The Most Famous Sumo Wrestler, Ranked

Choose the wrestler you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 8, 2024 07:51
Sumo wrestling, an ancient sport steeped in tradition, has seen countless wrestlers rise to fame, each bringing their unique style and charisma to the ring. Understanding who ranks at the top not only offers insights into the sport but also ignites discussions amongst fans about the qualities that define the greatest sumo wrestlers. This list serves as a dynamic census of popularity and achievement, shaped directly by your votes. By participating, you help paint a clearer picture of who truly captures the heart of sumo enthusiasts around the world, adding your voice to a global conversation about this compelling sport.

Who Is the Most Famous Sumo Wrestler?

  1. 1
    82
    points
    Hakuho Sho

    Hakuho Sho

    Considered one of the greatest sumo wrestlers of all time, Hakuho Sho has won a record 45 top division championship titles.
    • Real Name: Mönkhbatyn Davaajargal
    • Nationality: Mongolian
    • Active Years: 2001-2021
  2. 2
    35
    points
    Taiho Koki

    Taiho Koki

    Taiho Koki is widely regarded as one of the greatest Yokozuna (grand champions) in sumo history, with 32 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Koki Naya
    • Nationality: Japanese
    • Active Years: 1956-1971
  3. 3
    26
    points
    Asashoryu Akinori

    Asashoryu Akinori

    Asashoryu Akinori is one of the most dominant sumo wrestlers of the early 21st century, with 25 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Dolgorsürengiin Dagvadorj
    • Nationality: Mongolian
    • Active Years: 1999-2010
  4. 4
    15
    points
    Takanohana Koji

    Takanohana Koji

    Takanohana Koji is a legendary figure in sumo, known for his rivalry with Akebono and securing 22 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Koji Hanada
    • Nationality: Japanese
    • Active Years: 1988-2003
  5. 5
    11
    points
    Kitanoumi Toshimitsu

    Kitanoumi Toshimitsu

    Kitanoumi Toshimitsu was one of the most successful Yokozuna of the 20th century, with 24 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Toshimitsu Obata
    • Nationality: Japanese
    • Active Years: 1967-1985
  6. 6
    9
    points
    Chiyonofuji Mitsugu

    Chiyonofuji Mitsugu

    Chiyonofuji Mitsugu is known for his incredible strength and technique, securing 31 top division championship titles during his career.
    • Real Name: Mitsugu Akimoto
    • Nationality: Japanese
    • Active Years: 1970-1991
  7. 7
    8
    points
    Akebono Taro

    Akebono Taro

    Akebono Taro is the first foreign-born wrestler to reach the rank of Yokozuna, capturing 11 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Chad Rowan
    • Nationality: American
    • Active Years: 1988-2001
  8. 8
    7
    points
    Musashimaru Koyo

    Musashimaru Koyo

    Musashimaru Koyo is the second foreign-born Yokozuna, originally from Samoa, and he won 12 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Fiamalu Penitani
    • Nationality: Samoan/American
    • Active Years: 1989-2003
  9. 9
    0
    points
    Wakanohana Kanji I

    Wakanohana Kanji I

    Wakanohana Kanji I was a prominent Yokozuna in the post-war era, known for his technique and strength, winning 5 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Kanji Matsumoto
    • Nationality: Japanese
    • Active Years: 1947-1958
  10. 10
    0
    points
    Kisenosato Yutaka

    Kisenosato Yutaka

    Kisenosato Yutaka is the first Japanese-born Yokozuna in 19 years, winning 2 top division championships.
    • Real Name: Yutaka Hagiwara
    • Nationality: Japanese
    • Active Years: 2002-2019

Missing your favorite wrestler?

Graphs
Error: Failed to render graph
Discussion
No discussion started, be the first!

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Sumo wrestler. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or wrestler is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 3228 views
  • 193 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each wrestler once every 24 hours. The rank of each wrestler is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Famous Sumo Wrestler

Hakuho Sho
Rank #1 for the most famous Sumo wrestler: Hakuho Sho (Source)
Sumo wrestling has a long history in Japan. It is a sport that combines skill, strength, and tradition. Sumo wrestlers, also known as rikishi, train hard from a young age. They live in special training stables called heya. Here, they follow strict routines. Their day starts early, often before dawn.

Sumo matches take place in a ring called a dohyo. The ring is made of clay and covered with sand. The goal is simple: force the opponent out of the ring or make any part of their body, except the soles of their feet, touch the ground. Matches are short but intense. They often last only a few seconds.

Sumo wrestlers are famous for their size. They gain weight through a special diet. This diet includes a dish called chanko-nabe. It is a hot pot filled with meat, fish, and vegetables. Wrestlers eat large amounts of this dish to build mass. They also take long naps after eating to help gain weight.

The life of a sumo wrestler is not easy. They follow a strict code of conduct. This code includes rules about behavior, appearance, and even hair. Wrestlers wear their hair in a topknot, similar to the samurai of old Japan. They also wear traditional clothing when in public.

Sumo has a ranking system. At the top is the yokozuna, or grand champion. Achieving this rank is a great honor. It requires not only skill but also good character. A yokozuna must retire if they can no longer compete at the highest level. Below the yokozuna are other ranks, such as ozeki, sekiwake, and maegashira. Each rank has its own set of challenges and expectations.

Sumo tournaments, or basho, are held six times a year. These tournaments take place in different cities across Japan. Each tournament lasts 15 days. Wrestlers compete once each day. Their performance in these tournaments determines their rank.

Sumo is more than just a sport. It is a part of Japanese culture and history. Rituals and ceremonies play a big role in sumo. Before each match, wrestlers perform a series of movements. These include clapping their hands and stomping their feet. These actions are meant to purify the ring and drive away evil spirits.

Sumo also has a global following. Fans from around the world come to Japan to watch tournaments. Some countries even have their own sumo clubs and competitions. Despite its global reach, sumo remains deeply rooted in Japanese tradition.

In sumo, respect is key. Wrestlers show respect to their opponents, their trainers, and the sport itself. This respect is evident in every aspect of their lives, from their training to their public appearances.

Sumo wrestling continues to captivate audiences with its blend of tradition, skill, and intensity. The dedication and discipline of sumo wrestlers inspire many. Their journey from novice to champion is a testament to their hard work and perseverance.

Share this article