Aflame, the first victory after demotion to the makushita rank! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Aflame, the first victory after demotion to the makushita rank!

Aflame, going to cabaret clubs......, too many unprecedented words and deeds, and at one time he was on the verge of retirement.

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On November 27, Abi (28, 9th rank, west maegashira) won his first sumo championship at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament. Abi is a controversial rikishi who has been in the spotlight for some time now.

Aflame won the three-way championship match “Tomoe-sen” with Takayasu (left) and Kikakeshi (right). His “beauty four-way” style, in which he raises his legs high, is very popular.

In November 2007, he got into a prank with a fellow rikishi and uploaded an image of himself with his mouth and wrists bound with duct tape on social media, which caused a huge firestorm. Later, at a SNS training session of the Sumo Association, he said, “I was sleeping, and I didn’t hear anything,” and his wild behavior was conspicuous.

In July 2008, he was found to have been going to a cabaret club in the COVID-19 crisis. He was suspended and given a pay cut, and was demoted to the makushita rank. He was on the verge of retirement, but the Sumo Association ordered him to move in with Shikoroyama, the stablemaster.

The originally strict Shikoroyama Oyakata bowed down to the association, saying, ‘It is a matter of my supervisory responsibility,’ and he kept Aflame close at hand to guide him devotedly. During the current tournament, his master, who was hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat, sent him daily e-mails. The master’s enthusiasm converted Aflame and he began to take sumo seriously. The result led to this first victory,” he said.

Former Sumo Association external committee member and cartoonist Yaku Mitsuru pointed out some of the issues facing Atame.

Yaku Mitsuru, a former member of the Sumo Association’s external committee and a cartoonist, pointed out the challenges facing Ab flame. We can expect great things from him in the next tournament. If he wants to become an ozeki or yokozuna, he needs to evolve from his single-minded focus on pushing sumo. Above all, it is essential for him to be serious and to return home straight from the training grounds without playing around, even without the supervision of Shikoroyama Oyakata.

With his first victory, Atame seems to have finally been able to repay his master.

After winning the tournament, he wiped away tears, saying, “I have caused nothing but trouble for my master, so I hope he is pleased with me, even if only a little.

From the December 16, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

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