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Yokozuna Kisenosato sets legacy in stone at shrine ceremony

Yokozuna Kisenosato poses for a commemorative photograph in front of the yokozuna monument at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo's Koto Ward, after carving his name into the stone on June 9, 2017. (Mainichi)

Yokozuna Kisenosato attended a ceremony at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in Tokyo's Koto Ward on June 9 to add his name to a monument honoring the sumo wrestlers who have reached the sport's highest rank.

    It is customary for sumo wrestlers promoted to yokozuna to be honored by engraving their names in the stone monument, and on this day, the 72nd yokozuna Kisenosato added his name to sumo history with a chisel.

    During the Edo period, Tomioka Hachimangu shrine was the location for sumo tournaments officially recognized by the Tokugawa shogunate, and is known as the origin of sumo tournaments run to raise funds for shrine and temple repairs. The yokozuna monument was placed on the grounds on the initiative of the 12th yokozuna Jinmaku Kyugoro in 1900, and the custom of honoring those with the yokozuna title was born.

    The 30-year-old Kisenosato was promoted to the title after winning his first grand tournament in January this year. However, he suffered injuries to his upper left arm during the March Grand Sumo Tournament, which forced him to withdraw from the following May Grand Sumo Tournament in the middle competition last month.

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