Who is the most famous and greatest sumo wrestler?


One of the national sports of Japan, Sumo is known to most people as a Japanese wrestling. The sport has a history spanning (〜にわたって) many centuries. The origins of Sumo date back several centuries, when the sport was developed as a way of preserving (維持する) the ancient (古代の) traditions of Shinto (神道), a Japanese ethnic (民族の)  religion.

Today, elements of the Shinto religion remain an integral (不可欠な) part of Sumo wrestling, while the sport’s greatest contenders (競技者) are elevated (昇進する、高める) to celebrity status. We take a look at the life and times of the biggest names in Sumo. Top-ranked sumo wrestlers earn huge amounts of money.



Contrary (〜に反して) to what you might think, top sumo wrestlers are considered very sexy by many  women. And they often have beautiful wives or girlfriends. According to a rumor, attractive young women marry sumo wrestlers because they hope the wrestler’s obesity (肥満)  will lead (つながる、導く) to an early death and the young women will inherit (相続する) their money.  This rumor isn’t true though.

By the way, I believe that Sumo is the world’s fiercest (最も激しい) martial art. Who do you think is the most famous and popular and greatest sumo wrestler in its history?


Futabayama (双葉山)

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Rikidozan (力道山)

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Taihō (大鵬)

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Chiyonofuji (千代の富士)

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Konishiki (小錦)

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Mainoumi (舞の海)

Mainoumi (left)
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Akebono (曙)

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Takanohana (貴乃花)

Takanohana (right) beats Musashimaru (left)
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Takamisakari (高見盛)

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Asashōryū (朝青龍)

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Hakuhō (白鵬)

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Japanese people are particularly fond of a couple of native-born former Yokozuna, or grand champion. In my opinion, the most famous one of all time is Chiyonofuji.  He is a sentimental favorite of many people because of his smaller body habitus (体質) at about 6 feet tall and 280 pounds, but he was very quick and held the record for most tournament titles for many years. He has 31 championships.




Possibly another contender for the title of most famous sumo wrestler is Takanohana. He was extremely popular in his heyday (全盛), and I was fortunate (幸運) to catch their careers.


Wakanohana (left) and Takanohana (right)


Konishiki is incredibly (非常に、信じられないほど) famous despite not reaching the highest rank and only winning three championships, mostly because at just over 6 feet tall he was a massive 633 pounds ! Born in American Samoa, Musashimaru was another huge guy at 6′3.5″ and 518 pounds, he was a load (重荷) in the ring. He has 12 championships.

Lastly (最後に), there are two very famous Mongolians, one who dominated (支配する) until his retirement and the other is the current most dominant (支配的な) wrestler.