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  1. 41 points
    By no demand whatsoever, the video!!
  2. 39 points
    If they skip five meetings in a row, will they be recommended to retire?
  3. 28 points
    Tsurugishou is back in Makuuchi after a year of absence, to the surprise of some. " My dream is to get a big yusho. I'm planning on going undefeated! I want two straight Makuuchi yushos for Oitekaze beya," he declared. He had a good first Makuuchi basho back in September 2019, going 10-5 and getting the kanto-sho, but tore his left k nee ACL last March and subsequently dropped to Juryo. "I still have pain and some loss of balance, so this time I will do forward-moving sumo. I have been checking out the competition and more than getting into my favorite stance, I'd like to take them out of their comfort zone and put them at a disadvantage. I like to use my right hand grip, but if I get my opponents' right elbow out of the way I'll go for the left hand grip. I'm studying what my opponents don't like and i want to do bad things to them.. I want to be the 'heel' (bad boy) of the sumo world, like Baikinman! He is alive and well. I want my opponents to hate facing me! " he added. He says he has ten different types of tachiai "I want my opponent to wonder what kind of tachiai he will be facing today. Usually, everyone has the same kind of tachiai- the right hand gripper comes out with his right, the left hand gripper comes out with his left, the oshi sumo guy comes out charging. Everybody knows that. Me? I'm aiming to keep my opponents guessing. That will prevent them from coming at me with all their might. I want you all to write about this. Reading this will cause them further confusion.." he summed. Finally, something fun to translate. New fan here of Abiko.
  4. 27 points
    Right, I should do that. Sorry, low on time last Sunday and low on motivation since... Day 15 (results, text-only results) 12-3 Se Terunofuji 11-4 M12w Aoiyama 10-5 O1w Asanoyama, O2e Takakeisho, K1e Takayasu, M2w Wakatakakage, M3e Meisei, M8w Tobizaru, M15w Hidenoumi The top 4 of the Day 14 yusho arasoi were paired up for senshuraku, and the basho concluded with a deserved winner and an unexpected runner-up. Ozeki Takakeisho did all he could, but it wasn't enough to avoid getting overpowered by Terunofuji who thus picked up his third makuuchi saiko yusho, the first rikishi in history to win that often below the rank of ozeki, and left no doubt about his (by now confirmed) return to ozeki. The sole jun-yusho spot went to maegashira Aoiyama who defeated Takayasu with both their respective 11th win and a kanto-sho special prize on the line. What a rough finish for the komusubi, losing four of his last five to go from runaway championship contender status to...nothing, really. Okay, a promotion to sekiwake. The 7-7 sanyaku quartet didn't manage the sweep after all. Just one loss, though, taken by the highest-profile rikishi Shodai, who was beaten by fellow ozeki Asanoyama and now has to enter the next tournament kadoban. The S/K trio of Takanosho, Mitakeumi and Daieisho prevailed over their opponents Tochinoshin, Ichinojo and Akiseyama (all hard-luck 7-8 in the end). All three will therefore retain their spots. That was particularly bad news for the other trio, down in the maegashira ranks. Hokutofuji, Wakatakakage (the latter beating the former on senshuraku) and Meisei all have eminently promotable records, but are likely to get stuck on the outside looking in for May. Meisei's victory over Tsurugisho at least resulted in a kanto-sho consolation prize for him, while a gino-sho went to Wakatakakage unconditionally. (For completeness, yusho winner Terunofuji received the basho's sole shukun-sho award.) Six records of 10-5 or better in the joi-jin in the end, something last seen two years ago. That includes a decent if unspectacular showing by ozeki duo Takakeisho and Asanoyama. Some fans might bemoan the absence of truly outstanding performances, but I'm kind of enjoying the current trend of a lot of different rikishi getting their time to shine in turn. Three lower maegashira completed the lineup of double-digit winners for Haru with (of course) Aoiyama, alongside brothers Tobizaru and Hidenoumi. The latter has posted his first ever top division kachikoshi at the seventh time of asking. (If anyone happens to be wondering, one doesn't need to go back to the Taka-Waka days to find joint double digits by a pair of brothers: Roho and Hakurozan did it once, in Kyushu 2005.) 2-1-12 Hakuho Y Kakuryu 0-0-10-i 7-8 Shodai O1 Asanoyama 10-5 10-5 Takakeisho O2 --- 12-3 Terunofuji S Takanosho 8-7 10-5 Takayasu K1 Mitakeumi 8-7 --- K2 Daieisho 8-7 M1 9-6 Hokutofuji M2 Wakatakakage 10-5 10-5 Meisei M3 ... M8 Tobizaru 10-5 8-5-2 Chiyonokuni M9 Hoshoryu 8-7 ... M12 Aoiyama 11-4 I'd be very pleasantly surprised if they keep sanyaku at 10 by promoting Wakatakakage, but the smart bet is of course that nobody's going up from the maegashira ranks. I doubt they'll deny Hokutofuji the mini-promotion to M1w, so it's presumably going to be Waka/Hoku/Meisei in the top three slots next time. As has already been written about aplenty in this here thread it's going to get very messy after that with wild overpromotions and severe underdemotions galore. __________________________________________________________________ The maegashira-juryo exchanges were all but definitive after Day 14 already, and Midorifuji's senshuraku win over Okinoumi cleared up the last piece of the puzzle. Juryo hopeful Enho did win as well, but he neither has a particularly strong claim for promotion with 9 wins at J4e nor is there any room to accommodate him now anyway. Kotoshoho lost to visiting already-makekoshi Tokushoryu and at 1-6-8 he should be dropping far enough that an immediate return to makuuchi after May won't be a foregone conclusion. The juryo race yusho... 11-4 J9w Hakuyozan 10-5 J7e Ura (10-4-1), J10e Takagenji, J13e Jokoryu, J14w Ichiyamamoto 9-6 J2e Ishiura, J3e Chiyomaru, J4e Enho, J7w Azumaryu ...concluded in the most straight-forward fashion with outright winner Hakuyozan. Ura had done his part to progress things towards a potential 10-5 playoff by knocking off co-leader Takagenji, but Chiyomaru wasn't able to follow suit against the eventual winner. Low-ranked erstwhile contenders Ichiyamamoto and Jokoryu proceeded to defeat their high-ranker opponents Ishiura and Akua anyway to finish in the joint runner-up spot. Not counting the messy post-yaocho May 2011 tournament, it's the first time in 13 years that nobody ranked J6 and better managed to reach 10+ wins. (o) 5-10 Midorifuji M10 M11 Kotoshoho 1-6-8 (x) ... (x)4-10-1 Yutakayama M15 M16 J1 Akua 8-7 (o) (o) 9-6 Ishiura J2 (o) 9-6 Chiyomaru J3 Chiyonoo 8-7 9-6 Enho J4 J5 J6 10-4-1 Ura J7 J8 J9 Hakuyozan 11-4 The next juryo banzuke looks pretty easy to compile down to J9, and then things are going off the rails with nobody having a record anywhere near good enough to deserve being placed at J10e and J10w, so a couple of rikishi will be getting very lucky there. __________________________________________________________________ Part of the reason for that is that basically everybody finished 7-8 at the bottom of the division, yielding a split of 12 KK against 16 MK for this basho. Six of the bottom eight rikishi having exactly seven wins is a runaway record for sure (query with 14 juryo ranks since 2004; with 13 ranks prior to that). All three juryo bubble rikishi ended up saving themselves as part of that outcome, with Chiyonoumi and Nishikifuji defeating makushita contenders Daishoho and Kotokuzan, as well as Nishikigi winning against Chiyootori (who finished joint-last in the division at 4-11). Yago's latest sekitori stint has ended on a marginally upbeat note as he ended his 11-day losing streak at the expense of deeply makekoshi makushitan Ryusei, shuffled up only due to maegashira Yutakayama's Day 14 kyujo. (And to my consternation they've actually left Ryusei's official final record as 1-6-1...) Both sekitori rookies Takakento and Bushozan are also among the glut of 7-8 finishers, the former with an unfortunate loss on senshuraku, the latter with a victory that has seemingly turned out crucial for him in the most unexpected fashion. Last basho's newcomer Tohakuryu rounded out the 7-8 sixpack with a win, his sixth in a row. J10 Yago 4-11 (x) J11 (o) 7-8 Chiyonoumi J12 Nishikifuji 7-8 (o) J13 Nishikigi 7-8 (o) (??) 7-8 Bushozan J14 Ms1 (o) 4-3 Oho Ms2 Daishoho 5-2 (o) (??) 4-3 Kotokuzan Ms3 4-3 Tochimaru Ms4 Ms5 4-3 Roga Ms6 Murata 4-3 Ms7 Kaisho 5-2 No, I still don't get it. Only Daishoho and Oho were announced as promotions to juryo this past Wednesday, which has to mean that Bushozan inexplicably survived as Kotokuzan has been snubbed. Here's hoping they didn't just create the most unlucky career-high Ms1 of the last several decades and he can still grab that promotion eventually, preferably right next time of course.
  5. 25 points
    Ever since he made it to Makuuchi and for the last 45 bashos,, Endou's tsukebito is Daishouryuu, Sandanme 67 west. He always trained with him before the bouts, checking out his tachiai and the tactics for the next day's bout. Daishouryuu has decided to retire. The usually emotionless Endou was seen being quite emotional. Daishouryuu ended his career yesterday, going 0-7. "I wanted to beat the Ozeki any way I could today. I think whoever should know, knows why.." said Endou in an interview after the bout. After his bout today, he walked up the hanamichi with his 24 kensho envelopes that he won after beating Takakeishou, worth 1,308,000 yen (approximately $13000) and handed them over to his faithful tsukebito. Very nice gesture. Endou has back to back Ozeki opponents on day 13 and 14. He is ranked M8. This is unheard of. This doesn't happen often. Additionally, there has never been a case where a leader who had a two win buffer going into day 14 did not end up with the yusho. "Will there be a miracle?' asks the reporter. "No," answered the retorter.
  6. 24 points
    I was examining a publication of the Board of Tourist Industry Japanese Government Railways (No. 34 in the Tourist Library series) titled Sumo – Japanese Wrestling by Kōzō Hikoyama (copyright 1940). Since seeing an exhibit including works by Hirezaki Eihō 鰭崎英朋 (1880-1968) at the Yayoi/Yumeji Museums last year, I have watched for examples of his sumo work. He did illustrations for newspapers as well as woodblock prints. Although it is not credited in the text of Kōzō Hikoyama's book, I think the 32 illustrations in the chapter on Wrestling Techniques are Eihō work. The techniques are in the file names and are not all 'winning' techniques in the modern sense. I think his illustrations are very suggestive of actual rikishi instead of generic wrestlers. I am also including the illustration on the front cover (not Eihō's) and a few photos from the work: Futabayama, a dohyo iri with Haguroyama as tsuyuharai and ozeki Nayoroiwa looking particularly well fed.
  7. 22 points
    As nobody seems to miss these, I'll step in for myself and do the final day: Part 1: Fujiseiun, won the Jonokuchi playoffs by beating his heyamate and favorite training partner Suguro: "That was good. I was able to do forward moving sumo.. I want to become a sekitori in three years. I want to do sumo like my Oyakata (ex-Musouyama). It's a great start for my career but I want to keep my feet on the ground and not be too festive.." Ishizaki, (Ishiura B) winning the Sandanme playoff and getting the yusho with a Sandanme 100 tsukedashi start of his career: "I was so nervous and was worried that my body wouldn't move but I'm happy I was able to win. I think I did the best possible and was aiming for the yusho. I'd like to praise myself for that. I don't want to party too much and intend to start training from tomorrow and try to get to Juryo as quickly as I can." Ura, Juryo yusho: "I'm really happy. I was able to finish the basho without getting injured and I'm happy about that too. I wasn't thinking about the yusho at all. I keep getting asked about it but I don't bother myself with that.. I had given up on returning to Makuuchi at times, but I'm really lucky to be going back for another round.. I never thought I'd make it back to Makuuchi.." Wakatakakage, getting his second straight Gino-sho: "I'm happy. I feel I have gotten stronger and more confident. I've been checking out the commentaries about me on TV and am happy that I'm valued.. I lost today-I had a few bouts where I lost because my feet didn't follow. I want to do sumo where my feet move well.. Sanyaku? We'll have to wait till the banzuke will be announced.." "Yeah, it's a tsunatori run," said Isegahama oyakata about Terunofuji. "He's had three yusho in a year and has had back to back yushos, so depending on his next record, you can say he could be promoted.." he summed. The last one to make Yokozuna on a "clean" two consecutive yushos was Harumafuji in 2012. Isegahama on Takayasu's possible Ozeki run: "If he gets a yusho with 13 wins or more it will be relevant, just like it has been with past Ozeki. That's the position.." He has 20 wins in the last 2 bashos from Komusubi/Sekiwake. Akua (5-10), on his way back to Juryo, his heya moving from far away Ibaraki nearer to the KKan: "I've been there ten years so I'm sad. Having said that, the new place will be within walking distance to the KKan so the commute will be much easier." Kaisei finished with a 9-6 record. "I was worried if I would be able to kachikoshi at all, so I'm happy I did it. In any case I'm knackered and intend to fully rest. How? I'll take it easy at home. I'm scared of the virus.." Endou, in the race till the last minute, but falling short: "It's a world of victory and defeat so if you can win, you can lose as well. I was not aware of the yusho race.. I'm happy people thought I deserved the gino-sho. Regarding my injuries, I've said this countless times - I will do my best to fix my body properly, train and gambarize!" Terunofuji, yusho via playoff after losing the daily bout: "I am happier than usual. I've lost all three of my previous playoff bouts. Even though I lost three of my last five bouts, I always said I'll take it a bout a day. My knees? As usual." ex-Aminishiki "He had trouble walking after day 8.. I think when he puts on weight it hurts more. He hadn't trained much before the basho because of his condition." Mitakeumi, first double figure wins since last July, beating Ichinojou today: "I hit, got inside and did my own sumo. I'm frustrated that all kinds of rikishi have overtaken me in rank. I'd like to tighten my resolve and aim higher!"
  8. 22 points
  9. 20 points
    Not today, unfortunately. Asanoyama was caught going out up to 2 days before the basho, was confronted yesterday about it by Shibatayama and Oguruma and denied it, then did a volte-face today after the paparazzi broke the story. Bad things incoming. Large font size and TLDR for your convenience. Had a dilation before and it's a PITA to see anything with it indeed.
  10. 19 points
    Frankly, I don't see how you can't see it as a personal insult. What other reason could they have for bringing this up at precisely this moment, right as he is about to retire? Like is anyone supposed to believe it's pure coincidence they decided to go "well, ACTUALLY," exactly now? Frankly, it's scandalous. edit: for me, if you want to abolish the ichidai toshiyori system (and don't even tell me you can't "abolish" it because it "never existed in the first place", it's been granted before and so it exists), the only appropriate thing to do is to give it to Hakuho and then say "we're now stopping this practice for good". You don't pull the rug from under someone at the last minute.
  11. 19 points
    Kitanofuji-san TV commentator on Chiyotairyuu: "He doesn't look healthy. Looking closer, without the sideburns, he's become cute.. He doesn't look threatening.." On no Yokozunae: "BOOOORING!! Nothing we can do about it.. Looks like Terunofuji will be pulling everyone after him.." On Shoudai, before his bout, which he lost: "He should be very careful today. His tachiai is very high this basho and can be easily pushed around. " He was right. "See?? I don't want to boast but he does look nervous.." On Hokutofuji and the blood: "He's used to getting cut.." On the NHK broadcast twitter: "Man, I'm tired! I was sleeping while listening to rakugo on the radio and when I awoke it was three thirty.. I kept listening to programs and sleeping and then I woke up at 6 am. I got up earlier than the roosters.." A character he is, this guy. Hakkaku rijicho on Terunofuji: "The quality of his sumo is not good but he is concentrated and manages to get out of a bad situation. The knees seem to be OK. The flow (of wins) is good. " On Asanoyama: "His tachiai failed. He should work harder and harder on his sumo, otherwise his future doesn't look good.." Takakeishou, winning: "I will be concentrating tomorrow as well. Every day, I face a different opponent. Today is another day, is what I'm thinking." Asanoyama: "My sumo is not good. I need to reflect upon this. Today, I planned on slapping my opponent and stopping him in his tracks, but it didn't happen. I was able to turn things around at the dohyo edge. A win is more important than a loss. When I overthink things my body becomes stiff. I need to face each bout a day and if I can do my own sumo I'll be alright." Takayasu: "I was patient. The quality is not bad and I'm in good condition physically. I want to stay in the yusho race till the final day by doing quality sumo!" Midorifuji, fighting through pain, losing to Aoiyama and only started training a week before the basho due to a herniated back: "I aimed for the katasukashi but failed. I shouldn't be aiming for that.. I'm in pain, but everyone is in pain so it's fine.." Shoudai, losing today: "My opponent got the first step on me, as I was a bit impatient and was stopped..The flow is not good. i need to change that at some point. '
  12. 19 points
    And the sort of requested follow-up...all 185 rikishi with a hatsu-dohyo after 1958 who have reached sanyaku, sorted by their age when they got there. (Ascending this time, and with a later starting cutoff to get rid of all the pre-six basho guys from the previous table.) Later yokozuna in red, later ozeki in blue, active rikishi marked with x in front of their shikona. Spoiler tagged due to the sheer size of the table. Interpret at your leisure.
  13. 18 points
    Terunofuji shebang interview translated. His Japanese accent is a bit rough so i had to wing it at times. but you get the gist..
  14. 18 points
    Senshuraku of course also saw three lower-division playoffs. I assume you've watched the matches already, but if you've got half an hour and a hankering for the whole thing, an uncut recording of the proceedings is available for your perusal. __________________________________________________________________ The jonokuchi tomoe-sen saw victory for Atamifuji, who was dominant in both his matches. Things had started off with Arauma manhandling outclassed Toshonishiki, but against more credible challenger Atamifuji he looked astonishingly green for a collegiate grad again, just like in his losing 6-0 effort two days earlier. Reviewing his other matches just now, I feel fairly secure in saying that his current wall will be no higher than mid-sandanme. Atamifuji, on the other hand, is an absolute specimen at age 18, and clearly already knows how to make good sumo use of his body. Makekoshi can't always be completely avoided on the way up, but I'd make it odds-on that he's in makushita one year from now (assuming that we actually get 5 more tournaments in 2021). In any case, with them moving up in tandem with their 6-1 records (to around Jd50), there's a fairly high likelihood that we'll be seeing Atamifuji-Arauma round 4 next time. __________________________________________________________________ The jonidan decider was the expected easy victory for Nogami who retains his undefeated record since he returned from injury layoff. He'll move up to about Sd20, high enough that another 7-0 would see him straight back in the extended makushita promotion zone. Of course, high sandanme will be a whole different matter for him than jonokuchi and jonidan have been. 6 wins next time out shouldn't be unrealistic at all, though. Ryutsukasa, even though he also missed two tournaments before this one, is already returning to mostly familiar ground in lower-mid sandanme with this one score, so it would be quite a surprise to see him feature in the yusho-arasoi again. __________________________________________________________________ And finally, the big 9-rikishi makushita decision ended with a surprise winner in 34-year-old Sakigake, now the 4th-oldest first-time winner of a divisional yusho in modern times. The surprises arguably started early, however, with the schedulers opting for a straight knockout bracket instead of the double-bye format playing down to a tomoe-sen final that has been more commonly used for 9-man playoffs. Time considerations? Covid-19 reservations about a bunch of rikishi drawing lots in close proximity in full camera view? Moon phases? Who knows. In any case, winner Sakigake was even among the unlucky pair who had to compete in the preliminary match to whittle the field down to 8 contenders, so he had to work extra hard to come out on top. The 9 participants had already appeared in a total of 5 regulation matches against each other, one of which saw a repeat in these playoffs: After his Day 13 loss, unfortunate Shohoryu found himself stopped again by Nishikifuji here in the quarterfinals. Both finalists Shiba and Sakigake had looked strong in their qualifying matches, and they quickly stalemated each other for some 30 seconds before Sakigake countered a Shiba attempt at taking the initiative, seizing the moment to start marching his aite out of the dohyo. Truly an impressive showing, and evidently no stamina issues for the former short-time juryo member. Prior to a harsh 1-6 performance at Ms7w two months ago, Sakigake was still doing well hanging around the promotion zone, and he should be returning to just outside the top 5 ranks. He's clearly still got something left in the tank despite his age, so perhaps he'll soon make a push for another juryo return. An immediate trip to juryo is of course in the cards for Nishikifuji even though he didn't win the title here. The next high makushita looks somewhat crowded with all 4 demotions from juryo probably not falling very far, so Shohoryu may not be going any higher than Ms4e. Lots of possible, more or less reasonable ways for the banzuke committee to sort things out here, though, so that barely even qualifies as an educated guess. A somewhat disappointing showing by Nihonyanagi who lost his first match to the arguably least accomplished rikishi in the field, Fukamiyama. We'll see what the immediate future holds for him; he's still set to receive a big jump up the rankings to around Ms23, and that may prove to be Nihonyanagi's first big test. Fukamiyama joins Nihonyanagi and Shohoryu in reaching a new career-high rank on the next banzuke. It'll be the first time the 26-year-old finds himself in makushita's upper half. Lastly, Ryusei - only a couple of months younger than Sakigake - is set to move to his highest rank in 4 and a half years. __________________________________________________________________ On a final note, this was the first time in 12 years and only the 10th time ever that a basho has seen two lower-division yusho won on 6-1 records. And with that we're done here. Thanks for reading!
  15. 17 points
    Aight, let's get into these Ozeki weeds. I've gone back on all Ozeki back to Kaio (I just arbitrailty chose to look at Ozeki promotions from year 2000 on). For win / loss percentage, I've excluded abscences - but included fusen (both wins and losses). Only including basho AT THE RANK. No lead-up, no ozekiwake. EDIT: Current basho (March 2021) is entirely omitted. Basho are counted as Kyujo if there is any absence, from 1 day to the full 15. Keep in mind the general 10/15 wins works out to 66.7%, for many that appears to be the benchmark - so let's rank ozeki by that criteria first: No surprises here, eventual Yokozuna largely on top. Asanoyama and Shodai are likely benefiting from their smaller sample size. Rikishi Wins Losses Win % Asashoryu 38 7 84% Hakuho 73 17 81% Kisenosato 332 133 71% Asanoyama 34 14 71% Shodai 14 6 70% Harumafuji 214 105 67% Takayasu 113 57 66% Kakuryu 119 61 66% Baruto 133 69 66% Takakeisho 65 39 63% Tochiazuma 207 125 62% Kaio 524 328 62% Kotooshu 378 264 59% Kotomitsuki 141 104 58% Goeido 260 194 57% Kotoshogiku 256 192 57% Terunofuji 96 87 52% Tochinoshin 35 43 45% Let's look at Kyujo %. Rikishi Kyujo Basho Kyujo % Kakuryu 0 12 0% Kisenosato 0 31 0% Asashoryu 0 3 0% Harumafuji 1 22 5% Kotomitsuki 2 17 12% Kotoshogiku 4 32 13% Baruto 2 15 13% Hakuho 1 7 14% Kotooshu 8 47 17% Goeido 7 33 21% Terunofuji 3 14 21% Kaio 14 65 22% Asanoyama 1 4 25% Tochiazuma 11 30 37% Takayasu 6 15 40% Tochinoshin 3 7 43% Takakeishō 4 9 44% Shodai 1 2 50% There is definitely a trend towards Ozeki Kyujo more recently. That said, many in this forum would agree that these days rikishi should be sitting out rather than risking career-ending injury, no? Seems like a good thing, really. So I don't know, let's balance this out somehow. How do we feel about z-score of wins and kyujos combined? Rikishi Win Ratio Kyujo Ratio Sum Asashoryu 2.11 1.31 3.42 Hakuho 1.76 0.41 2.17 Kisenosato 0.74 1.31 2.05 Kakuryu 0.18 1.31 1.49 Harumafuji 0.29 1.02 1.31 Baruto 0.16 0.47 0.63 Asanoyama 0.68 -0.26 0.42 Kotomitsuki -0.72 0.57 -0.15 Kotoshogiku -0.76 0.52 - 0.24 Kotooshu -0.58 0.24 -0.34 Kaio -0.30 -0.05 -0.35 Goeido -0.75 -0.03 -0.77 Takayasu 0.22 -1.21 -0.99 Tochiazuma -0.21 -0.99 -1.19 Shodai 0.59 -1.84 -1.24 Terunofuji -1.25 -0.04 -1.29 Takakeishō -0.20 -1.49 -1.68 Tochinoshin -2.05 -1.39 -3.44 I think we might be onto a good measurement system here, based on that eventual Yokozuna dominance! Also, I guess forum intuition is checking out. Asanoyama is pretty respectable, Shodai and Takakeisho have room for improvement. I considered also allowing a field for number of ozeki basho at the rank, but decided against it. It doesn't really change things much, for what it's worth. Interestingly, going in to this, I'd have said Baruto was closest to Yokozuna without reaching it of post-2000 Ozeki (I know Kaio won a decent chunk of tournaments, but for mine Baruto at his peak was SO close); and I think many would agree Tochinoshin was the worst least successful Ozeki in recent memory. Anyway, take from this what you will. I had fun doing it.
  16. 17 points
    I have now updated the site to reflect the 2021 year book.
  17. 17 points
    He's alternating kyujos until hosting Olympics.
  18. 16 points
    It seems ex-Kisenosato has given up on waiting for Takayasu to win his yusho. Either that, or he knows something we don't about the Nagoya yusho winner. Jokes aside: Asahi Sumo reports that the rijikai has approved Araiso-oyakata's request to branch out from Tagonoura stable effective August 1st. Araiso-beya will be based in Ibaraki (possibly using the old Tatsunami premises?), and Araiso-oyakata will take Jd60e Adachi, Jk16w Nishihara, Jk17e Taniguchi, and Jk17w Kato with him, as well as makushita gyoji Kimura Takanosuke with him. EDIT1: More news from Hochi Sport: The new heya will be in Ibaraki prefecture, Inashiki district, Ami town (next to Kisenosato's home base of Ushiku) and is expected to be completed in the summer of next year. For the time being, they will use temporary premises in Tsukuba city (not Tsukubamirai, where Tatsunami was). EDIT2: Courtesy of Herouth: Herouth points out that Adachi is clearly not Araiso-oyakata's deshi, having been his stablemate since 2002, but it "makes sense that a new heya with three baby deshi needs a mature anideshi" (and a chankocho, probably). EDIT3: Asahi's interview with Araiso-oyakata Araiso-oyakata confirms Hochi's reporting of the location of his heya, and says he wants to "give guidance that suits each wrestler". He says it's been 2 years since his intai, and he's heard and considered what various people have had to say in his time at graduate school. He wants to put this into practice, with an emphasis on the environment (presumably meaning the heya and training environment rather than the physical location and natural environment), and he also wants to give back to Ibaraki in consideration of the support he has received. When asked how many years it will be before he produces a sekitori, he says that he wants to do it early, but there were times when he himself was bogged down and made less progress when expected. What matters is where you finally end up, and that one doesn't fall on the way up. It doesn't matter whether it's early or late, and he's more concerned with building up the bodies of his wrestlers.
  19. 16 points
    Quakuryu. I'm sorry.
  20. 16 points
    Apologies again for thread necromancy. No clue if this should be filed under a new thread entitled "Kakuryu Activities", but here is his retirement interview - it is extensive: https://taishu.jp/articles/-/93841?page=1 Retirement Interview with Yokozuna Kakuryu: "Looking back, I have no regrets at all." Born in Mongolia, Kakuryu came to Japan at the age of 16. With his well-balanced physique and skilful sumo, Kakuryu served as yokozuna for 41 basho. Injuries have plague him in recent years, and he announced his retirement during the Haru basho in March. We asked him to reflect on his 19 years of sumo, including his passion for the ring and his words to his classmate, Yokozuna Hakuho. I: How do you feel now that you have gone from yokozuna Kakuryu to Kakuryu Oyakata? K: When I decided to retire in the middle of the Haru Basho, I felt that I had been released from something, and I couldn't think about anything. I feel refreshed. I: I was also impressed by the occasional smiles you showed at your intai press conference on March 25. K: Indeed. There were no tears (laughs). I have been sumo wrestling since I was 16 years old, and many thing have happened. However, looking back, I have no regrets. I have been absent since the July basho last year, and I was thinking, "I want to get back in the ring as soon as possible!" In the past, I had been able to return to the ring many times even when injured. That's why I participated in the joint training sessions at the Kokugikan before the Haru basho - wrestling with the younger rikishi and making my own adjustments. However, just before the basho, I tore a muscle in my left thigh during training. At the moment, my body felt good and I thought, "I'll be fine." However the injury healed slowly and I wondered if I would be able to make it to the next basho. I wanted a lot of people to see me in the ring again, and that was my goal, but as I got older, I started to think, "I'm done... I guess I've had enough." Even if I healed well, I would get injured again in a different part of the body. When this kept happening, I began to wonder if my body was giving me signals. I have a longer life ahead of me, you know. I: Did you feel that you had reached your limits, both physically and mentally? K: That's right. As a yokozuna, I can't go into the ring in a half-hearted state. I regret that I was not able to enter the ring with the determination that this would be my last sumo match. I: Unlike many other Mongolian rikishi, you did not have any experience of bokh as a boy, did you? K: Yes. Hakuho's father was a Mongolian sumo champion, and Asashoryu and Tokitenku's father were also strong men. Some people have been around bokh since they were children. But in my case, I did not have that kind of environment. I loved basketball more than that, and was a fan of the NBA (laughs). So, when I was 15 years old, there was a story that Hakkaku-oyakata was going to hold a youth sumo tournament in Mongolia, and I participated. I failed to qualify. The boys who did well in the tournament were able to go to Japan and become rikishi. Even though I had never wrestled before, I was still shocked when I failed to qualify. After that, my desire to become a rikishi great stronger, but I didn't know how to become one. When I was in such trouble, my father's acquaintance (a professor of Japanese at a university) helped me out and I sent two letter to people in the sumo business in Japan, saying, "If there is a heya that accepts me, I will do my best to live up to their expectations." I: One of the letters arrived at Izutsu-beya, where you were to be admitted later, didn't it? K: The letter was really left to chance, but about a month after I sent it, I received a phone call from the okamisan of Izutsu-beya at my home in Mongolia, who asked me if I would like to come to Japan right away. As expected, I was like, "Oh my God, what should I do?" Six months later, I was fortunate to be able to go to Japan. When I first entered the room, I remember the unique smell of tatami mats. Since then, I've become a man and a father. I'm glad that I was able to keep to what I wrote in my letter. I: Your first dohyo apperance was at the Kyushu basho in 2001. The veteran rikishi of the time, Terao (now Shikoroyama-oyakata) was alos a member of Izutsu-beya. K: Yes, the "Rikisaburo" in my name was given to me from the name that Terao had previously used, but I didn't understand the meaning until much later (laughs). In terms of life in a heya, my master told me not to go out for 6 months. I was convinced that this was a heya rule, but it had another meaning. The year I entered, many Mongolian rikishi entered as well, like Harumafuji (Hatsu) and Hakuho (Haru). However, since there were not many Mongolian rikishi in the same heya, there was no one to talk to, so the Mongolian rikishi in the vicinity would hand out with each other at night. In this way, I wouldn't have learnt Japanese and wouldn't have been able to fit in at the sumo stable - it's a vicious cycle. By forbidding the young rikishi to go outside, he helped them to learn Japanese quickly and get used to the heya and sumo culture. He also allowed me to have a cell phone, which young rikishi are usually not allowed to have and allowed me to keep in touch with my family in Mongolia. I can't thank him enough. People often ask me, "Wasn't it hard?" But I was prepared for it from the beginning, so it wasn't too hard for me. The only thing I didn't like is raw food (laughs). I couldn't eat fish. I: In 2005, at the age of 20, you were promoted to the rank of shin-juryo. K: Looking back, there are many memorable sumo matches, but the one that made me happiest was the one in the previous basho, where I won my fifth match in the fifth makushita division to become shin-Juryo. Hakuho and Harumafuji, who were in the same grade as me, had been moving up the ranks since I started, but I could not catch up with them. When I became a sekitori, I said, "I've finally caught up. I can't lose to my classmates!" But the result was a loss, I was sent back to the makushita division. I: At that time, I heard that the gyoji at the heya encouraged you. K: On the night of the final day of the tournament, Kimura Shonosuke (then Shikimori Koshinokichi) called out to me when I was depressed. He said, "Ananda, are you frustrated? You're going to have a week off from tomorrow, but if you're frustrated, why don't you sweat it out in practice?" I thought, "You are right." I was awakened. Thanks to his advice, I was able to return to Juryo in one basho and was promoted to Makuuchi a year later. I: You were promoted to ozeki in the summer of 2012. In the most recent Hatsu and Haru bashos then, you had defeated yokozuna Hakuho. K: I had been unable to beat Hakuho for a long time, and my first yusho came in Haru of 2014. Although I was promoted to Ozeki, there were already five Ozeki, and including me, it was the "Six Ozeki Era". Every basho, the Ozekis were competing with each other for wins and it was tough to become a yokozuna. However, it was great to have someone to compete with. You can't do your best if you don't have someone like that. Then, after winning 14 matches in 2014 Haru, I was given a chance to win the yusho. I: In the Haru basho, you won your first championship. How did you feel? K: When my promotion was decided, I was so anxious. I remember saying, "I'm so happy." But to tell you the truth, I was thinking, "It would be nice if I could serve as yokozuna for one or two years." I think that's how I felt. When I became a yokozuna, I understood the weight of the position and the hardships it entailed., and I also realised that Hakuho, who has been yokozuna for a long time, has overcome such hardships. I thought, "If I don't manage to yusho as yokozuna soon..." So I was really happy when I won the autumn tournament for the second time that year. I: You also won the Haru and May tournament in 2018, and your sixth in Nagoya. K: I had an accident before that basho, which ended up being my last victory. I cam to Nagoya after thorough training in Tokyo, and I thought, "This basho is the one!" But then I felt discomfort in my lower back, and for a week before the basho started, I devoted myself to treatment twice a day. During the first half, I was on painkillers, but I was able to win the basho by attacking quickly to prevent the back pain from worsening. However, during that time, yokozuna Kisenosato retired as did many rikishi of the same generation like Toyonoshima (now Iztusu-oyakata) and Kotoshogiku (now Hidenoyama-oyakata) who were Ozeki with me. To be honest, I was sad to see the rikishi who had fought in the same era disappear. When other rikishi of my generation retired, I thought, "Maybe it's time for me to retire, too." I: When did you start thinking about becoming a stablemaster? K: When I got married and my children were getting older, I thought it was time to start thinking about the future. I didn't know anything about anything other than sumo and I thought, "Now that I've been brought up to this level, I need to give something back." As many of you may know, it order to become a sumo stablemaster, you need to be Japanese. However, it is a difficult question for a foreign-born rikishi to easily accept this, including opinions of his family back home. Hakuho became Japanese before I did, but I think he must have had a lot of trouble. Now that he has announced his intention to continue his career, I'm sure he'll do something since he is the yokozuna who set such a record! As a junior members of the team, there is not much more I can say. I thought a lot about the timing of my naturalisation, and even consulted with my family in Mongolia. However, I didn't want to become a Japanese citizen too soon, and created an "escape zone" where I could retire at any time. If I quit now, I wouldn't be able to become an oyakata - I wouldn't be able to do anything! I put myself in a lonely position and put pressure on myself. If you have a way out, you can't help but want to run away. I: So that's how it was. From now on, as an oyakata, you will be in position to teach young rikishi. K: Until I was an Ozeki, my stablemaster told me to focus on myself. But after I became a yokozuna, I trained not only myself but also the younger rikishi. I believe that the advice of an active rikishi can give you a different perspective from that of your stablemaster. However, I feel that teaching others is a difficult task. It's not the same as forcing what you've experienced on others. I would like to teach in a way that suits each individual. I: Do you think there will be a new yokozuna in 2021? K: That's a difficult question. Personally, I hope Shodai, whom I trained with a lot when I was active, will do well, but I am concerned about his passive style of sumo. In terms of training hard, I would like to see Daieisho win his first basho (which he did). When he was young, I thought he had something good within him, and so trained him well. Meisei, who won the Fighting Spirit Award last basho, is also improving. After all, rikishi who work hard are always improving. For young rikishi to grow, it is important that they have ears to listen. As an oyakata, I would like to do my best to create opportunities for them.
  21. 16 points
    Mitakeumi said today.. just kidding..
  22. 16 points
    I can't post a screenshot as I'm using my phone, but Kakuryu is now a Japanese citizen. He's the first entry in the third column in this PDF.
  23. 15 points
    The COVID breaches alone he might have gotten away with, even taking into account his rank; it could have been dicey but there would have been a decent chance. The precedents so far show that only repeated cases (i.e. not necessary numerous violations brought to light, but separate groups of violations) like Tokitsuumi's case will be punished harshly. If he had come clean he would probably have been given the chance to reform had he wanted it (cf. Kintamayama's statement about whether or not Asanoyama has the strength to climb back from makushita). Also, while it looks like that to outsiders, sumo is much more than a sport. It's not a coincidence that kyujo is more prevalent nowadays than it was previously; the mentality really was (and in some places still is) you go on the dohyo unless you're too injured to even walk, never mind if you go MK in the process. So while championship, ozeki, and yokozuna runs make for great results-based narratives, performance is systemically seen as really rather secondary in the grand scheme of things for the vast majority of rikishi involved in ozumo, and you take the lumps of your circumstances, COVID-related or otherwise. If you can't deal with the stress of the circumstances COVID forces on you, tough luck; go down and let the others who can take over your rank. Whatever was said to Shibatayama and Oguruma, they came out and said 2 hours after the tabloid broke the story that "there was no fact in the story"/"it's factless". How do you want to explain that misunderstanding away? As it is I suspect Shibatayama and Oguruma chose their words very carefully because they're surely aware that they have no independent corroboration and are taking Asanoyama's words at face value. Whatever was said to Shibatayama and Oguruma, that led them to come out in defence of Asanoyama to say there was no truth in the reports, and then they ended up with egg on their face after Asanoyama admitted to it 4-5 hours later. Sure, depending on what was or was not said, it may or may not be a lie by the strict dictionary definition of the word. But the end result is undeniable: Asanoyama gave the impression that there was no basis to the story initially, and wound up embarrassing his superiors. Thankfully we are in saner times, but might I just point out that this is Japan where up till the Meiji Restoration, it was seen as traditionally customary to commit suicide for disgracing your lord or clan. Even now, CEOs and heads of companies will resign to take the blame for troubles that may or may not have been their fault out of responsibility to the corporation as a whole. "Face", or social appearances, are very important, and if I were Shibatayama and Oguruma, I would be very mad at Asanoyama for that about turn. That's the reason why I said Asanoyama was going to make it worse for himself if he tried to plead a technicality - the result is that the NSK is embarrassed and he is the proximate cause; trying to escape that blame is going to be seen as cowardly and compounding his original sin even further. The "rungs on the ladder" metaphor fails to quite encapsulate the difference between yokozuna/ozeki and everyone else. These ranks are virtually exalted or taboo, jokes about lacklustre ozeki performances aside. It's not for no reason that these are the ranks given the greatest privilege and trappings of privilege (e.g. parking spaces, purple-fringed mawashi, attendants, deference, the exclusive right to jun-toshiyori abolished for all other ranks). With great privilege comes great responsibility; they are in return expected to uphold the strictest standards of behaviour expected of all rikishi. It's no defence to say that they're human like the rest of us. In fact, for yokozuna, that argument doesn't wash in traditional sumo thought because they're seen as the embodiment of a divine spirit, a kami, which imbues them with the power, strength, and grace that empowers their exploits on the dohyo. A yokozuna dohyo-iri carries serious spiritual weight. In an environment without yokozuna, that burden and obligation to uphold standards falls on the ozeki. If the ozeki do not uphold those standards, you can't expect the other rikishi to. So the argument that "he's the same as a lower-ranked rikishi" is the wrong way round. In East Asian thinking, value is not placed on the powers that be being like the everyday man. The powers that be are meant to be above everyone else in the hierarchy as paragons to be emulated. The thinking behind handing him a stiff penalty because of his rank is "if he does that he's telling everyone they can do that". No one gives two hoots about Ryuden because he's not a top-ranker; his moral failings will be lumped in with his lack of relative success. But Asanoyama? He ought to have known better given his responsibilities and therefore his transgression cannot be as easily forgiven as Abi's to begin with, even disregarding his embarrassment of the NSK. FWIW, Harumafuji would probably have gotten away with the violence had he not been yokozuna. Takanoiwa and Takanofuji both got away with one-offs and were forced to retire only after repeat violations. Harumafuji felt he had to go because he had failed to live up to the standards that he as a yokozuna was expected to set for other rikishi especially in light of the no-violence campaign. Basically, the higher up in the hierarchy you go, the less scope you have for making mistakes. We can have pity for Asanoyama as a person for being under the stress of expectation, which I suspect was part of the reason why he resorted to this nonsense in the first place, but as for what he represents within the world of sumo, his position is almost if not already untenable. The only thing left for him to do is to offer to resign, which paradoxically may just save his career should he wish it.
  24. 15 points
    A contrarian take: The publication of this proposal at this specific time is a massive showing of disrespect to Hakuho by the council members, no doubt about that. But this thing is also so completely irrelevant to the actual fan experience of sumo that the hysterical reactions of the last 24 hours are rather hilarious to me. Reddit has people doubting that they will remain sumo fans over this! I shudder to think how much worse it must be on Facebook and Twitter. It's on par with people breathlessly debating the merits of Harry and Meghan keeping or losing their royal titles. Nobody except Hakuho is actually affected by this, and if the guy who rewrote nearly the entire record book and earned millions of dollars in the process actually required an ultimately meaningless award* for his emotional well-being, I wouldn't know what to say, so I hope he's taking this better than fans are. Go build up political support, become rijicho in 10 to 15 years, and then he can make a grand show of re-instituting ichidai-toshiyori for the next dai-yokozuna if it's truly important to have it exist. * Ultimately meaningless if given only because it "has to be", that is.
  25. 15 points
    The SumoDB is not a commercial site. Nobody pays for this valuable information, and it is maintained for many years by a devoted sumo fan at zero personal benefit. Against this background, I find it somewhat irritating if people demand that this person should do this or that. As for the photos: these were all personally taken by another incredibly dedicated sumo fan who unfortunately doesn‘t provide this service any longer. And unless Doitsuyama doesn‘t want to run into copyright issues by using photos from existing Websites, no easy solution is at hand.