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Posts posted by Eikokurai

  1. There was that basho where Hokutofuji got knocked out during a matta (by Abi?) and still had to do the bout clearly concussed and barely able to stay on his feet. Just one of several examples where an injury was handled farcically of course.

  2. I’d love Nishikigi to win it, tbh. I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Not sure why. I think I just like his unfussiness. Technically sound but not very stylish. Hard to beat because he’s solid at the core and got strong legs, and yet not hard not to beat because he isn’t very mobile. Kind of reminds me of lower division footballers who can do what they do well enough to play the game for a job but no thrills so can’t quite cut it at the higher levels. Nishikigi is also half blind and seems like a bit of a nerd which I find quite endearing.

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  3. 31 minutes ago, sumojoann said:

    The potential problem I see with doing Week 2 in a couple of weeks is that by then, who knows how many other heya might be infected and have to go kyujo.

    Possible but heya can isolate for two weeks which is the usual quarantine period.

  4. It’s getting clearer that Shodai’s slow starts are just an Ozeki flex. “I’m so confident in my abilities, I give myself a handicap.” Dude is keeping himself from getting bored.

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    • Haha 7

  5. 53 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

    Here's a crazy thought: if the basho stops, continue it in Tokyo in two months.  Start with the Dewanoumi rikishi and hold the bouts they were scheduled to have when they were pulled; then Naruto, Hanaregoma, ... then start the basho from the next day after they pull the plug.  That might work if they cancel in the next day or two.  Anyway, it isn't crazier than whatever they will come up with (except washing out the Nagoya records).

    Not the craziest idea to have them do week two in a couple of weeks in Tokyo instead. Unprecedented of course, but logistically not complicated. No crowds, just finish the basho. I don’t know what value it would bring other than closure though, so I can’t see it happening. An alternative could be to reach an odd number of days, say 11, and then call it quits. That’s enough for everyone to have a KK or MK.

  6. Waka’s feet definitely weren’t repositioned right. I was saying it to myself at the time as they were so focused on Terunofuji’s right arm. The gyoji did a small adjustment of WMH’s left leg but not far enough. Not sure how much that impacted the result, but I’d agree they didn’t get them as close to the original position as they could have.

    This is taken a second before the gyoji bursts in to stop the bout.


    This is the restart position.


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  7. Not all that unusual for a gyoji to halt a bout to tighten a mawashi, though that’s probably the longest I’ve ever seen for a position reset. Usually it’s just a pause while the rikishi remain in place and then a quick slap on the arse to get the bout back underway.

    Anyway, Teru wins and we have a whole bunch of guys back together all on 6-2. Teru has to be favourite now I guess.

    Shodai wins to go to 4-4 and the escape is looking back on.

  8. 14 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

    Au contraire, you could equally say he just made the basho much more exciting. Although Mitakeumi and the Dewanoumi outbreak might change that in a hurry. 

    Depends. We could end up with a repeat of last basho easily enough, with an underwhelming Terunofuji still having enough to take the yusho because nobody else is good enough. Ichinojo surging ahead would be something a bit different.

    Edit: Though I concede we do now have the possibility of Shodai escaping kadoban for a bit of narrative to follow.

  9. 29 minutes ago, Reonito said:

    True. In this year's Tour de France, individual riders have withdrawn after positives, but not their entire teams, and in at least one case a rider was even allowed to continue despite a positive with a very low Ct. In 2020 and 2021, things were much stricter. Japan has been much more conservative than most other places, and given their death rates, it's hard to blame them, but they've been slowly relaxing (see spectator numbers) and this policy will presumably follow suit.

    Right, yeah, so they’re moving with the times. Sumo feels like China in the sense that the Covid policy is the same as it was in early 2020, with little adaptation for the new variants of less severity. I’m dealing with all this zero covid stuff in Shanghai these days, hence why it’s on my mind and I see some parallels.

    • Like 1

  10. 17 minutes ago, Reonito said:

    Entire cycling teams have had to withdraw from World Tour stage races any number of times...

    Yeah? Interesting. I don’t follow cycling so I’m only aware of what’s happening in sports I do watch.

    That said, the point wasn’t really about whether sumo is special or not, but how long the policy is going to remain in place and whether there’s an exit strategy. Covid is here to stay, so does that mean heya isolations are too? Most major sports leagues have basically put Covid behind them and only ask individuals to isolate. Fixtures are fulfilled. Crowds have no restrictions. Are honbasho ever likely to return to that level of normality?

  11. 7 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

    Athletes are still getting taken out of competitions due to Covid everywhere in the world, it's not like the Kyokai is doing anything special here.

    I’m yet to hear of an entire football squad being quarantined for two weeks because one person at the club has Covid, especially now in 2022. That, I would say, is the difference. One Premier League player gets Covid and only he has to isolate, not his teammates or coaches who have been around him all day in training, travelled with him on the team bus or stayed in the hotel with him at away matches. Some matches were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 when a team had so many infected they couldn’t fulfill the fixture, but there have been plenty of games that have gone ahead when just one or two players at the club contracted the virus.

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  12. One tricky thing about this is that Covid isn’t going anywhere, so is the Kyokai committing to this Zero Covid policy forever or does there come a point where they treat it like getting any other illness? China is asking this question a lot right now. Sumo is a microcosm of the same problem. Will we still have Covid-enforced kyujo in 2025?

  13. 1 minute ago, Taliesin said:

    But not demoting Mitakeumi creates a precedent that can bring trouble in the future. Yes, Mitakeumi is 2-4 this time, but what if it's someone with 0-6 instead? What about 0-12? Let's not forget that it's a whole stable (not a small one) and it would make sense to treat them uniformly.

    0-12 is clear cut: demotion. They’ve already got their makekoshi. Makekoshi is ‘achieved’ the day it happens, not when the basho ends and the final record known.

  14. Shodai ruins history. Had Ichinojo won, he’d have gone 7-0 against a Komusubi, two Sekiwake, three Ozeki and a Yokozuna. While not an easy thing to query, I’m pretty sure that would have been the strongest ever opening week by a Maegashira. Daieisho did similar but he didn’t face a Yokozuna, only a second Komusubi. Most Maegashira who have started 7-0 were at ranks where they were unlikely to have faced many if any sanyaku, so I feel confident saying Ichi would have surpassed them all. But then Shodai happened …

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  15. If Ichinojo beats Shodai tomorrow, and he should, he’ll better Daieisho’s championship tournament week one when he opened 7-0 against three Ozeki, two Sekiwake and two Komusubi. Ichinojo replaced a Komusubi with a Yokozuna.

  16. 31 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

    Gotta say that Ichinojo is looking good so far this tournament.  He has faced five of the sanyaku elite, and smoked them all.  There are only two more sanyaku left.  Tomorrow he faces Ozeki Mitakeumi after which he will have to fight Abi.  Mitakeumi is not 100% this tournament (to put it mildly) and Abi might be a great thruster, but how effective will his thrusts be against the man mountain that is Ichinojo?

    Going forward, Kiribayama has an outside chance of handing Ichi a loss, Takanosho less so.  But Ichinojo might be able to win the championship with a 13-2 record (14-1 might be asking for too much).  Keep in mind that Ichi had a whole tournament to rest up.  No signs of long Covid that I see.  I see a back-in-form, potential champ at the moment!

    (P.S., who is Ikoi?)

    Good point. He’s got the week one joi schedule of course so next week is, on paper, the easier of the two. Great opportunity to finally take the yusho after two very close calls in the past. His two jun-yusho would have won him the cup more often than not, so he’s due a bit of luck there.

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  17. 3 minutes ago, Benihana said:

    Maybe Shodai pulls another Haru, where he went 9-6 from 1-4.

    Yeah, possible. Identical records so far. If he does it, he’ll cement his rep as sumo’s foremost escape artist.

    Edit: Actually not 100% identical. He started 0-4 and then won one day 5. His record is identical to last basho’s though. Minor detail.

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  18. Both kadoban Ozeki makekoshi after joban. Not looking good. Mitakeumi on track to end 6-9, Shodai 3-12! Of course, it doesn’t work like that but it’s fun to look at trends. Mitakeumi can probably escape but Shodai is in for a rough second week.

  19. Kintamayama said the shimpan ruled that the hairpull didn’t affect the result, but that runs contrary to everything we’ve ever seen before. Hansoku are supposed to be called whatever the result. That’s usually what happens. If you pull someone’s hair, you’re disqualified for the act alone.

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  20. Randomly came across some archived sumo articles from the NYT and WaPo. You won’t learn much but could be of interest just to see them. NYT article is from 1978, WaPo one from 1993.



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  21. 1 hour ago, Asapedroryu said:

    Where on the unwritten rules of ozeki promotion says an 8-7 resets the run? Someone at sekiwake that does a 15-0, 8-7, 15-0 or 8-7, 15-0, 15-0 won't be promoted?

    As you correctly mentioned,  context is everything in promotion and the context here is that he got 4 double digits in 5, including 1Y and 2J. Had he not had his 2 double digits on basho 4 and 5, then it could be considered a charitable or overpromotion to do it on a 32 win run, when the unwritten rule says 33.

    You want me to cite unwritten rules? That will be difficult. 

    • Haha 3

  22. 36 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

    Mild nitpick, but this came to me after NHK's commentary today: can Terunofuji truly be considered to have completed the venue grand slam? His sole July basho win was in 2020, when it was held in Tōkyō; NHK points out that he has yet to win in Nagoya itself.

    Damn. Good fact checking. I’ll have to asterisk that one when I get a chance.

  23. 35 minutes ago, Asapedroryu said:

    11-4J, 13-2J, 8-7, 11-4, 13-2Y

    Don't see any overpromotion with these numbers. The fact he has been rubbish as an ozeki shouldn't take away the merit of his promotion as NSK couldn't predict the future.

    On the other hand, the one mentioned here several times as having had a soft promotion (Asanoyama), was the only ozeki to actually perform at ozeki level since Takayasu in 2018 (OK,  Teru was 2 basho at the rank before promotion).

    That first 11-4 was down at M10 so it doesn’t count. The four basho thereafter was his run, but 8-7 often nullifies a record like that 13-2J and resets the run. The Kyokai were charitable enough to discount it, which is why it can be seen as an over-promotion. That record in the era of the three Mongolian Yokozuna probably wouldn’t have been sufficient, I feel, as they wouldn’t have needed an Ozeki. (Though, otoh, a rikishi putting up those numbers with such competition arguably has a stronger case than now. Context is everything in sumo promotions.)

    This is not to say I don’t think Shodai deserved the promotion. He did, and I argued for it at the time, but it’s also fair to say he benefited from the kindness of a Kyokai prepared to look past that 8-7. In another time, he’d have been told to show what he can do in one more basho, as Takakeisho was in his first attempt.

    One more thing, just for clarity, when I think of “over-promotion” I’m not talking about the rikishi’s performance on the dohyo, but coming at if from the Kyokai’s banzuke-making perspective and comparing it to precedent. Was the promotion conventional or not? Shodai’s run was worthy, but hardly the norm. By ignoring that 8-7 but also counting a 13-2 from M4, they were exercising their discretion rather than following custom.

    • Like 1