Umegatani (right) vs Hitachiyama
Totaro Umegataniwas adopted by the 15th yokozuna Umegatani Totaro I and joined his Ikazuchi stable in June 1892 at the age of 14. His father was initially reluctant to let him join at such a young age but Umegatani I personally guaranteed his well-being. In the stable, he was trained by Onigatani.
Totaro Umegataniwas went to Osaka at the age of 19 and became a pupil of Ryoemon Minatouchi, assuming the ring name of Umegatani. In 1867, moved to Tokyo and joined the training quarters of Tamagaki Hitainosuke, of Edo (Tokyo) Sumo Association.
Totaro Umegatani rose through the ranks quickly, making his juryo debut in January 1897 and reaching the top makuuchi division in January 1898. Initially wrestling under the sumo name of Umenotani Otomatsu, he officially took on the Umegatani Totaro name before his fourth basho as an ozeki in January 1902. He met Hitachiyama in May 1903 when both ozeki were undefeated. The clash caused great excitement throughout Japan. Although Umegatani lost the match, after the tournament both he and Hitachiyama were promoted to yokozuna, Umegatani's promotion being awarded at Hitachiyama's insistence.
Umegatani had reached sumo's highest rank at the age of 25 years and 3 months, making him the youngest ever yokozuna at that time. The record stood until the promotion of Terukuni in 1942. Totaro Umegatani had the best record in at least three championships before June 1909, when the yusho system was established by the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper (the Japan Sumo Association officially recognized the system in 1926). There were two other instances where Umegatani achieved championship level performances not recorded as such by all sources.
Although he didn't win any championships officially, he was given a prize frame in honor of his contribution when he retired in June 1915. This was his prize frame for his career from between the June 1909 tournament and the January 1910 tournament. His bouts were more masterly than his record because his techniques were orthodox methods. Although he was extremely heavy for his short height, he showed great skill.
Totaro Umegatanimissed many bouts in his later career due to illness, retiring at the age of 37. He died at the age of 49 whilst still active in sumo as a judge and head of Ikazuchi stable.
Physical Characteristics: Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in), Weight 158 kg (348 lb).