Japanese sumo has had many scandals in the past few years. It still has a hard time recovering its trust and popularity. But here is a good news. A new ‘Ozeki‘, a champion is going to be born. He is a Japanese. This makes Japanese sumo fans happy.
The highest rank is ‘Yokozuna‘, grand champion. Ozeki is the next position. It is very difficult to get the title. Now there are 1 Yokozuna and 3 Ozeki. They are all non-Japanese. Yokozuna is from Mongolia. 3 Ozeki are from Estonia, Bulgaria, and Mongolia. Also 16 sumo wrestlers out of 43 in the top division are from other countries (as of 2011 September tournament).
Japanese sumo fans usually like and support non-Japanese sumo wrestlers, too. Because they have to make greater efforts than Japanese counterparts in order to adapt to the very different and tough setting. Also they have their own attraction. However, we have to admit that we have a mixed feeling about the present situation that foreign sumo wrestlers are dominant in Sumo.
So the appearance of a new Japanese Ozeki is a happy occasion. We hope that he will win the tournament which Japanese sumo wrestlers have not won in the past 5 years and be Yokozuna some day. There has not been a Japanese Yokozuna in the past 8 years. Last but not least, new Ozeki’s name is ‘Kotoshogiku‘.