Kitanofuji Katsuaki

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Kitanofuji Katsuaki
北の富士勝昭
File:Kitanofuji handprint.JPG
Kitanofuji's handprint displayed on a monument in Ryōgoku, Tokyo
Personal information
Born Takezawa Katsuaki
(1942-03-28) March 28, 1942 (age 79)
Hokkaidō, Japan
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 135 kg (298 lb)
Career
Stable DewanoumiKokonoe
Record 784-426-69
Debut January, 1957
Highest rank Yokozuna (January, 1970)
Retired July, 1974
Championships 10 (Makuuchi)
1 (Jūryō)
Special Prizes Outstanding Performance (2)
Fighting Spirit (1)
Technique (3)
Gold Stars 1 (Taihō)
* Up to date as of August 2007.

Kitanofuji Katsuaki 北の富士勝昭 (born March 28, 1942 as Takezawa Katsuaki) is a former sumo wrestler, born in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō, Japan. He was the sport's 52nd yokozuna. He was also the head coach of Kokonoe stable.

Career

Kitanofuji began his professional career in January 1957 at the age of just 14, joining Dewanoumi stable. In November 1963 he achieved a perfect 15-0 score in the second highest jūryō division (a feat not equalled until 43 years later by Baruto)[1] and was promoted to the top makuuchi division. In his debut top division tournament he scored 13 wins, although he faced only his fellow maegashira. He won the Fighting Spirit award and was promoted straight to komusubi. By 1966 he was firmly established in the san'yaku ranks at sekiwake. He reached ōzeki rank in July 1966. Although he had won only 28 bouts in the previous three tournaments (at least 33 are normally needed), Yutakayama was the only ōzeki at the time, and he was promoted largely because of his potential.

In January 1967 he followed the coach who had scouted him, former yokozuna Chiyonoyama, to a new stable, Kokonoe. His first tournament championship came in March of that year. Kitanofuji was competing in an era dominated by Taihō, but he emerged from the great yokozuna's shadow by winning consecutive championships in November 1969 and January 1970 to secure his own promotion to yokozuna. Promoted alongside him was his friend and rival Tamanoumi.[2] His first title as a yokozuna came in May 1970. After a run of relatively mediocre 11-4 marks he won in May 1971 with a perfect record and he took two other championships that year.

However, Tamanoumi's sudden death in October 1971 shook Kitanofuji badly and affected his performance in the ring. Now the sole yokozuna in sumo, he went into a slump. After poor performances in the first two tournaments of 1972, he pulled out of the May 1972 tourney because of insomnia. He took a leave of absence from the next tournament in July, but went on a trip to Hawaii and was caught surfboarding.[3] He was cautioned by the Japan Sumo Association and immediately apologised. He returned to win the next championship with a perfect record in September 1972. His final title came in March 1973, and his last challenge for a championship was in July of that year when he lost a playoff to veteran Kotozakura.

After several more absences Kitanofuji announced his retirement at the age of 32 three days into the July 1974 tournament, acknowledging that there was now a new era being led by Wajima and Kitanoumi, both several years younger than himself. Kotozakura retired in the same week, and Kitanoumi was promoted to yokozuna after the tournament ended. Kitanofuji's total of ten tournament championships was, at the time, behind only Futabayama's 12 and Taiho's 32.

Retirement from sumo

Kitanofuji remained in the Japan Sumo Association after his retirement, initially under the name of Izutsu. In 1977 he became head of the Kokonoe stable of wrestlers following Chiyonoyama's death. He gave the Izutsu name to former sekiwake Tsurugamine and adopted the Kokonoe name. During his tenure as head of Kokonoe stable both Chiyonofuji and Hokutoumi reached the rank of yokozuna, and he produced a number of other top division wrestlers such as Takanofuji and Tomoefuji. He handed over control of the stable to Chiyonofuji in April 1992, but he remained an oyakata under the name Jinmaku. In February 1998 he failed to be re-elected to the Sumo Association's Board of Directors, and citing the lack of support from his fellow oyakata in the Takasago ichimon or group of stables, he decided to leave the organisation several years before the mandatory retirement age. However, he still often appears on television as a sumo analyst.[3] In 2002, he performed his kanreki dohyō-iri or '60th year ring entrance ceremony' to commemorate his years as yokozuna.

Fighting style

Kitanofuji's favoured grip were hidari-yotsu (a right hand outside, left hand inside grip on his opponent's mawashi), and his favoured techniques were yori, most kimarite (winning techniques) were yorikiri (force out), sotogake (outer leg trip), uwatenage (overarm throw), and hatakikomi (slap down).

Career record

  • The Nagoya tournament was first held in 1958.
Kitanofuji Katsuaki[4]
Year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
1957 (Maezumo) Shinjo
2–1
 
East Jonidan #131
3–5
 
Not held East Jonidan #123
4–4
 
West Jonidan #104
4–4
 
1958 East Jonidan #91
6–2
 
West Jonidan #58
1–7
 
West Jonidan #76
6–2
 
East Jonidan #39
3–5
 
West Jonidan #46
2–6
 
West Jonidan #61
5–3
 
1959 East Jonidan #48
6–2
 
East Jonidan #16
6–2
 
East Sandanme #93
6–2
 
East Sandanme #65
2–6
 
West Sandanme #78
3–5
 
West Sandanme #83
3–5
 
1960 West Sandanme #94
7–1–P
 
West Sandanme #51
4–4
 
West Sandanme #48
4–4
 
East Sandanme #47
2–5
 
West Sandanme #67
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Sandanme #102
6–1
 
1961 East Sandanme #62
5–2
 
East Sandanme #27
4–3
 
West Sandanme #14
5–2
 
West Makushita #81
6–1
 
West Makushita #54
2–5
 
East Makushita #70
5–2
 
1962 West Makushita #45
5–2
 
West Makushita #32
4–3
 
West Makushita #29
6–1
 
East Makushita #11
3–4
 
West Makushita #12
3–4
 
West Makushita #15
6–1
 
1963 West Makushita #4
6–1
 
West Jūryō #18
9–6
 
East Jūryō #11
10–5
 
East Jūryō #6
4–11
 
East Jūryō #17
11–4
 
West Jūryō #5
15–0
Champion

 
1964 East Maegashira #10
13–2
F
East Komusubi #1
4–11
 
East Maegashira #5
9–6
T
West Sekiwake #1
9–6
 
East Sekiwake #1
6–9
 
East Maegashira #1
10–5
T
1965 West Sekiwake #1
8–7
 
West Sekiwake #1
5–10
 
East Maegashira #3
8–7
East Maegashira #2
8–7
 
East Komusubi #1
10–5
 
East Sekiwake #1
9–6
 
1966 East Sekiwake #1
10–5
O
East Sekiwake #1
8–7
O
East Sekiwake #1
10–5
T
East Sekiwake #1
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
1967 East Ōzeki #1
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
14–1
 
East Ōzeki #1
5–10
 
West Ōzeki #1
7–8
 
West Ōzeki #2
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #1
8–7
 
1968 East Ōzeki #2
10–5
 
West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #2
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #2
10–5
 
East Ōzeki #2
8–7
 
West Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
1969 West Ōzeki #1
11–4
 
West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #2
9–6
 
West Ōzeki #1
9–6
 
East Ōzeki #2
12–3
 
West Ōzeki #1
13–2
 
1970 East Ōzeki #1
13–2–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
13–2
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
13–2–P
 
East Yokozuna #1
11–4
 
East Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
1971 East Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
East Yokozuna #2
11–4
 
East Yokozuna #2
15–0
 
East Yokozuna #1
8–7
 
West Yokozuna #1
15–0
 
East Yokozuna #1
13–2
 
1972 East Yokozuna #1
7–7–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
9–6
 
East Yokozuna #1
3–6–6
 
East Yokozuna #1
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Yokozuna #1
15–0
 
East Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
1973 East Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
West Yokozuna #1
14–1
 
East Yokozuna #1
9–6
 
East Yokozuna #2
14–1–P
 
West Yokozuna #1
8–3–4
 
East Yokozuna #1
10–5
 
1974 East Yokozuna #2
3–6–6
 
East Yokozuna #2
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Yokozuna #2
Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
East Yokozuna #2
Retired
0–3
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s); P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: MakuuchiJūryōMakushitaSandanmeJonidanJonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: YokozunaŌzekiSekiwakeKomusubiMaegashira

See also

References

  1. Buckton, Mark (2006-03-28). "HARU HAPPENINGS -- Something for everyone". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2012-10-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Newton, Clyde (2002-03-10). "Two Ozeki aiming to boost promotion hopes in Osaka". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2012-10-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Buckton, Mark (2007-08-14). "Close the door on the way out Asashoryu". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2012-10-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Kitanofuji Katsuaki Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-07-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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Tamanoumi Masahiro
52nd Yokozuna
1970 - 1974
Next:
Kotozakura Masakatsu
Yokozuna is not a successive rank, and more than one wrestler can share the title