Kotozakura Masakatsu

Last updated
Kotozakura Masakatsu
琴櫻 傑將
Kotozakura Masakatsu Bronze statue.jpg
Personal information
Born Kamatani Norio
(1940-11-26)November 26, 1940
Kurayoshi, Japan
Died August 14, 2007(2007-08-14) (aged 66)
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Weight 150 kg (331 lb)
Career
Stable Sadogatake
Record 723-428-77
Debut January 1959
Highest rank Yokozuna (January 1973)
Retired July 1974
Championships 5 (Makuuchi)
2 (Jūryō)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (4)
Fighting Spirit (2)
Gold Stars 2 (Kashiwado, Sadanoyama)
* Up to date as of August 2007.

Kotozakura Masakatsu (琴櫻 傑將, November 26, 1940 – August 14, 2007) was a former sumo wrestler from Kurayoshi, Tottori, Japan. He was the sport's 53rd yokozuna. He made his professional debut in 1959, reaching the top division in 1963. After several years at the second highest rank of ōzeki , in 1973 he was promoted to yokozuna at the age of thirty-two years two months, becoming the oldest wrestler to be promoted to yokozuna since 1958, when the current six tournaments system was established. [1] After his retirement he was head coach of Sadogatake stable and produced a string of top division wrestlers.

Sumo full-contact wrestling sport

Sumo is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring (dohyō) or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet.

Tottori Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Tottori Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu. Tottori Prefecture is the least populous prefecture of Japan at 570,569 (2016) and has a geographic area of 3,507 km2. Tottori Prefecture borders Shimane Prefecture to the west, Hiroshima Prefecture to the southwest, Okayama Prefecture to the south, and Hyogo Prefecture to the east.

Japan Constitutional monarchy in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Contents

Career

Born Norio Kamatani, he came from a sumo background, as his father was involved in organising regional amateur sumo tournaments and his grandfather's brother had been a professional rikishi . [2] The young Kamatani at first competed in judo, achieving shodan level while still in middle school. [2] However, after doing well in a national high school sumo competition he decided on a career in professional sumo. Initially his parents wanted him to continue with judo but they were persuaded by former komusubi Kotonishiki Noboru to let him join Sadogatake stable. [2]

<i>Rikishi</i> professional sumo wrestler

A rikishi (力士) sumotori or, more colloquially, sumosan, is a professional sumo wrestler. Rikishi are expected to live according to centuries-old rules and, although there are some exceptions, most come from Japan, where sumo is practiced exclusively. Participation in official tournaments is the only means of marking achievement in sumo and the rank of an individual rikishi is based solely on official wins.

Judo modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport

Judo was originally created in 1882 by Jigoro Kano (嘉納治五郎) as a physical, mental, and moral pedagogy in Japan. It is generally categorized as a modern martial art, which later evolved into a combat and Olympic sport. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke. Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defenses are a part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice. A judo practitioner is called a judoka.

Shodan (初段), literally meaning "beginning degree," is the lowest black belt rank in Japanese martial arts and the game of Go. The 2nd dan is higher than Shodan, but the 1st dan is called Shodan traditionally and not "Ichidan". This is because the character 初 also means first, new or beginning in Japanese.

Kotozakura made his professional debut in January 1959. He reached the jūryō division in July 1962 and the top makuuchi division in March 1963. After making his san'yaku debut at komusubi in January 1964 he suffered an injury and returned to jūryō, but he quickly recovered. After an 11–4 record at sekiwake in September 1967 he was awarded the Outstanding Performance prize and promotion to ōzeki. He won two tournament championships in July 1968 and March 1969, but by the early 1970s he had begun to be regarded as something of a "perpetual ōzeki", often struggling with injuries and finding it difficult to come up with the necessary wins to maintain his rank. [2] He was kadoban, or in danger of demotion from ōzeki, three times during this period. Remarkably however, he won consecutive championships in November 1972 and January 1973 to earn promotion to yokozuna at the age of thirty two, after thirty two tournaments at ōzeki. In July 1973 he defeated Kitanofuji in a playoff to win his only championship as a yokozuna. After injuring his knee in 1974 he withdrew from several tournaments and announced his retirement that July.

<i>Makuuchi</i> top division of professional sumo wrestling

Makuuchi (幕内) or makunouchi (幕の内), is the top division of the six divisions of professional sumo. Its size is fixed at 42 wrestlers (rikishi), ordered into five ranks according to their ability as defined by their performance in previous tournaments.

After retirement

He had been expecting to open up his own training stable, but when his stablemaster died suddenly just days after Kotozakura's retirement, he took over Sadogatake stable instead. He produced many top division wrestlers over the years, such as ōzeki Kotokaze, Kotoōshū, Kotomitsuki and Kotoshōgiku and sekiwake Kotogaume, Kotofuji, Kotonishiki, and Kotonowaka. When yokozuna Asashōryū was criticized for his behaviour in 2003, he defended the Mongolian by pointing out the lack of emotional strength in young Japanese sumo wrestlers today. [3] Upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of sixty five in November 2005 he passed on ownership of the stable to Kotonowaka, who had become his son-in-law. Shortly after attending the ōzeki promotion ceremony of Kotomitsuki, Kotozakura died on August 14, 2007. [4] He had battled diabetes for several years and had also suffered the trauma of a leg amputation.

Sadogatake stable

Sadogatake stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers, one of the Nishonoseki group of stables. In its modern form it dates from September 1955, when it was set up by former komusubi Kotonishiki Noboru. Former yokozuna Kotozakura took over the running of the stable in 1974 following Kotonishiki's death. The stable is located in Matsudo, Chiba prefecture. Over the next thirty years the stable produced a string of top division wrestlers. Kotozakura stood down in November 2005, handing the stable over to his son-in-law, former sekiwake Kotonowaka.

Kotoōshū Katsunori Sumo wrestler

Kotoōshū Katsunori is a former professional sumo wrestler or rikishi. He made his debut in 2002, reaching the top division just two years later. In 2005 he reached the rank of ōzeki or 'champion', the second-highest level in the sumo ranking system behind only yokozuna. On May 24, 2008, Kotoōshū made history by becoming the first European sumo wrestler to win an Emperor's Cup. He was one of the longest serving ōzeki in sumo history, holding the rank for 47 consecutive tournaments until November 2013. In January 2014 Kotoōshū obtained Japanese citizenship, a requirement of becoming an elder in the Japan Sumo Association, and he announced his retirement during the following tournament in March. In April 2017 he opened his own training stable, Naruto.

Fighting style

Kotozakura's favoured techniques were the two most common kimarite in sumo – yorikiri (force out) and oshidashi (push out). When grabbing his opponent's mawashi he preferred a migi-yotsu, or left hand outside, right hand inside grip.

Kimarite are winning techniques in a sumo bout. For each bout in a Grand Sumo tournament, a sumo referee, or gyōji, will decide and announce the type of kimarite used by the winner. It is possible for the judges to modify this decision later. Records of the kimarite are kept and statistical information on the preferred techniques of different wrestlers can be deduced easily. For example, a pie chart of the kimarite used by each sekitori in the past year can be found on the Japan Sumo Association webpage.

In sumo, a mawashi (廻し) is the belt (loincloth) that the rikishi wears during training or in competition. Upper ranked professional wrestlers wear a keshō-mawashi as part of the ring entry ceremony or dohyō-iri.

Career record

Kotozakura Masakatsu [5]
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
1959(Maezumo)EastJonokuchi#20
71
 
EastJonidan#93
62
 
EastJonidan#55
62
 
WestJonidan#21
62
 
WestSandanme#85
62
 
1960EastSandanme#52
71PP
Champion

 
EastSandanme#17
44
 
EastSandanme#17
35
 
EastSandanme#29
61
 
EastMakushita#84
52
 
WestMakushita#68
61
 
1961WestMakushita#46
52
 
WestMakushita#33
43
 
EastMakushita#24
43
 
WestMakushita#20
34
 
EastMakushita#25
25
 
EastMakushita#37
70P
 
1962EastMakushita#7
34
 
EastMakushita#9
52
 
EastMakushita#2
61
 
EastJūryō#16
114PP
Champion

 
WestJūryō#7
78
 
WestJūryō#8
87
 
1963WestJūryō#4
132
Champion

 
EastMaegashira#13
69
 
EastJūryō#2
114
 
EastMaegashira#15
96
 
WestMaegashira#9
123
F
EastMaegashira#1
87
O
1964WestKomusubi#1
348
 
EastMaegashira#5
Sat out due to injury
0015
EastMaegashira#15
510
 
WestJūryō#2
96
 
EastJūryō#1
105
 
EastMaegashira#12
105
 
1965WestMaegashira#4
105
 
WestKomusubi#1
87
 
WestSekiwake#1
87
 
EastSekiwake#1
69
 
EastMaegashira#1
96
O
WestKomusubi#1
105
 
1966EastKomusubi#1
87
 
EastKomusubi#1
510
 
EastMaegashira#3
105
 
EastKomusubi#1
96
 
WestSekiwake#1
78
 
WestKomusubi#1
105
O
1967EastSekiwake#1
87
 
EastSekiwake#1
78
 
EastKomusubi#1
105
 
WestSekiwake#1
114
F
EastSekiwake#1
114
O
EastŌzeki#2
87
 
1968WestŌzeki#2
105
 
EastŌzeki#2
105
 
EastŌzeki#2
96
 
WestŌzeki#2
132
 
EastŌzeki#1
654
 
EastŌzeki#2
105
 
1969EastŌzeki#2
510
 
EastŌzeki#2
132
 
EastŌzeki#1
87
 
EastŌzeki#2
114
 
WestŌzeki#1
105
 
EastŌzeki#2
96
 
1970EastŌzeki#2
96
 
WestŌzeki#1
105
 
EastŌzeki#1
96
 
WestŌzeki#1
114
 
WestŌzeki#1
87
 
EastŌzeki#2
96
 
1971EastŌzeki#2
96
 
WestŌzeki#1
114
 
EastŌzeki#1
249
 
WestŌzeki#2
96
 
EastŌzeki#2
105
 
WestŌzeki#1
249
 
1972WestŌzeki#2
105
 
EastŌzeki#1
105
 
EastŌzeki#1
1212
 
WestŌzeki#2
87
 
WestŌzeki#1
96
 
WestŌzeki#2
141
 
1973EastŌzeki#1
141
 
EastYokozuna#1
114
 
WestYokozuna#1
105
 
WestYokozuna#1
141P
 
EastYokozuna#1
96
 
WestYokozuna#1
114
 
1974WestYokozuna#1
339
 
WestYokozuna#1
87
 
WestYokozuna#1
0411
 
WestYokozuna#1
Retired
00
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: Makuuchi Jūryō Makushita Sandanme Jonidan Jonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks:  Yokozuna Ōzeki Sekiwake Komusubi Maegashira

See also

Glossary of sumo terms Wikimedia list article

The following words are terms used in sumo wrestling in Japan.

Related Research Articles

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Kotonishiki Katsuhiro is a former sumo wrestler from Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. He began his career in 1984, reaching the top makuuchi division in 1989. He won two top division tournament titles from the maegashira ranks, the first in 1991 and the second in 1998. His highest rank was sekiwake, which he held 21 times. He earned eighteen special prizes during his career, second on the all-time list, and defeated yokozuna eight times when ranked as a maegashira. He retired in 2000 and after a long stint as a sumo coach at Oguruma stable, took the vacant elder name Asahiyama and branched out to form his own stable of the same name.

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The following are the events in professional sumo during 2009.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2007.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2005.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2004.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2003.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2002.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2000.

The following are the events in professional sumo in 1998.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 1996.

Kotonishiki Noboru

Kotonishiki Noboru was a sumo wrestler and coach from Kanonji, Kagawa, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. He was runner-up in the January 1949 tournament and earned seven gold stars for defeating yokozuna. After his retirement in 1955 he founded the Sadogatake stable and produced yokozuna Kotozakura among others. He ran the stable until his death in 1974.

References

  1. 鎌谷紀雄氏(第53代横綱琴桜)が多臓器不全のため死去 (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Kuroda, Joe (October 2006). "Rikishi Of Old". sumofanmag.com. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
  3. Onishi, Norimitsu (2003-08-03). "Fears That the New State of Sumo Defiles Tradition". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  4. "Ex-yokozuna Kotozakura dies". The Japan Times. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  5. "Kotozakuara Masakatsu Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
Preceded by
Kitanofuji Katsuaki
53rd Yokozuna
1973–1974
Succeeded by
Wajima Hiroshi
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title