Japan is set to get its first Yokozuna (grand champion) in 19 years after Kisenosato (pictured) won his first ever tournament, defeating Mongolian born Yokozuna, Hakuho, in the final bout yesterday. Kisenosato weighs in at 176kg and stands 188cm tall. Toppling Hakuho was no mean feat, In 2009, Hakuho broke the record for the most wins in a calendar year, winning 86 out of 90 bouts repeating this feat in 2010 when he established the second longest winning streak in sumo history. He also holds the record for the most undefeated tournament championships at twelve, four more than any other sumo wrestler in history.
The last Japanese born wrestlers to achieve the highest rank in Sumo were Wakanohana (1998) and Takanohana (1994). Ever since that one American (Musashimaru) and four Mongolian wrestlers have managed the feat. Hakuho, Harumafuji and Kakuryu are the three active Mongolian Yokozuna.
The local press are clearly going stir crazy to have a Japanese champion in a national sport again. The term kamikaze (divine wind) was derived when Mongolian Kublai Khan had his invading force wiped out by typhoons in the 13th Century. Looks like Japan has a new national hero.