Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi

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Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi
北勝海 信芳
Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi Hakkaku IMG 5617-2 20170304.jpg
Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi
Personal information
Born Nobuyoshi Hoshi
(1963-06-22) June 22, 1963 (age 53)
Hokkaidō, Japan
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 151 kg (333 lb)
Career
Stable Kokonoe
Record 591-286-124
Debut March 1979
Highest rank Yokozuna (May, 1987)
Retired May 1992
Championships 8 (Makuuchi)
1 (Jūryō)
1 (Makushita)
1 (Jonidan)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (3)
Fighting Spirit (3)
Technique (5)
Gold Stars 1 (Kitanoumi)
* Up to date as of July 2012.

Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi (北勝海 信芳, born June 22, 1963, as Nobuyoshi Hoshi (保志 信芳)) is a former sumo wrestler from Hokkaidō, Japan. He is the sport's 61st yokozuna and won eight top division championships. He wrestled for Kokonoe stable, as did yokozuna Chiyonofuji, and the two were the first yokozuna stablemates to take part in a play-off for the championship, in 1989. After a number of injury problems he retired in 1992, and is now the head coach of Hakkaku stable. In November 2015 he was appointed the chairman of the Japan Sumo Association, following the death of Kitanoumi,[1] initially to serve until the end of March 2016. He was then elected as head for a two-year term by his fellow board members in a vote held on March 28, 2016.

Early life[edit]

Hoshi was born in Hiroo town, Hiroo District, Tokachi, Hokkaidō, Japan. An uncle was an acquaintance of former yokozuna Kitanofuji, who by then had retired from wrestling and was running Kokonoe stable, and at his invitation Hoshi moved to Tokyo. Upon leaving school, his first appearance in the ring was March 1979, aged just 15, using his own name as his shikona, or fighting name. Also starting at the same time was future yokozuna Futahaguro.

Makuuchi[edit]

It took him four years to reach the second highest jūryō division in March 1983, aged 19, the same time as fellow Tokachi district rival Ōnokuni entered the top division. By this time his stablemate Chiyonofuji had been promoted to yokozuna. Hokutoumi made his debut in the top makuuchi division in September 1983. In March 1986 at sekiwake rank he won his first yūshō or tournament title with a record of thirteen wins and two losses. Despite this impressive result he was not immediately promoted to the second highest ōzeki rank as he had not done particularly well in the previous two tournaments, only managing 30 wins in the most recent three tournaments when 33 is generally required. It also did not help his cause that there were already five ōzeki, leaving the Sumo Association with no incentive to loosen the promotion criteria. However, he carried on producing excellent results with an 11-4 in May, and then went 12-3 in July, securing his promotion for the September tournament. Futahaguro was promoted to yokozuna at the same time.

At this point he was still fighting under his real name, and his coach decided a new name was appropriate. He wished to acknowledge his home district of Tokachi, but the kanji for Tokachi (十勝) literally mean 'ten wins' and it was felt that this might be bad luck, limiting his wins in any tournament to ten. As a compromise, he took the name Hokutoumi (北勝海), taking the kanji 勝 ('win') from the second kanji of Tokachi but pronouncing it as the first kanji.

Yokozuna[edit]

After his second tournament title in March 1987 and a runner-up performance in May, he was promoted to yokozuna for the July tournament. In 1988 he suffered a severe back injury which kept him out of three tournaments. It also appeared he would miss the start of the January 1989 tournament, but it was delayed due to the death of the emperor, and he came back to win the tournament. He also won the May tournament. In July, he took part in an historic play-off with Chiyonofuji - the first time ever that two yokozuna from the same stable had met in the ring (the rules of sumo state that wrestlers from the same stable can only fight each other in a play-off).

On the last day of the March 1990 tournament, he fought in a rare three-way play-off with ōzeki Konishiki and sekiwake Kirishima (who was promoted to ōzeki after the tournament). In a play-off, wrestlers fight each other in turn, the first to win two consecutive bouts winning the tournament. First, Hokutoumi fought Konishiki and lost. Konishiki was then drawn up against Kirishima. Konishiki only needed to win this bout for the tournament, but Kirishima won. Next was Kirishima against Hokutoumi, Kirishima needing just this bout for his first yūshō. Hokutoumi won. Hokutoumi then beat Konishiki in the next bout, thus winning the tournament.

On the fourteenth day of the March 1991 tournament, he injured his left knee during a bout with Ōnokuni, but managed to go on to win the tournament with 13 wins. After this, Hokutoumi had many absences due to his knee. At this time there were four yokozuna, but Chiyonofuji retired in May, Ōnokuni in July and Asahifuji in January of the next year (1992), leaving Hokutoumi the sole yokozuna in March 1992. Left with this responsibility he struggled on, but his injury forced him to remove his name from the May banzuke and retire at the age of 28 years and 10 months. In the space of just one year, all four yokozuna had retired. Hokutoumi had fought 29 basho as yokozuna. Following his retirement, sumo went without a reigning yokozuna for eight months (an exceedingly rare occurrence), until the promotion of Akebono.

Retirement from the ring[edit]

Following his retirement Hokutoumi became a member of the Japan Sumo Association with the toshiyori name Hakkaku-oyakata. He opened up his own training stable, Hakkaku stable, which has had four top division wrestlers, Hokutōriki, Kaihō, Okinoumi, and Hokutofuji.

He occasionally appears on NHK sumo broadcasts as a commentator and analyst.

He proposed to a graduate of Konan Women's University in October 1989, and was married in March 1990.

On December 18, 2015, he was appointed as chairman of the Japan Sumo Association, after former chairman Kitanoumi died in office on November 20, 2015. He had been serving as an executive director of the board under Kitanoumi since 2012. His appointment was until the end of March 2016.[2] He then won a contested ballot on March 28, 2016, defeating Takanohana, and was confirmed for a further two-year term.[3]

Fighting style[edit]

Hokutoumi was primarily a oshi-sumo specialist, preferring pushing and thrusting techniques that got his opponents out of the ring as quickly as possible. He had a powerful tachi-ai, or initial charge, and his speciality was nodowa, a single-handed push to the throat. To do this he would lock up his opponent's right arm with his left (a technique known as ottsuke) and thrust with his right.[4] His most common winning kimarite by far were oshi-dashi and yori-kiri, which together accounted for around 60 percent of his wins at sekitori level.[5] When fighting on the mawashi he preferred a migi-yotsu (left hand outside, right hand inside) grip. He said in an interview with Channel 4 television that the technique he most enjoyed was tsuri-dashi or lift out, although he was only credited with this kimarite once in official tournament competition (against Terao in November 1989).[5]

Career record[edit]

Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi[6]
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
1979 x (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #15
5–2
 
West Jonidan #84
7–0
Champion

 
West Sandanme #85
3–4
 
West Jonidan #6
3–4
 
1980 West Jonidan #20
5–2
 
East Sandanme #71
3–4
 
West Sandanme #88
4–3
 
West Sandanme #78
4–3
 
East Sandanme #61
4–3
 
East Sandanme #39
2–5
 
1981 East Sandanme #60
6–1
 
East Sandanme #14
5–2
 
East Makushita #50
3–4
 
East Makushita #57
5–2
 
East Makushita #39
4–3
 
East Makushita #29
5–2
 
1982 East Makushita #14
4–3
 
East Makushita #10
3–4
 
East Makushita #18
5–2
 
East Makushita #10
3–4
 
East Makushita #22
6–1
 
East Makushita #7
4–3
 
1983 East Makushita #4
7–0
Champion

 
West Jūryō #10
8–7
 
East Jūryō #6
8–7
 
East Jūryō #5
10–5–P
Champion

 
West Maegashira #13
8–7
 
East Maegashira #7
9–6
F
1984 East Komusubi #1
9–6
F
West Sekiwake #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #3
9–6
 
East Komusubi #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #1
9–6
T
1985 West Sekiwake #1
10–5
O
East Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
East Sekiwake #2
7–8
 
West Komusubi #1
10–5
T
East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
West Sekiwake #1
9–6
T
1986 East Sekiwake #1
8–7
T
West Sekiwake #1
13–2
TO
East Sekiwake #1
11–4
F
East Sekiwake #1
12–3
O
East Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
East Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
1987 East Ōzeki #2
11–4
 
West Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
East Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
East Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
13–2
 
1988 West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
13–2–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Yokozuna #2
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Yokozuna #2
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
1989 East Yokozuna #2
14–1–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
Yokozuna #2
13–2–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
12–3–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
1990 West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna
13–2–PPP
 
East Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
East Yokozuna #2
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
9–6
 
1991 West Yokozuna #2
12–3
 
East Yokozuna #1
13–2
 
East Yokozuna #1
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
West Yokozuna #1
9–6
 
East Yokozuna #1
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
West Yokozuna #1
4–4–7
 
1992 East Yokozuna #1
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Yokozuna #1
0–3–12
 
East Yokozuna #1
Retired
0–0–15
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 great Kitanoumi dies at 62". Japan Times. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Hakkaku appointed JSA chairman". Japan Times. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Hakkaku reelected as JSA chief". Kyodo News. 28 March 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Miki, Shuji (21 April 2016). "JSA Chairman Hakkaku showed power in his reign as yokozuna". The Japan News. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Hokutoumi bouts by kimarite". Sumo Reference. 
  6. ^ "Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 

External links[edit]

Previous:
Futahaguro Kōji
61st Yokozuna
July 1987 - March 1992
Next:
Ōnokuni Yasushi
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kitanoumi Toshimitsu
Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association
2015-
Succeeded by
Incumbent