Minanogawa Tōzō

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Minanogawa Tōzō
男女ノ川 登三
Minanogawa.jpg
Personal information
Born Tomojiro Sakata
(1903-09-17)September 17, 1903
Ibaraki, Japan
Died January 20, 1971(1971-01-20) (aged 67)
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 146 kg (322 lb)
Career
Stable Takasago, Sadogatake
Record 294-155-34-1draw
Debut January 1924
Highest rank Yokozuna (January 1936)
Retired January 1942
Championships 2 (Makuuchi)
1 (Sandanme)
Gold Stars 2 (Tsunenohana, Tamanishiki)
* Up to date as of October 2012.

Minanogawa Tōzō (男女ノ川 登三, September 17, 1903 - January 20, 1971) was a sumo wrestler from Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan. He was the sport's 34th yokozuna.

Career[edit]

He had lost his father in the Russo-Japanese War at the age of two, and worked as a labourer to support his mother.[1] Already 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in) tall at the age of 15, very large for Japanese youths in his time, he was spotted by Takasago stable's Akutsugawa.[1] He made his debut in January 1924 and reached the second highest jūryō division after only six tournaments in January 1927. He initially relied on pushing techniques, or oshi-sumo, but began to develop a more rounded technique after being given instruction by former sekiwake Kiyosegawa.[1]

He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 1928. In 1929 Akutsugawa, the wrestler who had discovered him, retired and encouraged him to join his newly established Sadogatake stable.[1] However Takasago's stablemaster did not want his promising rikishi to leave and even changed Minanogawa's shikona to the prestigious Asashio Tarō to obligate him to stay. Eventually a compromise was worked out and Minanogawa divided his time between the two stables.[1]

He made komusubi in January 1930, and had two consecutive runner-up scores in October 1930 and January 1931, the second from the third highest sekiwake rank. Along with the lean and handsome Musashiyama he was one of the most popular men in sumo in this time.[1] However in 1931 he suffered a series of knee injuries, and in 1932 was caught up in the so-called "Shunjūen Incident", when a number of top division wrestlers went on strike. Minanogawa was out of the Japan Sumo Association for four tournaments and he and his followers held a number of their own rival tournaments with knockout rounds.[1]

He returned to the Sumo Association in 1933 and immediately took his first tournament championship with an unbeaten record, defeating Musashiyama, ōzeki Shimizugawa and yokozuna Tamanishiki, all of whom had stayed with the Association during the strike.[1] He reverted to the Minanogawa ring name and won his second championship in January 1934. This earned him promotion to ōzeki. He was promoted to yokozuna after a 9-2 runner-up score in January 1936, just one tournament after Musashiyama, and it was suggested that the double promotion was as a result of a deal between the Takasago and Dewanoumi factions.[1]

Although his record at yokozuna rank was not as bad as Musashiyama, who managed only one kachi-koshi winning score as a grand champion, Minanogawa was unable to win any further championships, and was overshadowed by Tamanishiki and the dominant Futabayama. He was never able to beat Futabayama as a yokozuna and had only one win over Tamanishiki. In May 1938 he could win only six out of 13 bouts, and became one of the very few yokozuna to compete in a full tournament and turn in a make-koshi losing score. By 1941 he was 36 years old and suffering from injuries, and he wanted to retire, but was asked to stay on until Maenoyama or Akinoumi were ready to replace him.[2] He eventually retired in January 1942, a tournament in which Akinoumi produced a strong 13-2 record.[2]

Retirement from sumo[edit]

Minanogawa had been able to stay in sumo as an elder due to his yokozuna ranking, but he had lost interest in sumo.[2] He had recently married and started a family, and had also done a law and economics degree at Waseda University.[2] He decided to resign from the Sumo Association (an irreversible decision) and run for election to parliament. However he lost badly and used up most of his severance pay from the Sumo Association.[2] He also lost money through gambling. He tried a succession of unsuccessful jobs and even had a bit part in a 1958 Hollywood film called The Barbarian and the Geisha.[2] He was eventually divorced from his wife and separated from his children, and in his later years was confined to a rest home and reliant on hand outs from fans and sumo officials.[2] He died in 1971, largely forgotten by the general public.

Career record[edit]

  • In 1927 Tokyo and Osaka sumo merged and four tournaments a year in Tokyo and other locations began to be held.
Minanogawa Tōzō[3]
- Spring
Haru basho, varied
Summer
Natsu basho, varied
1924 (Maezumo) Jonokuchi #16
4–2
 
1925 Jonidan #30
5–1
 
Sandanme #48
5–1
 
1926 West Sandanme #12
6–0
Champion

 
Makushita #10
4–2
 
- Spring
Haru basho, Tokyo
March
Sangatsu basho, varied
Summer
Natsu basho, Tokyo
October
Jūgatsu basho, varied
1927 East Jūryō #8
5–1
 
East Jūryō #8
4–5
 
East Jūryō #1
5–5–1
 
East Jūryō #6
9–2
 
1928 West Maegashira #14
6–5
 
East Maegashira #13
8–3
 
East Maegashira #10
7–4
 
East Maegashira #10
5–6
 
1929 West Maegashira #4
5–5
1d

 
West Maegashira #4
9–2
 
West Maegashira #2
6–5
 
West Maegashira #2
8–3
 
1930 West Komusubi #1
8–3
 
West Komusubi #1
6–5
 
West Maegashira #1
6–5
West Maegashira #1
9–2
 
1931 East Sekiwake #1
9–2
 
East Sekiwake #1
8–3
 
West Sekiwake #1
0–0–11
 
West Sekiwake #1
1–10
 
1932 Expelled Expelled Expelled Expelled
- Spring
Haru basho, Tokyo
Summer
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Autumn
Aki basho, Tokyo
1933 Maegashira
11–0
West Komusubi #1
8–3
 
Not held
1934 West Sekiwake #1
9–2
 
West Ōzeki #2
5–6
 
Not held
1935 West Ōzeki #2
9–2
 
West Ōzeki #1
8–3
 
Not held
1936 East Ōzeki #1
9–2
 
East Yokozuna #2
6–5
 
Not held
1937 West Yokozuna #1
7–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
0–0–13
 
Not held
1938 West Yokozuna #2
7–6
 
East Yokozuna #2
6–7
 
Not held
1939 East Yokozuna #2
11–2
 
West Yokozuna #1
9–6
 
Not held
1940 West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
Not held
1941 East Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
East Yokozuna #1
2–4–9
 
Not held
1942 West Yokozuna #1
Retired
9–6
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Retired Lower Divisions

Key:  =Kinboshi(s);   d=Draw(s) (引分);   h=Hold(s) (預り)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira
  • Minanogawa, along with many others, was expelled from the Sumo Association for striking. He was allowed to return to the top division for the 1933 Spring tournament but unranked. He still managed to take the championship.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kuroda, Joe (August 2006). "Rikishi of Old Minanogawa Tozo Part 1". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kuroda, Joe (October 2006). "Rikishi of Old Minanogawa Tozo Part 2". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  3. ^ "Minanogawa Tozo Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 

External links[edit]

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Musashiyama Takeshi
34th Yokozuna
1936 - 1942
Next:
Futabayama Sadaji
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title