Skip to main content


Do you want to know about the tallest sumo wrestler in the world? Born as Chadwick Haheo Rowan in Hawaii, Akebono Tarō is the tallest sumo wrestler ever in sports. He reached the top rank of Yokozuna, being the first non-Japanese to do that.

Akebono is really tall at 2.03 meters (6 feet 8 inches) and won 11 championships with his strong fighting style. He tried kickboxing and mixed martial arts, not just in sumo, showing his love for tough sports. Even after retiring, Akebono’s story of strength and success lives on. Let’s explore everything in depth about him.

Akebono Tarō Biography

Akebono Tarō Full Name Chadwick Haheo Rowan
Date of Birth May 8, 1969
Akebono Tarō Age 54
Place of Birth Waimanalo, Hawaii, USA
Akebono Tarō Nationality American-Japanese
Akebono Tarō Height 6 feet 8 inches
Akebono Tarō Weight 514 lb (233 kg)
Akebono Tarō Zodiac Sign Taurus
Akebono Tarō Profession(s) Sumo Wrestler, Mixed Martial Artist, Kickboxer, Professional Wrestler
Years Active 1988-2001
Akebono Tarō Sumo Championships 11
Akebono Tarō Net Worth $1.5 Million

Akebono Tarō was a sumo and professional wrestler born in Hawaii as Chadwick Haheo Rowan. He started sumo in Japan in 1988, trained by Takamiyama, and reached the top division in 1990. Big and massive, Akebono created history by becoming the first wrestler not born in Japan to achieve the highest rank of yokozuna.

He had a big rivalry with Japanese wrestlers Takanohana and Wakanohana, making sumo popular in the early 1990s. In his eight years as yokozuna, Akebono won eleven championships and was a runner-up thirteen times despite dealing with injuries.

How Tall Is Akebono Tarō? Akebono Tarō Height And Weight

Tallest Sumo Wrestler

Akebono Tarō was really tall at 6 feet and 8 inches (2.03 meters) and very heavy at 514 pounds (233 KG). He was a huge sumo wrestler and one of the biggest ever in the history of Sumo Wrestling.

Akebono Tarō Family

Akebono Tarō father name is Randolph and his mother’s name is Janice Rowan. He has a brother named Ola Rowan. Akebono Tarō wife name is Christiane Reiko Kalina and they have 3 kids; Two sons and a daughter.

Akebono Tarō Father Randolph
Akebono Tarō Mother Janice Rowan
Akebono Tarō Siblings Ola Rowan
Akebono Tarō Wife Christiane Reiko Kalina
Akebono Tarō Children 3 (Two sons and a daughter)

Who Is Akebono Tarō And His Early Life

Born on May 8 1969, Chad Rowan has two younger brothers, including Ola, who briefly did sumo. Chad did well in basketball at Kaiser High School, becoming an All-Star center. Hawaii Pacific University offered him a basketball scholarship, but he did not play during his freshman year.

Akebono Tarō Children

Akebono Tarō Career In Sumo Wrestling

Chad Rowan was first drawn to hotel management, but after meeting Azumazeki Oyakata through a family acquaintance, he became interested in sumo. Overcoming concerns about Rowan’s height, he joined the Azumazeki stable in Japan in 1988, adopting the name Akebono, meaning “New Dawn.”

His sumo career began in March 1988, and he quickly rose through the ranks, achieving notable records. He was awarded the Fighting Spirit trophy in November 1990, and after defeating Yokozuna Asahifuji in January 1991, he obtained his first gold star.

Akebono Tarō Challenges & Achievements

In 1992, Akebono had mixed records in sumo, but in January, he stood out with a 13–2 record. Two tournaments later, he won his first top-division championship in May, getting promoted to ōzeki. He had an injury in the summer, but he went on to win titles in the months of November 1992 and January of 1993. His promotion was special because the yokozuna rank had been empty for eight months, and he became the first foreign Yokozuna.

Akebono Tarō Wife

You can also read about Tallest WWE Wrestlers.

Akebono Tarō Personal Life

Akebono, born to Randy and Janice, became a Japanese citizen in 1996, changing his name to Akebono Tarō. He got engaged to Yu Aihara in 1996 but broke it off. He declared his engagement to Christiane Reiko Kalina in 1998, and the two went on to marry and have two sons and a daughter.

He was admitted to the hospital in 2017 for a leg ailment that turned out to be acute heart failure. He went into a coma, lost weight, and had trouble walking. As of 2019, he couldn’t use his legs and had memory loss.

Akebono Tarō Aggressive Fighting Style

Akebono was among the tallest and heaviest sumo wrestlers, widely known for his aggressiveness. He overcame the challenge of long legs by intense training and using his long reach for powerful thrusts. His dominant moves included oshi-dashi, a push-out, and tsuki-dashi, the thrust-out.

Akebono Tarō Siblings

As his career progressed, he adapted, frequently grabbing opponents’ belts and utilizing yori-kiri, forcing them out with his weight. He favored a left-hand outside, right-hand inside grip, employing uwatenage, an overarm throw, with his left hand.

Akebono Tarō Emotional Exit From Sumo

Akebono got injured again in 2000, and instead of going through a tough recovery, he chose to retire. After retiring, he became a coach in the Japan Sumo Association, working with his old mentor at the Azumazeki stable. Akebono coached Asashōryū, a wrestler from Mongolia, helping him become a yokozuna. Besides coaching, Akebono appeared in TV ads and opened a restaurant called ZUNA.

Akebono Tarō Kickboxing & Mixed Martial Arts

After his sumo career, Akebono tried kickboxing in 1998. Even though it was a new challenge with a different fighting style, he trained hard and had exciting matches. He won a few fights but also experienced tough losses. Akebono retired from kickboxing in 2002, but it was a fun adventure for him and his fans.

After kickboxing, Akebono tried mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2003. MMA combines different fighting styles like kickboxing, wrestling, and judo. He faced skilled opponents, and although he didn’t win every fight, he showed a lot of heart and courage. Akebono retired from MMA in 2005, leaving a lasting impression on the sport.

Akebono Tarō’s Net Worth 2023

Akebono Tarō’s exact net worth is not publicly known, but it is estimated to be around $1.5 million to $5 million. He earned a significant amount of money during his sumo career, winning prize money and endorsements. After retiring from sumo, he continued to earn income through kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and various business ventures. However, he has also faced some financial challenges in recent years.

The Tallest Sumo Wrestler

Interesting Facts About The Tallest Sumo Wrestler

  • Akebono was the tallest Yokozuna (grand champion) in sumo history, standing at 2.03 meters (6 ft 8 in).
  • Akebono won 11 championships, with 4 in the top makuuchi division.
  • Akebono, from Hawaii, was a trailblazer as the first non-Japanese wrestler to become Yokozuna, opening doors for others.
  • In 1993, he made a record with the highest winning percentage in one tournament (90.9%), which still stands today.
  • After quitting sumo, Akebono tried kickboxing and mixed martial arts, displaying his love for combat sports.

You can also read about Tallest Wrestler Of All Time.


Akebono Tarō, born Chadwick Haheo Rowan in Hawaii, was a big name in sumo and more. He was the first non-Japanese wrestler to become Yokozuna, a top rank, setting the path for others. His tough fighting style helped him win 11 championships. Akebono didn’t stop at sumo; he took on kickboxing and mixed martial arts, showing his love for combat sports. Even though he faced challenges after retiring, Akebono remains a symbol of strength and success in professional sports.

If you want read more about Tallest Centers In NBA History / Top 10 Tallest NBA Players and many more articles kindly click the link at Tallestly.


How Old Is Akebono Tarō?

He was born on May 8, 1969. So he is 54 years old in 2023.

Where Is Akebono Tarō From?

He is from Waimānalo, Hawaii, United States.

Leave a Reply