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About Shomishuu

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  • Birthday 29/06/1939

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  • Location
    Silverdale, WA, USA
  • Interests
    Sumofan, volunteer work with senior citizens, domestic harmony.


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  1. Shomishuu

    Asashoryu INTAI - Feb 4 2010

    This may not relate to fans outside the U.S, but something just occurred to me that underlines this point in spades. When I was much younger I used to be a "serious" baseball fan but now I definitely fit into the casual category. I am much more into following the NFL now. Isn't it really fascinating how the NFL gets more popular because of baseball's steroid problems? I mean, you of all people really should know that the NFL used steroids much more than baseball, it just isn't reported as much. Seems like the media get there job done properly and thoroughly if they can whitewash brains even from respectable people like you. Maybe also of some relevance in the Asashoryu case. Hmm.... I was more into the NFL way before baseball's steroid problems became...well, a problem. I'm older than you think. :-) I don't know why I'm smiling about that...
  2. Shomishuu

    Asashoryu INTAI - Feb 4 2010

    This may not relate to fans outside the U.S, but something just occurred to me that underlines this point in spades. When I was much younger I used to be a "serious" baseball fan but now I definitely fit into the casual category. I am much more into following the NFL now. Anyway, recently when the disgraced Mark McGwire finally admitted to having used steriods in the 90s while breaking home run records (this, in a pathetic crocodile tear-filled interview) so he could be 'clean' when accepting a job as hitting instructor for the Cardinals, I finally lost it (internally...). I remembered the sick performance he gave before Congress several years ago. I said to myself that he is the biggest dirtbag to ever play baseball. "He's worse than Bonds, worse than Sosa." My thought train went on..."If there were any justice in the world, this guy would donate every thing he owns to the food bank and then walk straight off the edge of a cliff." I was on a real tear inside, just ripping myself up over this slime ball. And then I thought, "Wait a minute. He hasn't shot, raped or kidnapped anyone. In all likelihood he's a good husband, responsible dad, blah blah." Why did I react this way? It then occurred to me that there was no athlete in any other sport - including the NFL - who could have invoked a similar reaction. Only a baseball player could have done that to me. Sumo may not be the official national sport of Japan, and baseball may not really be the national pastime in the U.S. anymore, but they still occupy a special place in the hearts of their respective citizenry. They have these casual fans who lay low until the dirt bubbles up, and then they unload. They don't post on fan forums or spend oodles of cash, but still carry enormous sway just because of their numbers. If you lose them, you may as well try to keep the sport afloat on pay TV, so you have to appease them. The casual sumo fans in Japan have been appeased but I'm not sure about the McGwire situation yet. A hitting instructor works out of the public eye, but if he tries to go beyond that, I don't know. I won't be happy, I know that.
  3. Shomishuu

    Yokozuna Asashoryu Scandal - The Final Chapter

    I have been one of those dreaded lurkers for several months but this has certainly recaptured me. There's not much point in reworking the various posts already made but this one pretty much sums up how I feel about it. I've heard that Asashoryu said an ending like this was his destiny, but he was in total control of that destiny all along...oops, I guess I've started reworking... Where I depart from Mado is that this incident will have absolutely no effect on how I choose to follow sumo from here on. I've been watching it 'from afar' for too many years to be affected by what has happened in the past seven years. I might lose interest in it but hey, at my age I might lose interest in a lot of things for any number of reasons. By they way, Mado...I had a hamburger across the street from Safeco Field yesterday. The buzz around the Mariners this year is palpable. And they just signed Erik Bedard back for one more year. Wooohooo! ;-) ;-) (Clapping wildly...)
  4. Shomishuu

    Violence in Oitekaze beya

    Admittedly just guessing here...but I think replacing a tokoyama is not such an easy thing to do. Maybe they could have borrowed another heya's tokoyama, but I don't know what's involved with that either. I really don't think that was a major consideration. According to the oyakata, the tokoyama was warned several times. Each time, he apologized and promised to mend his ways. He begged the oyakata to be given another chance. Taking in a deshi is a major responsibility. The oyakata becomes a surrogate father. In fact, that's what the term "oyakata" implies. He felt responsibility for the livelihood of this kid that he took in as a rikishi. The boy failed in that endeavor and became a tokoyama. He has no education and no other skill. It was not a matter of simply sending him back home. So the oyakata did what many parents would do with their delinquent child. He gave him the benefit of doubt and hoped for the best. In this case, his good intentions obviously did not turn out well. This sounds like the most plausible 'answer,' but looking forward - if the oyakata and possibly NSK are dragged into court somehow over this and anything is exacted from either, it's bound to encourage more such activity. As a matter of self-protection and public perception, heya life will probably be it or not.
  5. Shomishuu

    Violence in Oitekaze beya

    Admittedly just guessing here...but I think replacing a tokoyama is not such an easy thing to do. Maybe they could have borrowed another heya's tokoyama, but I don't know what's involved with that either.
  6. Shomishuu

    2 Yokozuna and 5 Ozeki is too many

    It would only create a revolving door if everyone was of equal skill and no one could reach the criteria. So then it's better to have a subjective, ruleless ranking system in a sport versus some reasonable (not that my example was reasonable) system for promotions and demotions. Your example could be considered reasonable, but unless the criterion for avoiding a yokozuna demotion was a bit lower, then only the 'great ones' would stay out of the revolving door, and even those yokozuna would leave and re-enter the rank a few times (Check the records of Taiho, Chiyonofuji, etc.). The result would be a transmutation of ozumo so stark that it would be unrecognizable. To avoid that, they'd need to also attach a sort of yokozuna kosho system, which of course already exists. Just what that standard should be be is of course would be a very...subjective...argument. Subjective criteria for places of honor in many sports is not so unusual. For example, in MLB, why is so-and-so in the Hall of Fame and this other guy isn't. People get very riled up over that. Then there are MVP, Gold Glove, Cy Young awards, All-Star game appearances, etc. These obviously subjective awards and such are tremendously important for long-time baseball fans because baseball is largely viewed and remembered through a prism of statistics; and having, or not having, these subjective-laden awards on one's resume is a big deal (Can anyone recall how many times ANYONE was runner-up for anything?). As for changing rules on kosho, etc: There isn't a single sport on earth where the governing body doesn't change something almost every year (Well, I don't know about every sport so somebody might come up with something...) I have my share of complaints about NSK, but employing subjective criteria about promotions isn't one of them. As for demotions, almost nothing is subjective: Yokozuna are NOT demoted, ozeki ARE demoted with two consecutive make koshi, and 99.whatever percent of the time, everyone else IS demoted with a make koshi. On this subject, I'm perfectly content to have things as they are, and continue to argue over why Kashiwado WAS promoted to yokozuna when he was, and why Bert Blyleven ISN'T in the Hall of Fame.
  7. Shomishuu

    Asashouryu's woes.....

    Nishi's point is that what is lacking on the resume can be more than made up for in hinkaku. I actually recall seeing Kashiwado on TV in the early 60s and I believe there are several factors which MIGHT explain how some old-timers might think of him that way. First there was the Taiho effect. He and Taiho were promoted at the same time - I think there was a double Shinto ceremony, but I don't remember for sure - anyway there are a lot of images of the two of them together. The fact that they hung out together and were great friends didn't hurt either. Together, they constituted the Haku-ho era and spent almost eight years together on the banzuke as yokozuna. His personal record against Taiho was 16-21, a remarkable record when you consider how dominant Taiho was, and how much and how often Kashiwado was injured. It was obvious that when he was reasonably healthy, he was a dominant force. But he spent so much of the time physically beaten down that his record doesn't reflect that. But the folks who are my age and older mostly remember all his bouts with Taiho and how strong he could be when healthy. They remember him that way and also I think figure that many of those jun-yusho would have been yusho if not for Taiho. Then there was his appearance, that indelible and true-to-life samurai visage (they talk about Homasho that way now, but Kashiwado was even more emblematic) just had to root for him every time he fought. That's how I remember him - I didn't always root for Taiho, but I always did for Kashiwado. Juxtapose this recollection with Asashosakari's reference to Takamiyama in post #19, and it's pretty clear how Kashiwado might be considered a 'great,' even though his record doesn't really stack up. As for leaving Chiyonofuji off the 'great' list...I remember a conversation I had in 1985 with my wife's ex-boss, who told me he didn't like Chiyo because he made himself strong by weight-lifting, and not by traditional methods. I remember saying, "So desu ne," and so we had a pleasant talk...
  8. Shomishuu

    Asashouryu's woes.....

    I really don't see how you can describe either Hakuho or Asashoryu as boring. They are both interesting in their own way. Nishi's description of Hakuho is right on the money, in my opinion. It's all his present pace, he'll break Asashoryu's record for most wins in a calendar year. How good is that? Takanohana was also called boring when he was dominating in the 90s, and if he wasn't the son of the most popular ozeki in history, he would have been really really boring. Since Hakuho's current march is even more dominating than Takanohana ever was (although not by much), I guess that makes him even more boring. But no one who is as polarizing as Asashoryu can be called boring. He can be called a lot of outrageous names, many of them true, but boring? I don't understand that. I don't care how pitiful the opposition may have been (argue all day about that, if you will), anyone who waylaid that opposition like he did for as long as he did, and in the numerous ways that he did, must be regarded as one of the most skillful rikishi who ever stepped inside the straw bales. One of the "all-time greats?" OK, go ahead and argue that, it is arguable. But the man ain't boring. Maybe we would like our heroes to be that even-keeled, near-perfect and wise exemplification of whatever our own mind sees as the ideal, but some of them (and us) are often mercurial and's true we're all human, as Asashoryu's fans are quick to point out. But neither should we expect those heroes to have a certain personality, as we're all different. That's really asking a lot, even of a yokozuna. As for Asashoryu's place in history, I couldn't help but notice that on Nishi's list of the all-time greats (though I'm sure it's not complete - just the first names to come to mind), the most recent name on it retired 38 years ago. Surely the people he talks to can't be THAT exclusive? Well, those older than me, I suppose...
  9. Shomishuu

    2 Yokozuna and 5 Ozeki is too many

    Even if all ozeki were always healthy and performing reasonably well, I believe it would still be unrealistic to expect at least 10 wins from all of them, even most of the time. For example, in the 'perfect' world of two yokozuna and four ozeki, where everyone beats who they should beat according to their rank, two ozeki would be 12-3 and the other two would be 11-4 (i.e., all ozeki lose to the yokozuna, two of them are 2-1 against their counterparts and the other two are 1-2). So all the wins that are available to the four ozeki are evenly distributed. That's in the perfect world, but in the real world it hardly ever turns out that way. At least once in a while (and realistically more often than that), one of the ozeki who would 'normally' be 11-4 is going to go 0-3 against his counterparts instead of 1-2. This puts him at 10-5 with no margin for error unless he upsets one of the yokozuna. Of course that'll happen sometime, but in an era of dominant yokozuna, not often enough to skew things over time. He's putting on a good show and not embarrassing himself, but if he goes only 9-1 against the rest of the joi-jin, then he's at 9-6 and has been unozeki-like, if you buy into the 10-win minimum requirement for ozeki. Realistically, there just aren't enough wins to go around to expect 10 wins from each of the ozeki consistently. The question then becomes, how often can an ozeki go under 10 wins so that he's not 'complainable?' Well, unless you expect all four of the ozeki to share equally those 9-6 or 8-7 'failures,' (i.e. expect an even distribution of the basho failures as well as the wins), then the result will be that some of them will be better ozeki than others, and it'll usually be the same ozeki who consistently fail at 9-6 or 8-7. And that's how it should be, and would be if the back-scratching would go away. This is why I don't necessarily consider an ozeki a failure just because he rarely posts 10+ wins - there just aren't enough wins to go around for a 'lesser' ozeki to get this done a majority of the time. In a world of four or five ozeki, somebody's got to be the worst, even if they're all competent. I do support the idea that 9 wins should be a minimum requirement for an ozeki to avoid kadoban/demotion. If it weren't for the back-scratching, I'd be very happy with the current requirements; but back-scratching is real, and takes precedence over getting that 9th or 10th win. I think that a 9-win minimum would eliminate it for the most part because again - there just wouldn't be enough wins to go around to be handing out freebees. It would also result in some rikishi losing and regaining their ozeki rank more than once - i.e., it would no longer be an entitlement. That would have the effect of not only improving the intensity of the sumo, but also the frequency and intensity of the keiko, which would probably shorten some careers... Oh my!
  10. Shomishuu

    Ozeki Back-Scratchers' Club

    And it worked very well, actually. ;-)
  11. Shomishuu


    He could have had a long ozeki career, except for the injuries. He did all he could, and with class, as well. I will miss him a lot. ;-) (Clapping wildly...)
  12. Shomishuu

    Are there some career ends near?

    This is "Sumospeak" for "He will continue in Juryo over my dead body". Dejima's answer is "I'm in deep shit!". I was trying to think of some clever way to say the same thing - am very glad you beat me to it...sounds much better this way! (Holiday feeling...)
  13. Shomishuu

    Ozeki Back-Scratchers' Club

    It might still be uncertain as to whether Harumafuji is a club member but Kaio sent him a clear invitation today. He (Kaio) has always been unapologetic about his kotenage which has injured a number of rikishi, saying that he needed to do it to win certain matches. Today (Day 10), he was certain to lose without it and certain to win if he let it fly. Of course the expected reciprocation would apply to all ozeki and not just to him, so we may start getting clues about HMFJ sooner than expected.
  14. Shomishuu

    Day 9 results and day 10 pairings

    Asaseki was wondering the same thing. He may have been trying to stop the match to do a mawashi adjustment. Just a guess. Yes, the mawashi musubi was almost completely undone at the back. The gyoji was about to tap them both on the back and tell them yame when he saw that the match was nearly over anyways so he pulled his hands back but perhaps this threw Asasekiryu off and he let himself be waltzed off the dohyo. And as he pointed the gumbai in Yoshikaze's direction, he had kind of a clenched teeth irritated look...couldn't tell if he was mad at the rikishi for not stopping, or at himself for possibly affecting the outcome...or both.
  15. Shomishuu

    Where is Takanohana?

    Promoted to what post? Hanaregoma has been the shimpan director since 2006, Takanohana was only holding one of the two vice positions (as is Takasago now). Thanks, I think I'm awake now... (Oops!) ;-) :-D But I could be wrong about that. ;-)