Tokitenkū Yoshiaki

Last updated
Tokitenkū Yoshiaki
時天空 慶晃
Tokitenku 2008.jpg
Personal information
BornAltangadasyn Khüchitbaatar
(1979-09-10)10 September 1979
Töv Province, Mongolia
Died31 January 2017(2017-01-31) (aged 37)
Tokyo, Japan
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight141 kg (311 lb; 22 st 3 lb)
Career
Stable Tokitsukaze
University Tokyo University of Agriculture
Record548-545-56
DebutJuly 2002
Highest rankKomusubi (March 2007)
RetiredAugust 2016
Championships 2 (Jūryō)
1 (Sandanme)
1 (Jonidan)
1 (Jonokuchi)
Special Prizes Technique (1)
Altangadasyn Khüchitbaatar
Medal record
Men's Sumo
Representing Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia
World Games
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2001 Akita Middleweight

Tokitenkū Yoshiaki (時天空 慶晃, Tokitenkū Yoshiaki, born as Altangadasyn Khüchitbaatar, Mongolian: Алтангадасын Хүчитбаатар; September 10, 1979 – January 31, 2017) [1] was a sumo wrestler.

Contents

He made his professional debut in 2002, reaching the top makuuchi division just two years later. The highest rank he reached was komusubi , which he held on three separate occasions, but never retained for more than one tournament. He earned one special prize, for Technique. He wrestled for the Tokitsukaze stable and acquired Japanese citizenship in 2014.

Tokitenkū was diagnosed with malignant lymphoma in 2015 and retired from sumo in 2016 to become a coach; he was the first Mongolian-born wrestler to acquire the right to remain with the Sumo Association as a coach following retirement as an active wrestler. He died in January 2017.

Early life and sumo background

Born in Töv Province, Mongolia, [2] Tokitenkū was the son of a Mongolian wrestler, [3] who reached a rank equivalent to komusubi in Mongolian wrestling. He first came to Japan in March 2000 to study at Tokyo University of Agriculture, having deferred his studies at Mongolian State University of Agriculture. [4]

Although he joined the university's sumo club and won the under 100 kg collegiate championships in his first year, [5] he originally intended to return to Mongolia to teach what he had learned about agricultural administration and food technology in Japan. [4]

He was inspired to enter professional sumo by watching active wrestlers Asashōryū and Asasekiryū, with whom he had practised judo as a teenager in Ulaanbaatar. [4] He joined Tokitsukaze stable when in his second year of university, [5] just before reaching the upper age limit of 23 set by the Japan Sumo Association. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Agriculture in March 2004. [4]

Career

Upon entry he was given the shikona or fighting name of Tokitenkū, a reference to Mongolia's clear sky. He began his career in July 2002, winning all of his first 22 official bouts and earning three consecutive division championships in the process. [2] He was the third person to achieve the feat of three consecutive championships, and his 22 consecutive wins tied the record for fourth-highest, with only Jokoryu (27) and Itai and Tochiazuma (26) having a longer unbeaten run upon entering professional sumo. He progressed to the second highest jūryō division in March 2004 and, just two tournaments later, to the top makuuchi division. [2] It took him only 12 tournaments from his professional debut to make the top division, which at the time was the equal-fastest rise since the format of six tournaments per year was introduced in 1958. [4]

Tokitenku in May 2009 Sumo May09 Tokitenku.jpg
Tokitenku in May 2009

He was not able at first to maintain his makuuchi position, dropping back to jūryō twice, but a result of 10–5 in November 2005 gained him the rank of maegashira 1 as well as the technique prize. [4] He made his san'yaku or titled rank debut in March 2007 at komusubi, where he defeated yokozuna Asashōryū on the opening day [4] but missed out on another special prize by falling just short of a majority of wins, posting a 7–8 score. He returned to komusubi in July 2007, but again scored 7–8. In 2008 he suffered make-koshi (i.e. a losing record of 7-8 or worse) at all six tournaments of the year. [6]

He pulled out of the January 2010 tournament on Day 10 after dislocating his big toe; this was his first career withdrawal. [7] He came back strongly posting three winning records in the next three tournaments, which sent him up to maegashira 1 for the September 2010 tournament. However, there he recorded a disastrous 2–13 score. [8]

Tokitenkū returned to the komusubi rank for the first time in 35 tournaments in July 2013, the second longest post-1925 wait for a san'yaku return after Aobajō's 47 tournament wait between 1975 and 1983. [9]

Tokitenkū achieved this despite being ranked as low as maegashira 8 in May. [6] A series of poor performances after that saw him demoted to jūryō for the first time since 2005, but he secured an immediate return to the top division with a 10–5 at the rank of jūryō 3 in March 2014. He repeated this achievement once again when he was demoted in September 2014 and bounced back with a jūryō championship to again return to the top division. In 2015, he completed two tournaments in the top division, dropped back to jūryō in May and returned to the top division one tournament later.

After losing records in July and September 2015 he withdrew from the November tournament after being diagnosed with malignant lymphoma. [10]

Having been in and out of hospital since October, he also withdrew from the January 2016 tournament to discuss his future with his stablemaster before the spring tournament in Osaka. [11] After missing his fifth consecutive tournament in July 2016, his rank on the banzuke had dropped through the un-salaried ranks to West 26 in the fourth-tier Sandanme division. [2]

Retirement and death

The Japan Sumo Association announced on August 26, 2016, that Tokitenkū had retired. [12] He had become a Japanese citizen in January 2014 and had purchased the Magaki kabu (elder stock) in May 2014 from former yokozuna Wakanohana Kanji II, making him the first Mongolian-born wrestler to acquire the right to remain with the sumo association following retirement. [13] [14] He became known as Magaki Oyakata and worked as a coach at Tokitsukaze stable, the second Mongolian-born wrestler to remain as a coach after Kyokutenhō. [2]

Speaking about his condition he said that "with prolonged treatment it was difficult to return to physical strength and continue sumo." [15] He recalled his most memorable bout as being his playoff win for the sandanme championship in January 2003, against his stablemate Toyonoshima. [16]

Tokitenkū died on 31 January 2017 at the age of 37. [17] He had been housebound since October, [13] and was unable to perform his oyakata duties at the November 2016 and January 2017 tournaments. [17]

Fighting style

When Tokitenkū began his sumo career he weighed around 113 kg (249 lb; 17 st 11 lb), but he gained weight steadily and reached about 150 kg (330 lb; 23 st 9 lb), average for the top division. He favoured a migi-yotsu grip on the mawashi , with his left hand outside and right hand inside his opponent's arms. [18] His most common winning technique was yori-kiri, or force out, although he also relied on pull-down techniques such as hataki-komi and hiki-otoshi. He was fond of throwing moves (nage). [18] He was very adept at using tripping techniques which he had gained from his experience in judo, [4] winning 17 career bouts by uchigake (inside leg trip).

He was known for attempting the pulling inside ankle sweep ketaguri at the tachi-ai or initial charge, [19] which he successfully used nineteen times in his career. [20] He also used the extremely rare trip nimaigeri (ankle kicking twist down) on fourteen occasions, although he was not credited with the technique in the top division until May 2011 in a win over Shōtenrō. [21]

Career record

Tokitenkū Yoshiaki [6]
Year January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
2002 xxx(Maezumo)WestJonokuchi#40
70
Champion

 
EastJonidan#30
70P
Champion

 
2003 WestSandanme#33
70P
Champion

 
EastMakushita#22
52
 
EastMakushita#11
43
 
WestMakushita#6
43
 
EastMakushita#4
43
 
WestMakushita#1
34
 
2004 EastMakushita#3
52
 
EastJūryō#11
87
 
WestJūryō#10
123
Champion

 
EastMaegashira#17
69
 
WestJūryō#2
96
 
WestMaegashira#15
78
 
2005 WestMaegashira#17
69
 
WestJūryō#2
105
 
WestMaegashira#15
87
 
EastMaegashira#12
96
 
WestMaegashira#6
78
 
WestMaegashira#7
105
T
2006 WestMaegashira#1
510
 
WestMaegashira#6
87
 
EastMaegashira#4
510
 
EastMaegashira#8
105
 
WestMaegashira#2
78
 
EastMaegashira#3
96
 
2007 EastMaegashira#2
87
 
WestKomusubi#1
78
 
WestMaegashira#1
87
 
EastKomusubi#1
78
 
EastMaegashira#1
69
 
WestMaegashira#3
96
 
2008 WestMaegashira#1
69
 
EastMaegashira#3
78
 
EastMaegashira#4
69
 
WestMaegashira#6
78
 
WestMaegashira#7
69
 
WestMaegashira#9
78
 
2009 EastMaegashira#10
96
 
WestMaegashira#3
510
 
EastMaegashira#9
78
 
WestMaegashira#10
96
 
WestMaegashira#4
87
 
WestMaegashira#2
510
 
2010 EastMaegashira#8
555
 
EastMaegashira#13
105
 
EastMaegashira#6
87
 
WestMaegashira#3
87
 
EastMaegashira#1
213
 
WestMaegashira#11
87
 
2011 WestMaegashira#8
69
 
WestMaegashira#13
Tournament Cancelled
000
WestMaegashira#13
87
 
EastMaegashira#7
87
 
WestMaegashira#4
69
 
EastMaegashira#7
69
 
2012 EastMaegashira#10
114
 
EastMaegashira#2
312
 
EastMaegashira#9
78
 
WestMaegashira#9
96
 
EastMaegashira#6
69
 
EastMaegashira#8
78
 
2013 EastMaegashira#9
105
 
EastMaegashira#3
510
 
EastMaegashira#8
105
 
WestKomusubi
411
 
EastMaegashira#5
510
 
EastMaegashira#10
69
 
2014 WestMaegashira#13
411
 
EastJūryō#3
105
 
WestMaegashira#14
78
 
WestMaegashira#15
78
 
EastMaegashira#16
69
 
EastJūryō#1
123
Champion

 
2015 WestMaegashira#13
96
 
WestMaegashira#8
312
 
EastJūryō#1
105
 
EastMaegashira#11
69
 
WestMaegashira#13
78
 
WestMaegashira#14
Sat out due to injury
0015
2016 EastJūryō#9
Sat out due to injury
0015
WestMakushita#6
Sat out due to injury
007
WestMakushita#46
Sat out due to injury
007
WestSandanme#26
Sat out due to injury
007
EastSandanme#87
Retired
00
Record given as wins–losses–absencies    Top division champion Top division runner-up Retired Lower divisions Non-participation

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi; P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: Makuuchi Jūryō Makushita Sandanme Jonidan Jonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks:  Yokozuna Ōzeki Sekiwake Komusubi Maegashira

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kyokutenhō Masaru</span> Sumo wrestler

Kyokutenhō Masaru in Nalaikh, Ulan Bator, Mongolia is a former professional sumo wrestler. He fought out of Ōshima stable, with the first group of Mongolians ever to join the sport in Japan.

Wakanohana Kanji II was a Japanese professional sumo wrestler from Ōwani, Aomori. He was the sport's 56th yokozuna. He was popular with sumo fans and was well-known for his rivalry with Kitanoumi. After retirement, he became the head coach of Magaki stable. Due to poor health, he left the Japan Sumo Association in December 2013. He died of lung cancer in July 2022 at the age of 69.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Asasekiryū Tarō</span> Sumo wrestler

Asasekiryū Tarō is a former sumo wrestler. He made his debut in January 2000, reaching the top makuuchi division in March 2003. He won four special prizes, and spent a total of five tournaments in the titled san'yaku ranks. The highest rank was sekiwake. He was a runner-up in two tournaments in 2004 and 2007. After 2013 he was mainly ranked in the lower jūryō and makushita divisions. He acquired Japanese citizenship in April 2017 and retired from active competition the following month. He became a coach at Takasago stable under the elder name Nishikijima Oyakata. In November 2020 he became head coach of Takasago stable.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toyonoshima Daiki</span>

Toyonoshima Daiki is a former professional sumo wrestler from Sukumo, Kōchi, Japan. He made his professional debut in January 2002, reaching the top makuuchi division in September 2004. He was a runner-up in five tournaments, and earned ten special prizes. His highest rank was sekiwake, which he first reached in September 2008 and held for five tournaments in total. Following a suspension in July 2010 he was demoted to the jūryō division, but upon his return to makuuchi in November 2010 he took part in a playoff for the championship. He won four kinboshi or gold stars awarded for yokozuna upsets, three of them earned by defeating Harumafuji from 2013 to 2015. He wrestled for Tokitsukaze stable. He retired in 2020 and was an elder of the Japan Sumo Association under the name of Izutsu-oyakata until his departure from the association in January 2023.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokitsuumi Masahiro</span>

Tokitsuumi Masahiro is a former professional sumo wrestler from Fukue, Nagasaki, Japan. A former amateur sumo champion, he turned professional in 1996. His highest rank was maegashira 3. He became the head coach of Tokitsukaze stable in 2007 following the dismissal of the previous stablemaster. He was asked to retire by the Japan Sumo Association in February 2021 for violating COVID-19 safety protocols.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ōnomatsu stable</span>

Ōnomatsu stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers, one of the Nishonoseki ichimon or group of stables. It was founded in its modern form on 1 October 1994 by Masurao Hiroo, who branched off from the now defunct Oshiogawa stable. As of January 2023, the stable had 13 wrestlers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tokitsukaze stable</span>

The Tokitsukaze stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers in Japan, one of the Tokitsukaze group of stables. It was founded in 1769 and was dominant during the Taishō period.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shikoroyama stable</span> Stable of sumo wrestlers in Japan

Shikoroyama stable is a stable of sumo wrestlers, formerly part of the Tokitsukaze ichimon or group of stables. It was established in its current form in February 2004 by former sekiwake Terao Tsunefumi, who branched off from the Izutsu stable. He did not take any established wrestlers with him, recruiting all the wrestlers himself instead. In December 2017 Shikoroyama-oyakata left the Tokitsukaze group along with Tatsutagawa-oyakata and Minato-oyakata, announcing that he would not join any other ichimon but would support Takanohana in the January 2018 elections to the board of the Japan Sumo Association. In September 2018 the stable joined the Nishonoseki group. As of January 2023, the stable had 16 wrestlers.

Kaiki Nobuhide is a former sumo wrestler from Tenmabayashi, Aomori, Japan. He made his professional debut in 1965, and was promoted to the top makuuchi division in 1975. He earned three gold stars for defeating yokozuna and one special prize. His highest rank was sekiwake, which he reached in July 1979. He retired in 1987 and was the head coach of the Tomozuna stable from 1989 until 2017, training ōzeki Kaiō among others. He was also a Director of the Japan Sumo Association. In 2017 he was re-hired by the Sumo Association as a consultant after retiring as head coach.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2007.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tamawashi Ichirō</span> Mongolian sumo wrestler

Tamawashi Ichirō is a Mongolian professional sumo wrestler from Ulaanbaatar. Wrestling for Kataonami stable, his highest rank has been sekiwake. He made his debut in January 2004 and reached the top makuuchi division in September 2008. He has a makushita, a jūryō and two makuuchi division championships. He has seven gold stars for defeating a yokozuna, and four special prizes, all of them coming after he turned 30 years of age. In January 2019, he won his first top-division championship, and his second in September 2022 at the age of 37, making him the oldest winner of the top division since the introduction of the six tournaments a year system in 1958.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hakuba Takeshi</span> Sumo wrestler

Hakuba Takeshi is a former sumo wrestler from Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Joining the professional sport in 2000, he entered the top division for the first time in 2008, returning in 2010. His highest rank was komusubi. He was forced to retire from sumo in 2011 after being found guilty by the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) of involvement in match-fixing.

2014 in sumo saw the traditional six major tournaments or basho held in January, March, May, July, September and November as usual. The yokozuna Hakuhō won five of the six tournaments taking his total of yūshō to 32 to equal the record of Taihō. Kakuryū's victory in March saw him promoted to become the sport's 71st yokozuna. Consistent performances at the rank of sekiwake saw Gōeidō being promoted to ōzeki for the September tournament. The most notable retirement was that of the former ōzeki Kotoōshū.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ichinojō Takashi</span> Japanese sumo wrestler

Ichinojō Takashi is a former professional sumo wrestler from Arkhangai, Mongolia. He was the second foreign-born wrestler, and the first of non-Japanese descent allowed to debut at an elevated rank in the third makushita division of professional sumo due to his amateur sumo success. Wrestling for Minato stable, he took the second division jūryō championship in only his third professional tournament. In his fifth tournament, his first in the top makuuchi division, he was the runner-up and promoted all the way to sekiwake, his highest rank to date. Ichinojō acquired Japanese citizenship in September 2021, taking the name Miura Takashi. He won the top division championship in July 2022. He was one of the heaviest rikishi in the top division as of September 2020. He retired from active competition in May 2023.

The following were the events in professional sumo during 2016.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yutakayama Ryōta</span> Japanese sumo wrestler

Yutakayama Ryōta is a former Japanese professional sumo wrestler from Kita-ku, Niigata. He made his professional debut at sandanme tsukedashi, which allowed him to skip the lower divisions, in March 2016, and his first makuuchi division honbasho was the Natsu tournament in May 2017. His highest rank was maegashira 1.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ryūden Gōshi</span> Japanese sumo wrestler

Ryūden Gōshi is a Japanese professional sumo wrestler from Kōfu, Yamanashi Prefecture. He made his professional debut in March 2006 and first reached the top makuuchi division in January 2018. Ryūden has won a championship in every division except makuuchi and has earned two special prizes, one for Fighting Spirit and one for Technique. His highest rank has been komusubi. He is a member of Takadagawa stable.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2021.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2022.

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2023.

References

  1. "力士プロフィール" [Rikishi Profile]. Archived from the original on 30 January 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "元小結の時天空が引退 悪性リンパ腫で5場所全休" [Former komusubi Tokitenku retires, missed five tournaments due to malignant lymphoma]. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 27 August 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  3. Kai, Takehiko (1 February 2017). "巡業で宿なし記者へ「僕の部屋に泊まれば」…間垣親方を悼む" [Mourning Magaki Oyakata... When on circuit, said "Why don't you stay in why room" to a journalist who didn't have a place to stay]. Hochi Shimbun (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2017-02-01. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "柔道仕込み、異能の力士…元時天空死去" [Wrestler with superpowers and judo upbringing, Tokitenku dies]. Mainichi Shimbun (in Japanese). 31 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  5. 1 2 "37歳元時天空、無念の引退から半年…命も奪われた" [37yo Tokitenku's loses his life half a year after retirement]. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 1 February 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  6. 1 2 3 "Tokitenku Yoshiaki Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  7. "時天空が右足親指のケガで休場" [Tokitenku withdraws with injury to right big toe] (in Japanese). 19 January 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  8. "2010秋場所優勝三賞受賞力士" [2010 Autumn Tournament champions and prize winners] (in Japanese). Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  9. "35場所ぶり小結復帰の時天空が本格稽古" [Tokitenku, returning to komusubi after 35 tournaments, training seriously]. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 2 June 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  10. "Kisenosato looking to end Japanese title drought at New Year sumo". Japan Times. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  11. "時天空、悪性リンパ腫で闘病中「頑張って克服したい」" [Tokitenku battling malignant lymphoma "I want to overcome it"] (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  12. "Sumo: Veteran maegashira Tokitenku calls it quits". Kyodo News. 26 August 2016. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  13. 1 2 "Ex-komusubi Tokitenku dies at 37". Japan Times. 31 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  14. "時天空が年寄名跡「間垣」取得していた" [Tokitenku had acquired "Magaki" elder stock]. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 17 June 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  15. "元時天空、涙の引退会見" (in Japanese). Reuters. 29 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.[ dead link ]
  16. "Tokitenku accepts retirement due to cancer battle". Japan Times. 29 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  17. 1 2 "Sumo: Former komusubi Tokitenku dies at 37". The Mainichi. 31 January 2017.
  18. 1 2 "Rikishi Profile". Sumo Association. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  19. Gunning, John (17 February 2021). "Heart-pounding tachiai endures as key piece of sumo puzzle". Japan Times. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  20. "Tokitenku bouts by kimarite - ketaguri". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  21. "Tokitenku bouts by kimarite - nimaigeri". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 18 February 2021.