Tamanoumi Masahiro

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Tamanoumi Masahiro
玉の海 正洋
TamanoumiMasahiro.jpg
Personal information
Born Takeuchi Masao
(1944-02-05)February 5, 1944
Aichi
Died October 11, 1971(1971-10-11) (aged 27)
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Weight 135 kg (298 lb)
Career
Stable Kataonami, formerly Nishonoseki
Record 619–305–0
Debut March, 1959
Highest rank Yokozuna (January, 1970)
Championships 6 (Makuuchi)
1 (Jonidan)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (4)
Fighting Spirit (2)
Gold Stars 4
Tochinoumi (2)
Sadanoyama (2)
* Up to date as of July 2007.

Tamanoumi Masahiro (玉の海 正洋, February 5, 1944 – October 11, 1971), was a sumo wrestler, born in Aichi, Japan. He was the sport's 51st yokozuna. Making his professional debut in 1959, he reached the top makuuchi division in 1964. He won six tournament championships and was runner-up in 12 others. Earlier in his career he also earned six special prizes and four gold stars. He was promoted to yokozuna simultaneously with his friend and rival Kitanofuji in January 1970 and the two men represented the dawning of a new era after the dominance of Taihō. He died suddenly in October 1971 after a delayed appendectomy.

Career[edit]

He was born in Osaka, but due to the bombing raids of that city he was evacuated to Gamanori where he grew up. His father was an ethnic Korean who came to Japan in 1929, although this was not revealed during his lifetime and emerged only in a 2006 book. He excelled at judo in junior high school. The future Katsuhikari was one year senior to him in his judo club.

Tamanoumi began his professional career in March 1959, joining Nishonoseki stable, the same stable as the great yokozuna Taihō. At that stage he used a different shikona, or fighting name: Tamanoshima. In 1962 his coach, former sekiwake Tamanoumi Daitaro, set up his own Kataonami stable and Tamanoshima joined it. He reached the top makuuchi division in March 1964. In 1965 a change in the rules meant that wrestlers from the same group of stables could meet each other in tournament competition, and Tamanoshima defeated Taihō in their first official match. He was promoted to sumo's second highest rank of ōzeki in November 1966 at the age of 22. At first, he was unable to reach a score in double figures at ōzeki rank, but his results began to improve significantly from November 1967. In May 1968, after three runner-up performances in a row, he finally captured his first yūshō, or tournament title, with a 13–2 record. The Yokozuna Deliberation Committee decided against promotion to yokozuna after this result due to the absence of both Taihō and Kashiwado from the tournament and his two losses to low-rankers in the first week. His second title came in September 1969. In November 1969 he posted a 10–5 record, and in January 1970 he took part in a playoff for the title with fellow ōzeki Kitanofuji. Tamanoshima lost the match, but after the tournament both Kitanofuji and Tamanoshima were promoted to the yokozuna rank.[1] With Kashiwado already retired, and Taihō soon to follow, the two ushered in a new Kita-Tama era.

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

Upon reaching yokozuna Tamanoshima changed his name to Tamanoumi, his coach's old shikona. His first tournament championship as a yokozuna came in September 1970 and he followed it up with another victory in November, defeating Taihō in a playoff. In July 1971 Tamanoumi won his sixth and final championship, his first with a perfect 15–0 record.

Fighting style[edit]

At 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in) and 135 kg (298 lb) Tamanoumi was not particularly large, but he had great strength and agility. His favoured kimarite were yori kiri (force out), uwatenage (outer arm throw) and tsuri dashi (lift out). He preferred a migi yotsu (left hand outside, right hand inside) grip on his opponent's mawashi.

Death[edit]

Tamanoumi had needed an appendectomy since July 1971, but he felt the responsibility of a yokozuna's duties and had not wanted to withdraw from the September 1971 tournament. After competing there taking pain-killers he went into hospital only after being an attendant at Taihō's retirement ceremony on October 2.[2] Due to the delay in having the operation he was on the brink of peritonitis. The procedure seemed to have gone well and he was due to leave hospital on October 12, but on the morning of the 11th he collapsed and could not be saved. It emerged he had suffered a pulmonary embolism.[2] He was only the fourth man in history to die whilst an active yokozuna.[3] Kitanofuji was a good friend of Tamanoumi as well as a rival and was shocked by his death. He was just 27 years old and may have won many more championships had he lived. In his last seven tournaments he had won four and been runner-up in the other three, and had lost only nine out of 105 bouts. His winning percentage as a yokozuna was .867, second only to Futabayama in the 20th century,[3] and he gave away only three kinboshi in that time.

Career record[edit]

Tamanoumi Masahiro[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
1959 x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #27
6–2
 
West Jonidan #105
8–0
Champion

 
East Sandanme #104
5–3
 
West Sandanme #72
4–4
 
1960 West Sandanme #71
4–4
 
East Sandanme #61
5–3
 
West Sandanme #40
6–2
 
West Sandanme #9
3–4
 
West Sandanme #19
6–1
 
West Makushita #77
4–3
 
1961 East Makushita #70
5–2
 
East Makushita #48
6–1
 
East Makushita #22
4–3
 
East Makushita #20
5–2
 
East Makushita #14
3–4
 
West Makushita #18
4–3
 
1962 East Makushita #17
4–3
 
East Makushita #15
4–3
 
West Makushita #11
4–3
 
West Makushita #8
1–6
 
East Makushita #27
4–3
 
West Makushita #22
3–4
 
1963 West Makushita #25
6–1
 
West Makushita #14
4–3
 
East Makushita #12
6–1
 
East Makushita #4
6–1
 
East Jūryō #18
9–6
 
West Jūryō #15
10–5
 
1964 West Jūryō #4
11–4
 
East Maegashira #15
9–6
 
West Maegashira #9
8–7
 
West Maegashira #6
8–7
 
West Maegashira #4
8–7
 
West Maegashira #1
9–6
 
1965 East Komusubi #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #3
9–6
O
West Komusubi #1
8–7
O
West Sekiwake #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #1
7–8
West Maegashira #2
4–11
 
1966 West Maegashira #8
13–2
F
East Maegashira #1
9–6
West Sekiwake #1
10–5
F
West Sekiwake #1
9–6
O
East Sekiwake #1
11–4
O
West Ōzeki
9–6
 
1967 West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
7–8
 
West Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
East Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
1968 East Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
East Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
East Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
1969 East Ōzeki #1
12–3
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #2
13–2
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
1970 West Ōzeki #1
13–2–P
 
West Yokozuna #1
13–2
 
East Yokozuna #2
12–3
 
East Yokozuna #2
9–6
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
14–1–P
 
1971 East Yokozuna #1
14–1–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
13–2
 
West Yokozuna #1
15–0
 
East Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
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. ^ Newton, Clyde (2002-03-10). "Two Ozeki aiming to boost promotion hopes in Osaka". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  2. ^ a b Kuroda, Joe (June 2008). "The 51st Yokozuna Tamanoumi Masashiro (1944–1971)" (PDF). Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  3. ^ a b Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0283-X.
  4. ^ "Tamanoumi Masahiro Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-07-29.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Sadanoyama Shinmatsu
51st Yokozuna
January 1970 – October 1971
Succeeded by
Kitanofuji Katsuaki
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title