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HomeUncategorizedAkebono Taro, first foreign-born sumo grand champion, dies at age 54 :...

Akebono Taro, first foreign-born sumo grand champion, dies at age 54 : NPR


Accompanied by a sword-bearer, grand champion Akebono, proper, performs the ring-entrance ritual throughout the annual New 12 months’s dedication at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, on Jan. 8, 1997.

Koji Sasahara/AP


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Koji Sasahara/AP


Accompanied by a sword-bearer, grand champion Akebono, proper, performs the ring-entrance ritual throughout the annual New 12 months’s dedication at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, on Jan. 8, 1997.

Koji Sasahara/AP

TOKYO — Hawaii-born Akebono Taro, one of many greats of sumo wrestling and a former grand champion, has died. He was 54. He was the primary foreign-born wrestler to succeed in the extent of yokozuna — or grand champion — in Japan.

“It’s with unhappiness that we announce Akebono Taro died of coronary heart failure earlier this month whereas receiving care at a hospital within the Tokyo space,” the household stated in an announcement.

His spouse Christine Rowan, in an e mail to The Related Press, stated he died “inside the previous week” however declined to offer particulars.

“I needed to have a tendency to private issues that wanted to be achieved previous to publicly saying my husband’s demise,” she stated.

Akebono grew up on the agricultural aspect of the Koolau mountains from Honolulu and was born Chad George Ha’aheo Rowan.

He moved to Tokyo within the late Eighties and gained his first grand championship in 1993.

On the prime of his profession he was an actual big, reported on the time to weigh 500 kilos (225 kilos) and stand 6-feet-8 — or 2.03 meters.

The US ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, despatched his condolences on social platform X.

“I used to be deeply saddened to be taught of the passing of Akebono, a large on the earth of sumo, a proud Hawaiian and a bridge between the USA and Japan,” Emanuel posted.

“When Akebono grew to become the first-ever foreign-born grand champion, sumo’s highest rank, in 1993, he opened the door for different overseas wrestlers to search out success within the sport. All through his 35 years in Japan, Akebono strengthened the cultural ties between the USA and his adopted homeland by uniting us all by way of sport.”

Akebono was an 11-time grand event winner and he retired in 2001.

The household’s assertion stated family and friends will maintain a “personal celebration of his life.” He’s survived by his spouse, Christine, daughter and two sons.

“The household kindly asks for privateness throughout this time of mourning,” the assertion stated.





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