He chose to stay active in sumo however, and would eventually be promoted to a true ōzeki outright in March 1781.
He was also the coach of Raiden Tameemon. He made his debut in sumo in 1769 when he was 19. With a height of 189 cm and a weight of 169 kg, he was extremely large in comparison with most Japanese men of his era.
In this period, local men with a large physique but often little to no sumo background were asked to enter sumo tournaments.
They would debut as kanban or "guest" ōzeki and in most cases their "careers" were short-lived. This is how Tanikaze, due to his size, debuted in 1769.
From October 1777 until February 1786, he lost only one bout. This was to Onogawa in February 1782.
He recorded the longest run of consecutive victories in sumo bouts at that time, with 63.
This record remained unbroken for about 150 years, until Futabayama in 1938. On November 19, 1789, he became one of the first two sumo wrestlers to be allowed to perform a yokozuna dohyō-iri (a special ring-entrance ceremony for the yokozuna alone, rather than entering as part of a parade of the top ranked wrestlers). Both he and Onogawa were granted a special so-called yokozuna license simultaneously in that year.
Officially he is recorded as being the 4th in sumo history.
However, as the first three (see list of yokozuna), if indeed they existed at all, were awarded the title posthumously, he can be said to be one of the first two real holders of the title. He was still an active wrestler when he died at the age of 44 of influenza.
He was on another winning streak of 35 bouts at his death. Tanikaze was a very popular rikishi.
Unlike other wrestlers of his day, many nishikie (woodblock print based) portraits and images of him participating in bouts still remain.
The actual time the tournaments were held during the year in this period often varied. Tanikaze"s first three tournaments were as a "guest" ōzeki, see above. Tanikaze"s record for the Spring 1776 tournament is unknown.
*Championships for the best record in a tournament were not recognized or awarded before the 1909 summer tournament, and the unofficial championships above are historically conferred.
Foreign more information, see yūshō.