Sho Hakuho, who is believed by many to be the greatest sumo wrestler in history after announcing his retirement in 2021, said goodbye to the sport in a moving ceremony at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan this weekend.
As part of the traditional ceremony, the 37-year-old yokozuna made his final ring entry alongside fellow wrestlers Takakeisho and Seiryu. Takakage ozeki, a likely future yokozuna, has a crushing championship victory earlier this month. where one is from.
The ceremony included a number of exhibition matches, culminating in Hakuhō’s final appearance in the ring. In his last match, he took on his young son. Take a look below to see how a father gives his child a moment they’ll never forget.
After some fun games, it’s time for the serious work of cutting Hakuho’s hair. Hundreds of people cut Hakuho’s hair and his trainer Masahisa Tsukubayama took the ultimate honor of removing the top knot. . Other notable haircutters included former yokozuna Harumafuji (whose involvement made Hakuho cry).
Hakuho was then photographed wearing a new haircut and suit (active wrestlers cannot be seen in public wearing modern/Western clothing).
Born in Monkhvatin Dhabarjargal, Hakuho made his sumo debut in 2001. Only six years later he was promoted to yokozuna at the age of 22. He is the second Mongolian yokozuna of all time (after his greatest rival Asashoryu – sumo’s “bad boy” who reportedly did not attend his retirement ceremony) and the fourth foreigner to do so. I was a yokozuna.
In 2015, Hakuhō won his 33rd championship, breaking his 40-year record for most championships. He went on to win his championship top 45 in his division before announcing his retirement in 2021.
Other records held by Hakuho include most wins in a calendar year, most undefeated tournament championships, most wins in the top division, and most career wins. He is also the longest-running yokozuna of all time.
On paper, Hakuho is arguably the greatest sumo wrestler in history. But his legacy is a complicated one. Hakuho’s career has been marked by a level of vigor that is completely at home (or even modest) in most mainstream sports. However, in sumo, where wrestlers are expected to maintain an inhuman level of politeness and stoicism, a gentle fist pump by a wrestler could be viewed as blasphemy.
Outside Japan (or in the echo chamber of sumo purism), it’s easy to recognize Hakuho as not only the greatest wrestler of all time, but one of the greatest athletes of all time. His combination of strength, dexterity, and cunning has made his matches (and now highlight reels) must-watch TV (and the odd fist pump didn’t hurt either).
Hakuho is the owner of Elder Shares. That means they are allowed to train other wrestlers and own stables. He’s already committed to cultivating talent in his current stable, including wildly popular Enho and teenage prodigy Ochiai (who was undefeated in his professional tournament debut earlier this month).
Although he no longer competes in the ring himself, there is no doubt that the name Hakuho will be synonymous with sumo for generations to come.