Wakasegawa Yoshimitsu

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Wakasegawa Yoshimitsu
若瀬川 剛充
Wakasegawa atYokata Air Base.jpg
Wakasegawa takes part in an exhibition at the Yokota Air Base, October 1986.
Personal information
BornWataru Sato
(1962-07-28)July 28, 1962
Sakata, Yamagata, Japan
DiedOctober 8, 2011(2011-10-08) (aged 49)
Height1.89 m (6 ft 2 12 in)
Weight150 kg (330 lb; 24 st)
Career
StableIsegahama
Record546-519-41
DebutMarch, 1978
Highest rankMaegashira 1 (July, 1983)
RetiredJuly, 1992
Championships3 (Jūryō)
2 (Makushita)
Gold Stars1 (Ōnokuni)

Wakasegawa Yoshimitsu (born Wataru Sato; July 28, 1962 - October 8, 2011) was a sumo wrestler from Sakata, Yamagata, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1978, reaching the top makuuchi division for the first time in 1983. His highest rank was maegashira 1. He retired in 1992 and worked in the restaurant business after leaving sumo.

Career[edit]

He was recruited by former ozeki Kiyokuni in 1978, who had taken over Isegahama stable the previous year. He made his first appearance on the dohyo in March 1978, and he rose through the lower ranks fairly quickly. He first reached the sekitori ranks in September 1980, having won the makushita division championship with a perfect 7-0 record in the previous tournament. However he lasted only one tournament in juryo before being demoted, and after missing the first two tournaments of 1981 he fell to the bottom of the makushita division. He came back strongly to earn promotion back to the juryo division in March 1982, and he took his first yusho or tournament championship in that division in July 1982 with an 11-4 record. He reached the top division for the first time in January 1983 at the age of just 20. To make the occasion he changed the second part of his shikona or fighting name from his own given name of Wataru to Taiji.

Wakasegawa was regarded as a wrestler with great promise. However, after reaching what proved to be his highest ever rank of maegashira 1 in July 1983, he fell back to the juryo division in November 1983 after withdrawing from the tournament with a dislocated shoulder. After developing diabetes his performances suffered and he remained in juryo for most of the next four years.[1] In 1986 he visited the Yokota Air Base with his colleagues from Isegahama stable to take part in exhibition bouts with American schoolchildren.[2] He reappeared in makuuchi in July 1987 (changing part of his shikona again, from Taiji to Yoshimitsu) but only for one tournament. After winning his third juryo championship in March 1988 with a 13-2 record he earned promotion to makuuchi for the fourth time, finally establishing himself as a top division regular. He never won a sansho or special prize, but did defeat yokozuna Onokuni in November 1988 to earn a kinboshi. He also defeated ozeki Konishiki in this tournament.[1] He injured his back during the March 1989 tournament after taking part in a strenuous training session with junior wrestler Akebono, later to become a yokozuna. Upon the demotion of Ozutsu in January 1992 he became the man with the earliest top division experience left in makuuchi (although his service was not continuous). He was to lose top division status himself in May of that year after suffering from gastroenteritis, and retired just one tournament after that.

Retirement from sumo[edit]

Although Wakasegawa was qualified to become an oyakata or coach, he was unable to purchase the necessary elder stock and so left the sumo world upon retirement in July 1992. He ran a ramen restaurant before having to give it up due to poor health. Having suffered from diabetes for many years,[3] he died in 2011 at the age of 49.

Fighting style[edit]

Wakasegawa was a straightforward yotsu-sumo wrestler, preferring to use grappling techniques to pushing or thrusting. He won most of his bouts with a simple yori-kiri, or force out, but he also liked tsuki-otoshi (thrust over), Tsuki-dashi (thrust out), hiki-ostoshi (pull down) and various nage or throws.[1] His skill on the mawashi was noted by experts.[1]

Career record[edit]

Wakasegawa Yoshimitsu[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
1978 x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #6
6–1–P
 
East Jonidan #45
5–2
 
West Jonidan #5
4–3
 
East Sandanme #71
4–3
 
1979 East Sandanme #60
5–2
 
East Sandanme #30
4–3
 
East Sandanme #18
5–2
 
East Makushita #55
3–4
 
West Sandanme #5
4–3
 
East Makushita #56
4–3
 
1980 West Makushita #46
4–3
 
East Makushita #34
4–3
 
West Makushita #25
6–1
 
West Makushita #8
7–0
Champion

 
West Jūryō #12
5–10
 
East Makushita #9
6–1
 
1981 East Makushita #3
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
East Makushita #28
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
East Makushita #59
6–1–P
 
West Makushita #29
6–1–P
 
East Makushita #10
3–4
 
East Makushita #18
6–1
 
1982 East Makushita #3
5–2
 
West Jūryō #11
7–8
 
West Makushita #1
6–1–PPP
Champion

 
East Jūryō #7
11–4
Champion

 
West Jūryō #1
8–7
 
East Jūryō #1
9–6
 
1983 West Maegashira #11
9–6
 
West Maegashira #4
4–11
 
East Maegashira #11
10–5
 
West Maegashira #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #7
5–10
 
West Maegashira #13
4–7–4
 
1984 West Jūryō #6
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
West Jūryō #6
6–9
 
East Jūryō #10
8–7
 
West Jūryō #7
9–6
 
East Jūryō #4
10–5
 
East Maegashira #14
6–9
 
1985 East Jūryō #6
7–8
 
West Jūryō #6
10–5
 
West Jūryō #1
4–11
 
West Jūryō #8
9–6
 
West Jūryō #5
5–10
 
East Jūryō #11
10–5–PP
Champion

 
1986 West Jūryō #5
7–8
 
East Jūryō #6
8–7
 
West Jūryō #3
8–7
 
East Jūryō #2
6–9
 
East Jūryō #5
9–6
 
West Jūryō #2
6–9
 
1987 West Jūryō #5
9–6
 
East Jūryō #1
7–8
 
West Jūryō #3
10–5
 
East Maegashira #13
5–10
 
West Jūryō #3
8–7
 
West Jūryō #2
8–7
 
1988 East Jūryō #2
8–7
 
West Jūryō #1
13–2
Champion

 
West Maegashira #10
9–6
 
East Maegashira #3
6–9
 
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
West Maegashira #3
5–10
1989 West Maegashira #7
10–5
 
East Maegashira #1
1–7–7
 
East Maegashira #12
8–7
 
West Maegashira #9
8–7
 
West Maegashira #6
6–9
 
West Maegashira #10
8–7
 
1990 West Maegashira #4
5–10
 
East Maegashira #12
9–6
 
West Maegashira #4
5–10
 
West Maegashira #11
9–6
 
West Maegashira #6
6–9
 
West Maegashira #10
8–7
 
1991 West Maegashira #6
8–7
 
East Maegashira #2
5–10
 
West Maegashira #8
8–7
 
East Maegashira #4
6–9
 
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
East Maegashira #5
6–9
 
1992 East Maegashira #9
6–9
 
East Maegashira #13
7–8
 
West Maegashira #14
3–11–1
 
East Jūryō #7
Retired
2–13
x x
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. ^ a b c d Patmore, Angela (1990). The Giants of Sumo. Queen Anne Press/MacDonald $ Co. p. 130. ISBN 9780356181202.
  2. ^ Palumbo, Sue (20 October 1986). "Sumo wrestlers take on Yokota". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  3. ^ Martin, Jurek (23 November 2014). "Japan's sporting stars have major league form". FT.com. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Wakasegawa Yoshimitsu Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-09-06.