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Everything posted by sekitori

  1. sekitori


    I thought that he used the term "death" only figuratively. It never occurred to me that rikishi feel such strong anxiety over possible severe injuries when they compete. If they do, they keep it very well hidden. If Wakanohana was literally afraid of life threatening injury every time he was on the dohyo, it's amazing that his career was so successful. He reached sumo's highest rank and did quite well as a yokozuna. I wonder how many rikishis have similar feelings of fear. After reading the above post, there probably are more than I ever would have suspected. No matter how good you are, there must be some apprehension facing a huge person whose immediate aim in life is to knock you off your feet or out of the ring. One would normally expect scared rikishi to not do very well, since their main priority would be to keep from getting injured rather than winning. On the other hand, I guess the enormous pressure to succeed will overcome even terrible anxiety like that. In Wakanohana's case, it obviously did. And it probably works the same way for other rikishis, too.
  2. sekitori


    I certainly am no expert and I definitely do not have super knowledge, but I would think that the word "death" might be equated to failure. In other words, professional death--not literal death. When your brother is also a rikishi and more highly regarded than you are, the pressure for you to keep up with him must be enormous. It must have been even worse even when they both were yokozunas. Grand champions live in a fishbowl where everything they do can be a cause for criticism. Like losing matches they're not supposed to lose. And even winning, but not as decisively as a yokozuna should. Because he was unable to equal Takanohana's performances, I can understand why Wakanohana used the term "death". The pressure to succeed as well as his brother must have been tremendous and the fear of failure must have been on his mind constantly throughout his career. His retirement removed that stress. "Death" in that context seems to me to be quite appropriate.
  3. sekitori

    Futagoyama Oyakata

    Ozeki Takanohana and later Futagoyama oyakata was a heavy smoker. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> So much so, that one of the articles he was "buried' with (aside from his favorite suit) was his favorite pack of cigarettes, Mild Seven. <{POST_SNAPBACK}> I find the last statement to be incredibly sad. I read it several times and I still can't believe it. Futagoyama oyakata went to his grave with one of his prized possessions being the thing that almost certainly killed him. It's almost like someone committing suicide by blowing his brains out and being buried with the gun he used. In times of great sorrow, people often do things based primarily on emotion, so I can understand the reason for it even though it makes no sense to me. Mild Seven? A very pleasant name for what turned out to be a deadly weapon.
  4. sekitori

    Futagoyama Oyakata

    I was a dentist and to me, a very distressing factor in Takanohana's passing was the fact that his death could very possibly have been prevented. Although 25 percent of oral cancers occur without any known risk factors, the majority of cancers of the mouth are due to excessive use of tobacco and alcohol. I have no idea if Takanohana used these substances excessively or even if he used them at all. I do know that many rikishi smoke and drink, so that could be a possibility. But even if that was the case, routine oral examination could have detected the cancer in an early stage. From what I understand, his cancer was in the area toward the rear of the tongue on the side and may have included the floor of the mouth. I may not be exactly correct about the site, but it seemed to be in an area that was difficult to reach. The sad part is that such an area can be so isolated that without any symptoms, the patient probably won't even know that there is anything abnormal going on and the lesion will continue to grow and spread. The only way to detect any problems early is by professional examination. Oral cancers in these areas can be devastating if they're not caught in time. I have no idea if Takanohana was having some difficulties which caused him to seek medical help or if the cancer was found during a routine examination. Whatever the reason, it was too late. The lesson we can all learn from this is that while oral cancer is not extremely common, it is still quite prevalent--and possibly deadly. Don't smoke and don't use alcohol to excess. And whether or not you use these substances, be sure to have regular oral examinations--not only to have healthy teeth and gums, but to possibly save your life. I don't know whether Takanohana's death could have been prevented. It possibly could have. I do know is that sumo lost a great man and I feel very sad about that.
  5. sekitori

    I want to watch sumo!

    If your cable company or satellite service carries TV Japan, you can see almost all of each day's makunouchi bouts live via NHK with English commentary. Unfortunately, it costs $25.00 a month to subscribe to TV Japan but to me it's worth it to see live sumo. I guess you could subscribe during the month of a basho, cancel it the next month, re-subscribe for the following basho, and keep doing that. I have no idea you'll be able to keep subscribing and cancelling, but if you can, it'll save you quite a bit of money.
  6. sekitori

    Las Vegas Koen PR begins

    Any information yet on when tickets will be available and how they can be purchased? I'm sure that many of us will want to attend.
  7. sekitori

    Futagoyama oyakata steps back

    All oral cancers are considered to be "cancer of the mouth cavity", not just the ones occuring between the tongue and the gum or gingival tissue behind the lower teeth. The most common areas affected are the lower lip and the tongue. I was a dentist and I've seen a few cases of oral cancer. It can be devastating if not diagnosed and treated early. It appears unfortunately, that the disease has advanced in Takanohana's case. Hot, spicy foods can contribute to oral cancer. So can ill fitting dental appliances. But the most common causes are overuse of tobacco and/or alcohol. I taped a show called "Ring of Clay" that appeared on American public television many years ago which described some aspects of sumo life. I will always remember a scene when Takanohana was on a jungyo and called home. Part of his phone call was translated as, "Be sure the kids are doing their school work". Those kids both turned out to be yokozunas. I will always remember Takanohana as probably the all time greatest ozeki. I wish him the very best.
  8. sekitori

    New Banzuke

    I recently purchased a banzuke from Adachinoryu. The price, including postage, was very reasonable. I received it only four or five days after it was issued. He even sent a message telling me that he had just mailed it. I'm sure the only reason he supplies banzukes to others is for the satisfaction of doing so. He definitely does not make any personal profit. If you want a banzuke, I can't think of a more reliable, less expensive, and honest source.
  9. sekitori

    Las Vegas, Here We Come

    When more information is available concerning venue and ticket information, please post it. I'm very interested. A place where it could be held is the Thomas and Mack Center which is used for many large entertainment events and where the UNLV basketball team plays its games.
  10. sekitori

    Roho's state of mind

    This was a terrible event which affected an entire nation, similar in many ways to 9/11/01. I would assume that the feelings of the Russian people are similar to those in the U.S.A. and much of the world immediately after 9/11, mainly sorrow and anger. They are strongly felt by people who didn't personally know anyone involved as well as those who had severe personal losses. There of course were individual tragedies, but it also was a national tragedy and I would think that virtually everyone would be affected by it, including female tennis players.
  11. sekitori

    Roho's state of mind

    If the performance of Russian women tennis players in the U.S. Open is any indication, it may not affect him that much. There are three Russian women in the quarterfinals and one of them, Dementieva, has just reached the semifinals. The other two are playing each other so that means there will be two Russian women in the semifinals. That's outstanding. If Roho stays focused on sumo and can come up with an effort that even begins to match that of the Russian women, he will have done very well.
  12. sekitori

    Average weight announced

    Average weight can be deceptive. A rikishi whose weight is well above or below average can make a big difference. Toward the end of Konishiki's career when he was at his heaviest and when his weight was removed from the calculation, the average went down by about 3kg (7lb). When Mainoumi's weight wasn't factored in, the average went up by nearly 1.5 kg (3lb). I guess everyone took Konishiki's weight for granted after awhile, but the impact it had on the average showed what an enormous man he really was (and from what I've seen recently, apparently still is).
  13. sekitori

    How would YOU do it?

    Having a Japanese yokozuna would be an enormous help. Asashoryu could turn out to be one of the all time great yokozunas, but he's not Japanese. Neither was the latest yokozuna to retire, Musashimaru. It must be very difficult for Japanese people to support their national sport when there is only foreign representation at its highest rank. Takanohana is gone and no Japanese rikishi is ready to take his place. For awhile, Tochiazuma seemed to be the one, but the chances of his succeeding seem now to be virtually gone. I think that's why people are hoping against hope that Kaio or Chiyotaikai somehow will gain promotion. Each of them have been close, only to fall back. While a having a Japanese yokozuna won't in itself make sumo as popular as it once was, I believe that it will be a big step in the right direction. The problem is that this can only be done is by having a rikishi earn that honor. There is no other way. The rules for promotion could be relaxed a little, but that would be cheapen the rank and I don't think it would do anything to add to the popularity of sumo. It might even detract from it. A Japanese yokozuna who is promoted through the "back door" is not the answer. I hope that in the foreseeable future, there will be a Japanese yokozuna who legitimately earns that title. Sumo desperately needs that to happen.