Tachiyama Mineemon

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Tachiyama Mineemon
太刀山 峯右衞門
Tachiyama.jpg
Personal information
Born Kyuhachi Makise
(1877-08-15)August 15, 1877
Toyama, Japan
Died March 4, 1941(1941-03-04) (aged 63)
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 150 kg (330 lb)
Career
Stable Tomozuna
Record 211-30-73(11 draws)
Debut May, 1900
Highest rank Yokozuna (February, 1911)
Retired January, 1918
Championships 9 (Makuuchi, official)
2 (Makuuchi, unofficial)
* Up to date as of July 2007.

Tachiyama Mineemon (太刀山 峯右衞門?, August 15, 1877 - April 3, 1941) was a sumo wrestler from Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 22nd yokozuna. He was well known for his extreme strength and skill. He won 99 out of 100 matches from 1909 to 1916 (not counting draws), and also won eleven top division tournament championships (two of them unofficial).

Career[edit]

Tachiyama joined Tomozuna stable at the insistence of Taisuke Itagaki and Tsugumichi Saigo.[1] However, he was so strong that most of the wrestlers in the stable were unable to practice with him. Therefore, Hitachiyama Taniemon became his practical coach. He was promoted to yokozuna in February 1911.

His most feared skill was tsuki, or pushing.[2] On the 3rd day of June 1910 tournament, Tachiyama's thrusts caused komusubi Kohitachi Yoshitaro to fly over spectators where he fell in the 4th row of seats. Kohitachi was wounded and left the tournament. Tachiyama is reported to have waved a shell weighing 400 kg (880 lb) with one arm.[3] He was, however, good on the mawashi as well.[4]

Much taller and stronger than his contemporaries, Tachiyama never had a losing record (make-koshi) in his eighteen-year career, and whilst at the yokozuna rank lost only three bouts.[4] He once won 43 bouts in a row, lost one to Nishinoumi Kajirō II, then won another 56 in a row.[4] If he had not lost that match (which he later admitted was deliberate, to help out his rival yokozuna who was struggling at the time),[4] he would have set an all time record of 100 consecutive wins. As it stands, his second streak of 56 bouts, which began on the 9th day of the January 1912 tournament, is the fifth best in history after Futabayama, Tanikaze, Hakuho and Umegatani I.[4]

His run ended on the 8th day of May 1916 tournament, when he was finally defeated by Tochigiyama Moriya. On the final day of January 1917 tournament, he was defeated by Ōnishiki Uichirō. Tochigiyama and Ōnishiki were pupils of Hitachiyama. After this second loss, he retired.

In 1917, he said to wrestlers, "I will give you one bale of rice if you can walk around the dohyō shouldering me." A boy, who had not made his debut in professional sumo yet, acceded to his request. He failed at the first attempt but achieved at the 2nd attempt.[5] After about 15 years, the boy became yokozuna Tamanishiki San'emon.

His style of yokozuna dohyō-iri (ring-entering ceremony) came to be known as shiranui after it was imitated by later yokozuna Haguroyama. However, he insisted that his style was Unryū Kyūkichi's.[6]

His sheer strength and physical presence drew comparisons with Raiden Tameemon,[7] but also meant he was perhaps less popular with the general public than his predecessors Hitachiyama and Umegantani II.

After retiring from active competition he was briefly an elder of the Sumo Association under the name Azumazeki, but he left the sumo world in May 1919. In 1937 he became the first yokozuna to perform a kanreki dohyō-iri, or '60th year ring entrance ceremony' to commemorate his years as yokozuna.

Top Division Record[edit]

Tachiyama[8]
- Spring Summer
1903 East Maegashira #9
6–3–1
 
East Maegashira #2
4–4–1
1d

 
1904 East Maegashira #2
7–2–1
 
East Maegashira #1
8–1–1
Unofficial

 
1905 East Maegashira #1
7–1–1
1h

 
East Sekiwake
5–2–2
1d

 
1906 East Sekiwake
7–2–1
 
East Sekiwake
4–1–5
 
1907 East Sekiwake
5–1–3
1d

 
East Sekiwake
8–1–1
Unofficial

 
1908 East Sekiwake
6–2–1
1h

 
East Sekiwake
7–1–1
1d

 
1909 West Sekiwake
6–1–2
1d

 
West Ōzeki
8–2
 
1910 West Ōzeki
6–0–1
2d 1h

 
West Ōzeki
9–0
1d

 
1911 West Ōzeki
8–0
1d 1h

 
West Yokozuna
10–0
 
1912 East Yokozuna
8–1
1d

 
West Yokozuna
10–0
 
1913 Sat out East Yokozuna
10–0
 
1914 East Yokozuna
10–0
 
West Yokozuna
8–0–1
1h

 
1915 Sat out West Yokozuna
10–0
 
1916 Sat out West Yokozuna
9–1
 
1917 East Yokozuna
9–1
 
Sat out
1918 West Yokozuna
Retired
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

*Championships for the best record in a tournament were not recognized or awarded before the 1909 summer tournament and the above championships that are labelled "unofficial" are historically conferred. For more information see yūshō.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 板垣退助までも勧誘に乗り出した有望力士 (in Japanese). Japan Sumo Association. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Tachiyama Mineemon". National Diet Library. 2004. Retrieved 2008-04-17. 
  3. ^ 太刀山 峯右エ門 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0283-x. 
  5. ^ 玉錦 三右エ門 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  6. ^ "The 11th Yokozuna Shiranui Koemon". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  7. ^ Newton, Clyde (1994). Dynamic Sumo. Kodansha. p. 57. ISBN 4-7700-1802-9. 
  8. ^ "Tachiyama Mineemon Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. 
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22nd Yokozuna
1911 - 1918
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Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title