Gaijin Sumo Taikai, Mad Dash for Tanigawa, and Hakuho’s streak

Foreigners Conquer Makuuchi

With Ozeki Kaio and Maegashira 3 Aminishiki pulling out of the Nagoya basho we are left with 33 wrestlers in makuuchi.  16 of which are Japanese and 17 of which are foreign-born.  That right, you heard me… A majority of the wrestlers in the top division of Japan’s Ancient National sport are not Japanese, at least for now.  There are 11 Mongolians, 3 Georgians, a Bulgarian, an Estonian, and a Russian in the Makuuchi Division, with an Ethnic Mongolian-Chinese, and possibly another Mongolian and a Korean that will possibly move up from Juryo next basho.

Kaiho attempting to become Tanigawa

Some of us may remember last basho when former Komusubi Kahio turned in his final 3-12 performance in Juryo and was demoted out of the salaried ranks for the first time in 13 years.  It was said that he was going to retire, but for some reason his name appeared on the Makushita Banzuke, although he did not participate in any bouts.  It appears now that Kahio is attempting to obtain the newly vacated sumo elder name “Tanigawa”. 

With Otake (former Sekiwake Takatori) being expelled the Otake name was then taken by Futagoyama (former Dairyu) who passed his name to Ajigawa (former Kobo) who in turn passed his name, which he had been borrowing, to Tanigawa (former Shikishima) who had also been borrowing the name.  The price tag on this elder name (or toshiyori myoseki) is estimated between 100 million and 200 million yen (1.14 – 2.3 million dollars US).  If sucessful in obtaining the toshiyori myoseki, Kaiho will attain toshiyori status and begin coaching Hakkaku beya rikishi (only sumo elders with toshiyori status can coach in a sumo heya.)

Well… we know one thing, with all the scrutiny being put on th Japan Sumo Council, Kaiho is going to have to go through 100% legal channels to get that kind of bank.

Hakuho clinches 44th consecutive win

As of day 12 Yokozuna Hakuho is currently at 44 consecutive wins.  He closes in on breaking Taiho’s 45 on day 14.  Chiyonofuji’s 53(1988) will have to wait until September as will Tachiyama’s 56 (1916)and Umegatani’s 58 (1881).  If the Dai-Yokozuna manages this zensho-yusho in addition to another zensho in September he’ll still fall 1 win short of Tanikaze’s 63 (1782) and another 6 short of Futabayama’s 69 (1939).  Long story short, 1 more zenyusho and a decent score in Kyushu from Hakuho (after this one) and we’ll see history.  Given the way the Yokozuna has been fighting, I don’t see this being impossible, although I wouldn’t say it’s a high probability.

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