Tochinishiki Kiyotaka

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Tochinishiki Kiyotaka
栃錦 清隆
Tochinishiki 1954 Sep Dohyo-iri from Mainichi Shinbun.jpg
Tochinishiki performing dohyō-iri at Sep. 1954 tournament
Personal information
Born Kiyotaka Uchida
(1925-02-20)February 20, 1925
Tokyo, Japan
Died January 10, 1990(1990-01-10) (aged 64)
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Weight 132 kg (291 lb)
Career
Stable Kasugano
Record 576-244-32-1 draw
Debut January, 1939
Highest rank Yokozuna (October 1954)
Retired May, 1960
Championships 10 (Makuuchi)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (1)
Technique (9)
Gold Stars 1 (Azumafuji)
* Up to date as of August 2012.

Tochinishiki Kiyotaka (栃錦 清隆, February 20, 1925 - January 10, 1990) was a sumo wrestler from Tokyo, Japan. He was the sport's 44th yokozuna. He won ten top division yūshō or tournament championships and was a rival of fellow yokozuna Wakanohana I. He became the head coach of Kasugano stable in 1959 and was head of the Japan Sumo Association from 1974 until 1988.

Early career[edit]

One of few yokozuna to hail from the city rather than the country,[1] he was born in what is now Koiwa, Edogawa.[2] He was a fine all round athlete at elementary school, and although he had no family connections to sumo, he was introduced by a shop owner to Kasugano Oyakata, the former yokozuna Tochigiyama.[2] Tochinishiki made his professional debut in January 1939. He was of such a small size that he had to drink copious amounts of water to meet the weight requirement at his physical.[2] However, his stablemaster, to whom Tochinishiki served as an attendant or tsukebito and was a great influence on him in his early days, expected him to become strong.[2]

Top division career and yokozuna career[edit]

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

He reached the top makuuchi division in June 1947. He made up for his lack of size by showing superb technique. He won no fewer than nine special prizes for Technique, and it was even suggested that the prize had been created especially for him.[2] Tochinishiki was known as the Mamushi (Viper) due to his tenacity once he grabbed hold of his opponent's mawashi.[3] In January 1951, he lost 7 consecutive bouts, but he bounced back to win eight in a row and clinched his majority of wins or kachi-koshi on the final day, despite the bout being interrupted by a drunken spectator.[2] After this performance, Tochinishiki began to raise his rank on the banzuke rapidly, taking his first top division championship in September 1952 and earning promotion to ōzeki. He finally reached yokozuna in October 1954 after winning two successive championships. There had been four yokozuna in the September 1954 tournament, Kagamisato, Chiyonoyama, Yoshibayama and Azumafuji, but Azumafuji announced his retirement so as not to hinder Tochinishiki's promotion.[4]

When Tochinishiki was promoted to yokozuna, he expected that his stablemaster Tochigiyama would commend him.[5] However, his stablemaster told him, "From this day on, you should spend every day of your yokozuna life by thinking about the day you retire".[2] At first, he struggled somewhat against heavier wrestlers, but he raised his weight to around 130 kg and he became a wrestler able to use more orthodox methods. Between March 1959 and March 1960, he won 95 bouts and lost only 10 bouts.

He had a great rivalry with yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji I, who reached the top rank in January 1958. They were of a similar build, and they each won ten top division tournament championships in their careers, with Tochinishiki coming out slightly ahead in their personal meetings with 19 wins out of 35 bouts. In July 1959 he defeated Wakanohana on the final day and won the championship with a perfect 15-0 score despite the fact that his father had been fatally hit by a truck the previous day.[1] In October 1959 his stablemaster died suddenly and Tochinishiki became head coach of Kasugano stable whilst still an active wrestler (a practice no longer permitted).[1] After losing to Wakanohana in a championship-deciding match on the final day of the March 1960 tournament, he decided to retire from active competition two days into the following tournament.

Later life[edit]

In addition to his position as stable boss he was also the chairman (rijichō) of the Japan Sumo Association from 1974 to 1988, making him the longest serving chairman to date.[1] Under his direction the new Ryōgoku Kokugikan was built in 1985.[4] Suffering from diabetes, he stood down voluntarily, allowing his old rival Wakanohana to ascend to the position.[4] During his tenure as head of the Association, in 1985, he performed his kanreki dohyō-iri or '60th year ring entrance ceremony' to commemorate his years as yokozuna. He died in January 1990, following a stroke.[4]

Pre-Modern Top division record[edit]

  • Through most of the 1940s only two tournaments were held a year. In 1953 the New Year tournament began and the Spring tournament resumed in Osaka.
Tochinishiki Kiyotaka[6]
- Spring
Haru basho, Tokyo
Summer
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Autumn
Aki basho, Tokyo
1947 Not held West Maegashira #18
4–6
 
West Maegashira #16
9–2
 
1948 Not held West Maegashira #8
5–5–1draw
 
West Maegashira #7
7–4
 
1949 West Maegashira #3
7–6
T
West Maegashira #3
4–11
 
West Maegashira #7
12–3
T
1950 West Komusubi #2
8–7
T
East Komusubi #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #3
8–7
T
1951 East Maegashira #2
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
9–6
T
West Sekiwake #1
9–6
T
1952 East Sekiwake #2
10–5
TO
East Sekiwake #1
10–5
T
West Sekiwake #1
14–1
T
- New Year
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
Spring
Haru basho, Osaka
Summer
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Autumn
Aki basho, Tokyo
1953 East Ōzeki #2
11–4
 
East Ōzeki #1
14–1
 
East Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
West Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
1954 West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
14–1
 
East Ōzeki #1
14–1
 
1955 West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
West Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
4–3–8
 
1956 West Yokozuna #2
9–6
 
East Yokozuna #2
9–6
 
West Yokozuna #1
5–5–5
 
West Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
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

Modern top division record[edit]

  • Since the addition of the Kyushu tournament in 1957 and the Nagoya tournament in 1958, the yearly schedule has remained unchanged.
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 East Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
East Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
Not held East Yokozuna #1
13–2
 
East Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
1958 East Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
East Yokozuna #2
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
West Yokozuna #1
6–5–4
 
West Yokozuna #1
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
1959 West Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
14–1–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
15–0
 
East Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
West Yokozuna #1
12–3
 
1960 East Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
West Yokozuna #1
Retired
0–3
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 d Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0283-X. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kuroda, Joe (August 2007). "Tochinishiki Kiyotaka (1925-1990) the 44th Yokozuna". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  3. ^ Lewin, Brian (August 2005). "What will become of the dynasty?". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kuroda, Joe (October 2007). "Tochinishiki Kiyotaka (1925-1990) the 44th Yokozuna Part 2". Sumo Fan Magazine. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  5. ^ 「横綱は散り際が肝心!」(元横綱・栃木山) (in Japanese). Nihon Sumo Kyokai. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  6. ^ "Tochinishiki Kiyotaka Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 

External links[edit]

Previous:
Yoshibayama Junnosuke
44th Yokozuna
1954 - 1960
Next:
Wakanohana Kanji I
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dewanohana Kuniichi
Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association
1974–1988
Succeeded by
Wakanohana Kanji I