Taro Akebono Dies Of Heart Failure At 54 In Japan!

Taro Akebono Dies Of Heart Failure At 54
Taro Akebono Dies Of Heart Failure At 54

In the world of sumo wrestling, there’s sad news. Akebono Taro, who was born in Hawaii and became a famous sumo wrestler in Japan, has passed away at 54 because of heart problems.

His life story is one of hard work and success, from growing up in Hawaii to becoming a champion in Japan. As we think about his time in the ring and the impact he had on Sumo, we remember Akebono Taro as a true champion who will always inspire others.

Taro Akebono Dies Of Heart Failure At 54

One of the greatest sumo wrestlers of all time and a former grand champion, Akebono Taro was born in Hawaii. He was 54 years old. He was the first wrestler not of Japanese descent to become a “yokozuna,” or grand champion.

The family released a statement saying, “It is with sadness that we announce Akebono Taro died of heart failure earlier this month while receiving care at a hospital in the Tokyo area.”

In an email to The Associated Press, his wife Christine Rowan stated that he passed away “within the past week,” but she did not provide any more information.

Taro Akebono Dies Of Heart Failure At 54
Taro Akebono Dies Of Heart Failure At 54

She stated, “I had to tend to personal matters that needed to be done prior to publicly announcing my husband’s death.”

Akebono was born Chad George Ha’aheo Rowan and was raised in Honolulu on the rural side of the Koolau mountains. In the late 1980s, he relocated to Tokyo, where he won his maiden grand championship in 1993.

Reportedly weighing 500 pounds and standing 6 feet 8 inches tall, he was a true giant during the height of his career. On social media platform X, Rahm Emanuel, the US ambassador to Japan, expressed his sorrow on the passing of Akebono Taro.

Emanuel posted, “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Akebono, a giant in the world of sumo, a proud Hawaiian, and a bridge between the United States and Japan.”

“When Akebono became the first-ever foreign-born grand champion, sumo’s highest rank, in 1993, he opened the door for other foreign wrestlers to find success in the sport. Throughout his 35 years in Japan, Akebono strengthened the cultural ties between the United States and his adopted homeland by uniting us all through sport.”

Akebono retired in 2001 after winning eleven major tournaments. According to the family’s statement, there will be a “private celebration of his life” with friends and relatives. His wife Christine, daughter, and two boys survive him.

The statement read, “During this time of mourning, the family kindly asks for privacy.”

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