Salevaa Atisanoe, former sumotori Konishiki, was the first foreigner to reach the rank of ozeki (champion) in Japan’s national sport. He began his professional sumo career in 1982 and retired in 1997 at the 2nd highest rank in the sport.

Atisanoe decided to pursue his future in sumo after being scouted by Jesse Kuhaulua (Takamiyama), also a Hawai’i born sumo wrestler. He won his first 19 matches in the professional ranks and was promoted to Sekiwake (junior champion) in a record-setting 823 days.

He retired after the November, 1997 tournament having reached 733 career wins.

At his heaviest weight Atisanoe tipped the scales at 612 pounds.

In 1998 Atisanoe was awarded the Tokyo Citizen’s Cultural Medal of Honor and in the same year received the UNESCO International Fair Play Award.

Atisanoe founded the Konishiki Kids Foundation whose aim is to promote exchange between Hawaiian and Japanese children.

He graduated from University High School in Honolulu, Hawai’i in 1982.

BORN 1963

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