Fujizakura Yoshimori

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Fujizakura Yoshimori
富士櫻栄守
Personal information
Born Hideo Nakasawa
(1948-02-09) February 9, 1948 (age 69)
Kōfu, Yamanashi, Japan
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 129 kg (284 lb; 20.3 st)
Career
Stable Takasago
Record 788-827-30
Debut March, 1963
Highest rank Sekiwake (March, 1974)
Retired March, 1985
Championships 1 (Jūryō)
1 (Makushita)
Special Prizes Technique (3)
Outstanding Performance (3)
Fighting Spirit (3)
Gold Stars 9
Wajima (3)
Wakanohana II (3)
Kitanoumi (2)
Kotozakura
* Up to date as of July 2012.

Fujizakura Yoshimori (富士櫻栄守) (born 9 February 1948 as Hideo Nakasawa) is a former sumo wrestler from Kōfu, Yamanashi, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. He wrestled for Takasago stable. He made his debut in 1963 and had one of the longest professional careers of any wrestler, fighting 1613 bouts in total, of which 1543 were consecutive.[1] This latter record is second only to Aobajō. After his retirement in 1985 he was an elder of the Japan Sumo Association and the head coach of Nakamura stable.

Career[edit]

He was the eldest son of a farmer, and was enrolled in the judo club at junior high school. He made his professional debut in March 1963. He was given the shikona of Fujizakura, meaning "cherry of Fuji", a reference to the prefectural flower of Yamanashi, a small pale red and white flower that blooms only around Mount Fuji. He reached sekitori status in January 1970 and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in September 1971 He was a runner-up in only his second honbasho or tournament in the division and was awarded the Fighting Spirit Prize. He fought in makuuchi for 73 tournaments in total, winning eight special prizes, and nine gold stars for defeating yokozuna. His highest rank was sekiwake, which he reached in March 1974.

He was demoted to the juryo division on two occasions in 1979 and 1980, but each time made an immediate comeback to makuuchi. His final top division tournament was in January 1984, where he had to withdraw through injury – coincidentally, his long-time stablemate Takamiyama withdrew from the same tournament and this was also his final makuuchi appearance. This brought to an end Fujizakura's run of 1543 consecutive appearances from his professional debut, which was the most in sumo history at the time. As of 2017 it is second only to Aobajō's 1630 consecutive bouts.

He was a favourite of Emperor Hirohito, a noted fan of sumo.[2] His May 1975 bout with Kirinji in which he thrust at his opponent over 50 times but lost, was named one of the "Best 10 All Time Battles in Ozumo" by the Nikkei newspaper.[2]

Retirement from sumo[edit]

Fujizakura retired in March 1985, after facing demotion to the makushita division. He became an elder of the Japan Sumo Association, opening up Nakamura stable in 1986,[3] taking four jonokuchi ranked wrestlers from Takasago stable. He had a policy of not accepting foreign-born wrestlers or makushita tsukedashi entrants with a college sumo background, and encouraged his wrestlers to obtain high school diplomas by correspondence courses over the internet. He produced a handful of juryo ranked wrestlers but none reached the top division. He also served as a judge of tournament bouts for over 20 years,[2] and held the post of Deputy Director of Judging. Nakamura stable closed at the end of 2012, and he retired from the Sumo Association upon turning 65 in February 2013.

Fighting style[edit]

Fujizakura was a pusher-thruster who preferred oshi-sumo techniques to fighting on the mawashi or belt (yotsu-sumo). His speciality was tsuppari, a series of rapid thrusts to the opponent's chest. He was small by sumo standards, but was such an enthusiastic trainer in his younger days that he even had to be warned by his stablemaster at the time, former yokozuna Maedayama, not to over-train.

Personal life[edit]

His eldest son Shinwa Nakasawa (ja), born in 1976, is a folk singer.

Career record[edit]

Fujizakura Yoshimori[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
1963 x (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #25
4–3
 
West Jonidan #61
3–4
 
East Jonidan #73
2–5
 
East Jonidan #87
4–3
 
1964 East Jonidan #60
4–3
 
East Jonidan #39
2–5
 
East Jonidan #56
3–4
 
East Jonidan #60
5–2
 
East Jonidan #18
5–2
 
West Sandanme #75
4–3
 
1965 West Sandanme #56
3–4
 
West Sandanme #66
2–5
 
East Sandanme #89
3–4
 
West Jonidan #1
4–3
 
West Sandanme #83
1–6
 
East Jonidan #13
5–2
 
1966 West Sandanme #73
5–2
 
East Sandanme #45
5–2
 
West Sandanme #16
3–4
 
East Sandanme #22
5–2
 
West Makushita #83
5–2
 
West Makushita #58
3–4
 
1967 East Makushita #69
4–3
 
West Makushita #58
3–4
 
West Sandanme #11
4–3
 
East Makushita #59
3–4
 
West Sandanme #7
2–5
 
East Sandanme #22
3–4
 
1968 West Sandanme #28
6–1
 
West Makushita #54
6–1
 
East Makushita #28
6–1
 
East Makushita #11
3–4
 
East Makushita #17
3–4
 
West Makushita #22
3–4
 
1969 West Makushita #27
7–0
Champion

 
East Makushita #1
1–6
 
West Makushita #15
4–3
 
East Makushita #12
5–2
 
East Makushita #3
3–4
 
West Makushita #5
5–2
 
1970 West Jūryō #13
9–6
 
West Jūryō #6
5–10
 
East Jūryō #13
10–5
 
West Jūryō #5
6–9
 
East Jūryō #11
9–6
 
West Jūryō #7
6–9
 
1971 West Jūryō #11
10–5
 
East Jūryō #4
8–7
 
East Jūryō #3
9–6
 
West Jūryō #2
10–5
 
East Maegashira #12
9–6
 
West Maegashira #6
11–4
F
1972 East Maegashira #1
7–8
 
West Maegashira #2
6–9
 
West Maegashira #5
9–6
 
West Maegashira #1
9–6
 
East Komusubi #2
4–11
 
West Maegashira #5
5–10
 
1973 West Maegashira #9
6–9
 
East Maegashira #12
6–9
 
West Maegashira #8
8–7
 
West Maegashira #4
7–8
 
East Maegashira #5
8–7
West Maegashira #2
10–5
T
1974 East Komusubi #1
9–6
T
West Sekiwake #1
2–13
 
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
West Maegashira #3
5–10
 
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
West Maegashira #6
6–9
 
1975 East Maegashira #10
10–5
 
East Maegashira #3
8–7
 
West Maegashira #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #2
10–5
 
West Komusubi #1
7–8
 
West Maegashira #1
9–6
 
1976 East Komusubi #2
3–12
 
East Maegashira #7
8–7
 
East Maegashira #2
7–8
East Maegashira #3
7–8
 
West Maegashira #3
8–7
West Komusubi #1
6–9
 
1977 West Maegashira #2
5–10
 
West Maegashira #7
8–7
 
East Maegashira #4
9–6
 
West Komusubi #1
5–10
 
West Maegashira #4
7–8
 
West Maegashira #4
9–6
 
1978 East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #4
8–7
O
West Maegashira #1
7–8
 
West Maegashira #2
9–6
O
West Sekiwake #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #3
7–8
 
1979 West Maegashira #4
10–5
T
West Komusubi #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #2
3–12
 
East Maegashira #12
5–10
 
West Jūryō #2
10–5–PP
 
West Maegashira #11
9–6
 
1980 West Maegashira #3
7–8
West Maegashira #3
3–12
East Maegashira #11
7–8
 
West Maegashira #11
5–10
 
East Jūryō #3
12–3–P
Champion

 
East Maegashira #10
8–7
 
1981 West Maegashira #6
10–5
F
West Komusubi #1
3–12
 
West Maegashira #4
5–10
 
West Maegashira #9
7–8
 
West Maegashira #10
7–8
 
West Maegashira #10
9–6
 
1982 West Maegashira #4
3–12
 
West Maegashira #7
7–8
 
East Maegashira #9
10–5
 
West Maegashira #1
7–8
 
West Maegashira #1
4–11
 
East Maegashira #6
7–8
 
1983 West Maegashira #6
4–11
 
East Maegashira #11
7–8
 
East Maegashira #12
8–7
 
East Maegashira #6
6–9
 
East Maegashira #10
10–5
F
East Maegashira #1
4–11
 
1984 West Maegashira #10
0–4–11
 
West Jūryō #5
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
West Jūryō #5
8–7
 
East Jūryō #2
6–9
 
East Jūryō #6
10–5
 
West Jūryō #3
4–7–4
 
1985 West Jūryō #9
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
West Jūryō #9
Retired
3–12
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. ^ Schilling, Mark (1994). Sumo: A Fan's Guide. Japan Times. p. 77. ISBN 4-7890-0725-1. 
  2. ^ a b c Michiko Kodama (February 2009). "Heya Peek: Nakamura Beya" (PDF). Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 12 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. p. 200. ISBN 0-8348-0283-X. 
  4. ^ "Fujizakura Yoshimori Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-07-27.