Bulgarian Kotooshuu wins first Sumo Tourney

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Hi Blog.  Great news.  Kotooshuu, Bulgarian Sumo Wrestler, has finally won his first tournament, beating out both top-ranked Yokozuna earlier on this week to clinch the match a day before the final bouts tomorrow.

He becomes the seventh NJ (and the first Caucasian) to win after Hawaiians Takamiyama, Konishiki, Akebono, and Musashimaru, then Mongolians Asashouryuu and Hakuhou..  The last four wrestlers became Yokozuna in their own right.  Here’s hoping that Kotooshuu joins their ranks!  

Koto just has to win two tourneys in a row, IIRC.  Konishiki never made it to Yokozuna because he won a number of times but not in a row.  Thanks to Konishiki for forcing the Sumo Association to make this the clear qualification, to avoid charges of racism reported in the New York Times back in the day.

Deep and hearty congratulations!  

Arudou Debito in Sapporo

5 comments on “Bulgarian Kotooshuu wins first Sumo Tourney

  • Quick correction: you mentioned the six previous NJ to win a tournament, FOUR (not five) of whom went on to become Yokozuna: Akebono, Musashimaru, Asashoryu and Hakuho. FYI, Musashimaru is still actively involved in the association, serving as the head of one of the sumo stables and even joining the English NHK sumo commentary on occasion. Last I heard, Akebono was involved in mixed martial arts or something.

    I was there on Saturday when Kotooshu clinched it (defeating another NJ, Ama, who is extremely young, popular and talented in his own right) and I really felt everyone else’s excitement. It’s weird that in a sport that takes place in an arena with no video screens, no replay and few announcements, every single person in the building knew exactly what was on the line that day. I do hope he can manage to win another tournament, but history has shown that Asashoryu doesn’t have two bad tournaments in a row if he’s healthy. He will be plenty pissed in Nagoya this summer – all other wrestlers should watch out!

    –Yes, sorry, I miscounted. Four, not five. Thanks. Envy your being there. Akebono is involved in the K-1 pseudo-boxing league, where he’s been nicknamed “Makebono” for all his losses. He had a rare win over last New Year’s, though… Debito

  • Another correction: Musashimaru was born in Samoa, not Hawaii.

    –Darn it. This is what comes from not being that big a sports fan. Thanks! Debito

  • Congrats to Kootoshu, but all is not going smoothly in the sumo world. Memebers of the Sumo Council have already expressed doubts about Kootoshu being promoted to Yokozuna even if he wins the next championship AND trumps Asashyoru and Hakuho in the process. In all likelihood, it will take one more championship and him being in the championship hunt long into the September basho to get the promotion. Asashiyoru (being the heel that he’s become) has already disapproved of the Japanese public having hopes for Kootoshu to make Yokozuna by saying to the media that he’s undeseving of it for the forseeable future.

    On another note, the Japanese media is getting all fired up about the scuffle and staredown Asashyoru and Hakuho had in the dohyo on Sunday. I, for one, am disgusted by Asashyoru always getting in cheap shots whenever he wins, especially when his opponent was a fellow grand champion. Such conduct is unbecoming of any yokozuna, and I am just sad that the Sumo Coucil headed by Kitonofuji doesn’t have the guts to publically address Asashyoru on the issue. Hakuho, for his part, should have shown more restraint.

  • “Akebono is involved in the K-1 pseudo-boxing league, where he’s been nicknamed “Makebono” for all his losses. He had a rare win over last New Year’s, though… Debito”

    Actaully, Akebono has a steady job now in the Hustle brand of Japanese pro wrestling where his gimmick is that he’s the son of Taiwanese model/diva Yin Lin. Guess fighting in choreographed/fixed matches is the only way to avoid embarrasment every K-1 tournament. He moves pretty well in the ring for an out-of-shape guy.

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