Akebono Tarō

Martial Artist

1969 –


Who is Akebono Tarō?

Akebono Tarō is a retired American-born sumo wrestler from Waimānalo, Hawaii. Joining the professional sport in Japan in 1988, he was trained by pioneering Hawaiian sumo wrestler Takamiyama and rose swiftly up the rankings, reaching the top division in 1990. After two consecutive yusho or tournament championships in November 1992 and January 1993 he made history by becoming the first non-Japanese-born wrestler ever to reach yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo.

One of the tallest and heaviest wrestlers ever, Akebono's rivalry with the young Japanese hopefuls, Takanohana and Wakanohana, was a big factor in the increased popularity of sumo at tournament venues and on TV in the early 1990s. During his eight years at the yokozuna rank, Akebono won a further eight tournament championships, for a career total of eleven, and was a runner-up on thirteen other occasions, despite suffering several serious injuries. Although his rival yokozuna Takanohana won more tournaments in this period, their individual head-to-heads remained very close.

Akebono became a Japanese citizen in 1996, and after retiring in 2001 he worked as a coach at Azumazeki stable before leaving the Sumo Association in 2003. After an unsuccessful period as a K-1 fighter, he is now a professional wrestler, signed to the All Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. He is currently in his first reign as the Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion.

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May 8, 1969
Also known as
  • Tarō Akebono
  • Taikai
  • Chad Rowan
  • Chad Haaheo Rowan
  • Rowan Chad
  • Monster Bono
  • 曙 太郎
  • 大海
  • チャド・ジョージ・ハヘオ・ローウェン
  • ロワン チェド
  • Pacific Islands American
  • Native Hawaiians
  • Japan
  • Henry J. Kaiser High School

on July 23, 2013


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