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Kendoguy9
9th January 2015, 23:48
Hello all,

I thought I'd try to spark a little interest in this forum by sharing some images of my tegata collection. I don't have a lot (11 as of right now and none of mine are active sumotori) but I hope everyone enjoys seeing what I do have. For those who don't know tegata are autographed hand prints on paper boards called shikishi that are made by professional sumotori. Only the highest ranked rikishi make them and they are given out as gifts to loyal fans and club members and on special occasions. The hand prints are usually either red or black and the signature is in black ink. They sometimes have various hanko of the rikishi's name, his rank, or a special event. Part of a young rikishi's training is shodo or how o use the brush. Many rikishi have very artistic autographs. Sometimes the shikishi board will be printed with something as well. Although I don't have any, a very rare type of tegata is on paper and it s displayed on a scroll. These will have a kanji written by one of the gyoji (referees) along side of the tegata. Tegata are a very interesting autograph because it also shows biometric feature of the wrestling star, the hand print. It is becoming popular with American athletes to make their own tegata and a quick search on ebay shows some by Michael Jordan for sale.

10796
Here we have a lower ranked wrestler helping a higher ranked wrestler as he makes his tegata.

Anyway, over the next few days I'll reply to this post. In the reply I'll have an image of the tegata and a short write-up on the rikishi.

Cheers,
Chris

Kendoguy9
10th January 2015, 00:09
10797

This is one of the first few tegata I got. It is from one of the first Mongolian rikishi Kyokushuzan. Kyokushuzan's highest rank in sumo was Komusubi, sumo's 4th highest rank. Kyokushuzan helped pioneer the Mongolian invasion into pro-sumo and actively sought to get Mongolians into the sport at the highest level. Clearly it worked as the current three Yokozuna (Hakuho, Harumafuji and Kakuryu) and the most recently retired Yokozuna (Asashoryu) are all Mongolians. Like most Mongolian rikishi Kyokushuzan practiced Mongolian wrestling as a youth before going to Japan.

After retirement Kyokushuzan became a politician in Mongolia. This tegata was made for a charity auction. I can't remember where the money went but it was something to do with helping impoverished kids in Mongolia. I thought the Japanese and Mongolian postage stamps in the corners made this tegata pretty cool.

Kendoguy9
10th January 2015, 02:50
10798

So this is the first tegata I ever got. It is from the famous Ozeki Chiyotaikai. Chiyotaikai was a staple of Grand Sumo for the better part of a decade between 1999-2009. He was the longest serving Ozeki with 65 consecutive honbasho. His style of sumo was aggressive and he favored tsuppari, the repeated open hand slapping. The first time I went to Tokyo in 2001 I got to go to a honbasho at the Kokugikan (sumo stadium in Tokyo) in Ryogoku and I saw Chiyotaikai live. He was fast and powerful. His style of sumo has represented the ideal style of sumo to me since seeing him in person. I purchased one of his tegata at the stadium but it was a machine printed one. I wanted the real thing so when this one came up I grabbed it.

Chiyotaikai retired in Jan. 2010 and has since been a coach at Kokonoe beya. His toshiyori or elder name is Sanoyama Oyakata.

Kendoguy9
10th January 2015, 03:32
10799

This tegata is from the fourth man to carry the name Asashio Taro. Asashio was an Ozeki ranked rikishi from the late 70's into the late 80's. As an Ozeki he had a fairly mediocre career winning one championship and then barely posting a winning record to keep himself from demotion. The first two Asashio were both Ozeki ranked and the third was the 46th Yokozuna. While he certainly lived up to his namesake by making the rank of Ozeki his biggest success and eventual downfall was his coaching career after he retired from the dohyo.

Asashio IV would become the stable master of Wakamatsu beya a stable related to the one he wrestled for Takasago. As the head of Wakamatsu beya he coached the famous (infamous?) Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu. His own Wakamatsu beya would merge with his former stable Takasago beya and Asashio would become the master of the Takasago beya just like the 2nd and 3rd Asashio before him. From 2000 to 2008 he would hold the position of Director of the Japan Sumo Association. But his greatest triumph as a coach would be his downfall. Asashoryu caused numerous scandals in the sport, including drunken brawls and being AWOL for local basho (spending time in Mongolia playing soccer instead). Takasago's inability to control his wrestler got him demoted within the Association.

Kendoguy9
10th January 2015, 13:37
10800

Here we have the tegata from a very powerful and popular Ozeki ranked rikishi Hokutenyu. He was active as a wrestler from 1976 to 1990 and he spent 44 consecutive honbasho at the rank of Ozeki making him the fourth longest serving Ozeki. Hokutenyu was very popular with the ladies and was considered very handsome in his prime. Hokutenyu had two rivals during his career; Yokozuna Chiyonofuji and the Hawaiian born Ozeki Konishiki. Hokutenyu's brother entered sumo in the Kokonoe beya the same stable his rival Chiyonofuji wrestled for. There was an incident of physical abuse to Hokutenyu's brother that made him leave sumo. Hokutenyu blamed the Yokozuna so his rivalry in the dohyo was personal.

After retirement Hokutenyu started his own stable Hatachiyama beya. In 2006 Hatachiyama Oyakata would suffer a stroke and soon after die from cancer of the kidneys at the young age of 45. His sumotori would transfer to Kitanoumi beya.

P Goldsbury
11th January 2015, 01:04
Hello Chris,

I do not have a collection of tegata, for my interest in sumo really concerns the type of training that sumotori do. When I was younger, I occasionally attended tournaments and knew people connected with the old Takasago Beya. So my three tegata are by Takamiyama, Konishiki and Mitoizumi. Do you have these? If not, I will give them to you (assuming you ever come to Japan, for I have no plans to visit the US in the immediate future).

Best wishes,

PAG

Kendoguy9
11th January 2015, 02:47
Prof. Goldsbury,

That is a very kind offer thank you. Next time I make it out to Japan I will try to get outside of the Kanto area and maybe we can meet. Takamiyama is of course an American favorite along with Konishiki. Mitoizumi was always awesome to watch before the match when he made it rain with salt on the dohyo. I think at one point he was supposed to head Takasago beya but that eventually fell through which is why Asashio ended up merging it with Wakamatsu beya.

One of my training partners and I have always enjoyed putting on mawashi and doing some ama sumo after Daito ryu training. This year we have decided to work with the US Sumo Federation and start Maryland's first formal sumo club. We are scheduling our first training class the 23rd of this month. Not sure if we will produce any world class wrestlers but it should be fun none the less. Shiko training has been one of my staple exercises for close to a decade but here in the last couple months I've really increased the number I do daily in preparation for sumo class.

Today ended up being very busy so I didn't get as many tegata posted. I'll try for a couple more tomorrow.

Cheers,
Chris

P Goldsbury
11th January 2015, 04:21
Hello Chris,

Yes, Mitoizumi was ticked off once by the Sumo Federation for the amount of salt he used to throw over the dohyo, but I do not think it made any difference.
Have you been as far south as Hiroshima?

Best wishes,

PAG

Kendoguy9
11th January 2015, 16:39
Prof. Goldsbury,

All of my travels in Japan so far have been centered around Tokyo. I've been as far north as Kashima City in Ibaraki to pray at the shrine, as far east as Katsuura City in Chiba and as far south as Kamakura in Kanagawa. There is so much to see and do just in Tokyo alone it can be overwhelming. Most of my time spent in Japan has been in the dojo so I haven't seen a fraction of what I want to see. I would love to get south. I did a lot of my undergrad work focusing on the Bakumatsu and the Southwestern War so it would be great to tour the region. I think my next trip will have more time for site seeing and maybe only a few days in the dojo. My wife wants to come too so that will limit the time in training anyway.

Cheers,
Chris

Kendoguy9
11th January 2015, 21:45
10802

This is my last Ozeki ranked rikishi's tegata before I get into Yokozuna and this is a big one; Konishiki. Konishiki is one of the most famous and popular sumotori outside of Japan. He was the first non-Japanese to make the rank of Ozeki. Konishiki was born in Hawaii to Samoan parents. He was scouted by local Hawaiian hero and first non-Japanese rikishi to win a honbasho, Takamiyama. Konishiki was active as a rikishi from 1982 until 1997 and he has the distinction of being the heaviest sumotori in history at 633 lbs. or 287 kg! To reach the rank of Yokozuna a wrestler must win two consecutive honbasho. At that point the Yokozuna Deliberation Council will meet to see if the rikishi should be promoted to sumo's highest rank. When Konishiki won two basho Ina row the council met but decided not to promote because they did not know if a foreigner had the dignity and cultural understanding to hold this coveted title. They decided to wait and see if Konishiki could win a third honbasho in a row. There was a media backlash and Konishiki wasn't able to give his full attention to his training and turned in a mediocre performance the next basho. Konishiki was never able to string together two more consecutive wins so was never considered for Yokozuna again in his career. He still remained a fan favorite.

After he retired Konishiki became an actor and musician. His musical style mixes island with rap. He is also a skilled ukulele player which is very cool to me since I enjoy playing ukulele too. Konishiki has raised funds for disaster relief and runs a charity to allow underprivileged Hawaiian children experience Japanese culture.

Kendoguy9
12th January 2015, 02:00
10803

So I will start off my Yokozuna tegata collection with the earliest tegata and one of the more controversial Yokozuna, Wajima. Wajima was the 54th Yokozuna in sumo history with a solid career as a wrestler. He won 14 honbasho during his career between 1970 and 1981. Of the 71 Yokozuna there have only been seven with better records than Wajima. He is also the only collegiate rikishi to make it to the rank of Yokozuna. He is also the only rikishi to make it to the highest rank and never take a shikona, a ring name. His who career he fought under his given name. Even as a Yokozuna he was a bit of an outsider and would spend time with yakuza gangsters and stay in much more luxurious places than is common for the Spartan sumotori, even of his rank. Where things got dicey for him though was after he retired from the dohyo.

After his retirement he purchased stock in the Japan Sumo Federation and became an elder. The rules of who is eligible to purchase sumo stock are very strict with only salaried rikishi being eligible and the stocks can never leave the Federation. This helps insure that people who have never been involved in the sport can't just buy their way into it. Anyway, he took over Hanakago beya but he wasn't much of a coach and the stable suffered. He also had marital troubles that ended in bitter divorce. While his stable and personal life were collapsing his finances were too. Wajima had a chain of chankonabe (the rich stew rikishi eat daily) restaurants that failed and he went deeply in debt. It turned out he used his shares in the Federation as collateral on a loan. This got him banned from the Federation. To pay his debts Wajima became a professional wrestler for two years. He later became a coach for a Japanese gridiron football team in the X-League. Wajima had a successful career as a rikishi but post retirement he was a somewhat tragic figure in the sport's history.

Kendoguy9
12th January 2015, 18:26
10805

Now we will move on to one of the great Yokozuna who was more successful both in the dohyo and after (although he has some smaller shake ups recently) Kitanoumi. Kitanoumi was the most successful Yokozuna during the 1970's and his career stretched from 1967 as a 13 year old middle school student until 1985 when we wrestled in the new Kokugikan stadium. Kitanoumi won a remarkable 24 championships with only four Yokozuna posting more. His records are rather extensive and many have only been beat in very recent years. Because of his dominance he wasn't that popular with sumo fans. He remained in excellent health throughout his career and almost never missed a honbasho for any reason. For these reasons he took the excitement away from the sport a little. If he showed up he'd likely win or make runner-up. In the 1970's his only real rival was the less consistent Wajima. It wasn't until the 1980's when the young Yokozuna Chiyonofuji started to wrestle that Kitanoumi had a serious rival. His last honbasho he won was May 1984 when he posted a perfect 15-0 record. He was convinced to stay in the sport until the new Kokugikan stadium was complete in 1985. After three days in the January 1985 tournament he retired. He was Yokozuna for 63 honbasho, one of him many records.

After retirement he was honored by the Japan Sumo Federation by being allowed to remain as an elder but to use his shikona or fighting name. This had only been done once before for the great Taiho. Every other rikishi who had remained as an elder had to take a toshiyori or elder name. He eventually became the head of the Federation as the chairman in 2002. During his tenure professional sumo has faced several scandals and the interest in the sport has been waning in favor of baseball, basketball and other western sports. During his tenure there were troubles with the then Yokozuna Asashoryu, the murder of a junior wrestler by his coach, drug use among rikishi and match fixing. Kitanoumi would resign as chairman in 2008 and then as one of the directors in 2011. However, like a rising phoenix he has resumed his position of chairman as of 2012.

Kendoguy9
12th January 2015, 19:16
10806

Just like life, sumo and Yokozuna are subject to ebb and flow and the next tegata is from one of those ebbing Yokozuna, Onokuni. Onokuni's Yokozuna career started out very promising. He posted a 40-5 win ratio tied with Wakanohana II for best win record to the rank of Yokozuna. During those three tournaments he would win one honbasho with a perfect 15-0 record and be runner-up in the following two which earned him his Yokozuna title. After reaching the highest rank Onokuni would only win one more honbasho for a career high of only two. The rest of his career he was plagued with injury and illness and his weight skyrocketed to 448 lbs or about 203 kg. He became the first Yokozuna to post a makekoshi or losing record of 7-8 in a basho. While he offered to resign the Federation refused his resignation. After numerous missed basho and many mediocre records he finally retired at age 28, the second youngest Yokozuna to retire from the sport.

After retirement Onokuni took the elder name Shibatayama Oyakata and opened his own stable. According to Wiki he is an avid baker and published a cookbook on baking cakes as well as an autobiography.

Kendoguy9
12th January 2015, 20:15
10807

Besides the Hanada brother dynasts, Asahifuji was the last Japanese Yokozuna before the sports highest rank became dominated by Hawaiian and Mongolian wrestlers. He was another Yokozuna plagued with injury and illness including shoulder troubles and pancreatic disease. Asahifuji had, at the time, the fast rise into sumo's highest ranks. As a child his father was an avid ama-sumo (amateur sumo) competitor and the family had their own dohyo in their garden. Asahifuji spent much of his youth fighting in ama-sumo which is what helped him reach the top ranks so fast. He turned in four championship wins in his 11 year career but only one of those was at the rank of Yokozuna. Illness and injury kept him from being in top form.

After he retired he took over Ajigawa beya and eventually acquired the prestigious elder name Isegahama Oyakata. He subsequently changed his stable name to Isegahama beya. Asahifuji's greatest accomplishment thus far as an elder has been coaching the Mongolian Yokozuna Haramafuji (formerly Ama). Asahifuji reportedly told Haramafuji, "If you are content with being ozeki then it is all over. You do not become a yokozuna just by wanting to be a yokozuna."

Todd Lambert
12th January 2015, 22:59
10802

This is my last Ozeki ranked rikishi's tegata before I get into Yokozuna and this is a big one; Konishiki. Konishiki is one of the most famous and popular sumotori outside of Japan. He was the first non-Japanese to make the rank of Ozeki. Konishiki was born in Hawaii to Samoan parents. He was scouted by local Hawaiian hero and first non-Japanese rikishi to win a honbasho, Takamiyama. Konishiki was active as a rikishi from 1982 until 1997 and he has the distinction of being the heaviest sumotori in history at 633 lbs. or 287 kg! To reach the rank of Yokozuna a wrestler must win two consecutive honbasho. At that point the Yokozuna Deliberation Council will meet to see if the rikishi should be promoted to sumo's highest rank. When Konishiki won two basho Ina row the council met but decided not to promote because they did not know if a foreigner had the dignity and cultural understanding to hold this coveted title. They decided to wait and see if Konishiki could win a third honbasho in a row. There was a media backlash and Konishiki wasn't able to give his full attention to his training and turned in a mediocre performance the next basho. Konishiki was never able to string together two more consecutive wins so was never considered for Yokozuna again in his career. He still remained a fan favorite.

After he retired Konishiki became an actor and musician. His musical style mixes island with rap. He is also a skilled ukulele player which is very cool to me since I enjoy playing ukulele too. Konishiki has raised funds for disaster relief and runs a charity to allow underprivileged Hawaiian children experience Japanese culture.
Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately for Konishiki's yokozuna hopes, he never was able to win two tournaments in a row in the top division.

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=1287

Kendoguy9
12th January 2015, 23:32
Todd good catch. He won two honbasho out of three that were bookends and had a decent middle honbasho. I should have done a better job researching that. I'm sure Futahaguro was still fresh in the minds of the Council as well as a certain amount of fear of public perception of a non-Japanese Yokozuna. I can't believe it has been so long now. I think today the public would be shocked to see a Japanese Yokozuna... they wouldn't know what to do with themselves!

Kendoguy9
19th January 2015, 22:25
10812

So technically this isn't a tegata just an autographed shikishi, but the Yokozuna who autographed it was a big one, Takanohana! Takanohana is part of the Hanada family sumo dynasty that includes his father Takanohana Kenshi a powerful Ozeki from the 70's and 80's, his uncle Wakanohana Kanji I a Yokozuna in the late 50's and early 60's and his older brother and fellow Yokozuna Wakanohana Masaru. During his career Takanohana set a number of age related records and was one of the most successful Yokozuna in history with 22 championships. He began wrestling under the name Takahanada in his father's Fujishima beya along with his brother Wakahanada. Per his father the young Takahanada would only allowed to use his father's old shikona Takanohana if he reached the rank of Ozeki. Takanohana along with his brother and the Hawaiian Akebono would bring life back into sumo which had been fading in popularity in the late 80's and early 90's. The era would be known as the Taka-Waka era.

After his retirement Takanohana was granted a single generation elder status and allowed to use his fighting name as his elder name. He is now Takanohana Oyakata. He is only the 4th Yokozuna given this privilege and the 3rd to take the honor (the impressive Chiyonofuji took the Kokonoe elder name instead of using his own fighting name). The Hanada family had many issues centered around the Taka-Waka brothers. Takanohana was accused of being brainwashed by his chiropractor which drove a wedge between his father, brother and himself. When his father passed away there was drama and controversy over which brother, the older Wakanohana who had left the sumo world or the more skilled Takanohana who remained in sumo should succeed their father and his estate. Takanohana also became outspoken over his mother's extramarital affairs she had. Eventually Takanohana took over his father's stable and renamed it Takanohana beya. Takanohana has been successful in losing a great deal of weight after his retirement. He went from a fighting 340 lbs to 200 lbs. He has published a weight loss book and he teaches fitness classes he calls Shicore (from shiko and core) based on sumo taiso and possibly yoga and taiji. http://www.shicore.info/index.html

Andrew S
20th January 2015, 18:50
If memory serves me correctly, it was a young Takahanada who defeated an aging Chiyonofuji and cemented the yokozuna's retirement - an almost exact re-enactment of Chiyonofuji bettering Takanohana I years before.

He was also the first rikishi to not drink from the Emperors Cup after his first basho win - police had warned the minor not to do it.

The Hanada brothers were definitely gifted sumotori, but I'm sure their good looks ancestrytory had at least as much to do with their popularity. Nor will people thank me for reminding them that Takanohana also held a record for the most consecutive basho sat out.
I'm also slightly dubious of his single generation elder status - the much maligned Asashoryu held more impressive records.

Kendoguy9
6th February 2015, 01:54
10818

This tegata belongs to Wakanohana the 66th Yokozuna and older brother to Takanohana the 65th Yokozuna. Wakanohana is named after his uncle the 45th Yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji I. There was a second Wakanohana Kanji who was unrelated to the Hanada family who was the 56th Yokozuna. He lived up to his name sake and made the sport's top rank. Even though he was older he was eclipsed by his more talented younger brother. Both brothers enter sumo at the same time and wrestled in their father's stable. Wakanohana only won five tournaments in his career and none while at the rank of Yokozuna. His career at the top rank was short and he suffered from many injuries. He had the third longest tenure at Ozeki before being promoted to Yokozuna (of the men who made it to the rank) and he is the 6th youngest Yokozuna to retire. Even though he lacked the success in the dohyo that his brother had, he did contribute to the sports popularity in the 1990's. It was often called the Taka-Waka era. Wakanohana was also the last Japanese rikishi promoted to Yokozuna.

After his retirement Wakanohana resigned from the sumo world and became a TV personality, tried out for the NFL and opened now failed chanko restaurant chain. There was a great deal of controversy between Takanohana and Wakanohana when their father died. Wakanohana was the chief mourner at the funeral because he was the elder brother but Takanohana inherited the vast sumo estate since he was still an active member of the Sumo Kyokai.

Kendoguy9
6th February 2015, 01:56
Btw, sorry for taking so long to post this last tegata; work has been busy. I am in the process of finding some more tegata so hopefully I'll have more to post soon :)

Kendoguy9
9th February 2015, 20:36
10819

I just picked up four tegata over the weekend and I think this one is the most appropriate to start with because it is from the next Yokozuna in the list, the 67th Yokozuna Musashimaru. Musashimaru was one of the rikishi I first saw in 2001 and maybe the most influential to me. The man is massive at over 6'3" tall he weighed in around 518 pounds! I saw him in Washington DC up close in 2004 and was even more impressed with him. His head was the size of a normal man's torso it seemed. Musashimaru was the last of the great Hawaiian sumotori. He was well known and well liked for his face which resembles the famous samurai from the Bakumatsu Saigo Takamori. Musashimaru is an interesting ethnic mix of Tongan, German, Samoan and Portuguese and was originally born in American Samoa before his family moved to Hawaii. He won a total of 12 basho and competed against some of the best rikishi of the time including Akebono and Takanohana both Yokozuna with double digit honbasho wins. At the time of his promotion to Yokozuna he was highly regarded and praised for having never missed a basho up to that point.

After he retired he took the famous toshiyori or elder name Musashigawa and he is the head of his own Musashigawa stable. This is actually a different Musashigawa stable than the one he wrestled for. The original Musashigawa stable was headed by former Ozeki Musoyama who changed the name to Fujishima stable. Musashimaru took up the old stable name as his own once this happened.

Tripitaka of AA
12th February 2015, 01:24
Christopher, thank you for this thread, you have made it a fascinating read. Good luck with the collection.

I have some questions for you, if I may.

Is there any significance given to which hand is used to make the handprint? I note that some are left, some are right. In the photograph with your opening post it is easy to imagine them going through hundreds at a time. Do you suppose they both hands alternately?

My wife comes from Tokyo and was used to seeing rikishi from the local beya cycling by or perched on the tiny chairs in local cafe. Do you know which beya it might have been? I'd love to match it up to some of those stories above. She grew up in Asagaya-minami, in Suginami-ku. These days it is also known for its many anime studios and there is a recent shopping arcade opened that is dedicated to anime (themed restaurants, bookshops, cosplay outfitters, memorabilia, etc.).

Todd Lambert
12th February 2015, 06:07
Christopher, thank you for this thread, you have made it a fascinating read. Good luck with the collection.

I have some questions for you, if I may.

Is there any significance given to which hand is used to make the handprint? I note that some are left, some are right. In the photograph with your opening post it is easy to imagine them going through hundreds at a time. Do you suppose they both hands alternately?

My wife comes from Tokyo and was used to seeing rikishi from the local beya cycling by or perched on the tiny chairs in local cafe. Do you know which beya it might have been? I'd love to match it up to some of those stories above. She grew up in Asagaya-minami, in Suginami-ku. These days it is also known for its many anime studios and there is a recent shopping arcade opened that is dedicated to anime (themed restaurants, bookshops, cosplay outfitters, memorabilia, etc.).
As for the heya locations, you can view them on Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zlmrWJAI0aCM.kjSzINQzkZlc&ie=UTF8&om=1&oe=UTF8&msa=0

Kendoguy9
12th February 2015, 13:13
Hi David,

You are correct, they make hundreds of tegata at a time. There isn't any significance as to which hand the rikishi uses or the color of the ink, either red or black. Some guys might have a certain preferance when making them but as a whole there are no hard and fast rules. I have heard some rikishi think the red ink is a lucky color compared to black. When a rikishi loses he gets a kuroboshi or black star so black can be viewed as an unlucky color for the more superstitious wrestlers. As for which hand, I think once his right hand gets tired he uses his left and vice versa. If you get to see multiple tegata from the same rikishi you'll also notice his hand writing getting more and more "abstract" (ok bad. wrist cramping) as he goes until the kanji are almost illegible. I haven't been able to get one yet but Hakuho has at times signed his tegata in Romanji. He's Hakuho, like Hitachiyama, he can do what he likes; who is going to stop him?

Todd's map is probably the best way to find any local heya where your wife grew up. My guess would be it was the Haneregoma beya which recently merged into Shibatayama beya (in 2013 I think). Hanaregoma was a break off of Hanakago. When the break off happened Onokuni (see Yokozuna tegata above) went, too. Hanaregoma eventually absorbed it's parent stable Hanakago in 1985. Onokuni founded Shibatayama beya in 1999. The ichimon groups are very incestuous. This is all just a guess though.

Cheers,
Chris

Tripitaka of AA
12th February 2015, 16:00
Thanks Todd, that was fun looking at the map.

Thanks Christopher, there doesn't seem to be a heya close enough on that map, so perhaps it moved. She came to the UK in 1986, so that may count as ancient history for some ;). I was talking about the Taka-Waka story and she got really confused - until we realised she was thinking of the previous generation that used the name :eek:... oops, how embarassing. She never watched much Sumo, but her Grandma would always have the TV tuned in to the channel covering a basho. Grandma liked the handsome young men with a bit of beef :).

Kendoguy9
12th February 2015, 16:28
Yeah the Taka-Waka story can get confusing. The first generation Takanohana and Wakanohana were brothers but Waka was much much older than his brother. I think Wakanohana fought in the late 1940's through the early 1960's and was Yokozuna. The much younger Takanohana fought in the 1970's and retired in '81 and made it to Ozeki. The next generation Taka and Waka were sons of the first Takanohana and both made Yokozuna. There were even stories circulating that the first Wakanohand and Takanohana were not brothers but father and son. Not sure I believe it but who knows? What's interesting is Takanohana I was the last man to beat the great Taiho and then the rising super star Chiyonofuji was the last man to beat Takanohana I. Near the end of Chiyonofuji's career the up and coming star Takanohana II beat him and Chiyonofuji retired soon after.

Tripitaka of AA
12th February 2015, 17:40
Chiyonofuji is the only yokozuna I ever really watched. In the UK channel 4 ran a weekly program about Sumo which did a good job of introducing the techniques, the rituals and the star rikishi of the day. It was a bit weird as they ran for several weeks but were in fact only covering one day of the basho per episode... meaning the basho they showed was stretched out to last weeks! Akebono, Konishiki and a lot of the people mentioned above were all active in these programs. Chiyonofuji was a fascinating athlete, who brought strategy and technique to help him defeat the bigger and stronger. I liked him.

SumoFit
24th February 2015, 05:39
Chiyonofuji is the only yokozuna I ever really watched. In the UK channel 4 ran a weekly program about Sumo which did a good job of introducing the techniques, the rituals and the star rikishi of the day. It was a bit weird as they ran for several weeks but were in fact only covering one day of the basho per episode... meaning the basho they showed was stretched out to last weeks! Akebono, Konishiki and a lot of the people mentioned above were all active in these programs. Chiyonofuji was a fascinating athlete, who brought strategy and technique to help him defeat the bigger and stronger. I liked him.

I agree! Chiyo is my favourite rikishi for the reasons you mention. He possessed skill and determination, but also grace and dignity. From a female perspective he was quite gorgeous, with a boyish and charming demeanour -- an interesting balance to his “Wolf” persona in the dohyo.

SumoFit
24th February 2015, 05:57
http://www.shicore.info/index.html[/URL]

I didn't know Takanohana was doing this, and I find it particularly interesting because I also teach classes that combine sumo taiso and various traditional and martial arts exercises (my students LOVE shiko). I know there is (or was a few years back) a Sumo Kenko Taiso DVD, but I understood it was only sold at tournaments. Do you know anything about it, how well it went over with the general public, etc.?

Thanks, Chris, for this fascinating thread and the beautiful tegata -- your time and effort are very much appreciated! :)

Kendoguy9
21st March 2015, 01:03
10824

Sorry for the delay in getting these next three tegata posted. I have another one coming soon so I wanted to make sure I am up to date posting here. These next three Ozeki ranked rikishi came out of the powerful Musashigawa Beya.

First up we have Dejima Takeharu. Dejima was a collegiate sumo champion who went pro in 1996. His highest rank w Ozeki which he held for two years of his ten year career. He won one Emperor’s cup in 1999 where he beat both Yokozunas Akebono and Takanohana and then beat Akebono a second time in a playoff match. He also won all three of the special prizes that Basho as well. This was his only championship.

Ten years after his debut he announced his retirement from the sport. He has remained in sumo as Onaruto Oyakata at the Fujishima Beya (formerly Musashigawa Beya).

Kendoguy9
22nd March 2015, 17:31
10825

We have another powerful Ozeki from the Musashigawa Beya, Musoyama Musashi. Musoyama was another amateur champion who made it into the top ranks of professional sumo. He was a strong oshi-sumo (pushing and thrusting sumo) rikishi. He only won one yusho in 2000 which saw his promotion to Ozeki. Most of his Ozeki career was plagued by injury until he retired in 2004. I've always favored Musoyama's bold signature on his tegata.

After retirement from competition he stayed on as a coach at Musashigawa Beya. He took the Fujishima elder name. In 2010 he took over the Musashigawa Beya and changed the name to Fujishima Beya. This allowed former Yokozuna Musashimaru the chance to take the Musashigawa Oyakata name and reopen the Heya.

Kendoguy9
22nd March 2015, 18:02
10826

The last Musashigawa/Fujishima Beya tegata I have belongs to the controversial Miyabiyama Tetsushi. Miyabiyama was another amateur sumo champion turned pro. His career started off very promising as he blasted his way through the middle divisions to reach the top ranks in just eight months.
When he entered the top division he didn’t even have enough hair to grow a top-knot. He turned in two very strong runner up performances which saw him get promoted to the sport’s second highest rank of Ozeki. The promotion turned out to be the beginning of the controversies that surrounded him.

When the directors of the Sumo Kyokai were deliberating Miyabiyama’s promotion to Ozeki three of the ten directors voted against the promotion. He had only been in the top division for a year and some of the directors thought that was too soon. They were right because he only had an eight basho career at Ozeki. His Ozeki career was one of the fastest to the rank and one of the shortest lived at the rank. This wouldn’t be the end of trouble for him though. In 2010 he was suspended and demoted to the Juryo ranks for his involvement in baseball gambling. He would eventually return to the highest ranks and made it to Komusubi but then fell as fast as he rose back to Juryo ranks where he retired.

After retirement Miyabiyama took over the Futagoyama Oyakata name from the 1st Takanohana and he is now a coach at the Fujishima Beya.

Kendoguy9
31st March 2015, 19:02
10827

This tegata was a birthday present from my parents and it is from the newest Yokozuna and 4th Mongolian to reach the top rank, Kakuryu. Kakuryu, unlike the other Mongolian Yokozuna did not come from a family of wrestlers and wrestling was never even an interest of his (he preferred basketball as a kid). He only got interested in sumo after watching Kyokushuzan (see the 1st tegata I posted) and Kyokutenho on TV. When he arrived in Japan to train at the Izutsu Beya he had never wrestled before and only weighed 143 lbs. Izutsu Oyakata thought he would have made a better hairdresser than rikishi when he first saw the skinny hopeful. Now Kakuryu is the only Sekitori ranked wrestler in the stable and has surpassed his master. He has had 5 runner-up tournaments and he won one Emperor's Cup which saw to his promotion to Yokozuna. When he won the cup he said, "I will work hard to become the kind of wrestler who can make everyone happy."

In addition to Mongolian Kakuryu speaks Japanese, English and Russian.

Kendoguy9
8th August 2016, 21:35
Hello all,

Sorry for being away for so long. I'm in the middle of grad school, I still work full time and back in April I became a father to a beautiful daughter. I can barely fit in keiko much less net time. I have two pretty exciting tegata coming my way. One should be here in a week or two and the other I'll likely get some time in the fall. I'll be sure to share once I get them.

Cheers,
Chris

Kendoguy9
15th August 2016, 20:13
10961

Here is my latest tegata from the 3rd Mongolian Yokozuna Harumafuji. Harumafuji is a rikishi after my own heart because of his deep interest in public safety, law enforcement, and higher education! His father was killed in a car accident. Because the EMS response is so poor (Mongolia has few ambulances) his father died at the crash site, whereas in Japan, the US, the UK etc. he likely would have been transported to a hospital and survived. Harumafuji has been instrumental in obtaining proper ambulances for his nation because of this tragedy. He is also qualified to be a police officer in Mongolia and wrote a university thesis comparing Mongolian and Japanese law enforcement models.

Harumafuji comes from a Mongolian wrestling family and he naturally took to sumo. He began his career under the name Ama but changed it to Harumafuji upon reaching the rank of Ozeki. His coach is the former Yokozuna Asahifuji (see above). Although he had a slow start as Yokozuna Harumafuji has an impressive 8 championships under his belt. He is rather light, weighing in just under 300 lbs but makes up for his size with a fast tachiai and a vast array of techniques (he has used 42 different kimarite to win to date!). Harumafuji's excellent career has sadly been overshadowed by his fellow countryman Hakuho. I'm hopeful that Harumafuji will break the double digits in championships though!

Probably in Oct. or Nov. I'll have another tegata posting. Stay tuned!

Kendoguy9
6th October 2016, 01:02
10975

As promised my latest tegata. This one is a big one, really big. This tegata was made by the greatest rikishi of all times Hakuho! For nearly 40 years the late, great Taiho's record of 32 basho wins stood. The only sumotori to come close is the recently deceased Chiyonofuji's 31 wins. In 2014 Hakuho matched that record. In 2015 he broke that record and now he stands at 37 Emperor's Cup wins and counting! This man has tied or owns nearly every sumo record and he doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

Hakuho is the second Mongolian Yokozuna of four. He comes from a Mongolian wrestling family. His father was the Mongolian wrestling equivalent of Yokozuna and he won the nation's first Olympic medal, a silver in free style wrestling, in 1968. Hakuho focused on basketball as a youth but later became interested in sumo, admiring the rikishi for their size (he was small for his age). He was invited by Kyokushuzan (see above) to Japan to try out for sumo. No one would recruit him. Kyokushuzan was able to talk Miyagino Oyakata into recruiting the boy. Hakuho means White Phoenix (a reference to Taiho, the Great Phoenix). He certainly exceeded his namesake. Hakuho is one of those athletes who dominates their respective sport. Between 2010 when Asashoryu resigned and 2012 when Harumafuji was promoted Hakuho was the only Yokozuna in the sport. Even with the two other Mongolian Yokozuna active Hakuho is still a dominating force. There have only been two Japanese rikishi to win the Cup in the past decade, and both wins came this year. The scene has been controlled by the Mongolians and Europeans. I think as long as Hakuho is wrestling we won't see any native Japanese boys wearing the tsuna.

Kendoguy9
15th November 2016, 23:26
11041

Here is another controversial but great Yokozuna's tegata. Asashoryu (morning blue dragon) was the first (of four so far) Mongolian to reach the sport's highest rank. Like most of the Mongolian rikishi in sumo, Asashoryu came from a Mongolian wrestling family. He posted 25 yusho making him 4th on the all-time list behind Hakuho (37), Taiho (32), and Chiyonofuji (31). For all his talent in the ring he was a bit of a problem in and outside of the dohyo. He was frequently chided for behavior unbecoming of a Yokozuna ranging from small things like taking prize money with his left hand to brawling with other rikishi in the locker room and vandalizing their cars. He is the only Yokozuna to have been disqualified from a match for pulling Kyokushuzan's hair, suspended from a tournament for missing regional matches (he claimed he was injured and went home to Mongolia, only to be caught on camera playing in a charity soccer match), and eventually being forced to retire for criminal assault allegations. Had he not been forced to retire who knows how many more basho he would have won? We might have been talking about Asashoryu breaking Taiho's record instead of Hakuho. As it stands we'll never know. While he was wrestling he was a force of nature.

Presently Asashoryu is a businessman in Mongolia. In addition to his investment company he also provides resources to schools and scholarships for college bound Mongolian students.

Kendoguy9
3rd December 2016, 18:17
11042

I've picked up two new tegata. This first one is Takanohana Koji 65th Yokozuna and the younger of the two Hanada brothers. Above I shared a plain autograph on a shikishi. I finally was able to pick up an actual tegata from Takanohana.

Kendoguy9
5th December 2016, 01:04
11043

Here is the 2nd tegata I recently obtained, Akebono Taro, 64th Yokozuna and the first foreign born grand champion. Akebono was born Chad Rowan in Hawaii. He was interested in basketball and even had a scholarship to play at Hawaii Pacific University. He was introduced to the famous Hawaiian sumo wrestler and elder Azumazeki Oyakata (wrestled as Takamiyama, the first foreigner to win a honbasho). Azumazeki Oyakata was worried that Akebono, at 6'8" (203cm), was too tall for sumo. Akebono proved him wrong and climbed through the ranks. Fighting at 518 lbs he was one of the largest rikishi. He was rivals with the Hanada brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana and with them he helped bolster sumo's popularity to new heights. He would end up winning 11 honbasho in his career and even preformed a dohyo-iri ceremony at the opening of the Nagano Olympics.

Akebono became a Japanese citizen. After retirement and a brief stint as an elder coach at the Azumazeki stable he entered MMA. His MMA career was less than stellar and he gave it up in favor of pro-wrestling. He has been an active pro-wrestler since 2005.

Kendoguy9
24th December 2016, 15:37
11046

Mainoumi Shuhei was an inspiring rikishi. Standing at 5’ 7.5” tall and weighing in at 216 lbs (he and I are very close in size) he was one of the smallest top ranked sumotori in the modern era. Because he was too short to meet the Sumo Kyokai’s minimum height requirements he had a doctor inject silicone into his head! Even though he was very small he made it to the San’yaku rank of Komusubi. Mainoumi wrestled in the 1990s during the era of the giant Hawaiians. In spite of his size he had surprising success. He even beat the 630 lbs Konishiki (sadly injuring himself in the process)! Besides being a Giant Slayer he was also a technical wizard and was called the “Department Store of Technique.” Mainoumi bested the 550 lbs Akebono with a very rare kimarite called mitokorozeme a simultaneous leg grab, leg sweep, and push out. He also introduced the nekodamashi, a loud clap at the beginning of the tachiai to distract the opponent and gain advantage.

After Mainoumi’s retirement he left the sumo world, much to the dismay of the Sumo Kyokai. Sumo’s popularity was at a low point in 1999 when he retired and his popularity might have helped the sport. Instead he began a career as a TV personality, sumo commentator, and actor. He appeared as one of the rikishi in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

tsak82
14th July 2017, 20:22
Hi Christopher,

Do you know what the hanko at the top right corner of the tegata says and means? I see similar ones with the same kanji on Hakuho's, Harumafuji's and Kakuryu's. I recently acquired one made by Chiyonofuji, which has a hanko very similar to the one on Asashoryu's tegata with the same kanji in a gunbai. I'm just trying to find out as much information as I can about it. Thank you.