Goodbye, Akebono

Akebono was the first person born outside Japan to become a Yokozuna. He was one of the tallest wrestlers at 203 cm and one of the heaviest at 233 kg. His coach and mentor was Takamiyama, the first great wrestler from Hawaii. Akebono was a powerful wrestler and became Yokozuna in 1993, the year he won four of the six grand sumo tournaments. He won 11 grand tournaments altogether in his career, In the early 1990s, his rivals were the brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana, and together the three of them made sumo more popular than ever. After he left the sumo world, Akebono went on to do kickboxing and pro wrestling. He passed away this month at the early age of 54. His mentor, his rivals and other sumo wrestlers came to say goodbye at his funeral in Tokyo on Sunday. (141 words)