A c. 1910 postcard to honor the recent passing of Taiho (1940-2013), Sumo‘s most accomplished wrestler.
Taiho achieved Yokozuna rank at age 21 (the youngest, ever, at that time), and won six-straight tournaments on two separate occasions. He wasn’t a large wrestler by any measure but he could use his opponent’s weight advantage against them. It was a treat for me to first learn about Sumo when Taiho was still competing into the early 1970s.
From the wiki: “His most common winning move was yori-kiri, a straightforward force out, which accounted for about 30 percent of his wins … He was particularly diligent about training, and was known to invite every new member of the top division to train with him …
“After suffering a stroke at 36 in 1977, Taihō used a wheelchair in the last stage of his life. He died of heart failure in a Tokyo hospital on January 19, 2013 at the age of 72. At 32 championships he remains the wrestler with the most championships in the history of sumo. In its obituary, the Nikkan Sports named him ‘the strongest yokozuna in history.’