Konishiki – One of Sumo’s BestMay 19th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery
Konishiki Yasokichi, better know simply as Konishiki, is one of the most successful wrestlers in sumo history and was first non-Japanese sumo wrestler to attain the prestigious title of ozeki, sumo’s second highest rank.
Konishiki was born in Hawaii in 1963 with the name of Saleva’a Fuauli Atisano’e and moved to Japan to pursue a Sumo career in 1982.
True to his Hawaii roots, when I met him at a recent event, he was wearing a Chiba Lotte Marines jersey with the number 50 and his name on the back. (Hawaii is the 50th and last state to be incorporated by the Unites States and the number proudly worn by many athletes born in the Aloha State.)
Konishiki won a total of 733 bouts, including 649 in the top division over a sixteen year career that ended with his retirement in 1998. Today he makes his home in Tokyo, near the Ryogoku Kokugikan, where he wrestled for so many years, and is active with a charitable foundation knows as Konishiki Kids and a career in music as both a producer and artist.
Experience live Sumo in Japan, with six grand tournaments held each year, there is bound to be one that you can fit into your schedule and it’s an experience that you will never forget!
Image Credit: Personal Collection