Today, sekiwake Takayasu was promoted to Ozeki–the second-highest rank in Sumo. At 27 years old, this is a great acheivment.
Takayasu (Akira Takayasu) is very popular in Japan, as he is half-Japanese (father is from Japan) and half-Filipino (mother is from Phillippines).
The Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday officially promoted sekiwake Takayasu to the second-highest rank of ozeki.
After his ceremony to be initiated as Ozeki, he stated: “I will devote myself to sumo and compete fairly so I can live up to my name as ozeki.”
And another very familiar face was also present at the ceremony, stablemate and recently ascended Yokozuna Kisenosato. In true form, Kisenosato had only great things to say: “Since around the New Year basho (in January) I could physically feel his power pumping up from deep below. I believed he would transform. There’s a rank above ozeki. I hope we can train together again and grow stronger, and liven up (the sumo world).”
Takayasu will enter the July Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament as an Ozeki. And he is definitely ready for the challenge.
Of course, this new promotion comes with a bit more monetary compensation too, as he will now earn a 2.347 million yen ($21,135) monthly salary in addition to benefits that include business and first-class travel on flights, and access to the reserved basement parking area at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Sumo is really coming into more popular recently, and with promotions like this, it will only get better.