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  1. themistyseas

    Favourite gyoji

    Shikimori Kandayu - we love that guy! For avoidance of doubt, there have been many and I count them all
  2. themistyseas

    Understudies for the Yokozuna dohyo-iri?

    Certainly there's always at least one rikishi who should be ready, as you might have noticed that if a rikishi is fighting the yokozuna, they won't be tsuyuharai or tachimochi that day. So normally, you would see days where Shodai wouldn't take part in Kakuryu's dohyo-iri, or for example Takarafuji against Hakuho. I believe on those occasions it's gone to the next-highest ranked guy in the ichimon (since anyone who might be fighting the yokozuna is only even in the dohyo-iri because the yokozuna hasn't got enough makuuchi guys in his own stable), but I would personally be curious especially if that's not the case. Not sure if anyone keeps data on this (but it wouldn't surprise me if someone did)?
  3. themistyseas

    Preparations of the masses- Nagoya 2021

    Annoyingly, it's apparently been (exactly) 45 years since an east Yokozuna faced a Maegashira 1 on Shonichi, which is a shame since I think the early match most folks are salivating over will be Hakuho's rematch of last year's epic against (Kakuryu-career ender) Endo. Although perhaps after that latest banzuke the Kyokai could feel like doing something a bit wild...
  4. themistyseas

    The English commentators- views

    Yes - it was the conversation I had with him a couple years ago. There are 4 pages to the interview so quite a bit of meat in there for people interested in his thoughts on this and more. Bear in mind this is all pre-pandemic so I'm sure priorities at NHK will have changed. This is the portion (the first of the 4) which has the bit you're referring to: "Getting back to your question in relation to how I’d like to see it expand, now, that’s what I see happening in the short term – but to what degree, I have no say in that. (NHK) are going to cater for an audience that wants more, they’re going to give it to them. And they’ve got a bit of power. Because last year, it was the most watched program at NHK World." The highlights show? "All of it. By a street. So the guys that run the show go: “OK, we had better take notice of this.” They’re expanding the amount of people that work in the program. I’m not going to tell you how much it is to make the Preview show, but it’s a 30 minute show in Edo Noren restaurant near the Kokugikan – it costs a fortune!"
  5. Sorry for going all the way back to the quasi-OP here, I wonder if the better way to look at these types of things is in terms of the style of the three guys you're looking at. ie, Kaisei is a pretty extreme mawashi guy and, kotenage excepted, Tamawashi is a pretty extreme oshi guy. The career data will tell a different story for Mitakeumi, but he started as an oshi guy and has added a lot of belt ability over his top division career. Unlike both of the other guys in this example, these days he seems to tailor his attack to the type of opponent he's facing. It's pretty clear what kind of attack both Tamawashi and Kaisei will take to Mitakeumi, but Mitakeumi may simply select the wrong approach to Kaisei and rikishi like him. I think if you look at the body of work of a rikishi against a group of rikishi with consistently similar styles it becomes easier to perhaps predict how they might perform vs a third party. In Mitakeumi's case, with the exception of Okinoumi (4-4), he has a lot of bad results across the board against extreme yotsu guys: 1-7 Kaisei, 1-5 Ryuden, 2-5 Harumafuji, 6-8 Tochinoshin you could argue is as good as it is because of the familiarity they have with each other from keiko, and if you dig into the 6-18 against Takayasu, Takayasu (similarly able to take both approaches) has a couple oshidashi wins but there are a lot of throws in there - on data alone you'd say that between the two "all rounders," Takayasu makes better choices on his approach to handling Mitakeumi. I'd argue the only really great record Mitakeumi has against someone who you'd class as "extreme yotsu" would be Kotoshogiku (11-4) who was well past his best and very injured by the time they started matching up regularly. Meanwhile he does very well against extreme thrusters and is kind of middle of the road against grappling types. I think using that is more predictive, but to @RabidJohn's point, this doesn't mean that one can simply use Mitakeumi as a benchmark for how any extreme thruster (e.g. Tamawashi) will handle an extreme mawashi (e.g. Kaisei) guy.
  6. themistyseas

    The English commentators- views

    Fully agree, this is my number one issue with fans who are critical of the English commentary. It simply isn't the same product or the same target audience, and you can't compare them. However, apart from JG I have struggled with the color commentary, I feel like many times the commentators just tell us what we already saw. Personally I've often felt that when John isn't on the crew then I'd be happier to hear the play-by-play guys alone, although I know that's an enormously difficult job. I was fortunate to have a great and lengthy conversation a couple years ago with Murray (around the same time I had a great and lengthy conversation with @Kintamayama, haha) which can be found elsewhere on the internet and he went into some detail about the experience of working with a partner or alone. I found that really interesting. Interesting stuff for those of us who like to get really into the weeds.
  7. themistyseas

    Preparations of the Y/Os - Nagoya 2021

    I think the thing many folks are forgetting about Hakuho is that - yes, he's been kyujo a ton, and hasn't completed a basho in over a year - but even in the kyujo tournaments, his win percentage is very good (26-8 over the last three years). We've seen him go 10-0 more than once and then lose a couple and withdraw while in the yusho race. So I don't know there's very much evidence from the dohyo itself that he can't beat people, it's more that it's been his medical activities and his own decisions to fix his body that have prevented him from competing. Unfortunately I think the question is "will he still be in the basho" by the time it's presumably time to face Terunofuji and Takakeisho on Day 14 and 15. Even in a situation where he decides to fight like hell through the injuries and go out in a blaze of glory it's hard to see how he would finish worse than 10 wins.
  8. themistyseas

    Asanoyama caught violating COVID restrictions

    Seems a bit of a tough spot for Takasago because what's he going to say? "I knew and actually advised him it would be good for him to spend time with some hostesses?" "I knew and I told him not to go?" In either of those cases someone will be recommended to retire whether it's him or Asanoyama. So even if he had any idea, all he can say to protect himself or Asanoyama is that he didn't know, and the absolute best case scenario is if he legitimately "had no idea what was going on in his own heya."
  9. themistyseas

    Retired after May 2021

    I understand that heya receive a stipend for their lower division rikishi as well... I'd be curious to understand if this extends to banzuke-gai rikishi. There aren't many. But certain stables do seem to recruit with volume in mind.
  10. themistyseas

    Hiro Morita Basho Review and opinions

    In the UK it is a very common term in sports commentary, and also in workplaces to describe a hardworking team member, someone who gets through a high workload without complaint. Further to this, it's often something coaches, players and even teams' PR will put out to show fans that the players are putting in the hard work on the training ground (this makes it very analogous to the Takakeisho example). So I think it's harsh as a comment on his English... if you follow the premier league or rugby, it's a term you'd hear fairly often especially from an English coach or player (ie. it's not a phrase you probably hear from Pep Guardiola), and even moreso when a team needs to fight through a tough moment or when a player has reached a wall in their development they need to go through. In the media: In a post from a team: From a rugby player (about a minute in):
  11. themistyseas

    Anomalous Yusho Portraits (trivia)

    Here are a couple of photos both taken by me that both prove and in somewhat more exceptional terms debunk the theory. Apologies for the crap quality from my old iPhone 7. I will point out that I understand the media/size/hosting concerns but it was a little difficult to get this worked out since the max upload size here is 0.49MB This first one was taken May 2019 and you can more or less clearly see the difference in the angles, with the four on the left "opposing" the stance of the first two from the right. On this second photo you have Hakuho's crazy run of consecutive yusho (I took this photo in September 2019) and you can see how the first two are in the normal pattern and angled "inward" and then he starts having a bit more fun with the poses.
  12. themistyseas

    Anomalous Yusho Portraits (trivia)

    Take note of where the portraits are placed when they are raised in Kokugikan - there are eight yusho portraits hanging from each of the four walls. On each wall, the four to the left and the four to the right are facing inwards. So, when you stand in Kokugikan, all of the portraits are somewhat uniformly "facing" the dohyo.
  13. themistyseas

    Ryuden Scandal

    I'm not sure I fully agree with a lot of the narrative here that the falls of Abi and now Ryuden (and presumably later Asanoyama) due to these suspensions is necessarily punishing lower division rikishi. Sure, Ryuden may go 7-0 as Abi just has, but as @Kintamayama states, you have to actually do it. And on the flip side, his demotion (as with Abi and Asanoyama, starting from makuuchi) creates an opening for one of the 70 paid ranks for a rikishi who either would have been on the promotion bubble or a fledgling sekitori who would have been fighting against demotion. After Nagoya, someone must take his spot. While that rikishi may well be the one trading places with the Abis and Ryudens of the world on the way back down as those guys eventually get re-promoted, they could equally seize the opportunity and carve out a career for themselves in the salaried ranks.
  14. One would imagine that either this or the expiration of Dekiyama's consultancy next week would allow ex-Bushuyama (either temporarily or permanently) to jump off Kasugayama which has become the hottest of the hot seats... With Kiriyama also reaching the end next week, Natsu could end up as an interesting basho for any surprise or non-surprise retirements
  15. themistyseas

    Next Most Likely Branch-out

    Hello friends - We've seen a lot of consolidation over recent months, with stables shuttering or changing hands for one reason or another. What I'd like to know is: who do we think the next most likely branch-out is? I break the likely protagonists into two categories: at a stable with a great many oyakata, or an at least somewhat popular/likely resourced young-ish retiree either not obviously likely to take over another heya in the near-ish future, or who has already expressed interest in opening his own heya. This led me to the following seven/eight most likely names: Kiyomigata (Tochiozan) Takekuma (Goeido) Onogawa (Kitataiki) Oshiogawa (Takekaze) / Nakamura (Yoshikaze) ** depending on which one doesn't take over their stable and assuming Nakamura has no extracurricular impediments Hidenoyama (Kotoshogiku) Araiso (Kisenosato) Kakuryu (needs to assume a new name first, obviously) The others I considered either not likely to branch out due to not meeting the requirements, looking like a clear eventual replacement for the existing oyakata, or simply just being on the older side (not that this is necessarily an impediment and of course examples exist but I didn't consider it likely in the case of the next branch out). Am I missing names? Who do others think might be the most likely to launch a startup stable next? Given what looks like the normal time recently before a branch out (1-3 years, maybe more), one would think Onogawa or Araiso might be the most likely candidates, although I could see Kakuryu getting something together in a hurry given his current environment, depending how the Izutsu situation eventually resolves itself.