Kyokutenhō Masaru

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Kyokutenhō Masaru
旭天鵬 勝
Kyokutenho 2008.jpg
Personal information
Born Nyamjavyn Tsevegnyam
(1974-09-13) September 13, 1974 (age 40)
Nalaikh, Mongolia
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 154 kg (340 lb; 24.3 st)
Career
Stable ŌshimaTomozuna
Current rank see below
Debut March, 1992
Highest rank Sekiwake (July, 2003)
Championships Makuuchi (1)
Special Prizes Fighting Spirit (7)
Gold Stars 2 (Asashōryū, Takanohana II)
* Up to date as of Dec 24, 2014.

Kyokutenhō Masaru (旭天鵬 勝?, born September 13, 1974 as Nyamjavyn Tsevegnyam, Mongolian: Нямжавын Цэвэгням) in Nalaikh, Ulan Bator, Mongolia is a professional sumo wrestler. He made his debut in March 1992 out of Ōshima stable, with the first group of Mongolians ever to join the sport in Japan, reaching the top makuuchi division in January 1998. Now the longest serving active member of the top division, he has received seven special prizes for Fighting Spirit, has won one yūshō (or tournament), in May 2012, which made him at 37 the oldest first–time yūshō winner in sumo history, and has been runner-up in one other tournament. He is the first wrestler since the 1950s to be ranked in the top division after the age of 40, and only Oshio has fought more career bouts. His highest rank has been sekiwake, which he has held on three occasions. He acquired Japanese citizenship in 2005. In November 2014 he became the oldest wrestler to have a winning tournament since the advent of the modern sumo schedule in 1958.[1]

Career[edit]

In 1991, Tsevegnyam came to Japan with five other Mongolian wrestlers, including Kyokushūzan, joining Ōshima stable. They were the first Mongolians to join professional sumo. In Mongolia he had had little experience of wrestling or judo, concentrating on basketball in junior high school. Six months after they came to Japan, due to cultural difference, language problems, and the extremely harsh training methods used in sumo, Kyokutenhō, Kyokushuzan and three others ran away and sought refuge in the Mongolian embassy, but he was persuaded by Kyokutenzan to return to his stable.

In March 1996, he was promoted to the second highest jūryō division, achieving sekitori status for the first time. After temporarily dropping down to makushita, he slowly climbed the jūryō division and first won promotion to the top makuuchi division in January 1998. However, he did not establish himself in the division until May 1999. He won his first sanshō or special prize in January 2000. He first achieved a san'yaku rank in January 2002 when he was promoted to komusubi. He has earned two kinboshi or gold stars for yokozuna upsets at maegashira rank, defeating Takanohana in the latter's comeback tournament in September 2002 and fellow Mongolian Asashōryū in his first tournament as a yokozuna in March 2003, putting him third on the list of active kinboshi earners, tied with Wakanosato . He has also beaten Asashōryū and Musashimaru whilst ranked in san'yaku. He made his sekiwake debut in July 2003 but he has not achieved a kachi-koshi or winning score in his three attempts at the rank.

Kyokutenhō in May 2009.

On 28 April 2007 he caused a car accident in Tokyo.[2] He was punished for defying the Japan Sumo Association's ban on wrestlers driving cars by being forced to sit out the May tournament, resulting in demotion to the jūryō division. This broke a string of over 700 consecutive top division bouts dating from his re-entry into makuuchi in May 1999, the longest streak among active wrestlers. However, he won immediate promotion back to the top division with a 12-3 record in July. On his return to the top division in September he was runner-up to yokozuna Hakuhō, his first ever runner-up score in makuuchi. He was awarded his fifth Fighting Spirit prize. In March 2009 he was promoted to komusubi for the first time in 17 tournaments, and became the first former san'yaku wrestler since Mitoizumi in 1988 to drop to the jūryō division and make a return to the san'yaku ranks. He made komusubi once again in July 2009.

Following the retirement of Kaiō in July 2011 Kyokutenhō now has more career wins than any active wrestler and is the longest serving member of the top division, with Wakanosato a close second. He continued wrestling despite his mentor Ōshima oyakata retiring in April 2012, and has transferred along with his colleagues to Tomozuna stable.

Receiving the Prime Minister's cup in May 2012

In May 2012, in his first tournament for his new stable, he won his first Emperor's Cup by beating Tochiōzan in a playoff after both finished with 12-3 records. In this tournament, Kyokutenhō had been in professional sumo just over twenty years, and at 37 years and 8 months is the oldest wrestler ever to take a top division championship in modern sumo history.[3] He is also the first maegashira ranked wrestler to win a tournament since Kotomitsuki in 2001.[3] Also, as Kyokutenhō has acquired Japanese citizenship, he is technically the first Japanese to win the championship since Tochiazuma in January 2006,[4] although he will still be regarded as a 'foreign' champion in the Sumo Association's record book. His yūshō was the 50th won by a Mongolian born wrestler.[3]

Despite his tournament victory Kyokutenhō did not return to the san'yaku ranks for the July tournament, instead being ranked at maegashira 1. He is the first maegashira to win the yūshō and not achieve san'yaku promotion since Sadanoyama in 1961.[5] Kyokutenhō scored only 2–13 in this tournament, losing his first 13 bouts – the worst performance by a defending yūshō champion since Takatōriki also scored 2–13 in May 2000. At this point in his career, Kyokutenhō is not only the oldest active wrestler in the top division, he is the oldest wrestler in the top three divisions of professional sumo. In September 2014 he became the first 40 year old to be ranked in makuuchi since the six tournament a year system began in 1958,[6] and he also drew level with Terao on 1795 career appearances, behind only Oshio's 1891.[7]

Fighting style[edit]

Kyokutenhō is a solidly yotsu-sumo wrestler, favouring techniques which involve grabbing the opponent's mawashi or belt. He prefers a migi-yotsu (left hand outside, right hand inside) grip. Over half his career wins have come by a simple yori-kiri or force out, compared with an average of around 28 percent for all wrestlers.[8]

Family[edit]

In 2005, Kyuokutenhō obtained Japanese citizenship with the support of his stablemaster, ex ōzeki Asahikuni. His legal name is now Masaru Ōta (太田 勝 Ōta Masaru).[9] This will allow him to remain in sumo as a coach when he eventually retires from active competition. It had been thought he would become head of Ōshima stable when Asahikuni reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 in April 2012, but Kyokutenhō was still comfortably ranked in the top division at the time, and active wrestlers are not permitted to become stablemasters. He is married to a Japanese woman and his first child, a girl, was born in September 2008.

Kyokutenhō's brother Luvsandorj (Лувсандорж), nine years his junior, also became a sumo wrestler in 2000 under the name Fudoyama, but he never climbed higher than the third makushita division and retired in January 2008.

Career record[edit]

Kyokutenhō Masaru[10]
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
1992 x (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #47
6–1
 
West Jonidan #98
4–3
 
East Jonidan #72
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Jonidan #142
5–2
 
1993 West Jonidan #86
5–2
 
West Jonidan #44
5–2
 
West Jonidan #8
5–2
 
East Sandanme #71
4–3
 
East Sandanme #51
6–1
 
East Sandanme #5
3–4
 
1994 West Sandanme #19
5–2
 
West Makushita #53
4–3
 
East Makushita #44
2–5
 
East Sandanme #9
5–2
 
East Makushita #45
6–1
 
East Makushita #21
4–3
 
1995 West Makushita #16
3–4
 
East Makushita #24
3–4
 
East Makushita #33
4–3
 
East Makushita #27
4–3
 
East Makushita #19
4–3
 
East Makushita #13
4–3
 
1996 West Makushita #9
7–0–P
 
East Jūryō #13
9–6
 
West Jūryō #7
6–9
 
East Jūryō #12
8–7
 
West Jūryō #8
5–10
 
East Makushita #1
4–3
 
1997 West Jūryō #11
7–8
 
West Jūryō #12
8–7
 
East Jūryō #9
9–6
 
East Jūryō #4
8–7
 
East Jūryō #2
8–7
 
West Jūryō #1
9–6
 
1998 West Maegashira #15
9–6
 
East Maegashira #12
6–9
 
East Jūryō #1
8–7
 
West Maegashira #15
4–11
 
East Jūryō #5
8–7
 
West Jūryō #2
6–9
 
1999 East Jūryō #6
9–6
 
East Jūryō #1
8–7
 
East Maegashira #14
9–6
 
West Maegashira #10
7–8
 
East Maegashira #12
8–7
 
East Maegashira #8
6–9
 
2000 East Maegashira #13
11–4
F
West Maegashira #2
4–11
 
East Maegashira #6
7–8
 
West Maegashira #7
9–6
 
East Maegashira #3
4–11
 
West Maegashira #6
7–8
 
2001 East Maegashira #8
10–5
 
East Maegashira #1
3–12
 
West Maegashira #7
6–9
 
East Maegashira #11
8–7
 
East Maegashira #8
9–6
 
West Maegashira #5
8–7
 
2002 East Komusubi
6–9
 
East Maegashira #2
6–9
 
West Maegashira #4
6–9
 
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
East Maegashira #3
8–7
East Komusubi
7–8
 
2003 East Maegashira #2
8–7
 
East Maegashira #1
9–6
F
West Komusubi
10–5
F
West Sekiwake
6–9
 
East Maegashira #2
10–5
F
West Sekiwake
4–11
 
2004 West Maegashira #3
8–7
 
West Maegashira #2
10–5
 
East Sekiwake
6–9
 
East Maegashira #1
8–7
 
East Komusubi
5–10
 
West Maegashira #3
5–10
 
2005 East Maegashira #6
10–5
 
East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #3
6–9
 
West Maegashira #5
8–7
 
West Maegashira #3
10–5
 
East Komusubi
8–7
 
2006 East Komusubi
4–11
 
East Maegashira #5
11–4
 
East Komusubi
5–10
 
West Maegashira #2
6–9
 
West Maegashira #4
6–9
 
East Maegashira #6
8–7
 
2007 East Maegashira #3
8–7
 
East Maegashira #2
4–11
 
East Maegashira #8
Suspended
0–0–15
West Jūryō #3
12–3–P
 
West Maegashira #12
12–3
F
West Maegashira #4
4–11
 
2008 West Maegashira #10
10–5
 
West Maegashira #4
8–7
 
East Maegashira #2
4–11
 
East Maegashira #9
10–5
 
East Maegashira #3
6–9
 
West Maegashira #6
10–5
 
2009 West Maegashira #1
9–6
 
West Komusubi
6–9
 
West Maegashira #2
8–7
 
East Komusubi
6–9
 
West Maegashira #2
5–10
 
West Maegashira #6
8–7
 
2010 West Maegashira #5
8–7
 
East Maegashira #2
3–12
 
West Maegashira #7
9–6
 
East Maegashira #3
7–8
 
West Maegashira #3
4–11
 
East Maegashira #9
9–6
 
2011 East Maegashira #6
7–8
 
East Maegashira #8
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
East Maegashira #2
2–13
 
West Maegashira #10
11–4
 
West Maegashira #2
4–11
 
2012 West Maegashira #6
9–6
 
East Maegashira #3
5–10
 
West Maegashira #7
12–3–P
F
East Maegashira #1
2–13
 
East Maegashira #11
10–5
 
East Maegashira #6
10–5
 
2013 West Maegashira #2
4–11
 
West Maegashira #8
7–8
 
East Maegashira #9
9–6
 
East Maegashira #4
6–9
 
West Maegashira #6
8–7
 
East Maegashira #2
5–10
 
2014 West Maegashira #5
6–9
 
West Maegashira #8
9–6
 
West Maegashira #3
3–12
 
East Maegashira #12
6–9
 
East Maegashira #14
8–7
 
West Maegashira #11
10–5
F
2015 East Maegashira #7

 
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. ^ "Kyokutenho bouts by kimarite". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 15 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Kyokutenho suspended by JSA". Japan Times. 2007-05-08. Retrieved 2008-07-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "Kyokutenho beats Tochiōzan for title". Japan Times. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Buckton, Mark (29 May 2012). "Kyokutenho: the first Japanese yusho in six-plus years . . . sort of". Japan Times. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "2012 July Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. Archived from the original on June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Hakuho collects win on first day of basho". The Japan Times. Japan Times. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Heavy impact: Hakuho wins 31st title". The Japan News. 28 September 2014. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Kyokutenho bouts by kimarite". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 15 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Sumo offers stable life to man from Mongolia". The Japan Times. 2007-05-02. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  10. ^ "Kyokutenhō Masaru Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-09-23. 

External links[edit]