The Taiho Sumo Memorial Museum
The Taiho Sumo Memorial Museum is dedicated to one of the most successful grand champions in modern sumo history. Taiho’s dominance over the sport during the 1960s made him a household name throughout Japan. Get a feel for the power and popularity of Teshikaga’s local boy turned nationwide superstar through video footage, photographs, and displays of his colorful ceremonial garb from grand tournaments.
Inside the museum
There is plenty to enjoy at the museum, even if you do not speak or read Japanese. A 15-minute documentary covers some of Taiho’s most famous victories and gives an idea of just how successful a wrestler he was. The documentary is usually played in Japanese with English subtitles, but there is a version with English narration; if you would like to watch it, let the staff know. The exhibits also feature photographs documenting Taiho’s rise to sumo superstardom and provide a close-up look at the ceremonial aprons Taiho wore for rituals at the sumo tournaments.
Portraits of a champion
Sumo wrestlers who win a grand tournament have a portrait painted to commemorate their victory. These portraits are then hung in Tokyo’s Kokugikan Arena, the “home of sumo.” There is only space for 32 of the giant portraits in the arena, so after a certain amount of time they are returned to the wrestlers. You can see all of Taiho’s giant championship portraits here.
Pride of Teshikaga
Taiho was born on the island of Sakhalin, north of Hokkaido, but Teshikaga locals regard him as one of their own because he relocated to the area when he was five years old. He was one of three very successful grand champions hailing from Hokkaido, the other two being Kitanoumi (1953-2015), and Chiyonofuji (1955–2016).