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About Chankosan

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  • Birthday 06/08/1962

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  • Location
    California, USA
  • Interests
    Sumo, Beatles, JFK assassination, comics, hiking


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  1. Chankosan

    Should Hakuho Retire?

    I think I witnessed the very moment that Hakuho lost his nerve. It was during the soken in May of this year. It was my first soken and I watched Hakuho like an eagle, taking photo after photo. I was shocked at how easily he lost his matches and wondered what that meant for the basho. Sure enough, he started with a loss, and many of his matches looked highly suspect -- I'll just leave it at that. I remember a look he had after one of his three losses in a row in the middle of the basho that was a real deer-in-the-headlights! His soken came after a strong tournament performance, so I don't know what happened between March and May to erode his confidence, but he has clearly lost his mojo and is doing whatever he can just to hang on. Perhaps it is his age, an injury, domestic troubles, the yaocho scandal, Asashoryu getting kicked out, or him losing his winning streak -- or some combination of them all? But he shouldn't retire yet -- he is so good and the field is so bad that he can still put together a 14-1 and a 13-2 record when he is on his last legs. Even bad Hakuho is better than no Hakuho...
  2. In preparing for my month-long stay in Tokyo in May, I have run up against two pesky questions that I was hoping someone here might be able to answer. Thanks in advance! QUESTION #1 On 2-3-09 Jonosuke wrote: "There is a shrine located in Ryogoku called Nomi No Sukune Shrine. Kyokai officials, Judging Group heads and Judging member from each Ichimon and Chaya managers gather at the shrine after every Tokyo Basho's Torikumi Arranging Committee meeting to have a Shinto ceremony officiated by the main Izumo Shrine priest." I have read that this ceremony occurs the Friday before the basho, which would be May 4 for Natsu. Is this a private or public ceremony? And, if public, when does it start? QUESTION #2 The Friday parade that starts the Sanja Matsuri (Daigyoretsu) goes down Yanagi Dori and Nakamise Dori to Asakusa Shrine. I would like to view the parade on Yanagi Dori but I cannot for the life of me find a map that shows where that street is located. Is this an east-west or north-south street? What major street does it parallel and how many blocks away is it? Is there a landmark on the street that would fix its location?
  3. Chankosan

    New Recruits for Kyushu 2011

    Does anyone know about how many new recruits we can expect for the Maezumo dohyo-iri May?
  4. Chankosan

    Seating early in the day?

    I am coming to Tokyo in May for the basho and wanted to know if they have reversed their policy about seating close to the dohyo early in the day. Watching the streaming video of this basho it would appear that they have done just that. Am I seeing things correctly? Is it just an Osaka thing? Thanks in advance for your answer!
  5. Chankosan

    YDC soken today-free admission

    It is actually been held on the national holiday 29th always... at least always since it has been open to the public!! The December soken is also held on the national holiday 23rd. September's date changes but is the Saturday before the basho starts. Thanks Kotoviki! It's nice to know there is a pattern after all...
  6. Chankosan

    YDC soken today-free admission

    All you have to do is look it up on the forum calendar. You will find it's on April 29th. Duh, didn't even think to check there (amidst the forest of birthdays). That's great! Thanks Kintamayama.
  7. Chankosan

    YDC soken today-free admission

    I know it's early, but I was wondering if anyone might know when the YDC Soken for the May basho will be held? I want to catch that on the first day of my next trip to Tokyo, so (ideally) I need to know the date before I can make my reservations. I really tried to puzzle it out, but there seems to be no clear pattern: 4/20/11 (FRI) 4/29/09 (WED) 4/29?/08 (TUE?) 5/5/07 (SAT) 4/29/06 (SAT) 5/5/05 (WED) 4/30/04 (FRI) 5/6/02 (MON) I figure if Jonosuke knew about the September one a couple of months ahead, I might as well start asking now. And while I'm asking, does anyone know what time the ceremony at the Nomi no Sukune shrine begins on Friday, May 4? Thanks!
  8. Chankosan

    Policing Kokugikan seating?

    While I'm at it, I would also like to know if they are still doing the "meet an oyakata" each day?
  9. Chankosan

    Policing Kokugikan seating?

    Thanks for the confirmation. I don't need the exact address for Ootake beya (sorry I said "exactly"!), just a general idea what it might be near to in the ward as I might swing by it when I am in town...
  10. Chankosan

    Policing Kokugikan seating?

    I do seem to remember that they referred at some point to the past problems with yakuza being in the audience. I also notice that the Kyokai is broadcasting from the start of the day -- are they trying to ensure that no yakuza send signals from dohto-side in the early hours of the broadcast?
  11. Chankosan

    Ootake beya opens new heya

    Do you happen to know where exactly it is located in the Koto Ward?
  12. Chankosan

    Policing Kokugikan seating?

    I heard on the English language broadcast of the last basho that "you can't go down to the dohyo during the day [anymore] because of the policing of the right tickets." I am planning a trip for May and wanted to know if this is true. I always enjoyed being able to sit close to the dohyo early in the day. Does this mean that you can now only sit in your assigned seat from the very beginning of the day? If this is true, what is the rationale? A reaction to the behavior of the foreign fans perhaps?
  13. Chankosan

    Kotoshogiku looking good

    Definitely agree with you on that-numbers don't lie. I already noticed that in July, where quite a few 7-7 rikishi went MK. Not so much the hatakikomi, since not all hatakikomi mean the same-more about the quality and substance of the bouts, and the mere fact that the guys who were "supposed" to lose don't. Whew! Thanks for that reality check Kintamayama. So I'm NOT alone. If that change (in the numbers) is real, then -- as I said before -- I can let any perceived tinkering on the part of the Kyokai for the greater good of the national sport slide. I am so happy to be seeing almost exclusively "listful" matches that the rest is negligible. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that such tinkering -- as in the case of ensuring a new Japanese Ozedi ASAP -- is downright DESIRABLE. That is, it helps to ensure the popularity, and hence survival, of the sport. If it must exist at some level (and it must), then I only ask that it be used judiciously for this purpose and not the wholesale backscratching system that existed prior to the scandal and that heavily tainted the quality of the product.
  14. Chankosan

    Kotoshogiku looking good

    Indeed, waaay out of his league. Past head to heads were 10-10 before this basho, Kotoshougiku winning the last three. Maybe the fact that Kotoshougiku's promotion was already decided and Baruto was bit more motivated had something to do with it-in any case it was by no means a one-sided affair. Unfortunately, the past records are tainted by the rampant yaocho. So without reviewing again those 20 Baruto-Kotoshogiku matches, I can't comment on the reliability of the 10-10 record as an indicator of true ability. Especially given my strong impression that Baruto and Kotooshu were Ozekis on the take in the old days (Kaio was on the "give" and Kotomitsuki, well...) I suspect that the Baruto match would have been arranged had Kotoshogiku not managed to defeat a freshly Kisenosato-injured Hakuho... BUT, what do you think about my much bigger picture point about the palpable change in the "character" of sensharaku and the apparent precipitious decline in hatakikomi kimarties in the post-scandal sumo world? Surely that has been apparent to many others besides me?? If no one else perceives this (and it should be empirically demonstrable a la Freakonomics), then it is proof positive that sumo will slide back to its old ways after a few more basho, since there will be no repercussions for yaocho since most fans of sumo can (will?) not see it -- at least no repercussions without cell phone records, and I can assure you that the kyokai has solved that problem! Oh well, I am really enjoying all the real sumo while it lasts...
  15. Chankosan

    Kotoshogiku looking good

    I too agree with YBF that it was staged, but I am willing to let it slide for the sake of the national sport. Anyway, Baruto's devastating throw on Day 15 should have made it clear to everyone just how far Kotoshogiku is out of his true league. Peter Principle anyone? ;) That said, I have never seen so much yaocho-free sumo in my almost 20 years of watching the sport! It is a dream come true for fans of the SPORT of sumo and not just the CULTURE of sumo (I am both). The difference on senshuraku is palpable -- it is so refreshing to see that a 7-7 does not automatically become an 8-7. And is it just me, or is there now a relative dearth of hatakikomi kimarites? Someone should really do a number-crunching follow-up to the Freakanomics findings to prove that there has been a paradigm shift in sumo since the scandal blew up.