Andreas21

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About Andreas21

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    Juryo
  • Birthday 21/04/70

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  • Favourite Rikishi
    Terunifuji, Kotoyuki, Tochinoshin, Kaisei, Tatsu
  1. Harumafuji scandal

    Okay, same category as Mike Tyson then? I'm actually in favor of a slighty more refined characterization - which has been done before. Anyway, the actual events before Asa's intai are actually extremely similar to Harumafuji now. Some beating took place but the actual course of events is blurry due to contradicting testimony. Public uproar occurred after reports circulated in the press, which later appeared not to tell the full truth. Both Yokozunae decided to retire on the basis of this uproar, not by an actual conviction or an explicit order by the Kyokai. The reason in both cases is very likely the expectation of worse things to come if they persist. Asa has claimed not too long ago that the truth has never been found out and reported - and he doesn't tell either. Anyway, in both cases some misbehaviour took place. My main concern here is that the uproar is enough to break the Yokozuna. My conclusion is, if somebody for whatever reason is willing to destroy a Yokozuna he can do so by fabricating evidence and stirring uproar. It does not matter if it is falsified later, gone is gone. True. But Sumo has an additional dimension. The Yokozuna has an explicit religious role. Leads rituals at Shinto shrines. Babies are put into their arms - and they are blessed for life. (Maybe people feel blessed when they touched Cristiano Ronaldo, but that is not the same.) A Yokozuna has partly the role of a priest. The actions of a priest are measured on a slightly different scale than the average person. Normally, they behave in an extraordinary exemplary way. But if they don't it is assumed that they have very good reasons for. Think of illegal activities of priests during second world war, or in times of cold war in eastern Europe. Priests have a certain margin of immunity. Ever thought about if it is possible to drag a catholic priest down by fabricating evidence? To the opposite, even in cases of overwhelming evidence of misconduct it is still extremely difficult to get a hold on the culprit. If the Kyokai is not willing to protect its Yokozunae, to guarantee a certain margin of immunity, the religious fa├žade is gone. Then it's just some dirty showbiz at the shrines that plays with people's religious feelings. Then they might leave the salt, the water, Dohyo-iri, the bow ceremony for good and start the bouts like Amasumo in Europe or America. Or, go the full way and start it like a boxing fight.
  2. Harumafuji scandal

    I am completely aware of that. Insightful people have stated that very early - the process triggered by the events will unstoppably lead to Harumafujis retirement. I just happen to thoroughly dislike it. Politicians are very frequently brought to fall by scandals all over the world, in many cases on no or minor factual ground, just by intrigues. But, it belongs to world of politics: because politicians will be elected, and the public opinion is crucial. But a Yokozuna is no politician, he is sort of a superhuman holy warrior. He is not elected by the people. Sure, people buy tickets. Not for the moral integrity of the Rikishi but for great fights. This correctness approach valid for politicians doesn't fit in the world of Sumo (as I see it). I found the role of the beer bottle very telling. "Shame" was brought to the Yokozuna rank and the Kyokai when Harumafuji beat Takanoiwa allegedly with a beer bottle over his head. Widely circulated through the press, worldwide. It was very important that a hard object was involved, a shove which would be legal in a Sumo bout would not have this quality. At that moment, it was already a done deal. Now it doesn't matter that there was no beer bottle in the first place. The process has been triggered and goes along the way. It's not that I approve violence. To the opposite. I would prefer that the rules applied to every Japanese citizen are also enforced in the Sumo heya, in private gatherings of Rikishi. I'm in favour of a legal action in case of inflicted injuries. (I know, this is not the case - there is violence in the heya, as part of the education, which is not reported to the public.) If beating with a remote control qualifies for an arrest, then be it so. What I disapprove is the automatism that a conviction, a prosecution, even a simple investigation, leads to retirement. I'm also not saying, a Yokozuna should be allowed to do anything. Convictions of major crimes should lead to enforced retirement - cheating in Sumo should be punished by the Kyokai. But here, we're talking about "violent behaviour" which most of the Rikishi experience very often, on the dohyo, in the heya. It's the out-of-proportion thing.
  3. Harumafuji scandal

    First, I didn't imply anything about fake bouts. I'm talking about something which I like in Sumo, which is not easily explained. There is something to it which is so unlike any other sports, even martial arts, strongmen sports, weightlifting - they all have huge strong men. But in Sumo there is more, these religious rituals, heya life, these Samurai like education, this seriousness, this complete focus on the single moment. And these Yokozuna, god like creatures, celebrated, childrens given to them for blessing. And then, a Yokozuna falls by these profane events, punches which they similarly receive daily in Keiko, bitchy slaps with a remote control. The victim, fighting already next day, didn't make a fuss, weeks later at the hospital which didn't consider it that serious. An overeager oyataka, with basically nothing in his hands, brings this god to fall, with actions more clumsy than cunning. Why? Because it created "public uproar"! This Harumafuji intai is so utterly useless, so arbitrary. I have not been a particular fan of him, he may have been retired by the next injury anyway. But to go in this way is a completely different thing. I would have liked it if the sports heroes would get some protection, some immunity. But the opposite seems to be the case. They can be put in shame by hearsay stories distributed by the press (beer bottle!) and then they have to go. If Yokozunae can be removed in this way, obviously others step in by simple mathematics, it's easier now to win the Yusho and eventually get promoted. But this takes something away from the Yokozuna status, and finally, Ozumo as whole.
  4. Harumafuji scandal

    When I first read this interview, I thought it is one of those precious pieces of satire which Moti is famous for, in the videos and in the forum. I mean, it is this typical official Sumo stereotypes language - which we love and hate - woven around the scandal. I'm sure, Moti would have enjoyed to make it up. In fact, I've been visiting this thread regularly just for Moti to pop up, yelling "Got you!" After some days, I slowly begin to accept a certain possibility that indeed it may be the transcription of the actual press conference. This whole affair is so utterly ugly and bizarre. And it shakes the very basis on which I am interested in Sumo. I haven't been around when Asashoryu retired but I have read about it in retrospect. Only now I can fully grasp the turn to a more cynical view on Ozumo which I observed in writers like ybf. Somehow I managed to imagine Asashoryu as a bad guy which played with fire and got burned eventually. Now I doubt it more than ever. I wonder if I'm able to watch Sumo anymore. And if so, can I do it without a totally cynical perspective which I would have when I watched WWF (I don't). I don't know.
  5. Harumafuji scandal

    I wonder what those suspicious marks between upper lip and nose are. Was he assaulted?
  6. Basho Talk Kyushu 2017 (SPOILERS)

    In the Onosho-Harumafuji bout I would give the credit to Onosho - nice effort and great timing of the slap down. I wouldn't call Harumafuji out yet.
  7. Harumafuji Intai Speculation

    You're right of course. The Kyokai believed he committed it, that was the reason he was expelled, and falls in a different category than requesting Intai for an underperforming Yokozuna.
  8. Harumafuji Intai Speculation

    In my opinion, Harumafuji is the Yokozuna least likely to intai in the near future. True, he is the oldest but that is about the only argument against him. Sure, the ankles and elbows are hurting but not to such an extend that he is not able to compete. He seems to have adjusted to that in a great fashion! Developed a style, where often it is not necessary to put too much force to it. In this way, he could continue as Kaio did and Aminishiki does. He is also not burdened by the Dai-Yokozuna status - meaning 10-5 or even 9-6 depending on circumstances may be perfectly fine. Kakuryu seems to have the most difficut injuries of the four. It all depends if he can sufficiently heal. If that is the case, he may return strong. But he didn't for nearly two years. The typical path could then be: he returns in sufficiently good condition to compete, and upon next injury, he calls it quits. For Kisenosato, heavy injuries and successive Kyujo are a completely new experience. It seems that he gives it the time it needs, and chances are good that he will be the longest surviving Yokozuna of the four if that heals sufficiently. Hakuho is reasonably healthy, although he has the same kind of nagging injuries as Harumafuji in the elbows. As opposed to him, he carries the burden of the Dai-Yokozuna status (in a positive way) which means he would not continue if he can't Yusho every other Basho. Right now he is perfectly able to do this, but give him two 8-7 in a row and he will be heading for a sudden change in his career, possible becoming a great Oyataka. I do not believe that the outside voices have too much effect in reality. "Force him to retire" - I do not believe that this is really a possibility if the Yokozuna is willing to compete. With Asashoryu that was a completely different story, the Kyokai forced him to retire because he was convicted of a crime - that does not count. Normally, YDC may urge a Yokozuna to retire but in these cases I assume the Yokozuna is already heavily thinking about retirement himself - as it surely the case for Kakuryo.
  9. Basho Talk - Aki 2017 (SPOILERS)

    Sheeesh, that was brutal ... makes me shiver ...
  10. Basho Talk - Aki 2017 (SPOILERS)

    I have to confess, I had Mitakeumi on my list for the Yusho when I found out that only one Yokozuna competes. No doubt, Mitakeumi had it the most among the newcomers, scoring big 9-6 from Sekiwake. As he doesn't seem to be injured, chances are good it hit him mentally as you say!
  11. Basho Talk - Aki 2017 (SPOILERS)

    Sure, in this bout. I was talking from a wider perspective, all the gyojis decisions on that matter put together. I think, Harumafuji's main fault was the attempt to force the gyoji towards a decision. This is not wise - in any sports.
  12. Basho Talk - Aki 2017 (SPOILERS)

    Thanks for the discussion on the Kotoshogiku-Harumafuji bout. I think all the technical aspects have been mentioned and, in the flow of events, either decision (matta or the win) would have made sense. I just would like to add an additional perspective, of the spectator. My initial reaction was to mutter simply "bullshit". I mean, we despise henka as it robs us seeing a real fight. Makes perfectly sense. But this is far worse. Just nuisance, nothing else, a reflection of ambiguous rules and failure to enforce them in a consistent way. This is the goyis fault, finally the Kyokai's. I'd rather like to see 20 henkas, 20 uninspired leaning contests by Tenkaiho, Sadanofuji and the like. I mean henka is a very short fight - but a fight at least.
  13. Basho Talk - Aki 2017 (SPOILERS)

    He also mentioned in his video - only two Makuuchi standing at the end of the basho ... OH NO!
  14. Ura - Yokozuna Bandwagon

    Phew, that is a rugged assertion! I actually think, he had and needed a lot of both. As the heaviest and nearly tallest he mostly had a speed disadvantage. With a high center of gravity and bad knees, opponents mostly get the superior grip position. But what he accomplished had been decent. He had the power, and was clever enough to put it in position.
  15. Ura - Yokozuna Bandwagon

    Probably, Hakuho is the second tallest Yokozuna ever. (I'm failed in the research as I don't know the field name for size in Sumo-DB. I think it is a fair bet as they used to be smaller in the old days.)