Returning to the top ranks after over two years, West Maegashira 2 Onosho of Onomatsu-beya is applying laser focus to his fundamental skills in hopes of a re-promotion to sanyaku. On the 12th he spoke about his current progress in training, relaying the information through the JSA as is protocol lately.
“Right now I’m focusing on basic movements,” said the 23 year old oshi-zumo fighter. With the resumption of contact training and sparring being left up to the judgement of stablemasters, most if not all stables are still reportedly observing a non-contact convention. This leaves wrestlers with little else to do in the way of traditional sumo training other than stomping, pole-striking, and footwork drills.
“At first there was some confusion, but I’m thinking that since I have the time now that I didn’t have before, I should use it to build up my strength,” said Onosho, offering a positive spin on the situation.
The last time Onosho was in the “upper rank round-robin” was his second basho at Komusubi in January 2018. Suffering an injury caused the Aomori man to fall back to the second division in May of the same year. But winning the Juryo championship at that basho afforded him a rebirth into Makuuchi, and from there it took a little over two years to make his way to M2.
No small consideration in his jump from M5 (his rank at Haru Basho) to M2 was his gold star defeat of so far unbeaten Yokozuna Hakuho on day 10 of the spring tournament. Onosho also came away with his first Outstanding Performance prize, having posted 9-6.
“It really was an uncomfortable feeling at first, having no fans there, but I got used to it fairly quickly,” he said looking back, “Defeating Hakuho in the middle of that situation was a big step forward for me.”
Another basho without spectators is scheduled to take place in July at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. Onosho gave his final comments on the upcoming tournament, “I understand what my challenge is, so I’m putting all my focus into that.”