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Kuroyama

Yokozuna dohyo-iri style

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By "style" I don't mean Shiranui vs. Unryu, but details like how quickly it's performed and which moves receive more emphasis. There was some discussion about it in the past, but I can't find the threads now.

What brought this to mind was running across this YouTube video of Futabayama performing it. I haven't ever seen it done this way. Is there a "right" way, such that our modern yokozunae do it "wrong", or is this all within the interpretation of the individual yokozuna?

Or was the very deliberate technique due in part to this being his retirement ceremony?

Edited by Kuroyama

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That is a very hypnotic dohyo-iri. I suppose he is being very deliberate because he knows it's his last one as Yokozuna, but that could've just been his style or the style of the time. When he extends his arms to clap it seems lazy, but then right at the end his hands seem to be drawn together like magnets. Like I said, hypnotic.

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That was very odd, as you say almost hypnotic. Although I first started watching sumo in 1972 when Kitanofuji was the lone Yokozuna and his Unryu style was somewhat different than Asashoryu's. Much slower and deliberate but much faster than the Futabayama Unryu style in the video. Closer to the one in this

Wajima dohyo-iri.

EDIT: To correct Shiranui to Unryu in reference to Futabayama.

Edited by Chisaiyama

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That was very odd, as you say almost hypnotic. Although I first started watching sumo in 1972 when Kitanofuji was the lone Yokozuna and his Unryu style was somewhat different than Asashoryu's. Much slower and deliberate but much faster than the Futabayama Shiranui style in the video. Closer to the one in this
Wajima dohyo-iri.

Futabayama is doing Unryu style, isn't he?

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That was very odd, as you say almost hypnotic. Although I first started watching sumo in 1972 when Kitanofuji was the lone Yokozuna and his Unryu style was somewhat different than Asashoryu's. Much slower and deliberate but much faster than the Futabayama Shiranui style in the video. Closer to the one in this
Wajima dohyo-iri.

Futabayama is doing Unryu style, isn't he?

You're right he was. Honestly I hadn't noticed that before but I knew that he is Hakuho's hero as the founder of the Miyagino beya, and I believed he chose the Shiranui because it was Futabayama's style. I see however that it wasn't. Very puzzling.

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Based on the discussion above, I just spent about 20 minutes roving Youtube, looking and comparing different dohyo-iri from several former Yoks, and I'm impressed by the variation and difference in interpretations, not unlike a classical orchestral conductor or pianist offering his own message through his actions.

That being said, with all that I've read and seen, it's been my impression that the dohyo-iri should be somewhat of a forceful statement: the clap, the stomp, all "should" be the mark of a man in charge, a Yokozuna's "stamp" on the day's activities,. if you will. At least to my western eyes.

Futabayama's seemed so deliberate and so controlled that it was almost ballet, and (to me, anyway) very UN-yokozuna-like.

Then I watched Kitanoumi... and was impressed and almost offended by the speed, the lack of hesitation, the whole "I'm so powerful, so let's get this thing over with" presentation... at least in the two I saw... No waiting between thunderous claps, bent arms, real he-man stomps, everything done in one smooth motion. But almost done with an air of arrogance, not dignity.

Then Akebono's - more stately, more deliberate, but certainly very impressive.

I guess the whole thing might be an extension of the Yok's personality. Hakuho's is very stately, very regal and very powerful.

Asa's has changed dramatically since he's started doing it. The "bouncy bouncy" thing he does now on the tawara is very different from anything I've seen by anyone else (which one has to remember, is a very limited number). Both Asa and Hak do the clap and the stomp with authority. Some of the others I watched didn't have that. There were claps that wouldn't have stunned a fly, and stomps that just weren't.

As short as the ceremony is, and as meaningful as it's supposed to be, I would think that the Yoks would approach it with a high degree of ceremony. Personally, I can't wait for the next Yok to come along if only to see what his interpretation of the dance* will be.

(* - Yes, yes, I know.... Just using a figure of speech....)

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You described Kitanoumi's perfectly as I remember it. He did have arrogance in his dohyo-iri as well as the way he carried himself. Probably because it was what I grew up watching, I prefer it to Asashoryu's.

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You're right he was. Honestly I hadn't noticed that before but I knew that he is Hakuho's hero as the founder of the Miyagino beya, and I believed he chose the Shiranui because it was Futabayama's style. I see however that it wasn't. Very puzzling.

IIRC he chose the Shiranui after Miyagino-beya founder Yoshibayama.

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You described Kitanoumi's perfectly as I remember it. He did have arrogance in his dohyo-iri as well as the way he carried himself. Probably because it was what I grew up watching, I prefer it to Asashoryu's.

I recall that on his tsuna-uchi day -- when a new yokozuna has a dohyo-iri lesson and then puts on his new tsuna for the first time and actually goes through the actions, Kitanoumi was said to be so stupid that it took him twice as long as anybody had taken up to then. Though the most undignified was Mienoumi (and in that case I was actually there, watching).

Orion

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I recall that on his tsuna-uchi day -- when a new yokozuna has a dohyo-iri lesson and then puts on his new tsuna for the first time and actually goes through the actions, Kitanoumi was said to be so stupid that it took him twice as long as anybody had taken up to then.

Orion

Give him half-credit for being so young.. Or maybe quarter credit as he joined sumo at age 13 and probably didn't do too much book-larnin'

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IIRC he chose the Shiranui after Miyagino-beya founder Yoshibayama.

And indeed my friend, as usual, you do recall correctly, I am afraid I had my "bayamas" mixed up. I apologize for any confusion I may have caused. (In a state of confusion...)

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I recall that on his tsuna-uchi day -- when a new yokozuna has a dohyo-iri lesson and then puts on his new tsuna for the first time and actually goes through the actions, Kitanoumi was said to be so stupid that it took him twice as long as anybody had taken up to then.

Orion

Give him half-credit for being so young.. Or maybe quarter credit as he joined sumo at age 13 and probably didn't do too much book-larnin'

Book-larnin' has nothing to do with memorising a simple physical routine that is actually a set of sumo movements.

Anybody remember who else joined with him at age 13? They were obliged to attend Ryogoku middle school in the afternoons and reputedly looked like very large cuckoos in very small nests, sitting dozing in regular-sized school chairs!

Orion

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Anybody remember who else joined with him at age 13?

My first guess was either Onishiki or Kirinji as I remember both of them as very young sekitori. I know Kita joined at the same time as Masuiyama, but he (Masui) was older. As was Washuyama who joined one basho later.

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I am sorry to go wayyyy off-topic, but here we do see Wajima entering a [square] ring with not so much ceremony... they didn't even do a hand-clap and shiko?

I really thought Akebono was the first former yokozuna in Proresu! Have there been others?

And again, sorry for the OT, but youtube is youtube. First link that appeared from the Wajima clip with Demon in the announcing booth.

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I really thought Akebono was the first former yokozuna in Proresu! Have there been others?

Futahaguro and Azumafuji.

I don't care that much for what Hakuho's started doing last year with his dohyo-iri. I really don't see any springiness with Asa. I DO, however, get very annoyed with Hakuho's deep "dip" before he does his shiko stomp. I called this to some friends' attention the other day, who, after paying attention, did seem it to be somewhat affected. I have not yet watched the videos that everyone above has so kindly posted, but I certainly will. I'll be vcurious to see who else used that "dip" technique.

On a different note, is there a video anywhere of Hakuho's dohyo-iri misstep this basho? I missed it in between my travels this month.

Thanks.

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On a different note, is there a video anywhere of Hakuho's dohyo-iri misstep this basho? I missed it ...

So did Hakuho! ;-)

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