Amamaniac

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Everything posted by Amamaniac

  1. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    You are probably right about the historic surplus of matta(s) today. I counted seven, although Akua accounted for two of the seven. With such a healthy sample to work with, we can perhaps address the perennial question of how matta(s) relate to bout outcomes. What is interesting is that on this occasion, five of the six (83.3%) wrestlers who charged early ended up losing their bouts. Only Kotoshoho managed to win after his false start. As Morty pointed out, many of the false starts witnessed today were "egregiously aggressive", which definitely fed into the unofficial view that matta(s) can get opponents pissed off and fired up to get pay back in the ring. That is to say that matta(s) work against the "mattaer" (or whatever the instigator is called ).
  2. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Forgive me if I overlooked someone's post, but a survey of comments made after today's Top Division action shows that future star Kotonowaka is not getting much love. I am fully invested in Takayasu and his chances for a first championship in Makuuchi. And kudos to Wakatakakage who is on fire this month (n.b., in the Abema broadcast today, they played an interview with Asanowaka in which the Takasago sekitori raved about Wakatakakage as his role model). But aside from a loss to frontrunner Takayasu, Kotonowaka has been producing nothing but wins. His victory today against Daieisho was a "hello" moment. And tomorrow he is pitted against Ozeki Takakeisho. He is definitely being tested with no holds barred, whereas Takayasu – just one slot below the youngster on the current banzuke – is being treated with kid gloves, relatively speaking. That said, if I were Takayasu, I think I'd rather be going up against Ozeki Takakeisho than his Day 11 opponent ... Wakatakakage! Some great matchups for tomorrow. Can't wait.
  3. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Great start to your participation on the Forum! I was more than happy to offer you your first like. Loved the juxtaposition of "sumo forever" and "1 post"...
  4. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Since Mitakeumi has secured promotion to Ozeki, he seems to be trying to show good sportsmanship by holding out his hand to fallen opponents, as in today's bout vs Tamawashi. It kinda looked like an afterthought today, and from general observation, most oozumo wrestlers don't want that kind of lame (?) show of consideration. TV announcers love it, but I wonder if he is doing himself any favours among his peers by doing it.
  5. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    In my mind, there was something fishy about the way Hoshoryu used his right-hand grip on Shodai's mawashi to pull him back into the ring, when in essence he had the Ozeki up against the bales. In so doing, he handed Shodai the win... To his credit, Shodai did a good job blocking Hoshoryu's nage attempts.
  6. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    What's been happening since the pandemic hit is enough to drive anyone mad. I take inspiration from how the NSK has forged ahead, defying the odds and keeping this precious tradition we love alive. It's that kind of human spirit that gives me hope for the future. As for the latter issue, there are plenty of people on this Forum that appreciate you, whether you realise it or not.
  7. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    He also seems destined to lose a number of bouts that last less than 10 seconds! Joking aside, I think he is facing a crisis. He seems to be at a weak place physically, mentally, and ... technically! Colour me worried.
  8. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    I'm going with Endo on Day 9 Apparently, Isegahama-Oyakata & co are happy to let Takayasu face another lower-ranked opponent on Day 9: Aoiyama (10w). At 3-5, Aoiyama might be considered a gift to the front-runner, but in sumo, one never knows what will happen in the heat of combat. Seems like the Takayasu potential first Top Division narrative is getting a nice massage (or "is a nice message").
  9. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    The neat thing about it was it seemed to take Onosho 2 full seconds to register that that graze had knocked him off balance! Talk about fine margins!
  10. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Apparently not tomorrow! (v. lower-ranked Wakamotoharu, i.e., 9w) I was thinking about the same question. and the fact that Takayasu is being left to his own devices this long suggests to me that the powers that be are fine with having him lead the pack for the time being. But soon enough, they will have to give him some serious opponents. There are two options: 1) start with a higher-ranked Maegashira opponent with a good record, like Endo or Kiribayama. 2) go straight to a non-Ozeki sayaku opponent. They might start with Takanosho, but that would probably end up being a waste of time. My guess is that they are saving Mitakeumi for a possible (Day 14 or) Day 15 winner-takes-all showdown if it comes to that. I'm going with Endo on Day 9, Kiribayama on Day 10, and Hoshoryu on Day 11. Answer: Day 11
  11. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    While Okinoumi seems to be losing steam up in the Top Division, Kitanowaka is destined to be Hakkaku Stable's top dog in the near future (1-2 years). Today was the first time that the recent Juryo inductee faced the twisting Prince from Miyagi Stable, Enho. Enho has been in the salaried ranks for 21 straight tournaments (vs Kitanowaka's two tournaments). Sumo fans were eager to see how this future star and current co-leader in Juryo's championship race would fare against the feisty little man. The false starts at the beginning were very awkward, dare I say Kitanowaka's fault? (There is always the question of strategic mattas, but I will give Kitanowaka the benefit of the doubt.). Once the two men locked in battle, Kitanowaka did everything right making Enho pay for grabbing his belt with a arm-bar throw. If today's bout wasn't must-see Juryo action, tomorrow's matchup between Kitanowaka and Ryuden most definitely is!
  12. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    The call on Tobizaru touching out first really caught me off guard. Belt and braces in tact. Abema TV did not capture the touching of the ring, although the announcement by Takadagawa-oyakata did state clearly that the touch occurred "mid-way" (tochuu). Given that Tobizaru's hand touching down inside the ring was clearly the case, and the gyoji seemed quite certain about it, I couldn't figure out why the monoii took so long and Takadagawa remained up on the ring looking rather confused when the other judges had all sat down. I really should watch NHK, but Abema has its good points...
  13. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    At this point, I think we can all agree that Terunofuji is not in the yusho race, but that is not to say that he can't still make an impact on it. Any Yokozuna – more so than an Ozeki – is expected to win all (OK, most) of his first week's bouts. Losses are more forgivable if they come in the second week, when the competition gets tougher (at least on paper). But it should be pointed out that both of Terunofuji's losses thus far came against rank-and-filers, and are thus categorised as gold star losses. Frankly, they are to Yokozuna what sashichigae are to tategyoji, i.e., a significant embarrassment. But fans seem to be more sympathetic to Grand Champions than to (cough, cough) tate-gyoji. For those members who follow oozumo on Abema TV, it was interesting to hear Tamawashi spelling out his strategy against Terunofuji in an interview before the tournament began. The key, according to him, was knocking the big Grand Champion off balance. That's two straight wins for the "iron man" against the current sole Yokozuna.
  14. Amamaniac

    Kensho Haru 2022

    I bet Shodai wished he had won yesterday against Ura with 13 kensho on the line, rather than today with only 5... Hey, a win is a win, and Shodai needs wins more than prize money! Although the money wouldn't hurt in keeping him in high-end wrist watches! But securing his Ozeki salary will also help.
  15. Amamaniac

    Kensho Haru 2022

    FYI, Abi's kensho haul on Day 4 totalled 9 prizes. The torikumi sheet, however, listed a total of 8 kensho registered for that bout. With Ishiura's withdrawal, it would seem that one of the 10 kensho listed for Ishiura's bout against Endo was redirected to Abi's bout last minute. Sadly, I have been unable to identify which one it was. I have, however, determined that it appeared in the first round of 5 banners that were not fully visible in Abema TV's broadcast (the second round of 4 banners were all accounted for). For the sake of documenting kensho distribution patterns, I feel that it is important to identify these last-minute transfers.
  16. Amamaniac

    Kensho Haru 2022

    Just to add to Akinomaki's valuable attempts to highlight new kensho, I came across another new prize sponsor: Food Technology Engineering (FTE), who on February 22nd announced that they would offer prize money for the first time in their history in the 2022 Spring Tournament. Their primary targets are Mitakeumi and Abi. Clearly, the executives have a good sense of who the current favourites are. https://foodtechno-eng.co.jp/大相撲-大阪場所-懸賞旗が完成!/
  17. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Anyone feel as I do that down in Sandanme, future hopeful Miyagi was denied a rightful victory against Kyoda by (1) referee Kimura Kazuma and (2) junior Shimpancho Minato who did not call for a monoii review. Wrestlers themselves usually know better than the gyoji who really won in a bout. Miyagi did not attempt a Hakuho protest, but he did have a little smirk on his face as he climbed back onto the ring.
  18. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    It was a sad bad day for Team Hakuho. Both Hokuseiho and Enho lost their bouts in Makushita and Juryo respectively. #jinxes are a thing And Makuuchi rep Ishiura withdrew with a pinched nerve in his neck. What that will mean for his future remains to be seen. After all, what is a sumo wrestler without a strong neck? (Answer, a sumo wrestler without a tachiai, or a sumo wrestler afraid to charge head first.)
  19. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    At the start of the tournament, a friend expressed his view that Takayasu has a great chance to win the Top Division championship this month. His reasoning is based primarily on his prediction that we will see a lacklustre 12-3 yusho record, given the general weakness expected from the wrestlers at the top. Takayasu is well rested, and he is situated at a favourable (to him) rank on the banzuke. If Takayasu pulls it off, it will represent his first ever Top Division championship. As storylines go, that would generate significant buzz. Frankly, Takayasu has disappointed me one too many times in the past, so I have some reservations about the possibility of a Papa Yasu victory. Perhaps I should give my friend more credit. Takayasu is after all off to a perfect start!
  20. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Something I noticed after the judges overturned Shikimori Inosuke's call on the Terunofuji v. Ura bout: after the sashichigae reversal was announced, Inosuke climbed back up onto the ring without pointing his gumbai towards Terunofuji. Usually, gyoji will acknowledge the call change with their gumbai to rectify their mistake. Is the tategyoji not required to follow this tradition, or was that just another sign of Inosuke's failure to perform his duties?
  21. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Based on the above record, Inosuke was averaging two sashichigae call reversals per year. This year, he already has three such bad calls, and the year has virtually just started! In January, he automatically ruled in favour of the Ozeki Shodai, and got burned twice. Today, he tried a different strategy: rule against the higher-ranked opponent. Clearly, that was a mistake. Part of the problem is ring positioning. Inosuke had his back turned to the wrestlers when the bout was decided. He had no way to make the right call. It all came down to the 50-50 guess. All I can say is that Inosuke better stay away from gambling parlours...
  22. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    As an Enho fan, I was trying my best not to comment on Mighty Mouse's strong start to this tournament. Given that you and one or two others have finally drawn attention to him, I think I can safely chime in without feeling guilty if and when he does start to lose. Yeah, the jinx is officially on. Seems to me that Corona has interfered with updating sekitori/rikishi height/weight statistics. Normally, new stats are released before each tournament in Tokyo, but there didn't seem to be any change in January. Pretty frustrating to fans like us who put stock in fluctuations therein. Enho has been dealing with numerous injuries, but this tournament, he seems to have healed up (at least some of them). I'm happy that he is no longer being forced to squat at the bales before getting crushed out. His Renaissance seems to be coinciding with an Ishiura Renaissance. Hopefully, Ishiura bounces back from his nasty fall today...
  23. Amamaniac

    Who Is This Woman?

    Obligatory attendance report: PP AWOL on day 2! Perhaps she hopped a MAGLEV back to Tokyo...
  24. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    Not sure why many are quick to conclude Terunofuji's days are numbered (as in he won't make it through the current calendar year). Yesterday, he defeated Hoshoryu quite handily. Daieisho has consistently given Teru the most trouble, so the loss today was half expected: a combination of skilful tactics by Daieisho and Daieisho being in Terunofuji's head (as a dangerous foe). The look that Teru gave Isegahama Oyakata (who was sitting ringside as the head judge) right after the loss was priceless, though. It was as if he were saying, "What am I supposed to do about that?"
  25. Amamaniac

    Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

    I'm not convinced that Terunofuji loss today was a sign that his knee is acting up (while I won't dismiss the possibility). What I saw was Daieisho expecting Teru to go for his belt (almost straight out of the tachiai), and skilfully deflecting Teru's right arm. The trick seems to be keeping the Yokozuna away from one's mawashi. When there is any separation, Terunofuji is vulnerable. Daieisho is showing that he belongs in Sanyaku and why he deserved his championship in January 2021.