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Kintamayama

Ms. Uchidate- "We are not pleased!"

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I question the timing of her comments. It suggests she's actively trying to sabotage his concentration and alter the course of the basho... (Sad goodbyes...)

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Not being able to actually see any matches, I've been watching the results and the ratings over the last year or so, to see if anyone has caught fire, gone 7-0 consistently, moved up the ranks consistently, looking for promotions starting at Makushita and into Juryo, etc...

Well, the only guys you'll find that way are absolute phenoms like Takanohana, and foreigners and (usually low-upside) collegiate rikishi who look "big" because they're too old for their banzuke levels. Using the wrong approach and expectations does indeed tend to produce disappointing results...

This might be a decent starting point for spotting guys who are on the way up. (It's the current makushita inhabitants sorted by age.) There's no Takanohana-like riser there, of course, but perhaps a potential Hokutoumi or two just might be found. It doesn't always take 6-1's and 7-0's to be consistently on the way up, and do keep in mind that the youngest recruits are only 15 years old - if they take 25 basho to reach juryo they're having a pretty awesome career to that point, notwithstanding the fact that that's obviously too slow to be "sexy" and catch the attention of absolutely everybody.

I see what you're saying, and perhaps I'm expecting too much too soon. Point readily accepted.

On the other hand, if there were some kind of wunderkind on the rise, I'm pretty sure they would have been tracked by now, and even if they were to have started 5 years ago, when they were 15, they'd be 20 now, and moving through Ms or Juryo within sumo's radar, and a lot of people would know where they're coming from and would be looking forward to their debut.

From what I've read and seen, in the last few years, no one has captured anyone's attention except for YMY, and we all know the reason for that.

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On the other hand, if there were some kind of wunderkind on the rise, I'm pretty sure they would have been tracked by now, and even if they were to have started 5 years ago, when they were 15, they'd be 20 now, and moving through Ms or Juryo within sumo's radar, and a lot of people would know where they're coming from and would be looking forward to their debut.

Well, no, if you're looking for a clear-cut, can't-miss, obvious future dai-yokozuna type, then the general population of fans probably hasn't missed anybody currently active. Of course, Hakuho wasn't looked at like that, either...

But if you're thinking that there are actually significant numbers of fans who may be tracking and salivating over the prospects of seeing a guy with a lower-division type of career like aforementioned Hokutoumi make it to juryo, you're vastly overestimating the overall interest level - not least because most of the time those guys won't turn into Hokutoumi, but perhaps rather into Wakanoyama. This isn't minor league baseball with thousands of fans watching the affiliates play ball live and ten-thousands of parent club fans following prospects' progress. (Or, for a less appropriate comparison, college football or basketball.) Nobody who does take even 4 years to reach juryo will ever be looked at as a wunderkind type of rikishi by the average fan, no matter how high his upside may be. How much did you hear about, say, Kakuryu before he reached makuuchi, let alone before he reached juryo?

Oh, and sometimes the guys who look like being worth paying close attention to just retire.

Edited by Asashosakari

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I understand the function of the YDC, but what is the background of Uchidate getting a seat on the council? It seems more often than not she only offers negative criticism. What real function does the YDC have when no ozeki are being considered for promotion?

Actually YDC's role is not just to promote a yokozuna and the name itself is rather misleading. The committee members meet after every basho to discuss yokozuna's performance or lack thereof. If the members believe yokozuna are not up to par then their responsibility is to provide encouragment, offer caution or advise retirement. In the past they specifically told a yokozuna to take the time to recover from an injury before they participate in a basho. Even though what they may tell a yokozuna is not binding, the yokozuna must seriously consider their advice.

YDC was originally set up to offer an independent opinion, reflecting more or less non-Kyokai insider views on the matters relating to yokozuna promotion and performance. For a variety of reasons the Kyokai executives felt they needed to establish such a committee to eliminate the public's conception of their way of doing things, insiders deciding their own issues behind the closed door. For instance one oyakata letting a rikishi belonging to another oyakata promoted hoping he would do the same to his rikishi in future. Such perceptions kept persisting in the public's mind for quite some time when the committee was launched initially so in that sense the Kyokai was more or less forced to launch such a committee.

The committee members are made up of representatives from academic, corporate, artistic fields as well as media. You will find university chancellors, presidents of major corporations, actors, film directors and heads of major newspapers in the committee. Among the current members Ms Uchidate is the most sumo savvy as she is one of the few members who have been seeing basho reqularly prior to becoming the member. She is a screen writer with a wide variety of TV and movie work, the one in particular was about Ozumo, NHK's morning drama featuring a girl living in a sumo beya. For this work she actually lived in a sumo beya for months. She is also as academically erudite in sumo history as our own Sasanishiki as she received a Master degree in sumo history at the University of Tohoku Graduate School. Before her recent illness she used to write a sumo column for a major weekly magazine.

As the committee members are selected not only for their professional experience, they are there to reflect public opinion in Japan. While many non-Japanese may feel she may be especially harsh on Asashoryu, we must realize there are siginificant number of people who share her view on Asashoryu. We should not simply think she is all alone voicing her extreme point of view, as there are many sumo fans who feel exactly the same way and passionately share her view. As her term in the committee is limited, her detractors can silence her voice one day but they must realize there are others with her point of view. So this isn't just about an Asashoryu vs Uchidate as even Asashoryu may outlast her, he will still need to be accepted by others who share her view and deal with them.

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Preparing myself to become the centre of hate here... I think she is right. It is not a good thing if the guy who trains less than most of his rivals takes the yusho. He should be a positive role model for young rikishi. I hope Hakuho wins today, although with one win back Asashoryu has to be the favourite.

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Jonosuke, great background and makes me appreciate the YDC a lot more. Thanks! How do the terms work? How long can any member serve?

Cheers,

Ryan

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Her comments would be much more appropriate after the basho. Asashoryu has a lot of keiko under his belt, and he is running on those savings now. Naturally he won't maintain his power for many years without keiko, but he's a ways from being broke yet.

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The Japanese side of NHK had Mainoumi today. After the yusho, the announcer suggested he invite Asashouryuu out for dinner, as Mainoumi had said before the basho (again..) that Asashouryuu didn't have a yusho chance in heck. A lot of embarrassed laughter was heard.

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Asashouryuu didn't have a yusho chance in heck

He might not have had a chance in heck, but as it turned out he did have a chance in Tokyo. So it's just as well that's where the basho was.

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Ms. Uchidate has a great merit in my eyes: she says what she thinks, and this seems not to be a very spread around case in Sumo world! That said, we can add:

a. what is the "right" amount of keiko for a rikishi ? The best answer is: the amount that gives him the best chances to perform well in a basho ! Now everybody and his dog have criticized Asashoryu on his little and bad training, but what can we say if, "this notwithstanding", he wins the basho ? Obviously that kind of training must be the one that is good for him at the moment. What else?

b. sumo problems appear to be other:

1. there are 5 ozeki: some of them are simply desperately straining their career beyond every logic, the others are

never a real threat to the yokozuna, they look happy with their kachikoshi, they seem not to be willing to really put

some pressure on the yokozuna to win a basho. Why should I care if they "train well", if they have 40 or 50 bouts

in a training session, when then they consistently get a 8-7 or a 9-6 just to survive ? Quantity does not make quality

by itself.

2. under the ozeki, apart from Baruto who is slowly but surely learning sumo , who is there ? The great Japanese hopes

Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku, Goeido and Homasho; what the hell are they doing ?

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Asashouryuu didn't have a yusho chance in heck

He might not have had a chance in heck, but as it turned out he did have a chance in Tokyo. So it's just as well that's where the basho was.

Couldn't have scripted the finale any better. A quick and nasty by Hak to even things up, and a truely excellent bout to decide the winner. And they had to get it done and over with, because the almighty 6:00 news was coming up, and you know, even Death, Pestilence, Armaggedon and Uchidate must step aside for the news.....

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I think Asashoryu, whose body is quite hurt, torn and tired now, should train more, as Uchidate says. Therefore he could hurt himself, leave sumo, and Uchidate would then be happy. Stupid Asashoryu ! ^^

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Asashouryuu didn't have a yusho chance in heck

He might not have had a chance in heck, but as it turned out he did have a chance in Tokyo. So it's just as well that's where the basho was.

Couldn't have scripted the finale any better. A quick and nasty by Hak to even things up, and a truely excellent bout to decide the winner. And they had to get it done and over with, because the almighty 6:00 news was coming up, and you know, even Death, Pestilence, Armaggedon and Uchidate must step aside for the news.....

I was shocked that they cut away before new Prime Minister Hatoyama presented the trophy. Cutting away from actual news to show the news broadcast right at 6:00 sounds downright asinine to me.

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I was shocked that they cut away before new Prime Minister Hatoyama presented the trophy. Cutting away from actual news to show the news broadcast right at 6:00 sounds downright asinine to me.

But the presentation was given good coverage in the news itself. Even before its proper place as sports news.

Orion

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The Japanese side of NHK had Mainoumi today. After the yusho, the announcer suggested he invite Asashouryuu out for dinner, as Mainoumi had said before the basho (again..) that Asashouryuu didn't have a yusho chance in heck. A lot of embarrassed laughter was heard.

I didn't hear anyone say invite him out for dinner, but Kitanofuji said to Mainoumi "ashita futari de tokoya e iku ka?". (Scratching chin...)

Kitanofuji was suggesting that he and Mainoumi get their heads shaved to apologize for both saying that it would be impossible for Asa to win the yusho.

Anyway, they both ate their humble pie. I'm curious to see if Ms. Uchidate will make any such apologetic remark. Seriously doubt it.

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I seriously think Asashoryu should take her out and get her drunk.

Then again, maybe she's not all bad... Remember that hug back at the soken when she returned from surgery? Could have been worse... She could have bitten him on the neck.

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If I'm not mistaken Hakuho had the same amount of keiko as Asashoryu, yet he slips thru her fingers. Any comments on any ozeki?

Edited by 1010101

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If I'm not mistaken Hakuho had the same amount of keiko as Asashoryu ...

And your basis for this assessment is...?

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How do the terms work? How long can any member serve?

Members are appointed by the Kyokai and each term is two years. They can have up to five terms. Actually the way the Kyokai appoints them is pretty predictable like when former NHK chairman retires from the committee, they select another NHK chairman or when a newspaper president leaves, they find another.

I imagine when Ms Uchidate leaves, they will find another person from artistic field, perhaps our friend Yaku Mitsuru. Not sure which one is worse (for Asashoryu) though....

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They should strip Uchidate ..................... of her position on the council, and replace her with a foreigner.

Me! Meeeee!

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