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Georgian sumoist became an idol in Japan

His training begins at six in the morning, and he eats only twice a day. Every day is scheduled by the clock and the mode does not go astray, like a well-established mechanism. He is fluent in Japanese and feels part of this ancient culture. Despite the fact that the Georgians. Levan Gorgadze is known in the country of samurai under the name Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi and is very revered. After all, he is one of the best sumo wrestlers and this year even won the Emperor’s Cup, which is very cool. Here Levan became “his”, moreover, an idol.

From sambo to sumo

Gorgadze was born in 1987 in the village of Dzegvi of the Mtskheta region of Georgia into a family of winemakers. From childhood, he was engaged in various types of martial arts – judo, sambo and Georgian national wrestling. A talented guy has repeatedly won titles in major competitions, including silver at the Olympics, the European Junior Championships, and victory at the Georgian Championship. And then he got carried away and sumo – he began to watch television broadcasts of matches and train himself …

For the first time Levan visited Japan in 2004 and was simply conquered by this beautiful country and its ancient culture. In addition, in Levan’s homeland at that time there were difficult economic problems, athletes earned very little, and moving to Japan and participating in sumo battles promised great prospects both from a financial point of view and from a professional one.

Remaining in Japan, he was completely immersed in the culture of this country and in the art of sumo wrestling. /Photo:newsgeorgia.ge

Remaining in Japan, he was completely immersed in the culture of this country and in the art of sumo wrestling. /Photo:newsgeorgia.ge

A year later, the young man won two silver medals in this exotic sport at the World Junior Championships in Tokyo. Since then, most of his life has been spent in this country.

Levan – Strong Heart

The wrestler learned Japanese very quickly and joined the new environment. He thoroughly studied not only the history and culture of sumo, but also the traditions of Japan. And he likes local food (meat, fish, rice). In Japan, the Georgian athlete was given the name Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi, which translates as “strong heart”.

I must say, Levan is not the first foreigner to become a professional sumo player. But, perhaps, only he managed to achieve such unprecedented successes and such popular love in this sport, being not a Japanese at all. Behind his shoulders about 40 battles won. And this year he won the Emperor’s Cup very honorable for sumo wrestlers, and, ahead of schedule. In this regard, the Japanese Sumo Association awarded the Georgian wrestler the title of “Ozeki”, and this is the first Georgian to receive such an honor. This high title, which he received in spite of the fact that before that he had been in the lowest rank, is considered the second largest in the hierarchy of this sport after the title of “yokozuna”, and Levan, of course, has real chances to get him, and therefore, to enter this Japanese elite.

Levan is the hero of the program on Japanese television. Fluent in Japanese with leading. True, with a Georgian accent. / Shot from a local television program

Levan is the hero of the program on Japanese television. Fluent in Japanese with leading. True, with a Georgian accent. / Shot from a local television program

The Japanese learned about Georgia and Georgian wine

Despite the fact that in Japan, Georgian Tochinoshin Tsuyoshi is very comfortable and everyone here loves him, he, of course, misses his country very much. A sumoist often comes to Georgia, while compatriots and fellow villagers always support him during competitions. After all, he is the pride not only of Japan, but above all of his native country. Levan does not renounce his roots, but, on the contrary, emphasizes at every opportunity that he is in favor of Georgia.

By the way, one funny moment is connected with the origin of Tsuyoshi. If at first the country advocated by the sumoist was declared as “Georgia” in Japan, then it began to be spoken in English – “Georgia”, and therefore many Japanese people thought for a long time that he was an American from the state of the same name. Fans did not even suspect that in the world there is a state with the same name. But now, thanks to the popularity of Levan and his frequent references to a distant homeland, in the country of samurai they know that there is such a beautiful mountainous country.

After Levan’s victory in the Emperor’s Cup on local television, they continually show stories about him and his family, or simply broadcasts about Georgia (but always with reference to the famous sumoist). And Georgian red wine can now be found on the shelves of many Japanese supermarkets, and it is becoming increasingly popular here.

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