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Masunoyama Tomoharu

Masunoyama Tomoharu
舛乃山 大晴
Masunoyama 2011 Jan.JPG
Personal information
Born Tomoharu Kato
(1990-11-01) 1 November 1990 (age 27)
Iloilo City, Philippines
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Weight 176 kg (388 lb; 27.7 st)
Career
Stable Chiganoura
Current rank see below
Debut July, 2006
Highest rank Maegashira #4 (Nov, 2012)
Championships 1 (Sandanme)
1 (Jonokuchi)
Special Prizes Fighting Spirit (1)
* Up to date as of May 26, 2018.

Masunoyama Tomoharu (舛乃山 大晴, born November 1, 1990 in Iloilo City, Philippines) is a sumo wrestler from Sakae, Chiba, Japan. He turned professional in July 2006 and was the first wrestler born in the Heisei era to become a sekitori when he was promoted to the jūryō division in November 2010, alongside Takayasu. He reached the top makuuchi division in September 2011. He was injured in his top division debut and fell back to jūryō, but he returned in July 2012 and scored eleven wins, winning the Fighting Spirit Award. A serious knee injury sustained in 2015 has meant he has fallen greatly in rank.

Early life and sumo background

He was born in the Philippines to a Japanese father and a Filipino mother. His family moved to Japan when he was about one month old.[1] His parents had always been fans of sumo and from a very young age he had aspired to be a sumo wrestler. He was a member of the sumo club at his primary school, and when his junior high school did not have a sumo club he decided to attend practice at an area high school and other locations so he could continue doing sumo. He participated and did very well in children's sumo and also in national amateur sumo tournaments. However, in his third year of junior high school his parents divorced and he moved back with his mother to her native Philippines. He graduated from junior high school there and in May 2006 returned to Japan. Still interested in sumo, he decided to join Chiganoura stable. The stable already had their foreigner slot filled by the Hungarian Masutoo, but as Masunoyama listed Chiba Prefecture as his place of birth on the banzuke ranking sheets, he is not regarded as a foreigner by the Japan Sumo Association.

Career

He first stepped on the pro sumo dohyō in July 2006. Being a diligent trainer, and managing to avoid injury, he rose through the ranks and in a little over a year and half achieved his first championship at the rank of sandanme 46 with a 7-0 perfect record. It would take him another two and half years of mostly winning records to reach the second division jūryō in November 2010. He entered jūryō at the same time as Takayasu. Both had the distinction of being half Filipino as well as simultaneously being the first two wrestlers to enter jūryō that were born in the Heisei Era.

Masunoyama only managed a 6-9 score in his first jūryō tournament but as he had debuted at the relatively high rank of jūryō 11, he was spared relegation. In the January 2011 tournament, he won his first five bouts in a row, but on the sixth day in morning practice he injured a ligament in his right leg. He made the decision to continue competing, and managed to beat Kakizoe on that day. However, two days later he aggravated the injury in a bout against Daidō and was obliged to miss the next day and take a fusenpai. He then returned for two more days, both wins against veteran wrestlers Tamanoshima and Chiyohakuhō before losing again and re-aggravating his injury to miss the final two days. Through all this he still managed an 8-5 record with two absences. Three tournaments later (with one being missed due to the sumo match-fixing scandal), at the rank of jūryō 1 he came just short of a championship, but lost in a playoff to Myōgiryū who was in his jūryō debut. This record allowed Masunoyama to be promoted to the top-tier makuuchi for the following September tournament.

On the fourth day of his makuuchi debut in a bout against Tochinowaka Masunoyama injured the same ligament in his left leg that he had previously injured in his right leg. He was forced to bow out of the tournament with only a 2-3 record, and was demoted back to jūryō. Though advised by his doctor not to enter the next tournament in order to let his injury heal, he insisted on fighting on. However, unable to do much training and hobbled by his injury he had losing records in the following two tournaments. He returned to form in the next tournament in March 2012 and posted strong winning records in this and the following tournament. He re-entered makuuchi in July 2012, marking it with an 11-4 win and the Fighting Spirit prize. However he had two losing records to only one winning one for the remainder of the year. In 2013, he had a lackluster performance, recording mostly losing tournaments, but mostly records of 7-8 which kept him from falling too far down the ranks. This continued in 2014, and his unimpressive 4-11 score at maegashira 13 led to his relegation to the jūryō division in July.

His downward slide continued in 2015 and absence from the dohyō meant he had fallen to the bottom of the makushita division by September. After having surgery on his right knee for a dislocation and meniscus damage, he declared that he would enter the March 2016 tournament after a five basho absence.[2] He was ranked in the jonidan division for this tournament and came through with a 6–1 record. He was promoted to the sandanme division for May 2016 but withdrew from that tournament after losing his first match. He sat out the July tournament with injury and was therefore demoted to jonokuchi, the lowest division. He is only the second wrestler with top division experience to fall to jonokuchi since the beginning of the Shōwa era – the other being Ryūhō in 2012.[3] Finally back on the active list for the September 2016 tournament, easily took a 7-0 perfect record and the jonokuchi championship and secured a second successive promotion with a 6-1 in jonidan in November. He missed the January and March 2017 tournaments through injury, but entered the May tournament on Day 7 at jonidan 81 and secured a 4-0-3 winning record. In July he won all seven of his matches in the jonidan division, although he was defeated in a playoff for the championship. He was ranked at sandanme 49 in September 2017, his highest rank for two years, but turned in a make-koshi 3–4 record. He was promoted back to the makushita division for the March 2018 tournament, his first time in the third highest division since September 2015.

Family

In July 2006, Masunoyama was the sole new recruit into professional sumo, and this garnered him a lot of attention with the press. The press has continued to be enamored with him because of his friendly character, diligence, and ability to cope with adversity. He has also appeared on various television programs to be interviewed and has proven himself to have a remarkable singing voice on these programs.

He has said in interviews that he feels indebted to his mother for raising him on her own, and he sends money to her in the Philippines. He expressed hope to one day buy her a house.[4]

Earlier in his sumo career, Masunoyama had initially been advised by a doctor that he had heart disease and should be careful not to overstrain himself; this also appeared to reflect in his sumo, where after an initial spurt of energy at the tachi-ai he would collapse after around 20 seconds from exhaustion. Eventually however, the coach at his stable insisted on a second opinion and a thorough heart examination was conducted which found no evidence of a heart condition.[5]

Masunoyama's brother works in Chiganoura stable as a tokoyama or hairdresser.[6]

Fighting style

Masunoyama goes on the offensive right from the tachi–ai or initial charge, using pushing and thrusting techniques (tsuki/oshi). Nearly half of all his victories are by either yorikiri, the force out, or oshi dashi, the push out.

Career record

Masunoyama Tomoharu[7]
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
2006 x x x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #35
6–1
 
East Jonidan #71
6–1
 
2007 East Jonidan #1
3–4
 
West Jonidan #22
5–2
 
West Sandanme #88
5–2
 
East Sandanme #51
4–3
 
East Sandanme #35
4–3
 
East Sandanme #19
3–4
 
2008 West Sandanme #34
3–4
 
West Sandanme #46
7–0
Champion

 
East Makushita #28
1–6
 
East Makushita #57
4–3
 
West Makushita #47
2–5
 
West Sandanme #5
4–3
 
2009 West Makushita #56
5–2
 
East Makushita #40
2–5
 
East Makushita #55
6–1
 
East Makushita #25
2–5
 
East Makushita #39
4–3
 
West Makushita #32
3–4
 
2010 East Makushita #38
4–3
 
West Makushita #32
4–3
 
East Makushita #25
6–1
 
East Makushita #9
4–3
 
East Makushita #3
5–2
 
West Jūryō #11
6–9
 
2011 West Jūryō #14
8–5–2
 
East Jūryō #9
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Jūryō #9
9–6
 
East Jūryō #1
11–4–P
 
East Maegashira #9
2–3–10
 
West Jūryō #2
7–8
 
2012 West Jūryō #3
6–9
 
East Jūryō #7
10–5
 
West Jūryō #1
9–6
 
West Maegashira #13
11–4
F
West Maegashira #6
8–7
 
West Maegashira #4
5–10
 
2013 West Maegashira #7
4–11
 
West Maegashira #12
7–8
 
West Maegashira #13
7–8
 
East Maegashira #14
7–8
 
East Maegashira #14
8–7
 
East Maegashira #11
6–5–4
 
2014 West Maegashira #14
7–8
 
West Maegashira #14
8–7
 
East Maegashira #13
4–11
 
East Jūryō #2
5–10
 
West Jūryō #7
1–4–10
 
West Makushita #5
4–3
 
2015 West Jūryō #14
9–6
 
East Jūryō #10
5–10
 
East Makushita #1
1–3–2
 
East Makushita #20
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Makushita #60
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Sandanme #40
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
2016 West Sandanme #100
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
East Jonidan #61
6–1
 
East Sandanme #93
0–1–6
 
West Jonidan #43
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
East Jonokuchi #11
7–0
Champion

 
East Jonidan #11
6–1
 
2017 East Sandanme #50
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
West Jonidan #10
Sat out due to injury
0–0–7
East Jonidan #81
4–0–3
 
East Jonidan #49
7–0–P
 
East Sandanme #49
3–4
 
West Sandanme #63
4–3
 
2018 West Sandanme #45
6–1
 
West Makushita #56
5–2
 
West Makushita #38
0–2–5
 
x x x
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Top Division Runner-up 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. ^ 大相撲ジャーナル [Sumo Journal] (in Japanese). NHK Media. April 2014: 42–45. 
  2. ^ "舛ノ山 5場所連続休場から戦後最大の逆襲始まる" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "2016 September Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. August 2016. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "Filipino-Japanese sumo wrestler surprises mom". Tempo Entertainment. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "舛ノ山 自己タイ初日から5連勝 心臓病疑い晴れて快進撃" [Masunoyama ties a personal best with 5 straight wins; cleared of heart trouble he can go forward with confidence]. SupoNichi (in Japanese). 14 November 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "Family legacy weighs heavily on young sumo prospects". Japan Times. 18 April 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  7. ^ "Masunoyama Tomoharu Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 

External links