Asashoryu arrived yesterday wearing traditional Mongolian clothes. At a media conference, his spokesman announced that the yokozuna who retired last month would not take questions from Japanese journalists.
It is sad that you decided to leave sumo at the peak of your career in which you won 25 titles. What is your best memory of your life in sumo?
There are many good memories. Each victory and defeat had its own value. The last basho was particularly memorable. But now I have hurried back to my motherland. I missed my country, people and my parents. My second life is beginning now. The time spent in the sumo arena had its adventures, joys, big smiles and secret tears. I spoke in Mongolian after I won my 25th title as that is what I wanted to.
We were shocked by your decision to retire. It must have been even harder for you. Why did you do it?
Asashoryu was always creating problems and was the regular topic of articles. I steeled myself to overcome this. But there were many who were against me and they were powerful. I have no regrets for leaving sumo early. I think I succeeded in advertising Japanese sumo in the world. I was also able to show the Mongolian spirit in the sumo arena. I must also tell you that I did not break anybody’s nose as repeatedly reported in the Japanese media. We had an argument as often happens between men and then made up.
What are your plans? Politics? Or business?
I have heard of such speculation. Some have also said I shall be a professional wrestler. I am 29 years old now. As a young man, I am ready to work for the prosperity of
What about marrying again?
I have no such plans for now. I have missed my two children. They’ve grown. I will spend my time with them during my days in
Are you going to live in the
I went to
Some foreign media wrote that the Japanese forced you out for fear that a foreign wrestler will break the sumo record.
The rules of the sumo association are very strict. Asashoryu’s words and wrestling methods were liked by some and disliked by others. I wrestled to win. I also made mistakes.
Will you compete in Mongolian wrestling?
I used to wrestle traditionally. I don’t think I will wrestle even though I desire it.
Will you watch the March tournament of sumo? There is a tradition that the Cup is given to the winner by the last basho’s winner. Will you be there to give it?
The January Cup will be given by my teacher. So far I have no plans of watching the March tournament.
Everyone sets his own goals. How many times did you think you will win?
A man’s body weakens as time goes by. Other wrestlers were becoming stronger and my strength was leaving me each year. But my spirit was never dulled. Mental strength controls the body and is the most important thing. I think I would have won more than 30 titles.
Do you think there is a Mongolian wrestler who will equal your success?
I hope so. I always wish them well and hope they will bring fame to our motherland.
Which Mongolian wrestler do you believe in the most? What did you tell to your compatriots when you left?
I believe in Harumofuji D.Byambadorj. Yokozuna Hakuho has already won more than ten titles and has carved his place in sumo. I hope Byambadorj becomes a yokozuna. I have no grievance against the Japanese people. There are many who supported me. I told everybody to wrestle well and wished them success.
Can’t you have the retiring ceremony in
I would have loved it but the sumo arena is very important to me. So I shall formally retire on October 3 following all traditional rites.
Is it true that the Japanese Sumo Association has decided to restrict the number of foreign wrestlers?
This was reported and may be true. But I don’t think it would affect those already there. You do not spill the cup when it’s full.
Are you still trainings?
I’m not doing wrestling training. But I have to exercise to keep myself fit. I’m planning to lose weight. I will go back to
Why don’t you open your own sumo school?
It is not possible because a sumo school can be set up only by Japanese citizens.
Who will lead the Takasago school now?
Asasekiryu B.Dashnyam is leading the school now. I met him before I came. He is my friend and we went to
Will you permit your son to join sumo if he wants to?
It is a hard life in the top circle of sumo, but I shall not stop my son if he really wants to.
The grand champion talked with journalists freely as if he was talking with his family. There was a request to make a TV show of Asashoryu at home and another proposal for him to play Chinggis Khaan in a movie. He offered Hakuho his best wishes to keep raising the reputation of