Sumodo (2020) - full transcript

Following two wrestlers intimately for six months is the documentary's way of examining the lifestyle, motivations, intentions and aspirations of sumo wrestlers and also gives air to the tradition, heritage and connection of the sport to Japan, its country of origin. The film features interviewers and examinations of wrestlers and coaches.

Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena

The tickets for today's tour
are sold out.

Japan Sumo Association


Hakkaku stable,
Birthplace Shimane Prefecture


Sadogatake stable,
Birthplace Fukuoka Prefecture


Tokitsukaze stable,
Birthplace Kumamoto Prefecture


Kasugano stable,
Birthplace Kochi Prefecture

And last, Ozeki Takayasu

Tagonoura stable,
Birthplace Ibaraki Prefecture



Begin! Not yet!

Not yet! Not yet! Not yet!

To put it simply, sumo wrestler
makes his opponent lose his balance.

So, in order not to fall,

the one thing that matters
is how to stay in the ring.

Sumo wrestlers are samurai.

In the past, the feudal lord

kept sumo wrestlers, called rikishi,
as samurai.

The characters used to
write 'rikishi'

are power and samurai, so they were.

It's amazing, really!

After I retired, I've been reflecting
on just how amazing sumo wrestlers are.

They are put through the mill,
and so they have a big body.

And they are quite agile
for having such powerful bodies.

I thought they have an enormous body.

KITTE, Marunouchi

Hibiya Park

Toneri, Adachi Ward


Sakaigawa stable

Sakaigawa stablemaster

I often visit the Sakaigawa stable,
and I think

what a good old sumo stable it is.

Of course the training is strict,

and it is brimming with energy.

It has remained just like in the past,
this strict stable.

Whatever one may say.

I have taken notice of

He has a generous disposition.

He flings his opponents
with all his strengths aggressively.

Not to mention that
he is handsome, after all.


First of all, Tsushimanada is

really trying his best at training.

Being able to do
your best at training,

is actually a talent,
a natural aptitude.

If you can't do your best at training
you definitely can't become strong.


Sadanoumi, meanwhile,

it feels like a wall.
I sometimes practice with Sadanoumi.

Anyway, he has a powerful stamping,

that's why it feels like
you are striking a wall, hard.

So the impact, it feels like
it returns directly on you.


His instantaneous force
is incredible.

I rank him
among the top young rikishi

for his powerful force,
face-off and other outstanding movements.

It is extremely difficult to keep
pushing with your knees bent.

It looks easy to do, but in reality,
it is extremely difficult.

There are skills, of course.


What is wonderful
about Goeido's skill is

the power he generates when grabbing
the front of the belt from the left.

If you are taken like this,
you can no longer move,

and he is full of energy.

Ozeki Goeido gives you
the feeling of being a samurai.

I think he is a great wrestler and
I would like for him to win again.

To stretch it a little,
I would like him to become a Yokozuna.

The history of sumo coincides
with Japan's history.

Sumo is considered to have started
in ancient times,

from the hot-blooded trials of strength
and hand-to-hand combat of men.

In the Heian period, it was transformed
into a pastime for nobility

and became an event
of the Imperial Court.

During the Warring States Period,
sumo is said to have come

into wide practice
as battle training by the samurai.

In the age of provincial wars,
fighting was ubiquitous.

Fighting means grappling
with each other.

The fighters wore armour

and it difficult to give
the coup de grace.

So you would drag him down,
catch him and throw him down.

And then, it seems
there is an open space in here.

So you would draw
your short sword and slash!

You would give the coup de grace.

Mainly it was this kind of fighting.

This is why sumo, well...
it is suitable for this.

This is why, you have to
put your life on the line.

It is never just a little game.
It requires you stake your life.

Well, everyday is a traffic accident,

Two people who weigh 200kg
bump into each other.

Even if you keep training,
when it hurts, it hurts.

Well, there is no other sport
that requires this much training

without wearing
any protective equipment.

There is no glove, no headgear,

Goeido, the most powerful rikishi
of the Sakaigawa stable,

having the rank of Ozeki,
just one step from the title of yokozuna,

he once won a tournament
without a single loss.

And for four and a half years
he has been defending his position.

So, you have to become strong
and wrestle to the winning point.

The only real choice is endure
a steady stream of hardships.

If you keep running away
from these hard things,

you will never become
mentally strong.

Wrestlers who put a lot of effort
are the strong ones, I believe.

New Year
Shogenji temple

Happy New Year to you all!

Last year, everyone concerned
at the Shogenji temple,

took so good care of us!

Let us all include Shogenji
in our prayers this year as well.

Yes. Yo-ho! OK.
Yo-ho! OK.

Yo-ho. OK. Yo-ho. OK.

Mochi pounded by rikishi,
who symbolize power, is believed to bring luck.

Yes, please.

Yo-ho! Yo-ho! Yo-ho! OK.

It's time for the January Tournament.

Please take good care of Myogiryu, our new Komusubi.

Well, he has written down
his interests.

Strengthening his calf muscles
from his hips.


Please show us your calves!

No.1 in the sumo world!

OK. Yo-ho! Yo-ho!

Everyone, you know of course
Ozeki Goeido.

Here, Goeido.

Yo-ho! Yo-ho!

He will share
his interests with you.

He likes cats a lot.

OK. Yo-ho!

A little more.

Five more times.

Thank you!

This year, I would like us
to celebrate Ozeki Goeido's victory.

Please give him
a warm hand of applause.

Well, Ozeki Goeido.
Thank you very much!

Well... Goeido was a classmate.

We went to the same school in Saitama.

We were together on the day
we entered the school dorm.

I rode the shinkansen from Himeji,
and Goeido got on at Osaka.

Myogiryu boarded first,

and it was our mothers
who coordinated our times.

I figure we rode at specific times
to travel together.

What did we talk about?

About how to become strong
like the two of us.

Looking forward to something...

I remember going together
talking about such thing.

Well, I knew his name
from elementary school.

He used to win all
the children's tournaments.

I couldn't make the team
after entering that school.

But Ozeki Goeido, he was a member
since the first grade

and participated in bouts.

At first, he wasn't strong enough to make it
to the national high school championship.

But he rapidly improved to the point of
advancing to the championship bout there.

Finally, in our last year
of high school,

we faced each other
in the finals of inter-high school competitions.

Well, I had my defeats

but I never thought I'd be
competing on such a big stage.

So, I was happy.

What do you think
about Myogiryu now?

I think about taking care of
his body and training,

he is the most knowledgeable
among everybody around here.

- Let's go to 200kg
- Fine!

Oh. Then let's go!
Yes. OK.




Please measure

this part here.



I've never done this before.

80? 81 centimeters.

How big is director's?


You're thin!

40... 45 centimeters.

So it's double.

I don't know
if this is thick or not.

This is more than
just being thick.

These are the legs of
someone truly powerful.

OK, let's start, 100kg.

Well, I've been lifting weights
for 17 years now.

Since I started sumo in high school,
I've been training with weights.

There is all kinds of
information nowadays.

But that doesn't mean that
I put everything into practice.

I use my own equipment.

Like this.

A tire?

How much does it weigh?

It weighs 320kg.

A trailer tire.

This is tough practice!

Is this some type of
sumo strength training?

It definitely does,
so it's better to do it than not.

Does Goeido have powerful muscles?

You mean muscle strength?

Muscle strength really means power sumo for...

for grabbing your opponent's belt,
pulling him in,

and stepping through
with great force.

What this power is
it would be difficult to say.

It's something heavy you feel inside yourself.

Anyway, he has tremendous power.


My father was a rikishi

and I wanted to become one
ever since kindergarten.

When I turned fifteen,
my father asked me.

Which stable do you want
to go to, Dewanoumi or Sakaigawa?

Well, as my father was trained
in the Dewanoumi stable,

I thought obviously I would go there.

But then my father told me something.

In order to build character,
you should go to Sakaigawa.

This is what helped
make up my mind to come here.

Training matches where the winner
picks his next opponent

In the sumo ring, it doesn't matter
if you are senior or junior.

The winner remains at ringside and
designates the next wrestler.

And basically wrestler at the front
of the line get bought,

and buy that I mean choose.

You see, the wrestlers
who want to get up front

make a dash and dive forward,
then demand.

If you're standing at the back,
you'll never get designated.

Who wants to become stronger
just keep fighting for the front.

It is not a club activity.
This is our job.

So you put everything into it.

It is up to each and every one of us,
whether we do it or not.

I was an amateur and I could climb
to the rank of makushita,

all thanks to training.

This happens often.

An opponent forges forwards and hits me
in the face giving me a bloody nose.

I don't really get irritated when I get hit in the face.

It's more like I get heated up.

Does getting heated up impact your personal ties?

Training is training and it's nothing personal.

Head-to-head training

When I first started,

I often felt overwhelmed by them.

I literally couldn't even move them.

They wouldn't budge an inch.

What's going on here? I felt like
I was wrestling a rock.

Your thighs start to hurt
really badly

and the feeling is that you can't breath.
You start hyperventilating.

If you are chosen

for the head-to-head training,

although it is very tough,
you become strong if you do it.

I get up thinking that
I will become strong.

It is really a challenge.

Even myself when I was young,

getting battered
again and again everyday,

is what I attribute to
why I've gotten this strong.

Training their juniors
and making them stronger

is the duty of the senior rikishi.

Centipede training

Heave-ho! Heave-ho! Heave-ho!

There is what's called centipede training,
because it looks like an actual centipede.

The person behind grabs the belt of
the person in front and pulls him down.

It's so much harder than
practicing footwork by yourself.

The centipede training comes at the end of the session,

so everyone is really exhausted.

The Principles of
the Sakaigawa stable

Second, we respect our predecessors
and the departed, and guide our juniors.

Third, we have a strong heart,
kindness and courage.

Fourth, the accumulation of
these moments now is our future.

Fifth, everything returns to me.

Sixth, we won't leave any regrets
on the path that we have chosen.

Seventh, if you watch with your eyes
and listen with your ears,

don't fear failing. Just do it!

Eighth, there is never a time
when you are the only one in pain.

When you've lost your way,
remember your home and your family.

Ninth, where there is a will,
here is a way.

Tenth, a pure heart is the spirit of Sumodo,
the way of the samurai.

Shibuya Osteopathic Clinic

I will work on your back now.

It hurts!

How many from the Sakaigawa
stable come here?

Well, everyone from there comes here.

The neck is the part needs the most attention.

Everyone dives in head first,

so it is really the neck
that gets the most damage.

I think the wrestlers

get quite a lot of injuries.

By wearing athletic protectors

and trying to keep things
fixed in place,

somehow or other,

they still injure themselves.

It hurts! Ouch, ouch, ouch...


It's twitching!

My leg is cramped!

I think, Goeido

did a great job...

to stand in the ring,

without showing that he is hurting

although he is badly injured.
I can't believe it.

At the time of the Kyushu Tournament

nobody knew that you are badly injured.

You withdrew from the tournament
but what happened?

The Kyushu Tournament was held
one month before this interview.

In this bout, Goeido was injured.


Begin! Not yet! Not yet! Not yet!

When I stretched out my right arm,

I threw hard when my opponent

got to throw me
using his outside arm.

It was when I hit him back
that I tore my biceps.

It's not a complete rupture,
but it's partially torn.

The biceps are joined here.
It's this part up here.

Three days after
tearing a muscle in his right arm.

Goeido, refusing to tape up
his injured arm

stands in the sumo ring.


Begin! Not yet! Not yet! Not yet!

Not taping up a body part
that's injured,

I think, is something only Goeido
can pull through.

If it were me, I would be too afraid
to re-injure myself,

so I would think to tape it up
until it was stiff as a board.

That's how I'd do it.

You didn't even tape it up.
Aren't you afraid?

On the contrary, I was afraid that
I would reveal my weak point.

How did you recover?

Well, I did various treatments.

I did acupuncture and
warmed it up in hot water.

Well, I did everything.

Nothing serious.

Seven days before
the January Tournament,

that day, praying for the success
of the Sakaigawa stable,

we treated them to Korean barbecue
restaurant close to the stable.

Thank you very much
for today, director!

So, I will let them
indulge themselves.

Let's drink a toast!


Just like Goeido had said, wrestlers
took to eating without reservation.

How many wrestlers came here
today? About 30 people?

36 people.

They've already eaten more
than for 100 people.

How many cups of rice
did you prepare?

The rice so far...

We prepared 140 bowls of rice
and will make another 70 bowls.

For the rikishi, having a big body is
the most powerful weapon.

For this reason, throughout their meal
they just keep eating.

You don't really need to film this!

How many people is this dish for?

You mean the meat?



It's for about 200 people.

About two hours into the meal...

I'm leaving.

Goeido left the restaurant
to have his arm treated.

Beef tongue, 5 servings

Fatty pork...

We are out of fatty pork today.

We're also out of beef stomach
after that last order of 10.

You can't serve the beef stomach
for Tables 8 and 9?

That's right! We're out of it.

And no more beef stomach sashimi either?

That's gone too!

In two and a half hours, the rikishi
ate all the meat the restaurant had.


The receipt is very long, isn't it?

It really is.

It's neverending.

This is the end. Are you ready?

That comes to 806,800 yen (or about 8,000 dollars).

80... Wow, it's bad.

I must have put on 10kg today!

Incredible appetites!
We wish them all success in the tournament.

I am so full! Thank you!

It was a great dinner!

Thank you for the wonderful meal!

Six days before the January Tournament

Something extraordinary
was happening to Goeido.

Because Ozeki Goeido never lets on
if he's in pain or not,

he is the only one who knows
if it is healing or not.

He'd act like nothing happened
even if he is badly injured.

From how your arm looks, I assume
it doesn't hurt anymore?

It's fine.

Do you have any worries?
Are you worried about anything?

Well, I think the muscles are
still weak as compared to before.

I'm worried about it.

Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena

The sumo ring is rebuilt
for each ensuing tournament

One match daily for 15 days,
eight or more victories...

this is the magic number for the rikishi
in the elite makuuchi division

strive to achieve.

If the number is less than eight,

they will be demoted, and sometimes
they have to bow out of the sumo ring.

One after another, the strong rikishi
struggle to climb the ranking pyramid

aiming to take the place that Ozeki
like Goeido continue to defend.

The January Tournament
has finally started.

Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena

Sekiwake Tamawashi

Kataonami stable
Birthplace, Mongolia

Ozeki Tochinoshin

Kasugano stable
Birthplace, Georgia

And last, Ozeki Goeido

Sakaigawa stable
Birthplace, Osaka

Goeido! Goeido!

Of course, I've been doing
tournaments for years now,

but still on the first day,
I get a unique feeling of nervousness.

It's the New Year, I think...

the first bout,

I'm thinking that I'd like to
get off to a good start.


0 Wins 1 Loss

Day 2 of January Tournament

The prize is offered by
Nada no sake, Seishu Ozeki Co, LTD


0 Wins 2 Losses

Two successive defeat
since the first day.

For Goeido, this was the start
of stormy days.

Then, on this day,

Sadanoumi, another rikishi
from the Sakaigawa stable,

split his forehead open
butting heads with his opponent.

Two huge rikishi heads collide...

An average person would be
knocked out cold.

Next day

Well, the injury itself...

because I got a gash on my forehead,

I went to
the sumo association clinic

thinking that
I would get it disinfected.

But I was told, "You're going to need stitches."

But I don't want stitches.

Even if I bother with it, if it's to open again, it will open.

And all that will happen if it opens again is that it'll bleed.
That's all.

Doesn't it hurt? Are you all right?

Well, no, it's not like it doesn't hurt at all.

But, even if you say it is an injury to the head,

it's actually an injury to the skin.

So it doesn't bother me that much.

In the momentum,
the opponent Ikioi also split his forehead.

Despite the injury to his forehead,
Sadanoumi showed his manly courage.

Day 4 of January Tournament

0 Wins 4 Losses

Up to this point,
four successive defeats.

It was clear that Goeido
was not in his best shape.

Perhaps, to some extent, I could move,
but deep inside it just didn't feel right.

How is your right arm?

It's fine, really.

But were these words true in reality?

1 Win 4 Losses

I still have 1 victory and 4 defeats
so I can't be relieved or anything just yet.

I am telling myself I should do my best tomorrow,
I should be in the game with all my heart.

Throughout the 15 days
of the January Tournament,

the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena
was crowded with many sumo fans,

enjoying the festivities
of Japan's national sport.

Here the rikishi

stake their lives,

and keep fighting through
pain and mental anguish.

Goeido was one of them.

It's only one bout per day, but

I am exhausted both mentally and physically.

During a tournament,
there is nothing else I would like to do besides sumo.

Until this tournament ends,
sumo is always there in the corner of my mind

and I think that is why my brain gets so tired.

And the body also of course.


3 Wins 6 Losses

When it became 3 victories and 6 defeats,

really, I thought that

it was all over, and so,

I was thinking that I should do my best
in the next tournament, as a do-or-die situation.

There are still six bouts left,
but in the assessment I have to win five more.

And last,
only Yokozuna Ozeki remained.

But, during the remaining six days,

I thought that it was all right even if I lost

as long as I put my whole heart into it.

That's right.

That was my only feeling.

For Goeido, six days of standing
on the edge of an abyss started.

4 Wins 6 Losses

5 Wins 6 Losses

6 Wins 6 Losses

7 Wins 6 Losses

Goeido gained momentum
with four consecutive victories.

One more win,
to secure a winning record.

His opponent is...

the most powerful rikishi in the sumo history,
Hakuho Yokozuna.

Day 14 of January Tournament

An unexpected event has transpired
on Goeido's journey.

I found out at the morning training.

I was surprised. Truly.

Hakuho is no longer appearing in the tournament

due to his right knee hematoma and to arthrisis
in his left leg.

Consequently, Goeido wins the match by default.

8 Wins 6 Losses

Winning his eighth bout.

And achieving a winning record.

Well, to tell you the truth, I was relieved...


I think it was luck, that's all to it.


I can't really

be happy with all my heart.

I wanted to have a winning record through
a clean victory. I would have felt revived then.

January Tournament Closing day

His final opponent, having
11 victories and 3 defeats, is

Takakeisho, upon whom
the championship match falls.

9 Wins 6 Losses

My position in the initial charge
was the best.

During these 15 days.

I could take him at a good angle

and at the attack that followed,
I could plunge my right slightly.

I was quick in the initial charge and
I would say it was an ideal attack.

I am glad I could wrestle so well.

Fighting for 15 straight days
is a tremendous mental challenge.

That's right.
It feels like I am shrinking with each tournament.

Goeido would like the junior wrestlers
of the Sakaigawa stable to succeed

I want them to remember

to be stoic

and not complain,

like a true man.

I want them to remember

Wrestlers nowadays

tend to display their pain

and they intentionally reveal when they are hurt.

Such wrestlers have been increasing in number.

I want them to remember to be stoic

and not make excuses.


Shizuoka Tour

Hey, you can't see my face!

Well, Ryuden is already famous.

Probably he is the one
who trains the most.

I think he works out 3 or 4 times
more than other sekitori-wrestlers.

Due to a hip joint injury,

when his ranking dropped
from sekitori to jyonokuchi

he experienced bitterness.

When I look back that time,

I think he's done remarkably well
to come this far.

Normally, hip joint is not easily broken.

But, his pelvis,
near the pubis, was broken,

and then it broke again during training,
which forced him to miss a tournament.

It broke again
after he thought it had healed.

If the bones are not connected any more,

the internal organs which
the pelvis supports would come out.

The injury was so severe that
he may not continue a normal life,

there would be
no more second chances.

It was such a devastating injury.

When wrestlers get hurt, I always say,

God is giving you a trial.

It's a message that
you need to train more.

Takadagawa stable


We fight a sport of clashing powers.

In order to endure such impacts,
we practice,

stomping like, Boom! Boom!

By stomping, we build fine physiques
to endure the shocks.

You can do stomping
in an easy way,

or you can make it
as hard as you want.

Since I made a comeback,
I concentrated on the basics.

I've had positive results
for the past 2 to 3 years.

Takadagawa stablemaster

When he got hurt, I didn't coddle him
but was tough with him instead.

You are weak,
that's why you got hurt!

You don't become strong
because you do training.

Strong guys are strong anyway.

But after all, the human mind is weak.

To prop it up, there is nothing
but more training.

I train myself hard,
that's why I can keep going,

I can overcome this hardship.

It is with this spirit
that we train.

It's obvious that
one has to make efforts.

Since Ryuden had the injury,
he must use it as a spring board

and to lead a sumo life without regret,
there is nothing but tireless efforts.

I look forward to your precious guidance.

My stablemaster,

he retired some 10 years ago,

but even now he puts on the belt.

To fight well, it needs to sink into your body,
enabling you to unconsciously do your best.

If I sit here and just talk,
no one would understand me.

I actually use my body and
work together with them

so that they can understand.

When the master comes down
to the ring, wearing the belt,

it's like he's one of us
practicing his sumo.

He trains and thinks just like us.

That is something different
from other stables.

You take lessons from the master,

and carefully consider
your own style of sumo.

You don't just do it,
but you do it with thought.

That is a very good thing.


What I think is, in short,

if you are in a fog,
struggling hard to find an exit,

you don't know what to do.

So, a light is necessary to guide you.

You will then clearly see the exit
through the fog,

and if you head for it,
you will get there.

It's no use to say,
"You have no guts or motivation?"

When you are groping in the dark,
you don't get guts or motivation.

That said, I remind my disciples

to believe only 80%
of what I teach them,

and they must devise 20%
by themselves.

You can't do it all.
Try your way once.

Then discard things unnecessary
and absorb things necessary.

When you've tallied 20%
in such a way,

you have the ownership,
as you devised it by yourself.

It's not something someone taught you,
but your own discovery.

Unless you do it this way,
you won't be able to step up rapidly.

Is that right?

It applies to everything.

Regarding Ryuden, in your view,
what kind of rikishi is he?

Well, he is the serious type.

A bit rough in the grand tournaments...

I wish he'd perform more speedy sumo.

Usually, the stablemaster
and rikishi

live together in shared quarters.

Ryuden, the top of the Takadagawa
stable, showed us his private room.

Oh, my 'futon' beddings
isn't put away.

Yes, it's fine!

It's tidy!

How big is this room?

I'm not sure how big.

A 6-mat room?


Those are all yours too?


Are all 4 in this group
good friends?

Yes. We joined the stable
in the same year.


Only a few things here.

That's right, I moved.

You moved, you mean your stuff?

I've gotten married.

And have been moving my stuff
little by little.

So, you already rented an apartment
with your wife...

Then, will you soon move out
of this room?

Yes, that's right.

Well, everyone doesn't have
a private room.

No, a private room is given to

those who are jyuryo or above.

Depending on the stable,
the system may differ.

But, basically you get a private room
at sekitori rank.

Shared room of junior rikishi

What's that for?

What do you mean?

What you're wearing.

This is for sleep apnea.

What's it called?


Because we stop breathing, we sleep in here.

Oh, everyone has sleep apnea?

No, only 3 of us right now.

Us three.

Just the 3 of you?

You become apneic?

Right, my breathing stops.

While you are sleeping?


When will you start
living with your wife?

Well, the master says anytime.

Lately he's said,
anytime is OK for him.

So, I bring my stuff
little by little...

Probably I will complete it
after the wedding.

When is the wedding?

June 9th.

Then, after Tokyo Grand Tournament,
in May.

That's right.
Surely I've got to win.

Definitely you have to have
more wins than losses,

in this tournament
prior to the wedding.


Do you feel such a pressure?

Yes, I do, but I'm hoping
to change it to positive motivation.

Well, still fatty food...

They are all young, so they like
that food with strong flavor.

But if they keep eating such foods,
it's bad for their health.

So, I would say it's rather
a vegetable-centered diet.

Yes, I do pay attention
to such an aspect.

Needless to say, I consider
how to build their physiques

and make their bodies big.

I keep that in mind as I prepare meals.

And stablemaster has a wish to
let them enjoy delicious food.

"Don't waste food,
use ingredients carefully,"

"and cook tasty food for them,"

those are the instruction
from the stablemaster.

Today, it seems he cooked it
with extra effort.

It tastes much better than usual,
about 30% more.

During my short stay here
for the trial course,

if I was asked what was a decisive
factor for joining this stable,

I would have said first,

the friendly attitude of
the senior members,

and then
the delicious chanko hot pots.

Our stablemaster is quite concerned
with our meals.

I am grateful for that.

Today, when I was
in the practice room,

you were doing muscle training a lot.

You were thrusting your junior
with your head.

Do you still train yourself even now?

Yeah, to some extent.
You have to tune up your body.

Otherwise nobody would follow you.

I see, you yourself have to be
like that.

If I practice this much,
then the guys should do likewise.

It means, "Keep up with me!"

Whenever I remember you as Akinoshima,

your body was covered with
a lot of fresh bruises.

The training was outrageous, too.

At that time,
we were training like hell.

One more question.

You were bold as Akinoshima
as well as the master Takadagawa,

and up until 2 or 3 years ago,

you had a completely different
training from today's.

"Go! Go! Go!"

In the past, we had cases where
even an unmotivated person

became strong
when we fired him up

and gained respect
as he improved his personality.

But, nowadays,
it's considered power harassment.

It has been a little more than
a year after I changed methods,

so it's been sluggish for the past year.

You have already sensed that?

Yes, I have.

In the past,

although the current training room is
charged with tension,

in the past... how do I put it

I felt like I would be killed

or I wondered
if I would make it home alive.

Such an atmosphere had existed.

Was it that tough?


But, he stopped berating us.

You won't be reprimanded,
even if you don't do sumo.

That's the time
when I was distressed.

Whether or not you do it
or you don't.

That's a choice you have to make.

And then you will take
ownership of that.

If you do something
on your own initiative,

I am sure that
it's more beneficial to you.

Then, what you do is to keep on
putting forth the effort.

Having the feeling that you will be happy

to die in the ring, as well as

having enthusiasm.

You must concentrate even more on
pursuing the path of Sumodo.

When I had a bout with Sadanoumi,

I had a feeling that
something got crushed.

Well, I was relieved
as it wasn't his bone.

I felt something crushed
out of shape, my opponent's...

somewhere here. I thought.

Well, at first,

Ryuden became sekitori before me,

so he has been my target
ever since then.

I saw him losing his rank

due to an injury, and then
dragging himself up.

I really respect him
for having climbed this high.

And also something like
the joy of wrestling...

This feeling has intensified.

All in all, I love sumo wrestling.

I realized that after a comeback.

It's a feeling that at long last,
I can do sumo again.

The pleasure... I enjoy it still now.

When I joined the stable in my teens,

I was given a real workout.

I think that was very good.

Lately, to some extent,
we can even corner ourselves.

You don't just execute
your own style of sumo,

but you do it
while contemplating it carefully.

Lately, I have been doing it
this way more often.

What are Ryuden's greatest strengths?


Ryuden is extremely flexible,
especially in his upper body.

It is very difficult
to wrestle with him.

You can convey your power to people
with stiff bodies easily.

Being more flexible makes it easier
for your power to slip away.

It's a tricky thing,
conveying one's power.

It is not something that
I can grasp with my mind...

It's just something
that you experience,

and it's really difficult
to cope with.

I have been told that I am slippery.

So my attacks are squirmy.

I can get into positions
that normal wrestlers can't.

I'm very lucky.

Mai, Ryuden's wife

I was invited to meet her
through an acquaintance.

He was 24 and I was 29 back then.

I thought how young!

I thought she was beautiful.

Did you know Ryuden?

No, I didn't, at all.

I didn't know anything about sumo.

But from the way he spoke
he had a peaceful demeanor.

His real-world experience is
as much as mine.

I thought he was
a very pleasant person.

So during the tournaments,

do you watch on television
and root for him at home?

Yes, I do. When I'm not
working that day.

Wait. I mean, she's saying
she watches on her days off,

but even after a bout
there is nothing from her,

What happened?
so I'll call her and find she's sleeping.

Is that so?

No. I start watching from
when the makushita start.

And being home alone
drinking beer,

I'll doze off
before I even realize it

and my bout will be over.

This feels very much like there is

no feeling of tension.

It's probably good for me.

The wedding will take place
after the May tournament?

That's right.


I'll be striving for a winning record.

It would be great for him
to accomplish that.

It's a good thing, all right.
But, you see,

I keep looking toward the future.

As long as he doesn't get injured,

there will be a next time.

Did you hear that just now?

No, what were they saying?

It's Ryuden!

Wow! They recognize you.

Found Ryuden!

That kid.

He may live nearby.

While sumo is a sport,

people pay good money to watch us,
which makes sumo entertainment.

It is also
a most important Shinto ritual.

That's what we must
emphasize the most.

Because even though we endure
a lot of suffering during training,

we learn not only how to fight
but also how to be human.

That is why

I would like to
wrestle fair and square

and defeat their opponents
with their own power.

Ryuden, in this tournament,

is listed banzuke,
7 places below Ozeki Goeido.

He is fighting as the #5 maegashira.

Through the next 15 days,
Ryuden will face powerful opponents.

Will he be able to win more than
eight times and add more?


Summer Tournament
Opening Day

Ryuden's opponent in the first bout...

is Myogiryu, who is from
the same stable as Goeido.

And who can leap into action

The winning technique was
a push out from behind.

Ryuden won by pushing his opponent.

Day 2 of Summer Tournament


Ryuden won by a hair.

His opponent Abi

lost his balance first, and was judged
to be in a hopeless position,

giving Ryuden the win.

2 Wins 0 Losses

Ryuden won by a pushdown
using his hands.

How was the bout with Abi?

I am glad I could win.

How were your previous matches with Abi?

I never beaten him, not even once.

So that was your first victory.

How about yesterday?

Yesterday I won for the first time also.

This is incredible!

During a grand sumo tournament,
after finishing a bout

Ryuden has something that
he never fails to do.

It is this practice centered
on muscular strength training.

You have another bout tomorrow,
aren't you tired?

I am doing this
so as not to get tired.

Do other stables do
this kind of training too?

I don't know if
they are doing it in the evening.

I'm finished.

Besides just the sumo bouts,
there is something else

that attracts sumo fans to attend
the grand tournaments.

They flock to see their favorites
dressed in shiny kimono.


Kasugano stable,
Birthplace Kochi Prefecture

And finally, Ozeki Takayasu

Tagonoura stable,
Birthplace Ibaraki Prefecture


6 Wins 2 Losses

You've made a half turn
through the tournament

after making run in the first half,
is there something different?

No, not really...

It's just that my physical condition
gets easily deteriorated.

So I pay close attention to that.

There are seven days to go.

Yes, seven days and
I have to win twice more.

But you are striving for more?

Well, it's enough to set my goal
on a winning record for the time being.

With this ranking list,

it's possible the rest of my opponents
will be highly ranked.

Well, I'll keep doing my best
so that I will have such competition.

This wish comes to fruition.

Day 10 of Summer Tournament

Banners of sellout crowd

Ryuden! Do your best!

So far, having a record of
6 victories and 3 defeats

Ryuden's opponent this day is...

the powerful rikishi with a banzuke
listing just below that of Yokozuna...

the Ozeki Takayasu.

Will his usual techniques be enough?

I thought about just
keeping the same course,

but in the bout with Ozeki Takayasu,
I was a little stiff

and felt like I overexerted myself.

But when I'm wrestling
someone higher ranked...

How shall I put this?

I have this feeling of
not wanting to lose.

I am the type who gets excited

so even I felt like shouting,
"Amazing! Well done!"

The battle for a higher rank, yes.

The battle for a higher rank
continues after this day as well.

Ryuden's junior rikishi
gather in front of the television.

On this day, the opponent that
Ryuden has to face is...

the Ozeki Goeido.


As opposed to the January tournament,
where he barely made eight victories,

he is raising the bar with
7 victories and 3 defeats thus far.

7 Wins 3 Losses

I was thinking, If I fail,
I will be none the worse for it.

So I thought that
I may cause him some pain

and make him think, "I hate this!"

7 Wins 4 Losses

My goal is to move instinctively,
without any thought.

I'm running a slight fever.

How high is it?

38.9 degrees.


It won't affect me,
but I need to take better care of myself.

Closing day


During these 15 days,

he showed a fine record
of 10 victories and 5 defeats.

In recognition of that success,

Ryuden received
the Technique Prize,

given to the most skillful rikishi.

The Technique Prize is a prize that
praises your sumo, the sumo itself,

so I am very happy to receive it.

You look very happy!

Yes, I'm really and truly happy!
Happier than the Fighting Spirit Award.

I am glad that everything ended well
and the results were good.

Us being in such close contact are
also overjoyed at your performance!

Yeah, it wouldn't have done much for your movie
if I'd gotten thrashed in this tournament.


From now on,
Ryuden is no longer alone.

Gaining their power together,

The two of them will
advance down the path of Sumodo.

Please keep cheering for him!

Thank you very much for today!

What Ryuden would like to
pass on to his juniors

The same amount of effort you put in,
returns equally to you.

As long as you win bouts,
you will rise in the rankings.

I think many rikishi are in a rush
to achieve their goals.

Thinking about how things will be
in 2 or 3 years,

I want to keep my wish of
becoming strong alive.

I think that it is important
to just keep pursuing

the same kind of things

I urge everyone to never be hasty
in giving up on those dreams.

In all rikishi

In all rikishi
lies the spirit of sumo

No matter how significantly the world evolves

No matter how significantly the world evolves
the spirit of sumo never changes.

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