Former yokozuna Takanohana, who retired from sumo in 2018 as a stablemaster after a long tussle with the Japan Sumo Association, is making a comeback, this time to promote the sport overseas.

The popular former wrestler, whose real name is Koji Hanada, announced on May 19 that he established the organization “Takanohana Dojo” (Takanohana training hall) to spread sumo to other countries.

“I want to convey the traditional Japanese culture (sumo) by visiting various areas of the world,” the 46-year-old said at a news conference at a hotel in Tokyo.

In the May 19 news conference, Hanada said, “When I was a stablemaster, I was concentrating on raising wrestlers. But from now on, I want to meet positively with people who don’t know sumo or have never seen it.”

He plans to visit countries such as Italy and the United States and convey the history of sumo and how to train one's body to compete in the dohyo.

In October, Takanohana retired from the JSA, citing conflicts with the association as the reason. The wrestlers who belonged to the Takanohana stable, including then komusubi Takakeisho, now an ozeki, moved to the Chiganoura stable.

In the news conference, reporters asked Hanada about the chances of him entering the political arena and running in a national election.

However, he ruled out the possibility, saying, “I will not become a politician” and “I will not run (in an election).”