Kanreki dohyō-iri

In sumo wrestling, a kanreki dohyō-iri (Japanese: 還暦土俵入り) is a ring-entering ceremony (dohyō-iri) performed by a former yokozuna in celebration of his 60th birthday (called kanreki in Japanese). If he is a toshiyori (a sumo elder), the ceremony is usually held at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan, the main sumo hall in Tokyo. Those who are not current members of the Japan Sumo Association must hold it at another location.[1] A special red tsuna is created and worn, instead of the usual white tsuna.[1] Reaching your 60th birthday is an important occasion in Japan and is celebrated by wearing a red item. This is commonly known as an akatsuna (赤綱) but this term is unofficial. If the dew-sweeper or sword-bearer is a former yokozuna, he wears his own tsuna.[2]

Kanreki performed at Kokugikan

Tsunenohana's kanreki dohyo-iri in 1956

Wrestlers are listed using their ring name, followed by their then toshiyori name in brackets if they were retired at the time of the ceremony.

Year Wrestler Dew-sweeper Sword-bearer
1952 Tochigiyama Moriya (Kasugano) Akinoumi Setsuo (Fujishima) Haguroyama Masaji (active)
1956 Tsunenohana Kan'ichi (Dewanoumi) Chiyonoyama Masanobu (active) Futabayama Sadaji (Tokitsukaze)
1985 Tochinishiki Kiyotaka (Kasugano) Sadanoyama Shinmatsu (Dewanoumi) Wakanohana Kanji I (Futagoyama)
1988 Wakanohana Kanji I (Futagoyama) Takanosato Toshihide (Naruto) Wakanohana Kanji II (Magaki)
2000 Taihō Kōki (special toshiyori)[1] Chiyonofuji Mitsugu (Kokonoe)[1] Kitanoumi Toshimitsu (special toshiyori)[1]
2013 Kitanoumi Toshimitsu[3] (special toshiyori) Takanohana Kōji (special toshiyori) Chiyonofuji Mitsugu (Kokonoe)
2015 Chiyonofuji Mitsugu (Kokonoe) Harumafuji Kōhei (active) Hakuhō Shō (active)

Kanreki performed at other locations

Year Wrestler Dew-sweeper Sword-bearer Venue
1937 Tachiyama Mineemon Tachienoumi Namiemon (Kise) Tachihikari Den'emon (Naruto) Ueno Seiyōken
2002 Kitanofuji Katsuaki[1] Hokutoumi Nobuyoshi (Hakkaku)[1] Chiyonofuji Mitsugu (Kokonoe)[1] Hakkaku stable and Hotel East 21[1]
2007 Mienoumi Tsuyoshi (Musashigawa)[1] Miyabiyama Tetsushi (active)[1] Dejima Takeharu (active)[1] Hotel Grand Pacific Meridian[4]

Tachiyama's was the first kanreki-dohyo-iri and to date the only one to use the shiranui style. Mienoumi performed an early kanreki dohyō-iri seven months before his 60th birthday, on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Musashigawa stable.

Other eligible Yokozuna

Minanogawa Tōzō, Akinoumi Setsuo and Wajima Hiroshi also reached the age of sixty years whilst retired, but did not perform a kanreki dohyō-iri (all three had left the sumo world many years before). Kagamisato Kiyoji (Tatsutagawa), Tochinoumi Teruyoshi (Kasugano), Sadanoyama Shinmatsu (Sakaigawa) and Kotozakura Masakatsu (Sadogatake) received red tsuna but did not perform dohyō-iri. Kagamisato and Kotozakura did not perform due to poor health. Similarly Tochinoumi did not perform due to muscle problems in his right arm dating back to his active days. Sadanoyama declined because at the time he had just lost the chairmanship of the Sumo Association in controversial circumstances. Asashio Tarō (Takasago) had a red tsuna made, but died aged 58 without performing the ceremony.

Asahifuji was scheduled to perform the kanreki ceremony on 30 May 2020 but the event was postponed owing to the COVID-19 Pandemic.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Sumo's unique kanreki ceremonies provide windows into past". Japan Times. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Hall, Mina (1997). The Big Book of Sumo (Paperback). Berkeley, CA, USA: Stone Bridge Press. p. 89. ISBN 1-880656-28-0.
  3. ^ 北の湖が還暦土俵入り 理事長在任中では25年ぶり (in Japanese). Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ 武蔵川親方が土俵入り 来年2月で還暦に (in Japanese). 47NEWS. 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2012-10-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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