Tuesday, 13th September 2011
Former sumo star sports police badge
A former sumo wrestler who reached the fourth highest division at the sandanme level retired from the sport and decided to pursue a career in the Japanese police force instead.
Known as Terusegawa during his sumo days, Kuniaki Shodai made the career switch after suffering a series of injuries that made it unsuitable for him to continue in such a physically demanding sport, the Mainichi Daily reported.
Although the 32-year-old had hoped to achieve the highest ranked makuuchi level, he soon accepted this possibility was in jeopardy and took on board his policeman friend's advice to join the force.
His family members were no strangers to the profession either, as both the sport star's younger brothers were already donning the uniform.
He told the news provider: "I thought I could still use my physical strength for other good purposes. The mind and body training I underwent as a sumo wrestler were still useful."
Weighing 128kg during his sporting career, the ex-sumo wrestler has shed an impressive 25kg since joining the force, largely due to long endurance runs officers are expected to partake in.
Although Mr Shodai was not initially enamoured by the idea of becoming a policeman, he quickly warmed to the challenge and has been working under the title at Tokyo Wangan Police Station for nearly two years.
In his spare time, Mr Shodai still likes to show his support for the sport by going to watch sumo matches and cheering for his former colleagues who are still battling it out in the ring.
Becoming a policeman was just the beginning of his new dream, however, and Mr Shodai intends to continue serving his community through the use of both his physical and mental strength.
His next aim is to be promoted to detective from where he can really begin delving into the causes of crime and furthering his positive contribution to making the streets of Tokyo a safer place for everyone.
Mr Shodai was born in Kumamoto, a prefecture on the island of Kyushu, on July 5th 1979.
Posted by Susan Ballion