Sumo Trivia Answers


June 2003


"I was one of the most popular rikishi of the 1970's. I never missed a bout in my 13-year active career, but I'm most well known for a rare feat that Takanonami, Dejima and Miyabiyama would love to duplicate today. Who am I?"


Kaiketsu, another 70's sumo workaholic, never missed a bout in his 13-year career as an active rikishi from 1966 to 1979. This determination (at M4 late in his career he defeated Ozeki Asahikuni in a 10 minute marathon bout) combined with an impressive judo background (college standout at Nihon Daigaku) made him one of the most popular rikishi of his era. Although he will always be remembered for attaining Ozeki twice, he only held the rank for a total of nine basho. He was a Yokozuna candidate during both stints at the rank, but was befelled by Hepatitis the first time and a hip injury the second. Can you imagine a rikishi these days fighting through such adversity?

May 2003


" Though I have been a Makuuchi mainstay for nearly a decade, I displayed my best sumo during my first few basho in the division. Unintimitdated, I defeated both Yokozuna Akebono and Yokozuna Takanohana in a span of three days during my first basho against the Makuuchi jo'i. Who am I? "


Tosanoumi debuted in the Makuuchi division in 1995 entering the sport from the college ranks. Before his hair was even long enough to fan out his top-knot in the shape of the ginkgo leaf, he was wreaking havoc amongst the joi. In the 1995 Kyushu basho (famous for the Hanada brothers playoff to determine the yusho), Tosanoumi defeated Yokozuna Akebono on day seven, and then stunned Yokozuna Takanohana on day nine to make it a clean sweep of the Yokozuna and two kinboshi in two chances. Tosanoumi is a current Makuuchi joi mainstay regularly fighting in the sanyaku; however, he never has made an impact in the sport the way he did in his first year.

April 2003


" When it comes to niramiai, or staredowns, my colleage Matsugane Oyakata and I ruled the roost in our heyday. When we tried to psych each other out with our trademark stare downs, it was pure entertainment for sumo fans in the mid to late 80's. Who am I?"


Hokutenyu, currently Hatachiyama oyakata, shot through Juryo and Makuuchi like a rocket in 1980-81 and garnered projections that he would be the next great Yokozuna with his superb combination of strength, speed and nage technique. Although he topped out at Ozeki and never reached the level many thought he should, he was a solid Ozeki for many years and entertained us every time he was matched up against career rival and fellow Ozeki Wakashimazu. Their stare downs were classic and have not been matched since.

March 2003


"Along with Kyojin and Tamagoyaki, I was a sign of the times in 1960s Japan. Who am I?"


Taiho, arguably the best rikishi to ever grace a dohyo, was so dominant in sumo that he is remembered along with the glory days of baseball's Yomiuri "Kyojin" Giants and Tamagoyaki, a simple meal of egg often over rice, as a symbol of 1960's Japan.  So dominant was Taiho that he actually achieved Yokozuna status in the same year that he was promoted to Makuuchi (1960) and then went on to win 32 yushos until his retirement in 1971, a record that still stands today.

February 2003


"My colleague Kitajin-oyakata (ala Kirinji) and I had one of the best rivalries in sumo history back in our day. We never failed to fire up the fans in the early 80's with our brand of fast paced, tsuppari zumo. Who am I?"


Fujizakura (Nakamura Oyakata today) was the warhorse of 1970's sumo.  Despite numerous injuries, he managed a perfect attendance record from his sumo debut in '63 that continued through the early 80's (rikishi today should take note of this).  When he and Kirinji butted heads, they electrified the crowds with their ferocious tsuppari- both men are remembered as prominent oshi-zumo rikishi of their generation.

January 2003


"Don't be fooled by my comical antics and bum knee. Nicknamed 'robocop' by my stable master, if you let me get the migi-shitate (right inside grip), it's game over. I'm one of the most popular rikishi today. Who am I?


Takamisakari first emerged on the Makuuchi scene three years ago; however, after a stellar first basho as a rookie, he seriously injured his right knee, which caused him to fall as far as the Makushita division. Little known by the fans at that time, he certainly didnt go unnoticed by Mike and Kenji who were greatly entertained by his poor eyesight and awkward demeanor. With the retirement of Takanohana, Takamisakari is probably the new fan favorite as he has upped his quirky antics by beating himself silly before each bout.

 December 2002


"As one of the smallest rikishi to have ever fought in Makuuchi, I retired early from the sport to pursue a career in politics where I was elected to and still serve in the Japanese parliament.  Who am I?"


Kyokudozan was only a little over 100kg but had the heart of a lion.  He entertained many a sumo fan in the early 90's with his freight train tachiai against opponents that often dwarfed him.  He once leap-frogged Asanowaka at the tachi-ai drawing a collective gasp from the fans within the arena, and he toppled Yokozuna Onokuni with a vicious harite (open hand slap to the jaw) on his way to a kinboshi win. 

 November 2002


"I am a current Makuuchi mainstay known for my less-than-aggressive yotsu-zumo and endurance in the ring; thus I have been tagged w/ the nickname 'Mr. Ippun'.  Who am I?"


191cm, 175kg Kotonowaka has been tagged with this nickname because his matches often seem to take a minute (ippun) or more, an eternity by sumo standards.  Blessed with a big body and solid belt tactics, the 13 year Makuuchi veteran has been accused of underachieving but remains a threat to anyone he faces.


 Send your answer to


Back to Trivia Page | Back to Viewer's Corner