Shikona (fighting name) of Sumo wrestler Yoshifumi Fukuzono, born February 2, 1963 in Kagoshima, Japan.
One of the most popular rikishi in Sumo history, Terao's wrestling style has always been unique. The only other wrestler to even approximate it has been former yokozuna Chiyonofuji.
Trained at the Izutsubeya ("Izutsu stable"), Terao made his début match in July, 1979. He became juryo in July, 1984, at the Nagoya Basho. The following year, in March, 1985, he reached the makuuchi division, and the upper ranks (sanyaku) in March, 1989. He retired following the Aki Basho in September, 2002.
Terao has achieved an impressive record:
- for a career total of 860 wins, 938 losses and 58 draws. He was the oldest rikishi
in Sumo in his time, with the longest professional career. In interviews, he has claimed not to like Sumo, and to consider it just another career.
Tall (185 cm) and, by Sumo standards, slender (114-116 kg), he depended on speed and ingenuity. He topped in the division at sekiwake at the 1989 Haru Basho, and dropped ever since, finishing in juryo. Even when he was slowing down, he was still a joy to watch, on the rare occasions when we in the West got the chance to see bouts by rikishi below maegashira rank.
Watching Terao in a Sumo bout, in slow-motion replay, was an amazing experience - even to the untrained eye, it was obvious that Terao continually adjusted his tactics to match every move of his opponent, with great speed (in the old days, the phrase "lightning speed" would have been appropriate - in the latter part of his career he was merely very fast).
His speed meshed well with his favoured techniques. He preferred the tsuppari attack (slapping attack to the opponent's head) and the hatakikomi (grabbing the opponent's head or limbs and attempting to pull them off balance).
It was always speculated that when Terao retired, he might forego becoming the oyakata (trainer) of his own heya like his brother Sakahoko (now Izutsu oyakata), and instead turn to the family business of running a restaurant.
In the end, however, Terao chose to remain within the ranks of sumo. He became a toshiyori (an elder of the sumo society), taking the name Shikoroyama, and runs Shikoroyamabeya. In January 2006, his stable achieved its first great success when Homasho became a sekitori.
Many thanks to sekicho for helping with the Unicode for the Kanji of Terao's shikona.