Spring Grand Sumo Champion Takerufuji Attends Hometown Victory Parade; Wrestler Won in Makuuchi Division Debut Despite Ankle Injury

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Takerufuji waves to spectators during a victory parade in Goshogawara, Aomori Prefecture, on Wednesday.

AOMORI — Takerufuji, who became the first wrestler in 110 years to win a championship while also debuting in the makuuchi division at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, participated in a victory parade in his hometown of Goshogawara, Aomori Prefecture on Wednesday. The champion won despite an injury to his right ankle.

The 25-year-old from the Isegahama stable thanked everyone on a special stage set up in the Kanagi district, where he was born and raised. “I will do my best in my life as a sumo wrestler so that I can see your smiling faces again,” he said.

As Takerufuji departed in a convertible with his stablemaster Isegahama, former yokozuna Asahifuji, residents filled the roadside and called out “Thank you” and “Congratulations” one after another. He responded with a big smile and waved to them.

After the parade in the city center, Takerufuji answered questions from the press about participating in the Summer tournament, which begins at the Ryogoku Kokugikan on May 12, saying, “I don’t know yet, but I’m doing what I have to do.”