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These 13 Photos From A Former Sumo Grand Champion's Life Depict What Sumo Wrestling In The '70s Was Really Like

The Japanese sumo wrestler and professional wrestler Hiroshi Wajima, who passed away earlier this month, was known for his "golden left arm."

The former sumo grand champion Hiroshi Wajima passed away October 8, 2018, at the age of 70. Wajima was known for being sumo's 54th yokozuna, which is the highest rank in sumo wrestling.

After his professional debut in sumo wrestling in 1970, Wajima achieved the rank of yokozuna in just three and a half years. He was known for wearing a golden mawashi (a type of loincloth worn by sumo wrestlers), and was famous for his left shitatenage (underarm throw) — which was nicknamed as his "Golden Left Arm."

He and one of his most prominent rivals, the yokozuna Kitanoumi, helped popularize sumo wrestling in an era known as the Rinko period. To give you an idea of what sumo was really like in the '70s and '80s, here are 13 photos from Wajima's career:

時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
輪島(1970年)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
横綱北の富士(奥)を破って優勝を決めた輪島=東京・蔵前国技館(1973年) / Via Jiji Press

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寄り切りで全勝優勝を決めた大関・輪島(1973年05月27日)= / Via Jiji Press
千代の富士を寄り切る輪島(1980年5月)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
同時に大関昇進し、握手する貴ノ花(左)と輪島(東京)(1972年09月27日)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
もちをつく大関・輪島(右)と大関・貴ノ花(1972年12月)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press

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豆まきする大関・貴ノ花(右)と大関・輪島(1973年1月)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
全勝優勝を果たし、パレードでファンの声援に応える大関・輪島(中央)(1973年05月27日)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
一服する横綱・輪島(1978年6月)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
土俵入りする横綱・輪島(1980年5月) / Via Jiji Press

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輪島の引退式(1981年10月)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press
プロレスラーに転向した輪島。悪役のタイガー・ジェット・シンを相手に健闘(1986年11月)=時事通信 / Via Jiji Press

This post was translated from Japanese.

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