Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tochinoumi, Inakadate's Celebrity ・ 栃の海、田舎館の名人

Recently someone asked me if there are any famous people from Inakadate. Looking around, it seems that the most famous person from Inakadate is a sumo wrestler named Tochinoumi. He is quite a celebrated individual person in this village.

Tochinoumi was a sumo wrestler in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was very successful, won two tournaments and rose to the highest rank of yokozuna. Actually, Aomori is particularly famous for good sumo. Even today, there are more wrestlers from Aomori in the highest levels of sumo than from any other prefecture in Japan. There are many sumo rings to be found in Aomori and schools with sumo clubs are not uncommon.

People in Inakadate are very proud of Tochinoumi's accomplishments. In the Community Center there is a huge painting of him. There is also one in the village hall. You can also find a stone memorial commemorating his accomplishments near the village gymnasium or come to town and attend the Tochinoumi Cup, a children's sumo tournament held each year in August.

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