Ryūko Seihō

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Ryūko Seihō
龍虎 勢朋
Personal information
Born Tadakiyo Suzuki
(1941-01-09)January 9, 1941
Tokyo, Japan
Died August 29, 2014(2014-08-29) (aged 73)
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 132 kg (291 lb)
Career
Stable Hanakago
Record 357-330-40
Debut January, 1957
Highest rank Komusubi (March, 1970)
Retired May, 1975
Championships 2 (Juryo)
2 (Makushita)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (2)
Fighting Spirit (4)
Gold Stars 2 (Taihō, Kitanoumi)
* Up to date as of July 2007.

Ryūko Seihō (龍虎 勢朋, January 9, 1941 – August 29, 2014) was a sumo wrestler with the Hanakago beya, an actor and a celebrity in Japan. He was born in Ōta, Tokyo. His highest rank in sumo was komusubi.

Sumo[edit]

Career[edit]

Ryūko made his tournament debut in the January 1957 basho. He reached the juryō division in March 1967, and makuuchi in March 1968. The following year, he defeated yokozuna Taihō, scoring the first of his two kinboshi. He was a runner-up in three top division tournaments, in March 1969, November 1969 and September 1970. His 1970 rise to sanyaku was followed by a 1971 torn achilles tendon, as a result of which he missed three successive tournaments and was demoted from makuuchi all the way down to the third makushita division. He returned to sumo, and after winning championships in the makushita and juryo divisions he regained his position in makuuchi in 1973. He scored his second kinboshi (against Kitanoumi) in 1974. He even managed a return to sanyaku at komusubi in January 1975, the first time that any wrestler had done this after dropping to makushita. However, on the first match of the May tournament in that year, he tore the other Achilles tendon, and retired from sumo. He once told an interviewer that he thought rikishi wrestled too much - "Ninety days a year, such a severe tension, it's too much for a human being."[1]

It was as a direct result of public sympathy for Ryūko's plummet down the rankings that the Japan Sumo Association introduced the kosho seido, or public injury system, whereby a wrestler injured during a tournament could sit out the next one without any effect on his rank.[2]

During his career, he earned several awards, taking the Shukunshō twice and the Kantōshō four times.

Fighting style[edit]

His favourite techniques were tsuppari (thrusting attack), katasukashi (under-shoulder swing down), migi-yotsu (left hand outside, right hand inside mawashi grip), and sotogake (outer leg trip). He most commonly won by hataki-komi (slap down).

Retirement[edit]

After his retirement he worked as a coach at his old stable under the toshiyori or elder name of Hanaregoma, but he left the Sumo Association in February 1977 to seek a new profession.

Acting[edit]

Ryūko played the station chief in the 1977 live-actor film version of Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo. He joined the cast of the jidaigeki Abarenbo Shogun during the first series (about 175 episodes), and continued through the second series (about 190 episodes). His character was a retired sumo wrestler named Ryūko. He also appeared as a guest star in an episode of the fifth series.

Death[edit]

He died on August 29, 2014 in Kakegawa, Shizuoka of a heart attack.[3]

Career record[edit]

  • The Nagoya tournament was first held in 1958.
Ryūko Seihō[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
1957 (Maezumo) (Maezumo) (Maezumo) Not held West Jonokuchi #4
4–4
 
East Jonidan #110
4–4
 
1958 West Jonidan #96
4–4
 
West Jonidan #89
5–3
 
East Jonidan #60
5–3
 
East Jonidan #38
4–4
 
East Jonidan #31
4–4
 
West Jonidan #27
3–5
 
1959 West Jonidan #34
3–5
 
West Jonidan #38
6–2
 
West Jonidan #15
3–5
 
West Jonidan #19
4–4
 
East Jonidan #16
4–4
 
West Jonidan #14
5–3
 
1960 East Sandanme #101
3–5
 
West Sandanme #101
5–3
 
East Sandanme #72
4–4
 
West Sandanme #67
4–3
 
East Sandanme #49
3–4
 
East Sandanme #62
5–2
 
1961 West Sandanme #34
6–1
 
East Makushita #81
4–3
 
West Makushita #63
4–3
 
East Makushita #55
3–4
 
East Makushita #63
1–6
 
East Sandanme #2
5–2
 
1962 West Makushita #62
3–4
 
East Makushita #65
2–5
 
East Makushita #79
6–1
 
East Makushita #48
6–1
 
East Makushita #24
3–4
 
West Makushita #23
3–4
 
1963 West Makushita #26
1–5–1
 
East Makushita #45
4–3
 
East Makushita #41
3–4
 
West Makushita #44
4–3
 
West Makushita #33
3–4
 
East Makushita #37
5–2
 
1964 East Makushita #24
3–4
 
East Makushita #26
3–4
 
West Makushita #29
4–3
 
West Makushita #25
2–5
 
East Makushita #42
5–2
 
West Makushita #27
4–3
 
1965 East Makushita #25
3–4
 
West Makushita #31
5–2
 
East Makushita #16
4–3
 
West Makushita #12
4–3
 
West Makushita #8
5–2
 
East Makushita #1
1–7
 
1966 East Makushita #16
4–3
 
East Makushita #14
2–5
 
West Makushita #22
3–4
 
West Makushita #26
3–4
 
West Makushita #29
4–3
 
West Makushita #24
5–2
 
1967 East Makushita #14
7–0
Champion

 
East Jūryō #16
10–5
 
East Jūryō #12
9–6
 
West Jūryō #7
8–7
 
West Jūryō #4
5–10
 
East Jūryō #10
11–4
 
1968 East Jūryō #3
13–2
Champion

 
West Maegashira #9
11–4
F
East Maegashira #3
2–13
 
West Maegashira #9
7–8
 
East Maegashira #10
9–6
 
East Maegashira #6
9–6
 
1969 East Maegashira #3
4–11
 
West Maegashira #9
12–3
FO
East Maegashira #2
8–7
O
East Maegashira #1
8–7
 
East Maegashira #1
3–12
 
West Maegashira #6
11–4
F
1970 West Maegashira #1
9–6
 
West Komusubi #1
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #3
2–13
 
East Maegashira #11
13–2
F
East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
1971 East Maegashira #1
7–8
 
West Maegashira #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #2
4–9–2
 
East Maegashira #6
9–6
 
West Maegashira #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #3
1–6–8
 
1972 East Maegashira #12
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Jūryō #8
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Makushita #11
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Makushita #42
6–1
 
West Makushita #22
7–0
Champion

 
East Makushita #1
6–1
 
1973 West Jūryō #8
8–7
 
West Jūryō #7
11–4–P
Champion

 
West Jūryō #1
10–5
 
West Maegashira #12
10–5
 
West Maegashira #5
6–9
 
West Maegashira #7
8–7
 
1974 East Maegashira #5
7–8
 
East Maegashira #7
8–7
 
East Maegashira #5
7–8
 
West Maegashira #4
5–10
 
West Maegashira #9
9–6
West Maegashira #5
9–6
 
1975 West Komusubi #1
3–12
 
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
West Maegashira #5
Retired
0–2
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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Moore, Kenny (May 27, 1974). "Pride In Bondage: Even in the present day, sacred rites of servitude bind sumo wrestlers to Japan's feudal past". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0283-X. 
  3. ^ 龍虎さん死去=元小結、タレントでも活躍-73歳 (in Japanese). Jiji Press. Archived from the original on August 31, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ryūko Seihō Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 

External links[edit]