Kitataiki Akeyoshi (北太樹 明義, born 5 October 1982) is a professional sumo wrestler from Machida City, Tokyo, Japan. Making his debut in March 1998, he reached the top division for the first time in September 2008, returning in January 2010. He has won two second division jūryō championships in his career. His highest rank to date has been maegashira 2.
As a boy Sanuki participated in swimming, soccer and some judo as an elementary school student. His only experience with sumo during this time was one national children's sumo competition. He went on to play basketball in junior high school. However, starting from his elementary school days he made several visits to the stable of Kitanoumi, who was an acquaintance of his father. Deciding he wanted something different he chose to join Kitanoumi stable, later renamed to Yamahibiki stable after junior high school instead of going on to high school.
He joined Kitanoumi stable and made his professional debut in March 1998. He spent over nine years ranked in the lower divisions, but finally achieved promotion to jūryō in July 2007. He was the first wrestler from his stable in nine years (following Kitazakura) to achieve sekitori status. After a year in jūryō he gained promotion to makuuchi in September 2008 where he lasted two tournaments before being relegated back to jūryō, restricted by a serious injury to his left knee.
Another year in jūryō, ending with his first career yūshō or division championship after a three-way playoff with Kōryū and Tokusegawa, put him back in makuuchi for the second time in January 2010. There he produced his first kachi-koshi in the top division, scoring 9–6 despite aggravating his knee injury. This saw him promoted to maegashira 10 in March and he produced another strong performance with a 10–5 score. For the May 2010 tournament he was in the upper maegashira ranks for the first time at #4. In this tournament he defeated ōzeki Kotomitsuki but failed to secure a winning record; losing his last three matches to finish on 7–8. A 9–6 score in September saw him promoted to a new highest rank of maegashira 3 for the November tournament. He scored only 5–10 in that basho but returned to the maegashira 3 rank for the May 2011 Technical Examination Tournament. There he beat struggling ōzeki Kotoōshū but won only two other matches. He returned to maegashira 3 in January 2012, but was again out of his depth and scored just 2–13.
Kitataiki reached a new highest rank of maegashira 2 in May 2013, scoring 4–11. He generally maintained a consistent enough performance to remain in the mid-level top division ranks, but he has yet to win a special prize. January 2015 saw him back in the jūryō division for the first time since 2009. He quickly bounced back and won his second jūryō championship in January 2015 to earn re-promotion to the top division for the March 2015 tournament. However, a succession of losing scores saw him lose top division status again in March 2016 and fall to the bottom of the jūryō division for the September 2016 tournament. He was finally demoted to the makushita division in September 2017 after 61 tournaments as a sekitori.
Kitataiki has not missed a bout since his professional debut and has the longest streak of consecutive career matches amongst active wrestlers, with 1068. He overtook the previous holder Yoshiazuma in the July 2017 tournament.
Kitataiki is a yotsu-sumo specialist, preferring to grip his opponent's mawashi with a right hand outside, left hand inside position (hidari-yotsu). His most common winning kimarite is yori-kiri or force out, closely followed by oshi-dashi or push out.
His father came up with his current ring name, which he took after two years in sumo. This shikona combines the "kita" of Kitanoumi and "taiki" meaning large tree and symbolizing strength and growth. Kitataiki is married, and the couple have a son born in September 2015.