The July 2019 basho is upon us and some of the best sumo wrestlers around the world are ready to buckle down and make their way through the tournament. In this tournament is the return of Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi. Tochinoshin is coming off a ten win performance and a controversial match with Asanoyama last May.
We took some time to get to know Tochinoshin ahead of the July tournament!
Every athlete in every sport had to start somewhere. You’re not just born a sumo wrestler. Born for, maybe, but skills are learned through hard work and much time and effort put into a particular craft.
“First of all, I was 17 years old when i went to Japan and I took part in amateur sumo and everything started here,” says Tochinoshin.
While, as a teenager, Tochinoshin practiced judo and sambo, something you can see in his yotsu-sumo style, he doesn’t really follow any other sports today.
“I have very busy schedule and I try to be very involved in this sport.” You can tell he is completely committed to sumo. He was demoted from ōzeki rank at the beginning of the year after going 7-13-10 earlier in the year. Then in the May basho in Tokyo, Tochinoshin went 10-5 and became only the fifth sumo wrestler to be promoted back to ōzeki after being demoted to sekiwake since 1969. The last time that happened was 2004-2005.
Tochinoshin has his idols as well.
“My favourite wrestler is Yokozuna Hakuhō, despite being a big athlete he is very humble and hard working.”
It makes sense that he looks up to such an athlete. He has similar goals in mind. Tochinoshin also says that Americans could get more into sumo wrestling and would be welcomed by the Japanese.
As mentioned earlier, Tochinoshin has goals similar to Yokozuna Hakuhō. “My goal is to reach Yokozuna title, I hope I can.” With only 72 wrestlers reaching yokozuna, it’s quite the career capping achievement.