Sumo Wrestling from Mongolia
Although the traditional Japanese sport is sumo wrestling, foreigners have participated since 1970. However, few had achieved great success prior to the 1990s. Akebono, a Hawaiian-born wrestler, reached the highest rank of yokozuna in 1993 and was the first foreigner to do so. Others have since become yokozuna, a challenging task because advancing to the highest rank requires not only winning two consecutive championships but also demonstrating power and skill while fighting.
Furthermore, there is Shintaku's more subjective and often contentious question, which translates loosely as "dignity and grace." Very simply, the wrestler maintains the proper decorum that matches the Yokozuna title. As a result, some sumo wrestlers struggled to win the Yokozuna title. There have been reports in the past that some wrestlers failed to achieve yokozuna status because they were foreigners. That is no longer the case as the rank of yokozuna was given to only four. Two of them, as they are called in Japan, are Mongolian — Asashoryu and Hakuho — and they're the only active yokozuna.
In 1991, when Japanese sumo trainers ventured into Mongolia to look for someone who might be suitable for training, Mongolians entered the sumo world. Nearly two hundred Mongolians were observed by Japanese scouts and selected six to take back to Japan. Most of them have struggled to make it because of a number of problems, including homesickness. But Davaagiin Batbayar stayed, although, after only six months of training, he almost returned home as well. He adopted the name "Kyokushuzan" in Japan and became the first Mongolian sumo wrestler to be successful. He retired in 2006 but has made a significant contribution to Mongolia.
For many other Mongolians, he had been the impetus to pursue a sumo wrestling career. Indeed, the origins of amateur sumo tournaments in Mongolia are likely due to his success in the late 1990s.
The best-known Mongolian outside Mongolia is possibly Asashoryu, after Chinggis Khan. As it is known in Mongolia, Dolgors ̈urengiin Dagvadorj entered the sport in 1999 and was not the first Mongolian to try to transfer his Mongolian wrestling skills to a new medium. In Japan, two other Mongolians had attained a respectable level of success. Nevertheless, the success of Asashoryu dwarfs that of most wrestlers. He won the rank of ozeki, the second-highest rank by 2002, and Asashoryu won the rank of yokozuna by the end of January 2003. Asashoryu had won twenty-two tournaments by 2008 and remains one of the most successful competitors in sumo history.
Asashoryu 's career wasn't without controversy, as shown by the "Bad Boy of Sumo" sobriquet. Many Japanese fans are annoyed by the fact that he is not Japanese and yet so strong, and that he refuses to claim Japanese nationality. Yet his habit of failing to comply with the code of conduct expected not only from the yokozuna but from all sumo wrestlers has caused him trouble. That included some conduct in the ring as well as outside the ring. Early in his career, by raising his fist in victory, he violated the sensibility of bushido, the chivalrous notions in Japanese martial arts.