Maedayama Eigorō

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Maedayama Eigorō
前田山 英五郎
Personal information
Born Kanematsu Hagimori
(1914-05-04)May 4, 1914
Ehime, Japan
Died August 17, 1971(1971-08-17) (aged 57)
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 116.5 kg (257 lb)
Stable Takasago
Record 306-153-39
Debut January 1929
Highest rank Yokozuna (June 1947)
Retired October, 1949
Championships 1 (Makuuchi)
1 (Jūryō)
1 (Makushita)
* Up to date as of July 2007.

Maedayama Eigorō (前田山 英五郎, May 4, 1914 - August 17, 1971) was a sumo wrestler from Ehime Prefecture, Japan. He was the sport's 39th yokozuna.


He was born in Nishiuwa District. On his school excursion to Ōita in the spring of 1926, he met future yokozuna Futabayama Sadaji, who had not yet joined Tatsunami stable, and was participating in the track meet.[1] After joining Takasago stable in the autumn of 1927, he met Futabayama again. Subsequently, he and Futabayama practiced together regularly after he entered sumo.

Maedayama defeats Futabayama in January 1941.

He made his professional debut in January 1929. His early shikona or fighting name was Sadamisaki, but he changed it to Maedayama in honour of the surgeon who saved his career after he was forced to sit out the whole of 1934 through injury.[2]

He reached the top makuuchi division in January 1937. In May 1938, he was promoted to ōzeki, straight from the fourth komusubi rank, after finishing as tournament runner-up. It was the quickest rise to ōzeki since Ōnishiki in 1916.[2] In January 1941, he defeated ōzeki Haguroyama and yokozuna Futabayama. His strongest technique was harite, or face slap. His technique caused a controversy over harite but Futabayama supported him, insisting it was a legitimate sumo technique.[2]

Maedayama was an ōzeki during the war years, when few tournaments were held, and took his only top division championship in the autumn of 1944, with a 9-1 record.[3] He was promoted to yokozuna in June 1947 after taking part in a three way play-off that also included fellow ōzeki Azumafuji and yokozuna Haguroyama.[4] He was thirty-three years old at the time of his promotion and in his short yokozuna career he was unable to win any further tournament championships, only managing to produce two winning scores. Always a temperamental and controversial figure, he was forced to retire by the Japan Sumo Association in October 1949 after dropping out of a tournament claiming illness, only to be subsequently photographed at a baseball game with Lefty O'Doul.[5]

Retirement from sumo[edit]

He had become head coach of Takasago stable while still active in the ring (a practice no longer permitted) and upon his retirement he formally adopted the name Takasago Oyakata. In 1964 he recruited Takamiyama from Hawaii, the first foreigner to succeed in professional sumo. He went on an extended tour of the United States to promote sumo, without the permission of the Sumo Association's directors.[2] He produced yokozuna Asashio Tarō III in 1959 and ōzeki Maenoyama Tarō in 1970. In 1967 he allowed Chiyonoyama's Kokonoe stable into his faction, strengthening the Takasago ichimon (group of stables). He became calmer late in his life and died on August 17, 1971 of cirrhosis of the liver,[2] too early to see Takamiyama become the first foreigner to win a championship in 1972. After his death, foreigners such as ōzeki Konishiki and yokozuna Asashōryū joined his stable.

Top division record[edit]

  • Through most of the 1930s and 1940s only two tournaments were held a year, and in 1946 only one was held.
Maedayama Eigorō[6]
- Spring
Haru basho, Tokyo
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Aki basho, Tokyo
1937 East Maegashira #12
East Maegashira #5
Not held
1938 East Komusubi #1
East Ōzeki #1
Not held
1939 East Ōzeki #1
East Ōzeki #1
Not held
1940 West Ōzeki #1
West Ōzeki #1
Not held
1941 East Ōzeki #2
East Ōzeki #2
Not held
1942 West Ōzeki
East Ōzeki
Not held
1943 West Ōzeki #1
East Ōzeki #1
Not held
1944 West Ōzeki #1
West Ōzeki #1
West Ōzeki #1
1945 Not held East Ōzeki #1
East Ōzeki #2
1946 Not held Not held East Ōzeki #2
1947 Not held West Ōzeki #1
West Yokozuna #2
1948 Not held East Yokozuna #2
East Yokozuna #2
1949 East Yokozuna #2
West Yokozuna #1
East Yokozuna #2
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Retired Lower Divisions

Key:  =Kinboshi(s);   d=Draw(s) (引分);   h=Hold(s) (預り)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 名勝負熱戦譜・双葉山-前田山 (in Japanese). Atsuo Tsubota. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Kuroda, Joe (December 2006). "Rikishi of Old". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  3. ^ "Tournament Champions List". Japan Sumo Association. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  4. ^ "The Yokozuna- A Retrospective". Japan Sumo Association. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  5. ^ Adams, Andrew (1985). Jesse: Sumo Superstar. Japan Times. ISBN 4-7890-0272-1. 
  6. ^ "Maedayama Eigoro Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 

External links[edit]

Terukuni Manzō
39th Yokozuna
1947 - 1949
Azumafuji Kin'ichi
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title