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SUMO/ Onosato brings smiles again to faces in Ishikawa hometown

2024-07-22 21:49:01 来源:

SUMO/ Onosato brings smiles again to faces in Ishikawa hometown

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

May 27, 2024 at 14:44 JST

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Photo/IllutrationPeople in Tsubata, Ishikawa Prefecture, erupt in joy on May 26 as their hometown hero, sumo wrestler Onosato, secures his first grand sumo championship victory. (Eriko Nami)

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  • Photo/Illutration
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  • Photo/Illutration

TSUBATA, Ishikawa Prefecture--Cheers and jubilation erupted at a public viewing event at the town hall here on May 26 as hometown hero Onosato pushed his opponent out of the dohyo and clinched a historic tournament victory.

The victory elicited joy among the 400 people in attendance as well as lifted the spirits of residents in Ishikawa Prefecture, who have had little to celebrate since the devastating Jan. 1 Noto Peninsula earthquake. 

“He is the pride of Ishikawa. He has always been an inspiration to me. His sumo today was aggressive and impressive,” said Raiya Yasui, a 15-year-old vice captain of the Tsubata Minami Junior High School’s sumo team who once received training advice from Onosato.

The new 23-year-old komusubi secured the championship in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament by defeating sekiwake Abi at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.

With a remarkable 12-3 record, Onosato captured the Emperor’s Cup in only his seventh professional tournament, the fastest since the championship system was established in 1909.

"I'm happy to be able to bring good news to the people of my hometown," Onosato said on May 27.

Expectations are high for Onosato's future advancement to the prestigious ozeki and yokozuna top ranks.

"Of course, I am happy to have won, but this is not my ultimate goal. I want to continue climbing the ranks and reach even greater heights," he said. 

Onosato's achievement came at a much-needed time for residents and communities trying to get back on their feet. 

Nearly five months after the New Year's Day earthquake, approximately 3,500 people in the prefecture are still living in evacuation shelters.

A 77-year-old woman, who is currently taking refuge at an evacuation center in Suzu, burst into tears as she watched the tournament on television.

“Since the beginning of the year, I haven't had such a moment of joy. I will never forget this moment,” she said.

In February, Onosato joined his fellow wrestlers on visits to evacuation centers across the prefecture, delivering relief goods and offering encouragement to those affected by the earthquake. 

(This article was written by Kai Uchida, Eriko Nami and Mayumi Ueda.)

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