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Baruto on the rise

baruto sumo

Japanese kids approaching Baruto in January 2010

I haven’t watched, or even followed, sumo for a couple years now. In part, it’s because of Baruto. A larger part is because I’m not in Japan. However, I did follow sumo, as closely as one can outside the country, in 2011 and early 2012 largely because of Baruto. He was to sumo what Fernando Valenzuela was to MLB in the 1980s. I saw Baruto live several times in 2009 and 2010 when he was an up and comer, a fan favorite (unlike most of the gaijin sumo). He rose to the top, earned Ozeki status, and won the championship just two years after I took today’s photo.

Unfortunately, injuries cut short his stay at the top and he retired last year.

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