The image is from Wikipedia Commons
Asanoyama in March 2017
(1994-03-01) March 1, 1994
Toyama Prefecture, Japan
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||174 kg (384 lb; 27.4 st)|
|Current rank||see below|
|Highest rank||Ozeki (May 2020)|
|Special Prizes||3 Fighting Spirit
2 Outstanding performance
|Gold Stars||1 (Kakuryū)|
|* Up to date as of 25 October 2020.|
Asanoyama Hideki (朝乃山 英樹, born Hiroki Ishibashi (石橋 広暉) on March 1, 1994) is a Japanese professional sumo wrestler from Toyama Prefecture. He debuted in sumo wrestling in March 2016 and made his makuuchi debut in September 2017. His highest rank has been ōzeki. He has earned six special prizes, and one gold star for defeating a yokozuna. In May 2019 he won his first top division yūshō or tournament championship, the first of the Reiwa era. He was also runner up in November 2019 and finished the calendar year with more top division wins than any other wrestler. He wrestles for Takasago stable.
After initially showing more interest and aptitude for handball, Ishibashi began to concentrate on sumo in Junior High School. He took part in the national championships in his third year but sustained an elbow injury which led to him considering quitting the sport. He then attended Toyama Commercial High School and was persuaded to persevere by the school's sumo director. After competing successfully in High School tournaments he won a place at Kindai University where he studied Economics. He won seven college titles and reached the top four in all-Japan Sumo Championships.
As a University champion, Ishibashi was allowed to bypass the two lowest tiers of professional sumo and begin his career in the fourth sandanme division in March 2016. Three kachi-koshi (winning records) in his first three basho (tournaments) saw him promoted to the makushita division for September. Winning records in September and November were followed by a perfect 7–0 in January 2017 which earned him the divisional championship and promotion to the second division (jūryō). At this point he took the shikona (ring name) of Asanoyama. His promotion ensured that Takasago stable would once again have a sekitori, following the demotions of Asasekiryū and Asabenkei to makushita which had left the stable with no wrestlers in the top two divisions for the first time since 1878. Asanoyama revealed his determination to reach jūryō to honour the memory of his sumo coach at high school who had recently died of cancer, and that his resolve did not falter even though he lost two matches in November and had to wait for one more tournament to earn promotion.
In his jūryō debut in March 2017 Asanoyama recorded 10 wins to tie for the lead on the final day of the tournament but was beaten in a play-off by the much more experienced Toyohibiki. After 8 wins in May he tied for the championship with 11 wins in July but again lost a play-off, this time to his near contemporary Daiamami. His efforts were enough to secure promotion to the top makuuchi division for the next tournament. He was the second sandanme tsukedashi entrant to reach makuuchi following Yutakayama.
In his first tournament in the top division Asanoyama was assigned the rank of maegashira 16. He stood at only 3–3 after Day 6 but then went on a five-match winning streak and was on the leaderboard towards the end of the tournament, trailing Gōeidō by just one win on Day 13. He finished with a 10–5 record and was awarded the Fighting Spirit Prize. After his final match Asanoyama commented, "I have fought with the spirit of a challenger over the 15 days and that has led to my finishing with double figures in wins. I am really happy about that." He was less successful in his second top division tournament, scoring only five wins against ten losses and barely avoiding demotion back to jūryō. In January 2018 he produced a 9–6 record from the rank of maegashira 16. In July he was on the leaderboard for much of the tournament and finished with an 11–4 record and a share of the Fighting Spirit prize. For the next few tournaments he remained in the middle of the maegashira ranks, mostly alternating between 8–7 and 7–8 records.
In the May 2019 tournament, the first to be held in the Reiwa era, he was the sole leader with ten wins and just one loss on Day 11. He lost his second bout of the tournament on Day 12, but regained the sole lead on Day 13 with a controversial win over Tochinoshin. He appeared to have hit the ground first, but the judges ruled that Tochinoshin's heel had touched out of bounds. By defeating Gōeidō on Day 14 he won the tournament after his only challenger Kakuryū was defeated by Tochinoshin, leaving Asanoyama two wins ahead with only one day to go. He was the first wrestler without previous sanyaku experience to win a yūshō since Sadanoyama in 1961. He lost his final day match to Mitakeumi to finish on a 12–3 record. In addition to the tournament championship he won special prizes for Outstanding Performance and Fighting Spirit and received the inaugural US President's Cup from President Donald Trump. Speaking to reporters the day after his victory Asanoyama said that he never imagined he could win the championship within three years of his professional debut but that the next tournament would be different and he would be seeking a winning record. He was the first wrestler from Toyama Prefecture to win a top division championship in 103 years, and 25,000 people attended a parade in his hometown on June 16. In the July 2019 tournament he just missed out on a sanyaku debut, instead being ranked at maegashira 1. He fell one win short of his goal of kachi-koshi with a 7–8 record. On the fifth day of the September tournament he earned his first kinboshi or gold star for a win over a yokozuna, against Kakuryū. He held a share of the tournament lead after Day 10, but lost both his bouts on Days 11 and 12 and finished with a 10–5 record. He was awarded his second Outstanding Performance Prize, for defeating Kakuryū and two ōzeki.
He made his sanyaku debut in November 2019, one of four komusubi on the banzuke in that tournament. He is the first komusubi from Takasago stable since Asasekiryū in 2006, the third post-World War II from Toyama Prefecture after Wakamiyama and Kotogaume, and the third from Kindai University after his stablemaster Asashio and Takarafuji. He was runner-up to Hakuhō with an 11–4 record, and won his first Technique Prize. He also finished 2019 with 55 top division wins, more than any other wrestler that year. He is the first ranked below yokozuna or ōzeki to achieve the most wins in a calendar year.
In the January 2020 tournament Asanoyama made his debut at sekiwake and produced a 10–5 record. The demotion of Takayasu and the retirement of Gōeidō left only one ōzeki on the March banzuke for the first time in 38 years, and Asanoyama told a press conference on 24 February, "There is another spot available for ōzeki. I want to make the most of this opportunity." Asanoyama finished with an 11–4 record in the March tournament, good enough for a sumo advisory board to recommend his promotion to the ōzeki rank. The Japan Sumo Association officially promoted him on 25 March. He is the first ōzeki from Toyama Prefecture since the 22nd Yokozuna Tachiyama made the rank 111 years earlier; Asanoyama said he hoped to reach his level, and also inspire youngsters from his prefecture to join professional sumo.
In his ōzeki debut in July 2020 Asanoyama was the tournament leader until Day 13 when he was defeated by former ōzeki Terunofuji. Asanoyama was unable to take advantage of Terunofuji's defeat the following day to Shodai when he lost for the second day in a row, falling victim to Terutsuyoshi's ashitori leg grab. He finished the tournament runner-up on 12–3. He made a poor start to his September campaign, losing his first three matches, which led to him being criticized by former yokozuna and Takasago stable member Asashōryū. He then won ten in a row before being defeated by Shodai and Takakeisho on the last two days to finish on 10–5. He withdrew from the November 2020 tournament on Day 3, due to a deltoid muscle injury to his right shoulder suffered on the opening day. This was the first time in his career that he had been forced to withdraw from a tournament.
Asanoyama has shown a preference for yotsu techniques which involve grasping his opponent's mawashi or belt. His most common kimarite or winning move is yorikiri, the force-out. His preferred grip is migi-yotsu, a right arm inside and left hand outside position, although in the run-up to the March 2020 tournament he worked on obtaining a left hand inside grip as well.
|Year in sumo||January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
Haru basho, Osaka
Natsu basho, Tokyo
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
Aki basho, Tokyo
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
|2016||x||Sandanme tsukedashi #100
|East Sandanme #66
|West Sandanme #11
|West Makushita #36
|East Makushita #14
|2017||West Makushita #7
|East Jūryō #12
|East Jūryō #7
|West Jūryō #5
|East Maegashira #16
|West Maegashira #11
|2018||West Maegashira #16
|West Maegashira #13
|West Maegashira #12
|West Maegashira #13
|West Maegashira #5
|West Maegashira #5
|2019||West Maegashira #8
|East Maegashira #8
|West Maegashira #8
|East Maegashira #1
|West Maegashira #2
|West Komusubi #2
|2020||East Sekiwake #1
|East Sekiwake #1
|West Ōzeki #1
|West Ōzeki #1
|East Ōzeki #1
|West Ōzeki #1
|Record given as win-loss-absent Top Division Runner-up
Yokozuna — Ōzeki — Sekiwake — Komusubi — Maegashira
- Glossary of sumo terms
- List of active sumo wrestlers
- List of sumo tournament top division champions
- List of sumo tournament top division runners-up
- List of ozeki
- Active special prize winners
- 朝乃山 応援よろしく 新十両昇進で県庁訪問 Archived 2017-02-19 at the Wayback Machine 中日新聞 2017年1月28日
- ベースボール・マガジン社刊 『相撲』 2016年2月号（初場所総決算号） 95頁
- "関取ゼロの高砂部屋を救った朝乃山は、" (in Japanese). Sportiva. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- "Asanoyama Hideki Rikishi Information". Sumo Reference.
- "Sumo: Ozeki Goeido crashes again, lead cut to 1 at Autumn tourney". Kyodo News. 22 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- "Sumo: Harumafuji beats Goeido in playoff to win 9th career title". The Mainichi. 24 September 2017. Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- "Sumo: Tochinoshin, Kakuryu upset on Day 11 at Summer meet". The Mainichi. 22 May 2019. Archived from the original on 23 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Sumo: Asanoyama takes sole lead on Day 13 with controversial win". The Mainichi. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "Asanoyama falls on basho's last day". Japan Times. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- "Awards day for Asanoyama". Japan News/Yomiuri Shimbun. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- "Asanoyama wants to build on first title". Japan Times. 28 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- "25,000 attend hometown parade for new sumo champion Asanoyama". The Mainichi. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
- "Sumo: Five wrestlers hold joint lead after Day 10". Japan Times. 17 September 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
- "Asanoyama results by basho". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
- "Sumo: Mitakeumi wins 2nd title after sekiwake playoff with Takakeisho". The Mainichi. 22 September 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
- "Sumo: Kakuryu tops rankings as Takakeisho makes ozeki return". The Mainichi. 28 October 2019. Archived from the original on 28 October 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
- "2019 November Grand Sumo Tournament Banzuke Topics". Japan Sumo Association. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
- "Sumo: Hakuho puts final winning touch on 43rd championship". The Mainichi. 24 November 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- "Sumo left with only one ozeki for first time in over 38 years". Japan Times. 24 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- "Asanoyama achieves goal of promotion to sumo's second-highest rank". japantimes.co.jp. Kyodo. 23 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
- "Sumo: Asanoyama promoted to ozeki, ready to live up to new rank". The Mainichi. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
- "Terunofuji continues epic comeback with win over Asanoyama". Japan Times. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- "Terunofuji maintains slim lead despite upset loss on Day 14 of July basho". Japan Times. 1 August 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- "Terunofuji returns to glory with second championship". Asahi Shimbun. 2 August 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
- Gunning, John (16 September 2020). "Are ozeki Asanoyama's struggles all in his head?". Japan Times. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
- "Sumo: Shodai clinches 1st-ever title, ozeki promotion". Kyodo News. 27 September 2020. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
- "Sumo: Ozeki Asanoyama pulls out of November grand tourney". The Mainichi. 10 November 2020. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
- "Asanoyama Hideki bouts by kimarite". Sumo Reference. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
- "Sumo: Asanoyama's ozeki bid overshadowed by sport's 1st empty arena". The Mainichi. 6 March 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
- Asanoyama Hideki's official biography (English) at the Grand Sumo Homepage
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