University of Tokyo student Hotaka Suyama passes sumo entrance exam

Japan Times -- Apr 16
Hotaka Suyama made a little history on Friday when the student of philosophy passed the first part of his entrance test to enter professional sumo as its first apprentice wrestler from the University of Tokyo, a bastion of elite academia.

The native of Saitama Prefecture underwent the Japan Sumo Association entrance test at the sport’s home, Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, the venue of May’s Summer Grand Sumo Tournament.

“It feels like I’m just at the starting line,” the 24-year-old Suyama said after taking the first step on his unprecedented challenge.

At 180 centimeters tall and carrying 104 kilograms, Suyama surpassed the JSA’s minimum height and weight requirements. If an internal organ examination discovers no problems, Suyama will be able to make his debut on the third day of the May tournament.

While physically large enough for the JSA and much stronger than when he joined the university’s sumo club, Suyama is not where he had hoped to be physically at this stage after the coronavirus pandemic curtailed his chances to train. ...continue reading