Famous People in Japan

Akebono Taro

Date of Birth 8 May 1969
Place of Birth Hawaii

Akebono is a "Yokozuna" - a sumo champion . Moreover, he is the first foreigner to become one. But it was not easy for him.

In 1988, when he was the student of Hawaii Pacific College, he was scouted by Azumazeki who is a stable master and had done sumo wrestling in Japan and become "Ozeki," came to Japan. In that year, he stood on the "Dohyo" for the first time.

In January of 1990, he was promoted to "Juryo," and became the fifth "Sekitori" in history as a foreigner. And in September of that year, he was promoted to "Hiramaku." Then he rose rapidly in the world.

In 1991 he became "Komusubi" in the Spring Tournament, and became "Sekiwake" in the Summer Tournament.

In 1992 he won his first championship in the Summer Tournament, and became "Ozeki", reaching the same rank as his stable master did. In that year, he won in the Kyushu Tournament, too. In 1993 he won in the First Tournament too, and at last he become first foreign "Yokozuna" in history. Needless to say, there were the hidden great efforts of his promotion. In the world of sumo since old Japanese traditions are respected, he must study it, and he must study Japanese, too. So now, he is good at speaking Japanese. He became a Japanese citizen in April of 1996.

References: Gendai Nihonjinmeiroku, 1994

Reported by: Yoshida Hitoshi
Data verified by: Izawa Motonari
Date of Report: November 1995, Modified May 1996

Updated by: Ota Masakazu, June 1997

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