Hananotaka

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Hananotaka last won the day on August 26 2012

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About Hananotaka

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  1. Hey, folks. Haven't been around the forums for a while, but came across this old, nostalgic commercial from my first time in Japan and had to share.
  2. Just for a bit of perspective, in 2005 at the height of Asashoryu's dominance, I went to see the Nagoya Basho. I arrived in the early afternoon on Day 2, IIRC, and was surprised to see that tamari-seki seats were on sale. I bought one and watched the sumo from there. Later in the tournament, I think on Marine Day, I went with a co-worker. We bought A second-floor seats, but went down to the tamari-seki to watch the makushita bouts. We sat in the back of the West side tamari-seki...and stayed there the entire day. We were never in danger being moved -- the three rows in front of us remained virtually empty. Two years later, I tried buying tickets in the late morning, and they were all sold out. In 2007, you had Hakuho become Yokozuna, and not long after that, Kotomitsuki, a local boy, became Ozeki. In 2009, when I went to the Nagoya Basho with Jezz, we could get masu seki easily enough, but the tamari seki were full and there weren't many empties in the masu. It was plenty crowded. These things are rather cyclical. Sure there's some fallout from the scandals, but there's also disappointment that Kotomitsuki was let go, there's the dominance of a single Yokozuna with no real rival, there's competition for attention from the Women's World Cup, and the lack of Osaka and Natsu Basho's to drum up interest and storylines for the casual fan to follow. Let's let sumo get back up on its feet, and next year we may see Nagoya booming again.
  3. Unfortunately, the nature of yaocho makes any kind of investigation and subsequent punishment messy and ultimately unsatisfying. The Kyokai is caught between a rock (MEXT demanding a full investigation, with results) and a hard place (protecting civil rights, investigating beyond a reasonable doubt, as argued by Jonosuke and many of the punished rikishi and oyakata). The Kyokai is not set up to do full investigations that can find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, especially with something like yaocho which leaves virtually no hard evidence. In this situation, we do have hard evidence of yaocho, rare as hen's teeth, and even then you have Kiyoseumi utterly denying everything. Clear evidence of yaocho requires one or more involved rikishi to confess; but all the involved rikishi have to do is deny. They don't need an alibi, they don't need to get their stories straight, they just need to deny. The Kyokai is hardly trained to handle interrogations. What paper trail that exists is basically in bank records and cell phones -- which the Kyokai has no legal right to demand, and which they cannot subpoena. If a rikishi says, "I lost/threw away/broke my phone," or refuses to provide his bank records, the Kyokai is out of luck. The only reason the Kyokai has this cell phone evidence is because the police found it in the course of an investigation that actually involved a crime. If the Kyokai must stick with hard evidence, basically you have Kasuganishiki, Enatsukasa, Chiyohakuho, and Kiyoseumi. Not surprisingly, three of these four confessed. If you loosen restrictions to circumstantial evidence, then you get Koryu, Yamamtoyama, Kaiho, Toyozakura, Wakatenrou, Shirononami, and Kyokunankai. Then you have to judge whether the evidence against them is beyond a reasonable doubt, depending on their defenses. Against Shimotori and Shotenro, the evidence is even less, and if anything points to them being not involved in yaocho. Beyond that, you're stuck with whomever any of the above are willing to name, but that's likely to be the extent of your evidence. Maybe bank records to confirm certain deals, but the Kyokai can't subpoena them. You're not going to get beyond a reasonable doubt. So, Peterao's hoped-for involved Ozeki is not likely to surface. If the Kyokai plays it conservative and just fires Kasuganishiki, Enatsukasa, Chiyohakuho and Kiyoseumi, MEXT and other anti-yaocho voices are not going to be satisfied, and I doubt anyone would think that this has cleaned the sumo world of yaocho. Go broader than that, and many will protest the capricious natures of the punishments without hard evidence, and of course it's unlikely people will think this has cleared the sumo world of yaocho. In this case, tradition has dealt the Kyokai a bad hand, and I wonder if this wasn't the best they could do.
  4. Did I miss the memo where Friday went from "bunch of scuzzy shit-stirrers" to "mainstream media"?
  5. I think there's hardly a sumo fan alive that wasn't aware that yaocho was a part of the sumo culture, and has made their peace with it. The question has always been how much, and in what context. Diving for a 7-7 ichimon mate is one thing, fixing a yusho quite another. This is hardly the first credible allegation of yaocho. People may have questioned Itai's 80% figure, but did people really think that he made the whole thing out of whole cloth? The Kyokai is not concerned with rooting out the whole of yaocho in Ozumo. They know that by tying a rikishi's lifestyle to the banzuke and requiring huge amounts of money for toshiyori kabu and other expenses, they are inviting it. They also know that people will enjoy sumo as long as the yaocho tatemae holds. The problem is that here the tatemae has been broken, so they are working hard to patch it up. The suspects are all non-star rikishi, and they'll be punished, and things will get back to the old routine.
  6. It's not one cancellation. They announced that Haru Basho was off, then said that all activity would be postponed indefinitely. It is one cancellation. And a "possibly" May as well. At this moment, May is not canceled. We can revisit the question when and if there are further actual cancellations. The Osaka Basho was eliminated for twenty years. And it wasn't a case of just moving the Osaka Basho from Osaka to Tokyo. They went from 4 basho to 2. Further, I'd say there was very much a question of whether there would ever be another basho at all at the end of the war and into the occupation. The Kokugikan and many heya were destroyed. Rikishi were scattered. There was a question of whether GHQ would even allow sumo, given its determination to root out symbols and influences of nationalism. The Butokukai, a national organization dedicated to the preservation and support of Japanese martial arts, and in a very similar position as the JSA, was dissolved. I feel very confident in saying the riji of the time were much more worried about the future of sumo then than the current riji are with this scandal. And there is certainly no question here of whether there will be another basho. There will be. It won't be in March. It may not be in May (though I doubt that). But there will be another basho this year. The Kyokai has bills to pay. At heart, this is nothing more than a logistical issue itself: how soon can the investigation be brought to close and a honbasho can be held.
  7. Not at all. "Cancellation" is just semantics. The fall out of the Shunjuuen Incident was that the Osaka Basho was eliminated completely, reducing the yearly number of basho from 4 to 2 (there were two Osaka basho at the time; March and October). I'd say the total elimination of two yearly basho for 20 years is definitely worse than one cancellation. Not to mention that this wouldn't be the first cancellation if the six basho system was in effect during the war years. Only having two basho a year allowed them to postpone the basho for a number of months. Instead of the usual January and May, you had one in June and one in November in 1945. In 1946, there was only one basho the whole year! So I'd also say that the war, its end, and the occupation were much bigger crises than this one. In the big scheme of things, possibly losing a certain special status with the government is not as worrisome as the Kokugikan and almost all the heya burning down in the Tokyo firebombing. The only reason we're seeing a cancellation here is that with six basho a year, they have no room to delay it, and they can afford to cancel it.
  8. With all due respect, you can't possibly know that until this latest crisis has ended. All this may be only the tip of the iceberg. Absolutely. By the same token, neither can one say this is the worst ever until it is over. As it stands right now, however, it's not quite as bad as some other times.
  9. I'm with Kinta on this, and perhaps even the riji-cho would agree. He said this was the biggest stain on sumo history. That can be completely true, but a stain is not a crisis. As far as crises go, half the Kyokai leaving to set up a rival kyokai, or rikishi standing off with the police in a Chinese restaurant were worse. The Kyokai may lose their special status and income from taxes. They'll incorporate. NHK may quit showing basho -- some other network will pick it up, even if in digest form; heck in this day and age, losing the public network broadcast is not as bad as it once would have been. A chunk of the current banzuke may have to be purged. Sumo will be healthier for it. This may be a turning point in sumo history, but it's not the worst crisis they've had.
  10. A match wouldn't have to be directly between Kasuganishiki and Shimotori. If Kasuganishiki owed someone a win, who was going up against Shimotori, K&E may have been attempting to clear that debt by incurring one to Shimotori. Of course, Shimotori wanting to stay in Makuuchi and not likely to face Kasuganishiki may have been the reason the situation was "difficult" (kibishii). Another thing to consider is that Kasuganishiki has two concersn: hoshi and money. It could be that Shimotori owed Kasuganishiki money for something, perhaps he offered to buy a shiroboshi that someone owed Kasuganishiki, but paying for it at this time would be difficult. May is the month Kasuganishiki seems most worried about money. Thus, one possible consideration is that unable to get their promised money from Shimotori, they considered selling a kuroboshi from Koryu to someone in the joi. OR, it could even mean the opposite: they were thinking of selling a win from someone else to Koryu! The Japanese is actually rather difficult: 誰か十両上位と当たったら光龍にこけさせて移行させないといけないですね~. I gave it my best go given the Japanese available, but I would caution about speculating too much based on the translation. 光龍にこけさせて could mean either "have Koryu fall" or "have [someone] fall to Koryu". 移動させる suggests a transfer of hoshi, and to my mind, a relay. 誰か十両上位と当たったら is basically "If somebody goes up against the Juryo joi", but it's still a statement divorced of needed context. Perhaps Joe or one of the other native speakers on the list could give their take. Frustration cannot be surmised, I'm afraid. The sentence is simply, "Shimotori (marked as topic), difficult/severe." It could really mean anything. It could be frustration, but it could also be regret, or even sympathy. But, even if we assume frustration, or whatever, in some other yaocho context, Enatsukasa could be talking to Kasuganishiki about it simply because Kasuganishiki is a fellow yaocho rikishi. Maybe he just wanted to vent, and the people he could vent to are essentially his yaocho nakama. The problem is that Japanese is a high context language, and we have far too little context to make much of many of the messages. I sometimes used "We" as a subject, but the subjects are all too often obscured, and the actual subject could just as easily be "I" or "You". The sentences concerning Shimotori and Koryu may not even be connected! Remember that we don't have the message from Kasuganishiki that Enatsukasa was responding to. Kasuganishiki may have mentioned some Shimotori related episode (to which Enatsukasa commented that Shimotori was "kibishii") and followed it with some yaocho talk (to which Enatsukasa addressed his juryo joi and Koryu comment.) Personally, I don't think that's very likely, but we can't discount the possibility, based on the mere fragment we have. Did you mean another rikishi when you wrote "Koryu faced Chiyohakuho"? Because based on this email exchange, at least, there's no evidence that Koryu and Chiyohakuho planned yaocho. Chiyohakuho appears to have yaocho arranged with some unnamed rikishi (Enatsukasa's messages on March 17th and 22nd; there's a mistake in my translation where I attribute the one on the 17th to Kasuganishiki), money talk on Apr 9th, and a message on May 27th saying the Shotenro match was gachinko (it's prefaced by "Otsukaresama deshita", which could refer to anything), Hmm, my impression was that Toyozakura-Kiyoseumi was meant to clear Kasuganishiki's debt to Kyokunankai: Yep, that works, too. But it's still about how Kasuganishiki can best utilize his yaocho credit. All the non-Kasuganishiki matches seem to affect, or have the ability to affect, his balance. The only possible exception is the Shimotori reference, which IMO is too vague to draw any kind of conclusions.
  11. Thanks for posting that. As many people have an idea on how the typical yaocho bout might look like, I was very curious to see whether the bout appeared to be fishy. But even knowing that it was fishy, it looked legit to me. The problem is that 99% of it was legit. This was hardly choreographed -- Kiyoseumi said, "I'll hit hard at tachiai and we'll go with the flow." Kasuganishiki said, "I'll hold my ground in the flow of things." At their level, it's easy for them to really go at it, sense when the loser is weak, and have the loser just not try hard to survive.
  12. I don't get that impression. The Shimotori reference is vague in the extreme. The Japanese is 霜は厳しいみたいです~。Shimo wa kibishii mitai desuu. That could mean Enatsukasa inquired about taking a fall for Kasuganishiki, but Shimotori was not willing, either because he was gachinko or because the offer wasn't good enough. It could be Enatsukasa commenting that a match with Shimotori looked difficult, so they needed to arrange a win against someone else. Everything else revolves around who Kasuganishiki owes and who owes him, and how he can use that to his best advantage. The first mail establishes that Kasuganishiki is owed by Koryu and YMY, and that he owes Toyozakura, Shirononami, Wakatenro, and possibly Kaiho. One thing he seems to be trying to do is clear his debts by calling in the favors owed to him for past losses. Just speculating, but I suspect that his debt to Kaiho was not cleared (he owed Kaiho a loss), so he suggests clearing it by having Koryu (who owes Kasuganishiki a loss) lose to Kaiho, clearing all debts. I tried finding a March 2010 torikumi or hoshitori to confirm, but it was late when I did the translation, so I gave up relatively quickly. (Sumo Reference wasn't loading.) We see him later offer to sell his win vs. Koryu to Kiyoseumi for 200,000 yen, so perhaps he didn't owe Kaiho after all, or Kaiho was confident enough about beating Koryu that he didn't want to buy the win, or perhaps Kasuganishiki paid him off in money (thus leading to some of his later money troubles). Or indeed, if someone could check the records, it could be that Koryu owed Kasuganishiki, paid it back by losing to Kaiho, and then Kasuganishiki bought another loss from Koryu that he (Kasuganishiki) then tried to sell to Kiyoseumi, perhaps at a profit. We see the same thing when he asks about the Toyozakura-Kiyoseumi bout. Kiyoseumi owes him a win, and he owes Toyozakura. He says if the two don't have their own plans, then he can clear his account vs. Toyozakura by a loss from Kiyoseumi. From what I can tell, it's all about Kasuganishiki.
  13. Here's the gist. It's not one long continuous conversation, but a bunch of fragments, often vague in terms of what's being referred to. The vague one's I've tried to keep as vague as possible. -Josh March 17, 2010 Kasuganishiki to Enatsukasa: Who do I owe? Only Kouryuu and Yamamotoyama owe me. Toyo (Toyozakura) and Tenrou (Wakatenrou) and Shiro (Shirononami), right? I'm clear with Kaihou, right? Same day, Kasuganishiki to Enatsukasa: Anyway, if I can't borrow I'll pay back with hoshi! I might not go up against Shiro. It's probably best to clear Kaihou and Kouryuu's match tomorrow. Same day, Kasuganishiki to Chiyohakuho: What kind of sumo should we do? March 22nd, Enatsukasa to Chiyohakuho: Today he'll charge strong at the tachiai. Yoroshiku onegai-shimasu. March 25, Kasuganishiki to Kiyoseumi: Thanks, this'll really help! Take it easy! April 9, Enatsukasa to Chiyohakuho: Do you have even 50,000 yen? Same day, Chiyohakuho to Enatsukasa: Nothin' but 40,000. April 16, Kasuganishiki to Kiyoseumi: Thanks for before. I'm lending Koryu one victory, so for 20 I'll give you the right to claim it. How's that? Same day, Kasuganishiki to Kiyoseumi: Roger that! Later. May 7, Enatsukasa to Kasuganishiki: Looks like Shimo (Shimotori) will be tough. We'll have to have Koryu take a fall if he goes up against one of the Juryo joi. May 10, Kiyoseumi to Kasuganishiki: I'll hit hard at the tachiai; please let things go by the flow afterward. Same day, Kasuganishiki to Kiyoseumi: Understood! In that case, I'll hold my ground a bit in the flow of things. May 11, Kasuganishiki to Enatsukasa: I'm taking a fall today. Yesterday I was asked to, so anyway I'll be falling. Same day, Enatsukasa to Kasugnishiki: Yesterday was pretty good. How is today going to go? May 12, Enatsukasa to Kasuganishiki: No reason for a mono-ii with today's sumo! Nankai-san (Kyokunankai) wants to give one of his savings to Toyo-zeki (Toyozakura). If you go up against Toyo-zeki, he'd like you to take a fall. Also, it looks like he wants to do a three-way carousel: Nankai, Tenrou, and you, Nishiki-zeki. Something like tomorrow, you'd win against Wakatenrou, and if you went up against Nankai, you'd lose. How is that? Same day, Enatsukasa to Kasuganishiki: Don't do hataki. I think it's best to let them tsuppari you in the chest as much as they can, and in the end get a migi-zashi and go with yorikiri, or something like a sukui-nage. May 14, Kasuganishiki to Enatsukasa: What's it look like for Kiyo (Kiyoseumi) and Toyo (Toyozakura) today? If nothing's going on, we can clear what Kiyo owes me. Same day, Kasuganishiki to Enatsukasa: If I don't make at least 50 by the end of the basho, I'm in trouble. May 23, Kiyoseumi to Kasuganishiki: About next basho, if possible can you give something to me? If it's no good, I'd like to get 200,000 back. Same day, Kasuganishiki to Kiyoseumi: Understood! Wait a little longer; after the basho I'll be getting 700,000, and when that's all figured out, I'll contact you. May 25, Kasuganishiki to Kiyoseumi: So, direct repayment will work? Same day, Kiyoseumi to Kasuganishiki: If you'll keep your promise, direct is fine. I'll hand over 20 at Dejima-zeki's intai-zumo. Same day, Kasuganishiki to Kiyoseumi: Understood! May 27, Enatsukasa to Chiyohakuho: Good job. The match with Shotenro will be gachi. June 1, Kasuganishiki to Enatsukasa: Sorry about this, but I have no money on me, so I wonder if you can get paid off for this afternoon and put the money in my account. Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ (account info). Yoroshiku onegai-shimasu! Same day, Enatsukasa to Kasuganishiki: If Kouryuu's comes in, I'll have 50, but it doesn't look like it'll be coming in, so right now I'll definitely put in 25. It's not enough at all, is it?
  14. Another thing is that Toyonoshima is a smallish, technical wrestler. That means that when he's on, he can use his technical skills to defeat physically stronger opponents. But when he's not on, whether physically or mentally, and he is denied the technical position he wants, he can lose in short order.
  15. If Hakuho were a hard charging oshi-zumo yokozuna like Akebono, I could see it. But he's a top-grade yotsu-zumo rikishi with a yokozuna's powerful yet "receiving" tachiai. Doing a henka just seems like a good way to give him an easy win.