A recent survey from Central Research Service Inc looked at popular sports, their 19th such annual survey, which found much to my surprise that sumo had lost little of its popularity despite the match-fixing scandal.

Demographics

Between the 7th and 18th of July 2011 4,000 adult members of the public were randomly selected, and 1,269 of them, or 31.7%, agreed to answer the questionnaire in face-to-face interviews. More specific demographic information was not provided.

I haven’t a clue of the name of my favourite some wrestler – let me look it up – ah yes, Takanoyama (High/Proud Mountain). He became my favourite when I saw him competing at the recent basho and took pity on the wee diddy.

See more about him here.

Research results

For the following question, “none in particular” has been eliminated.

Q1: Who is your most favourite sportsperson, active or retired? (Sample size=889, top 15 answers)

Rank   2011
N=899
2010
N=956
2009
N=924
2008
N=921
2007
N=936
1 Ichiro Suzuki (baseball) 19.5% 24.5% 30.6% 24.9% 17.2%
2 Ryo Ishikawa (golf) 17.1% 9.6% 5.5% 1.4%
3 Yuto Nagatomo (football) 4.0%
4 Hakuho (sumo) 3.3% 1.6% 1.1% 0.7%
5 Shigeo Nagajima (baseball) 3.2% 3.9% 4.0% 4.2% 5.7%
6 Mao Asada (figure skating) 2.9% 12.1% 2.8% 2.3% 2.5%
7 Sadoro Oh (baseball) 2.4% 2.0% 2.9% 2.1% 4.5%
8 Kaio (sumo) 2.2% 1.1%
10 Homare Sawa (football) 1.6%
11 Masahiro Tanaka (baseball) 1.4% 0.5% 1.7% 0.9% 1.0%
12= Kimiko Date-Krumm (tennis) 1.3% 0.5% 2.1% 1.8%
12= Ai Miyazato (golf) 1.3% 0.6% 2.2%
14= Yu Darvish (baseball) 1.1% 0.5% 0.9% 0.8%
14= Makoto Hasebu (football) 1.1%
14= Keisuke Honda (football) 1.1%

By sex, males chose Ichiro over Ryo-kun, while the figures were reversed for women. Across all age groups Ichiro and Ryo-kun were the top two by a considerable distance.

Q2: What is your most favourite professional sport? (Sample size=1,269)

  2011
N=1,269
2010
N=1,315
2009
N=1,244
Baseball 45.1% 50.5% 50.8%
Football 28.9% 17.8% 21.6%
Golf 19.9% 17.4% 15.5%
Sumo 15.1% 19.1% 19.4%
Boxing 7.7% 9.5% 9.1%
Car racing (Formula 1, etc) 7.7% 7.0% 6.8%
Professional wrestling 3.1% 3.5% 3.5%
Other 5.7% 6.0% 6.8%
None in particular 22.0% 21.1% 21.8%

Unlike Q1, this question included the “none in particular” count.

Q3: Who is your most favourite active sumo wrestler? (Sample size=1,269, top 10 answers)

Rank   2011
N=1,269
2010
N=1,315
2009
N=1,244
2008
N=1,261
2007
N=1,352
1 Hakuho 34.1% 31.2% 26.7% 25.7% 10.8%
2 Kaio 23.1% 16.9% 9.2% 7.5% 10.0%
3 Takamisakari 9.1% 13.2% 14.1% 12.8% 12.7%
4 Koto-oshu 4.9% 8.1% 9.1% 18.9% 9.5%
5 Kisenosato 3.9% 4.0% 3.1% 5.6% 2.0%
6 Baruto 3.6% 18.4% 1.1%
7 Harumafuji 2.1% 5.6% 12.5% 4.0% 2.9%
8= Homasho 1.5% 0.9% 0.6% 1.0%
8= Goeido 1.5% 2.3% 1.9%
10 Kotoshogiku 1.4% 0.7% 1.3% 0.7%

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