Tochiōzan Yūichirō

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Tochiōzan Yūichirō
栃煌山 雄一郎
Tochiozan 08 Sep.jpg
Personal information
Born Yūichirō Kageyama
(1987-03-09) March 9, 1987 (age 30)
Kōchi, Japan
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 150 kg (330 lb; 24 st)
Career
Stable Kasugano
Current rank see below
Debut January 2005
Highest rank Sekiwake (September 2010)
Championships 1 (Sandanme)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (2)
Fighting Spirit (2)
Technique (2)
Gold Stars 4 (Hakuhō, Harumafuji),
Kakuryū, Kisenosato)
* Up to date as of June 26, 2017.

Tochiōzan Yūichirō (born March 9, 1987 as Yūichirō Kageyama) is a sumo wrestler from Kōchi Prefecture, Japan. He made his professional debut in January 2005 and reached the top makuuchi division in March 2007. At one point he was regarded as one of the most promising Japanese rikishi.[1] His highest rank has been sekiwake. His best performance came in May 2012 when he tied with Kyokutenhō after fifteen days but was beaten in a play-off. He has made twenty-five appearances in the san'yaku ranks.

Early life and sumo background[edit]

Kageyama was exposed to sumo from a very young age because it was popular in his area and his parents were fans of the sport. His parents arranged for him to join a local sumo club. He did not enjoy sumo at all at first, disliking the fierceness and the constant training that was necessary. He considered quitting many times, but as he continued he eventually came to enjoy and excel at the sport and transferred to Meitoku Gijuku junior high school which was a school in his native Kōchi prefecture which was known for its strong sumo program. In his third year of junior high he won a national competition and was named the junior high yokozuna. Upon graduation, he transferred to far away Saitama Sakae high school, in the greater Tokyo area to continue his sumo training, as this school was also known for its strong sumo program.[2] The future ōzeki Gōeidō was already a member there, and the two would begin a spirited rivalry that continues to this day in their professional roles. As high school graduation approached he considered university, but eventually chose to enter professional sumo directly from high school.

Career[edit]

Several different heya were interested in recruiting him for professional sumo, but he eventually chose Kasugano stable. He made his ring debut at the March 2005 tournament, under his family name Kageyama. He rose through the divisions quickly, winning the third lowest sandanme division championship in November of that same year. In September 2006 at the age of 19 he became a salaried sekitori wrestler when he entered jūryō, the second highest division, adopting the ring name Tochiōzan.

He made his debut in the top makuuchi division in March 2007, where he was in contention for the championship until the 14th day. He finished with a strong 11-4 record and won the Fighting Spirit award. Promoted to maegashira for the May tournament, he faced all the top ranked wrestlers for the first time and faltered with a 6-9 record, suffering the first tournament in his career where he had more losses than wins (make-koshi).[3] At the July tournament the same year he suffered a dislocated shoulder on the tenth day and was forced to withdraw. Ranked at maegashira 13 in September, he finished the tournament with a disappointing 7-8 score, losing his last five bouts. He remained at the bottom of the division for the next few tournaments, struggling with lower back pain, but returned to form in March 2008, finishing with 11-4 and winning the Technique award. He struggled once again in May however, losing his first eight bouts before staging a partial recovery to finish on 5-10.

Tochiōzan before his first bout in san'yaku in May 2009.

After disappointing 6-9 scores in September and November 2008, he fell to maegashira 12, where he responded by winning his first eight matches in January 2009, finishing on 10-5. This resulted in promotion to maegashira 2 for the March 2009 tournament. He had a good start to this tournament as well, defeating three ōzeki (Kotoōshū, Harumafuji and Chiyotaikai) and standing at 7-3 after ten days. He then lost four matches in a row, before securing his kachi-koshi with a win on the final day.

This was enough to earn Tochiōzan promotion to the san'yaku ranks for the first time for the May 2009 tournament, at the rank of komusubi. When the banzuke for the tournament was released in late April he held a press conference and said he would like to go one win better than his rival from high school sumo days, Gōeidō, who had just made sekiwake for the first time. They began their professional careers in the same tournament and Tochiōzan preceded him into the jūryō and makuuchi divisions, but he had beaten Gōeidō just once in six meetings, in September 2007. In the end both wrestlers finished on 6-9, although Tochiōzan did beat his rival for the second time in their individual match. Falling back to the maegashira ranks for July, he could only produce a very poor 2-13 record, with one of his wins coming against Gōeidō. An 11-4 score in September 2009 put him back up to maegashira 3 for the November tournament in Kyushu, where he beat two ōzeki (Harumafuji and the struggling Chiyotaikai) but fell short with a 5-10 record.

At maegashira 6 in March 2010 he defeated ōzeki Kotomitsuki and scored 11-4, returning to komusubi. A strong 9-6 record in July, which included defeats of two more ōzeki, earned him promotion to sekiwake for the first time for the September 2010 tournament. His sekiwake debut was a success as he scored 11-4 and was awarded his second Technique prize. However, two losing scores in his next two tournaments saw him fall out of san'yaku, and a disappointing 4-11 in May 2011 saw him lose further ground. He withdrew from the November tournament on the 11th day after suffering a ligament injury to his right ankle. However he returned with a strong performance in the opening tournament of 2012, posting an 11-4 record. He would have received his first Fighting Spirit prize since his top division debut had he defeated Gagamaru on the final day, but he failed to do so.[4]

In May 2012, he lost the final playoff for the Emperor's Cup, being defeated by fellow maegashira Kyokutenhō after both finished with 12-3 records. This was the first ever playoff match between two maegashira ranked wrestlers, and his defeat meant he just missed out on becoming the first Japanese born makuuchi division yūshō winner since Tochiazuma in January 2006.[5] He received a share of the Fighting Spirit Award for his efforts.[5] He returned to the sekiwake rank for the next tournament. In September he defeated Hakuhō for the first time in 15 attempts to earn his first gold star or kinboshi, and won the Outstanding Performance Award.

Tochiōzan was ranked mainly in san'yaku from the beginning of 2013 until March 2016, although he was unable to mount a serious challenge for ōzeki promotion. After dropping temporarily to a maegashira position because of injury he picked up his second gold star in November 2014 with a win over Harumafuji. In July 2015 he defeated both yokozuna competing in that tournament, Hakuhō and Kakuryū, and won the second Outstanding Performance Prize of his career. He maintained his sekiwake rank until March 2016, then fell from san'yaku after scoring only 4–11 at komusubi in May. He earned the third kinboshi of his career by defeating Kakuryū on the third day of the July 2016 tournament. In September 2016 rose back the ranks to komusubi but just barely failed to get a winning record, with a 7-8, and was demoted from the rank. This has been his last appearance in sanyaku to date. In May 2017 he earned his fourth kinboshi with a defeat of Kisenosato on Day 9.[6]

He is the owner of the Kiyomigata toshiyori kabu or elder stock, indicating he intends to stay in sumo as a coach upon his retirement.

Fighting style[edit]

Tochiozan's most common winning techniques or kimarite are yori-kiri, oshi-dashi, yori-taoshi and oshi-taoshi, meaning he wins most often by simply forcing his opponents out and down with a grip on the mawashi or push to the chest. He rarely uses throwing moves or slap downs. His preferred mawashi grip is migi-yotsu, with his left arm outside and right arm inside his opponent's arms.

Career record[edit]

Tochiōzan Yūichirō[3]
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
2005 (Maezumo) East Jonokuchi #31
6–1
 
East Jonidan #61
6–1
 
East Sandanme #93
6–1
 
East Sandanme #36
5–2
 
West Sandanme #12
7–0–P
Champion

 
2006 West Makushita #12
4–3
 
West Makushita #7
5–2
 
West Makushita #3
5–2
 
East Makushita #1
6–1
 
East Jūryō #11
9–6
 
West Jūryō #7
9–6
 
2007 West Jūryō #2
10–5–PP
 
East Maegashira #14
11–4
F
West Maegashira #4
6–9
 
East Maegashira #7
4–6–5
 
West Maegashira #13
7–8
 
East Maegashira #15
7–8
 
2008 East Maegashira #15
8–7
 
East Maegashira #12
11–4
T
East Maegashira #5
5–10
 
East Maegashira #11
9–6
 
West Maegashira #6
6–9
 
East Maegashira #9
6–9
 
2009 East Maegashira #12
10–5
 
West Maegashira #2
8–7
 
West Komusubi #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #2
2–13
 
East Maegashira #12
11–4
 
East Maegashira #3
5–10
 
2010 East Maegashira #10
8–7
 
East Maegashira #6
11–4
 
West Komusubi #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #1
9–6
 
West Sekiwake #1
11–4
T
East Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
2011 East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #2
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
West Maegashira #2
4–11
 
East Maegashira #8
10–5
 
West Maegashira #3
7–8
 
West Maegashira #4
5–6–4
 
2012 West Maegashira #8
11–4
 
West Komusubi #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #4
12–3–P
F
West Sekiwake #1
4–11
 
East Maegashira #5
9–6
O
West Maegashira #1
10–5
 
2013 East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
10–5
 
East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #2
10–5
 
East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
West Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
2014 West Komusubi #1
11–4
 
West Sekiwake #2
9–6
 
West Sekiwake #1
10–5
 
West Sekiwake #1
2–6–7
 
East Maegashira #8
11–4
 
East Maegashira #1
8–7
2015 West Komusubi #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #1
10–5
 
East Komusubi #1
8–7
 
East Sekiwake #1
10–5
O
East Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
East Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
2016 East Sekiwake #1
7–8
 
East Komusubi #1
4–11
 
East Maegashira #5
8–7
 
West Maegashira #1
8–7
West Komusubi #1
7–8
 
East Maegashira #1
6–9
 
2017 East Maegashira #4
3–12
 
West Maegashira #10
10–5
 
East Maegashira #4
6–9
West Maegashira #5

 
x x
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. ^ Isao Otsuka (10 May 2007). "Tochiōzan has top guys on the lookout". Daily Yomiuri. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  2. ^ FORZA SHIKOKU (1 July 2013). "Tochiozan Yuichiro(Kasugano stable/from Aki City, Kochi prefecture)First installment「Awkward yet straighforward sumo" (in Japanese). Ninomiya Sports Communications. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Doitsuyama". "Tochiozan Yuichiro Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  4. ^ "Sumo: Hakuho denies Baruto perfect record on final day of New Year sumo". Mainichi Daily News. 23 January 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Kyokutenho beats Tochiozan for title". Japan Times. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Kisenosato suffers third loss; Hakuho, Harumafuji roll on". Japan Times. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 

External links[edit]