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The view from above

Kotoshogiku ends 10-year wait for Japanese champion


Ozeki Kotoshogiku, above, won the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday to become the first Japanese rikishi to take the title since Tochiazuma won at the same tournament back in 2006.

Although he's been inconsistent during his nearly five years as an ozeki, his title and current form have raised the question of whether he could be promoted to the sport's highest rank of yokozuna after the next tournament in March.

The sport has been dominated by Mongolian fighters, especially yokozuna Asashoryu and Hakuho, the latter of which has become the greatest yokozuna ever and is still going strong. It's worrying for some that no Japanese rikishi has won the title since 2006, but only two Japanese born fighters have won since May 2003.

As former great Chiyonofuji said in an interview, "[w]e’ve waited a long time. (But) the ones giving the most in practice are the Mongolians, so don’t expect things to change much.”