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Orion last won the day on August 23 2016

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  1. This is precisely what I was trying to say in my last week's post, to which one or two people have tried to add from a Wiki search. In the meantime, in my regular job which is behind the scenes, I have prevented a minor problem (major catastophe? ) by using my knowledge of Mongolian names. IMHO the basic problem for Hakuho may be that his father Jigjid was the first Mongolian to represent his country in any Olympic Games -- he even had to take part in the opening ceremony carrying the Mongolian flag ( and somewhere I still have the photo!). I am only guessing, since it is several years since I had the chance to talk directly with Hakuho, that he may be unwilling to appear to outdistance his father at that level. Orion
  2. This strikes me as the closest explanation. Just one point, though it's several years since I was using a bit of Mongolian: isn't his illustrious father's name "Jigjid"? adding the "-iin" is the equivalent of the English "-'s" meaning that Hakuho is Jigjid's son. On a personal note, I do hope that Hakuho's timing will work out and the Kyokai can make him one of their most distinguished ichidai toshiyori. As many have said, he's "more Japanese than the Japanese" -- partly thanks to the early experience of his Japanese wife's reading to him from the biographies of famous Japanese rikishi of old (that was in the early days while they still had free evenings together!) Orion
  3. No, the fans are clean. But there is a folded up program showing the next few bouts and as each yobidashi finishes his stint he hands it to the next. I once interviewed a tate-yobidashi and he said that at first he was still looking for the next man to hand it to -- but of course he was now the final caller! Orion
  4. Yes, that's Dewanoumi-beya and both the twins are there in the clip. Once when I was there with an ambassador and his family there was a MMA man being filmed. The guys were walking on eggshells to avoid hurting him! Orion
  5. However short, the ceremony must have been agony for his master Tagonoura, who was unable to do shimpan duty last basho because of the pain in his legs and feet; replaced by Nishiiwa, former Wakanosato. Orion
  6. Kesho mawashi are expensive and if a family member can afford one that is basically it: assuming, of course, that the design is acceptable to the stable master (and ultimately to the Kyokai). But it is hard to imagine somebody paying out a few million yen for something yucky. Back in the day I followed the whole process of ordering and making of one particular kesho mawashi, to write an article (hint: Kotooshu's special from the EU Delegation) and that ended up in the final stages of the embroidery, followed by my only trip to the Prime Minister's Kantei for the presentation. Orion
  7. One of my most computer-savvy friends thought so; she ended up with row 13 -- last row on sale! There's an awful lot of people out there who know when to get online. Orion
  8. Quite right, Panda! as I'm sure you know. Today was my day off, so I've been watching sumo full-time on NHK, 1:00 to 3:10 on satellite 2, then regular NHK 3:10 to 6:00, though as you predicted, for the first hour or so there was information running in spidery letters at the top of the picture. I'm just catching the evening news and it turns out that they've been having a lot of problems with inaccurate predictions; and of course, behind all this, there is the virtual certainty that there will be more aftershocks -- some of them probably so big that they count as fresh quakes. I am still very much aware that five out of eight of my larger pieces of furniture fell over in the Tohoku big one, even though I had had a pro install stabilizers. At least the sumo people and their audiences are safe in distant Fukuoka. Just hope their nearest one in Kumamoto doesn't start up again. Japan is a great country to live in, in many ways -- but it does have earthquakes and volcanoes. And maybe snow tomorrow here in Tokyo. Orion
  9. As somebody said, it varies with the heya. Personally I have very often seen a senior take a junior into a corner (I.e. not in the ring) and give him some one on one training, focussing on something he wasn't getting right in the bouts he just had. I was following this thread with some puzzlement, because all the observations seemed to be based on what a camera was showing, not what was happening in different places in the training room and outside on the street. And what do you suppose the beginners do in their six months in the Kyoshujo -- the sumo school occupying the second floor room that extends the full rear of the Kokugikan? Everyone who gets through maezumo and is presented to the public has to spend six mornings a week outside of basho time leaning all the postures and all the movements (and recite the rules!). The only ones excused this are the university and amateur champions who are admitted into the makushita ranks; they train at the proper level in their heya -- but they still have to go to the Kyoshujo mid-morning for the classroom lessons. Orion
  10. Look at a map of Japan. The quake happened on the north-east side of the main island. Sumo is in Fukuoka, a city in the north of a different island, Kyushu, way down south. Here in Tokyo the rocking was pretty bad (around a level 4 or 5, I'd say) and went on for something like a minute (which is unusual). On the sub channel NHK is still broadcasting the brief tsunami warning, in English, Chinese, Korean and Brazilian Portuguese, but it's about time they stopped. The biggest problem is that the quake was centered on Fukushima, which is still affected by the radiation scare from the damage to the nuclear power station in the previous big one. Orion
  11. If I live so long I will be celebrating yet another birthday next May. Hope to meet up with you guys (and guyesses? Still not too comfortable with the new format. In the meantime I have next Sunday to take care of. Orion
  12. It's lonely already in Ryogoku - though enlivened by the sight of tourists trying to prise open the locked doors of the stables. I already chatted with two lots this morning and told them there's no free training to watch in Tokyo for the next five weeks. Orion
  13. The story going around at the time was that Sadogatake (former Y. Kotozakura) was leaning fairly hard on Kotonowaka to marry his daughter but he wasn't too keen at first. He eventually came round and the marriage was -- and still is -- a very happy one. It was never said that the daughter was the one who wanted the marriage -- but of course it makes perfect sense, now you mention it! Orion
  14. If your ticket is for upstairs, you can go into the downstairs area until 1:00 p.m, when a Kyokai employee is on guard at each door checking tickets. (This is a fairly recent relaxing of an iron-bound rule brought in when things first got tough. Before that time, anybody could sit in any seat downstairs until the ticket-holder came, though the regulars were expected to move out when the juryos came on.) These days I myself sit in the corner space for four wheelchairs, on one of the four chairs provided for helpers. But after one o'clock, if I go out for any reason, I can't get back; I have to go upstairs to my real seat. Orion
  15. I saw only his earliest bouts on the dohyo, and based on them I can't understand how anybody could call him skillful -- even by North American amateur standards. He was certainly tall, but above a certain level that's rather a disadvantage. But Nish must have seen more, to go to the trouble of helping him to come here (having first tried to dissuade him, IIRC). Clearly there were various problems in the heya, affecting a number of them; and it would have been particularly hard for a foreigner still coming to grips with a different society. Orion