Sumo's Foreign Invasion

Mark Buckton
Sumo - still Japanese or truly International?

Rikishi of Old
Joe Kuroda
A look at a rikishi of yesteryear with Umegatani II our man for June

Heya Peek
John Gunning
John attends asageiko at Takasago-beya to give us the first of his bimonthly looks at sumo's stables

Photo Bonanza
Kurt Easterwood & Quinlan Faris
Kurt & Quin treat us to some of the best sumo pics around - and seen nowhere else

May Basho Review
Lon Howard & John Gunning
Lon gives us his Natsu Basho summary and his take on upset of the tournament while John chips in with his 'gem' of the basho

Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila

Mikko provides his round up of the boys in Makushita and below at the Natsu Basho

July Basho Forecast
Pierre Wohlleben & Mark Buckton

Pierre predicts the Nagoya Basho banzuke while Mark previews the ones to watch next time out

Sumo 101
Barbara Ann Klein

Rhyme and reason behind the pre-tachiai rituals that mystified us all as beginners

Kimarite Focus
Mikko Mattila
Mikko walks us through A, B & C

John McTague

John's unique view of news from outside the dohyo

Las Vegas Jungyo Teaser
Ngozi Robinson
Months away but like kids at Christmas we are still too excited not to mention it

Online Gaming
Moti Dichne
Hear from the founder of Guess the Banzuke (GTB) on exactly what makes it tick

Le Monde Du Sumo
The original team at MDS tells us how it all started

Sumo Mouse
Todd Lambert
Heya Links Galore and a focus on 3

Fan Debate
JR & EB square off: Right or Left - which should Asashoryu use when receiving kensho?

Let's Hear from You
What was it that made you a sumo fan?

Ngozi Asks
Question of the month - What is Sumo?

Sumo Quiz
The Quizmaster

Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho's banzuke

Rikishi of Old: Umegatani II

by Joe Kuroda

Otojiro’s home, suggesting to his parents that he join Ozumo.

Initially, his father declined the offer, possibly because Otojiro was only 12 years
old at the time, but Ikazuchi persisted. Finally, Otojiro’s father relented after Ikazuchi declared that he, himself, would personally guarantee the boy’s well-being by adopting him.  This Ikazuchi oyakata was none other than the 15th yokozuna Umegatani Toutaro I, then a senior executive with the Sumo Association and a person considered so trustworthy that when the Association decided to build their first indoor venue,
Next Home

The 20th Yokozuna
Umegatani Toutaro II

Birth Place: Toyama Prefecture Toyama City
Mizuhashi Oomachi

Birth Date: March 11, 1878

Real Name: Oshida -> Oe Otojiro

Shikona: Umenotani Otomatsu -> Umegatani Toutaro

Heya: Ikazuchi

Dohyo Debut: June, 1892

Juryo Promotion: January 1897

Makuuchi Debut: January 1898

Highest Rank: Yokozuna

Makuuchi Bashos: 36

Makuuchi Record:
168 wins,
27 losses, 47 draws, 2 holds,
116 kyujo

Winning Percentage: 0.862

Yusho: 4 (inc:Yusho equivalent)

Height: 168 cm

Weight: 158 kg

Favorite Technique
: Tsukidashi,
Hidari-yotsu, Tsuri

Toshiyori Myoseki:

September 2, 1927
(at the age of 49)

The 20th yokozuna Umegatani Toutaro II, was a skilled and crafty sumo technician even though he weighed in at almost 160 kg.  His yokozuna dohyo-iri was considered to be so aesthetically elegant that it became the most widely used yokozuna dohyo-iri in sumo history.  With his rival, yokozuna Hitachiyama, Umegatani ushered in the golden age of Ozumo, or what is generally known as the "Ume-Hitachi Era", and helped popularize sumo to an unprecedented level in the Meiji Era.

As Otojiro, his given name, Umegatani grew up in Toyama Prefecture where his family operated a successful pharmacy business and was well known throughout the region.  Since childhood, he was  large, though not tall, and came to be
regarded as a sumo “wunderkind” in Toyama.  In the summer of 1890, there was a joint Ikazuchi-beya and Takasago-beya jungyo held in Toyama. Otojiro attended every session.

Ozeki Tsurugizan (then with Ikazuchi-beya) noticed him and talked to his shisho, Ikazuchi, who immediately visited

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