Yoshikaze Masatsugu

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Yoshikaze Masatsugu
嘉風 雅継
Yoshikaze 08 Sep.jpg
Personal information
Born Masatsugu Ōnishi
(1982-03-19) March 19, 1982 (age 36)
Oita, Japan
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 142 kg (313 lb; 22.4 st)
Career
Stable Oguruma
University Nippon Sport Science University
Current rank see below
Debut January 2004
Highest rank Sekiwake (Jan 2016)
Championships 1 (Sandanme)
1 (Jonokuchi)
Special Prizes Fighting Spirit (4)
Outstanding Performance (2)
Technique (4)
Gold Stars 8
Kakuryū (3)
Hakuhō (2)
Harumafuji (2)
Kisenosato (1)
* Up to date as of March 25, 2018.

Yoshikaze Masatsugu (born March 19, 1982 as Masatsugu Ōnishi) is a sumo wrestler from Saiki, Oita Prefecture, Japan. His highest rank has been sekiwake. A former amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 2004, reaching the top division two years later. Until his promotion to komusubi in May 2014 he had the active record for the longest serving makuuchi wrestler who had never reached a titled rank. His best performance in a tournament came in July 2015 when he was the runner-up and scored twelve wins against three losses. In the following tournament in September 2015 he defeated two yokozuna and won special prizes for Outstanding Performance and Technique. Yoshikaze is in second place for the slowest promotion from makuuchi debut to the third highest sekiwake rank in history, behind only his stablemate Takekaze. He has won ten special prizes in total, and eight gold stars for defeating yokozuna.

Early life and sumo background[edit]

He was an amateur sumo champion at Nippon Sport Science University, and won the college equivalent of the yokozuna title in his third year. Because he wanted to wait until after his graduation from university before joining professional sumo, he missed out on the chance to enter at the level of the third makushita division. He joined Oguruma stable and made his debut at maezumo level in January 2004, the first former amateur yokozuna to do so.

Career[edit]

At the start of his career he was considerably older and more experienced than most of the competition there and quickly worked his way up the ranks, winning two tournament titles in the jonokuchi and sandanme divisions with perfect 7–0 records. He initially competed under his own surname of Ōnishi, but upon reaching the second highest jūryō division in July 2005 he changed his shikona to Yoshikaze. The Yoshi character came from his grandfather, Yoshio, who had died the previous year, and the kaze character was from his stablemaster and used by many of his stablemates.[1]

He was promoted to the top makuuchi division in January 2006. It took him only 12 tournaments to make the top division from his professional debut, equal to the second fastest rise ever since the six tournaments per year system was introduced in 1958.[2] However, until January 2009 he did not manage to rise above the mid maegashira ranks and twice fell back to the second division.

In the November 2007 tournament he defeated fan favourite Takamisakari with the rare but spectacular technique of utchari, or spin throw from the edge of the ring. However he was able to win only three other bouts in that tournament and fell to the bottom of the division. An 8–7 record in January 2008 kept him in makuuchi.

Yoshikaze in May 2009.

One of his best performance in the top division came in November 2008 when he won 11 bouts and was awarded his first sanshō or special prize, for Fighting Spirit. He was promoted to a new high of maegashira 2 for the January 2009 tournament. Although he was not able to come through with a winning record his score of 6–9 was creditable, and he scored a memorable win over new ōzeki Harumafuji on the opening day of the tournament. However, he gradually slipped back down the rankings with three more losing scores in the next three tournaments. The November 2009 tournament was one of his most successful, as he won nine of his first ten bouts before slowing down somewhat to finish on 10–5. In September 2010 he won his second Fighting Spirit prize, which was shared with his stablemate Takekaze, after producing a fine 11–4 score, having been 7–0. He followed up with a solid 8–7 record in November, which saw him return to maegashira 2 in January 2011, and he reached maegashira 1 that July.

In March 2014 Yoshikaze scored 10–5 from maegashira 4. This not only saw him win his third Fighting Spirit Prize, but also guaranteed him promotion to the san'yaku ranks for the first time, as all the maegashira above him on the banzuke had losing scores. His promotion to komusubi in the May 2014 tournament ended his record as the active wrestler with the longest career in makuuchi without ever making a san'yaku appearance (47 tournaments). He managed a 6–9 at this rank, and though this would lead to a demotion, it is considered relatively strong showing for a wrestler debuting at this challenging rank. In the following July tournament in Nagoya, he defeated yokozuna Harumafuji for the second tournament in a row, this time earning his first kinboshi as he was back in the maegashira ranks.[3] He added a second kinboshi in September by beating Kakuryū but ended the tournament with a losing record and withdrew from the November tournament after winning only four of his first twelve matches.

In early 2015 Yoshikaze dropped to maegashira 14 after losing records in five of the last six tournaments. He recovered in May however, with a 10–5 result and then produced a career-best makuuchi score at Nagoya in July, finishing with 12–3 and earning a fourth Fighting Spirit prize. His excellent form continued in September 2015 when his eleven wins from maegashira 1 included victories over both competing yokozuna, Hakuhō and Kakūryū. He was additionally awarded the special prizes for Outstanding Performance and Technique.[4] Yoshikaze returned to the rank of komusubi for the November 2015 tournament and defeated Kakūryū for the second time in a row on the opening day.[5] He went on to post wins over both sekiwake and the ōzeki Gōeidō to end the tournament with an 8–7 record. He was awarded the special prize for Technique for the second consecutive tournament.[6] His efforts saw him promoted to the rank of sekiwake for the first time, 59 tournaments after his top division debut. This is the second slowest in history, behind only fellow Oguruma stable member Takekaze, who took 68 tournaments to reach sekiwake.[7]

Yoshikaze achieved a majority of wins in his debut at sekiwake, but lost the rank after the following tournament where he could only score 4–11. He earned his fifth career gold star in the July 2016 tournament by defeating Harumafuji for the eighth time in thirteen meetings.[8] Despite suffering from facial injuries he ended the tournament with a 10–5 record and was awarded the special prize for Outstanding Performance.[9] In the March 2017 tournament he earned his sixth kinboshi by defeating Kakuryū on Day 10.[10] Returning to the sanyaku ranks at komusubi in May 2017, he defeated two yokozuna, Kisenosato and Kakuryū, in the first four days,[11] and received his third Technique Prize at the end of the tournament. He produced another good performance in July, beating Harumafuji on the opening day and ending with a 9–6 record: he was in consideration for another Technique prize before losing to the in-form Aoiyama on the final day. This returned him to sekiwake rank for the first time since March 2016. He became the fifth oldest wrestler post World War II to earn promotion to sekiwake at 35 years, 5 months.[12]

He is the owner of the Nakamura toshiyori kabu or elder stock currently being borrowed by (former maegashira Sadanofuji) , indicating he intends to stay in sumo as a coach upon his retirement.

Fighting style[edit]

Yoshikaze's favourite techniques are listed at the Sumo Association as tsuki/oshi, meaning he prefers pushing and thrusting moves as opposed to fighting on the opponent's mawashi or belt. His most common winning techniques are oshidashi, the push out, and yorikiri, the force out.

Family[edit]

Yoshikaze was married in December 2008, and the wedding ceremony was held in October 2009. He has two children, a daughter and a son.

Career record[edit]

Yoshikaze Masatsugu[13]
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
2004 (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #27
7–0
Champion

 
East Jonidan #23
6–1
 
West Sandanme #60
6–1
 
East Sandanme #6
7–0–P
Champion

 
West Makushita #11
3–4
 
2005 West Makushita #16
6–1
 
West Makushita #5
4–3
 
East Makushita #3
5–2
 
West Jūryō #13
10–4–1
 
West Jūryō #7
8–7
 
West Jūryō #5
10–5
 
2006 West Maegashira #13
5–10
 
West Maegashira #16
8–7
 
West Maegashira #14
9–6
 
East Maegashira #9
6–9
 
East Maegashira #12
5–10
 
East Jūryō #1
8–7
 
2007 West Maegashira #13
8–7
 
West Maegashira #12
5–10
 
East Jūryō #1
8–7
 
East Maegashira #13
6–9
 
West Maegashira #15
10–5
 
West Maegashira #10
4–11
 
2008 West Maegashira #15
8–7
 
West Maegashira #12
6–9
 
West Maegashira #14
7–8
 
East Maegashira #15
8–7
 
East Maegashira #11
7–8
 
East Maegashira #12
11–4
F
2009 West Maegashira #2
6–9
 
West Maegashira #4
7–8
 
West Maegashira #5
4–11
 
West Maegashira #12
6–9
 
East Maegashira #15
9–6
 
East Maegashira #9
10–5
 
2010 East Maegashira #5
6–9
 
West Maegashira #9
5–10
 
East Maegashira #13
9–6
 
West Maegashira #8
5–10
 
West Maegashira #11
11–4
F
East Maegashira #5
8–7
 
2011 West Maegashira #2
4–11
 
West Maegashira #7
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
West Maegashira #7
9–6
 
West Maegashira #1
7–8
 
West Maegashira #2
6–9
 
West Maegashira #5
7–8
 
2012 East Maegashira #6
9–6
 
West Maegashira #2
3–10–2
 
West Maegashira #9
8–7
 
East Maegashira #8
7–8
 
East Maegashira #10
7–8
 
West Maegashira #10
8–7
 
2013 East Maegashira #8
7–8
 
West Maegashira #9
9–6
 
East Maegashira #6
7–8
 
West Maegashira #7
7–8
 
West Maegashira #8
6–5–4
 
East Maegashira #13
8–7
 
2014 West Maegashira #11
10–5
 
East Maegashira #4
10–5
F
East Komusubi #1
6–9
 
West Maegashira #2
7–8
West Maegashira #3
7–8
West Maegashira #4
4–8–3
 
2015 West Maegashira #11
8–7
 
East Maegashira #9
5–10
 
East Maegashira #14
10–5
 
East Maegashira #8
12–3
F
West Maegashira #1
11–4
OT
West Komusubi
8–7
T
2016 West Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
East Sekiwake #1
4–11
 
East Maegashira #4
7–8
 
West Maegashira #5
10–5
O
West Maegashira #1
7–8
 
West Maegashira #2
6–9
 
2017 West Maegashira #5
8–7
 
East Maegashira #4
8–7
West Komusubi #1
8–7
T
East Komusubi #1
9–6
 
West Sekiwake #1
8–7
T
West Sekiwake #1
6–9
 
2018 East Maegashira #2
4–11
West Maegashira #7
7–8
 
x x 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. ^ "Jonosuke" (25 May 2005). "New Juryo for July, Oonishi gets a new shikona". Sumo Forum. Retrieved 8 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "2008 May Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  3. ^ "Harumafuji crashes to defeat at Nagoya basho". Japan Times. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  4. ^ staff (27 September 2015). "Kakuryu bounces back to grab elusive 2nd title". The Japan News by Yomiuri Shimbun. 
  5. ^ "Hakuho victorious on opening day". Japan Times. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "Harumafuji wins Kyushu title despite final-day defeat". Japan Today. 22 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "2016 January Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics" (PDF). Japan Sumo Association. December 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Yoshikaze bouts by opponent". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  9. ^ "Harumafuji captures title at Nagoya Basho". Japan Times. July 24, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Kisenosato, Takayasu remain perfect in Osaka". Japan Today. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Kisenosato falls to 2–2 with loss to maegashira Endo at Summer Basho". Japan Times. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "2017 September Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. 30 August 2017. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  13. ^ "Yoshikaze Masatsugu Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-09-23. 

External links[edit]