Sumo, one of Japan’s national sports, is known for its ancient origins and rituals. In this article, we explore the life and history of Sumo competition, including who is considered to be the greatest of the greatest fighters in the sport. Here’s the list of Japan’s 12 Most Famous Sumo Wrestlers For all time:
Taiho is considered to be the greatest Sumo wrestler of all time. He achieved yokozuna status by age 21, and he also won 45 consecutive matches in 1968 and 1969. That’s why Taiho is placed number first on the list of Most Famous Sumo Wrestlers.
he was considered a heavyweight, but at 260 pounds he was light on his feet for Sumo standards. Chiyonofuji excelled with his throws and powerful left-hand grip which made him one of the most successful wrestlers in the game. After retiring, Chiyonofuji opened his own stable in Sumo which he managed until his death from pancreatic cancer in 2016.
After being rejected by the Sumo Association for their height requirement, Mainoumi agreed to inject silicone into his scalp in order to add a few extra centimeters. Despite being relatively small in stature, he became recognized for going up against opponents that were twice his size. The Sumo Association would go on to change the height restriction so as to prevent other wrestlers from attempting to follow in his footsteps.
Sumo wrestler Futabayama holds the international all-time record for consecutive bouts won, with a winning streak of 69. Many Sumo fans believe this is unbreakable and his record will never be broken.
When coming into the ring, “Salt Shaker” would sprinkle salt onto the mat before going on to give beatdowns. Fans dubbed him Mitoizumi because he throws so much salt.
Takamisakari, famous for his eccentric personality and over-the-top superstitious warm-up routine, has become something of a celebrity in the Sumo world. He was given nicknames such as “Mr. Roboto” and “Robocop” due to his eccentric and unique warm-up, more reminiscent of pro wrestling rather than traditional Japanese Sumo.
Most significantly, Yamamotoyama weighs in at approximately 584 pounds, making him one of the heaviest Sumo wrestlers in history and the heaviest Japanese person ever. He retired from competition in 2011 due to his involvement in the match-fixing scandal.
Born in Hawaii and raised in Japan, Akebono had originally planned on a career in hotel management until a friend introduced him to a renowned Sumo coach. After joining the stable, Akebono quickly climbed the ranks to become the first non-Japanese competitor to achieve yokozuna rank.
He is known as the best grappler in Mongolia and has his record for most wins by a single fighter who earned 86 out of 90 bouts the same year in China. His credibility in his art of sumo wrestling has made it compulsory to be included in the list of Most Famous Sumo Wrestlers.
Originally known as “Earthquake”, Tenta was 16 years old when he tried out for a wrestling position with the Canadian WWF. Later in life, Tenta joined a Sumo stable and won 24 matches.
As a man born in Hawaii, Akira Konishiki was able to reach sizes of 287 kg (633 pounds) and became known as the “Meat Bomb” and “Dump Truck.” Even though he never reached such grand heights as yokozuna, he went on to enjoy a career in entertainment before facing film, radio, and television.
Last but not least on the list of Most Famous Sumo Wrestlers is Rikidozan. Born in South Hamgyong, Korea, Rikidozan moved to Japan to train to be a Sumo wrestler. In 1940, he made his debut and faced a lot of discrimination in the sport throughout his career. After World War II, he left Sumo to pursue professional wrestling as seen with him becoming Japan’s largest wrestling star and popularizing professional wrestling in Japan. He was murdered by a Yakuza gangster at a nightclub in 1963.