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Chad Rowan

Japanese sumo wrestler

Died when: 54 years 329 days (658 months)
Star Sign: Taurus


Chad Rowan

Akebono Taro (Japanese: ? ??, Hepburn: Akebono Taro, born Chadwick Haheo Rowan; 8 May 1969) is an American-born Japanese former professional sumo wrestler and professional wrestler from Waimanalo, Hawaii.

Joining sumo in Japan in 1988, he was trained by pioneering Hawaiian wrestler Takamiyama and rose swiftly up the rankings, reaching the top division in 1990.

After two consecutive yusho or tournament championships in November 1992 and January 1993 he made history by becoming the first non-Japanese-born wrestler ever to reach yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo.

One of the tallest and heaviest wrestlers ever, Akebono's rivalry with the young Japanese hopefuls, Takanohana and Wakanohana, was a big factor in the increased popularity of sumo at tournament venues and on TV in the early 1990s.

During his eight years at the yokozuna rank, Akebono won a further eight tournament championships, for a career total of eleven, and was a runner-up on thirteen other occasions, despite suffering several serious injuries.

Although his rival yokozuna Takanohana won more tournaments in this period, their individual head-to-heads remained very close.Akebono became a Japanese citizen in 1996, and after retiring in 2001 he worked as a coach at Azumazeki stable before leaving the Sumo Association in 2003.

After an unsuccessful period as a K-1 fighter, he became a professional wrestler.In All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) he has been a two-time Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, two-time World Tag Team Champion, and two-time All Asia Tag Team Champion, as well as winning the 2015 Champion Carnival.

In 2017, as a result of health problems, he became inactive from professional wrestling.

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