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Everything posted by sekitori

  1. sekitori

    New Takanofuji Scandal

    I was wondering what the process is for the selection of tsukebitos for various rikishis. I have no idea what the criteria might be. The pairing of Yoshikaze and Tomokaze would seem to be ideal. At the other extreme, having Takanofuji or anyone like him supervise an inexperienced trainee would at best be a mistake and at worst, as in this particular case, a disaster.
  2. sekitori

    New Takanofuji Scandal

    When I saw my first sumo bout many years ago, one thing stood out. In many sports in the USA, the winner often celebrates his victory in ways I find to be disgraceful. Apparently, winning is not enough. You are almost expected to openly make sure to everyone of the fact that you did. But sumo was different. The winner squatted down and accepted his awards without any show of emotion. The loser bowed, also with no expression whatsoever. Once they were off the dohyo, they both bowed and left. Compared to my previous experience watching sports competition, I found this behavior to be amazingly civiilized. It reminded me of the legal phrase, "res ipsa loquitur" which translates to "the thing speaks for itself". In other words, there was a contest with a winner and a loser. That's all that mattered. This was a sport of gentlemen. I never questioned this basic concept. I actually think it's the best way by far to conduct competiton. But over the years, being from a totally different culture, I could never understand some of the thoughts behind it. One was of course, the way higher ranking rikishis and oyakatas were allowed to physically abuse lower ranking trainees. Another was the way serious injury was sometimes treated. Instead of getting the best treatment possible resulting in a possible severe loss of rank while recuperating, some injuries were allowed to heal with little or no treatment. I'm sure that way of thinking destroyed several promising careers. I wish they would bring back the kosho seido system where if a rikishi is injured during a honbasho, he can keep his rank if he is unable to compete in the following one. That seems perfectly fair. And I still can't figure out why women are not allowed on the dohyo, even when they could be of help in a medical emergency. I'm sure all these instances make some sort of sense to traditionalists who run sumo. They certainly have reasons for feeling the way they do. I just have no idea what they are. There are other "off the dohyo" things about sumo I can't begin to comprehend. This undoubtedly has to do with my total lack of familiarity with a foreign culture. If I have to give a grade for these aspects of sumo, this is what they would be: Sumo as a spectator activity---A+ Other "behind the scenes" aspects of sumo--no grade. I can't rate something I don't understand.
  3. sekitori

    Takakeisho injury update

    I have heard of no official medical reports, but I just saw a YouTube video from Chris Gould who seems to know what he's talking about. His exact words were that Takakeisho "is out for six weeks with that pectoral injury". If his statement is even close to being accurate, it means that the injury was to the muscle itself, not the tendon. If that's true, Takakeisho's situation would be similar to Hakuho's torn bicep muscle where rest is the preferred form of treatment. If his injury is like Hakuho's, I would assume that six weeks will not be long enough for it to completely heal and that he could be kyujo for November. The good news is that surgery apparently is not required and although he may be a kadoban ozeki for the Hatsu basho, getting his eight wins should be no problem at all.
  4. sekitori

    Takakeisho injury update

    I'm repeating a post I placed in the Aki basho discuaaion topic. I deleted it because It belongs here instead. Since we have no idea at present of the severity of the injury (and it possibly may not be all that serious), my comments are nothing more than conjecture. For whatever they're worth, here they are: Unlike Kisenosato's injury where absolutely nothing was done to promote complete recovery, Takakeisho's will be handled using the best medical treatment possible. It could be that the injury, like Hakuho's bicep injury, affected the muscle itself and not the tendon attaching it to the shoulder. In that case. the treatment will most llikely be rest. If as in Kisensato's case the tendon is ruptured, surgery will be required. Whatever the treatment may be, he will not compete again until medical experts agree that the injury has completely healed. A very promising rikishi has gone through hell recovering from a knee injury and succeeding well beyond expectations. He now may possibly have to go through something similar again. Hopefully, this injury isn't as bad as it might seem. I wish him the very best.
  5. sekitori

    Enho - predictions?

    I totally disagree. I like small rikishis who must use superior techniques to overcome the size advantage of their opponents. I also don't care for extraordinarily huge rikishis who rely primarily on their weight to overpower their opponents. For those reasons, my favorites in the past were Mainoumi and Kyokudozan. At present, they are Enho and Ishiura. To me, the best things about the Aki basho were Ishiura's kachi-koshi and Enho's totally unexpected 9-6. For the reason I stated above, my third favorite rikishi is anyone who happens to face Ichinojo.
  6. sekitori

    2019 Aki Basho Discussion (spoiler alert!)

    Since the henka is a highly evasive but perfecty legal move, I doubt if anyone can really fault a rikishi for using it, no matter what his record or rank may be. Rikishis should be taught to expect it against every opponent they face and if they lose by it, It's their fault for not recognizing it. Even yokozunas, who are expected to produce the best sumo possible, have used it. I remember that Hakuho, noticing that Kisenosato delayed the tach-ai several times, pulled off the best henka against him that I have ever seen. I didn't blame him for using it. I did however, blame his opponent for falling for it--literally. If the NSK frowns on the henka as being totally non-competitive sumo, there is a simple solution. Change the rule to state that at the tachi-ai, at least some form of sold physical contact must be atttained and have the gyoji and/or the shimpan enforce it. If they decide that a rikishi is at fault for evading contact, he will be disqualifed. I believe that the henka is a very interesting and useful strategy and I hope that such a rule is never created.
  7. sekitori

    2019 Aki Basho Discussion (spoiler alert!)

    Kintamayama called last year's Aki basho the Wacky basho. This one is even weirder. It should be titled "Wackier Than Ever" or "Aki basho 2019--The 'Weirdness Continues". Or maybe we should take a tip from movie sequel titles and call it "Wacky II", "Son of Wacky", or "Return of the Wackiness". However it's described, this basho is fascinating. Actually, there is a real movie title that characterizes it perfectly--"That's Entertainment!".
  8. sekitori

    2019 Aki Basho Discussion (spoiler alert!)

    When you have to face rikishis who weigh from 20 kg to 125 kg. more than you do, you have to use uncoventional techniques to stay competitive. If what you do looks more like judo than sumo and you stay within the rules of sumo, use of such techniques is perfectly okay. I even came up with a name to describe them--"jumo". Enho seems to be performing them quite well.
  9. sekitori

    2019 Aki Basho Discussion (spoiler alert!)

    To me, "beautiful sumo" translates as winning consistently and decisively by using a number of effective kimarites. Unfortunately, that definition refers to only one rikishi--and he is currently kyujo with a broken finger.
  10. sekitori

    Yoshikaze situation

    Two thngs I remember most about Yoshikaze, one of my favorite rikishis: 1. The man was fearless. He was not afraid to smash his head against his opponent's skull and when a match was over, it sometimes looked as if his face was hit by a sledgehammer. I hope all that head-to-head contact over many years will have no effect on his future life. 2. He was the perfect example of complying with the rule that both hands must touch the dohyo at the tachi-ai. If rikishis need any reminder of how this should be done properly, all they have to do is look at a video of the start of any of his bouts. I will miss him greatly.
  11. sekitori

    Ridiculous Predictions for Aki 2019

    Ichinojo and Enho end up with 15-0 records. During the yusho-ketteisen, Ichinojo dazzles Enho with his amazing quickness, but still loses when Enho gets a morozashi grip and lifts his opponent off the dohyo. However, no one is delcared the winner and the Emperor's Cup is not awarded because everyone believes that what they saw was nothing more than a mass hallucination.
  12. sekitori

    Ok...time to gambrarise(sp) predictions !

    Endo at one time was considered to be a potential candidate for yokozuna, but that improper treatment ruined any chances he may have had for promotion to the highest levels. It's very difficult to compete with a severe injury that could possibly have been successfully treated by surgery but never was. The only reason he has reached komusubi is because of his skill in using a body that will never be 100% healthy. Rikishis should always receive the best medical advice possible. If they or their advisors refuse to take advantage of that advice, they will have to live with the consequences of their decisions. I'm thinking of an extremely highly ranked rikishi who because of total mismanagemet of an injury which caused it to never heal properly, had the the remainder of what could have been an outstanding career destroyed. I won't mention names except to say that I'm referring to someone whose name began with K and ended with O--and I don't mean Kaio.
  13. sekitori

    New Takanofuji Scandal

    I'm shocked that someone would call such negative behavior fighting spirit or anything even close to it. The definition of fighting spirit is a feeling that one is ready to fight very hard to achieve something that is difficult to do. It's an award that rikishis often receive after they have done far better than expected. To receive it is considered to be quite an honor. This kind of behavior is an example of someone who cannot control his emotions and who takes his anger out on innocent people. There is absolutely nothing honorable about it. Such a reaction is totally unacceptable and must be dealt with in the most appropriate manner possible.
  14. sekitori

    New Takanofuji Scandal

    I disagree. The defintion of a bully is "a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable". This applies equally to children and adults and pertains directly to this incident. Bullies who are young children may not know any better, but adult bullies know exactly what they're doing--using frustrations in their lives to torment others. The names people use to refer to them doesn't really matter. The bottom line is that there is no place for them in this world and that of course, includes sumo. When I think of adult bullying, I'm reminded of a quote by Paramahansa Yogananda, the famous Indian guru. He said, "Some people try to be tall by cuttting off the heads of others". How true.
  15. sekitori

    New Takanofuji Scandal

    In any field of endeavor, achieving even moderate success can be difficult for some people to handle. They have a superiority attitude which makes it clear to them than they are far better than those who haven't attained their success. In many fields including entertainment and politics, they unfortunately can get away with such an attitude. However, the situation is far different in sumo. Rikishis are held to a high standard of behavior. Those who do not come up to that standard can and should be punished. And if that lack of decent behavior is extremely severe or continues to occur, the only punishment, unless the offense is incurred by a yokozuna who can be requested to retire, has to be dismissal. Takanofuji was warned, but he obviously chose to ignore that warning. There is no place for egomaniacs and bullies in sumo. He has to be gone--the sooner, the better.
  16. I just read the article below in the Los Angeles times about a retired National Football League lineman and the terrible injuries he suffered while playing. As I did, I started relating it to the severe injuries suffered by Terunofuji, Ura, Takakeisho, Tochinoshin, and recently retired Kisenosato, among others. Most fans assume that well conditoned athletes should be able to withstand most injuries and still compete effectively. These people are bigger and stronger than the rest of us and because of that, they should at least try to overcome all but the most severe injuries possible. Exceptions were severe concussions, torn ligaments, ruptured achilles tendons, and maybe a few others. Everything else was okay. If an athlete could move around reasonably well even though mobility was limited and could think fairly clearly, it was okay to compete. I was one of those fans--but I no longer am. For those of you who don't know, Andrew Luck was a star NFL player who recently retired at age 29.. The reason was because of several serious injuries he could not overcome. He had a choice of continuing his career risking even further severe injury while making lots of money or retiring and trying to have his body return to as normal as possible. He wisely chose the second option. While this article does not pertain to sumo, I think its relationship to it is quite evident. If you have a chance, take a look at it.
  17. Not necessarily. In actual competition, physical contact is made fifteen times per basho, 90 times per year. In pro football, there are approximately 60 plays per game. During a regular 18 game season, contact is made over 1,000 times. On the other hand, football players wear equpment to protect their bodies. Rikishis do not. To some degree, that equalizes things. There is even more chance of injury during jungyos, preseason football games, and training sessions for both activities. As prevalent as traumatic brain injuries (CTE) are in football, I think they could be just as widespread in sumo. In football, the head is protected. In sumo, it is not. If wearing the best designed helmets have little effect on preventng brain injury, I wonder what the effect of unprotected head to head contact will be over a long period of time. I beliieve that John Gunning has referred to brain injuries incurred by retired rikishis as being far more common than realized. Whether someone competes in pro football, sumo, or other activities where violent bodily contact is involved, one thing is certain. Injuries will happen and some of them will be severe.
  18. sekitori

    Takakeisho injury update

    Going where no one has gone before may be unusual, but it could be the best approach for him. The failure to regain his ozeki rank by going kyujo would be disappointing, but if and when he becomes healthy again, he has enough ability to reach ozeki again. His main problem, and it could be a huge one, is that if he does compete, there could be a chance of even worse reinjury. His advisors are being very careful with his rehab and considering that other rikishis' injuries have been so poorly handled, that's commendable. The difficulty is now a choice between entering a basho with an injury that hasn't completely healed, hoping it holds up well enough to have him again achieve ozeki rank or sitting it out and starting his quest for ozeki rank all over again with a healthier body. That decision, no matter what it turns out to be, will be a very difficult one to make. Unfortunately, injury is always a risk in sumo and that's bad enough. But when it happens to an extremely promising and talented young rikishi, that makes things even worse.
  19. sekitori

    Takakeisho injury update

    In other words, they are restricting the use of his good leg so that it feels somewhat like the bad one. In effect. they're trying to make both legs seem equal. That's a novel approach which seems to make no sense. Yet I can understand why they're tryiing it. There is proverb called "Any port in a storm". It means that in an adverse situation, one looks for any source of relief, however unusual it may seem. There is a very slight chance that such a strange approach to injury might actually be of help. I give credit to Takakeisho and his advisors for trying it.
  20. I have possibly the only sumo sculpture from the famous source of ceramic figurines, Lladro. It's called "Test of Strength" and I enjoy it very much. The photo I'm including is actually my avatar. I doubt if the people responsible for producing it knew very much about sumo and probably portrayed something they thought would be of interest. It depicts the rikshi on the left using his right hand to apparently pull down on the front of his opponent's mawashi. That caused his opponent's knee to touch the ground. I've been trying to figure out which kimarite could be depicted. The closest I can come up with is shitatehineri. Any other ideas?
  21. sekitori

    Any thoughts about this kimarite?

    I never knew that sculpture existed. Thanks for letting me know about it. I like it very much and was thinking of adding it to mine if it wasn't too expensive. Then I learned the price--over 1,110 USD. I bought mine in 1995 and it cost far, far less. Below is a source where it can be purchased. Since I have no intention of doing so, it should be available.Ă³-porcelain-01009080?gmc_currency=4&fzcountry=US&gclid=CjwKCAjwnf7qBRAtEiwAseBO_HAj9ybvR61SiPpwC5xbebzXuZhlyL5bZR5AMvLtUZoUsJ4C_rP7qxoCwewQAvD_BwE
  22. sekitori

    Any thoughts about this kimarite?

    Thanks for your input. It possibly could be sabaori but I doubt it. Sabaori is usually performed with the hands at the sides of the mawashi, not the front. I'm sure the sculptor(s) had no knowledge of sumo techniques and they came up with something they thought would look interesting--nothing more. In that way, they did succeed. It does look interesting. I think Kintamayama had the right idea of a non-contact loss of balance by the loser but as I said before, I'll keep it at shitatehineri.
  23. sekitori

    Araiso activities

    I was never much of a Kisenosato fan. I think that was because he appeared to be uncommunicative much of the time. He hardly ever seemed to smile in public. In the last year of his career, considering the hell he was going through coping with an injury that never fully healed and which hugely affected his performance, that was understandable. But since his retirement, my opinion of him has changed. He has shown a very pleasant personality, communicating extremely well, and above all, often smiling and even laughing. I have come to the conclusion that a rikishi I once didn't care for because he seemed to be so dull and unsociable is actually is a very nice, outgoing person. As I said before, I wasn't a big fan of Kisenosato. I am however, a huge fan of Araiso.
  24. sekitori

    How will this era end?

    Despite having a bicep injury that was not 100% healed, Hakuho was in contention on senshuraku in Nagya and ended up with another jun-yusho. He continues to have a record of first or second place finishes in over 75% of the bashos he has entered. I do not call this "limping on" or anything even close to it. I'm sure that just about every rikishi around would love to limp around the way Hakuho is doing. As for yokozuna candidates to possibly replace him and Kakuryu, the answer at present is simple. There are none. Aside from the yokozunas, there doesn't seem to be anyone around who is able to put together two consecutive yushos or a record close to it. Hakuho and Kakuryu have maybe a year or so left in their careers and there is a very good chance that after they are gone, no one will be able to take their place for an extended period of time. And whoever eventually is promoted, since he is following the greatest rikishi of all time and a much less successful but still highly regarded yokozuna, it will be difficult to call him a worthy successor. As they say in show business, he will have "a tough act to follow"--an extremely tough one. I expect that following the Hakuho-Kakuryu era, there may be another one called the "No yokozuna era". From the way things look now, at a time where there are many talented rikishis but very few really outstanding ones, that era may last for quite a while.
  25. sekitori

    Next Yokozuna??????

    "Right" sumo to me means winining without allowing yourself to be badly injured--or injured at all. I guess that with enough talent, that can be done--very, very occasionally. Two examples are Kyokutenho and Tamawashi. They have had long and successful careers--but how successful? Exactly one yusho apiece. Hakuho definitely does not fit into that category. You don't win 42 yushos practicing sumo which keeps you from getting injured. To be an outstanding rikishi, a bit of overdoing won't do it. A lot of overdoing may. The difference between risk for mild or medium injury and that same risk for severe injury really isn't very much. An achilles tendon may be strained but under the same circumstances, it could be ruptured. Huge difference. The same thing goes for a twisted knee and a torn ACL. Unfortunately, the rikishi has absolutely no input as to the degree of injury he may encounter. I doubt very much if Takakeisho's advisors will tell him to do the same kind of sumo but to take it a bit easier so that he can avoid further injury. His stock in trade is a relentless pushing attack that if done correctly, should blast his opponent off the dohyo. To have him attenuate that style in the cause of self-preservation could harm a possibly extremely successful future. I wouldn't exactly call "right" sumo as being unmotivated. Every rikishi is motivated to win. But some of them are also motivated to keep from getting hurt. That may keep them around for a longer time, but the price they pay will be the lack of real success. If you don't take some big chances, you probably won't do very well.