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Makunouchi Banzuke Page
Re: Average lifespan of a sumo wrestler?
According to a book written by a medical doctor working for Sumo Kyokai's
Sumo Clinic, Average former rikishi's life ends too prematurely compared
to average Japanese. Needless to say, the average Japanese life expectancy
includes those of rikishi and former rikishi.
In the chapter 10 "a path to longer life" in his book "Rikishi's medical report
from last 100 years of sumo (Rikishi 100-nen no Karute)", Dr. Hayashi said
that in the earlier years in the last 100 years, mainly Meiji, rikishi's life
span was actually longer than average Japanese. Rikishi's were early 50's,
while men's average life expectancy was early 40's in Japan.
But while average Japanese men's life expectancy grew to mid 70's, average
former rikishi dies sill around mid 50's. The difference is about 20 years.
That is one of his motivation of his books.
In his book "Checking Rikishi (Rikishi wo Miru)", he describes many typical
health problems occur to rikishi and former rikishi.
None of these books are available at regular book stores in Japan any longer.
I found them at two different used book stores in Tokyo.