Tuesday, October 2, 2012

(148) The wolf

Just from the photograph, people not familiar with sumo won’t understand that the somehow plumb middle-aged gentleman pictured, is the most legendary wrestler of the 20th century. Today he answers to the name “Kokonoe Oyakata” (i.e. “boss of the Kokonoe wrestler stable”) or “Kokonoe Mitsugu” (“Mitsugu” is his real first name) while his ID says “Akimoto Mitsugu”, the name given to him by his parents, 57 years ago in Hokkaido. Everyone who is into sumo, though, know him as the 58th yokozuna (see yesterday’s post) “Chiyonofuji” (千代の富士) and as the man who dominated sumo with 1045 wins for almost two decades; from 1970 when he debuted to 1981 when he was elected yokozuna and up to 1991 when he retired. Today the “wolf” –as he was also called by many- is owner of the Kokonoe stable in Tokyo and a member of the board of the Japanese Sumo Association, hence his presence in the yokozuna rank awarding ceremony to Harumafuji last Friday, September 28 (again, see yesterday's post).

(For a bigger version of this picture both in color and black and white, check my "Japan Arekore" set on Flickr)

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