madorosumaru

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  1. madorosumaru

    Another Sekitori Marriage

    Former Komusubi and current maegashira 13, Tochinohana (34) announced his impending marriage to Masami Tsukinaga (32), a former flight attendant. The couple received the blessing of both families last December and will register the marriage in the near future. The wedding reception will be held in Tokyo on September 1. Tochi met his future wife eight years ago and started a relationship soon after. He told the press that Masami was a source of strength during the difficult times when he fell all the way to makushita due to injuries. He decided it was the right time to get married after he obtained the Hatachiyama kabu last September. As for the bride, she said she was attracted to Tochi, who is "a kind and genuine person." They want to have a baby right away so that the child can have the opportunity to see Tochi still active on the dohyo. To quote Masami: "We want to establish a warm [traditional] family environment where the husband is the one in charge." Picture of Masami secure in the arms of her man.
  2. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    Final Tally Day 1 - 6,300 Day 2 - 5,300 ... All-time low Day 3 - DNA Day 4 - DNA Day 5 - 5,600 Day 6 - 5,800 Day 7 - 8,200 ... Manin Onrei declared Day 8 - 8,800 ... Manin Onrei declared Day 9 - 6,550 Day 10 - DNA Day 11 - DNA ... Typhoon Warning Day 12 - 6,300 Day 13 - 7,650 Day 14 - 9,500 ... Manin Onrei Day 15 - 11,000 . Manin Onrei
  3. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    Masses of empty masu seats even after naka-iri . . . Photo Capacity: 11,000 Day 1 - 6,300 Day 2 - 5,300 The 5,682 unsold tickets for Day 2 set an all-time record since the opening of Ryogoku Kokugikan in 1985. The number of unsold tickets broke the previous record of 5,118 set on Day 3 of Hatsu Basho in January of this year. Previous "Joint is Empty" Threads
  4. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    The largest crowd of the basho, 9,500, attended Day 14.
  5. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    Day 1 - 6,300 Day 2 - 5,300 ... All-time low Day 3 - DNA Day 4 - DNA Day 5 - 5,600 Day 6 - 5,800 Day 7 - 8,200 ... Manin Onrei declared Day 8 - 8,800 ... Manin Onrei declared Day 9 - 6,550 Day 10 - DNA Day 11 - DNA ... Typhoon Warning Day 12 - 6,300 Day 13 - 7,650 Another DNA for Day 11 but that was the day Typhoon Roke struck Tokyo. Actually, there were a surprisingly number of people at the Kokugikan who braved the weather when neighboring Tokyo Dome postponed the Giants game. Kyokai resumed releasing attendance figures for Day 12 and Day 13 as the crowds were more respectable. The final two days should be "Manin Onrei"--such as they are.
  6. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    Day 1 - 6,300 Day 2 - 5,300 ... All-time low Day 3 - DNA Day 4 - DNA Day 5 - 5,600 Day 6 - 5,800 Day 7 - 8,200 ... Manin Onrei declared Day 8 - 8,800 ... Manin Onrei declared Day 9 - 6,550 Day 10 DNA For the third time in 10 days, NSK did not announce (DNA) the number of unsold tickets and thus Sankei Sports did not publish the daily attendance figure. Let's look at some other numbers.  Video Research Ltd., a consulting firm that publishes weekly ratings for television, reported that viewership for shonich on Sunday, Sept. 11, was 8.9%. Ratings improved to 10.7% for Day 7 on the following Saturday. How do those numbers compare with other sports telecasts? Well, the Olympic qualifying match in women's soccer between Japan and North Korea on Thurs., Sept. 8, attracted a whopping 25.2%. Nadeshiko Japan is, of course, enjoying tremendous popularity ever since its victory in women's World Cup. Their Monday game against Australia drew 19.7%. What about men's soccer? Japan's World Cup qualifying match against Uzbekistan on Tuesday had a viewership of 20.9%.
  7. madorosumaru

    Aki 2011 - Absent/Withdraw/Return

    Why should that be against a Kyokai rule? He is not "intentionally" losing. On the contrary, he is showing "fighting spirit." Even in other sports, "playing hurt" is an admirable quality. That's not the point, is it? Even if he goes kyujo, he would have tried his best. He appeared on the dohyo--savoring his hard-earned sekitorihood--as many times as he possibly could. It may appear "dumb" to you, but that's how he wants to finish his career--if it comes to that. I would be more concerned/upset about Aoiyama's "herniated disc." How can a guy possibly return from that kind of injury in matter of a few days? Here we have a young prospect with a bright future, not some old stiff who is having his "Last Hurrah."
  8. madorosumaru

    Aki 2011 - Absent/Withdraw/Return

    Kaonishiki knows perfectly well what he is doing. As mentioned, he is a 33-year-old college grad who has been in Ozumo for 10 years. Prior to returning, he consulted a doctor, who gave him the "go-ahead" as long as he promised to keep the knee wrapped tightly and go for a thorough check-up after the basho. He is taking pain-killers everyday so he could continue to appear on the dohyo. When Kaonishiki was promoted to juryo for Nagoya Basho, he set a record for collegiate wrestlers by requiring 60 basho to achieve that rank. So he is not an upcoming prospect with a bright future. In fact, without the recent scandals, he would not even be a sekitori. In 2005, he injured the ACL in his right knee and missed a couple of basho. He knows that if he goes kyujo, he will most likely never be a sekitori again. So, he is "going to give it the old college try." He told the press, "Look, everyone is hurting somewhere. I wanted to [go on the dohyo] even if I were to lose."
  9. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    Despite many empty seats, "Manin Onrei," the second of Aki Basho, was declared for Day 8. Photo Update: Attendance for Nakabi was announced as 8,800, the best so far this basho, but well short of capacity (11,000). Day 1 - 6,300 Day 2 - 5,300 Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - 5,600 Day 6 - 5,800 Day 7 - 8,200 Day 8 - 8,800 A committee to promote ticket sales met on the 18th to discuss ways to increase attendance. This group consists of 30 Kyokai members including the 13 oyakata in charge of ticket sales and regional basho plus gyoji and yobidashi. They discussed matters such as ticket pricing and will present suggestions at the directors' meeting after the basho.
  10. madorosumaru

    Another Sekitori Marriage

    It's Kokkai this time. It was disclosed that he married a 22-year-old Georgian girl. The ceremony took place on August 13 in Georgia. The happy groom said, "She has been to the Kokugikan about twice this basho. What I like most about her is that she is so kind and gentle."
  11. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    but the ones who can are still spending like crazy for the expensive masu seats with ochaya sets over 100,000 a box... They aren't holding back.. that part stays the same... (In jonokuchi...) A little perspective. On Sunday, when shonichi attendance was a paltry 6,300: Yomiuri Giants, the ever-popular baseball team, drew 39,722 for a 2 pm game at the Tokyo Dome, not very far from the Kokugikan. That same evening, Yakult Swallows, not nearly as popular as the Giants, played Hanshin Tigers at Jingu Stadium in front of almost 22,000 fans. The attendance at the Lotte vs Rakuten game in Chiba was 16,500. What about J-League soccer? Three of the nine Week 25 games were played on Sunday. The game between Kawasaki Frontale and Vissel Kobe at Todoroki Stadium attracted a crowd of 15,000.
  12. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Aki Basho

    On the seventh dayof Aki Basho, Kyokai "created" an SRO and unfurled the "Manin-Onrei" banners from above. Was the joint full? Not really. NSK announced that 2,799 tickets remained unsold, so that would make attendance at the 11,000-capacity Kokugikan 8,201. Plenty of upper masu boxes and second floor chair seats were unoccupied. There is no "official" standard for what constitutes an "SRO." For a Tokyo Basho, the NSK PR Director, Dewanoumi Oyakata, would be the one to decide. In this case, 3/4 full was enough for Manin-Onrei. A news source mentioned that, in contrast, during the Waka-Taka Boom, Ozumo would not declare a full house even when a dozen or so tickets remained unsold. When asked about whether they were jumping the gun a bit, someone from the PR department explained, "We sort of did it for luck." Hanaregoma Rijicho was not all smiles, but he did say, "Well, it was a Saturday, and in any case, [the larger crowd] has to be seen as a good thing." So far, the attendance at the basho has been: Day 1 - 6,300 Day 2 - 5,300 Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - 5,600 Day 6 - 5,800 Day 7 - 8,200 Sankei Sports did not publish attendance figures for Day 3 and Day 4. According to those who attended on those days, the crowd was just as or even more sparse than for Day 2. It would appear that after the media made a fuss about an all-time low crowd for Day 2, the Kyokai simply did not want any more bad publicity and refrained from releasing any attendance numbers. When the situation improved if ever so slightly on Day 5 (an uptick as they say on Wall Street), they resumed announcement of attendance figures.
  13. madorosumaru

    Another Sekitori Marriage

    Instead of a wedding ceremony, an engagement gift exchange ceremony was held on June 11 at a shrine in Takaoka City, hometown of Sunaho-san. In front of both sets of parents, Toyonoshima was like a shy adolescent boy. "I was so nervous . . . and happy . . . that I just couldn't stop smiling," he told the local reporter. "I kept telling myself, 'What a lovely girl she is.'" The prospective bride was equally in a daze: "There were lots of people there, but all I could see was the Sekitori."
  14. madorosumaru

    Another Sekitori Marriage

    It has been disclosed that maegashira Shotenro is married to Kyokutenho's younger sister, Hishigsuren Nyamjav. The 29-year-old rikishi and his 34-year-old bride began their relationship two years ago and registered the marriage after July's Nagoya Basho. By Kyokai regulation, the two brothers-in-law will be prohibited from facing each other in regularly scheduled honbasho bouts. The exception would be a yusho ketteisen.
  15. madorosumaru

    New Egyptian recruit- Oosunaarashi

    Former Takadagawa Oyakata (erstwhile Ozeki Maenoyama) was a closet Korean. Zainichi 在日 (Koreans in Japan) organizations list him among the many former sekitori of Korean origin in Ozumo. His last name was changed from Kaneshima to Nakaya to Shimizu 金島→中矢→清水. Kaneshima contains the kanji 金, a tell-tale sign, since it is the surname Kim in Korean.
  16. madorosumaru

    The Joint is Empty! - Nagoya Basho

    Capacity - 8,000 Day 1 5,500 Day 2 3,700 Day 3 3,800 Day 4 4,000 Day 5 4.400 Day 6 4,200 Day 7 6,000 Day 8 6,500 Day 9 5,500 Day 10 4,400 Day 11 4.500 Day 12 5,400 Day 13 5,700 Day 14 6,700 Day 15 7,700 SRO Finally, Manin Onrei on Senshuraku. The crowd was not quite up to capacity but enough for the SRO banners to be displayed. This is the first time since records were kept that there was only one SRO during a Nagoya Basho. The total number of spectators was 16,900 less than last year when attendance was hurt by the baseball betting scandal. According to people close to Ozumo, this year group and corporate sales were down considerably from previous years. As a result of the poor attendance, concession sales were also poor. A souvenir store attendant said, "Sales are about half of last year when it was already low." Sponsors for kensho are also missing. Although there were 300 more banners than last year at the depth of the scandals, the total this year is 491 less than 2009. Nagatanien, which had sponsored an average of 200 bouts a basho, put up only one kensho per Takamisakari bout this time. "We are still interested in sponsoring Ozumo," said a corporate spokesman. "However, we want to see how things develop in general." Hanaregoma Rijicho is cautiously optimistic. "Business hasn't been good this basho, but we are seeing a lot more good sumo. If we can continue presenting a good product . . ."
  17. Sanspo published articles on the emptiness of Aichi Prefectural Gym for the current basho. They had similar articles for Hatsu Basho--as chronicled in this thread. The attendance for shonichi was 5,500 in a venue that holds a capacity of 8,000. Plenty of empty masu seats could be seen. Even when ozumo was rocked by the baseball betting scandals last summer, the first day attracted 7,200 spectators. Hanaregoma Rijicho attributed the low attendance to various reasons, including the late start in advance sales. "We had hoped for better attendance," he said sadly. "Perhaps interest will pick up as the basho progresses." Unfortunately, Day 2 was even worse, with 1,800 fewer in the audience. Last year, Day 2 attracted 4,500. Speaking to the press with a half empty venue behind him, the rijicho said, "I don't want to make any excuses but there are a sundry of factors . . ." Picture of the half empty gym. Official Attendance: Day 1 - 5,500 Day 2 - 3,700 Day 3 - 3,800
  18. madorosumaru

    Paean to an Ancient Warrior

    Kokonoe Oyakata, former Yokozuna Chiyonofuji, whose all-time win record was broken by Kaio in his final basho: The result of the diligent work he put in every day [over the long years] was 1047 shiro-boshi. I'm sure he feels he has more than fully accomplished his mission. I think he must have lost the [extra] intensity and sense of commitment the moment he broke the record. A job well done for all these years. Yokozuna Hakuho: As a fellow member of Tatsunami Ichimon, he has led the way for me from the day I joined Ozumo. He was one of the rikishi that I idolized. I would like to sincerely say, "A job well done." I hope he will continue to mentor me in the future. I feel great pride to have faced such a dai-ozeki on the dohyo. Takanohana Oyakata, who joined Ozumo at the same time as Kaio: More than just a job well done, I feel it was a career well endured [through myriad adversities]. I had hoped that he would have remained forever as the "Bright Star of Our Class," but I suppose he has his own reasons and considerations. It's too bad [that he has to retire]. From now on, let's gambarize together as fellow "oyakata" for the betterment of the Kyokai. Sanoyama Oyakata, former Ozeki Chiyotaikai: As an old comrade-in-arms, I would like to sincerely say, "A job well done." As I watch today's bout, I sensed that it would be his last hurrah. I have always been truly impressed by his attitude--his willingness to stay on the dohyo for even one more day for the sake of the fans. I think he has been truly splendid. Tamanoi Oyakata, former Ozeki Tochiazuma: In observing him in the past few basho, I could sense that he has reached his physical limit. I think it is simply great that he broke the record at the end. It was truly wonderful that he was able to stay active until now. He was a very gentle and thoughtful rikishi. Fujishima Oyakata, former Ozeki Musoyama: We encouraged and stimulated each other over the years so he is a very special existence for me. I feel both sadness and regret. I thought he would just go kyojo and return next basho. But in the unforgiving world of competition, it is either win or perish. Perhaps, he is one who is feeling the greatest sense of relief. Hanaregoma Rijicho: It's been 23 long years since he joined Ozumo. I would like to express a sincere "Job well done." I think he will go down in sumo lore as an unparalleled dai-ozeki. In the future, he will be working to develop the new generation. It would be wonderful if he could nurture a brand new Kaio. Kaio's Mom: In all honesty, I feel relieved. There is a certain sadness but I had been so concerned with all his injuries. Well done, son. Now, get yourself healed and gambarize some more in the future. Kaio's Dad: I haven't sorted out my feelings. When things settle down a bit, I am going to sit down and have a nice long talk with him. Kaio's Koenkai Chairman: The dreaded day has finally arrived. All I can say is "Thank you for gamabarizing for all these long years."
  19. madorosumaru

    Kaio retires

    The current Oshima Oyakata is not Tenho's father-in-law. He is the "adoptive" father and Tenho took his shisho's surname, Ota, when he naturalized. Asojima is correct. It has been an open secret for some time that Tenho will take over Oshima Beya upon his shisho's retirement.
  20. madorosumaru

    Gaijin Guide

    Shin-deshi Alan Gambaraev started keiko at Mihogaseki Beya on Thursday. He impressed those around him with his powerful teppo. "The guy is very muscular and awfully strong," marveled the oyakata. Gamby's problem is his lack of language skills. Mihogaseki Oyakata is planning to hire a tutor to help him with his Japanese. In the mean time, Hakurozan, who is from the same ichimon, has volunteered to help out. He was at Mihogaseki Beya bright and early for junior rikishi asageiko to translate instructions from the oyakata. Maybe the remedial lessons would do Hakurozan some good too.
  21. madorosumaru

    Paean to an Ancient Warrior

    Kaio answered some questions from the media at his retirement conference. Media: How do you feel now that you've retired? Kaio: I really haven't come to a full realization yet. It still feels rather strange. M: When did you make the decision? K: Before the bout yesterday (Day 10), I discussed with my shisho what to do if I were to lose. In my mind, I knew that this would be my last stand and that there would be no next basho. M: Looking back at the 23 years . . . K: At first, I wasn't even sure I wanted to join sumo. I didn't particularly like sumo, but as I worked at it [in keiko] and started to rise on the banzuke, I began to enjoy it more and more. M: You couldn't become a yokozuna . . . K: I had several chances but failed each time. I realized that one had to be mentally tough to become a yokozuna. I just couldn't take advantage of the opportunities I had. M: Who were your rivals? K: Musoyama (currently Fujishima Oyakata) was close to me in age and many considered us rivals, so I didn't want to lose to him. In recent years, it was Chiyotaikai (currently Sanoyama Oyakata). We both had to suffer through a lot of injuries, so we would on occasions talk about when and how to hang it up. M: Have you considered intai before? K: Several times. However, my desire to continue with sumo by hook or crook was stronger. Even when I had my back to the wall, I somehow was able to do my sumo and survive. M: What would you like to do in the future? K: I entered this world when I was 15, so I don't even have the habit of wearing shoes. There haven't been any occasions for me to dress in a normal fashion. I think I need to learn about a lot of new things.
  22. madorosumaru

    Gaijin Guide

    Hurray! Hurrah! Yippee! Bandwagon's A-rockin! Uber prospect, Kyokushuho, is finally going to be a sekitori. It's been a long four years since he joined Ozumo from a high school in Gifu, where he was a judo exchange student. As Tenho's first personal deshi, the young man from Mongolia was touted as a sure-thing to be the next yokozuna. He zipped through jonokuchi in one basho and won jonidan yusho two basho later. In less than a year from mae-zumo, he was already in makushita. Talks at that time were about not if but when he would be a sekitori. However, injuries and other adversities stymied his rise to the top. You can "search" for all the gory details. Then, like manna from Heaven, the yaocho scandals befell Ozumo. Shuho, who was mired in mid-makushita and dropping from being an uber prospect to a status of: what's the matter with what's-his-name? With wholesale intai, slots opened in the sekitori ranks and lower level rikishi were forced up the banzuke. Sekitorihood was once more imminently achievable. In May, he was 4-3 at makushita 12. One more win and he would have been promoted. Instead, he was held back at makushita 2--within hailing distance of his goal. Yesterday, Shuho pushed out fellow Mongolian Arawashi in a juryo bout for his fourth win. Since the Kyokai is reverting back to the 42 makuuchi and 28 juryo quota, there will be four additional sekitori slots next basho. In addition, both Kakizoe at J11 and Kanbayashi at J8 have 1-10 records. It should be a shoo-in for Shuho to be promoted after this basho. Surrounded by the media for the first time in a long time, Shuho said, "I'm sooo happy. I told myself, 'I just can't lose.'" Hurray! The bandwagon is filling up again!
  23. madorosumaru

    Paean to an Ancient Warrior

    Kinta is correct. Deshi that start from the very bottom fresh out of middle school at age 15 are called "tataki-age." Many Kyokai muckety-mucks, including future rijicho Takanohana, consider them to be the only "untainted" sumotori. There were 7 makuuchi rikish that were fired or forced to retire. Six of them, are foreign-born. In the baseball gambling scandal, three of the most prominent involved rikishi were former gakusei: Ozeki Kotomitsuki; Miyabiyama, a former ozeiki; and Futeno, a former komusubi. One can understand why the Japanese media would see a "tendency." Whether that attitude is correct or fair is another matter. That's why I added the part about the threatened boycott. Obviously, that group of gaijin rikishi felt that their colleagues were treated unfairly.
  24. madorosumaru

    Paean to an Ancient Warrior

    Oh really... In the recent yaocho scandal, 17 sekitori were fired or forced to intai. (Chiyohakuho was given a suspension but with the understanding that he would submit his intai papers.) In addition, five former sekitori in lower ranks were asked to retire. Among these rikishi were 8 gaijin and 5 former gakusei. Furthermore, Tanigawa Oyakata (former Kaiho), who was fired, was a graduate of Nichidai, alma mater of 4 of the other five yao-cho implicated gakusei rikishi. That, I think, would constitute a "tendency" and/or an agenda on the part of the NSK. Obviously, this group felt the entire procedure was amiss and/or unfair.
  25. madorosumaru

    Paean to an Ancient Warrior

    Here are snippets from a typical article in a major sports publication: Kaio Retires. Kyokai in Shock! With Kaio's retirement, there is no Japanese in the top two ranks of Ozumo for the first time in 18 years. In Hatsu Basho of 1993, there were no yokozuna and two American-born rikishi, Akebono and Konishiki, were ozeki. However, that was in midst of the Waka-Taka Boom. In fact, Takanohana was promoted to ozeki the very next basho, so the blow [to the national pride] was minimal. But the situation is different today. Because of the continuing scandals, Haru Basho was canceled and a May tournament was held without charging admissions. It is said that the loss of revenue to the Kyokai was approximately 3 billion yen. Regular honbasho resumed in Nagoya, but there has been no sell-out after the first ten days. Under such adverse conditions, the loss of an immensely popular marquee ozeki like Kaio has an incalculably damaging effect on the financial front. Kaio's appeal stemmed from his image as the ideal Osumo-san: "Strong but gentle and kind." He joined Ozumo at the tender age of 15 and he oozes the sublime essence of the national sport from every pore. In addition, his sumo style is forceful and dynamic. His patented throws are truly distinctive. In dire contrast, today's sumo world is dominated by gaijin and gakusei rikishi. Unfortunately, it is this group of rikishi that had the tendency to be the cause of the current rash of scandals. The Kyokai has decided to create a project team with the mission to revive sumo's popularity. The only way to regain the trust of the fans is to develop rikishi like Kaio, the quintessence of the fan ideal.