Takanohana stable (貴乃花部屋 Takanohana-beya?) is a stable of sumo wrestlers, formerly one of the Nishonoseki group of stables, and is now the leader of the Takanohana group, now a newly recognized ichimon. It was known as Futagoyama stable until 2004.
Futagoyama stable was established in 1962 by former Yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji I, who branched off from Hanakago stable and converted his home near the Minami Asagaya station into the stable headquarters.Its first sekitori was komusubi Futagodake. It was very strong in the late 1970s and early 1980s when it produced two yokozuna and two ōzeki, one of whom, Takanohana Kenshi, was the stable master's younger brother. From the promotion of Takanohana Kenshi to komusubi in May 1972 until the retirement of Wakashimazu in July 1987 the stable always had at least one wrestler in the titled san'yaku ranks.
Takanohana Kenshi established Fujishima stable upon his retirement as an active wrestler in 1982, and when his elder brother reached the mandatory oyakata retirement age of 65 in February 1993, Fujishima and Futagoyama stable were merged and continued under the Futagoyama name. At its peak in the mid 1990s the merged stable had a yokozuna, two ōzeki, and several other san'yaku regulars. During this period it had 50 wrestlers in total, and ten in the top division: Takanohana, Wakanohana III, Takanonami, Akinoshima, Takatōriki and Toyonoumi (from Fujishima) and Takamisugi, Misugisato, Naminohana and Wakashoyo (from Futagoyama). This unprecedented dominance led to suggestions that the Japan Sumo Association should not have approved the merger, as it gave these wrestlers an unfair advantage over their opponents as they never had to face each other in tournament competition. Takanohana's yokozuna rival Akebono by contrast, had to fight everyone as there were no other wrestlers from his stable in the top two divisions.
By the early 2000s the stable had begun to decline, and in 2004 Takanohana Kenshi retired due to ill health. His son Takanohana Kōji took over, renaming the stable Takanohana-beya. The stable's last sekitori, Takanonami, retired shortly afterwards. Under Takanohana Kōji's stewardship the stable initially failed to attract many recruits, and retirements reduced the number of active wrestlers to as low as seven in 2007. Recruitment has since picked up, with seven new wrestlers joining between the March 2008 and May 2009 tournaments. As of May 2012 the stable has thirteen wrestlers, among them a foreigner, Mongolian Takanoiwa, who was recruited in November 2008. In November 2009 he took the championship in the sandanme division, the first yūshō for the stable since it was renamed. Takanoiwa earned promotion to jūryō in May 2012, the first new sekitori at the stable since Gokenzan in March 1995, and reached the top makuuchi division in January 2014, ending a ten year drought for the stable.
In January 2010 the Takanohana stable, along with the Ōnomatsu, Ōtake and Magaki stable, was forced to leave the Nishonoseki ichimon after Takanohana declared his intention to run as an unofficial candidate in the elections to the Sumo Association's board of directors.
Notable active wrestlers
- Tokiwayama Takakatsu (iin, former komusubi Takamisugi)
- Otowayama Sadahiro (iin, former ōzeki Takanonami)
- Tatsutagawa Kenichi (toshiyori, former maegashira Kōbō)
Notable former members
- Wakanohana Kanji II (the 56th yokozuna)
- Takanosato Toshihide (the 59th yokozuna)
- Wakanohana Masaru (the 66th yokozuna)
- Takanohana Kenshi (former ōzeki)
- Wakashimazu Mutsuo (former ōzeki)
- Takanonami Sadahiro (former ōzeki)
- Takatōriki Tadashige (former sekiwake)
- Akinoshima Katsumi (former sekiwake)
- Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0283-x.
- Newton, Clyde (2001-01-07). "Takanohana, Kaio favored in New Year sumo tourney". Japan Times. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- Panek, Mark (2006). Gaijin Yokozuna. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-3043-1.
- "Takanohana speaks out after six supporters kicked out of sumo faction". Mainichi Daily News. 20 January 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2010.[dead link]
- List of sumo stables
- List of active sumo wrestlers
- List of past sumo wrestlers
- Glossary of sumo terms