Kisenosato Yutaka

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Kisenosato Yutaka
稀勢の里 寛
Kisenosato 08 Sep.jpg
Personal information
Born Yutaka Hagiwara
(1986-07-03) July 3, 1986 (age 30)
Ibaraki, Japan
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Weight 178 kg (392 lb; 28.0 st)
Web presence Tagonoura stable website
Career
Stable Tagonoura
Current rank Ōzeki
Debut March, 2002
Highest rank Ōzeki (January, 2012)
Championships 1 (Makushita)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (5)
Fighting Spirit (3)
Technique (1)
Gold Stars 3
Hakuhō (2)
Asashōryū
* Up to date as of Nov 27, 2016.

Kisenosato Yutaka (born July 3, 1986 as Yutaka Hagiwara (萩原 寛 Hagiwara Yutaka)) is a sumo wrestler from Ibaraki, Japan. He made his professional debut in 2002, and reached the top makuuchi division in 2004 at the age of just 18. After many years in the junior sanyaku ranks he reached the second highest rank of ōzeki in January 2012.[1] He earned three kinboshi or gold star defeats of yokozuna in his career leading up to ōzeki, and nine special prizes. He is the most consistent active ōzeki, with more than 20 double-digit winning records at the rank,[2] but while has been runner-up in a tournament on twelve occasions in his career he has yet to win a top division championship or yūshō. He has been a candidate for promotion to yokozuna on four occasions (July 2013, January 2014, July 2016 and September 2016), but in each case he failed to achieve the necessary number of wins. He missed only one bout in his career to date. In 2016 he secured the most wins in a calendar year, and is the first wrestler to do so without winning a tournament in the modern era of sumo.

Early life and sumo background[edit]

Though Hagiwara was a fan of watching sumo from a young age, he was on his schools' baseball teams in primary and junior high school. He eventually gave up when he realized he was only excelling because of his size. On a chance meeting with then head of Naruto stable, the former yokozuna Takanosato, the head of the stable convinced Hagiwara's initially skeptical parents that he was a great candidate for sumo. Hagiwara eventually joined the stable upon finishing junior high school.[3]

Career[edit]

He fought his first bout in March 2002 under his own surname of Hagiwara. He rose quickly through the divisions, entering the second jūryō division in May 2004, aged 17 years and 9 months, the second youngest ever jūryō wrestler after Takanohana, whom Kisenosato had idolised when he was a boy.[4] Three tournaments later, in November 2004, he entered the top makuuchi division, again the second youngest (18 years 3 months) after Takanohana. To mark his entry into the top division he assumed the shikona name Kisenosato.

After entering the top division his rise slowed significantly; his only spectacular result in 2005 was 12 wins against three losses in the September 2005 tournament, where he was awarded the Fighting Spirit prize. He was promoted to the rank of komusubi in July 2006, which he held until March 2007 when he fell back to maegashira 1.

Kisenosato has been involved in some controversial bouts with yokozuna Asashōryū. He defeated him for the first time in September 2006, and was awarded the Outstanding Performance Prize. Shaken by this, Asashōryū responded in the next tournament by leaping to the side at the tachi-ai and employing a highly unusual leg kicking technique called ketaguri. Afterwards Asashōryū was criticised by the Yokozuna Deliberation Committee for using this rare move. In March 2007 Kisenosato slapped Asashōryū around the face during their match. Asashōryū was so riled by this that he gave Kisenosato a small kick in the back after the bout was over, which prompted much criticism from the Japanese media.

In July 2007 he turned in a strong 11-4 record and derailed Kotomitsuki's hopes of a tournament championship on the final day by slapping him down. This earned him promotion back to komusubi for September 2007. Kisenosato defeated Asashōryū once again in the yokozuna's comeback tournament in January 2008, earning him his first kinboshi or gold star, (his first win over Asashōryū had been at komusubi rank so he was ineligible then) and his second Outstanding Performance Prize. Returning to komusubi in the March 2008 tournament, he lost to Asashōryū on the opening day but defeated three out of four ōzeki and held his rank with an 8-7 score.

Kisenosato in May 2009

In May 2008 he scored another win over Asashōryū on opening day, finishing with a strong 10-5 record and a share of the Fighting Spirit prize. Despite this he failed to be promoted to sekiwake, only the third time since 15-day tournaments were introduced in 1949 that a komusubi with ten wins has not moved up the rankings. Kisenosato spent nine tournaments at komusubi without making sekiwake, which has only happened to three previous wrestlers, Dewanishiki, Fujinishiki and Takamiyama.[5] Back in the maegashira ranks for the September 2008 tournament, he was the only man to defeat tournament winner Hakuhō, earning him his second kinboshi, but he fell short with six wins against nine losses.

In November 2008 he scored 11-4, sending him to komusubi for the fifth time in the January 2009 tournament. He scored eight wins there, and Aminishiki's losing record meant Kisenosato finally made his long-awaited sekiwake debut in March 2009, in his tenth tournament at a san'yaku rank. He produced a somewhat disappointing 5-10 record and was demoted to maegashira 4 in May. However, he proved this rank was too low for him by producing a 13-2 record, his best ever top division score, and won his third Fighting Spirit prize. This performance returned him immediately to sekiwake for the July 2009 tournament. He came though with a good 9-6 score there, defeating Asashōryū (for the fourth time) and three ōzeki. In September he failed on the final day to get kachi-koshi but remained in the san'yaku ranks at komusubi for the November tournament. However, a 6-9 in Kyushu saw him drop back to the maegashira ranks.

In January 2010 he won his first five matches, before losing five in a row. He finished on 9-6 and returned to komusubi for the March tournament. He remained in san'yaku for the next three tournaments but fell back to maegashira 1 in November 2010. On the second day of the Kyushu tournament he upset Hakuhō, bringing to an end the yokozuna's post-war record of 63 consecutive victories.[6] He was rewarded with the Outstanding Performance prize and promotion back to sekiwake. He defeated Hakuhō once again in the following tournament, scoring 10-5 and winning another Outstanding Performance award, his fourth. Japan Sumo Association official Takanohana said after the tournament that Kisenosato would be considered for promotion to ōzeki if he won at least 13 bouts in the March 2011 basho, which would give him 33 wins over three tournaments (the usual minimum requirement for ōzeki).[7] However, that tournament never took place due to a match-fixing scandal and in the subsequent 'technical examination' tournament in May he secured a majority of wins only on the final day.

Promotion to ōzeki[edit]

After a solid 10-5 score in July, in the September 2011 tournament Kisenosato raced to an 8-0 start, before losing three in a row. However, he then rebounded by beating Hakuhō for the third time in their last five meetings on Day 12. He finished runner-up alongside Kotoshōgiku on 12-3, his first ever runner-up performance, and also shared the Outstanding Performance prize. With 22 wins in the last two tournaments, he was once again a candidate for promotion to ōzeki in November. However, with a record of 10-4 going into his match on the final day, he lost to Kotoshōgiku. This gave him a record of "only" 32 wins in three tournaments, below the Association's loosely defined ōzeki promotion standard of 33, but the Sumo Association had already indicated before the match took place that he had done enough to earn promotion.[1] This was the second successive tournament to feature an ōzeki promotion, following Kotoshōgiku.[1] Kisenosato credited his success to his late stablemaster, the former yokozuna Takanosato, who had died suddenly shortly before the tournament. "Everything that he taught me about sumo led to this result and I'm so grateful."[8] He had long been regarded as one of the most promising Japanese sumo wrestlers,[9] but prior to reaching ōzeki there had been concern expressed about his seeming inability to hold down a san'yaku position and a possible lack of fighting spirit.[10] Kisenosato's promotion was made official on 30 November, following a unanimous vote by the Sumo Association's executive board.[11] Chairman Hanaregoma commented, "He has been solid through the last several tournaments. I want him to start putting himself in title contention."[11]

Ōzeki career[edit]

Kisenosato produced an 11-4 record in his debut ōzeki tournament in January 2012. In the May 2012 tournament he was leading the yūshō race after twelve days, the first Japanese born wrestler to do so at that stage since Tochiazuma in 2007, but then defeat to Hakuhō on Day 13 meant he was caught by rank–and–filers Kyokutenhō and Tochiōzan, and a final day loss to Baruto meant he finished on 11–4 and missed out on a playoff for the championship.[12] In the next five tournaments he produced five double figure scores, but only just, as they were all 10-5. However, in the May 2013 tournament he won his first thirteen matches, making a strong case for a possible start at a run for yokozuna promotion,[13] but he was defeated by Hakuhō on Day 14, and he also lost his final day bout to Kotoshōgiku to finish two wins behind Hakuhō on 13-2.[13] In July 2013 he stopped Hakuhō's streak of 43 consecutive victories by beating him on the 14th day – the third time he has ended a significant winning run of the yokozuna, having also defeated Hakuhō after his 63 wins in a row in November 2010 and 23 in January 2011.[14] After the November 2013 tournament, in which he was runner-up for the fourth time in a row, he was told by the Sumo Association that he would be promoted if he won the championship with at least 13 wins,[15] but he collapsed in the following January basho and won only seven bouts. He pulled out on the final day, missing the first bout of his career. He maintained his ōzeki status with a 9-6 result in March 2014 and has never been in danger of demotion since. He finished runner-up in May 2014, January 2015 and May 2015. In the second half of 2015 he maintained his consistent form: he went 10-5 in July (including a win over Kakuryū), 11-4 in September and 10-5 in November (beating Harumafuji on the final day). After a moderate 9-6 in January 2016 he was back to his best in March, recording 13 wins and finishing runner-up to Hakuhō.[16] He was runner-up for the tenth time in his career in the May 2016 tournament, finishing on 13–2 and having been at 12–0 before losing to Hakuhō and Kakuryū on consecutive days. Kisenosato went into the July 2016 tournament with the possibility of being promoted to Yokozuna if he could win the tournament, however he was unable to clinch a victory and was runner-up for the eleventh time, and the third time in a row. He was criticized by Hideshige Moriya, chair of the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, for the manner of his defeat to the eventual winner Harumafuji on Day 13, which saw him fall to 10–3: "The way he lost to Harumafuji makes him unworthy of recommendation (for promotion)."[17] He finished this tournament with a 12-3 record. His fourth bid for yokozuna promotion in September ended in failure after two losses in the first three days, to Okinoumi on the opening day and Tochinoshin on Day 3, and a final score of 10–5. In the November 2016 tournament Kisenosato was runner up for the twelfth time in his career finishing with a 12-3 record including victories over all three yokozuna (dealing yokozuna Kakuryu, the victor of the tournament, his only loss). He also won against ozeki Goeido, and ozeki Terunofuji. His three losses were against Endo, Shodai, and Tochinoshin. Kisenosato finished out 2016 with the most victories in a calendar year getting 69 wins, Harumafuji had 67 wins, and Hakuho had 62 wins. He is the first wrestler in the modern era of sumo do to this without winning a tournament. In 2016 Kisenosato was runner up four times, and under yokozuna promotion twice.

Kisenosato is the owner of the Araiso toshiyori kabu or elder stock, indicating he intends to stay in sumo as a coach upon his retirement. It is being borrowed by the former maegashira Tamaasuka as of September 2016.

Fighting style[edit]

Kisenosato is mainly a yotsu-sumo wrestler, and his favourite grip on his opponent's mawashi is hidari-yotsu, or right hand outside, left hand inside. His most common winning kimarite is yori kiri (force out), followed by oshi dashi (push out) and tsuki otoshi (thrust over). He has been criticized for frequently stalling at the tachi-ai, or initial charge, in an attempt to unsettle his opponent.[18]

Career record[edit]

Kisenosato Yutaka[19]
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 (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #26
6–1
 
East Jonidan #61
6–1
 
West Sandanme #95
4–3
 
West Sandanme #77
5–2
 
2003 West Sandanme #49
5–2
 
West Sandanme #21
3–4
 
East Sandanme #37
7–0–P
 
East Makushita #25
3–4
 
West Makushita #35
5–2
 
East Makushita #25
4–3
 
2004 East Makushita #18
7–0
Champion

 
East Makushita #1
5–2
 
West Jūryō #12
9–6
 
East Jūryō #6
8–7
 
West Jūryō #3
9–6
 
West Maegashira #16
9–6
 
2005 East Maegashira #12
6–9
 
West Maegashira #15
8–7
 
West Maegashira #11
5–10
 
West Maegashira #15
7–8
 
West Maegashira #16
12–3
F
East Maegashira #5
5–10
 
2006 East Maegashira #9
8–7
 
East Maegashira #7
10–5
 
East Maegashira #1
8–7
 
West Komusubi #1
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
8–7
O
East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
2007 East Komusubi #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #3
6–9
 
West Maegashira #6
11–4
 
East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #2
9–6
 
2008 East Maegashira #1
10–5
O
East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
10–5
F
East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #2
6–9
East Maegashira #4
11–4
 
2009 East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
West Sekiwake #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #4
13–2
F
West Sekiwake #1
9–6
 
East Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
2010 West Maegashira #3
9–6
 
East Komusubi #1
9–6
 
East Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
East Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
East Komusubi #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #1
10–5
O
2011 East Sekiwake #1
10–5
O
West Sekiwake #1
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
West Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
West Sekiwake #1
10–5
 
West Sekiwake #1
12–3
O
East Sekiwake #1
10–5
T
2012 West Ōzeki #3
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #2
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
2013 East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
East Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
2014 East Ōzeki #1
7–8
 
East Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
East Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
2015 East Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
2016 East Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
East Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
East Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
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. ^ a b c "Sumo: Kisenosato secures ozeki promotion but loses on final day in Kyushu". Mainichi Daily News. 27 November 2011. Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Buckton, Mark (26 May 2016). "Consistent Kisenosato needs title to secure promotion to yokozuna". Japan Times. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  3. ^ Asahi shinbun November 18, page 16
  4. ^ "Featured Rikishi: Kisenosato". sumoforum.net. December 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  5. ^ "2008 July Grand Sumo Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  6. ^ "Hakuho's win streak over at 63". Asahi Shimbun. 16 November 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Sekiwake duo have shot at ozeki". Japan Times. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Kisenosato credits late stablemaster". Daily Yomiuri Online. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Buckton, Mark (2008-05-08). "How firm is the reign of the Mongolians?". Japan Times. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  10. ^ Howard, Lon (April 2009). "Haru basho summary" (PDF). Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 30 April 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Sumo: Kisenosato promoted to ozeki". Mainichi Daily News. 30 November 2011. Archived from the original on 30 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Kyokutenho beats Tochiozan for title". Japan Times. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Hakuho captures title as Kisenosato loses way". Japan Times. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Schreiber, Mark (4 June 2016). "The struggles of a local sumo hero". Japan Times. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  15. ^ "Kisenosato primed for yokozuna promotion bid". Japan Times. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Hakuho wins 36th career title". Japan Today. 27 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "Sumo: Yokozuna Harumafuji seizes sole lead in Nagoya". Kyodo News. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  18. ^ Slack, Jack (29 January 2016). "Kotoshogiku: The Japanese Ozeki Who Could". Fightland. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "Kisenosato Yutaka Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 

External links[edit]