8
 
East Jūryō #6
9–6
 
West Jūryō #2
8–7
 
2006 East Maegashira #17
9–6
 
West Maegashira #14
7–8
 
West Maegashira #15
7–8
 
East Maegashira #16
5–10
 
West Jūryō #4
10–5
 
West Maegashira #11
4–11
 
2007 West Jūryō #1
6–9
 
West Jūryō #5
9–6
 
East Jūryō #2
9–6
 
West Maegashira #11
6–9
 
East Maegashira #14
4–11
 
West Jūryō #4
6–9
 
2008 East Jūryō #8
10–5
 
West Jūryō #4
6–9
 
West Jūryō #8
10–5
 
East Jūryō #3
8–7
 
West Jūryō #1
2–13
 
East Jūryō #10
7–8
 
2009 West Jūryō #11
5–10
 
West Makushita #2
4–3
 
West Makushita #1
4–3
 
West Jūryō #13
3–12
 
West Makushita #7
4–3
 
East Makushita #6
2–5
 
2010 East Makushita #16
2–5
 
East Makushita #27
Retired
0–0
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. ^ a b Lewin, Brian (February 2006). "Brothers In Sumo Part 2". sumofanmag.com. Retrieved 2007-10-10. 
  2. ^ Sumo Through the Wrestlers' Eyes (2011) Gould, Chris http://www.amazon.com/Sumo-through-Wrestlers-Eyes-ebook/dp/B006C1I5K8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1322584827&sr=1-1
  3. ^ "Kitazakura bouts by kimarite". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  4. ^ "Kitazakura Hidetoshi Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 

External links[edit]