Wakakirin Shinichi

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Wakakirin Shinichi
若麒麟 真一
Wakakirin 08 Sep.jpg
Personal information
Born Shinichi Suzukawa
(1983-09-21) September 21, 1983 (age 30)
Kawanishi, Hyōgo, Japan
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 125 kg (276 lb)
Career
Stable Oguruma, formerly Oshiogawa
Record 279-232-22
Debut March, 1999
Highest rank Maegashira 9 (January, 2008)
Retired February, 2009
Championships 2 (Makushita)
* Up to date as of Jan 2009.

Wakakirin Shinichi (born September 21, 1983 as Shinichi Suzukawa) Japanese 鈴川真一 (Suzukawa Shinichi) is a former sumo wrestler from Hyōgo prefecture in Japan. His highest rank was maegashira 9. He was thrown out of the sport in February 2009 after being arrested for cannabis possession. In 2010 he became a professional wrestler.

Sumo career[edit]

Born in Kawanishi, he made his professional debut in March 1999. He is the fourth wrestler from that class to make the top division, following Kotomitsuki, Takamisakari and Hamanishiki, but the first to do so after making his debut at the lowest level of sumo entry, mae-zumo. He joined Oshiogawa stable. He began competing under his own surname, but upon reaching the second highest jūryō division for the first time in July 2004 his stablemaster Oshiogawa Oyakata honoured him with the name of Wakakirin. The "Kirin" part of his name, meaning giraffe or qilin, had only been given to three previous wrestlers: his own stablemaster (former ōzeki Daikirin), former sekiwake Kirinji, and Tamakirin, who quit sumo to become a professional wrestler.

Wakakirin scored an impressive ten wins in his jūryō debut, but in January 2005 he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that forced him to sit out two tournaments, resulting in demotion back to the unsalaried makushita division. The injury reduced the effectiveness of his favoured tsuppari, or thrusting techniques, and although he returned to the second division in January 2006 he could manage only four wins and was immediately demoted once again.

He slowly returned to full fitness and after a series of solid performances he took his second makushita championship in May 2007 with a perfect 7-0 record from the rank of makushita 3, to earn promotion back to jūryō. After scores of 10-5 in July and 9-6 in September, he was promoted to the top makuuchi division for the November 2007 tournament. In April 2005 Oshiogawa stable was absorbed into Oguruma stable, in anticipation of Oshiogawa Oyakata's retirement the following year. Wakakirin is the third member of Oguruma stable to make his top division debut, following Takekaze and Yoshikaze.

Wakakirin achieved ten wins in his top division debut, a feat that normally wins the Fighting Spirit Award, but he missed out, the prize going to Baruto instead. He was promoted to what was to be his highest rank of maegashira 9 for the January 2008 tournament, but disappointing scores of 4-11 there and 6-9 in March meant he was demoted back to the jūryō division. He missed out on a kachi-koshi winning score on the final day in May 2008, falling to 7-8. He scored 7-8 once again in July. He remained in the top half of jūryō after that, but did not win promotion back to the top division. He produced a good 9-6 score at jūryō 3 in January 2009 but lost to Tamawashi on the final day when a win would have virtually guaranteed a return to makuuchi.

Dismissal[edit]

On January 30, 2009 Wakakirin was arrested for possession of cannabis,[1] at a CD shop in Roppongi that had been monitored by police for some time. The following day, Oguruma, his stable master, declared his intention to dismiss him as a professional sumo wrestler in the wake of the scandal and submitted his letter of resignation to Japan Sumo Association by proxy. The Sumo Association fired him on February 2, deciding on dismissal rather than the heavier penalty of expulsion that would have deprived him of a 5.3 million yen retirement bonus.[2]

This decision split the Association and was criticised by some as being too lenient.[3] However, Wakakirin subsequently said he would not accept the severance pay.[4] An editorial in the Asahi Shimbun said the newspaper was "appalled by his utter folly" in taking the drug.[5] After being in jail for a month, Wakakirin was released on bail on February 27. He appeared at the Yokohama District Court on April 13 and pleaded guilty to cannabis possession.[6] On April 22 he was given a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for three years.[7] He was believed to be working for a time at his father's restaurant business.

Wakakirin is the fourth wrestler to be dismissed because of cannabis use, following Wakanohō, Rohō and Hakurozan, but the first Japanese.[2] In the same tests in September 2008 that led to Rohō and Hakurozan being dismissed, it was reported that Wakakirin's result was borderline, which put the wrestler under suspicion.[8]

The March 2009 banzuke or ranking list had a blank space where Wakakirin's name should have been (jūryō 1 West). This previously occurred with Wakanohō and Tokitsuumi, who retired between tournaments after the expulsion of his stablemaster.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

In 2010, Wakakirin, still using his sumo name returned to the ring as a professional wrestler, training in Antonio Inoki's Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) stable. His first match was on the IGF-13 card in December, when he defeated Mark Coleman by referee stop. The match was controversial, and Coleman's colleague, Phil Baroni accused Wakakirin of shooting on Coleman in what was supposed to be a worked match. He made his comments on this on the Nightmare of Battle website.

Wakakirin's next fight was scheduled for December 31 against Bob Sapp, but the match never took place as Sapp refused to leave his dressing room. He was also scheduled to face Kimbo Slice on February 5 in Fukuoka, but that fight never took place as Kimbo went down with an injury.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0–2 Bob Armstrong KO (Punch) IGF 1 - Inoki Genome Fight 1 April 5, 2014 1 2:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 0–1 Mirko Filipović Submission (Armbar) Inoki Bom-ba-ye 2012 December 31, 2012 1 1:18 Tokyo, Japan

Sumo career record[edit]

Wakakirin Shinichi[9]
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
1999 x (Banzukegai) East Jonokuchi #30
4–3
 
West Jonidan #161
2–5
 
East Jonokuchi #21
2–5
 
East Jonokuchi #30
5–2
 
2000 East Jonidan #122
3–4
 
West Jonidan #134
5–2
 
East Jonidan #79
1–6
 
West Jonidan #106
4–3
 
East Jonidan #79
4–3
 
West Jonidan #53
3–4
 
2001 East Jonidan #82
5–2
 
West Jonidan #39
5–2
 
East Jonidan #4
3–4
 
East Jonidan #18
6–1
 
East Sandanme #56
3–4
 
West Sandanme #78
5–2
 
2002 West Sandanme #46
4–3
 
West Sandanme #32
4–3
 
East Sandanme #20
5–2
 
West Makushita #57
3–4
 
West Sandanme #14
5–2
 
East Makushita #48
3–4
 
2003 West Sandanme #3
2–5
 
West Sandanme #29
5–2
 
West Sandanme #2
6–1
 
East Makushita #29
3–4
 
West Makushita #39
4–3
 
East Makushita #31
5–2
 
2004 West Makushita #18
4–3
 
East Makushita #16
4–3
 
East Makushita #12
5–2
 
East Makushita #2
4–3
 
West Jūryō #13
10–5
 
West Jūryō #9
7–8
 
2005 East Jūryō #10
7–8
 
East Jūryō #11
0–0–15
 
East Makushita #10
0–0–7
 
West Makushita #50
4–3
 
East Makushita #42
7–0
 
West Makushita #3
4–3
 
2006 East Jūryō #14
4–11
 
East Makushita #6
2–5
 
East Makushita #18
2–5
 
West Makushita #32
5–2
 
East Makushita #20
4–3
 
East Makushita #13
4–3
 
2007 East Makushita #9
4–3
 
West Makushita #7
5–2
 
West Makushita #3
7–0
 
West Jūryō #9
10–5
 
West Jūryō #2
9–6
 
West Maegashira #15
10–5
 
2008 West Maegashira #9
4–11
 
East Maegashira #15
6–9
 
East Jūryō #1
7–8
 
East Jūryō #2
7–8
 
East Jūryō #4
6–9
 
West Jūryō #6
9–6
 
2009 East Jūryō #3
9–6
 
West Jūryō #1
Retired
0–0–0
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. ^ "Sumo wrestler arrested for marijuana possession". International Herald Tribune. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  2. ^ a b "Wakakirin thrown out of sumo over drugs arrest". Daily Yomiuri Online. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-03. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Criticism builds over 'lenient' punishment". Daily Yomiuri Online. 2009-02-04. Retrieved 2009-02-05. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Tongan on Japan rugby team tests positive for marijuana". AFP. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  5. ^ "Marijuana use spreading". Asahi Shimbun. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Ex-sumo wrestler Wakakirin pleads guilty to marijuana possession". Breitbart.com. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2009. 
  7. ^ "Random sumo drug tests held". Japan Times. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  8. ^ "Wakakirin admits, denies buying dope from foreigner". Daily Yomiuri Online. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2009-02-03. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Wakakirin Shinichi Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 

http://nightmareofbattle.com/?p=4862—reference to Phil Baroni's comments in the wake of Wakakirin's fight against Mark Coleman at IGF-13.

www.fightopinion.com—reference to Wakakirin's upcoming New Year's Eve fight against Bob Sapp.

External links[edit]