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Japan reclaims Sumo-Wrestling crown.

Japan reclaims Sumo-Wrestling crown.

Japan reclaims Sumo-Wrestling crown.

It’s been nearly twenty years since Japan ’s home-grown talent won the sumo-wrestling world championship, but now, local talent Kisenosato (real name Yutaka Hagiwara) is wearing the crown.

Kisenosato began his sumo career in 2002 as a sekiwake (junior champion) and earned the second rank of ozeki in 2012. Fast forward to the first tournament of 2017… he gained a promotion to the Grand Champion title of Yokozuna, which by all accounts is the only permanent rank in the sport. Evidently, only 70 people have earned this esteemed title and although the title cannot be taken away, its recipients are expected to retire should they be unable to maintain the required standard.

Clearly, this 30-year-old is not someone to get on the wrong side of, he weighs in at 178kg (392 pounds). It’s an ideal sport for those with a larger physique since there are no size restrictions, and with the right credentials, it’s possible to earn a decent living in the sumo ring. It’s not unusual to see a heavier competitor pitched against someone with a much smaller frame. However, whilst bulk can work to a wrestler’s advantage, the smaller, faster wrestlers can ‘play to the crowd’ and gain victory with balance and timing. The sport is steeped in tradition and goes back several hundreds of years, foreign wrestlers have dominated the sport since 1998 for the simple reason that there were fewer Japanese recruits. Many think the title is now back where it belongs.

Following the formal approval of the Japan Sumo Association, Kisenosato said that he accepts the esteemed position with all humility and will devote himself to the role. Honour and humility are essential traits in these role models.

And so… the first round complete, there are another five tournaments with bouts of fifteen rounds every other month until November. Will Japan manage to hold on to the title? Let’s see what the cards say.


Véronique’s Verdict

We drew the Ace of Wands, the Sun and the Eight of Pentacles.

The Ace of Wands represents Kisenosato, the phoenix rising from the ashes. Although he has been involved in the sport for many years, this is his renaissance period and he will work to maintain the title.

The Sun represents Japan who now sees itself as the leading force within the sport. The supreme giver of life is now basking in the reflected glory of the championship title holder, rightly so.

The Eight of Pentacles shows a feeling of centered-ness and order. A period of serene contentment has been achieved following a job well done. However, this is only the beginning, the hard work has only just begun.

Collectively the cards say that it is entirely possible for Japan to hold on to the title. Well done Kisenosato for bringing the title back home.


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