Former Yokozuna Hakuho Has His Topknot Lopped Off

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara cuts the hair of stablemaster Miyagino, former Yokozuna Hakuho, at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Saturday.

Former yokozuna Hakuho, currently known as stablemaster Miyagino, had his topknot cut off in a ceremony to honor his retirement at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Saturday.

The 45-time champion — the most in the history of sumo — occasionally broke into tears as nearly 300 people, including stablemaster Nishonoseki (former yokozuna Kisenosato), Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, and Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara, were on hand to each cut a strand of his hair.

To close the ceremony, his stablemaster Magaki (former makuuchi wrestler Chikubayama) made the final cut of the “oicho” (ginkgo leaf style topknot). Miyagino said, “I feel refreshed, and I also feel that a part of my body is missing somewhere.” He vowed, “I want to return the favor by nurturing yokozuna and ozeki, and working for the development of sumo.”