Mainoumi Shuhei

舞の海 秀平
Mainoumi Shuhei
Personal information
Born Shuhei Nagao
February 17, 1968 (1968-02-17) (age 43)
Aomori, Japan
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Weight 98 kg (220 lb)
Career
Heya Dewanoumi
Record 385-418-27
Debut May, 1990
Highest rank Komusubi (September, 1994)
Retired November, 1999
Sanshō Technique (5)
* Career information is correct as of July 2007.

Mainoumi Shuhei (born 17 February 1968 as Shuhei Nagao) is a former sumo wrestler from Aomori, Japan. His highest rank was komusubi. During the 1990s he was one of the most popular wrestlers in sumo due to his wide variety of techniques and great fighting spirit in battling opponents nearly twice his size.

Contents

Career

Born in Ajigasawa, Mainoumi was an amateur sumo champion at Nihon University, where he studied economics. He originally wanted to be a teacher, but decided to join professional sumo in honour of a close friend who died before he could achieve his own ambition of being a sumo champion.[1] Mainoumi initially failed the Sumo Association's physical entrance exam, because he was too short to meet their height requirement, which at that time was 173 cm. He got round this by persuading a doctor to inject silicone into his scalp, giving him the necessary couple of centimetres. To prevent any future hopefuls from having to go through this painful procedure, the Sumo Association changed its rules to allow special dispensation for amateur champions who do not meet the height requirements.

Mainoumi made his professional debut in May 1990 in the third makushita division and reached jūryō in March 1991. On his debut in the top makuuchi division in September 1991 he scored eight wins and was awarded the Ginosho or Technique Prize,[1] the first of five he was to win during his career.

Mainoumi said his ambition in the top division was to reach a sanyaku rank at least once,[2] and this he achieved in September 1994 when he was promoted to komusubi. In July 1996 he broke his leg when the 275 kg Konishiki fell on it, ironically in a bout which Mainoumi won. He was forced to sit out the rest of that tournament and all of the next, dropping to the jūryō division. He returned to the top division in May 1997 but since his injury he had lost some of his speed and he was finding it more difficult to hold his own. In March 1998 he fell back to jūryō once again, where he remained until his retirement from sumo in November 1999.

Fighting style

Mainoumi had such an extensive knowledge of sumo techniques that he was nicknamed Waza no Depaato, or the Department Store of Techniques. He used up to 33 different kimarite during his career. In November 1991 he defeated the 204 cm, 200 kg wrestler Akebono by mitokorozeme, a "triple attack force out", which involves simultaneously tripping one leg, grabbing the other, and pushing with the head into the opponent's chest to force him down backwards. Before Mainoumi, no wrestler had used this technique in the modern era.[3]

Mainoumi also had a very unusual tachi-ai, and was the first to introduce the tactic of nekodamashi, of clapping of the hands in front of the opponent's face to distract him at the initial charge.

Retirement from sumo

Mainoumi chose not to stay in sumo as a coach after retiring from the ring, a decision that caused some disquiet in the Sumo Association at a time when the sport's popularity was at a low ebb.[4] Instead he launched a new career as a television personality. He can still be heard commentating on NHK's sumo broadcasts. He has turned down many offers from political parties to run as their candidate.[5] He appeared in 2005 Hollywood film Memoirs of a Geisha as a sumo wrestler, credited as Shuhei Nagao, his real name.[6]

Family

Mainoumi was married in May 1997, to a nightclub manager with two children from a previous marriage.

Top division record

Mainoumi Shuhei[7]


year in sumo January
Hatsu basho, Tokyo
March
Haru basho, Osaka
May
Natsu basho, Tokyo
July
Nagoya basho, Nagoya
September
Aki basho, Tokyo
November
Kyūshū basho, Fukuoka
1991 x x x x West Maegashira #12
8–7
T
East Maegashira #9
8–7
T
1992 East Maegashira #7
4–11
 
East Maegashira #15
9–6
 
East Maegashira #8
6–9
 
East Maegashira #11
8–7
 
East Maegashira #6
7–8
 
West Maegashira #7
4–11
 
1993 East Maegashira #16
9–6
 
West Maegashira #11
6–9
 
East Maegashira #15
10–5
 
West Maegashira #6
4–11
 
East Maegashira #14
9–6
T
East Maegashira #8
6–9
 
1994 West Maegashira #12
8–7
 
West Maegashira #7
6–9
 
East Maegashira #12
9–6
T
East Maegashira #4
9–6
T
East Komusubi
2–13
 
East Maegashira #8
8–7
 
1995 West Maegashira #3
4–11
 
East Maegashira #9
6–9
 
West Maegashira #12
9–6
 
East Maegashira #6
5–10
 
West Maegashira #11
8–7
 
West Maegashira #6
4–11
 
1996 East Maegashira #15
9–6
 
West Maegashira #6
6–9
 
West Maegashira #9
7–8
 
West Maegashira #11
2–1–12
 

Sat out due to injury
0–0–15
(Juryo)
1997 (Juryo) (Juryo) East Maegashira #15
9–6
 
East Maegashira #9
5–10
 
East Maegashira #14
8–7
 
East Maegashira #9
5–10
 
1998 West Maegashira #14
9–6
 
West Maegashira #10
5–10
 
(Juryo) (Juryo) (Juryo) (Juryo)
1999 (Juryo) (Juryo) (Juryo) (Juryo) (Juryo) West Jūryō #10
Retired
6–9–0
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Retired Lower Divisions

Sanshō key: F=Fighting spirit; O=Outstanding performance; T=Technique     Also shown: =Kinboshi(s) P=Playoff(s)
Divisions: Makuuchi — Jūryō — Makushita — Sandanme — Jonidan — Jonokuchi

Makuuchi ranks: Yokozuna — Ōzeki — Sekiwake — Komusubi — Maegashira

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0283-X. 
  2. ^ Newton, Clyde (1994). Dynamic Sumo. Kodansha. ISBN 4-7700-1802-9. 
  3. ^ Despite appearing to most observers to be mitokorozeme, the win was actually given as uchigake by officials. Mainoumi subsequently won two further bouts that were officially determined as mitokorozeme, against Kotofuji in September 1992 and Tomoefuji in January 1993.
  4. ^ Kattoulas, Velisarios (31 December 1999). "For old sumo stars, retirement can be heavy going". International Herald Tribune. http://www.iht.com/articles/1999/12/31/sumo.2.t.php. Retrieved 2007-07-29. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Mainoumi turns down LDP offer" (in Japanese). Japan Times Weekly Online. 14 February 2004. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/weekly/news/nn2004/nn20040214a7.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  6. ^ Shuhei Nagao
  7. ^ "Rikishi in Makunouchi and Juryo". szumo.hu. http://www.szumo.hu/sekitori/Mainoumi.html. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 

External links


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