Amūru Mitsuhiro

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Amūru Mitsuhiro
阿夢露 光大
Amuru 2012 Jan.JPG
Personal information
BornNikolai Yuryevich Ivanov
(1983-08-25) August 25, 1983 (age 35)
Lesozavodsk, Primorsky Krai, Russia
Height1.92 m (6 ft 3 12 in)
Weight132 kg (291 lb)
Career
StableOnomatsu
Record411-339-68
DebutMay, 2002
Highest rankMaegashira 5 (November 2015)
RetiredMay 2018
Championships1 (Sandanme)
1 (Jonidan)
* Up to date as of March 23, 2018.

Amūru Mitsuhiro (阿夢露 光大, born August 25, 1983 as Nikolai Yuryevich Ivanov) is a former professional sumo wrestler from Lesozavodsk, Primorsky Krai, Russia. After an initial influx of Russian wrestlers from the early 2000s, he was the last ethnic Russian in top level sumo. He made his debut in May 2002 and, after a serious knee injury in 2012 sent him down the rankings, reached the top makuuchi division in November 2014. His highest rank was maegashira 5. He had nine tournaments ranked in the top division, but finished his career in the third highest makushita division.

Early life and sumo background[edit]

Ivanov had no exposure to sumo in early life, though he was active in boxing during his student years. Later, his brother-in-law, who was Japanese, recommended he give sumo a try. With the help of the professional wrestler Akira Taue he was able to make a contact with former sekiwake Masurao, who was the owner of Onomatsu stable. He came to Japan and joined sumo together with the two Russian brothers who would join Kitanoumi stable and take the ring names Rohō and Hakurozan.[1] His ring name is derived from the Amur River in his region of Russia, and the three Chinese characters that comprise it are the first character in Onomatsu, the character for dream to represent Ivanov's dream of coming to Japan as a sumo wrestler, and the character used to represent Russia. The name was devised by the Japanese poet Daizaburō Nakayama.[2]

Career[edit]

Until he reached the sandanme division he advanced at a steady rate, but still being only around 90 kilograms with a tall thin build, his advance slowed and for the next four years he traveled back and forth between the sandanme and makushita divisions. The brothers Rohō and Hakurozan had by this time already become regulars in the salaried ranks. However, Amūru gradually started to put on weight and by 2008 had become a makushita regular. It was in this year that the other three ethnic Russian wrestlers (Wakanohō was the third) were expelled for cannabis use,[3] leaving Amūru as the only ethnic Russian in professional sumo.

He worked his way slowly up through this division, but in July 2010 at his highest rank yet of makushita 8, he seriously injured his right knee, tearing ligaments against future top division wrestler Masunoyama and was out for the rest of the tournament. This would be the beginning of his injury troubles. He also missed the November 2010 and January 2011 tournaments due to the injury. He opted against surgery, fearing he would be out for so long that he would fall off the banzuke completely, and instead worked on rehabilitating his knee injury. He had fallen to the middle ranks of sandanme by the time he was able to return in May 2011, but managed a 6-1 record. In the following July 2011 tournament he won all seven of his bouts and a playoff to take the sandanme championship, the first of his career. This skyrocketed him back to his career best rank of makushita 8 for the September tournament where he achieved a 5-2 record. He followed this with a 6-1 record and a second chance at a championship before losing on the final day in a playoff against Shōsei.[4]

This record would allow him to finally be promoted to the professional ranks of jūryō for the January 2012 tournament. This achievement took him 57 tournaments, the second slowest promotion for a foreign born wrestler to the sekitori ranks after the Brazilian Wakaazuma who took 58 tournaments. His jūryō debut was impressive, as he only had one loss in the first 11 days. However, on the 12th day, in a loss to Kotoyūki, he seriously re-injured his right knee, and was out of the tournament. He had surgery on his knee in March of the same year, and then focused on rehabilitation. He would not return to the ring for the next five tournaments.

He dropped all the way to the ranks of jonidan by the time he was finally able to come back. His return was impressive however, as he chalked up a 7-0 perfect record and took the championship for the division. After this return, he had a strong showing in every subsequent tournament, never losing more than 2 bouts in 7, as he rose up again through the unsalaried ranks. He reached jūryō again in March 2014 and four consecutive winning tournaments, culminating in a 9-6 record at jūryō 1 saw him promoted to the makuuchi top division for the November 2014 tournament.[5] He could only manage five wins against ten losses in his makuuchi debut however, and was relegated back to the second division for the January 2015 tournament.

Amūru made an immediate return to the top division after securing eight wins at jūryō 1 and in May 2015 recorded his first winning score in makuuchi. After two more winning records in July and September he reached his highest rank to date of maegashira 5 in the November tournament. He withdrew from the May 2016 tournament on the second day after suffering an injury, but returned from the seventh day. He ended the tournament with only three wins and was relegated to jūryō after a run of eight tournaments in the top division. He lost sekitori status after the January 2017 tournament when a 5–10 record at Jūryō 10 saw him demoted to makushita.

Retirement[edit]

Amūru announced his retirement at a press conference at the beginning of the May 2018 tournament, citing a left shoulder injury that had reduced his power.[6] He said he hopes to become a sports trainer.[6]

Fighting style[edit]

Amūru was a yotsu–sumo wrestler who preferred a hidari–yotsu, or right hand outside and left hand inside grip on his opponent's mawashi. His most common winning kimarite were yorikiri or force out (which accounted for over 40% of his wins), hatakikomi or slap down and okuridashi or rear push out.[7]

Career record[edit]

Amūru Mitsuhiro[4]
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
2002 x x (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #43
5–2
 
West Jonidan #109
5–2
 
West Jonidan #65
4–3
 
2003 West Jonidan #44
3–4
 
East Jonidan #57
4–3
 
East Jonidan #31
6–1
 
East Sandanme #68
2–5
 
West Jonidan #3
4–3
 
West Sandanme #83
3–4
 
2004 West Sandanme #97
3–4
 
East Jonidan #11
5–2
 
East Sandanme #75
3–4
 
East Sandanme #89
4–3
 
East Sandanme #71
5–2
 
East Sandanme #39
4–3
 
2005 East Sandanme #24
5–2
 
West Makushita #60
2–5
 
East Sandanme #25
4–3
 
West Sandanme #12
5–2
 
East Makushita #53
3–4
 
West Sandanme #4
3–4
 
2006 West Sandanme #16
4–3
 
West Sandanme #2
3–4
 
East Sandanme #17
4–3
 
East Sandanme #5
3–4
 
East Sandanme #24
5–2
 
West Makushita #59
3–4
 
2007 East Sandanme #15
5–2
 
East Makushita #56
2–5
 
East Sandanme #23
4–3
 
West Sandanme #12
4–2–1
 
West Sandanme #1
6–1
 
East Makushita #29
5–2
 
2008 West Makushita #16
4–3
 
West Makushita #12
2–5
 
West Makushita #23
4–3
 
West Makushita #19
3–4
 
East Makushita #27
3–4
 
West Makushita #34
3–4
 
2009 West Makushita #43
4–3
 
East Makushita #36
5–2
 
West Makushita #21
3–4
 
West Makushita #28
5–2
 
East Makushita #19
2–5
 
East Makushita #32
4–3
 
2010 West Makushita #25
5–2
 
West Makushita #17
4–3
 
East Makushita #13
4–3
 
East Makushita #8
0–3–4
 
West Makushita #43
5–2
 
East Makushita #28
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
2011 West Sandanme #8
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7

Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
West Sandanme #68
6–1
 
West Sandanme #3
7–0–P
Champion

 
East Makushita #8
5–2
 
West Makushita #2
6–1
 
2012 West Jūryō #11
10–3–2
 
East Jūryō #3
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Makushita #3
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Makushita #43
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Sandanme #23
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Sandanme #83
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
2013 East Jonidan #44
7–0
Champion

 
West Sandanme #44
5–2
 
East Sandanme #17
6–1
 
East Makushita #41
6–1
 
East Makushita #19
5–2
 
West Makushita #9
5–2
 
2014 East Makushita #4
5–2
 
East Jūryō #13
8–7
 
East Jūryō #9
8–7
 
East Jūryō #6
10–5
 
West Jūryō #1
9–6
 
East Maegashira #14
5–10
 
2015 East Jūryō #1
8–7
 
East Maegashira #16
7–8
 
West Maegashira #16
9–6
 
West Maegashira #10
8–7
 
West Maegashira #7
8–7
 
East Maegashira #5
4–11
 
2016 West Maegashira #11
7–8
 
West Maegashira #11
7–8
 
West Maegashira #12
3–8–4
 
West Jūryō #5
9–6
 
West Jūryō #3
6–9
 
East Jūryō #7
7–8
 
2017 East Jūryō #10
5–10
 
East Makushita #1
3–4
 
West Makushita #4
1–6
 
West Makushita #20
4–3
 
East Makushita #15
2–5
 
East Makushita #29
5–2
 
2018 West Makushita #18
3–4
 
West Makushita #24
2–5
 
East Makushita #39
Retired
0–0
x x x
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Top Division Runner-up 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』Magazine January 2012 p. 32
  2. ^ http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/e-japan/chiba/kikaku/106/22.htm Connecting tradition, Onomatsu stable backs a dream - YOMIURI ONLINE
  3. ^ "Japan bans Russian sumo wrestlers". CNN. 2008-09-08. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2014-10-05.
  4. ^ a b "Amuru Mitsuhiro Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2014-10-05.
  5. ^ http://sankei.jp.msn.com/sports/news/140129/mrt14012910110000-n1.htm Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine After 17 tournaments a return to jūryō - MSN Sankei News 2014/1/29
  6. ^ a b "引退阿夢露「幸せ」今後はスポーツトレーナー目指す (Amuru "happy" in retirement, aims to be sports trainer" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Amuru profile". 日本相撲協会公式サイト. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08.

External links[edit]