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Kintamayama

Asashouryuu preparations Aki 2008

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$5 says he is all right just before Mongolia - garlic anyone, and (deservedly) enjoys the trip, then feels the need to rest just after - and prior to the basho, doesn't get in enough keiko, and bails again.

Not sure yet at which point the sniffles will appear.

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Today, (Monday) Asashouryuu entered the keiko-ba at 10:40 and left 5 seconds later for the shitakubeya. He managed to watch Hakuhou ending the butsugari training session. "My elbow hurts, so I'll be outside the dohyo doing some basic exercises", he promised the day before, but did not do so. "My elbow? Not well. It makes a weird sound..", he scowled. There was a lot of time for keiko, but Ooshima Oyakata said: "He did show his face at the end.. I would really like to see him lend his chest, but he should go about it gradually.."

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Another picture from the 5 second loss from the 9th (some papers are saying Asashouryuu showed no resistance on purpose because he was forced to join the torikumi)

spf0808100502000-p1.jpg

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After showing up for keiko for 5 seconds and then leaving the hall in Aomori two days ago, Asashouryuu stayed for 3 minutes yesterday at the Iwate jungyo keiko-ba before going outside. He found Goueidou and Tamawashi training on the lawn, so he joined them. Bad elbow notwithstanding, he showed some strong throws and was looking better."I'm in the middle of keiko right now, so go away!", he hissed at the photographers. As the sweat came pouring down, a soccer ball came rolling down towards him, kicked by Hakurozan and others who were playing near by. Without hesitation, Asa kicked a perfect pass back at them, marking the first time he touched a soccer ball since the incident.

Asa (with Tochinoshin) checking out the elbow

20080813-3819239-1-L.jpg

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Asashouryuu sees to it that things don't get out of hand-this time between Hakurozan and Tochinoshin. Tochinoshin was contemplating going back to Georgia after hearing that his parents were getting ready to flee their home as the Russian army was just 40 kilometers from their home. In the end, a ceasefire was announced so he seemed relieved.

20080814-3838444-1-L.jpg

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It seems that Asashouryuu and Hakuhou have settled their differences. The occasion was Mongolia's first ever gold medal in the Olympics, won by a judoka ( I will not attempt to name him..) in the 100 kilo category. Asashouryuu invited 13 Mongolian rikishi including Hakuhou to an impromptu celebration party. " Hakuhou and I are good friends!", declared Asa while "I don't know anything", is what Hakuhou said. Tokitenkuu gave this account: "It was a great evening and everyone was weeping and drinking a lot. Both Yokozuna were quite drunk..", he said. "I phoned him (the medal winner) right after the match. I was crying and he was crying.. I'm really happy.That guy is the best in the world. Much more than me..", said the usually ultra-competitive Asashouryuu. He promised to invite the judoka to the Mongolian jungyo, slated to take place on August 27-28.

In the meantime, Asashouryuu intends to fly to Beijing on the 18th for three days to watch the Olympics in person. Since he was a youngster, his dream was to win an Olympic gold medal in judo."There are Mongolian candidates for medals in boxing and wrestling. The first gold will bring on more..", he said.

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The occasion was Mongolia's first ever gold medal in the Olympics, won by a judoka ( I will not attempt to name him..) in the 100 kilo category.

There aren't too many good result pages out there, but I like the one from a German television station where most details are included, and you can easily look up the men's judo 100 kg category as well. His name is given as Tuvshinbayar Naidan here.

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Asashouryuu was back on the keiko dohyo for the first time in 6 days today, with a heavily taped left elbow. He seemed to have been inspired by the gold medal his Japanese judo friend Ishii won in Beijing. "I'm really happy. The guy I was rooting for won a gold medal. That has given me strength to gambarize!!", he said.

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Asashouryuu did some sanbangeiko with Tochinonada today - 10 bouts, won all. He showed some hearty tsuri and used his left arm as well. "With all the achievements in the Olympics, how can I rest??", he asked.

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The "Frequent Flying Yokozuna" is in Beijing. He went to see the wrestling bouts today, having a free pass as a member of the Mongolian Olympic Committee. Freestyle-55 kilos Mongolian Bayara (or something) was participating. He lost to a Russian with speed , but Asa was not happy with the judges' decision. "I came because I thought he was going to yusho..What kind of a decision was that?? I was going to throw stuff..", jested Asashouryuu, who, by the looks of this picture, is having a whale of a time.

20080819-3929939-1-L.jpg

Edited by Kintamayama

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At the directors meeting held to discuss Wakanoho's dismissal today, there was another pressing issue raised regarding Asashoryu as certain directors openly voiced their displeasure over Asashoryu's conduct during the summer jyungyo.

"We should do something about his selfish behavior and lewd outbursts against reporters immediately before it becomes too late. We must warn him and coach him properly. Some of us basically had enough already," said one disgruntled director.

A substantial number of oyakata are implying that the recurring problems caused by foreign born rikishi are stemming from Asashoryu's frequent outlandish behavior and unless the Kyokai set firm examples starting from its top, these problems will not go away.

As well some YDC members are already implying that unless Asashoryu leaves a yokozuna-like record at the Aki Basho, his status will be discussed and they will not hesitate to issue an ultimatum.

A few members of Committee to Prevent "Tokitsukaze Beya" like Incident are openly showing their displeasure over Asashoryu's conduct as well and they have been requesting Kitanoumi oyakata to meet with them to dicuss Asashoryu's conduct as Asashoryu himself is refusing to meet with them.

The Kyokai have been receiving complaints about Asashoryu's frequent absence and behavior in their office throghout this summer.

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At the directors meeting held to discuss Wakanoho's dismissal today, there was another pressing issue raised regarding Asashoryu as certain directors openly voiced their displeasure over Asashoryu's conduct during the summer jyungyo.

"We should do something about his selfish behavior and lewd outbursts against reporters immediately before it becomes too late. We must warn him and coach him properly. Some of us basically had enough already," said one disgruntled director.

A substantial number of oyakata are implying that the recurring problems caused by foreign born rikishi are stemming from Asashoryu's frequent outlandish behavior and unless the Kyokai set firm examples starting from its top, these problems will not go away.

As well some YDC members are already implying that unless Asashoryu leaves a yokozuna-like record at the Aki Basho, his status will be discussed and they will not hesitate to issue an ultimatum.

A few members of Committee to Prevent "Tokitsukaze Beya" like Incident are openly showing their displeasure over Asashoryu's conduct as well and they have been requesting Kitanoumi oyakata to meet with them to dicuss Asashoryu's conduct as Asashoryu himself is refusing to meet with them.

The Kyokai have been receiving complaints about Asashoryu's frequent absence and behavior in their office throghout this summer.

I don't understand very much of this. I realize that being in the public spotlight will draw press coverage. But if people are constantly hounded by reporters whose only interest is getting a story at virtually any cost, many of them will eventually come up with outbursts against them. It's called psychological self-preservation and "coaching him properly" will have absolutely no effect in stopping those outbursts.

As for his behavior setting an example for foreign rikishi, that makes no sense. If Asashoryu acted ideally, it would not have prevented Roho from tearing up the locker room or Wakanoho from using illegal drugs. While the shisho may partially be to blame for these acts, the main responsibility belongs to the individual. A yokozuna may be required to set some examples, but preventing people from acting stupidly is not one of them.

And what exactly is a "yokozuna-like" record? 13-2? 12-3? If his elbow injury isn't completely healed, Asashoryu probably would do very well to come up with even a "non-respectable" 11-4 or 10-5. And if he does or even goes kyujo again, what kind of ultimatum would the YDC issue? It probably would be assertive sounding but very weak such as, "do better or else we may have to something". It sure wouldn't be something as extreme as calling for his retirement.

I have no idea what members of the Committee to Prevent Tokitsukaze Beya-like Incidents want concerning Asashoryu. I admit he once beat up Toyonoshima quite badly during keiko and while virtually everyone agrees that his actions were both unwarranted and contemptible, they don't begin to come close to having deshi beat another one so badly that he dies. And as far as I know, Asashoryu never punished a rikishi by hitting him in the head with a bottle.

Finally, as for complaints about his absences and behavior, what else is new? (Sign of approval...)

I realize that many people involved with sumo would like to see him gone, but they will have to come up with reasons that are a lot better than these. Meanwhile, I have a feeling that Asashoryu is quietly taking great pleasure with all their frustration.

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Asashoryu continued his preparations on Thursday night, by attending the Hancock movie premiere in Tokyo.

asa-hancock.jpg

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Asashoryu continued his preparations on Thursday night, by attending the Hancock movie premiere in Tokyo.

Off-Toxic - I've seen a lot of bad movies over the years, but this one is one of the worst I have ever had the privilege of seeing.

Stay away.

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After returning to Japan yesterday, Asashouryuu participated in the premiere of the epic movie "Hancock", as reported earlier. When asked by the reporters about the Wakanohou affair: "I'm in no position to do anything about it, you got it??", he said gruffly. Later , when the reporters approached him again: "Only questions regarding the movie!!", he made clear.. He did, however, agree to talk of his experience in Beijing. "The Mongolian wrestlers said they were motivated by the presence of a Yokozuna. We could have won about two more gold medals in boxing. It was really intense. I had Peking duck for three straight days!", he said.

Edited by Kintamayama

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After returning to Japan yesterday, Asashouryuu participated in the premiere of the epic movie "Hancock", as reported earlier. When asked by the reporters about the Wakanohou affair: "I'm in no position to do anything about it, you got it??", he said gruffly. Later , when the reporters approached him again: "Only questions regarding the movie!!", he made clear.. He did, however, agree to talk of his experience in Beijing. "The Mongolian wrestlers said they were motivated by the presence of a Yokozuna", he said.

the sooner he retires the better.

The longer I stay the harder it becomes to explain what a yoozuna is / should be - but Asa is not it in any way shape or form.

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Finally, as for complaints about his absences and behavior, what else is new? (Sign of approval...)

Well for one thing, no other yokozuna ever been away from his own heya/residence in Tokyo as much as he has been.

A yokozuna is more than a mere rikishi. He symbolizes Ozumo, his constant presence is a necessity for Ozumo's continuity - there are times when no yokozuna was around and in those times there were cries for a yokozuna from within and out of sumo world. A yokozuna's duty isn't just being around hon-basho but he should be around for supporters club functions, other heya/ichmon social functions as well as interacting with general public. If not injured, he is expected to help train other upcoming rikishi. This all comes with the territory. Asashoryu has never been coached well in this regards and this is a real tragedy.

As for records, an injury is no excuse for accumulating non-yokozuna records or absenses from the basho. A yokozuna will never be demoted. His stipends are far more than other rikishi. He is expected to perform at a level far exceeds the the others. If he cannot for any reason, there is only one course of action - to retire gracefully. When a rikishi is promoted to yokozuna, the first thing his shisho will tell him is to know when and how to retire. It is a tradition.

Unless he improves his own conduct significantly, his legacy will be that of one of the worst yokozuna in history. In the eyes of Japanese public, a yokozuna should be a model citizen or at least displays devotion and dedication to the customs and traditions of Japanese Ozumo. You might all talk about his records and etc but in the end, records are made to be broken and once they are gone, the recordholders are mere footnotes in the record books. Great yokozuna aspire and inspire the new generations of rikish and fans. They are fondly remembered by all that follow Ozumo.

The bar is much higher for yokozuna and you may all complain how unfair it is but the yokozuna willingly accepted and pledged the oath to do their utmost to conduct themselves like a yokozuna. If one feels he cannot meet the conditions or rules set forth, then he can always leave. There is no one forcing him to keep the position or even making him stay with the Kyokai. Even a retired yokozuna who may be needed by the Kyokai will not be stopped. Just ask Akebono or perhaps soon Musashimaru.

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I can't believe you guys. What a bunch of "newbs"....

Either you are new to sumo and don't remember life before Asashoryu, or you all have incredibly short memories.

Allow me:

Akebono. Yokozuna record-432-99-166. In 2000, he went 76-14, with really good records, except January, where he had an 11-4. In 2001 January, he was 0-0-15 and retired. Went out on his shield, eh?

By some definitions, his record speaks for itself, and says he was a really great yokozuna. He really was amazing, actually. However, he wasn't without criticism, and he was definitely involved in a scandal or two. He was known to "express himself" once in a while, to the press as well. Still, his name and "hinkaku" weren't always mutually exclusive. So what example is this PARAGON of sumo manliness up to now? World famous punching bag, and professional buffoon. Surely an example of everything we look for in a yokozuna.

His record as a yokozuna was 432-122-166

Takanohana? Oh, right. He really is dignified. Oh, except for the, uh, mind-control scandal, or the accusations of this and that. Or how about the petty stuff about his mother, and about his childishness surrounding the funeral arrangements of his father? Wasn't he under the spell of some svengali-type character? Wow, just dripping with hinkaku, isn't he?

Oh, but he did win 22 yusho or something? His overall record as a yokozuna was 429-99...not bad...unless you count the ones he missed....201.

In his last 10 basho, his record was 16-7-120

How many people were there squalling about his record, or his behavior? Nobody, because Takanohana was a media darling.

The great Musashimaru spent his last year at Yokozuna with a record of 5-9-69. His overall record as a Yokozuna was 216-67-115. He missed more than half as many matches as he won as a yokozuna. It took a looooooong time before anyone was calling for him to retire. a lot longer than missing half a basho with a sore elbow.

I won't even talk about Wakanohana.....

I reckon they didn't go to many of the jungyo either, during the months and months they missed. I mean, Musashimaru missed three basho in a row, and then had 6 matches and missed a couple more. I'd think he didn't go on tour during that time, but I sort of remember that he was otherwise "visible" doing other things.

You know what Asashory's yokozuna record is? 333-55-17. He has been Yokozuna for more than 5 years. I'd say he's been pretty durable, and dependable.

Too much so, in fact.

Every other Yokozuna before him had gobs of time off, and they were able to escape the spotlight for months at a time. The only reason we EVER hear about Asashoryu's antics is because he's not a media darling like Takanohana. And because he isn't all cheery with the peon reporters, they are always painting him in a biased light, and helping to fan the flames against him. Well, not exactly against him, but just sort of a bias. It sells, you know?

When it came to other yokozuna, every little outburst or indiscretion (and there have been many) was put down to "Boys will be boys..." or to "That's just proof of his champion's temperament..." in the papers, and in public opinion.

But since Asashoryu isn't such a media darling, and because he is so standoff-ish about it all, he is held to a different standard. Actually, he's a dick to the media, and they jump on him every chance they get, and he's even more of a dick to them.

Anyway, I never was a big fan of Asashoryu, but I think this bias against him is really unfortunate. As yokozuna go, he's pretty decent, and the crap he's pulled is no more and no less than Takanohana, Akebono, Wakanohana....(I think Musashimaru didn't pull any crap...) or the great Chiyonofuji ever pulled.

And anyway, so what if he's not like all the others? Should he be like Kitanoumi? Admittedly, Kitanoumi looks pretty good on paper. But look where that's gotten sumo....

Asashoryu isn't the cause of poor management.

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In his last 10 basho, his record was 16-7-120

How many people were there squalling about his record, or his behavior? Nobody, because Takanohana was a media darling.

Uh, what? There were tons of complaints about Takanohana's long absence. And the fact that he went to France to get treated. There were also calls for him to retire immediately if he didn't put up yusho-quality numbers once he finally returned in Aki 2002 and short-term speculation that he would be doing exactly that after he started that basho only 3-2, staved off only when he rallied to a 12-3 finish.

I'll agree that some of the comments further up in the thread are over-the-top (especially "his legacy will be that of one of the worst yokozuna in history"), but let's not engage in revisionist history here. All those other yokozuna were criticized plenty in their time.

Edit: Actually, upon re-reading your post, I'm not even sure what your point is supposed to be. Is it that forum members don't remember that those other yokozuna were also embroiled in public scandals and are thus thinking Asashoryu is worse than he really is, or is your point that those other yokozuna escaped the kind of media scrutiny that Asashoryu routinely receives? You seem to be arguing both, but they're partially exclusive.

Edited by Asashosakari

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In his last 10 basho, his record was 16-7-120

How many people were there squalling about his record, or his behavior? Nobody, because Takanohana was a media darling.

Uh, what? There were tons of complaints about Takanohana's long absence. (Edit: And the fact that he went to France to get treated, incidentally.) There were also calls for him to retire immediately if he didn't put up yusho-quality numbers once he finally returned in Aki 2002 and short-term speculation that he would be doing exactly that after he started that basho only 3-2, staved off only when he rallied to a 12-3 finish.

I'll agree that some of the comments further up in the thread are over-the-top (especially "his legacy will be that of one of the worst yokozuna in history"), but let's not engage in revisionist history here. All those other yokozuna were criticized plenty in their time.

Yeah, you're right. I guess I didn't say it very well, but there certainly were calls for his retirement after a few absences. But not for a long time.

Anyway, I was trying to make the point that the expectations were different, and for all the criticism leveled against Asashoryu, the expectations of him are higher(?) than they were for previous yokozuna. Another thing is that he, virtually alone, "carried" sumo for a long time, and this is how it goes?

Also, I mis-stated Asashoryu's record. I didn't include the suspensions and after....

And...There wasn't THAT much of an outcry about Takanohana going to France. A few people looked askance of it, and there were several mentions of the sentiment "Aren't Japanese doctors good enough?" Nobody was calling for his head on a platter, at least.

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In his last 10 basho, his record was 16-7-120

How many people were there squalling about his record, or his behavior? Nobody, because Takanohana was a media darling.

I'll agree that some of the comments further up in the thread are over-the-top (especially "his legacy will be that of one of the worst yokozuna in history"), but let's not engage in revisionist history here. All those other yokozuna were criticized plenty in their time.

Edit: Actually, upon re-reading your post, I'm not even sure what your point is supposed to be. Is it that forum members don't remember that those other yokozuna were also embroiled in public scandals and are thus thinking Asashoryu is worse than he really is, or is your point that those other yokozuna escaped the kind of media scrutiny that Asashoryu routinely receives? You seem to be arguing both, but they're partially exclusive.

Oh, I don't know. I think a lot of forum members don't care to remember that Yokozuna seem to be perpetually involved in scandals, and that the media seem to play up the "black yokozuna/black ships" angle a little more with Asashoryu, than with others, and that the public, (including forum members) tend to be overly influenced by the media's bias on Asashoryu.

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Anyway, I was trying to make the point that the expectations were different, and for all the criticism leveled against Asashoryu, the expectations of him are higher(?) than they were for previous yokozuna. Another thing is that he, virtually alone, "carried" sumo for a long time, and this is how it goes?

...

I think a lot of forum members don't care to remember that Yokozuna seem to be perpetually involved in scandals, and that the media seem to play up the "black yokozuna/black ships" angle a little more with Asashoryu, than with others, and that the public, (including forum members) tend to be overly influenced by the media's bias on Asashoryu.

Fair enough. It's hard to keep (or even see) the middle ground sometimes. You can also see it with the Wakanoho thing...there's a lot of non-Japanese fans who seem to think that the Kyokai is handling these things in far too heavy-handed a manner (because of TEH RACISM!!11!, naturally) , and then there's also a lot of Japanese mediots who think the Kyokai ought to be far more heavy-handed still, with both foreign and Japanese rikishi. There's a strong vibe of Somebody should do something about all the problems from both sides, as though it's possible to turn an overly bureaucratized vessel like the Kyokai on a dime. Sadanoyama tried to do exactly that (in some aspects, anyway) in the 1990s and look what it got him...ousted as rijicho and any potential progress delayed for another 5+ years.

But, getting off-topic now...

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