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About Seiyashi

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  1. D'oh, my bad. Thanks for setting me straight.
  2. Hold up, we're discussing two different things here. The first is the probability of a zensho in juryo, whereas the second is why a juryo yusho generally scores lower than a makuuchi yusho. Re the probability of a zensho in juryo, I agree that purely probabilistically, the lowest number of rikishi in Juryo means that we're less likely to see a zensho compared to other divisions. But I disagree with that premise because it doesn't seem sound to assume that every juryo rikishi is the same in fighting power, experience, and motivation such as to create the 50-50 conditions that give rise to the above probabilistic assumption. I'm gonna have to go with @RabidJohn here to back up what I said about juryo being a hot mess. Re why a juryo yusho generally scores lower than a makuuchi yusho - going back to the 15-day schedule (since 1950 for the first full year), the breakdown of yusho scores in juryo and makuuchi is as follows (no juryo yusho with 9-6, no makuuchi yusho with 10-5): 15-0Y: 5J, 73M 14-1Y: 22J, 157M 13-2Y: 81J, 133M 12-3Y: 140J, 38M 11-4Y: 117J, 3M 10-5Y: 38J, 0M 9-6Y: 1J (Buyuzan, 2001 Nagoya; thanks to @Flohru and @Wamahada) Makuuchi sees more 14-1s than any other score, whereas juryo sees more 12-3s than any other score. So this does bear out the common wisdom that it's "easier" numerically to yusho in juryo than makuuchi. But juryo yusho winners rarely look as good as yokozuna when doing it. As to why the yusho profile for juryo is lower than makuuchi, I think the simplest explanation is also that advanced by @RabidJohn regarding the quality of juryo rikishi. But the normalish distribution of the juryo yusho results as opposed to the makuuchi results does suggest an alternative statistical explanation to me. if I were to try and explain this mathematically, making assumptions about the nature of rikishi's fighting strength, I'd say that the fighting strength of juryo rikishi, represented in terms of results, is more likely to be normally distributed (because of the already discussed factors). In contrast, makuuchi by its very nature is much more likely to be artificially capped at the strongest rikishi on the banzuke at any one time. In other words, if I were to arbitrarily extend a tournament to allow for sheer attrition, maybe Hakuho would start losing on day 25, Asashoryu on day 23, Kitanofuji on day 20, Harumafuji on day 18.... but that doesn't happen, so they are effectively undefeated for the duration of a honbasho. Whereas in juryo, relatively fewer rikishi are of that sheer power compared to their opponents, therefore will start losing earlier.
  3. To be more precise, rikishi good enough to 15-0 in juryo are in top form compared to their contemporaries. Even if they 15-0 in juryo, they still score a 15-0 in juryo, so the question is why only particular rikishi have done it, and, more damningly, why not only the best (e.g. why Hakuho, Asashoryu, Kitanoumi and other ichidai-toshiyori tier yokozuna have not done it). The two most famous recent examples are Tochinoshin (good enough to make komusubi previously, recovering from dropping to makushita, logging 4 yusho in a row and the last with a 15-0 juryo yusho), and Baruto (one of the fastest risers to makuuchi, 15-0 after an enforced rest due to appendicitis, and only in his 12th honbasho (including maezumo). Even so, sumodb only contains 5 examples of a 15-0 in juryo, so drawing on a small sample size, I'd hazard a guess that it's down to creating a huge performance differential due to better rest, more motivation, higher skill, etcetc (certainly explains Tochinoshin and Baruto, but not Kitanofuji, who was in Juryo for 2-3 tournaments before his 15-0, and took another 7 years to reach yokozuna, so he wasn't exactly blazing it). I'd say juryo has a scrappier arasoi because it's predominantly filled with rikishi who aren't of the calibre (whether physical or mental) to cut it in makuuchi, and up-and-comers getting used to a 15-day schedule. So for both these reasons, rikishi will drop bouts when they otherwise wouldn't. But these two come in to explain why zenshos are rarer in juryo versus either makuuchi (76) or lower divisions (almost 3k over all 4 divisions, averaging to about 750 per division) (there's a distinction between rarity of zenshos and the yusho score). Tigerboy's explanation covers the case of yokozuna just blazing it, whereas the sheer number of rikishi in the lower divisions and the lesser number of bouts means that by simple happenstance, more rikishi will wind up with 7-0s than sekitori with zenshos.
  4. Doesn't make obvious sense on the face of it right? All the rikishi still fight on 15 days. There being 14 less rikishi doesn't seem to have any bearing on the number of wins you can get, which is presumably based on the skill differential.
  5. Seiyashi

    Are Abi's days numbered?

    That's the test isn't it? If he makes it past this really strict gauntlet, he redeems his name somewhat with the NSK, but if he doesn't, it's the final proof that he can't abide the strict discipline of the NSK. My gut feel however is that he makes it past this period, gets back to makuuchi in 3-4 tournaments, and then commits another massive goof during the celebrations that will see his career finally end in ignominy.
  6. I was in Nagoya last year and caught D9 - the day Hakuho lost to Ichinojo. What bummed me was that it was a no-zeki tournament; better still Tochinoshin (my favourite of the four at the time) withdrew the day I reached Nagoya. The ozeki have a lot more to answer for that than the yokozuna, if you ask me...
  7. I don't think any more productive discussion is going to be had out of this either; so this is my signoff. As @RabidJohn said early on, a yokozuna does not have the "luxury" of dropping down the rankings, and his career can only end in retirement at yokozuna. That is the corollary of his "privilege" to withdraw without suffering a decrease in rank. Having established this, there is then no issue about their competing half the time not being "competing at the peak of the sport", or about missing matches not being "dignified". The Japanese understanding of "peak" and "dignity" is not about dominating people or showing up, it is about showing the very best that sumo has to offer even if injuries make those a rarer and rarer occurrence. (There is a reason people are upset about Hakuho's harite, kachiage, and nekodamasho, because yokozuna should not need these "cheap" shots to win. As for wrestlers having better records, well, this last basho was their best shot, and they blew it. Both yokozuna having a lot worse records, we don't know for sure but I doubt it. Their rank is a function of consistency not peak performance; their promotion (and to a lesser extent that of the ozeki) is reliant on their being able to output not just a good record, but good records consistently. We are simply in a transition period where the old rikishi are fading out (as seen by the recent retirements) but new ones have yet to properly rise; Shodai, Ichinojo, Terunofuji and Mitakeumi should have all made it a long time ago if not for their various issues. That being said, it would be interesting to do a generational analysis of sumo. I suspect however that we may be making too much of this transition and/or this transition is unique to modern conditions; one would not normally be able to define eras in sumo based solely on the wrestlers making up makuuchi.
  8. There is no public pressure, there is the YDC. There are no international fans, there are only Japanese. There is no yaocho, there is only less strong sumo. There is no SumoForum, there is only the NSK.
  9. Seiyashi

    Are Abi's days numbered?

    What's the kenseki punishment?
  10. Seiyashi

    Are Abi's days numbered?

    That's not to say Japanese don't get expelled. The big boo boos have been gambling and yaocho; Japanese wrestlers were expelled as a result of these, the highest ranking being Kotomitsuki. I highly doubt that, given the tenor of the opinions re Abi coming out of the NSK, they will be minded to be lenient with him, even if he is Japanese. EDIT: Also, the recent trend has been for the disgraced rikishi to voluntarily retire (with or without the prompting of their stablemaster, but almost certainly without the explicit direction of the NSK) in the face of almost certain expulsion otherwise - Takanofuji was the most recent case. There was also Sumidagawa from Naruto beya, although I can't remember offhand if he was forcibly retired by his stablemaster (ex Kotooshu) or otherwise. Abi would seem to be following this trend, with the NSK not explicitly calling for his retirement before he submitted his papers.
  11. Seiyashi

    Are Abi's days numbered?

    Not sure how much this is a factor, but Abi screwing up in such a massive fashion was probably a good excuse to be done and rid of him. Shikoroyama and the board can't think it's fun to have to pick up after his messes each time he screws up. He's proven to be a massive goof, and it probably was a matter of time before he screwed something else up, so why not just get rid of him when the golden opportunity proves itself? His personality might be refreshing in an otherwise staid display, but Japan tends to love to hammer down the nails that stick out. For me though, his sumo just looked wild, chaotic and uncoordinated, with none of the deliberate purpose of old Takakeisho or Enho's deft movements. And I'll forever remember the epic ashitori against him. I don't see him as any great loss to the world of sumo from a personality or technical perspective, and if he's going to continue thumbing his nose at rules getting rid of him is the best course of action now.
  12. Considering that it's not an essential requirement to beat a yokozuna to be promoted to ozeki or yokozuna yourself (two back to back junyusho-doten losses to a yokozuna, for example), I don't follow the argument that Hakuho and Kakuryu (even though he's been a bit of a kinboshi pinata recently) are gatekeeping the younger generation hard. In fact, the current frontrunners for ozeki promotion were well capable of beating Hakuho from time to time. It was their own reliability issues that stopped them from climbing, and the fact that we've been really unlucky with recent ozeki. Bar Asanoyama, the last 5 ozeki after Kisenosato made the rank - Goeido, Terunofuji, Tochinoshin, Takakeisho, Takayasu - all failed to consistently deliver championship-level sumo mostly because of injury. Counting all rikishi who've been promoted to either ozeki or yokozuna since 1942 (Chiyonoyama's hatsu-dohyo; I chose him because he was the first "modern" yokozuna"), we have 32 yokozuna and 37 ozeki. That means statistically, we expect 70 yokozuna/ozeki in about 80 years, and almost 1 in 2 ozeki will make yokozuna. Counting in the past 8 years, we've had 6 ozeki promotions - the aforementioned 5 + Asanoyama - and only 2 yokozuna promotions - Kakuryu and Kisenosato. So statistically, the previous batch of ozeki were underperforming, having no promotions to their credit (thus far), one yusho each either as ozeki or leading up to their promotion (sans Takayasu - the last yusholess ozeki was Miyabiyama), and with 3 of them being promoted and subsequently succumbing to serious injury that is wrecking their sumo (Terunofuji, Tochinoshin, Takakeisho). Their record looks a bit better if you consider that Terunofuji was the best prospect for yokozuna promotion, filling the hole for a new, young, and strong yokozuna, had he not succumbed to multiple illnesses and injuries. We're a bit overdue for a new yokozuna, but that's mainly because the prior ozeki promotees have had really bad injury luck, and the up-and-comers have taken longer than they should to get into the groove of their sumo. Other than the statistical angle, there's also a lot of other factors feeding into this. Modern sports science can extend careers and save previously-thought dead careers - Chiyonokuni, Ura, Terunofuji are all good examples of career necromancy, and Aminishiki, Hakuho, and probably Kotoshogiku are good examples of career Philosopher's Stones. Kids are entering sumo later because more and more are opting for a university education; the fact that tsukedashi status is only granted to the best collegiate competitors only partially offsets this delay. Hakuho himself is a massive statistical anomaly and nothing he does can be comfortably compared against previous yokozuna. And Kakuryu last July still won a 6th yusho against Hakuho and another jun-yusho in March; his style of sumo is not flashy or great compared to his yokozuna contemporaries but his 6 championships are at least average if not better than average compared to modern yokozunas. Apologies if the last few paragraphs came off as a bit of a rant also. But I feel that some of the whole angst about Hakuho and Kakuryu stems from not having a strong steady presence as yokozuna, which is not exactly their fault and involves a lot more systemic and luck-based factors than meets the eye.
  13. Seiyashi

    Lower division celebs results

    If his appearance at February's Hakuho Cup is any indication, no. He bent a chair out of shape just by sitting on it.
  14. Seiyashi

    Are Abi's days numbered?

    I really wouldn't say he's got no warning. If you mean "no warning about breaking COVID rules", maybe, but considering his cockups over the last year someone's probably already warned him that any more goofs would be big trouble. Not in very much sympathy with him at all, although I will agree the intai submission, while appropriate, comes a bit out of the blue.
  15. Seiyashi

    Corona and sumo

    Highly doubt it, since his crime is equal parts disobedience and folly; you're not getting rid of the fact that he disobeyed rules as they then stood by changing the rules afterwards. It probably does suggest he won't be kicked out, but since the consensus here was that he was likely to be suspended at least one tournament (in addition to the forced kyujo this round) instead of being forced to retire, I don't think the new rules change much.