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About kotoeikoku

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  1. kotoeikoku

    Yaocho by mobile scandal-

    I certainly do. And I'm very grateful to all those collating and translating information. Thank you! (Yusho winner...)
  2. kotoeikoku

    How would you repair sumo

    If they are serious about stopping match-fixing, one way would be to set up a security unit in the following vein: "...a well-resourced security department, which is standard in large companies and in all US sports. In these leagues the unit is specifically charged with protecting and policing the game. It is run by former police officers or FBI agents who can gather information and help press charges against match-fixers." (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/3407740/How-to-stop-match-fixing.html) It doesn't have to be police officers, but it should be run by people outside the regular hierarchy, and it should have the power to punish rikishi appropriately. I doubt that it will happen, though.
  3. kotoeikoku

    How would you repair sumo

    I think that this kind of encompasses the two options as I see them (options 2 and 3 are one and the same to me), though I would replace 'own up' with 'cover up'. Speaking personally, I think that the current incentive system encourages yaocho, so I agree that this needs to be changed (assuming that you believe yaocho to be a problem of course). Whether randonmitsuki's salary from top to bottom approach or peterao's cash for wins is better I don't know, but this is probably the most crucial area to get right to reduce (you can never eliminate) yaocho. The other big area is governance, right? I'm curious as to how people think the riji should be reformed..
  4. kotoeikoku

    Yaocho by mobile scandal-

    Not really. It seems self-evident that only rikishi for whom tangible evidence of yaocho can be found will be thrown out of sumo. Of course, if by 'guilty until proven innocent' one means 'guilty for all and before all' in a Dostoyevskian sense, then it sort of makes sense. I guess this is what you mean: yaocho will never disappear until it is accepted by those ruling sumo that you can no longer blame a few bad apples. The top-dogs need to realize that they, and the whole institutional structure they maintain, are also part of the problem. What seems weird to me in all this is the role being played by the Ministry. Normally when scandals of some sort rear their head in Japan, there is a public apology (all bow together!), some top dog resigns, some nominal 'reform' is announced, and then everything goes back to normal. I'm sure the JSA would love to just put a few rikishi up as sacrificial lambs and go on as usual. So why can that not happen anymore? Too many scandals? Why is the Ministry intent on seeing change in the JSA, instead of just facilitating a nice cover-up?
  5. kotoeikoku

    Yaocho by mobile scandal-

    Oh, I should say I also agree that a lot of blood will have to be spilled to satisfy public opinion. It'll be interesting to see who is offered up as sacrificial lambs.
  6. kotoeikoku

    Yaocho by mobile scandal-

    No. If there is no evidence that a particular rikishi has engaged in yaocho, then they are by default innocent. Unless by your phrase 'everyone is guilty', you simply mean that the whole organization needs reform. I agree with you that the available evidence suggests yaocho is more than just pervasive - it is structural, built in and incentivized, and getting rid of it means a root-and-branch redesign of Ozumo. It also seems probable that many (one wonders if most) rikishi have engaged in it at some time. But you cannot move from the general to the particular without evidence. Anyway, hijack over.
  7. kotoeikoku

    Yaocho by mobile scandal-

    semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit
  8. kotoeikoku

    Salary raise for some after 10 years

    I just read on the net that a jonokuchi yobidashi gets (pre-raise) between ¥14,000 and 20,000 per month. Of course, the kid is usually around 16 or 17 and he would have no expenses. A veteran yobidashi was asked what motivated him to join. He answered quite honestly, "I had nothing else better to do. I didn't want to continue with school and I was told there was an opening." After a pause, he said with even more candor, "When I think about it, by joining, I gave up the real world or any chance for a normal life." At the time of the interview, four slots for yobidashi remained open due to lack of applicants. This is so sad. "When I think about it, by joining, I gave up the real world or any chance for a normal life." = lack of applicants How do you guys think the labour conditions/pay/etc. of urakata could/should be reformed?
  9. kotoeikoku

    Smoking rikishi

    This is an interesting question, though I would guess that for the stimulant effect to help you would need to smoke immediately before a match. Of course, for a habitual smoker this could have a calming effect as well. I do wonder how small the cumulative harm would be in a younger athlete, however. Smoking can apparently (I'm no expert) impact on endurance levels, impede oxygen flow slowing down muscle gain etc, irrespective of age. The most obvious thing smoking would negatively impact on is thus not the one-off honbasho match, but the daily grind of keiko. Even if the reduction in endurance is only, say 1 or 2%, stretch this out over weeks, months and years of daily keiko and you have a significant edge lost to a non-smoker who started at the same time. Of course, giving up smoking is likely to lead to an immediate drop in form, as you deal with the horrors of nicotine withdrawal (I'm an ex-pack-a-day smoker, and shivered in bed for a week after giving up), but in the long term those small edges add up. Edit: Found this study (http://iospress.metapress.com/content/8vw456v008454356/) which states that 'Smoking is associated with increased muscle fatiguability and impairment of back strength in athletes', and this (http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA234658&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf), which claims 'Smoking is a detriment to physical readiness among relatively young, fit Navy personnel. Findings reported here suggest that smokers will have lower physical endurance than nonsmokers even after accounting for differences in the average exercise levels of smokers and nonsmokers.' They also acknowledge that very little research has been done into these areas, so these studies are not backed up by hundreds of others (as is the case for other tobacco-related health claims). If we accept them as true, however, it seems clear that even young rikishi who smoke are harming their potential performance significantly.
  10. kotoeikoku

    Smoking rikishi

    As someone for whom both his father and godfather lost magnificent basso singing voices to smoking -- godfather with cigars, father with cigarettes -- and who lost his godfather to intestinal cancer, probably due to the juices from all the cigars he smoked and chewed on even after his vocal cords were cut out, I have to disagree on "overrated". (My godfather's voice, at least, was professional quality: he once sang with the Don Cossacks.) There's much to be said for living past oyakata retirement age. As far as diabetes goes, it's the weight overall as much as alcohol per se, I would think. I wouldn't worry about it except for those who fail to drop the weight after they cease to be active wrestlers. And there is also the performance issue. At the top level of any sport, the difference between competitors becomes a matter of fine edges (except perhaps with Hakuho). If giving up smoking can improve his health, and therefore his sumo, by even a very small degree, it could have a highly beneficial effect on his results. Comparisons with cigarettes aside, I do wonder how much the drinking culture impacts on performance. Didn't I read here about Baruto going out and getting soused with Hakuho during a hon-basho? It strikes me as a great way of screwing up your opponent: take them out, force them to drink, raging hangover, kick their ass. The true secret of Hakuho's dominance?
  11. kotoeikoku

    Sumo documentary videos

    Thanks so much for the upload, this is a beautiful documentary.
  12. kotoeikoku

    Hakuhou's quest for 70

    Less basho = more time for injuries to heal... Fewer days = less fatigue... Hakuho's could well be better.
  13. kotoeikoku

    Futabayama - lest we forget

    Great stuff! Thank you! Edit: removed unnecessary quote of entire article...
  14. kotoeikoku

    Hakuhou's quest for 70

    I'm so disappointed...Hakuho's run was probably one of the best 'storylines' in Makuuchi these days. I doubt even Hakuho can muster a second run of this length, but you never know. On the other hand, if the Yusho race actually becomes competitive this basho maybe it will help fill those empty seats. Btw, how on EARTH did Baruto get out of that one? What kimarite was that???
  15. kotoeikoku

    2010 Aki Jungyo news

    Hakuho is a one-man PR triumph for the Kyokai. Edit: And thank you Kintamayama for continuing to provide these updates!