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Everything posted by themistyseas

  1. 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)?
  2. 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...
  3. 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!"
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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."
  8. 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.
  9. 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):
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. themistyseas

    Terunofuji’s Knees/Dohyo-Iri

    I think, probably, one should divorce the performance of a rikishi on the dohyo from the responsibilities that come with achieving great performances. The rank is a reflection of an incredible achievement (by anyone), but the means by which that achievement was completed are rarely similar. Each rikishi has overcome a differing set of challenges (physical, mental, the nature of their opposition) to reach that rank. In Terunofuji's case, in terms of what we've seen on the dohyo over the past year+ and also comments that have been made (even recently by Isegahama in his re-promotion interview), I think it's clear that he has reached his current level because he's been able to reconfigure his performance because of his injury, and accomplished what he has in spite of it. It appears to be often difficult for him to mount/dismount the dohyo. He is not incredibly mobile during bouts. In spite of this, he is able to use his other incredible physical gifts and abilities to overcome this deficit, and his opponents. It's not necessarily about the stamina required (re: your doubleheader comment) to perform the activity, but that the performance of an activity such as a dohyo-iri necessarily exerts strain on the specific part(s) of his body that is (are) most damaged. So I can understand the concern, and also the interest from folks here in terms of how he could perform a dohyo-iri in order to mitigate the risk of further strain/injury. Since we haven't seen many yokozuna recently, it's easy to forget that the Yokozuna dohyo-iri can be a very impactful part of the sumo experience. But yes, if he became a Yokozuna, I think he would figure it out. :)
  16. themistyseas

    Terunofuji Applying for Japanese Citizenship

    The other wild card here is that he may be playing the long game. We know he is strategic and intelligent. If you look around the ichimon there aren't a huge number of young stable masters apart from Tomozuna (and Ajigawa in a few years). If Hakuho has long term ambitions within the larger organization that would require votes, it probably doesn't hurt him to pick up another card for his deck opportunistically if it's easy to get and was within the ichimon historically anyway as you note. If Miyagino and Takashima intend to stay on as consultants for another 5 years, that leaves Kiriyama/Oshima for Takarafuji and any of the several sekitori at Tomozuna who are presently the wrong side of 30 (or even Ishiura). I thought it was interesting to see in another thread recently that Tomozuna had used the services of Kyokutaisei for recruiting in Hokkaido, who knows if that's indicative if his longer term intentions. So if the theory is correct and he has picked it up as insurance for Terunofuji, I think that helps to create a safety net over the longer haul.
  17. Kisenosato owned his myoseki for almost ten years before his intai. There was literally no reason for him to ever take it up. I think this is pretty clear: The ichidai-toshiyori status must be offered, there is no guarantee. Per Asashosakari's comment, the decisions are made contextually and by humans. It is a status conferred on a yokozuna of exceptional achievement, an achievement that is judged. And as stated above it is also important to (symbolically or otherwise) show deference to the establishment. We also know that Hakuho has a very strong awareness and perception of loyalty. So I think it's fairly useful that he's bought an insurance policy in the event that he is not offered the ichidai toshiyori for any reason. It gives him options. If he gets it, he can sell Magaki off (as Takanohana was eventually forced to do after the rule change). If he doesn't get it or doesn't want it, then he has an opportunity to swap with Miyagino to allow him to continue as coach. Or of course he can use it over the shorter or longer term to help those to whom he has loyalties (either Toyonoshima as some have speculated here, or eventually a retiring rikishi in his own stable/ichimon like perhaps an Ishiura). Maybe, because he's canny, he's used an opportunity to get another vote into his ichimon over the long term! Who knows.
  18. themistyseas

    Corona and sumo

    Onoe (Ryuko) and Oguruma (Yago) both have guys in Juryo (though I don't know if it implied the stable had no sekitori, just that no sekitori had been infected in that stable - yet?). I really hope it isn't Sadogatake (which certainly has both the numbers to be plausible and the geographical isolation from other stables), if only because it would bring a truly unfortunate irony to the Kotokantetsu situation. A point well made on a personal level, but still kind of a weird one as we get closer to the next basho and potentially some stable (not necessarily this one) is going to have to be totally kyujo. Maybe the idea is just to make a full kyujo announcement closer to show time, and that's all we get?
  19. themistyseas

    Tokitsukaze under house arrest

    I seem to also remember reading that there is the Tokyo University of Agriculture connection between Tosayutaka and Tokitsuumi which also stretches to the former oyakata Ozeki Yutakayama.
  20. Possibly, but not necessarily. The majority of the recent intai (last couple years) of those who have become oyakata have been from those who have already controlled a myoseki during their time as a rikishi (Kotoshogiku, Tochiozan, Yoshikaze, Takekaze, Aminishiki, Kisenosato). The others seem to be a bit in the minority (Goeido, Homarefuji, Sokokurai, Toyonoshima, Tenkaiho). So it doesn't seem to be a given that there will be a wave of retirements... but I think as you note, in the event that Ikioi needs to jump ship at least there will be a few potential landing spots (at least temporarily if not permanently) for Bushuyama. I wonder whether we might see Takarafuji eventually pick up Kiriyama and loan it back out, for instance. And the clock is ticking somewhat more urgently on resolving the Izutsu, Otowayama and Furiwake situations.
  21. themistyseas

    Corona and sumo

    Maybe I'm being old fashioned here, but.... Unless this heya is some kind of massive complex, given that makushita and under rikishi generally all share a big room, where on earth are these guys going to be quarantined that would insulate the (presumptive) other rikishi in the heya? Maybe it's a heya with no sekitori, or a sekitori who lives elsewhere, or a heya with only six rikishi... but surely this seems like a bit like throwing a match on a pile of dry leaves? Unless I'm missing something which is totally possible and maybe even likely, there must be a better way to handle the quarantine * I'm obviously not directing this line of inquisition at 金玉山, I'm just bewildered ** Also I don't truly expect the NSK to have a "rational" policy though I would have expected maybe a little bit better by this stage of the pandemic
  22. themistyseas

    NSK Youtube Basho Archive

    That's a fair point The rub for me is that, if the big picture, I wonder if there's already been a better debate about what the product should be within this thread than probably will have been had by the people holding the keys to the content.
  23. themistyseas

    NSK Youtube Basho Archive

    I agree fully which is why the strategy hit me as a little odd. Rationally, you'd ask why make two mediocre products when you can make one really good one with the same content (or at least offer a consistent experience across platforms - you may want a YouTube experience and I may want a connected TV experience but what's important is we can get the same experience and that it's also good). IMHO** it would be great to just edit all of the historic basho each into their own little 25-30 minute highlight reel of the best matches and/or yusho race moments. That seems like the kind of thing that could act as a time capsule of the event, capturing all of the important moments and introducing new viewers to favourites of days gone by, without being overbearing. Obviously we also want to preserve those "inconsequential" Day 3 matches between low maegashira as well, but it seems like this could be supercharged into an actually really quite great service with not a huge amount of effort on their behalf, though as Churaumi says... ... And that's what happens when the team dictating your business interests are not experts and are pulled from an extremely narrow pool. :( ** of course they won't do this and I'm not suggesting they are even considering such a thing
  24. themistyseas

    NSK Youtube Basho Archive

    While it is undoubtedly excellent to have more archive content available, I wonder how this will impact (if it does at all), the NSK's own "tanimachi" subscription which they offer as a part of their own official app for $4.99 a month. That subscription makes every match available for viewing individually. It seems they've already set the bar. Many folks have mentioned the fees that the kyokai wants to charge for video footage of a basho are not competitive with most sports - streaming is a volume game and it's odd that something this limited (even with the expectation that content will expand enormously) is enough for people to part with what it costs to pay for Netflix every month. If they're going to charge these kinds of rates, I'd have maybe liked to have seen the investment in their own app. I'd probably be happy to make an increase of something from the $5 I pay into the app's "tanimachi" subscription in order to have it available on (for example) Apple TV, with interactive and/or subtitled content. For a YouTube channel product, it seems hard to justify.
  25. themistyseas

    Kabu "for ichimon use"

    Hey everyone - I have a question that after some significant searching (especially in the stock exchange née kabu babu thread), I don't believe can be solved elsewhere on the forum. If it is... sorry! Often times folks on the forum will say a myoseki will be “available for _____ ichimon use," but that doesn’t seem to always be the case and especially within the last 10-15 years. I appreciate most names have a significant history within a particular ichimon, others may have jumped via heya transfers, or (critically) in situations where Takanohana or loyalties to him were involved given the complexity of the movements of various oyakata supporting or not supporting his ambitions earlier in the last decade. But some are really perplexing, especially since you wouldn't have thought those in "control" wouldn't want to cede votes for electoral proceedings (never mind the fact that rikishi retirement possibly has some, but not a total correlation with the amount of names available or the location of the myoseki itself). Here are some somewhat recent examples, which are more numerous than I might have thought (~10% of all names). Is it possible that where there is no clear succession planned, and/or where the name is not especially prestigious, it might be a bit of a free for all? Or have I dun goofed and just missed some particularly obvious relationships/marriages that might have led to these names moving out of an ichimon? Thanks! Dewanoumi Ikazuchi - basically always in the Tatsunami ichimon family until picked up by Kakizoe 10 years ago Wakafuji - another historically belonging to Tatsunami ichimon until the late 2000s Takekuma - hadn’t been in the in the Dewanoumi ichimon since the ichimon's founding until picked up by Goeido last year Shikihide - when salt bae Kitazakura grabbed this, it had never been in the Dewanoumi ichimon Nishonoseki Kumagatani - was in Tatsunami ichimon forever and involved in a lot of temp changes owing to heya drama, now all the sudden it’s over in Kataonami beya. Tagonoura - was almost exclusively in the Dewanoumi ichimon family before the current holder picked it up Tokitsukaze Urakaze - was always in the Tatsunami ichimon family before being picked up by the current owner Magaki - seems to have been connected to three other ichimon, but never Tokitsukaze before Tokitenku picked it up a few years back. Kitajin - in Nishonoseki ichimon for 35 years, now in Tokitsukaze with Endo (albeit in a stable formerly of Tatsunami where it was historically), doesn’t seem particularly prestigious Takasago NIshikijima - always in the Tokitsukaze family (where most recently Toyonoshima had been supposedly making payments) until Asasekiryu picked it up a few years ago