Azumafuji Kin'ichi

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東富士 欽壹
Azumafuji Kin'ichi
Azumafuji 1950 Scan10025-2.JPG
Personal information
Born 井上 謹一 (Kinichi Inoue)
(1921-10-28)October 28, 1921
Tokyo, Japan
Died July 31, 1973(1973-07-31) (aged 51)
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Weight 178 kg (392 lb; 28.0 st)
Career
Stable Takasago
Record 335-137-54-1draws-1hold
Debut January 1936
Highest rank Yokozuna (October 1948)
Retired September, 1954
Championships 6 (Makuuchi)
1 (Jūryō)
1 (Makushita)
* Up to date as of October 2007.

Azumafuji Kin'ichi (東富士 欽壹, October 28, 1921 – July 31, 1973) was a Japanese sumo wrestler from Taitō, Tokyo, Japan. He was the sport's 40th yokozuna, and later a professional wrestler.

Sumo career[edit]

Azumafuji defeating Tochinishiki in the 1953 fall tournament

He made professional debut in January 1936, joining Takasago stable. He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in May 1943. On the sixth day of the November 1944 tournament, he defeated yokozuna Futabayama, the last wrestler ever to do so as Futabayama pulled out of the tournament the next day and only fought one more bout before his retirement. Azumafuji was promoted to ōzeki in June 1945 on the strength of two runner-up performances. He won his first top division championship in May 1948, and was promoted to the top yokozuna rank in October of that year after finishing as runner-up. Going against historical trends, he managed to win his debut yokozuna tournament, in January 1949.

On the 12th day of the September 1951 tournament, he recorded an azukari, or hold, a rare result. On that day, he had come down with acute pneumonia but he forced himself to continue in the tournament as he had only one loss. Azumafuji fought with then ōzeki Yoshibayama twice, but the outcome still could not be determined. After the second bout, Azumafuji couldn't stand up any more and conceded defeat, but the gentlemanly Yoshibayama insisted that the fairest result was to declare a hold, which was confirmed by the officials. Azumafuji went on to win the tournament, his fourth championship.

Azumafuji's handprint displayed on a monument in Ryōgoku, Tokyo

Azumafuji won his sixth and final championship in September 1953, and struggled with injuries after that. In September 1954, ōzeki Tochinishiki seemed certain to win his second consecutive championship. Azumafuji suddenly announced his retirement at that tournament, not wishing to hinder Tochinshiki's promotion to yokozuna.[1] Had he remained, Tochinishiki would have become the fifth active yokozuna, an unprecedented situation. Tochinishiki reportedly asked Azumafuji to reconsider his decision, but to no avail.[1]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

He was the first yokozuna to turn to Western-style professional wrestling, in 1955. This occurred after a dispute in the Japan Sumo Association between two other elders, Takasago and Tatsunami, which he wished to escape.[1] In April 1955 he won the Hawaiian Tag Team title in Honolulu alongside another former sumo wrestler turned professional wrestler, Rikidōzan. In 1956 he defeated former judoka Toshio Yamaguchi to win the Japanese Heavyweight tournament.[2] This tournament was supposed to give him a shot at Rikidozan, at the time Japanese Heavyweight Champion, but the match never took place.

Sumo top division record[edit]

  • From 1953 a New Year tournament was added and the Spring tournament began to be held in Osaka.
Azumafuji[3]
- Spring
Haru basho, Tokyo
Summer
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Autumn
Aki basho, Tokyo
1943 x East Maegashira #8
10–5
 
Not held
1944 West Maegashira #1
7–4–4
 
East Maegashira #2
6–4
 
West Sekiwake
9–1
 
1945 Not held East Sekiwake #1
6–1
 
East Ōzeki #1
9–1
 
1946 Not held Not held East Ōzeki #1
7–6
 
1947 Not held West Ōzeki #2
9–1–P
 
West Ōzeki #1
6–5
 
1948 Not held West Ōzeki #2
10–1
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–1–P
 
1949 West Yokozuna #2
10–2
1d

 
East Yokozuna #1
8–7
 
West Yokozuna #2
10–5
 
1950 West Yokozuna #1
6–6–3
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
1951 West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
East Yokozuna #2
12–3
 
East Yokozuna #1
13–1
1h

 
1952 East Yokozuna #1
7–4–4
 
West Yokozuna #2
13–2
 
East Yokozuna #1
7–7–1
 
- New Year
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
Spring
Haru basho, Osaka
Summer
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Autumn
Aki basho, Tokyo
1953 West Yokozuna #1
2–5–8
 
West Yokozuna #2
12–3
 
East Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
1954 East Yokozuna #1
3–7–5
 
West Yokozuna #2
5–3–7
 
East Yokozuna #2
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Yokozuna #2
Retired
4–4–7
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

*d = draw (引分) / h = hold (預り)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kuroda, Joe (October 2007). "Tochinishiki Kiyotaka (1925–1990) the 44th Yokozuna Part 2". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  2. ^ History of Puroresu : The Rikidozan Era
  3. ^ "Azumafuji Kinichi Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Maedayama Eigorō
40th Yokozuna
1948–1954
Succeeded by
Chiyonoyama Masanobu
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title