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Hattorizakura Futoshi

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Hattorizakura Futoshi
服部桜 太志
Personal information
BornShota Hattori
(1998-07-16) 16 July 1998 (age 23)
Chigasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight82 kg (181 lb)
Career
StableShikihide
Record3-238-1
DebutSeptember, 2015
Highest rankJonokuchi #9 (May, 2021)
RetiredJuly, 2021
* Up to date as of 29 August 2021.

Shonanzakura Sota(勝南桜聡太), also known as Hattorizakura Futoshi (服部桜 太志, born Shota Hattori (服部 祥多) on 16 July 1998) is a former sumo wrestler from Chigasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. He made his professional debut in September 2015 and retired after the July 2021 tournament. His highest rank was jonokuchi 9.[1]. Hattorizakura was notable for having an exceptionally poor record in sumo, having won only 3 of his 238 career bouts.[2] Sumo wrestling journalists have commented that Hattorizakura made little effort to win matches, at times even appearing to make deliberate attempts to lose and avoid competing[3]. He was a member of Shikihide heya, which is well known for taking on any aspiring wrestler regardless of aptitude of ability[4].

Early life[edit]

He first became interested in sumo in elementary school, from watching broadcasts of the makushita division on TV.[5] At junior high school he was a member of the track and field club, specializing in the 1500 metres. After completing his compulsory education he did not go on to high school, preferring to work on strength training and continuing his athletic activities. After visiting the Ryogoku Kokugikan with his grandfather to watch sumo he met Shikihide Oyakata, the head coach of Shikihide stable and had his picture taken with him.[5] He liked the stablemaster's personality and in December 2014 without his family's knowledge visited Shikihide stable, asking to join.[5] The stable was well known for accepting any recruit regardless of physique or previous sumo experience, but Shikihide told him that he might be better suited as a gyoji or tokoyama and that he had to go back home to get his parents' permission first.[6] Hattori returned to the stable in August 2015 with his mother, and was accepted.[6]

Career[edit]

He was given the shikona of Hattorizakura, the second part of the name, meaning "cherry blossoms'" taken from his stablemaster's fighting name, Kitazakura. He made his professional debut in September 2015, weighing just 70 kg (150 lb). He began with 22 consecutive losses before recording his first career win over Sawanofuji on the sixth day of the May 2016 tournament. He then began another losing streak, and in March 2017 he took the record for most consecutive losses (32) since the establishment of the six tournaments per year system in 1958. At the end of the tournament he became the first wrestler to score 0-7 in five successive tournaments. His 70th straight loss was remarked upon as being the counterpart to Futabayama's record of 69 consecutive wins. Eventually he had 89 consecutive losses before getting his second career win over Soga in July 2018.[7] After another 23 losses he got his third and final career victory over Houn in January 2019. He was then defeated 104 straight times until retiring in early August of 2021, just after his 23rd birthday.[8]

On the second day of the September 2016 tournament he attracted negative media publicity after he appeared several times to throw himself to the ground without touching his opponent, Kinjo (now Chiyodaigo).[6] The ringside judges had to intervene and instruct him to redo the bout so that a real match could take place. Afterwards his stable master Shikihide said that Hattorizakura had a neck injury and feared hurting himself further.[6] Hattorizakura considered retiring at that point but was told by Shikihide that he should not run away and be forever thought of as a quitter. Instead to draw a line under the incident he immediately changed the second part of his shikona from his own given name of Shota to Futoshi.

Shortly before the January 2021 tournament his whole shikona changed, to Shonanzakura Sōta. Shōnan is his native region, and the kanji for shō means "win."[9] The second part of the shikona, Sōta, was a reference to the shoji player Sōta Fujii.[10]

Shonanzakura, due to his lack of success, spent his entire career in the lowest jonokuchi division, where it is possible to move up the division despite not getting a kachi-koshi or more wins than losses in a tournament. In May 2021 he reached his highest rank of jonokuchi 9, not because of any improvement in performance but because a large number of new recruits from the previous tournament had not been able to compete because maezumo was cancelled due to COVID-19, and they all had to be ranked below him as a result.

Retirement from sumo[edit]

It was revealed on August 25, 2021 that Shonanzakura had retired after the July tournament and had his danpatsu-shiki or retirement ceremony at his heya on August 7. His stablemaster Shikihide said he had wanted his wrestler to continue but ultimately accepted his decision. He praised Shonanzakura for remaining dedicated despite his losing streak, being first to training and being courteous when helping out with cleaning and cooking the chankonabe. He said Shonanzakura was now back at his parent's house in Kanagawa and ready to begin his second life.[8]

Fighting style[edit]

He was restricted not only by his light weight, but his poor tachi-ai which saw him stand up straight too quickly, leading to him being overwhelmed by his opponents. His stablemaster said that when he first joined Shonanzakura could not do push-ups, but by July 2021 could handle a hundred in a session. He said his wrestler was good in training, but became too nervous when competing in tournaments.[11]

Records[edit]

Shonanzakura holds a number of "losing" records, including:

  • 104 consecutive losses
  • 30 completed tournaments with no wins (26 0-7, 4 0-8 when he was required to fight an extra match)
  • 42 losses in a calendar year, the most for any non-sekitori
  • 34 consecutive make-koshi, the most by a wrestler with no kachi-koshi and second only to Morikawa's 38 overall
  • Reaching 100 career defeats with only one career wins
  • Reaching 200 career defeats with only three career wins

Career Record[edit]

(Hattorizakura Futoshi)
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
2015 x x x x (Maezumo) West Jonokuchi #24
0–7
 
2016 West Jonokuchi #22
0–6–1
 
East Jonokuchi #22
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #30
1–6
 
East Jonokuchi #18
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #29
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #25
0–7
 
2017 West Jonokuchi #18
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #20
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #29
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #28
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #28
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #24
0–7
 
2018 West Jonokuchi #24
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #24
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #34
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #34
1–6
 
East Jonokuchi #27
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #28
0–7
 
2019 West Jonokuchi #26
1–6
 
West Jonokuchi #15
0–8
 
East Jonokuchi #33
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #33
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #34
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #29
0–7
 
2020 West Jonokuchi #27
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #26
0–8
 
East Jonokuchi #35
Tournament Cancelled
0–0–0
East Jonokuchi #35
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #32
0–8
 
East Jonokuchi #30
0–7
 
2021 East Jonokuchi #28
0–8
 
East Jonokuchi #24
0–7
 
East Jonokuchi #9
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #24
0–7
 
West Jonokuchi #20
Retired
0–0–0
Record given as win-loss-absent    Top Division Champion Top Division Runner-up 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

References[edit]

  1. "Hattorizakura Futoshi Rikishi Information". sumodb.sumogames.de. Retrieved 2020-08-09.
  2. "Hattorizakura Futoshi Rikishi Profile". Nihon Sumō Kyōkai. Retrieved 2020-08-17. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Gunning, John (2019-03-22). "Sumo 101: Consistent losers". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2020-08-09.
  4. Gunning, John (2020-01-22). "Kitazakura known best for talent, attitude outside ring". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2020-08-09.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "本村出身服部祥多さん 序ノ口「服部桜(はっとりざくら)」誕生". Town News Chigasaki. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "序ノ口力士の敗退行為と今後". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 18 September 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2021.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  7. "Hattorizakura, the second win! Stopped the losing streak at 89!". Hochi (in Japanese). 10 July 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2021.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Hattorizakura Futoshi retires from sumo with a record 104 consecutive losses, 3 wins and 238 losses in total". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 26 August 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2021.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  9. "75連敗中の服部桜が改名、勝南桜で勝つ!/新番付". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 24 December 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2021.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  10. "勝南桜76連敗 地元と藤井2冠にあやかり改名も…". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 11 January 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2021.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)
  11. "How does the master see Hattorizakura, who lost 100 games in a row?". Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). 12 July 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2021.CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)

Category:1998 births Category:Japanese sumo wrestlers Category:Living people Category:Sumo people from Kanagawa Prefecture

External links[edit]


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