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2018 in sumo

The following are the events in professional sumo during 2018.



Tochinoshin was the surprise winner of the January tournament
  • 6: The highest ranked referee, Shikimori Inosuke, is reported in the Japanese media to have apologized for sexually harassing a junior referee in a hotel in Okinawa Prefecture on December 16 last year, while drunk.[2]
  • 9: The three current yokozuna, Hakuhō, Kakuryū and Kisenosato, perform the traditional New Year dohyo-iri ceremony at the Meiji Shrine.[3]
  • 14: The Sumo Association suspend Shikimori Inosuke for three tournaments. He has already submitted his resignation, but it will not take effect until after the suspension ends in May 2018.[4] With the other top referee title (Kimura Shonosuke) currently vacant, this will be the first time since the March 1994 tournament that neither of the head referees (tate-gyōji) will be available.[4]
  • 11: Kakuryū and Kisenosato, both of whom have missed some or all of the preceding four tournaments, each confirm that they will enter the forthcoming Hatsu basho.[5]
  • 22: Egyptian juryo division wrestler Ōsunaarashi withdraws from the tournament after reports emerge that he was involved in a rear-end motor collision at the Yamanouchi, Nagano ski resort town on January 3.[6] Osunaarashi apparently defied the Sumo Association's ban on wrestlers driving cars, and also did not have a valid licence. He initially told police that his pregnant wife was driving and he switched seats to protect her, but back-tracked when confronted with security video evidence.
  • 25: A lawsuit against Kasugano Oyakata and a former member of Kasugano stable who had been convicted of assault, is publicly revealed for the first time. The victim, another former wrestler from the stable, alleges that Kasugano failed to prevent the attack and delayed medical treatment.[7]
  • 27: The championship is won by maegashira Tochinoshin, who defeats Shōhōzan to move to an unassailable two-win lead of 13 wins against just one loss. It is the first championship by a maegashira since Kyokutenhō in 2012.[8]
  • 28: On the final day of the Hatsu Basho, Tochinoshin wins again to finish on 14–1, two wins ahead of ōzeki Takayasu on 12–3.[9] Kakuryū, the only yokozuna to complete the tournament, stops a run of four straight defeats by beating ōzeki Gōeidō to finish with a respectable 11–4 record on his comeback.[9] Tochinoshin receives special prizes for Outstanding Performance and Technique to go with his first Emperor's Cup, while the Fighting Spirit Award is shared between top division debutants Ryūden and Abi, who both score 10–5.[9] The jūryō division championship is won by Myōgiryū for the third time, after a playoff with Hidenoumi. Retiring this tournament are former maegashira Shōtenrō, Kitataiki and Sōtairyū (ja).
  • 31: Seven promotions to the jūryō division for the March tournament in Osaka are announced. There are two newcomers, Enhō (who ties the record for fastest postwar promotion to jūryō at six tournaments)[10] and Takayoshitoshi (meaning he and Takagenji have become the first identical twins to both be ranked as sekitori)[11] while Yago, Terutsuyoshi, Shimanoumi, Tobizaru and Akiseyama return.
The 40th Shikimori Inosuke was suspended in January


  • 1: Nishiiwa Oyakata, the former sekiwake Wakanosato, branches out from Tagonoura stable and establishes his own Nishiiwa stable, taking two low-ranked wrestlers with him from the parent stable.
  • 2: Elections to the 10 man Board of Directors of the Japan Sumo Association are held. Isegahama Oyakata (ex-Asahifuji) and Nishonoseki Oyakata (ex-Wakashimazu) do not run for re-election. The eleven candidates running are Kasugano, Sakaigawa, Dewanoumi and Yamahibiki from Dewanoumi ichimon, Oguruma and Shibatayama from Nishonoseki ichimon, Kagamiyama from Tokitsukaze ichimon, Hakkaku from Takasago ichimon, Takashima from Isegahama ichimon, and Takanohana and Ōnomatsu from Takanohana ichimon. The man to miss out is Takanohana, who receives only two votes from the 101 elders who participated. He had been dismissed from the board at the end of December following his lack of co-operation with the Sumo Association's investigation into the Harumafuji assault on Takanoiwa last year.[12]
  • 3: Sōtairyū's danpatsu-shiki or official retirement ceremony is held at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan with around 300 guests. Sōtairyū is leaving the sumo world.
  • 4: Former sekiwake Asasekiryū, who retired last May, has his danpatsu-shiki at the Kokugikan. He is now officially Nishikijima Oyakata.
  • 8: An outside committee led by a former prosecutor general, Keiichi Tadaki, is formed and will interview all 900 wrestlers in the Sumo Association in response to a series of incidents since Harumafuji's retirement. Tadaki says, "Our goal is the preservation of sumo. It is important to grasp the reality."[13]
  • 11: The 42nd Fuji TV Grand Sumo Tournament takes place at the Kokugikan.[14] A knock-out format exhibition with a 2,500,000 yen prize for the yusho, it is won by Tochinoshin who defeats Ikioi, Hakuhō (who he has never beaten in official competition in 25 attempts), Hokutofuji, Okinoumi and finally Tamawashi.


  • 9: Ōsunaarashi is asked to retire by the Sumo Association over his involvement in the vehicle collision and driving without a license. He had been fined 500,000 yen ($4700) by a court over the incident in Nagano Prefecture in January.[15] Ōsunaarashi agrees to the request.[16]
  • 18: New juryo Takayoshitoshi withdraws from the Osaka tournament after admitting he struck a junior wrestler who was acting as a personal attendant several times in the dressing room after his Day 8 bout.[17] Takayoshitoshi was reportedly angry that the attendant had not informed him when he was due to enter the arena, making him late for his match.[18]



  • 1 Jan: Former maegashira 1 Katsuhikari, also former Wakafuji Oyakata, aged 75, of cancer.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Grand Tournament Schedule". Japan Sumo Association. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "sumo referee apologises for sexual harassment: reports". Yahoo Sports. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "Sumo champs perform New Year ritual after scandal-hit 2017". Yahoo News/AFP. 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  4. ^ a b "SUMO/ Top referee sent home due to sex harassment of teenage boy". Asahi Shinbun. 14 January 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  5. ^ "Kakuryu, Kisenosato set to make comebacks at New Year Basho". Japan Times. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018. 
  6. ^ "Osunaarashi suspected of driving without license in crash". Asahi Shimbun. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018. 
  7. ^ "Suit revealed against former sumo stablemaster Kasugano, now JSA director, and wrestler over 2014 assault". Japan Times. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018. 
  8. ^ "Tochinoshin clinches New Year Basho title for first career tournament triumph". Japan Times. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018. 
  9. ^ a b c "Champion Tochinoshin finishes New Year Basho in style". Japan Times. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018. 
  10. ^ "炎鵬が新十両「まさかこんなに早く上がれるとは」" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018. 
  11. ^ "貴乃花部屋から初の双子関取誕生、貴公俊が新十両" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018. 
  12. ^ "Takanohana stumbles badly in bid to shake up sumo world". Asahi Shimbun. 3 February 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018. 
  13. ^ Hurst, Daniel. "Big trouble: all of Japan's sumo wrestlers to be questioned as sport lurches into crisis". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2018. 
  14. ^ "42nd Grand Sumo Tournament Outline". Fuji TV. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
  15. ^ "Sumo: Egyptian Osunaarashi asked to quit over unlicensed driving". The Mainichi. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  16. ^ "Egyptian sumo wrestler retires after driving without license". New York Daily News. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018. 
  17. ^ "Sumo association reveals two fresh cases of physical abuse among wrestlers". Japan Times. 18 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018. 
  18. ^ "Sumo wrestler beat attendant following loss in Osaka tourney". Ashi Shimbun. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  19. ^ "2018 Spring Tour Schedule". Japan Sumo Association. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018. 
  20. ^ "大相撲元前頭和晃の杉浦敏朗氏死去". Jiji (in Japanese). 13 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.