Newly-appointed yokozuna Kisenosato visited the Ibaraki Prefectural Government office on February 9th, where he was commended with an Ibaraki Prefectural Honor Award presented by Governor Hashimoto.
The Ibaraki Prefectural Honor Award is bestowed upon inspiring individuals who have raised the profile of Ibaraki Prefecture through notable achievements in areas such as academia, sports, and the arts, and who are widely loved and respected. As the first Japanese-born yokozuna in 19 years, and the first Ibaraki-born yokozuna in 81 years, Kisenosato certainly fits the bill. The 30-year-old wrestler from Ushiku was promoted from ōzeki to the yokozuna, the highest sumo rank, on January 25th, 2017. He is now one of four active yokozuna – the other three wrestlers, Hakuho, Harumafuji and Kakuryu, are from Mongolia.
Many locals attended the ceremony, congratulating Kisenosato and wishing him luck in future tournaments.