sekitori

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Everything posted by sekitori

  1. sekitori

    Goeido to Retire

    There is a good reason for not bringing up this situation again. People refuse to believe that a yokozuna (or yokozunas) would ever try to lose a bout so that the first Japanese rikishi in ten years would finally win a yusho. However, I think that at least Hakuho wanted to do what would be the best for sumo. Another yusho by a Mongolian yokozuna , especially Hakuho, would have meant very little to Japanese sumo fans--and also to those who didn't really care about sumo. But Kotoshogiku's victory made a nation who desperately wanted a championship by one of their own in a sport of Japanese origin extremely proud. In other words, Kotoshogiku's yusho was not just good for sumo--it was wonderfiul. I think that Hakuho and possibly the other two yokozunas , as that fact became more possible, wanted it to happen. I'm also certain that because there is no other proof of match throwing other than Hakuho's extremely unusual total lack of effort, no one will never admit that fact. In his bout against Kisenosato, Hakuho did not make a mistake. In my opinion, he accomplished exactly what he wanted to--but he did it very badly. I think that the idea of conspiracies and secret plots are kind of ridiculous ---but I strongly believe in this one. The facts make too much sense not to.
  2. sekitori

    Goeido to Retire

    Ozekis may have lost on purpose to help other ozekis maintain their rank, but at least their efforts seemed legitimate. The one bout that I'm absolutely convinced was thrown was the one before the day Kotshogiku won his only yusho--and I can understand the reason why. There had been no Japanese yusho winner in ten years. During the basho, Kotoshogiku defeated all three yokozunas--Kakuryu, Harmuaffui, and Hakuho. That seemed strange but at least those victories, although extremely unlikely, seemed somewhat plausible. I had a feeling (and still do) that the yokozunas agreed that it was time for a Japanese rikishi to win a yusho and that one or all three of them agreed to let that happen. On day 13, Hakuho and Kotoshogiku were tied for the lead with one loss each. Kotoshogiku won his bout that day and then it was Hakuho's turn. He faced Kisenosato and needed a victory to continue to stay tied for the lead on senshuraku. I'm certain that Hakuho, if he cared to, was skilled enough to perform a believeable yaocho. Instead, he came up with possibly his worst effort ever. At the tachi-ai, he stood erect and allowed Kisenosato to easily push him out of the ring. The only "resistance" he provided was to gentlly put the palm of his left hand against the side of Kisenosato's face.. That meant that to win the yusho, all Kotoshogiku had to do was win his match on the following day-which he did. Interestingly, to keep this post on topic, his opponent on that final day was Goeido. As strongly as I believe that the yokozunas allowed a Japanese rikishi to finally win, I also think that Kotoshogiku knew absolutely nothing about this . Watch the Hakuho-Kisenosato bout. It starts at about the 4 minute, 15 second mark. It was the most "un-Hakuho-like" sumo I ever saw and you can see why I honestly believe that he intentionally threw it. What bothers me even more is that he did an extremely bad job of doing so. Someone with his enormous talent not only can do great sumo but he also should be able, if he wants to, to make poor sumo look reasonably believeable. In this instance, for some reason, he didn't. It could be that he wanted people to know that he actually was giving up his chance to win a yusho so that a Japanese rikishi could. I just wish he could have done it a lot better.
  3. sekitori

    Enho - predictions?

    Even if he does go 5-10 and even if he drops out of makunouchi permanently, he will still have done something that hardly anyone with the possible exception of Mainoumi has achieved. He has shown that someone with an unusually small body can succeed in an endeavor dominated by extremely large people. The closest example I can think of is Muggsy Bogues who played in the NBA for many years. He was 5' 3" tall (160 cm), considerably shorter than Enho. He played in a league where the height of the average player is over 6' 6" (198 cm). I also remember Spud Webb who also played in the NBA. He was about four inches taller then Bogues, but still quite small. Each player lasted around 14 years in the NBA, an amazing feat for someone their size. One more thing. Webb actually won the NBA Slam Dunk competition. Then there was Calvin Murphy (5' 9") who stayed in the NBA for about the same length of time as the other two. . He has the distinction of being the shortest player ever elected to the NBA Hall of Fame. I just happen to have a preferemce for athletes who are "Davids" in a a sport dominated by "Goliaths". If your prediction of 5-10 does come true, I hope it will happen ten years from now after Enho has achieved and maintained sanyaku status. Hooray for the little guys!!
  4. sekitori

    Goeido to Retire

    I've always admired rkishis who have succeeded after overcoming adversity. They include those who have returned from injury after being at the bottom of the banzuke (or close to it): Ryuden, Terunofuji, Tochinoshin, and Ura among others. I also admire rikishis who because of their small stature, have succeeded beyond expectations, most noticeably Mainoumi and Enho. There is another category of rikishi that I also greatly respect--ozekis who continued to maintain their rank despite often being kadoban.They include Chiyotaikai and Kaio who were kadoban many times during their careers but still still managed to hold onto their ozeki rankings. I would like to include Goeido with them. He wasn't a great ozeki and was highly inconsistent, but anyone holding that rank continuously over five years despite often being kadoban has to be highly respected. It was nice to see him win his one and only yusho. I was never a big fan, but I will still miss seeing him compete. As I said, he succeeded after constantly overcoming much adversity. That fact alone is worthy of the highest praise. I wish him the best.
  5. sekitori

    Kobe Bryant Memorial Thread

    Kobe Bryant was loved and respected not just in the USA. He was famous throughout the world. He had a huge following in China and I'm quite sure that he had many fans in Japan as well. I know that he made a contribution to the city of Kobe after the earthquake and was named an unofficial ambasador. Has there been any news of how the Japanese media has reported his death? I know that both yokozunas are basketball fans and I'm sure they must have had some comments regarding this tragic event. His name even has a Japanese origin. His parents loved the taste of the strain of wagyu beef from the prefecture of Hyogo. Kobe is its capital city and they named their son after it.
  6. sekitori

    Hatsu 2020 Basho Discussion (SPOILERS)

    If Kisenosato can keep withdrawing indefinitely, so can Hakuho. His injuries are not nearly as severe as Kisenosato's,, so I don't expect that to happen. He hopefully will return soon. And unless he has a really debilitating injury, he definitely will be around for the Olympics. I think that he will be good for one and possibly two more yushos before he decides to retire.
  7. sekitori

    Hatsu 2020 Basho Discussion (SPOILERS)

    Possible co-holders of M4 rank in Osaka--Enho and Tokushoryu. A few months ago, that would have been nothing more than a very strange delusion. And if it doesn't quite occur, it at least will be close.to hsppening. Although it has no relation to this topic, I just wanted to add something else--rest in peace, Kobe Bryant.
  8. sekitori

    Hatsu 2020 Basho Discussion (SPOILERS)

    I wonder how good he would have been if his knee injury was treated properly. Because surgical treatment meant his absence over several bashos, he and his advisors opted to have his torn ACL heal naturally. That meant that his knee would never be as strong as it could have been if surgery had been performed. Endo was talented enough to at one time to be considered as a future yokozuna candidate. Instead, Kisenosato became the first Japanese yokozuna in many years. What they both have in common is that poor injury management greatly harmed their careers. Endo will probably reach sanyaku status again soon. He may stay there for quite a while and possibly even win a yusho. But I keep thinking what his career would have been like if he had two healthy, strong knees.
  9. sekitori

    Ishiura keiko violence - the next scandal

    In the words of the famous LA Laker announcer Chick Hearn, this was clearly a case of "No harm, no foul". A warning to Ishiura would have been more than sufficient but the NSK, I assume in an attempt to show its authority, included a pay cut for him. To me, fining his oyakata makes no sense except to once again establish their authority. I realize that the oyakata is responsible for rikishis' behavior but controlling their emotions during a fight in a training session where no one was injured would be difficult if not impossible to do. I can't imagine that a coach or manager in any sport, if he wasn't directly involved, would ever be held responsible in any way if one or more of his players were involved in a fight. But such is not the case with sumo.
  10. sekitori

    Ishiura keiko violence - the next scandal

    Has Kyushu clay always been softer or did this apply only to the most recent basho? I assumed that the materials for the dohyo were standardized so that they would be the same for all honbashos. I guess my assumption was wrong.
  11. sekitori

    Ishiura keiko violence - the next scandal

    I don't consider this to be the next "scandal" or even a scandal at all. It's a situation which doesn't even begin to compare with a situation where a sekitori abuses his tsukebito. It's a case of two rikishis who while practicing, became overly agressive. The oyakata did the proper thing by reporting the incident. The yokozuna did the proper thing by breaking up the fight. As for so-called "discipline", I doubt if the NSK willl do anything more than reprimand both rikishis, telling them to never exhibit this kind of behavior again. In more extreme situations, something harsher such as suspension for the next basho would be the correct thing to do. This is NOT one of those situations. It's a case of a punishment fitting a crime. Since the crime was actually quite minor and was stopped quickly by those in charge, the punishment (if there is any at all) should be as well.
  12. sekitori

    Sumo in Brazil

    I'm not sure if this info has been posted here before but Japanese culture (including sumo) is quite popular in Brazil. The number of Japanese living there is second only to those living in Japan itself. Sao Paulo has the only clay dohyo outside of Japan and Brazilian fans are exremely proud of the success achieved by Kaisei. Very interesting article below. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/sumo-gym-sao-paulo-brazil/index.html
  13. sekitori

    Preparations of the Y/O- Hatsu 2020

    I'm sure that Hakuho has other training partners who are closer to the weight of the average sekitori. He is also very fortunate to be able to train with two of the quickest rikishis around. They present problems that most rikishis never encounter in training. I believe that working out with these extremely mobile rikishis has been a huge benefit to him. Needless to say, the chance of steadily training with the greatest yokozuna of all time has helped the careers of both Ishiura and Enho trememendously. This is a win-win situation where everyone has come out ahead--way ahead.
  14. sekitori

    Hakuho Applying for Japanese Citizenship

    Each leg of the torch relay is quite short---around 200 meters or so. A torch bearer doesn't have to run at all. If he or she is unable to run, walking while holding the torch should be perfectly okay. So is the use of a wheelchair whose users are provided with equipment to attach the torch to the chair. In theory a torch bearer should be alone, but they are permitted to have the assistance of a wheelchair helper or for a blind person to use a guide dog or another person to help him or her. I wonder if torch bearers are also allowed to use skate boards and/or roller skates.
  15. sekitori

    Sumo history videos

    This looks like an ancient version of a Hakuho-Enho workout .
  16. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    It's true that the kachiage in and of itself is far more dangerous than the headbutt. However, kachiages don't occur very often. The headbutt, while far less severe, happens extremely often in a rkishi's career and its long term effects can be much more serious. I'm referring to CTE, a brain injury which has been proven to occur in many American professional football players and can result in dementia in later life. Helmets provide some protection, but not enough to prevent it. I wonder if trauma to the brain is as common in rikishis who have a lot of head to head contact without any sort of protection at all. I would guess that it's far more prevalent than we realize. I have no idea how the effects of head to head contact in sumo can be reduced. Tradition indicates that any sort of head protection will never be used. Such contact could eventually be banned altogether. The chances of such a rule ever occurring is at least a million to one, maybe more. Meawhile, rikishis will continue to bang their heads together, at possibly great future risk.
  17. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    When Hakuho gripped onto Takakeisho's mawashi, because Takakeisho has very little yotsu-zumo ability, the bout was over. When two rikishis are grabbing onto each other's mawashis and there is no movement at all, there can be a question as to who has an advantage. That was not the case in this match. Hakuho was in complete control and he could have ended it any time he cared to. I still think the reason it took him so long to finish the match was to make it appear that Takakeisho's mawashi technique was moderately decent--which it definitely was not. Hakuho came away with the easiest win possible while Takakeisho left with his dignity intact by lasting well over a minute before losing. However, that result was due much, much more to Hakuho's efforts (or lack of same) than his own.
  18. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    This probably makes no sense, but I think Hakuho was doing Takakeisho a big favor. Once he controlled Takakeisho's mawashi, the match was over. But instead of pushing him off the dohyo right away, he just maintained his position. To some observers, it might appear that Takakesisho was doing something to block Hakuho's forward movement. But the lack of Hakuho's forward progress had nothing to do with Takakeisho's resistance. It was due entirely to Hakuho himself. I think the longer a bout with Hakuho lasts, the more impressive his opponent seems to be. I wouldn't doubt that while they were locked together, Hakuho whispered, "Hang in there. You're gonna lose but you stlll will look pretty good". As I said, this idea probably makes no sense but if nothing else, it does sound kind of interesting.
  19. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    That just about says it all. Not only is he the greatest rikishi ever, but he also is among the greatest all-time athletes in all sports. I would equate his status to that of LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, and Muhammad Ali. The sad thing is while the others were extremely well-known, the vast (gigantic may be a better word) majority of people in the world have absolutely no idea who he is.
  20. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    It's absolutely right for a yokozuna, like any other rikishi, to follow the rules of sumo.That includes using accepted, allowable techniques. However, when one is promoted to yokozuna and becomes extremely successful, he is then requested to abandon a completely legal technique. It is said that such behavior is not worthy of someone holding such a high rank. Of course, his opponents can still use that same technique against him. The YDC and NSK sometimes come up with opinions that make no sense. This happens to be one of the more ridiculous ones. Hakuho is not being stubborn. He's just following the rules.
  21. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    I believe I understand why the sumo elders think so negatively about Hakuho's use of the harite and blows with his forearm. I doubt if it has anything to do with proper behavior for a yokozuna. I think the real reason is that Hakuho, who has won 42 yushos (and counting) and dominatied sumo like no one has ever before has been far more successful than they would like to see. They suggest that Hakuho stop the use of totally legal techniques, hoping that will provide some sort of handicap. They merely want to take away what they feel is an "unfair" advantage by the greatest rikishi of all time. That makes no sense to me at all. I don’t understand why complying with a rule and using it to one’s benefit can in any way be construed as being unfair. If the NSK feels that use of the harite and the forearm shiver are dangerous or provide some sort of undeserved advantage, all they have to do is make either or both of them illegal for all rikishis. If they don't, their "techniques unbecoming a yokozuna" statement means absolutely nothing, at least to me. I probably am in a minority regarding this thinking and I welcome any comments to the contrary.
  22. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    The harite is a legal tactic, but one that the elders for some reason consider to be improper for a yozuna to use. In Hakuho's case, he doesn't use it to cause damage. It's only for distraction and as such, it works well. If you want to see how lethal a single slap to the side of the head can be, check out this match between Kyokudozan and Kushimaumi.
  23. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    However, the yokozunas were kyujo in each of his yushos. That fact, in and of itself, made them less significant than they could have been. On the other hand, "a win is a win" no matter what the situation surrounding it is. Despite the fact that he didn't have to face his strongest competition, he stll did very well. There is no question that he deserved each yusho even though the quality of his opponents wasn't the best.
  24. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    I think a rule allowing a makunouchi rikishi who is absent for a long period due to injury to re-enter at mid-makushita rank would be quite fair. An injured juryo rikishi would be allowed re-enter at no lower than upper sandanme. What happened to Ura was completely unfair and totally undeserved. He was at M4 when he was badly injured. He was demoted to low sandanme where he rose to makushita 23 when he was injured again. He now has to start at jonidan 106. Faced with such a situation, I'm sure many rikishis would have retired. Such determination is why I'm a huge Ura fan. I think his previous high makunouchi rank should have been taken into account when his subsequent rankings were considered. Something like this should never be allowed to happen and is an excellent example (among others) showing that sumo is far, far from perfect.
  25. sekitori

    2019 Kyushu Basho Discussion (spoiler alert)

    In Kisenosato's case, consistency at ozeki meant nothing. In the five previous bashos before his first yusho, excluding a fairly decent 10-5, he was 13-2, 13-2, 12-3, and 12-3 which were yokozuna-like numbers. However, they did not include a yusho. Their result was his remaining at ozeki. Only when he finally won a yusho was he promoted to yokozuna. I believe that without a yusho, no matter how outstandingly consistent his records continued to be, he would have remained an ozeki.