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  1. 35 points
    Tokushoryu's yusho full Interview, I did my best but far from perfect. Question guy : This is your first the yusho, congratulations ! Tokushoryu : Thank you very much ! (bows in every direction) Question guy : What do you think of the athmosphere of the Kokugikan right now ? Tokushoryu : I am just wondering, is it ok for me to get the yusho ? Question guy : If we look at that last bout I think everyone would agree you deserve it ! Tokushoryu : I appreciate very much if people are happy for me Question guy : You were M17W last rank on the makuuchi banzuke... Tokushoryu : yes I was but I didn't feel scared, I just felt I just have to give my best and to keep going. Q : Around the midway point of the basho people probably talked to you about getting the yusho right ? T : I wasn't thinking about it at all, well that's a lie... I was thinking about it quite a lot ! (laugh) Q: Even when you were sole leader you declared "I'm not thinking about the yusho", so that was a lie ? T: Yes aha I was practising for this interview. Q: What were your impressions when you saw you were paired with Takakeisho to fight in the musubi T: Well, I just kept telling myself that it was enough to keep going while giving all I have, enough if I manage a good tachiai. I did that all basho long so I approched senshuraku with the same feeling. Q: During the jikan mae part of the pre bout ritual we saw you drink a bit of water... T: Yeah, my throat was quite dry (laugh) Q: Were you thinking 'if I win this one I am champion' ? T: I didn't think about that, I just thought let's concentrate on that one and see how it goes (probably a lie too...) Q: you god a migi yotsu grip and relentlessly attacked ozeki Takakeisho, it was probably your best bout this tournament T: yes I got my grip and attacked, Takakeisho was moving around the dohyo so I thought it could be dangerous but I thought I had no choice but to keep going. Q: Did something give you strength you in that dangerous moment ? T: My mentor and coach at Kindai university, Mr.Itô passed away during the basho (tears). I felt that he was not just watching me but actually there with me on the dohyo. Q: I think your coach can see you standing you there right now, is there anything you would have liked to tell him ? T: I've always wanted to bring him a good news, every time I feel weak I try to remember his face. Q: it's the first time in 98 years that a rikishi from the Nara prefecture wins the yusho T: Aha yeah sorry about that... Q: You have some good news to report to your local support T: yes, I believe I do Q: You are 33 years old but young rikishi are in the spotlight recently, what do you think about that ? T: I just give my best and tell myself 'you are not 33 years old already, you are only 33' Q: you were returning to makuuchi from juryo this basho and declared you always want to aim higher, what is your aim now following that result ? (shouts of "Yokozuna" in the arena) T: I want to go how far I can go ! Q: What sumo do you want to do next basho ? T: I want to do my own dynamic sumo Q: Your mother is in the building today T: I can't say that all the time cause it's a bit embarassing, but mom, dad, thank you so much for raising me ! https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202001260000564.html
  2. 30 points
    And finally... Day 15 (results, text-only results) 14-1 Yw Hakuho 13-2 --- 12-3 --- 11-4 K2w Asanoyama, M10w Shodai 10-5 M12w Takanosho, M13w Kagayaki The musubi no ichiban was a lengthy match, but one could be excused for not finding it very interesting anyway, and not only because the yusho was decided already - champion Hakuho collected his 14th win by patiently outwaiting ozeki Takakeisho in a deep belt grip, clearly never at risk of actually losing from there. Takakeisho thus missed out on finishing the basho with the ozeki-expected double-digit wins, but given the severe doubts that he would be able to participate at all after the pectoral injury he suffered two months ago, it's surely been a successful basho for him. Three more rikishi entered the day on 9-5, with Kagayaki and Takanosho both earning their first top division 10+ wins records, while Chiyomaru fell short; it would have been his first time as well. All in all just five makuuchi rikishi reached 10-5 or better this time, the fewest in almost 15 years and only the second time below six since the division was expanded to 42 spots back in 2004. Hakuho's championship by three wins up on the field is the first since Aki 2018, which unsurprisingly was won by him, too. Three sansho were awarded for the final basho of 2019. A well-deserved gino-sho went to Hakuho's closest challenger Asanoyama, who should be at least on an unofficial low-key ozeki run next basho following 21 wins in Aki and Kyushu. This is his first gino-sho, and he's now in the semi-select club of rikishi who have won each of the three special prizes at least once. Shodai was nominated for a kanto-sho on the condition of defeating Asanoyama on senshuraku, and he duly did so to earn the prize (and a share of the jun-yusho, of course). I was a bit surprised by that, given that 11 wins by a low-ranked rikishi who's normally a joi-in mainstay aren't usually getting much sansho attention, and I didn't feel his involvement in the yusho race was all that noteworthy either. (While he started the basho off with 4 wins, he was down to just 5-3 on nakabi and didn't get back to a share of the second-best record until Day 12, when things were nearly decided already.) In any case, this is Shodai's third kanto-sho, the only sansho type he has been decorated with so far. And lastly a shukun-sho for defeating yusho winner Hakuho was awarded to this year's surprise package Daieisho, who has collected his first-ever prize with that. He was also senshuraku's one big winner in the race for the sanyaku spots, even though he himself didn't actually win - rather, Daieisho was flung down by Enho and got stuck at 8 wins after all, but the other results of the day played into his hands. His Oitekaze stablemate Endo surprisingly lost a 7-7 decider to resurgent Kotoyuki and joined Hokutofuji in 7-8 makekoshi territory, and one bout later sekiwake Mitakeumi fell to 6-9 in a close loss to komusubi Abi. Consequently there are now just four "proper" candidates for the Hatsu basho sanyaku slots: Asanoyama, Takayasu, Abi and Daieisho. As was already mentioned in other comments above, it would be exceedingly unusual for Mitakeumi to not get dropped to a maegashira position on his 6-9 record, and retaining 7-8 komusubi (one or both) without a pressing need would be nearly as odd. The above-mentioned Jiji Press claim notwithstanding, I don't really buy the idea that Abi moving up to sekiwake is an obviously done deal. There's no pressing need to do that, either, even if getting stuck at komusubi again would be rather unlucky for him. (But then that's happened to others even with 10 wins before, and even with his back-to-back 9-6's Abi wouldn't be the first.) I guess we'll see if the press outlets keep insinuating such a decision after Wednesday's banzuke-making conference. The one possible reason to create a fifth sanyaku rikishi would be to avoid having to cut the titled ranks by three slots in one go, which otherwise would obviously introduce significant (but not insurmountable, IMHO) distortions in the maegashira ranks. There have only ever been three banzuke whose sanyaku differed in size that much from the preceding one: It went from 13 to 10 following Hatsu 1958 (involving a double yokozuna retirement), from 14 to 11 after Natsu 1962, and conversely from 9 to 12 after Nagoya 1960. Needless to say, some of those slot counts alone should indicate that that was a very different banzuke-making era. Nevertheless, an 8-man sanyaku would be quite unusual even for the current era of very restrictive sanyaku assignments - however, it's difficult to discern any possible intent when there's been a lack of opportunity to begin with: The most recent such ranking was the one for Kyushu 2005, but there's only been one basho with just 4 Y/O since then, Aki 2011, and that banzuke had inherited three kachikoshi sekiwake from the previous basho, so an 8-sanyaku lineup was not an option. In other words, we're entering mostly uncharted territory here. In any case, if there are 9 sanyaku on the Hatsu banzuke, I'd be very surprised if the beneficiary is somebody other than Myogiryu, who clinched his kachikoshi against Onosho on the final day, having won five of his last six matches. (Incidentally, what a pushout festival in 7-7 matchups that was on Sunday...) 0-1-14 Kakuryu Y Hakuho 14-1 0-2-13 Goeido O1 Takayasu 3-5-7 (x) 9-6 Takakeisho O2 (x) 6-9 Mitakeumi S Tochinoshin 2-3-10(x) 9-6 Abi K1 Endo 7-8 (x) (x) 7-8 Hokutofuji K2 Asanoyama 11-4 (o) 8-7 Daieisho M1 (?) 8-7 Myogiryu M2 M3 8-7 Tamawashi M4 Kotoyuki 8-7 ... M10 Shodai 11-4 The promotion race in juryo finished with another day of strong results, and consequently we now have six very qualified candidates, most importantly top-ranked Tokushoryu who completed a four-day quest to achieve his kachikoshi from 4-7. J5's Kaisei and Kiribayama both moved up to 11-4 records. We did already know that 5 top division slots would be available for sure, so the question now is: Will they let poor Tomokaze survive? It could well have significant implications for how far he's going to fall until he's ready to come back to action. (However, they could conceivably also demote him to J1 this time and then go easy on him next time and put him at the bottom of juryo rather than straight into makushita.) Anyway, four promotions are clear, those of Azumaryu and Tochiozan (both back up after one juryo tournament), Kaisei (after two), and Ikioi (after four). The remaining two slots will have to be decided between Tomokaze, Tokushoryu and Kiribayama. The committee tends to go very much by the numbers these days, so I'm inclined to believe that Kiribayama's +3 wins will trump any possible extra credit Tokushoryu might receive for being J1. If so, the lanky Mongolian would be set to make his makuuchi debut at the young age of 23. I do have the feeling that he could use a little more seasoning, but then again who really saw Wakatakakage starting off with four straight wins this basho after he'd never even scored a 10-5 in juryo? As for the last spot, your guess is as good as mine. I think I'll be expecting Tokushoryu to get stuck in juryo, but that's not a firm opinion at all. M3 Tomokaze 0-3-12(?) ... (x) kyujo Ichinojo M12 M13 M14 Nishikigi 4-11 (x) (x) 5-10 Daishomaru M15 Daishoho 3-12 (x) (x)4-1-10 Wakatakakage M16 --- (o) 11-4 Azumaryu J1 Tokushoryu 8-7 (?) (o) 10-5 Tochiozan J2 (o) 11-4 Ikioi J3 Chiyoshoma 8-7 8-7 Hidenoumi J4 (o) 11-4 Kaisei J5 Kiribayama 11-4 (?) J6 J7 Kotonowaka 10-5 A quick look at the likely composition of the next juryo shows a sizable hole below J2w after ranking the one guy who's not going to be in makuuchi, Chiyoshoma, Hidenoumi and Kotonowaka, so the rikishi coming down from the maegashira ranks could be getting some very lucky small-sized demotions. Even Ichinojo might, I've provisionally pencilled him in at J6w which would only be a 10-rank drop rather than the more customary 12 or 13. The race for the bottom juryo spots played out towards relatively straight-forward results. Bottom-ranked Irodori finished kachikoshi at the last opportunity, quickly overwhelming veteran Sokokurai, while rookie Hoshoryu went into close combat with makushita visitor Sakigake and soon threw him to the ground for his safety-clinching 7th win. Both J11's Kaisho and Wakamotoharu managed to dress up their records with another win, but still only ended their Kyushu campaign with matching 5-10 scores. By ordinary standards this should be a straight-forward exchange of five eminently demotable juryo rikishi against four makushita guys with strong records and another with a perfectly acceptable one. However, the decisions in there have not exactly been "normal" of late, so I suppose it's possible that Sakigake's senshuraku loss will see him passed over for promotion. The only option to benefit from that would be Kaisho. I'm rather struggling to see that as a realistic scenario, though, as it would not only be unusual to let such a bad score survive when a perfectly cromulent promotion candidate exists, but it would also feel rather weird to treat the two same-score J11's so differently when it's not dictated by unavoidable circumstances. J6 Ichiyamamoto 0-2-13(x) ... (?) 5-10 Kaisho J11 Wakamotoharu 5-10 (x) J12 Gagamaru 1-12-2(x) J13 Hoshoryu 7-8 (o) (x) 5-10 Akiseyama J14 Irodori 8-7 (o) (o) 4-3 Churanoumi Ms1 Chiyootori 4-3 (o) (o) 5-2 Asagyokusei Ms2 (?) 4-3 Sakigake Ms3 Ms4 Ms5 ... Ms10 Terunofuji 7-0 (o) And lastly a quick summary of the remaining yusho decisions. Juryo ended up with a four-way tie for the lead, the first since Aki 2017. Kaisei defeated Kotonowaka in the one solitary head-to-head match among the leaders, followed on the torikumi by victories for Kiribayama, Ikioi and Azumaryu, while Tochiozan fell out of contention. The ensuing two-round playoff saw easy victories for Azumaryu over Ikioi who had suffered a head wound in his regular bout, as well as for Kaisei over Kiribayama. The final was very nearly decided in quick fashion in Kaisei's favour, but Azumaryu managed to circle around the tawara, secured a strong left-hand outside grip in the process and soon got the victory by uwatenage. It's the 32-year-old veteran's first championship in any division. In jonidan, rookie Hokutenkai surprised by not only holding his own against Murata who'd nearly made it to juryo before, but actually taking charge of the bout and winning by yorikiri in quite decisive fashion. And down in jonokuchi the three-way playoff played out in largely expected fashion with Otsuji repeating first his Day 5 win over Yutakanami and then his Day 9 defeat against Tosamidori, before the latter also easily dispatched Yutakanami to complete the tomoe-sen. So, victory for the favourite here. All in all, four divisional yusho were won by foreign-shusshin rikishi this basho, the first time that has happened since Hatsu 2013. I think that's all from here, thanks for reading if you've actually made it all the way to the end of this post.
  3. 27 points
    Day 15 (results, text-only results) 14-1 M17w Tokushoryu 13-2 M4w Shodai 12-3 --- 11-4 Oe Takakeisho, M2e Hokutofuji, M9w Yutakayama, M17e Kiribayama Not much for me to add, two days after the fact, that hasn't already been said about Tokushoryu's championship. A truly stunning outcome but at the same time completely deserved with the way he handled both the pressure of the situation and his final opponent, ozeki Takakeisho. A cool 14 million yen for the yusho and the double special prize (shukun-sho and kanto-sho), not to mention the sheer experience is something nobody will be able to take away from the 33-year-old, no matter where his career goes from here. Hard luck for runner-up Shodai who did his part in keeping up the suspense for the tournament's final bout by defeating Mitakeumi beforehand. I really, really hope that Shodai has turned a corner in this basho and won't be turning straight back into the pumpkin he's been for most of his makuuchi career, as it's been known since his pre-professional days that he does have this kind of sumo talent in him. One sansho, a kanto-sho, for him as well, although that's probably not much more than a consolation prize. (On a side note: First time back-to-back makekoshi for Mitakeumi in his four-year makuuchi career.) While we're at it, further prizes were awarded with a kanto-sho to Kiribayama for his impressive 11-4 debut in the top division, a gino-sho to Hokutofuji for a strong joi performance with the same record, and somewhat inexplicably unexpectedly a shukun-sho to Endo primarily for his early-basho victories over Hakuho, Kakuryu and Goeido (none of whom played a relevant role in this tournament). Speaking of Goeido, he ended his Hatsu kadoban campaign with another loss to Onosho to finish just 5-10, his most losses in four years - and as it has of course become known since senshuraku, the result has also proven to mark the end of his active career. After his first year or so as ozeki, I don't think many of us expected him to last more than 30 basho, let alone pick up a zensho yusho along the way. In a way his five years as ozeki were largely a continuation of his lengthy prior stint as sekiwake, and even if it wasn't always pretty, I'd say he ultimatedly justified the decision to promote him back in 2014. We'll probably get to see the newly minted Takekuma-oyakata around the dohyo in one of the blue Kyokai jackets as early as his home Osaka basho in two months. No immediate replacement for him at the ozeki rank as had been known for several days already, but at least Asanoyama secured a double-digit record against Ryuden on the final day to keep himself in the conversation for next time. He'll be joined in the lower sanyaku ranks by Endo, Hokutofuji and Shodai - as I'd suggested even before senshuraku I'm quite sure all three would have made it in anyway (likely as a trio of komusubi), but Goeido's departure from the banzuke has cleared up the possible logjam altogether. The two questions now are: 1) Who's going to be the West Sekiwake, Hokutofuji or Shodai? It's not completely clear, but I would say most precedents favour Shodai - full joi schedule (what was left of it, anyway), so the fact he's had two more wins in that should easily cover the 2.5 rank gap to Hokutofuji. And 2) Will the Kyokai really go with a 7-man sanyaku for the first time since the 1930s? If not, the candidates for an extra third komusubi are (in roughly descending order of probability) Daieisho, Okinoumi, Tokushoryu, Yutakayama and Takayasu. I'd rate Daieisho's and Okinoumi's chances as non-negligible, everybody else would really shock me. Anyway, we may or may not see some variation of a yokozuna-ozeki to cover for the absence of a second proper ozeki. It's been quite a long time since that was last an issue (and it got handled in several different ways before), so any appeals to past decision-making will hold very limited value. We'll see if they do the straight-forward thing with Kakuryu as a Y-O on the West side, or something different. 1-3-11 Hakuho Y Kakuryu 1-4-10 11-4 Takakeisho O Goeido 5-10 (i) 10-5 Asanoyama S Takayasu 6-9 (x) (x) 5-10 Abi K Daieisho 7-8 (x) (o) 9-6 Endo M1 (o) 11-4 Hokutofuji M2 Mitakeumi 7-8 (x) M3 8-7 Okinoumi M4 Shodai 13-2 (o) M5 Enho 8-7 M6 M7 Onosho 9-6 M8 Ryuden 10-5 M9 Yutakayama 11-4 M10 M11 Kagayaki 10-5 ... 11-4 Kiribayama M17 Tokushoryu 14-1 Goeido's retirement has likely also, in conjunction with the Day 15 juryo results, served to clear up any possible difficulties in assigning rikishi to the two sekitori divisions. Nishikigi posted his 7th win in a row to clinch the one promotion spot that was definitely available via Kotoeko's exit from the top division, and Daiamami moved himself into position as the #2 contender with a clear victory over yusho winner Terunofuji, who "only" finished 13-2 in the end. Daiamami should be inheriting Goeido's vacated position now. Both J5's Wakatakakage and Daishoho, who could have earned promotion-worthy 10-5 records, were defeated on senshuraku and definitely won't be going up now. The J2 pair of youngster Kotonowaka and veteran Hidenoumi did grab last-minute kachikoshi, but are unlikely to receive consideration over Daiamami, let alone over any existing maegashira. All that ought to be good news for injured duo Meisei and Kotoyuki, who really don't deserve to get dropped to juryo now with no outstanding results there to replace them, as well as for Shimanoumi who would have been the first active rikishi on the bubble. Kaisei and Tsurugisho were victorious on the final day to remove all doubt about themselves. As for Terunofuji, my provisional banzuke projection only has him at J4e now, plus/minus one spot, so not even as a particularly close miss for a promotion. It doesn't help that the upper juryo ranks will be somewhat crowded even with the "free" spot gained through Goeido's intai. It may be for the best for the ex-ozeki anyway, another tournament in juryo to get more battle-ready for makuuchi won't hurt. M3 Kotoyuki kyujo (o) M4 (o) 1-7-6 Meisei M5 ... (o) 6-9 Tsurugisho M12 M13 Kotoeko 2-13 (x) M14 Shimanoumi 6-9 (o) M15 M16 Kaisei 8-7 (o) M17 J1 8-7 Kotonowaka J2 Hidenoumi 8-7 J3 (o) 11-4 Nishikigi J4 9-6 Wakatakakage J5 Daishoho 9-6 (o) 11-4 Daiamami J6 ... J13 Terunofuji 13-2 The makushita "playoff" for a possible promotion to juryo saw Akiseyama come through yet again - just like four months ago, he's turned a 2-3 into a 4-3, this time ultimately at the expense of young prospect Naya, who finishes 3-4. And with Goeido out, it looks like his promotion chance has turned into a near-certainty. He has been helped by fellow veterans Toyonoshima and Sokokurai blowing their last shot at a lucky reprieve, as they're almost certainly unkeepable at 4-11 after their senshuraku losses. Chiyootori did come through for a win to finish 6-9, and it was originally going to be between him, Akiseyama and absent Tomokaze for two slots, which could arguably have gone any which way. Now with Goeido's spot in play, the most straight-forward solution is of course to put all three in juryo. (?) kyujo Tomokaze J1 (x) 4-11 Sokokurai J10 (x) 4-11 Toyonoshima J11 Irodori 1-6-8 (x) J12 (?) 6-9 Chiyootori J13 J14 Sakigake 6-9 (x) Ms1 Wakamotoharu 6-1 (o) (o) 5-2 Midorifuji Ms2 Ms3 Chiyonoumi 5-2 (o) (o) 4-3 Akiseyama Ms4 Hakuyozan 6-1 (o) (x) 3-4 Naya Ms5 Ms6 Asabenkei 4-3 Ms7 Fujiazuma 4-3 Ms8 Ms9 Kotodaigo 5-2 I've added the rikishi theoretically next in line as promotion candidates to the table. I guess Asabenkei for Tomokaze isn't a totally unrealistic possibility given the committee's habit of being harsh to fully absent rikishi, while Fujiazuma or Kotodaigo for Chiyootori would be very surprising to me. And that's done now, I think. Only a few hours until we'll find out the juryo promotees, as well as whether there have been any other high-profile retirements to accompany Goeido's. Thanks to everybody contributing to the discussion!
  4. 24 points
  5. 23 points
    Final Day- last video by me as promised, finally..
  6. 21 points
    Well.. and special thanks as always to Mbovo. This man is incredibly dedicated.
  7. 21 points
    Day 9 (results, text-only results) 8-1 M4w Shodai, M17w Tokushoryu 7-2 Oe Takakeisho, M9w Yutakayama, M11w Kagayaki 6-3 Se Asanoyama, M1e Endo, M2e Hokutofuji, M8w Ryuden, M14e Terutsuyoshi, M16e Tochiozan, M16w Kaisei The last thing I expected to be writing about this early in the basho is Takayasu missing out on his ozeki repromotion opportunity...but here we are. Even a highly favourable opponent in Takarafuji, whom Takayasu had beaten the last six times straight going back to late 2016, wasn't sufficient to keep him from picking up his 6th loss today, and it looks like we're now likely to see him altogether down in the maegashira ranks for the March tournament. Not great news for the ozeki rank elsewhere either, with kadoban ozeki Goeido also down at 3-6 having started off the basho with 3 straight losses. Normally I wouldn't be writing off the veteran even now, since the early exits by both yokozuna mean he's only got Takakeisho and Asanoyama remaining as "difficult" opponents (and Takayasu, if he counts), but Goeido really does look quite bad this basho, probably the worst in years. At least Takakeisho has been fulfilling the responsibilities of the rank so far, standing at 7-2. And lastly it doesn't seem as though any reinforcement will be coming at least this time, as Asanoyama finds himself just 6-3, unlikely to secure a promotion to ozeki from here unless he somehow still gets the yusho. (Maaaybe a 12-3 playoff loss would work as well, but I doubt such generosity by the committee for a first-time promotion challenger.) He's been doing good sumo for sure, but it goes to show that consistent double-digit wins and more just aren't a foregone conclusion for anyone right now. So, we might well be down to just 2 yokozuna and 1 ozeki for Haru, but chances are we'll still have - at least - 8 sanyaku rikishi, as bad scores in sanyaku typically mean good ones by high-ranked maegashira, and so there's no shortage of candidates who may be putting up very much promotable records when everything is said and done. Maegashira lead Endo and fellow recent komusubi Hokutofuji are both 6-3 and on course to secure an immediate return, while long-time sanyaku mainstay Mitakeumi has a bit more work left to do from 5-4 (and the worst position among the three). The frontrunner and surprise yusho co-leader is Shodai though, whose sumo appears more confident to me than ever before, including a convincing win over ozeki Takakeisho today. Might the ex-collegiate star finally be fulfilling the expectations people had for him when he turned pro? Joining Takayasu in negative territory is shin-komusubi Daieisho, who doesn't seem to fight much worse than in recent tournaments, but just hasn't been getting the same breaks. With Hokutofuji, Shodai and fellow komusubi Abi still to come it looks relatively unlikely that he'll still salvage a kachikoshi from here, but it wouldn't be a huge surprise if he did. Abi for his part appears to have had a rather quick recovery from the foot injury he suffered shortly before the basho, having looked hampered in his movements only for the first two or three days and pretty much back to normal since. Could well be another KK from 5-4, but with Goeido probably set to fall down from ozeki (unless he retires?), Abi might find the Sekiwake West slot blocked yet again... Last not least we have a really surprise yusho challenger in bottom-ranked Tokushoryu, who's arguably lucky to have got promoted this basho to begin with, but has looked like an absolute world-beater at least against his low maegashira opposition. The 33-year-old hasn't had more than 8 wins in makuuchi in five years and has spent the last two years almost entirely in juryo, so this is certainly coming out of the blue. Now that he's kachikoshi the next couple of torikumi should tell us how seriously they're taking him as an actual yusho threat; for tomorrow he's still getting another low-ranker opponent in Chiyomaru. 1-3-5 Hakuho Y Kakuryu 1-4-4 7-2 Takakeisho O Goeido 3-6 6-3 Asanoyama S Takayasu 3-6 5-4 Abi K Daieisho 3-6 6-3 Endo M1 Myogiryu 3-6 6-3 Hokutofuji M2 Mitakeumi 5-4 2-7 Tamawashi M3 5-4 Okinoumi M4 Shodai 8-1 M5 Enho 5-4 4-5 Takarafuji M6 Tochinoshin 4-5 5-4 Shohozan M7 Onosho 4-5 (x) 4-5 Aoiyama M8 Ryuden 6-3 (x) 4-5 Takanosho M9 Yutakayama 7-2 5-4 Sadanoumi M10 M11 Kagayaki 7-2 ... (x) 6-3 Terutsuyoshi M14 ... M17 Tokushoryu 8-1 Tokushoryu was also still nominally a demotion candidate until today, but that's of course no longer a concern for him now. The lowest-ranked five maegashira were all victorious on Day 9, with returned veterans Tochiozan and Kaisei not far off retaining their ranks now (although neither has looked exactly spectacular up to here). Fellow returnee Ikioi sadly appears rather broken down again following two relatively healthy tournaments in juryo, while newcomer Kiribayama has been finding himself somewhat outclassed against top division opposition, although I think most people were expecting that. Kotoeko and Shimanoumi are the other main candidates for demotion at this time, but Tsurugisho, who injured his knee back on Day 6, may also still fall into the danger zone based on how he has appeared on the dohyo the last couple of days. We may or may not have two demotable maegashira already in fully kyujo Kotoyuki and ailing Meisei, whose decision to enter with a pretty serious-looking arm injury did not go rewarded. Both should normally be safe from as high as they are on the rankings, but after the Tomokaze demotion last time I'm not going to stick my neck out and say it's for certain. The good news for them might be that the upper juryo ranks are significantly less crowded with strong promotion contenders this time. However, Day 9 at least proved quite favourable for them as a group - of the 17 rikishi listed yesterday, 12 were paired up into matches so that naturally led to 6 winners and 6 losers, but the remaining 5 candidates all managed to defeat their opponents for a very strong total score for the day. Still though, there's just one rikishi - Daishoho - who doesn't need to finish at least 4-2 to secure a promotable record by the numbers, so we're probably on course for a finish that will leave a lot of room for either lucky promotions or (more likely) lucky non-demotions. M3 Kotoyuki kyujo (?) M4 (?) 1-7-1 Meisei M5 ... M10 Ishiura 3-6 (1) (2) 3-6 Chiyotairyu M11 (2) 3-6 Tsurugisho M12 Chiyomaru 4-5 (1) (2) 4-5 Kotoshogiku M13 Kotoeko 2-7 (4) M14 Shimanoumi 3-6 (3) (2) 5-4 Azumaryu M15 Ikioi 3-6 (4) (1) 6-3 Tochiozan M16 Kaisei 6-3 (1) (3) 5-4 Kiribayama M17 Tokushoryu 8-1 (o) J1 Chiyoshoma 3-6 (5) (4) 5-4 Kotonowaka J2 Hidenoumi 4-5 (5) (5) 4-5 Daishomaru J3 Kizakiumi 1-8 (x) (5) 5-4 Nishikigi J4 Mitoryu 3-6 (~) (5) 5-4 Wakatakakage J5 Daishoho 7-2 (3) (4) 7-2 Daiamami J6 Tobizaru 5-4 (6) (6) 5-4 Ichinojo J7 (~) 5-4 Kyokutaisei J8 Kotoshoho 6-3 (6) (6) 6-3 Kyokushuho J9 Akua 5-4 (~) ... J13 Terunofuji 9-0 (5) And another question-marked rikishi one section further down with injured Tomokaze, who was arguably unlucky to find himself demoted to juryo and will hopefully get treated with a bit more leniency this time around to slow down his descent while he's likely off the dohyo for several more months. We probably won't have a good handle on his likelihood of staying in juryo until the final weekend, possibly not even then. Probably headed down to makushita already is Irodori though, who came into the basho significantly hampered by an apparent leg injury and looked unlikely to make the grade even before he had to withdraw altogether a few days ago. He's not on the schedule for tomorrow and short of a return for Day 11 and five straight wins from there, he's gonna be makushita-bound. Bar berserking ex-ozeki Terunofuji, everyone in the double-digit juryo ranks is still in quite some demotion danger at this time, and I for one won't venture much of a guess as to who's likely to survive and who isn't. I will say that former komusubi Chiyootori has not looked great at all, further demonstrating why it took him so long to return to juryo in the first place. While Terunofuji looks destined to go much higher again, Chiyootori may rather be headed down the path set by fellow ex-sanyaku Jokoryu in recent times, even if he manages to hang on to his juryo spot this time in the end. The surprise package down here is almost certainly Sakigake, back in juryo after five years and with a decent shot to retain his salary from 5-4. Must be something about being 33 years old and holding down the last spot in a sekitori division this time... The other two returnees from makushita not mentioned yet, Asagyokusei and Churanoumi, have looked okay-ish (Asagyokusei actually quite good at least on some days), but have some more wins to collect to stay in the paid ranks as well. The primary candidate for promotion from makushita this time is Wakamotoharu, who already secured trips to juryo twice last year on records of 7-0 and 6-1 but failed to stick both times. Maybe third time's the charm... He's already certain to be at least the second-best rikishi in the eventual promotion queue, so while there's not officially space for him yet it should only be a matter of time. Fellow demotee Ms1e Kaisho, who was also 5-10 at J10 last basho, has had a significantly harder time and finds himself 0-5 after today, so it'll be a while before we will see him contending for a juryo slot again. In other makushita news of the day: 23-year-old youngster Oki, who is making his first top 5 appearance and had started off the basho with three straight losses, managed to avoid makekoshi for the second time and sent Shiba into it instead. Other head-to-head clashes among promotion zoners were won by Midorifuji against Naya in a matchup of prospects, as well as Hakuyozan against Chiyonoumi in one featuring two former sekitori. Akiseyama will complete the action up here tomorrow against Ms6e Chiyonokuni. A promotion wildcard currently still exists with lower-ranked Kotodaigo who finds himself 5-0. He's made four appearances in the top 5 ranks before, going MK in all of them, but perhaps he'll finally secure his juryo debut through the top 15 zensho backdoor. At the moment I'd expect that challenge to end at Wakamotoharu's hands on Day 11 though. (?) kyujo Tomokaze J1 J2 J3 Kizakiumi 1-8 (1) ... J7 Yago 2-7 (2) (o) 5-4 Kyokutaisei J8 J9 Akua 5-4 (o) (3) 3-6 Sokokurai J10 Takagenji 4-5 (2) (2) 4-5 Toyonoshima J11 Irodori 1-6-2 (5) (3) 4-5 Asagyokusei J12 Churanoumi 3-6 (4) (4) 3-6 Chiyootori J13 (3) 5-4 Hoshoryu J14 Sakigake 5-4 (3) Ms1 Wakamotoharu 5-0 3-2 Midorifuji Ms2 Shiba 1-4 (x) 2-3 Oki Ms3 Chiyonoumi 3-2 2-2 Akiseyama Ms4 Hakuyozan 4-1 2-3 Naya Ms5 ... Ms9 Kotodaigo 5-0 Explanation of symbols used: numbers = wins needed until favourable outcome (getting promoted / not getting demoted) o = favourable outcome achieved x = favourable outcome definitely missed ~ = favourable outcome missed "by the numbers", but still achievable through banzuke luck
  8. 21 points
    Hiya, I've got two surprises for you. Following up on the thread about diminishing numbers of sumo gamers, someone (I forgot who) criticized the Superbanzuke Web pages for a) not providing any clue indicating whether links were up-to-date, and b) looking decidedly 20th Century-ish (for those born in the 20th Century - that means old and outdated!). I took both of these observations quite seriously. As to changes to the Page, I ensured that the Superbanzuke main page did no longer have generic links to results and banzuke, but also indicated the corresponding basho that results and banzuke refer to. I also indicated at the top of the main page when I last updated it. This was already done a couple of weeks ago and is not the first surprise I mentioned. The first surprise is that I tried to learn a little bit about HTML and saw that quite a lot of it is not exactly rocket science. Even a doofus like me was able to change the appearance of the Web pages relatively easily. And after looking at a handful of similar sites on the Internet, I changed the look of the Superbanzuke Web sites to something that looks more like 21st Century. No excessive coloring, as much white as possible, no strong cell boundaries. To an old fart like me it looks modern, I like it (because I made it myself), and I am sure that many of you will hate it Too bad - you better get used to the new design. The second surprise is that I toiled endlessly (well, a lot at least) to make the Superbanzuke pages as fully functional as possible. From now on, you should have access to the entirety of the Superbanzuke history again! All rankings going back to 2002, and all Masters Series going back to 2004! All photos and links should also be working (the only thing that is beyond fixing is the use of the country flags for old pages). I even created some pages that never really existed before (like for the World Championships in 2017 and 2018)! In addition, I did a million smaller things that you wouldn't notice anyway, so I wont't mention them... So rejoice and dig into the historical depth of sumo gaming. There was even a time where not every game was won and every banzuke was led by Pandaazuma. Hard to believe, but true! So, without further ado: The new Superbanzuke entry page with links to all you need about the 19 SB games (I decided to kill Fantasy Sumo altogether rather then letting it slowly die over a grace period). And of course, the new Superbanzuke Ranking for Hatsu 2020 Now if only the games themselves could provide a (working) link to the SB pages... But that would be just too perfect!
  9. 21 points
    Ever since I discovered sumo for myself, I was fascinated by kimarite - the rarer, the better, and we all know that there is a bewildering variety of strange kimarite. At the same time, I must admit that I am completely befuddled by exactly that bewildering variety. Not only that, I am also quite clueless as to the average kimarite on an average day (I tested this the other day by watching one of Moti's videos and tried to predict the kimarite as I saw the bouts - I got less than 20% correct, and we are talking here about mostly yorikiri, oshidashi etc.). Therefore I embarked on a project which had the goal for me to learn more about the relations between different kimarite. I found this great NHK source which shows videos of almost all kimarite (with basho bouts and staged training bouts including an English explanation).I learnt quite a bit from this source. Yet at the same time, I realized that my visual skills and my anatomical knowledge are simply too limited - I am terribly bad in actually seeing what's going on on the dohyo in breakneck speed. So I decided to take an approach that is much more to my abilities. My idea was to learn about the relations between kimarite by collecting kimarite stats about rikishi. Ideally, I would have taken all bouts with kimarite information of all rikishi from SumoDB, but this would taken years to collect when I was only willing to spend days on it. So, rather than processing all kimarite of all rikishi, I only looked up the kimarite profiles of the 250 rikishi with most recorded wins (taken from this list). Moreover, I compiled a list of 29 additional rikishi who were having a high number of rare kimarite. While 279 rikishi (out of a total of 7258 rikishi with kimarite information) does not sound like good coverage, these 279 rikishi were involved in a total of 139197 bout with valid kimarite, thus representing about a quarter of all kimarite-associated bouts in the database. Fairly representative, I'd hope. My Excel sheets had the names of the 279 rikishi in my list as rows, and the 79 different kimarite (excluding non-kimarite like fumidashi, koshikudake, tsukite etc.) as columns. Each cell then shows how often a given rikishi had a win with a given kimarite. Then I computed pairwise correlations among all combinations of kimarite (columns) which resulted in a 79 x 79 matrix. I then converted the correlation coefficients into distance scores. From this point onwards, my truly statistics-versed colleague Lisa took over (huge thanks to her!!), and at my request she performed a statistical technique called multidimensional scaling which tries to convert a complex, 79 x 79 matrix as best as possible into a two-dimensional representation, in other words: into some kind of map. You can see the outcome of this map below. Here is how the map can be read: If two kimarite on the map are in close proximity to each other, they tend to be highly positively correlated. This means that when rikishi often (or rarely) used the one kimarite, they also often (or rarely) used the other kimarite. Conversely, a large distance on the map generally means that high counts for one kimarite are typically associated with low counts for the other kimarite (in other words, these kimarite are negatively correlated and seem to be quite dissimilar). And the map looks like this (you might get an enlarged version by clicking on it): Based on another statistical technique which I will not further bore you with, the data seem to indicate that the kimarite can be divided into five different clusters. So I (or rather, Lisa) requested the algorithms to identify five areas in this map that "somehow" belong together. The different colors in which kimarite names appear on this map represents this attempt to cluster the techniques. Just to remind you, this approach is 100% data-driven. The computer is obviously totally oblivious about anything to do with kimarite, it also cannot and does not know that "yorikiri" and "yoritaoshi" start with the same letters, and therefore should be better placed close to each other; the algorithm just looks for patterns. Nonetheless, many of these knowledge-free, data-driven categorizations and localizations on the map make sense to me. First, the algorithm discovered a cluster (in yellow) that has all the well-known oshi and tsuki techniques in relatively close vicinity, but also threw hatakikomi and tsukiotoshi into the mix. Sounds reasonable to me. I was particularly pleased with the second cluster (color-coded in black) which represents the most common techniques starting with "okuri-", not too distant from the oshi/tsuki cluster. Third, very distant from all the oshi stuff there is the large green cluster in the upper left corner, and it contains the common yotsu techniques (yorikiri, yoritaoshi, but as I expected, not too far from abisetaoshi and tsuridashi). I was also quite happy that kotenage, kimedashi, and kimetaoshi were grouped into the green cluster. One thing that surprised me (but still is in the data) is that uwatenage, uwatedashinage, and uwatehineri were farther apart than I thought (uwatedashinage was even sorted into a different cluster). Fourth, there is the blue cluster in the lower left. Apart from the quite spaced triple shitatenage/shitatedashinage/shitatehineri it contains many leg trips (among the common leg trip, only sotogake was sorted into the green cluster). I don’t know whether there is some physical reality into the assumption (suggested by the data) that uwate- techniques come closer to yotsu-zumo than shitate- techniques, and apparently that sotogake is closer to classical yotsu-zumo than uchigake. Maybe those with "real" sumo knowledge can chime in. Finally, there is the big red cluster in the middle of the map. While being closer to yotsu-zumo than oshi-zumo, the central position indicates that the red techniques are related (or rather: unrelated) to all other clusters to a similar extent. I was a bit disappointed that so many ultra-rare, exotic - and potentially different? - kimarite are lumped together here, but again, maybe those with better knowledge may still assess whether relative places within the red cluster make sense (e.g., is it justified to have tsukaminage much closer to standard yotsu than, say, ipponzeoi?). But now I have blabbered enough. What do you think?
  10. 19 points
  11. 18 points
    http://www.sumo.or.jp/EnHonbashoBanzuke/index/index.php/index.php/ Makuuchi Hakuho Y Kakuryu Takakeisho O --- Asanoyama S Shodai Hokutofuji K Endo Daieisho M1 Takayasu Okinoumi M2 Tokushoryu Yutakayama M3 Mitakeumi Enho M4 Abi Ryuden M5 Onosho Myogiryu M6 Kagayaki Takarafuji M7 Tamawashi Shohozan M8 Kiribayama Takanosho M9 Tochinoshin Sadanoumi M10 Tochiozan Chiyotairyu M11 Terutsuyoshi Ishiura M12 Ikioi Kotoshogiku M13 Aoiyama Kaisei M14 Nishikigi Tsurugisho M15 Chiyomaru Azumaryu M16 Shimanoumi Meisei M17 Daiamami Kotonowaka M18 --- (The Kyokai website doesn't appear to be set up for displaying the yokozuna-ozeki designation, so I don't here either.)
  12. 18 points
    Terunofuji, ex-Ozeki with 10 straight wins in Juryo, leading the race alone: "I was aiming for double digit wins before the basho so I'm happy i achieved that. I want to do sumo where I use all my power." Chiyomaru, being tsukiotoshi'd by Tokushouryuu who has never beaten him in 6 Makuuchi bouts before: "I tried to force it and over-attacked.. This basho, Tokushouryuu is in better shape!" Terutsuyoshi, getting shoved back by Aoiyama after a matta: "When someone does that to me it lights a fire under me. it's like adding oil to an already burning fire.." Shouhouzan, beaten by red-hot Shoudai: "Nothing special about my opponent. Tomorrow is another day." Tochinoshin, throwing down Asanoyama who likes the same grip: "I was calm and that was good." Asanoyama, 4th loss: "I couldn't see it through. If I don't do the little things that need to be done, the important wins won't come." Takayasu, aimed to return to Ozeki after one basho and failed, but beat Abi in his first bout after that disappointment by hatakikomi: " I managed a good tachiai. I will concentrate and continue till the end!" Takarafuji, beating Goueidou in the final match of the day: "I went up there calmly, telling myself it was OK to lose, and that worked. A lot of kensho money.." Goueidou, 3-7 one more loss and he drops to Sekiwake: "I couldn't save myself. All I can do is give it my all and try to bring to the dohyo the things I have done till now.. I can't generate much power, but I'm not impatient. " Yutakayama, 8-2 and in the race. "Aiming for the yusho is natural. I will follow the guy with one loss. I've been pretty stable so far. One bout a day. All I can do is do my own brand of sumo.." Takakeishou, beating Enhou: "I lost yesterday, so I felt deep inside this was an important match. If I had lost today it would have been three losses, and maybe I might suffer my fourth as well.. I didn't give much though to my opponent's tactics. " Enhou, losing to Takakeishou: "I wasn't planning anything in particular. This is my ability at the moment.. My opponent was manifold better than me. " Shoudai, still in the lead with one loss: "My body is responding well. My opponent likes a left hand grip so I had to keep him away. The rest came with the flow. I still have top ranked opponents to face, so.. I just need to do sumo that would connect to tomorrow and the results will come.."
  13. 18 points
    Terutsuyoshi, third loss: "I just floated upright.. I couldn't generate any power in my body. Huge damage.." Kiribayama, beating ex-Ozeki Kotoshougiku: "I used to watch him on TV growing up in Mongolia so I'm happy.. At the shikiri-sen, I was so scared I couldn't look him in the eye.." Tsurugishou, unable to use his left foot due to the knee injury, getting his sixth loss: " I guess someone who can't do sumo is facing someone healthy.. It probably is an uncomfortable situation.." Kagayaki, remaining with only two losses: "I'm going forward so that leads to wins. All I can do is do my own sumo!" Yutakayama, facing Ounoshou who had beaten him in all 6 previous bouts between them, wins and remains with two losses: "I didn't intend to think about that too much. It was good sumo. If I can continue like this I won't be complaining.." Ounoshou, getting his face flattened by Yutakayama's tsuppari attacks: "It was OK. I remember only till the middle.. After the bout everything was blurred.." Shouhouzan, facing leader Shoudai tomorrow: "Our head to heads are in his favor (4-10) but that doesn't mean a thing.. No use thinking about that. I'll be going all out!" Abi, beating Endou by tsukidashi and now with more wins than losses: " I'm happy. He went for my arm but I managed to counter that, and I feel I'm gradually improving."
  14. 18 points
    When I find myself in times of trouble, It’s cause Goeido comes at me, Trying kubinage Desperate Ozeki It’s a time of darkness when he is standing right in front of me Looking for kachi-koshi That desperate Ozeki
  15. 18 points
    Things are smoothing out for me, so I have decided to rescind my intai. I will remain active on the forum, but it will probably be at a reduced level.
  16. 17 points
    Day 12 Rikishi talk: Kaisei, after getting his kachikoshi today: "Oops, I drank the chikaramizu by mistake.. I mean, I didn't drink it but it touched my lips.." (Because of the corona virus, the guys aren't allowed to actually drink it, just to go through the motions..) Ex- Kisenosato, commentating on today's TV broadcast, on Hakuhou's loss today: "The Yokozuna was really messy.. Shoudai dealing with his slaps was textbook stuff. While firmly coming from below, go inside for your opponent's bosom. It was textbook offence.." Ex-Mainoumi, on the same TV show, same Hakuhou: "It looked like he was desperate. There were a lot of futile moves on his part. He slapped with his right at the tachiai but it didn't faze Shoudai, which totally threw him off.." Shoudai, on beating Hakuhou: "I wasn't thinking too much but I was able to somehow remain on the dohyo. Beating the Yokozuna makes me happy. I trained a lot with him before the basho and studied his tachiai, keeping it in my mind. But if I think about it, I might recoil, so I decided not to think about it too much. I just want to get my kachikoshi and establish myself as a Sekiwake!" Aoiyama, the sole leader after day 12: "It was great. I'm hitting and moving forward. i was able to be calm as if it were a training session..I speak to my wife on the phone every day and it boosts my spirit. It's usually before my bedtime so we keep it short (an hour and a half, I am told..)" No going out at night for him or his wife who is in Tokyo, because of the virus scare. "She is also all alone and I know she is sad, but she is patient. I'm trying not to think about the yusho race, as it freezes me up..("It makes me hard/stiff" is the better translation but with you lot..) Kakuryuu, 10 wins and in the race: "I had a scary tachiai but managed to settle down after that. My body really responded well. I will concentrate and gambarize tomorrow as well!" Enhou, losing to Hokutofuji and suffering a makekoshi at his highest career rank of Maegashira 4: "This is what my strength is at this point. I simply lack power!" Hokutofuji, finally winning today after eight straight losses: "I'm happy I finally got a win.. I knew I had to keep my opponent in front of me." Takarafuji, getting his first kachikoshi after three bashos and a basho after his mentor passed away, 'returning the favor': "I want to play a more active role. Tokushouryuu's yusho (they are from the same school year) was a stimulus for me.. As for the kachikoshi, I trained more than usual before the basho and that was good." Asanoyama, facing same- record Hakuhou tomorrow, a bit of luck winning today: " I dropped him with some luck, probably because I put some pressure on him. As I'm not going out after hours, I'm watching my favorite action movies every day. I'm able to get sumo out of my head and refresh myself for a few hours. Ozeki promotion? I'm taking it a bout a day. I'll be facing tomorrow anew and do sumo. Hakuhou? If we get into a hold it will be the Dai-Yokozuna's game. I have no choice but to hit and go forward and forward and attack. I'm not thinking about the yusho race. I'm just fighting 15 days as a challenger!" More as they become available..
  17. 17 points
    Goeido has been my favorite rikishi for a while now. The same faults that drew so much scorn from his critics are the very things that made me fond of him. His obvious psychological weaknesses: his lack of confidence and of focus, his apparent despondency and fatalism when things went badly-- are not the fierce warrior attributes that a champion would seem to require, and clearly limited the success that his skills and athletic abilities might otherwise have achieved. Yet consider-- for all those times he was kadoban, for which he was fairly criticized, those were the very times, back to the wall, in danger of demotion, that you would have expected his mental failings and vulnerabilities to have asserted themselves most strongly. But instead, he pulled through; over and over. That's why he was a bit of a hero to me. As a person who has often failed to be all they could be, an underachiever, and someone who has struggled with anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues since childhood-- Goeido's little triumphs in "holding on by his fingernails" made me feel that I might also find it in me to rise to the occasion when it mattered; to stand and deliver when it was most urgent. Watching this supposedly weak man stubbornly defending his prestigious Ozeki rank for five years has meant so much to me. For the same man to display this sort of serene dignity in letting it go and moving on the way he has is just one more of those "little triumphs" in my eyes. When a man like Goeido can walk away satisfied that, whatever his failings may have been, what he accomplished was enough-- he has won. He competed against himself as much as his rivals and I am grateful that I got to watch it all and cheer for him. I wish him all success and happiness.
  18. 17 points
    Tochiouzan, Makuuchi veteran gets his first kachikoshi since Kyushu 2018! : "I was able to do patient sumo facing opponents who were in good shape. I want to return to where I was on the banzuke slowly but Shirley!" Abi, unable to overcome Shoudai: "Shoudai-zeki is strong. He was heavy. You can't see it but he surely has put on weight. I think he is gambarizing in training.." Ex- Ozeki Tochinoshin, seeing Goueidou losing his Ozeki rank: "It's difficult keeping your Ozeki rank.. When you are a high-ranker you have to win and when you don't it's painful.." Asanoyama, yorikiriing Goueidou, dropping him to Sekiwake: ""I'm glad I was patient. I had to stop that two loss losing streak.." Takakeishou, winning by kotenage, not his usual menu: "He got his right hand in, so I had no choice and did what I definitely should not have.. I won the bout but it was a 100% loss in sumo. I should be thankful for remaining in the yusho race. It's no use if I don't win by myself.." Goueidou, losing his Ozeki rank after 33 bashos: "It wasn't bad but my head was too high. I was forced to go chest to chest and I should have gotten my head in. I was simply powerless." Shoudai, tied for the lead, beats Abi, dancing on the tawara: "It was bad sumo. I was pushed back but I was patient. Yesterday wasn't good either and the bad image remained.. It's the first time that I'm involved in the yusho race so I can't say much about it. I'm not conscious of it that much. Still, I feel I have become a bit stiff.. I had been really wanting to remain a sekitori so I was nervous about getting kachikoshi (explaining why after a good beginning in Makuuchi he has stalled for a long time..). Now, I am more at ease. All I want is to enjoy the basho as I planned, hoping the results will follow. The days are flying by quickly and 15 days is a long time. This is a first time experience for me. I surely want to get the yusho but getting all worked up about it is not like me.. I would also like to apologize to Kintamayama for not becoming Ozeki yet.""
  19. 16 points
  20. 16 points
    I worked up a quick translation of the interview highlights: (K = Kitataiiki; I= Iwatomo; N = Nakamura; A = Araiso; G = Goeido) K) Now that you've retired, has your lifestyle changed? N) It sure has. There's nothing to be excited about anymore. K) Does the 15-day basho feel different now that you're an oyakata? N) Completely different. I no longer have a match to think about when I go to bed the night before or wake up each day. I'm now free of the pressure of fighting and way more relaxed. K) Have you lost weight now that you're retired? N) Nope, I'm still maintaining my fighting weight. N) My retirement came about in a completely unexpected fashion due to injury, and similarly, the Hatsu basho yusho by Tokushoryu was completely unexpected. He completely upset the order of winning. A) As a PhD of sumo, didn't you anticipate Tokushoryu winning? N) Not even remotely. A) Me neither--we're disqualified as commentators. A) Since we're commentators now, we should go around to all the heya and try to predict who will win. N) Naw, it's too hard. A) Sorry I suggested it. [At this point, former Goeido enters the room.] I) We're filming for YouTube. G) Is that so? I) But you haven't changed. You said you'd start smiling after you retired. G) I am smiling! G) [Upon it being pointed out that the top button of his dress shirt is unbuttoned] "I just retired and I'm still too fat to button it." A) Give it six months and you'll have 2-3 more cm of room! G) Trying on his official blue oyakata jacket: "It's too small!" Zipping it up, asks: "How does it look?" Everyone) Too Small! [He tries on the next size up and it fits perfectly.] [Back to Nakamura, talking about episodes with Kise during his career] N) During keiko, when called by Kise, I would get fully amped to train with him. A) Most other rikishi wouldn't come at me with full strength, only Yoshikaze. N) That may be true, but if we went 10 times, I was only good for the first 2-3, then I'd be spent, while Kise wouldn't even be breathing hard. A) Even so, my heated training with Nakamura was a big part of the reason I was able to become Ozeki, then Yokozuna. I always used my training with him as a barometer for how I'd do each basho. N) After training with Kise just before the basho, I'd need the remaining time just to recover, so when the basho began, I was always at my peak and ready to take on Joi opponents. A) When I got injured, Nakamura as always the first to call me with helpful advice. A) When I was close to making Yokozuna, Nakamura would always say to me: "Make it happen so I can be your tachimochi." So when I actually made it and he was able to fulfill that role, I felt his words helped me become Yokozuna. N) The sword was so heavy, it left me with sore muscles. A) When the other rikishi gathered to wrap the rope around me for the first time, it was moving that all these guys like Kotoshogiku, Yoshikaze, and Shohozan who were my rivals were there for me. It was the first moment it hit me that I was now a Yokozuna. K) Is there anything you wish you had done while still active? N) No, I did everything I could. But I do wish I could have matched up with Enho. K) Why? N) Because I'm confident I'd win. I liked facing small opponents. For a long time there was no one smaller than me. Then Ishiura and Terutsuyoshi came along and I never lost to them. I figured I'd just do to them what bigger rikishi always did to me and I'd prevail. K) What would be your strategy for facing Enho? N) It wouldn't matter. I'm confident I'd smack him down regardless of what he did! K) If you could be reborn, would you enter sumo again? N) Absolutely! I loved sumo. K) Which rikishi are you focusing on for Osaka? N) I want Tokushoryu to do well and have a performance similar to Hatsu, since all eyes will be on him. A) If he can do that, it would prove he was the real deal. N) I want him to climb up the banzuke. That would light up the sumo world. K) Finally, a message to the viewers. N) Make sure to hit the like button and subscribe!
  21. 16 points
    Trip Report from Day 4 at the Kokugikan -Arrived at the Kokugikan at around 12:30 for the early matches. Two ticket were windows open. One with virtually no line and one with a very long line snaking around the corner. Naturally, I chose the short line. I looked over at the ticket window with the long line, and who was taking tickets but none other than Terao. Mystery solved. -Settled into my cushion in the sixth row. This is the press desk row, and other than the front row it may be the best seat in the house. Usually reporters don't bother to show for the early days, and so you can literally stretch your legs out and enjoy a day of sumo. -There is a Sandanme wrestler named Omote. I'm looking forward to his future match-up against Ura. -In upper Makushita, Naya and Chiyonokuni looked good, while Gagamaru looked like toast. -In Juryo, Terunofuji continues to impress. Barring injury setbacks he should be back in Makuuchi within the year. Hoshoryu disposed of Takagenji with ease. Ichinojo was noticeably slimmer. -In Makuuchi: -I and most of the crowd were puzzled by the Kiribayama outcome. Seemed like the easiest torinaoshi call ever, if not an outright win by Kiri, although I didn't have the benefit of replay. -Terutsuyoshi is listed now at 120k, but he has put on legit muscle to go along with his formidable skill (at both sumo and salt tossing). I expect him to become a regular visitor to Joi before long. -Kotoshogiku remains a fan favorite, but how long he remains an active wrestler is another question. He picked up a nice win today, but I fear the end is near. Hope he can hold on a bit longer though. -Speaking of fan favorites at the downside of their career, Ikioi is a broken man. He stepped up on the dohyo with a host of injuries, and following his bout he appeared to have collected even more. I respect his stoic demeanor and will to battle through injury, but it's not looking good for him at the moment. -Tochinoshin has published the playbook on Enho, at least for big men. After being lifted out of the ring, the look of anger on Enho's face was palpable. Knowing Enho, I suspect his anger was directed toward himself at allowing himself to be scooped up rather than Tochinoshin for doing so. -Meisei is wrestling with one arm right now. I hope he goes kyujo to risk further injury and derailing his promising career. -Abi was the surprise win of the day. It was textbook Abi and Asanoyama was completely unprepared. Despite the bandaged leg, Abi said on Day 1 that the leg wasn't bothering him, but he was not able to do any keiko leading up to the basho. Indeed, his shiko leg raise off his bandaged leg was as high as ever. Perhaps he's regained his feel and is ready to resume doing Abi things. -Shodai continues to impress. We've seen stretches like these from Shodai before. Maybe this is the year he realizes his potential and becomes the Shodai we all hoped and expected he would become. -Takakeisho and Endo was another highly anticipated bout. It appeared it was going Endo's way, but Taka showed Endo who was boss. I have Takakeisho as the clear favorite to win at this point. -Goeido's win was a hail mary. He was dominated. Kanraku seems like a mere formality at this point. -Hokutofuji picked up a fusensho win, but was likely disappointed at not having an opportunity to win the kensho that had been put up for the bout. -Like Hakuho, Kakuryo's kyujo became a formality the moment he was shoved out of the ring, but I'm happy he provided me another opportunity to toss my zabuton. Random notes: -There are some massive bodies even down as far as sandanme, but the biggest difference I notice live is the speed of the top rikishi. It's just on a different level. -After it was over we filed outside in the area where the rikishi come up to the venue from the road. It was packed with people, and among the crowd was Shodai, making his way to his ride. He was swamped with requests for pictures, autographs, baby holdings, etc. He kindly and patiently accepted every one of them. Now I'm even more of a fan. -Pink-clad comic husband & wife duo Peko and Pako were in attendance, but on the West side instead of their usual spot to the left of the camera view. -There's nothing like the atmosphere of live sumo at the Kokugikan, but in many ways the viewing experience is better on TV. If you so much as blink at the wrong time you miss the action, and there's no replay screen. Even so, as hard as it is to get tickets these days, I'm grateful for every rare opportunity I get to see sumo in person. TLDNR Cliff notes: Went to the Kokugikan for Day 4. There was lots of exciting sumo and a great time was had by all (except Enho).
  22. 15 points
    From yesterday-three Yokozunae- Akinomaki already published it in the Amasumo thread, but I fear many, like me, don't really follow amasumo, so.. If this is too much, please delete this thread, mods..
  23. 15 points
  24. 15 points
  25. 15 points