Kotoryū Hirō - Career

Career

He was born in Takasago, Hyōgo Prefecture, but moved to Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture as a child. Kotoryū made his professional debut in March 1987 at the age of 15, joining Sadogatake stable. At the beginning of his career he used the shikona Kotonakano, switching to Kotoryū in March 1993. He was first promoted to sekitori status in July 1994 upon promotion to the second highest ryō division but could only last one tournament there. He returned to jūryō in May 1995 and made his debut in the top makuuchi division in July 1996.

Kotoryū was ranked in the top division for 51 tournaments over a period of nine years, earning three kinboshi, or gold stars, for defeating yokozuna. He also received one sanshō for Fighting Spirit. He was a regular in the upper maegashira ranks but he was never able to earn promotion to sanyaku. He came back from a number of injuries that sent him down to the jūryō division but finally retired in May 2005 at the age of 33. He had been suffering from liver problems and diabetes and lost some 20 kg (44 lb) in weight, and felt he had reached his physical limit. At his retirement press conference he said the most memorable bout of his career was his upset of yokozuna Musashimaru in January 2000. In a match lasting two minutes he won by yori-kiri or force out despite being outweighed by 80 kg (180 lb).

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