The all-time winningest rikishi’s longevity at the top and work ethic triggered admiration from his peers and former standouts.

Ed Odeven, JAPAN Forward

More than four years after moving into the No. 1 spot on the all-time wins list, yokozuna Hakuho authored one final glorious run.

The legend’s 15-0 performance at the July Grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya produced his last statistical record ー and with it a fitting conclusion to the Mongolian-born great’s career.

The big news on Monday, September 27, a day after Terunofuji triumphed at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, was the announcement that Hakuho was retiring. Three days later, the Japan Sumo Association’s board of directors officially rubber-stamped Hakuho’s request, setting the stage for the next chapter of his career in Japan’s ancient sport.

Hakuho, who surpassed ex-ozeki Kaio on the all-time wins list when he recorded his 1,048th win in Nagoya on July 21, 2017, was unable to participate in the Autumn Basho due to two members of his stable contracting the coronavirus.

Hakuho celebrates his record-breaking 1,048th career victory with his family in July 2017. | Photo courtesy of © JAPAN Forward

Hakuho, 36, will become a sumo elder, working at Miyagino stable and sharing the knowledge he’s accumulated over the years in training and tournaments. According to the sport’s traditional customs, upon retirement as a yokozuna his ring name was also retired. The JSA has approved his sumo elder name, Magaki.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.