The dream of 10-year-old Kumagai Kjuta (Kyuta Kumagai) and her father is that one day the boy becomes the highest level of sumo, jokozuna. A boy nearly twice as heavy as his contemporaries is already successful, and he struggles with training almost every day to be the best in the world.
The boy said it was just funny to beat his older ones, and he had a chance to do so at a pretty young age. Kyuta was already entered as a preschool by his father, Taiszuke, for a sumo competition, which the child then won. “I didn’t teach him anything, he solved different things out of his natural talent. Sumo also needs talent, and he has it. He won the tournament and I immediately thought he knew something special, ” Taiszuke, who used to be an amateur sumo, told Reuters .
Kjuta’s talent impressed her father quite a bit, who felt that this knowledge should be exploited as much as possible and seemed to put the whole family’s life on it. They moved to Tokyo, the Fukagava district, one of the sumos’ bases. Here the clubs meet each other, and spiritual help can also be expected in the Shrine of Nominoszuke, where the god of sumo resides.
Kjuta with friends at school in December 2020. – Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
Kjuta, already 85 pounds, trains six times a week, sometimes at a local sumo club, sometimes at the pool, but also weighs in (this is not recommended under the age of 14 anyway) and also attends athletic workouts to be flexible and explosive. He also carries wrestling classes with his father in one of the shrines, often panting or crying at the end of such fights. His father doesn’t really spare him, he thinks that’s how to get the most out of the child. He believes there isn’t too much pressure on Kyutan, who also has time to play with his friends.
Kjuta is already successful, winning the Under-10 World Championships, and can beat sumos five or six years older than him. His coach, Taira Shinichi (Shinichi Taira), also said he was a great talent, but he also found it difficult to find sumo training, and Kjuta brutally trains a lot. The boy would admit sometimes he would leave it all out.
Bathing and video games are relaxation. Behind the boy, on the wall, are the awards achieved so far- Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
Workouts are expensive and that’s what the family stands for. “I don’t go to the casino, I put everything in it,” Taiszuke said. Together with the boy, they are targeting the title of jokozuna. This is the highest rank in sumo, with only 72 reaching this level in nearly 300 years.
Strengthening and practicing on traditional sumo court – Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
In addition to workouts, there is also a strong emphasis on nutrition in sumo. Kjuta already consumes plenty more calories than is enough for an average adult. His foods add 2700-4000 calories a day, he eats a lot of protein, he also drinks a liter of milk a day, but his favorite is steak.
According to his father, he would have to pick up another twenty pounds in the next two years, and then he would have a good chance of being taken to one of the recognized sumo stables.