July 18, 1993 |
Grand champion Akebono beat fellow American Konishiki on Saturday to improve his record to 13-1 and protect his lead in the Nagoya Grand Sumo tournament with one day remaining. Akebono's closest rivals, at 12-2, were Takanohana and his older brother Wakanohana. Akebono wrestles Takanohana today, and Wakanohana will take on Konishiki. Akebono, whose real name is Chad Rowan, was in control throughout his bout with Konishiki.
February 11, 1998 |
To hear the tabloids tell it, Japan is deeply shocked by the news that American-born sumo champion Akebono will marry a 25-year-old Japanese-American woman who is expecting his child. "Pregnant! Beautiful 25-Year-Old Half," screamed the headline in the Nikkan Sports newspaper Tuesday, announcing the 516-pound Akebono's engagement to Christine Reiko Kalina, daughter of an American serviceman and his Japanese wife.
June 13, 1996 |
Akebono's belly is a majestic thing, a rolling, heaving, wobbling mass of blubber. When he stomps around the sumo ring, his great middle jiggles from his jowls to his monstrous butt, barely covered by his loincloth. And the women go wild. The 26-year-old Hawaiian is something of a sex symbol in Japan, even though he weighs 462 pounds. The Japanese tabloids chronicle his love life with the kind of breathless frenzy that People magazine reserves for Brad Pitt. Countless teen girls idolize him.
May 23, 1993 |
Grand champion Akebono defeated fellow American Konishiki to tie for the lead with one day left in the 15-day Summer Grand Sumo tournament at Tokyo. Akebono, whose real name is Chad Rowan, grabbed Konishiki by his belt and rolled him on the dirt as the 570-pound plus Konishiki lost balance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 1993
In the arcane world of Japan's sumo wrestling, history has been made. The first foreigner, or gaijin, has become grand champion of a sport unique to Japan. And he is an American, at that. Chad Rowan, 23, whose professional name is Akebono, was unanimously recommended to become the grand champion, or yokozuna, by an advisory panel to sumo's ruling body.
January 27, 1993 |
He grew up in a rough Hawaiian neighborhood, caught chickens for the slaughterhouse as a sideline and has never once been to the U.S. mainland. But now Akebono, otherwise known as Chad Rowan, 23, has won fame, fortune and international praise by doing what no foreigner has ever done before: He has reached the pinnacle of Japan's arcane sumo world by becoming the first foreign yokozuna , or grand champion, in the sport's 2,000-year history.