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Re: Average lifespan of a sumo wrestler?

> Many of my collegues (who are not sumo-fans like I am) are sure that 
> a sumo wrestler dies relatively young. Is this true? What is the 
> average lifespan of a high-ranking sumo wrestler?
> I am new to this list and I that hope this question has not been 
> asked (or answered) many times before. I have read some literature and 
> FAQs but found no answer.
> Pekka Henttonen

I believe that the average lifespan is a few years shorter than the
average Japanese male (I guess it to be somewhere around 70-72).
However, there is much more advice to retired rikishi on dieting
down to a more normal weight and to carrying on exercise.  Hence the
differences are probably shrinking. This is part of the Sumo Kabu
problem at the moment.  Most oyakata are now making it to retirement
(65) hence there are less stock per generation of rikishi, pushing
the price of stocks that come onto the market to astronomical levels 
and encouraging the Japanese tax authorities to investigate where all 
the money came from.

My personal view is that rikishi like Chiyanofuji, Kyokudozan, and
Mainoumi are as likely to live as long as a normal male (or perhaps
longer). However, rikishi such as Onokuni, Konishiki and Kotobeppu
may have some what shorter lives on average, especially if they
don't -- or can't -- get their weight under control before their
fitness drops off.  



Dr. Peter J. Parbrook
University of Sheffield
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Mappin Street
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