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Posted (edited)

What I do not understand is why this change was made (Sanoyama to Chiganoura) on the Oyakata list and not the assumption of Kimigahama by the retired Kotoyūki nor the retirement and rank for Kakuryū-oyakata.

 

http://www.sumo.or.jp/IrohaKyokaiMember/oyakata/

Edited by Muhomatsu
Add link to NSK site.

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While skimming through some articles about myoseki ownership etc. last night, I noticed a line in this one from January which says that Onosho owns the Otowayama myoseki. His ja.wiki profile also says it and even gives an acquisition date of May 30th 2020, although that's not substantiated with a reference.

It's not really a surprise if it's correct, since he was likely to get a myoseki from his former shisho (ex-Masurao) in the end, it was just brought forward after he retired early from the Kyokai in 2019.

Anyway, this isn't confirmed but I thought it was worth adding to the thread for future reference.

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5 hours ago, Yubinhaad said:

While skimming through some articles about myoseki ownership etc. last night, I noticed a line in this one from January which says that Onosho owns the Otowayama myoseki. His ja.wiki profile also says it and even gives an acquisition date of May 30th 2020, although that's not substantiated with a reference.

Rather suspiciously though it was added to that article and three others by a wiki editor with no further editing history. Somebody else proceeded to include it in Masurao's article as well a couple of weeks later.

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On 16/04/2021 at 19:07, Muhomatsu said:

What I do not understand is why this change was made (Sanoyama to Chiganoura) on the Oyakata list and not the assumption of Kimigahama by the retired Kotoyūki nor the retirement and rank for Kakuryū-oyakata.

They finally updated it at some point, backdated to April 16, the date of the Satoyama change (the last of the three things missing). Kakuryu has been added as iin-equivalent toshiyori, as customary for retired yokozuna/ozeki.

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Posted (edited)

@Tamanaogijima

I just noticed that Oiteyama and Daishoyama (the latter married to the former's daughter) are recorded as members of Tatsunami-beya until their joint branch-out into Oitekaze-beya in October 1998, but some rikishi heya affiliations having been updated on the DB recently (thanks, Doitsuyama!) I was reminded that their branching out was actually from Tomozuna, not Tatsunami.

According to Daishoyama @ ja.wiki they left Tatsunami "in 1997". Googling around several sites give their transfer date a bit more specifically as August 1997. (Not sure if 100% trustworthy, of course.) I doubt the exact day can be found anymore.

Edited by Asashosakari
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For the record, the Matsuchiyama myoseki is vacant after former Komusubi Banryuyama reached the end of his five-year consultancy contract on May 3rd.

In a few days we should hear whether Minezaki will be staying on or not.

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On 05/05/2021 at 08:35, Yubinhaad said:

For the record, the Matsuchiyama myoseki is vacant after former Komusubi Banryuyama reached the end of his five-year consultancy contract on May 3rd.

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

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Sure enough, Nikkan just reported that ex-Bushuyama has switched from Kasugayama and is now the new owner of Matsuchiyama.

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On 03/05/2021 at 16:44, Asashosakari said:

@Tamanaogijima

I just noticed that Oiteyama and Daishoyama (the latter married to the former's daughter) are recorded as members of Tatsunami-beya until their joint branch-out into Oitekaze-beya in October 1998, but some rikishi heya affiliations having been updated on the DB recently (thanks, Doitsuyama!) I was reminded that their branching out was actually from Tomozuna, not Tatsunami.

According to Daishoyama @ ja.wiki they left Tatsunami "in 1997". Googling around several sites give their transfer date a bit more specifically as August 1997. (Not sure if 100% trustworthy, of course.) I doubt the exact day can be found anymore.

Thanks for spotting -- I have set August 1997 without specific day as the date of the heya change now.

Funny thing is, it has already been hidden in my data. Their Oitekaze-beya was and is noted as being part of the Tatsunami-Tomozuna subichimon*  and not of the "main" Tatsunami one, and even has set Tomozuna as their parent heya.

 

* The entity starting as Takashima-beya in the 1920s and being renamed under Tomoegata's shishoship at the beginning of the 1960s; plus all of their issues.

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Minezaki took the Sanyo (参与) option, as listed on the NHK site - http://www.sumo.or.jp/IrohaKyokai/rijikai/

Dekiyama and Kiriyama are now open as their respective owners (Dewanohana and Kurosegawa) hit the mandatory retirement age of 70.

I expect some stock exchange headlines post-basho.

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Posted (edited)

This is probably old news, but last I heard Hakuho hasn't formally/officially gained ownership of Magaki yet -- is that still the case?

Edited by Godango

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On 21/05/2021 at 00:58, Godango said:

This is probably old news, but last I heard Hakuho hasn't formally/officially gained ownership of Magaki yet -- is that still the case?

I'm not sure how official or formal any kabu ownership is prior to the rikishi retiring. It's rumor to a certain extent, isn't it? 

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25 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

I'm not sure how official or formal any kabu ownership is prior to the rikishi retiring. It's rumor to a certain extent, isn't it? 

Ah, this is me being ignorant of how it works. 

So when the db has Okinoumi listed as the owner of Kimigahana, that's not a formal arrangement?

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Godango said:
13 hours ago, ryafuji said:

I'm not sure how official or formal any kabu ownership is prior to the rikishi retiring. It's rumor to a certain extent, isn't it? 

Ah, this is me being ignorant of how it works. 

So when the db has Okinoumi listed as the owner of Kimigahana, that's not a formal arrangement?

The main problem is the NSK rule change regarding kabu, which left a lot of things in limbo.

Previously, the metaphor of kabu as "stocks" in the term of "stocks and shares" was fairly accurate, at least from a legal perspective. They were subjects of transactions between oyakata and aspiring oyakata, and therefore rights accruing to individuals could attach in respect of a kabu. So under this old system, if Hakuho had been said to "acquire" the old kabu, that means that he has negotiated with the previous holder of the Magaki kabu, paid a sum of money or other consideration, and in exchange received the exclusive right to the kabu. Naturally that kabu grants him no privileges until he actually retires, but it's arguably "his" at that point, or whatever point was stipulated in the contract or other arrangement made between him and the former owner.

But a lot of money changed hands in accordance with this practice, and given that kabu often came with a heya attached that was previously paid for out of the former owner's funds, things could get really ugly and complicated. And there were other really undesirable things going on too. Wajima had put up his kabu as collateral for a loan, which was very strictly forbidden for the simple reason that it creates a situation where control of the kabu conceivably passes out of control of the sumo world. Annenyama and Asahiyutaka (the current Tatsunami-oyakata) had a massive legal row over the ownership of the Tatsunami kabu and the price to be paid for the heya.

Eventually the NSK said kabu couldn't be traded and would be assigned by them instead (caught up in the external panel recommendations in the wake of the yaocho scandal and the NSK's change to a public interest corporation in 2011). The most obvious evidence of this is the assignment of Takekuma to Goeido even though there was absolutely zero word of Goeido acquiring a kabu before his retirement. But this got some of the existing oyakata up in arms, because banning the trade of kabu robs them of a very nice cash cow when they retire, since they can't cash out an asset that is henceforth useless to them for a very large sum of money. So the existing status of the ban on trading kabu is odd, especially as it doesn't seem to be preventing bidding wars for what is essentially heya goodwill (see the latest Takasago handover) that are equally shady. It also leaves the legal status of kabu in doubt since they are effectively expropriated now.

Of recent cases:

  • The previous Takekuma oyakata, ex-Zaonishiki, stayed on as a consultant but retired 3 years early in 2019 at the age of 67, three months before Goeido took up the name. He passed away in August last year, 6 months after Goeido took up the name. We don't know if Goeido paid anything for the privilege, but it's also possible Zaonishiki, under treatment for cancer, knew the end was nigh and had enough left to will away that the loss of the monetary value of the kabu didn't matter to him.
  • The previous Magaki oyakata was technically ex-Tokitsuumi, briefly, but the previous Magaki oyakata for most of that was ex-Tosayutaka (now Tokitsukaze oyakata after Tokitsuumi's departure). Before that, though, it was ex-Tokitenku (passed away from cancer) who held the kabu, acquiring it from Terunofuji's ex-stablemaster ex-Wakanohana II. Given the circumstances of Tokitsuumi's departure it's unlikely that money changed hands in this particular case, but I wouldn't be surprised if some did.
  • ex-Toyonoshima took up Izutsu after ex-Sakahoko's death, although it's implied by the fact that ex-Sakahoko's widow is rebuilding the heya that the Fukuzonos still expect to have a legal claim to the granting of the stock. A tabloid claimed that ex-Sakahoko's widow was trying to sell off a heya and grant her daughter's hand in marriage to an eligible sekitori within the ichimon, but the veracity of that is highly questionable, and Kakuryu is still widely seen as the frontrunner to eventually acquire the name and reestablish Izutsu stable. The doubly odd part is that ex-Toyonoshima was bemoaning his drop to Makushita a while back because he had mortgage and kabu payments to make, suggesting that money changing hands for kabu was still a thing in 2016, and kabu being seen as an asset is still a thing even now.

Most of the other rikishi who have recently retired and taken up kabu have however owned them for a long time. ex-Tochiozan has been sitting on Kiyomigata since 2011, loaning it out to other oyakata who needed it; same as with ex-Kotoshogiku and Okinoumi who have been sitting on Hidenoyama and Kimigahama for a while. 

As you can see there's no real way to answer your question straight out. Theoretically ownership of elder stock is at the will and whim of the NSK and no rikishi has a "claim" to one any more. But it seems that the NSK is still willing to grandfather or honour arrangements already in force and doesn't seem to be too active in enforcing its legal rights to the elder stock. I'd say in Okinoumi's case in particular, the Kimigahama kabu is available to him whenever he retires as he has effectively called "dibs" on it, but announcements on the acquisition (vs assumption) of stock will get rarer and rarer in the future.

Instead, it's more likely that kabu disposition will become an inter-ichimon horse trading exercise when an eligible rikishi asks on a first-come-first-serve + "we like your face" basis, so it becomes more dynamic but also a lot more confusing to keep track of. We've already seen some instances of stock changing ichimon, so other than kanban heya, it's likely that we'll see much more of that in the future. The ones to look out for will be Dekiyama (Dewanoumi) and Kiriyama (Tatsunami-Isegahama); based on ichimon the most likely acquirers will be Mitakeumi and Takarafuji/Terunofuji. But if these are tradable across ichimon now then Dekiyama may go to Shohozan in return for a Nishonoseki stock crossing to Dewanoumi in the near future when one becomes available.

Edited by Seiyashi
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Excellent post!!:-)

That one should probably pinned somewhere, as it provides all necceassary information on how kabu acquistion worked/works in the NSK. :-)

Speaking of money trades and whether they still occur or not, I would throw my guess into the ring and claim they still happen and will continue to happen. Eventhough the NSK assigns the successor of a myoseki now, I can't imagine the oyakata in charge to shoot themselves in the foot and abolish money trades entirely, since they themselves had to pay millions of yen to receive their elder stock in the past. In a way, these kabu also serve as an additional retirement fund for former rikshi, since you can expect a nice money boost from selling a kabu and pretty much polish up your last years financially.

I would imagine it the following way (but be aware this is just pure guessing without having clear facts on the matter).

Oyakata X reaches 65 (or 70) and has to consider leaving the NSK. X gets into contact with the administration and asks, who has applied to receive his elder stock Z. NSK tells X, that rikishi Y wants to acquire Z and is the destined successor to the stock. X reaches out to Y and tells him, he will support his desire to acquire elder stock Z and both start to negotiate private payments on a certain sum (maybe a monthly rate), which will not be reflected on any official accounting of the NSK whatsoever. X and Y come to an agreement. X reaches back to the NSK and approves that he will leave the NSK for good and supports the appointment of Y as a new oyakata.

This concept is also insprired by the fact, that rikishi can still loan a kabu from other rikishi. Why would we need to claim a former sekitori borrowed the kabu from the actual shareholder, when the certificates had to be given back to the NSK? Maybe I am wrong here, but I would consider a rikishi to be the "owner" of a kabu, when he is officially assigned to carry the name.

Tricky indeed! As a public interest coorperation, they probably handle (or have to handle) things as described above officially, but I can't imagine 105 investors (they are basically investors to me ) to throw away millions of yen voluntarily, that once had to be payed for the stock.

 

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Posted (edited)

You will also have to factor in the fact that rikishi often retain their allegiance to their heya and ichimon when they retire, and so keeping the status quo in terms of the division of the 105 kabu amongst the 5 ichimon is fairly important - and troublesome - politically behind the scenes. In fact the greatest problem the NSK had to deal with in many years was the Takanohana rebellion, because it completely upset the traditional power balance within the ichimon, and we're still seeing some bad blood from the fallout (like the fact that Tatsunami-beya is no longer in Tatsunami-Isegahama ichimon, or that some elders within the Tokitsukaze ichimon are not on speaking terms with Shikoroyama). 

As for the money trading thing, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened roughly along the lines of what you described, although with a bit more discretion and with decreasing prices over time. What we're missing is how a rikishi desirous of an elder stock goes about applying for one in the first place. The more intermediaries (like his own oyakata) are involved in this, the easier it is for word to get around and for the NSK to maintain plausible deniability that it sanctions the practice.

But that said, other than the sanyo who are imminently retiring, I expect there to be a gradual culture shift towards saving up for your own retirement (just as while an active rikishi, you used to "save up" for your intai by investing in an elder stock - now there's no need to do so, but you'd better start saving that for a rainy day down the road). It's just going to take a while. It's not quite investment into a business as the NSK sees none of the money involved in trading kabu, but ultimately, as you said, the change in ownership process means that millions if not billions of yen (cf Chiyonofuji taking over Kokonoe kabu and heya from Kitanofuji for <50 million yen) have just been "wiped" from the collective personal assets of the oyakata and rikishi involved in trading kabu; spreading that pain around to be fair to everyone is not an easy business.

Edited by Seiyashi

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On 20/05/2021 at 22:58, Godango said:

This is probably old news, but last I heard Hakuho hasn't formally/officially gained ownership of Magaki yet -- is that still the case?

I am clueless how a lot of the heya transactions occur. So, Magaki, even though it is defunct now for over a decade, it is still a viable going commodity? If Hakuho retires and gets control, would it likely then be renamed? And, as Kisenosato did, would Hakuho likely take most of the cream from Myagino beya, with Ishiura, Enho, Hokuseiho, and now Senho, following him?

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How can the Kyokai "own" the system when individual kabu are listed as being "owned" by individuals, some of them deceased?  And if all negotiations must ultimately be between the kabu aspirant and the NSK, why is there so much horse-trading going on?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kaminariyuki said:

I am clueless how a lot of the heya transactions occur. So, Magaki, even though it is defunct now for over a decade, it is still a viable going commodity? If Hakuho retires and gets control, would it likely then be renamed? And, as Kisenosato did, would Hakuho likely take most of the cream from Myagino beya, with Ishiura, Enho, Hokuseiho, and now Senho, following him?

You need to separate the stock from the heya. The stock is the right to be an elder of the NSK, whereas the heya as an institution is pretty much like any other business that has goodwill. While heya are named after stocks, stocks need not come with heya (but heya in operation must always come with a stock; cf defunct heya buildings like the old Hitachiyama-beya, which is now apparently Takakeisho's home and private dohyo but isn't a functioning heya). A stock without a heya is worth as much as the right to be an elder of the NSK is, whereas if a heya is attached then you've got to sort out transferring the assets of the heya (because that's typically the oyakata's).

In Magaki's case, you are right that there is no heya, therefore the value in the Magaki stock is the elder right alone. Hakuho technically has three options here, with ex-Chikubayama near retirement himself. Hakuho could either set up a new Magaki stable and all his deshi would follow (essentially leaving Miyagino-beya an empty shell), or he might as well just take over Miyagino-beya itself. in the short term, he would probably just swap names with ex-Chikubayama so ex-Hakuho is now Miyagino oyakata and ex-Chikubayama is Magaki-oyakata as a sanyo for 5 years. But the entity we now know as Miyagino-beya could be named either Magaki or Miyagino, depending on which elder name Hakuho chooses to retain.

But as Yamanashi pointed out, it's our guess what exactly it means to "own" and "swap" a kabu now, after the new rules. In theory, the NSK allocates kabu now, presumably with some sort of priority based on former rank and within the exigencies of inter-ichimon politics. But that's not entirely correct as the Fukuzonos still seem to exert some indicia of ownership over the old Izutsu (Sakahoko's widow is building a new heya - why?). I've covered this a few posts up and others have guessed as to the mechanism, but my guess is that the NSK is turning a blind eye to the kabu trading as that's a "private matter". All that can be said is Hakuho has first dibs to be called Magaki-oyakata as and when he retires. 

FYI Kisenosato just took his personally recruited deshi from Tagonoura and a long-time colleague, essentially. Tagonoura-beya will still have 10+ rikishi left, including the kanban rikishi Takayasu.

Edited by Seiyashi
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29 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

You need to separate the stock from the heya. The stock is the right to be an elder of the NSK, whereas the heya as an institution is pretty much like any other business that has goodwill. While heya are named after stocks, stocks need not come with heya (but heya in operation must always come with a stock; cf defunct heya buildings like the old Hitachiyama-beya, which is now apparently Takakeisho's home and private dohyo but isn't a functioning heya). A stock without a heya is worth as much as the right to be an elder of the NSK is, whereas if a heya is attached then you've got to sort out transferring the assets of the heya (because that's typically the oyakata's).

In Magaki's case, you are right that there is no heya, therefore the value in the Magaki stock is the elder right alone. Hakuho technically has three options here, with ex-Chikubayama near retirement himself. Hakuho could either set up a new Magaki stable and all his deshi would follow (essentially leaving Miyagino-beya an empty shell), or he might as well just take over Miyagino-beya itself. in the short term, he would probably just swap names with ex-Chikubayama so ex-Hakuho is now Miyagino oyakata and ex-Chikubayama is Magaki-oyakata as a sanyo for 5 years. But the entity we now know as Miyagino-beya could be named either Magaki or Miyagino, depending on which elder name Hakuho chooses to retain.

But as Yamanashi pointed out, it's our guess what exactly it means to "own" and "swap" a kabu now, after the new rules. In theory, the NSK allocates kabu now, presumably with some sort of priority based on former rank and within the exigencies of inter-ichimon politics. But that's not entirely correct as the Fukuzonos still seem to exert some indicia of ownership over the old Izutsu (Sakahoko's widow is building a new heya - why?). I've covered this a few posts up and others have guessed as to the mechanism, but my guess is that the NSK is turning a blind eye to the kabu trading as that's a "private matter". All that can be said is Hakuho has first dibs to be called Magaki-oyakata as and when he retires. 

FYI Kisenosato just took his personally recruited deshi from Tagonoura and a long-time colleague, essentially. Tagonoura-beya will still have 10+ rikishi left, including the kanban rikishi Takayasu.

OK, so the Magaki kabu that Hakuho has apparently purchased (or at least a controlling share) gives him the NSK elder seat, as long as the NSK approves? 

Thank you for your detailed description. Again, you amaze me.

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On 24/05/2021 at 07:41, Raishu said:

Excellent post!!:-)

That one should probably pinned somewhere, as it provides all necceassary information on how kabu acquistion worked/works in the NSK. :-)

Just so! I had to read the last 10 posts, or so, twice before I think I got it. I'm particularly interested in Hakuho's case, though, since I met the guy and he spoke about becoming an oyakata in the future.  

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20 minutes ago, Kaminariyuki said:

OK, so the Magaki kabu that Hakuho has apparently purchased (or at least a controlling share) gives him the NSK elder seat, as long as the NSK approves? 

I assume that they have, given that the acquisition is announced. It would be weird to announce it as if it were a fait accompli and then rescind it.

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19 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

I assume that they have, given that the acquisition is announced. It would be weird to announce it as if it were a fait accompli and then rescind it.

Well, I certainly do not yet understand the inner workings of the oyakata-heya bit but I know that the NSK is just full of surprises. 

Probably not s much face-losing surprises, though...

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

I assume that they have, given that the acquisition is announced.

Was it? The original news merely said that Hakuho was in the process of acquiring the share. I don't recall any official statement that it had been approved. The NSK isn't in the habit of announcing that for share deals involving active rikishi anyway - I'm actually not sure if there's a mechanism for that in the first place.

Edited by Asashosakari
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