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Everything posted by Iwagakki

  1. Iwagakki

    sad news friends

    Just surfed into a bit of news about Asashoryu. Apparently he`s signed a contract with DSE to fight in Pride. Asa in Pride Nice, huh? well, I hope he does better than the other Yokozuna....
  2. Iwagakki

    Sumo in K-1 and Pride

    Tomorrow I am making Mochi. The next day, Akebono is fighting Royce Gracie, and Sentoryu, who is now going by the name Henry Miller, apparently, is fighting Makoto Takimoto. Takimoto is an olympic gold medalist in Judo, and is making his Pride Debut. Sentoryu doesn`t look like a bad pick in this fight. Sentoryu won his last fight, against a guy named Mal Foki, in a rather dramatic fashion. It took him all of 21 seconds to score a convincing knockout. After the knockout he shouted out "Sumo is STRONG!!!" He has a bit of a chip on his shoulder about Akebono being a total loser. He has said as much, in standard diplomatic fashion, in several interviews. Sentoryu has lost a lot of weight lately, and is now looking just "ripped". At least as far as ex-rikishi can look ripped. Sumo is strong. And so is Henry Miller. I know a lot of people don`t want to hear about the "unbecoming" exploits of a couple of old rikishi, but at least Henry is making a stand on behalf of sumo. I think he can be as proud of his status in Pride. He is a Marquee name, and he`s definitely not a loser. Even if he loses, he`s got the goods. If he works at it, and learns quickly, he can do ok in Pride. To me, the fact that he is competitive says that Sumo spirit IS strong. Akebono is fighting Royce Gracie. Akebono is the opposite of Sentoryu. Every one of his fights have been under the banner of "freak show". His debut against Sapp was a freak show, not anything like an athletic contest. Sapp is a freak. Akebono was the perfect complementary freak. Musashi, a TINY Japanese kickboxer, was one of his opponents. Another freak show. Akebono outweighed him by like 200 kilograms or something, and it ended up being a show of elephant lumbering around after mouse. Nonsense really. Last time around, Akebono was KO`D hard, by a super athletic Remy Bonjasky, who leaped high into the air, and kicked him right in the head. Like that was ever in doubt. The only thing that could have made it more of a complete embarrassment is if Akebono did a sword swallowing act immediately after the KO. He is now 0-5 and has been beating in the most embarrassing possible way in each fight. I am now starting to wonder if that is the whole point. "Let`s find another absurd comic book way for him to lose again...." Gracie is a perfect straight man to the freak show. He weighs 175 pounds to Akebono`s claimed 424 pounds. I think he is still actually around about 480 or so. Gracie is a "legend" in MMA. He won the Ultimate fighting Championship a few times in like 95 and 96 and has been rather inactive since. He won some big fights against guys much bigger than himself, and against all sorts of karate, Judo and wrestling types. A lot was made of the "Gracie Mystique" and how the various members of the Gracie family Jui-jitsu had never been defeated since like 1920 or something. So, back in the day, Royce Gracie seemed unbeatable, and so on. They claimed he was undefeated in like 700 fights or something absurd like that. Gracie was beat convincingly, in 2000 by a Japanese pro wrestler named Kazushi Sakuraba. Sakuraba is really something. You guys should check him out. (as an aside, Royce Gracie`s brother Rickson is said to have a record of 583-0 in no holds barred fighting, but nobody has ever been able to confirm more than a record of about 10-0) Anyway, Akebono is strong. It is possible that he is in fact too strong for Gracie, and will somehow just get a hold of Royce, and just squeeze him or pound on him until its over. He did rock sapp a couple of times. But I don`t think it will happen. Even a fraud like Gracie is better than Akebono. He wouldn`t stand much of a chance with any of the top billed guys in K-1 and would have no chance at all against most of the guys in Pride. They are a completely different type of fighter than the guys he fought before. But, since this is a freakshow, and since we apparently like to see our national treasures, our paragons of hinkaku, get the snot beat out of them, we have to see Akebono get choked into submission. He has lost by Knockout a couple times, and by absolutely one sided decisions a couple times, so I guess now he needs to actually be made to submit to complete the disgrace, huh? Anything to make a buck, I guess. It`s sad, really. I think Akebono actually believes he is a fighting legend, and he`s allowed his trainers and handlers to have fooled him into it, so they can take advantage of him. Henry is not an embarrassment. In his case, I think, a mans got to do what a mans got to do. He didn`t have a place in Sumo after he retired, and maybe didn`t want it. Nobody expected anything of him, I think. He has always been a blue collar rikishi, just trying to get by, and make the best of it. He had to go on to something else, and I think the only thing he really knows how to do is fight, so he went on to Pride. All good and well. Akebono was the champion of champions. He was more glorious than Asashoryu. He was above Kaio, and Takanohana, and Musashimaru. (once upon a time...)He was the epitome of what it meant to be strong, historic, honorable. He embodied bushido. He was the living representation of the sumo gods. We had a right to believe in him. We had a right to admire and respect him. We had a right to feel in awe of him when he walked by. We had a right to revere him for what he represented. He was like looking at the sun. It is sad. he is not on a losing streak. He has become a loser. Maybe, though, he deserves every last punch in the gut, or kick to the head. Maybe he deserves every last bit of pain that he suffers at the hands of these guys. Maybe so. I think so. He was a Yokozuna. He wasn`t just some guy getting by in upper Makushita. He betrays everything it ever meant to be a yokozuna. As for the inevitable-"he deserves to make a living"...He was a yokozuna for years. I bet he won millions of dollars in Kensho. He earned enough each month to choke a horse. He made tens of MILLIONS of dollars in his career. Being a yokozuna means, by definition, that you don`t lower yourself. that you don`t ever play the fool. That you are above reproach, and that you are a disciplined, honorable, respectable, responsible person who inherently displays the traits of what it means to be a MAN. Not just a man, but the highest order of Man. For Akebono to have squandered his earnings, to have made an astonishing series of poor business decisions, and find himself in a bad way financially is bad enough to insult the name of Yokozuna. For him to now prostitute himself, and worse, Sumo, is the lowest. He calls his gym, "team Yokozuna", and sells himself all over the K-1 website and shows as the `Zuna. It`s disgusting. It really is.
  3. Iwagakki

    Bad Earthquake on 26th of December again

    I have been following the news of this earthquake pretty closely. A close friend of the family lives in Thailand, so we were all worried. She is fine though. I just read that the death toll is more than 63,000 and that many tens of thousands are missing and presumed killed. It just makes my heart ache.... (Depressed...)
  4. Iwagakki

    "Lard of the Rings"

    in the US a big mac has about 600 calories, and contains about 30 grams of fat. I did some further reading on the subject, and found that the latest statistics say that more than 60 percent of Americans fall into either the "overweight", "obese" or "morbidly obese" categories. the percentage of children who are considered obese has tripled in the past 10 years, from 5 to 15. the percentage of children who are considered overweight has also tripled, to over and additional 20 percent. that means that more than one out of three children in the US is either overweight or obese. and 2 out of 3 americans in total are overweight or obese. WOW. This is impressive. It has become so much of a "norm" in the US for the people to be overweight, that someone who is an "appropriate" weight for their height looks like they are "too thin" or unhealthy to the average american. I think a lot of americans are in complete denial. "no, I`m not FAT, exactly...I am just big boned!!!" haha. ever hear that one? I have. Members of my family are huge. People I see every day, are HUGE. But in the context of daily life, they are "average" They are no bigger, or fatter than the next guy (or girl). In fact, the people who are not heavy, they are the freaks it seems. The vocal majority of these fat people have made it unacceptable to be a healthy weight, and so on. I mean, I am not exactly a bag of bones. In fact, by most BMI Indicators, I am overweight. however. because my fat percentage is low, even though I am quite large, I am often told that I look like I am sick, or that I look like "death warmed over" or that I have "sunken hollow cheeks" by my more "normal" friends and family. Face it, the US is a nation of suckers. we have been suckered into thinking Coke is good for us, and McDonalds is honest food. And Ben and Jerry`s Triple Diabetic Coma ice cream is a tasty dairy product. And the bun on a Burger King Double Whopper is a serving from the Grains and Cereals food group. The pickles constitute a serving of vegetables too. I don`t care what anyone says. Fried Chicken is not good for you. neither is whole milk. Neither is Beef. Neither is Mountain Dew. Neither are French fries(or is that "freedom Fries" still? hahah) Or Pizza. But, since fried chicken and whole milk and Mountain dew all have billion dollar marketing budgets with which to ram more of that crap down our throats, maybe we are just the willing and brand identified victims of these mega faceless companies that are using our own grotesque appetites against us. Of all the stupid ways for a civilization to go down the tubes.... We are using our own taste buds and craving for more to make the ropes we hang ourselves with. ick. Okay, rant over. How is everyone?
  5. Iwagakki

    "Lard of the Rings"

    fat americans. well, being a "fat american" myself, I can honestly say, that where I come from, there are a LOT of fat people. I am reading an article in National Geographic...it says that the percentage of obese americans is up to 30.9 percent. I believe it. In my travels, I have noticed, though, that there are differences by area. In some areas, a sizeable majority of the people are seriously overweight, or obese. In other areas, people who are overweight are rare. when i was a kid, we used to drink a 8 ounce bottle of coke, maybe once a week. nowadays, there is a vending machine on every corner, and they all only have 20 ounce bottles, and people drink them like water. Literally. Just before I came to JP for the holidays, there was big news about Hardees offering a new hamburger that had over 1400 calories. It was turning out to be the most popular menu item they had. 1400 calories??? Toss in a supersize fries, and a supersize Coke with that, and you have over 3000 calories in one convenient meal. Good grief. That`s crazy. At the same time, there is a massive decline in the level of physical activity. It really seems like there is an actual aversion to anything physical at all. I have actually heard people talk about it like that. as in "What? Physical labor? are you kidding, what do you think I am???" as if any type of physical activity is a bad thing. I have honestly witnessed people getting in their cars and driving to their suburban mailboxes, to pick up their mail, rather than walk the 60 feet. that is just pathetic. but the sensibility is there, that affluence deserves it, or something. Physical activity is for "lower" people, who are not American. (Okay, sorry, maybe that was, unnecessary, over the line, and probably not a very nice thing to say, but...I`m not going to edit it out) In my hometown, a very common midwestern place, there are an awful lot of obese kids. I mean, a LOT. All of them have Playstations, or X boxes. All of them have cable tv. All of them have a 12 pack of soda in the fridge at all times. all of them have a favorite sauce for their chicken mcnuggets. None of them have bicycles. None of them can run a single kilometer. an astonishing majority of them have diabetes. did you know that between 1980 and 2004 the number of people in the us with diabetes went from 5.8 million to 17.5 million? that the percentage of obese children in the US went from under 5, to over 15 in the same period? Fat men in diapers huh? In another 10 years, sumo wrestlers will look like lean, mean fighting machines compared to the population of the US
  6. Iwagakki


    anyone know anything about this? yahoo
  7. Iwagakki


  8. Iwagakki


    I'm sure this has been said on this forum, dozens of times before, but... I see a lot of you making apologies for your supposedly "poor english" but at the same time, I am constantly astonished at how good your english really is. Especially considering that it most likely is not a necessary part of your day to day life, and that you don't (probably) have much use for English, except on this forum. I wish I cold speak French, or Swedish, or Ossetian, or Japanese, or sometimes, even English, as good as you all speak english.
  9. Iwagakki

    Kensho Standings (Kyushu 2004)

    Kaio won an extra: 63,748.80 Euros, 44,699.37 Pounds, sterling, 107,424.81 Australian Dollars, 124,483.69 Bulgarian Leva, 99,690.88 Canadian dollars, 368,823.01 Israel New Shekels, 2,395,317.96 Russian Rubles 568,400.06 Swedish Kronor, 102,681,812.49 Mongolian Tugriks 84,665.62 United States Dollars Any way you count it, that's a lot.... :-O
  10. Iwagakki

    Ticket prices

    That's absurd, 150,000 for a stupid cantaloupe.... I didn't even want to mention that, but I know B-) Well, I am off to the airport soon... B-) Nice talking to you all, and see you in a couple months, I hope. :-O
  11. Iwagakki

    What is the meaning of Life?

    The meaning of life is to seek out the meaning of life. That's all there is to it, nothing more. Once you have gathered enough information to come to some understanding of it, it is time to move on....
  12. Iwagakki

    Ticket prices

    This must be another reason for the waning popularity of sumo. No merchandising, no hype...except for the next tabloid headline about Asashoryu. or the Sumo Association president? Do they have jobs available for public relations? Hmmm... :-S Thanks for the replies! I'd think that sumo has become "stodgy" in the eyes of most people under the age of, say, 39-ish. I've met so many people my age or younger that just don't have the slightest bit of interest in it. "Sumo is for old people" is the thing I hear most often when anyone finds out about my interest. Something else, though.... I swear that some people I meet would (almost) like to be interested in sumo, but for fear of being regarded as "abnormal" or something, will not allow their closet interest to see the light of day. Possibly it's just a phase, though. Like everything, sumo has a limited lifespan of really intense popularity, being that the collective attention span is about 40 days, but it always seems to come back around. in some cycle, that I will never figure out....Sooner or later, sumo will be cool and novel to young people again. For some reason things just go that way. One day it's cool to have extremely baggy socks, and the next day it's cool to paint your face black. (I point to SMAP, as the most obvious example. Man, those guys just keep on showing up, variety shows, news, kids shows, commercials. As far I can tell, they don't actually SING anything....and what about that Boss coffee girl...?) One thing I am sure of, watching tv, is that Samurai TV shows are very popular. I asked my Oji-san in law, about it one time and he said it was because "we crave something that is more simple, not easier, just more simple." Sumo will come back, because of that sentiment. However, I also think that at the moment, there is nothing particularly compelling about sumo. That is what sumo needs. We have been stuck with something other than "the titanic struggles of sumo gods" for quite some time now. Us die hard fans don't realize it, but even with Asashoryu and all that, sumo now is just not as compelling and deep as it was about 5 years ago. Face it, watching Musoyama, Kaio and Chiyotaikai, being not really in the yusho race most of the time is not a big thrill. Watching basically the same faces go up and down, and up and down in the Maegashira ranks has not been a big thrill. I think the perception of Asashoryu by the masses, aside from some pathetic attempts at "scandals" is that he is the cream of a very uninspiring crop. Finally, I guess I have to say that lowering ticket prices, though it sounds like an initially decent idea, maybe isn't such a great idea. At least in my neck of the woods, that pretty much always backfires. I do this art show in Kyoto every year, and if I learned that if I set my prices to what I think is "reasonable" and even allow some negotiation, I don't sell a thing. But if I set my prices to somewhere bordering on absurd, (at least in my mind) and hold to those prices absolutely rigidly, then I sell everything. There is always someone willing to pay 1500 yen for the "best" melons, but there are not as many people willing to pay 99 yen for the same melons, I have found. I guess having the nerve to ask for 1500 yen makes the melon inherently more valuable. just a thought
  13. Iwagakki


    (Oops! )
  14. Iwagakki


    you're kidding... (Enjoying a beer...)
  15. Iwagakki

    Old news, probably

    http://web-japan.org/nipponia/nipponia27/e...ing/index.html Every one probably has seen this already, but...
  16. Iwagakki


    :-P and Greece and the Netherlands, of course. How rude of me :-O
  17. Iwagakki

    Old news, probably

    Thanks Yubi
  18. Iwagakki

    Old news, probably

    Ummmm bad link? I don't know why, but there is a "Y" at the end of the link, after the ".html". I tried to edit it, but it still comes up. hmmm just erase the "Y" at the end, and press enter, I guess?
  19. Iwagakki


    I have counted people from Ossetia, Hungary, France, UK, Japan, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, US, Canada, Russia, Bulgaria, Spain, Israel, on this forum. I think it's cool that we can all talk about sumo, (and argue). Thanks everyone. Maybe that is one of the best things about sumo for me. How many countries did I miss? Many, I assume.
  20. Iwagakki

    Day 13 pics Kyushu 2004

    the precious is MINE!!! poor smegal MINE!! (In a state of confusion...) (Sad goodbyes...) (Applauding...) :-/ Best Quote of the basho
  21. Iwagakki

    Moderating and provocation

    I tend to agree. I don't know Adachi personally. But last night, it occurred to me that if we each had a pint of Guiness in our hands, and we were sitting face to face, we would have been having a great time. It had basically turned into a couple of guys sitting in a pub talking smack to each other. Eventually, armwrestling would have ensued. (In a state of confusion...) However, Adachi, you have got to ease up on the provocation a little. And please take care to not continue to sound like an obnoxious, self righteous, ass. I do not believe you would talk that way in real life. Not everyone here understands the nuances of humor in English, (or "British). Quite often, your posts come off as being mean spirited, and worse, as nit-picky attempts to demean the other person. If Ryukaze want's to write in something other than "the Queen's English" that's ok. You really don't have to be sarcastic and rude about it. If someone disagrees with you, you don't have to bash them, and type in the most insulting, most snide barb that you can come up with. And often it's on something small and not relevant to the Argument, so it just gets all scattered and personal. Karma-wise, it's not worth it to be such an ass to win an "imaginary" argument. You know that. Like I said, in real life, I imagine you are a pretty nice guy. But If you talked to me face-to-face the way you have on this forum, I would "ring your scrawny neck". I think a lot of the other members of the forum feel the same way. Anyway, I'll be back in Tokyo on the 9th. Let's go have a beer, and some armwrestling... (Sign of approval) Todd
  22. Iwagakki

    Kotooshu & Hakuho Battle!

    you really know how to get to someone's "buddy list" ..... don't you ? ;-) i wish there was even a 10% chance to that .. :-/ Kaiho actually having a mathematical chance after day 13 is pretty cool, come to think of it. Bet that never happened before.
  23. Iwagakki


    My personal list of interesting and surprising things that have happened so far. 1. Not exactly surprising, but Musoyama hanging it up. I have the good fortune to be able to remember Musoyama as something other than a half-ass ozeki. Once upon a time, he was going to be the fifth Yokozuna on the Banzuke. Or maybe the 6th, after Kaio. That's a whole other topic, though. Anyway, now he's gone, and it seems, without much fanfare, at all. A couple of asides on the sports show, and a casual mention of it in the papers. The thing that is surprising is that nobody seems to want to acknowledge, that with Musoyama gone, the final end is drawing near for sumo as we have known it. Wakanohana, Akebono, Takanohana, Takanonami, Musashimaru, all gone. Now Musoyama. Pretty soon, Miyabiyama, Dejima, and Kaio. 2. Kaio....What is with this guy? He is, and always has been my favorite, but he is surprising even me. He is really too old to be slinging these young guys around like that. Even cutting him some slack as a "late bloomer," I have to admit that he is far beyond the "prime" of his career. Well, no, maybe he is right at his prime, (late bloomer, and all) and he is just at an age where everyone else is washed up? Kind of the Bernard Hopkins of sumo. In fact, what if Kaio doesn't actually hit his prime until he's 39, like Hopkins? Ok, maybe that's going too far. He seems much stronger now than for a long time, and much more sure of himself. 3. Asashoryu....What is with this guy? No really. I am getting more and more convinced that he, not Kaio, is an alien. He's not human. Can't be. Everyone just forget the "Asashoryu Liberation Organization vs. the AACLU (Anti-Asashoryu Civil Liberties Union) conflict for a minute. Asashoryu has been something else lately. Well, for a year or so, actually. He is on a different plane. He has been so dominant, and so rarely in real trouble that it's boring, actually. As much as I admire an overachiever, I have a hard time watching after Chiyotaikai's match every day, because it is such an anti-climax to see Asashoryu win... again. I'm not saying I disapprove, though. Just that I am surprised that I find it boring. 4. Takekaze's catch was hilarious. 5. Poor Tochiazuma. I have always admired his work ethic. Funny thing about him, he doesn't really have the tools to do sumo. He really didn't have the raw material to work with, you know. He's never been the bigger, stronger, thicker, heavier, more powerful one. But he works his ass off. He has a good mind for it, and great instincts. But it has taken every bit of his strength of mind to build himself into an Ozeki. But when it takes 100% just to get the chance, there isn't much left to stay there, or get beyond it. Whatever else anyone can say about Tochiazuma, you have to admit that for him to make Ozeki, and hang in as long as he has, is a testament to maximizing the hand that is dealt to you. Unfortunately, I don't think he can do it again. Maybe he can hang around at the M1 to Sekiwake ranks for a while, but I don't think he can go to the well again. He just spent his whole wad getting there last time. 6. Kakizoe is the worst surprise of all so far. Is he hurt, or something. More likely he is just at the level where he, to has reached the limit of his tools. On the other hand, he has faced the big dogs almost exclusively, I guess. He did beat Tochinonada, and Kotomitsuki, who beat Kaio on day one, so I guess it's not all bad. He looked a lot better in the mid to low Maegashira ranks though, than he does at the top. I commented a long time ago that he was a lot stronger than he looks. Well, now he seems to be exactly as strong as he looks. 7. I hope Hakuho makes it to Yokozuna before he realizes what is going on. At the moment, it looks like he is just making a mad rush for the door, and only has one thing on his mind. The bane of future yokozuna's is time. As in time to contemplate getting there, time to miss the chance once or twice, time to realize that there is pressure to do it, and expectations. I'd think that every basho spent at ozeki exponentially decreases the chance of making yokozuna. Hakuho just has to keep his eye on the prize, avoid any serious injuries, and he's there. 8. Takamisakari's antics are not so endearing to me. In fact, I am starting to get a little bit of an un-friendly feeling about them. I don't think he should stop, really. But I am, as before, not as willing to think of him as an endearing oaf/interesting character anymore. I would be really pleasantly surprised to see him behave with some sense of decorum on the dohyo, actually. It's hard to see him acting like some hyperactive wild child, when (1) he isn't a child, and (2) any other sekitori would be thrashed mercilessly by the public and the media if they behaved in such a way. The opposite of hinkaku, I say. Well, as they say in Las Vegas, "Money talks, hinkaku walks..." It's surprising to me that nobody else seems to get tired of it, that's all. 9. Kokkai doesn't have it. That's a surprise. I guess I didn't actually ever believe that he did have it, but now it's confirmed, maybe. I won't dispute that he is incredibly strong, and that he is pretty talented. Something about the way he moves doesn't let me believe that he has the tools to get any further than he is right now. He is not clumsy, really, just not in total command of his body the way, say, Asashoryu is. He also doesn't seem to have either the mass or the leverage to handle a solid tachiai. I could be wrong though. When I saw Akebono coming up, I didn't think he would ever overcome the "leverage" disadvantage I thought he had, and he did OK.... 10. Kotonowaka is still "the man." 11. It's just plain wrong that Hokutoriki could do so good so recently and then be 3-6 at M11 now. But then, this is the guy who followed a 13-2 with a 3-12, I guess. 12. 1-9 at J14? That's just painful to even hear about. 13. Wakanosato has beaten his usual assortment of tomato cans, but now he has to move on to his second stretch, and turn back into his normal self. I will be pleasantly surprised though, if he doesn't, and keeps on keeping on. 14. Chiyotaikai is baffling. Maybe he should go back to the blond hair/leather Jacket thing. My wife said he is a "cheap gangster" in a mawashi, and that is his problem. He's a bully. And like any bully, he is wilting before anyone who stands up to him. And since Asashoryu is a bigger bully than Chiyotaikai, Chiyo has lost his sense of order in the universe, and doesn't have any idea about what to do about it. I think he is a victim of the "exponential basho as ozeki" curse too. He missed his chance at the open door, and now he's running back and forth in front of it, but can't see if it's open or not. 15. Roho is one homely dude. He looks like the cheap Moscow gangster guy in a Jackie Chan movie, or something. Is that an eyebrow? And I stress the singularity of eyeBROW....But his 8-1 isn't so homely is it. Well, I guess I can overlook a little thing like being homely, and like him anyway. Especially since he has "it", unlike another rather homely foreigner. He's gotta get some mass on that body though, or he's going to get blown off the dohyo the first time he tries to synchronize his breathing with Asashoryu.
  24. Iwagakki


    Kotooshu is so good now that he faces himself?? (Holiday feeling...) twice as good, i'd say, but he still lost?
  25. Iwagakki

    Day 12 results and day 13 pairings

    (Clapping wildly...) oh, thanks a lot, now I won't ever get to sleep