Anyone who knows anything about sumo knows that the train’s been-a-stallin’ since Japanese rikishi stopped kicking ass and taking names. Until that someone, that new hope, comes along and starts giving people lessons expect more of the same in terms of attendance from the Ryokugikan. Thankfully for everyone, a rikishi may in fact be on the rise. Tatsu Ryoya has been in the eyes of the Japanese media since his arrival to the sumo world in the spring of 2010 at the Haru Basho in Osaka. A basho I had the pleasure of viewing live. The 17 year old from Ishikawa-ken currently stands at 193 cm tall and a whooping 145 kg. We here at Sumo & Stogies would like to follow this rikishi (and others’) rise up the banzuke for several reasons. We believe he has the body type and temperament for greatness in this sport. His massive body and aggressive forward moving sumo is pretty impressive for a teenager growing up in today’s “what do you mean I have to try hard” world. We also want to continue to do what we can to contribute to the information available in English about the sports up and coming stars. Tatsu Ryoya first nine bashos in the sport have certainly given us plenty to work with.
In nine bashos Tatsu has had winning records in eight of nine with an overall record of 39-19 and received his highest rank to date this basho at East Makushita 53. To put this in some perspective Dai-Yokozuna Hakuho only had winning records seven out of his first nine basho with an overall record of 37-21* reaching West Sandanme 23.
The young guns rise up the banzuke is quite comparable to Kisenosato, who made it all the way to Makushita 25 with a 7-0 Sandame yusho during his eighth basho. The only Japanese rikishi who I can recall making the run faster (in my humble four years of sumo viewing/researching) would be Goeido, but the big difference here is size. Tatsu has room to develop in his massive frame. For the sake of sumo let’s hope his run is an exciting one.
Asashoryu, Dai-Yokozuna, and S & S favorite, made sumo fun by being the toughest, strongest bad-ass guy out there. If Tastu can accomplish half of what Asa has he will be lionized as one of the greats, the hope that saved sumo, and more hyperbole alley-opps than you can throw to a guy as tall as a tree. As cheesy as it might sound, it’s true. Let’s hope he can make it happen. Keep your eyes on the banzuke and let us know your favorite rikishi on the rise.
Here are a couple of vids of Tastu fighting this past basho.
Excellent forward moving tsupari rockin’ sumo.
*In the past results of the first basho of a rikishi were not made public (I believe), we can only assume rikishi like Asashoryu and Hakuho found success during their Mae-zumo tournament, winning both bouts.
A special thanks to Araibira over on Youtube & Twitter for the excellent vids!