Biggest Sumo Wrestlers Ever – Who Makes It into Top 10 Heaviest
If you are interested in learning more about the biggest sumo wrestlers in the world and more about the sport in general, you are in the right place.
Before we take a look at the biggest sumo wrestlers, let’s explore the history of sumo wrestling.
According to most experts and historians, sumo wrestling originated in ancient Japan over one thousand years ago.
Sumo wrestling is deeply ingrained in the history of Japan, so there is no wonder why the spot incorporates different Shinto elements.
While the exact origin is unclear, most historians agree that sumo wrestling was first practiced during the Yayoi period.
In ancient times, sumo wrestling was a part of different Shinto rituals and traditions, and these involved summoning of spirits. In ancient Japan, sumo wrestling was also incorporated with different Shinto prayers.
It became more regulated during the Edo period, with the very first sumo wrestling competitions and tournaments held in temples and shrines.
Sometime in the Edo period, sumo wrestling’s audiences transitioned to the masses from the elite. This naturally commercialized the unusual sport and led to the establishment of the very first sumo wrestling programs.
The sport evolved over the course of many centuries. Sumo wrestling is Japan’s national sport, and there are over sixty professional sumo wrestlers in the country.
Around thirty of them are native Japanese, six are Chinese, five are from Russia, and three are from Georgia, according to the official reports. At the moment, the average sumo wrestler’s weight is around 160.2 kg/353.1 lb.
On average, their BMI (body mass index) is around 47. Here, we take a look at the heaviest sumo wrestlers in the history of the sport.
Our list of the top 10 largest sumo wrestlers includes Ōrora Satoshi, Konishiki Yasokichi, Yamamotoyama Ryūta, Dewanojo Shuta, Kenho Mitsuo, Tominohana, Susanoumi Yoshitaka, Musashimaru Kōyō, Akebono Tarō, and Tokushinhō Motohisa.
1. Ōrora Satoshi
Image courtesy of jeopardylabs.com
Ōrora Satoshi is the biggest sumo wrestler in the world, standing at 190.5 cm/6’3″ and weighing 292.6 kg/654 lb.
Born in Buryat, Soviet Union, in 1983, Anatoliy Valeryevich Mihahano,v professionally known as Ōrora Satoshi, became the heaviest sumo wrestler in the world in 2017, with a weight of around 288 kg/635 lb.
After a couple of very successful years in the sumo wrestling world, he retired from the sport in 2018.
During his early childhood years he spent in the town of Zaigrayevo, Ōrora Satoshi struggled with excessive weight. When he was just eight years old, he saw a sumo wrestling competition on television, and this inspired him to become a professional sumo wrestler.
When he was sixteen years old, his family decided to move to St. Petersburg so that he could get formal sumo wrestling training.
Shortly after moving to St. Petersburg, he joined the Kitanoumi stable. Besides being the biggest sumo wrestler, Ōrora Satoshi was also the very first Russian to compete as a professional sumo wrestler.
He spent the vast majority of his extremely fruitful career in the sandanme division he joined in May of 2002. He reached his highest rank in November 2011.
Over the course of several years, Ōrora Satoshi competed in many different divisions, including the Jonidan and Jonokuchi. When it comes to his fighting style, he had a major weight advantage over his opponents.
At the same time, he struggled with agility and speed due to his weight. Ōrora Satoshi’s career record was three hundred and seventy-six wins against three hundred and eighty-two losses over one hundred and eleven tournaments.
2. Konishiki Yasokichi
Konishiki Yasokichi appears second on the list of the largest sumo wrestlers in the history of the sport. Standing at 184 cm/6’1″, he weighed around 287 kg/633 lb at his peak.
Konishiki Yasokichi was born Saleva’a Fuauli Atisano’e in December of 1963 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Besides being one of the biggest sumo wrestlers in the world, Konishiki Yasokichi was also the very first professional sumo wrestler of non-Japanese descent to reach the second-highest rank, ōzeki.
At the age of eighteen, Konishiki Yasokichi had already reached a weight of 170 kg/374 lb. Around the same time, a sumo talent scout spotted young Yasokichi on a beach in Hawaii and approached him with an interesting proposition.
The sumo wrestling scout talent offered Yasokichi an opportunity to travel with him to Japan to get formal sumo wrestling training. He started training in 1982 after being recruited by another sumo talent scout. That same year in July, he joined the Takasago stable.
Before being introduced to the world of sumo wrestling, young Yasokichi dreamt of becoming a lawyer. However, the opportunity to go to Japan and train there was something he could not resist.
In just eight major sumo wrestling tournaments, Konishiki Yasokichi advanced to the sekitori rank, which is remarkable progress. He debuted for the major makuuchi division in 1984.
In his following major tournament, he defeated Takanosato and Chiyonofuji. He reached the komusubi division in May 1985.
That same year in July, he advanced to the sekiwake division. Finally, two years later, he was promoted to ōzeki, the top-ranked division in the world of professional sumo wrestling.
3. Yamamotoyama Ryūta
Yamamotoyama Ryūta is the first Japanese sumo wrestler on our list of the biggest sumo wrestlers in the world. At his peak, Yamamotoyama Ryūta weighed around 277 kg/611 lb.
Considering the fact that, on average, a sumo wrestler’s weight is around 160.2 kg/353.1 lb, Yamamotoyama Ryūta’s weight was way above the average.
The thirty-seven-year-old was born in May of 1984 in Saitama, Japan.
He debuted as a professional sumo wrestler in January of 2007. Just several months later, he progressed to the major makuuchi division.
Aside from being the heaviest sumo wrestler of Japanese descent, many believe that he is also the heaviest person in Japan ever. When it comes to his early career, back in 2003, he enrolled at Nihon University.
During his studies, he won five major sumo wrestling championships. Prior to his college years, he won several world, national, and local championships. He joined the Onoe stable in 2003.
Just like Konishiki Yasokichi, Yamamotoyama Ryūta advanced through the major ranks quite quickly.
In September 2008, he had already advanced to the jūryō second division. He won nine jūryō tournaments before he reached the major makuuchi division in January of 2009.
In his first makuuchi tournament, he finished with an excellent eight-to-seven record. He withdrew from the following tournament after sustaining a serious injury.
As a result, he was moved to the jūryō division. Over the course of several months, he sustained several other injuries, which caused his demotion to the makushita division.
He officially retired in April of 2011 as ordered by the JSA (Japan Sumo Association) due to his involvement in match-fixing.
4. Dewanojo Shuta
Image courtesy of sportsgeeks.net
Dewanojo Shuta is yet another Japanese professional sumo wrestler who made it to our list of the largest sumo wrestlers in the history of the sport.
Standing at 190 cm/6’3″, his highest weight was 258 kg/569 lb. Dewanojo Shuta was born in December 1993 in Tochigi, Japan. We do not know much about his early childhood, but he is definitely one of the most promising professional sumo wrestlers of his generation.
At the age of twenty-eight, Dewanojo Shuta is also one of the youngest professional sumo wrestlers in Japan.
Unlike most other sumo wrestlers on this list, Dewanojo Shuta is still very much active. He competed in both international and Japanese sumo wrestling championships.
He uses his weight to gain an advantage over his opponents. Despite his weight, he is quite agile and quick, which makes him one of the most promising sumo wrestlers. His highest rank is Makushita 56.
He debuted as a professional sumo wrestler back in January 2013 when he joined the West Jonidan division.
In May of that same year, he competed at several local sumo wrestling competitions after transferring to the East Jonidan division.
In September of 2013, he joined the West Sandanme division, where he stayed for several months before transferring back to the West Jonidan division. Since March 2022, Dewanojo Shuta has been a member of the East Makushita division.
5. Kenho Mitsuo
Image courtesy of sportsgeeks.net
Japanese professional sumo wrestler Kenho Mitsuo is the fifth largest sumo wrestler in the history of the sport. The thirty-three-year-old Kenho Mitsuo was born in February of 1989 in Miyagi, Japan.
At the moment, he trains in the Tokitsukaze stable. Standing at 180 cm/5’11”, his highest weight was 250 kg/550 lb. Kenho Mitsuo currently competes at both Japanese and international sumo wrestling championships and tournaments.
His highest ranking is Makushita 59, which for a very young sumo wrestler is quite impressive.
Like other sumo wrestlers on our list of the biggest sumo wrestlers in the world, Kenho Mitsuo relies on his weight.
Aside from his imposing weight, his abilities and skills make him one of the most promising young sumo wrestlers. Not much is known about his personal life.
He debuted as a professional sumo wrestler back in May of 2011. Back then, he was a member of the Mae-zumo division, and he competed in two major tournaments.
That year in July, he became a member of the Jonokuchi division. For the Jonokuchi division, he competed at four major tournaments before he became a member of the Jonidan division.
He stayed in the Jonidan division for quite a while. For the Jonidan division, he competed at thirty-seven tournaments. Between May 2012 and September 2013, he was a member of the Sandanme division.
During this time, he competed in twenty-one tournaments. In total, Kenho Mitsuo competed at sixty-five tournaments.
Jia Wei Ding, known as Tominohana, is the sixth heaviest sumo wrestler ever. He was born in February 1972 in Keelung City in Taiwan. Standing at 186 cm/6’1″, he is also one of the biggest sumo wrestlers in the history of the sport.
At his heaviest, he weighed around 241 kg/532 lb. At the peak of his career, he reached the Jonidan 31 rank. For most of his career, he trained and competed for the Takadagawa stable. After many very successful years, Tominohana decided to retire in 1992.
He became a member of the Takadagawa stable with Maedaiko, who went on to become an extremely successful professional sumo wrestler.
Tominohana competed at his very first professional sumo wrestling tournaments in May of 1988. Despite his weight, he found it very difficult to achieve any meaningful results at the beginning of his career.
There years later, after his debut, Tominohana reached his career-high rank of Jonidan 31.
When it comes to his fighting style, he was definitely a yotsu wrestler as he preferred grappling fighting techniques over some more popular fighting methods, such as thrusting and pushing.
During his career, he competed for the Jonidan and Jonokuchi divisions. For the Jonidan division, he competed at nineteen tournaments, while for the Jonokuchi division, he competed at three tournaments.
7. Susanoumi Yoshitaka
Susanoumi Yoshitaka is one of the most famous Japanese sumo wrestlers. He was born in August 1972 in the small city of Chita, located in the Aichi Prefecture.
He is the seventh biggest sumo wrestler in the history of the sport standing at 183 cm/6’0″ and weighing around 240 kg/529 lb at his peak.
He had his debut back in 1988 when he became a member of the Kitanoumi stable. For the most part of his professional career, he trained and wrestled for the Kitanoumi stable. Five years after his debut, he joined the juryo division.
He had an excellent start after joining the Kitanoumi stable. He quickly rose up the ranks after winning seven consecutive matches. However, he lost to Ganyu in the jonidan yusho playoff match.
Despite losing to his stablemate, he advanced to the sandanme division in November of 1989. By May 1991, he was already a member of the makushita division.
After winning the major sandanme yusho tournament in July of 1992, Susanoumi Yoshitaka was promoted to the juryo division.
However, he was quickly demoted to his previous division after securing only three wins. Around the same time, he suffered a serious knee injury, and as a result, his sumo quickly deteriorated.
Following months of recovery, he scored a big win in July of 1996. In May of 1997, he won his second makushita yusho tournament with a perfect record.
As a result, he was directly promoted back to juryo. Susanoumi Yoshitaka retired in January 2003.
8. Musashimaru Kōyō
Standing at 192 cm/6’3”and weighing around 237 kg/522 lb, Musashimaru Kōyō is the eighth biggest sumo wrestler in the history of Japan’s national sport.
Musashimaru Kōyō was born Fiamalu Penitani. The fifty-year-old retired sumo wrestler was born in American Samoa in May of 1971.
When he was ten years old, he moved with his family to Hawaii. Eight years later, he decided to move to Japan to pursue his dream of becoming a professional sumo wrestler.
Aside from his passion for sumo wrestling, Musashimaru Kōyō was also interested in American football from a very young age.
After moving to Japan, he joined the Musashigawa stable on a trial basis. He debuted in 1989, and just two years later, he was promoted to makuuchi, the top-ranked sumo wrestling division.
In 1994, he was promoted to the ōzeki division. Around the same time, his sumo started to deteriorate. He remained an ōzeki for thirty-two tournaments.
Musashimaru Kōyō won his very first division championship title in July of 1994. He had a perfect record with fifteen wins and no losses.
In the next tournament held in 1995, he won eleven matches and missed the opportunity to be promoted to Yokozuna. He won his second division championship title in November of 1996 and his third and final championship title in January 1998.
Musashimaru Kōyō was promoted to Yokozuna after winning two tournaments in 1999. As a Yokozuna, he won two major titles that same year. Musashimaru Kōyō announced his retirement in October of 2004.
9. Akebono Tarō
Image courtesy of fantasybasho.com
Akebono Tarō is a former sumo wrestler born in the United States in May of 1969. He is not only one of the heaviest sumo wrestlers with a weight of 233 kg/515 lb but also one of the tallest, standing at 203 cm/6’8″.
Akebono Tarō spent his childhood in Hawaii, where he was born. During his high school years at Kaiser High School, he played basketball.
He attended Hawaii Pacific University after being given a basketball scholarship, but he decided to drop out and focus on other things.
At the time, he wanted to study hotel management but decided to focus on sumo wrestling instead.
He was introduced to sumo wrestling through television. After being introduced to Azumazeki Oyakata, who coached aspiring sumo wrestlers, he joined the Azumazeki stable. It was not long before he decided to travel to Japan.
Finally, in March of 1988, he had his debut. Like most other sumo wrestlers on this list, Akebono Tarō quickly rose through the major ranks.
By March 1990, he was already a member of the juryo division. That same year in September, he was promoted to the makuuchi division.
He competed alongside Daishōyama and Takatōriki ins his debut tournament for the division. In November of 1990, he got his very first Fighting Spirit special prize.
Shortly after, he got his gold star for winning a match against Asahifuji, who at the time was a Yokozuna. Akebono Tarō was promoted to ōzeki in 1992, while in January 1993, he was promoted to Yokozuna. In January of 2001, he announced his retirement.
10. Tokushinhō Motohisa
The tenth biggest sumo wrestler in the world is Tokushinhō Motohisa. Tokushinhō Motohisa was born in May of 1984 in Japan.
Standing at 193 cm/6’4″ and weighing around 224 kg/494 lb, Tokushinhō Motohisa definitely had an advantage over his opponents, thanks to his weight.
When he was in elementary school, he trained karate but decided to focus on sumo wrestling in his junior year of high school. After graduating from Mie High School, he enrolled at Asahi University.
This was when he competed at his very first sumo wrestling tournaments. He competed at the Western Japan College Tournament, where he finished in second place.
He also competed at the Inter-Collegiate Tournament and finished in the top sixteen.
In March of 2007, he became a member of the Kise stable.
His first major achievement came in March of 2009 when he won joined the makushita division and won the division championship title with an excellent six-to-one record.
In September of 2009, he was promoted to the higher-ranked juryo division. In the juryo division, he competed at twenty-seven tournaments.
He competed for the juryo division for the last time in November of 2015. Tokushinhō Motohisa officially retired in June 2020. He has participated in seventy-nine tournaments since his debut in 2007.