Kintamayama

Sumo articles by journalists who are Forum members/or not

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Or is Rikidozan actually ever-present in someone's mind around here?

Funny, because I work with a guy (Japanese-born and raised, went to the USA for college, became an American citizen and joined the US military) who isn't a sumo fan, but when he wants to hold a conversation about sumo and I mention foreigners in sumo, he ALWAYS brings Rikidozan up.

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Yeah, I'm guessing that Rikidozan is much more present for Japanese fans than for foreign ones. Of course, this isn't the first time that MB's description of what foreign fans are supposedly like is a few degrees off from reality...

Or is Rikidozan actually ever-present in someone's mind around here?

Funny, because I work with a guy (Japanese-born and raised, went to the USA for college, became an American citizen and joined the US military) who isn't a sumo fan, but when he wants to hold a conversation about sumo and I mention foreigners in sumo, he ALWAYS brings Rikidozan up.

Not totally relevant, but I wonder if your colleague knows about Toyonishiki?

And Konishiki? Yes, he's much more recent and was popular, and in that case I do remember such accusations, but when you look at the strict standards applied to Takanohana, that argument kind of evaporates a bit too, doesn't it?

The weird thing is that, after bringing up Konishiki he pretty well glosses over the contradictory evidence. As a casual fan, far from getting the impression that there's nothing to the Konishiki case, I'd probably walk away from this article with the proverbial "smoke->fire" feeling. He even mentioned Asahifuji (the poster child for the post-Futahaguro rules), but then inexplicably focused his few explanatory comments on Hokutoumi who really doesn't have much to do with anything. And the insinuation that Konishiki didn't deserve to get promoted anyway because he had his run at a time when the two active yokozuna were declining and weren't really a factor in the tournaments (they combined for just 12 bouts in those 3 basho) is just strange.

Edited by Asashosakari

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Notably, he was "schooled" throughout the morning by (current) sekiwake Kisenosato of Naruto Beya, a man he has only lost to twice in 11 career meets to date. More losses by way of his counterparts in the second rank and the yokozuna (1-2) added up to an overall rather unimpressive win 10, lose 10 record for the supposed next big thing — hardly the stuff of a viable yusho contender.

Yokozuna Hakuho, the man who they have all got to beat, fared better but is still in warm-up mode.

Oh, so Baruto is a failure already, while Hakuho can be in "warm-up" mode. Awesome.

I guess Buckton bucks the trend of not attaching too much significance to pre-basho practice numbers, huh? He can already tell that Bart's not gonna be "viable". What a genius.

Edited by Kuroyama

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The gist of his argument seems to be that Baruto will not yusho his first two bashos as an Ozeki, so he will end up on the dustheap of Yokozuna wannabes. Sounds like a bit of a stretch to me. (Bye, bye...)

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And here I found the paragraph on Wakakoyu much more confusing than anything written about Baruto... Perhaps Mark is on to something, but I'd suggest the majority of fans will disagree; if Wakakoyu ends up on less than half the UDH entries or on a double-digit number of regular Hoshitori entries I'll be extremely shocked.

Of course his argument is valid, there's often a low-ranked maegashira who blasts through the competition early on, but I can't fathom why you'd pick a classic maku-juryo elevator guy instead of, I dunno, Yoshikaze or even Hokutoriki as this basho's most likely candidate.

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And here I found the paragraph on Wakakoyu much more confusing than anything written about Baruto.

Seems like a trend to pick someone unremarkable at the end of his articles. Remember his "dark horse for the yusho" last basho?

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Seems like a trend to pick someone unremarkable at the end of his articles. Remember his "dark horse for the yusho" last basho?

Honestly? No, I don't. :-)

Edit: Couldn't resist checking...hey, if Wakakoyu gets anywhere close to Kokkai's 10-5 I'll be all (I am not worthy...) in this very thread.

Edited by Asashosakari

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And here I found the paragraph on Wakakoyu much more confusing than anything written about Baruto.

Seems like a trend to pick someone unremarkable at the end of his articles. Remember his "dark horse for the yusho" last basho?

Oh, surely you don't mean to imply that he uses the same framework and simply replaces the name? Perish the thought! Though with my own record of bimonthly columns for 26 years, I know only too well how hard you have to work to produce something new. A lot of this kind of writing is like a spiral staircase; you keep on coming to the same point -- but you hope you are now at a higher level. The greatest threat is to assume that, as an established writer, you can sit back and just roll it out. In my own experience keeping up a standard requires constant vigilance (and often, a decent copy editor to keep you up to scratch).

Orion, in grateful retirement, in one area at least

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I agree with him that Baruto probably won't become a Yokozuna in 2010. But I believe he was saying Hakuho lacked the "killer instinct" when he was promoted to Ozeki as well. I also agree that Baruto may have a hangover basho, and fail to do very well this basho. That's about as far as I agree with him. The Wakakoyu stuff was way off. "Throwing aside all comers" in Juryo last basho? I didn't remember what record he ended with, but looking, he had a 9-6 record. Hardly dominating. It seems MB comes to the end of his articles and says "Hmm, I better put in something about a maegashira rikishi..."

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"Throwing aside all comers" in Juryo last basho? I didn't remember what record he ended with, but looking, he had a 9-6 record. Hardly dominating.

He did look very good following the 0-4 start and the makuuchi return was totally deserved IMO, but yeah, everyone does from time to time, and extreme tsuki/oshi rikishi tend to be even more streaky than the average guy. And to tie this in with another recent thread - I dare say people blindly extrapolating performance from one basho to the next is way more common than people blindly believing in keiko win totals. (Self included...my thought processes while making my Seki-Oracle entries have much to answer for sometimes.)

You'd think sumo is perfectly-suited for not making that mistake, what with every fan knowing that a strong performance leads to facing tougher opponents the next time (except at the very top, of course), but I guess having a print column doesn't make you immune from that thinking... Or maybe I'm just overanalyzing again and the whole paragraph about Wakakoyu was nothing more than random space-filler.

Edited by Asashosakari

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MB scribblings

I actually enjoyed reading it! If you're still lurking, good job IMHO!

I still had to ask myself who this Wakakoryu guy is, and only found him...

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I have to give him credit, thats 2 basho in a row that his dark horse got a 10-5.

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Thanks for the reference. Hardly 'starring' but I recall one of the regulars contacting me a while ago, saying he was writing for a Japan-related publication and would I give some comments. It had slipped my mind.

(In a state of confusion...)

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MB on the scandals and on David Benjamin's updated controversial sumo book, and doesn't forget to take a few potshots at some of our own hotshots who didn't like Benjamin's style. Somewhere in the forum vaults lies that heated debate of yore..:

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ss20100619mb.html

Edited by Kintamayama

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MB on the scandals and on David Benjamin's updated controversial sumo book, and doesn't forget to take a few potshots at some of our own hotshots who didn't like Benjamin's style........SNIP

No one is safe (Shaking head...)

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Sumos and the yakuza

By MASAHIRO MATSUMURA

OSAKA

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I can hardly believe that this hotchpotch of boilerplate snippets was written by a Japanese, let alone a Japanese professor.

I find the Japanese much like people from other parts of the world in this respect. While the Japanese may be more used to sumo having grown up with sumo always in the background, this generally does not transfer into much more knowledge than the average fan you'll find on SF, for example. Professionals, professors among them, are just as human as any of us, and subject to the same prides and prejudices.

It sounds more like that travel article produced by the American lady a few months ago, based on one visit to sumo plus a lot of earnest searching. One may charitably assume that some of the problems of the professor's piece were caused by a bad translation of an article originally written in Japanese. The title tells it all: 'Sumos' and the yakuza.

Orion

I strongly suspect the article was written in English by the author himself, and intended for a foreign audience.

Masahiro Matsumura is Professor of International Politics at St. Andrew's University in Osaka. Previously he was Secretary for Policy-Legislative Affairs in the Japanese House of Representatives and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. His expertise covers Northeast Asia and Japan, the U.S.-Japan alliance, Japan's defense and security strategies, and U.S.-Japan military relations.

Dr. Matsumura received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1992, his M.A. from Ohio University in 1987, and a B.A. from Kwansei Gakuin University (Nishinomiya, Japan) in 1986.

http://www.policyinnovations.org/innovator...ahiro_matsumura

You can browse more of his musings on Project Syndicate, the Brookings Institute homepage, and in op/ed pieces in newspapers scattered all over the Internet.

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I can hardly believe that this hotchpotch of boilerplate snippets was written by a Japanese, let alone a Japanese professor.

I find the Japanese much like people from other parts of the world in this respect. While the Japanese may be more used to sumo having grown up with sumo always in the background, this generally does not transfer into much more knowledge than the average fan you'll find on SF, for example. Professionals, professors among them, are just as human as any of us, and subject to the same prides and prejudices.

It sounds more like that travel article produced by the American lady a few months ago, based on one visit to sumo plus a lot of earnest searching. One may charitably assume that some of the problems of the professor's piece were caused by a bad translation of an article originally written in Japanese. The title tells it all: 'Sumos' and the yakuza.

Orion

I strongly suspect the article was written in English by the author himself, and intended for a foreign audience.

I have to say Otokonoyama is so right, so many Japanese know nothing about sumo and are so surprised when foreigners like myself know so much more than they do. They know nothing of the traditions, they only know what is going on in the news. They barely know any names other than the top of the banzuke. Even people I talk to don't know who Baruto is. Scott (Washuyama) was working on Yokota Air Base here in Japan and working together with Japanese military police. When he talked about sumo they knew nothing, he knew volumes more than them. When I pass through the gates of the base the Japanese guards always ask me about sumo but I know they are being nice because they know I like sumo. I think maybe they try to make sure they at least know some names, and they try to act interested when I talk. It is amazing that even people sitting down next to me in the front row of Masu A at a basho, spending so much money to sit there and they don't know the names of even Juryo wrestlers. They ask me questions, I have to show them the faces in the program....

So this professor may know nothing of what he's writing about just elaborating on things he's heard or read that may or may not even be reliable. AND as Doreen says he may also have written that article in English for a foreign audience.

Though it is shameful that he would write such a thing without clear evidence... regarding his profession and all. People in Japan really respect professors!

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I have to say Otokonoyama is so right...So this professor may know nothing of what he's writing about just elaborating on things he's heard or read that may or may not even be reliable.

Nailed it! (I am not worthy...)

AND as Doreen says he may also have written that article in English for a foreign audience.

Though it is shameful that he would write such a thing without clear evidence... regarding his profession and all. People in Japan really respect professors!

Lost it! (Shaking head...) Let's go back and see who wrote what:

One may charitably assume that some of the problems of the professor's piece were caused by a bad translation of an article originally written in Japanese. The title tells it all: 'Sumos' and the yakuza.

Orion

I strongly suspect the article was written in English by the author himself, and intended for a foreign audience.

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