2015 in sumo

The following were the events in professional sumo during 2015.




  • 23: Yokozuna Hakuhō wins his 33rd Yūshō and breaks the all-time tournament win record held by Taihō since 1971.[2] He beats ōzeki Kisenosato in a re-match after their first bout was judged too close to call. It is his thirteenth straight win and with no one else scoring better than ten wins, he has wrapped up the championship with two days to spare.
  • 24: Hakuhō wins his 800th bout in the top division with a defeat of his fellow yokozuna Harumafuji,[3] only the fourth man after Kitanoumi, Chiyonofuji and Kaiō to reach this landmark.
  • 25: The final day of the tournament is a sell-out, meaning every day of a basho held in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan has sold out for the first time in 18 years.[4] Hakuhō completes his 11th zenshō yūshō or perfect score (another record) with a win over Kakuryū, meaning exactly one third of his championships have come without suffering a single defeat. There are a record 61 sponsor's envelopes placed on his bout. Trailing in a long way behind on 11–4 are Harumafuji, Kisenosato, and maegashira Tokushōryū who share runner-up honours. There is just one special prize awarded, to Terunofuji who defeated two ōzeki and is the only man ranked between sekiwake and maegashira 5 to get a majority of wins. He is certain to be promoted to the sanyaku ranks next tournament. Gōeidō preserves his ōzeki rank by beating Kotoshōgiku, who had also been threatened with demotion. The jūryō division championship goes to Kitataiki for the second time. Retiring after this tournament are former komusubi Homasho, maegashira Tochinowaka and Towanoyama, and jūryō Senshō.
  • 27: Hakuhō receives criticism after telling a post-tournament press conference that he should not have been made to redo his match with Kisenosato as "looking at the video, even a child could see (that I won)."[5] His stablemaster Miyagino apologizes on his behalf.


  • 1: The fifth Hakuho Cup is held at the Kokugikan and shown live on Niconico. The event features elementary school and junior high school sumo teams from Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, China, Bulgaria, Estonia, the US and Australia.
  • 7: The former Kotomitsuki, dismissed from sumo in 2010, has an informal danpatsu-shiki or retirement ceremony in a Tokyo hotel, attended by all the active yokozuna, former stablemate Kotoshogiku and ex yokozuna Takanohana.
  • 8: The 39th Fuji TV Grand Sumo knockout tournament is held at the Kokugikan. Harumafuji wins, defeating Kisenosato in the final. Gagamaru wins the juryo event.


Hakuhō won his sixth straight championship in March.
  • 7: Yokozuna Kakuryū is a late withdrawal from the Osaka tournament with a shoulder injury, forfeiting his opening match.[6]
  • 11: Sekiwake Okinoumi withdraws through injury in his debut tournament at the rank.
  • 13: Crowd pleaser Endo withdraws after a serious knee injury, rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
  • 18: Veteran Aminishiki withdraws through injury.
  • 21: Hakuhō wins his 34th tournament, and his sixth in a row, by beating Harumafuji on the final day. He avoids a playoff with Terunofuji, who defeated him on Day 13 bringing to an end his 36 match winning streak. Terunofuji, making his sekiwake debut, finishes on 13–2 and wins prizes for Outstanding Performance and Technique. The juryo division championship is won by Fujiazuma.

The spring regional tour begins at the following locations:


The spring regional tour continues at the following locations:


Veteran Dewanosato retired in May.
  • 10: The May tournament sees Kakuryu once again unable to compete due to injury. This is the first time since Musashimaru in 2003 that a yokozuna has missed two tournaments in a row.
  • 24: Terunofuji follows up his superb performance in March by winning his first top division tournament championship. His victory over Aoiyama on the final day, coupled with Hakuho's surprise defeat to Harumafuji, means Hakuho's streak of six consecutive championships comes to an end. Terunofuji's score of 12–3 is actually not as good as the previous tournament, but no-one else scored better than 11–4. Terunofuji also wins the Fighting Spirit Award, and is virtually guaranteed promotion to ozeki. There are no other sansho winners. The juryo title goes to Kagamio. In the sandanme division, 44-year-old Dewanosato [ja], who spent just one tournament in juryo exactly ten years previously, announces his retirement after an exceptional 29 years and 174 basho in sumo.
  • 27: Terunofuji's promotion to ozeki is confirmed.


  • 20 : Elder of the Sumo Association Otowayama Oyakata, former ozeki Takanonami, dies of acute cardiac failure at age 43.[7]


  • 13: Yokozuna Harumafuji pulls out of the Nagoya tournament on the second day because of an elbow injury. He had had surgery on the same elbow in May. Way down in the jonokuchi division Brodik Henderson, a 20 year old from Victoria, British Columbia, who joined Nishikido stable in March and is known as Homarenishiki, makes his first official appearance in a tournament.[8]
  • 26: Hakuhō wins his 35th championship, finishing on a 14–1 record. His only defeat in the tournament is to sekiwake Tochiozan, who had also defeated returning yokozuna Kakuryu and is given the Outstanding Performance Award. Kakuryu is joint runner-up on 12–3 with maegashira Yoshikaze, who wins the Fighting Spirit Award. Terunofuji finishes on 11–4 in his ozeki debut. Kyokutenhō can only score 3–12, and faces certain demotion to the juryo division. Fellow veteran Wakanosato faces demotion to makushita. The juryo division championship is won by Mitakeumi, who only made his professional debut in March.
  • 27: Kyokutenhō, facing demotion to the second division, officially announces his retirement. He will stay in sumo as a coach under the name Ōshima Oyakata. Among his records are most appearances in the top division (1470), oldest ever first time yusho winner (37), oldest winner of any top division tournament since the 6 tournaments a year system was established in 1958, and oldest wrestler to record a top division kachi-koshi or winning record since 1926 at 40 years of age.


The summer tour visits the following locations:


Kakuryu won his first championship as a yokozuna in September
  • 3: Wakanosato confirms that he will retire rather than fight in makushita. He will stay in sumo as a coach under the name Nishiiwa Oyakata. He finishes his career with 1691 total bouts, the fifth highest ever, and fought in 87 top division tournaments, the eighth highest ever.[9]
  • 10: On the eve of the Aki Basho, yokozuna Harumafuji withdraws, having not fully recovered from the elbow injury sustained in the previous tournament.[10]
  • 15: After suffering two defeats in the first two days to komusubi Okinoumi and maegashira Yoshikaze (neither of whom had ever beaten him before), Hakuho withdraws from the tournament, citing an injury to his left knee.[11] It is the first time he has missed a tournament since November 2006, when he was still ranked as an ozeki, and breaks a run of 722 consecutive days competing as a yokozuna and 51 consecutive tournaments posting double-digit wins; both all-time records.[11]
  • 27: The tournament is won by Kakuryu, who defeats Terunofuji in a playoff after both men finish with identical 12–3 records. Terunofuji had been tournament leader on 11–0 but then lost three in a row; however he then unexpectedly beat Kakuryu in their regulation match despite suffering from an injury sustained against Kisenosato on Day 13. It is Kakuryu's second championship and first as a yokozuna. Yoshikaze, who defeated two yokozuna and scored 11–4, collects the Outstanding Performance and Technique prizes. The Fighting Spirit Award is shared between Tochinoshin and Ikioi. The jūryō division championship is won by former komusubi Shohozan. Chiyoshoma, a Mongolian from Kokonoe stable, wins the makushita championship.
  • 30: It is announced that Takasago stable's Asabenkei [ja] has been promoted to the jūryō division. He is the first wrestler from Kanagawa Prefecture to reach jūryō since Asanosho in 1993.


  • 1: Kumagantani Oyakata, the former head coach of Miyagino stable and now an assistant at the stable, is fired by the Sumo Association after being indicted for an assault with a baseball bat on his personal driver. The coach, known as Kanechika in his days as an active wrestler, is no stranger to controversy, having been forced to step down as head coach at Miyagino in 2010 after being caught on tape discussing match-fixing.

The autumn tour visits the following locations:


Harumafuji won his first championship in two years in November.
  • 5: Hakuho declares himself fit for the Kyushu tournament, having recovered from the left knee injury that forced him out in September. He is competing in his 50th basho as a yokozuna, putting him in sole possession of fourth place on the all-time list.[13]
  • 20: The chairman of the Japan Sumo Association, former yokozuna Kitanoumi dies of colorectal cancer at the age of 62. He had been in Fukuoka for the current tournament and was taken to hospital suffering from anemia, after which his condition worsened. Hakkaku Oyakata, the former yokozuna Hokutoumi, is named acting chairman. A memorial service for Kitanoumi is announced for December 22.
  • 22:The Kyushu tournament is won by Harumafuji on his return from a two basho absence. It is his seventh championship and first in two years. He loses on the final day to Kisenosato to finish on 13–2, but Hakuho cannot take advantage, losing to Kakuryu. Hakuho finishes on 12–3 having been 12–0 up, and has to share second place with rank-and-filers Ikioi and Shohozan, who both receive the Fighting Spirit Award. The Technique Award goes to Yoshikaze – his fourth special prize in the last three tournaments. Ozeki Goeido preserves his rank with a bare majority of wins, 8–7.

The winter tour begins at the following location:


The winter tour continues at the following locations:


  • 20 June: Former ozeki Takanonami (see above)
  • 28 June: Former maegashira 1 Ryūō, the first top division wrestler from Okinawa Prefecture who unsuccessfully tried to become head coach of Asahiyama stable, aged 70, of a stroke.
  • 20 November: Former yokozuna Kitanoumi (see above)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Grand Tournament Schedule". Japan Sumo Association. Archived from the original on 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
  2. ^ "Hakuho broke the all-time tournament win record".
  3. ^ "Hakuho collects 800th victory in top division". Japan Times. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Sumo has 1st 15-day sellout in 18 years". News On Japan. 25 January 2015. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Hakuho feels heat over rematch quip". Japan News. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Sumo: Yokozuna Kakuryu out of spring meet with shoulder injury". Mainichi Daily News. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Ex-ozeki Takanonami, 43, dies of cardiac failure". Japan Times. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  8. ^ Armstrong, Jim (10 July 2015). "HOMARENISHIKI". Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  9. ^ "Sumo: Warhorse Wakanosato announces retirement". Kyodo News. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Harumafuji sidelined with elbow injury". Japan Times. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Yokozuna Hakuho withdraws from Autumn Basho". Japan Times. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Kakuryu takes east yokozuna slot for Kyushu basho". Japan Times. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Hakuho fit and ready for Kyushu basho". Japan Times. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 5 November 2015.

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