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Kintamayama

What's the matta with you?

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The rijikai has decided that three mattas at the tachiai will now cause the rikishi at fault and his Oyakata to be summoned to the judges chamber for a warning, as per Takanohana Oyakata's suggestion.

On June 4th, the rikishi will embark on a sort-of jungyo to the earthquake-stricken areas. "I ask all participating rikishi to refrain from going out at night. I have been asked to convey to the rikishi the general feeling that going out to drink is not good," said Minato Oyakata, not mentioning marshmallows, but yes doing what Nishonoseki the Educator asked.

Hanaregoma rijicho reiterated his thoughts as to past yaocho. "Since there is no way to prove yaocho existed in the past, I had no choice but to say it didn't whenever I was asked about it," he explained cryptically. It is said that ex-Kasuganishiki named more rikishi than were expelled, but the evidence against them was weak. Rijicho also pointed out that there is no way to guarantee that it won't happen again, so the oyakata have a greater responsibility to see to it that it doesn't.

Edited by Kintamayama

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The rijikai has decided that three mattas at the tachiai will now cause the rikishi at fault and his Oyakata to be summoned to the judges chamber for a warning, as per Takanohana Oyakata's suggestion.

Will these count as equivalent to lethargic sumo warnings and cause a rikishi to be "requested" to leave the basho after collecting two, I wonder...

On June 4th, the rikishi will embark on a sort-of jungyo to the earthquake-stricken areas. "I ask all participating rikishi to refrain from going out at night. I have been asked to convey to the rikishi the general feeling that going out to drink is not good," said Minato Oyakata, not mentioning marshmallows, but yes doing what Nishonoseki the Educator asked.

Schedule

It is said that ex-Kasuganishiki named more rikishi than were expelled, but the evidence against them was weak.

An article posted during the basho (Chunichi or Asahi, don't remember) put the number at 10+, for what that's worth beyond being an unproveable rumour about unproveable rumors.

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The rijikai has decided that three mattas at the tachiai will now cause the rikishi at fault and his Oyakata to be summoned to the judges chamber for a warning, as per Takanohana Oyakata's suggestion.

Not entirely new, is it? Haven't they done this before, or am I hallucinating?

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The rijikai has decided that three mattas at the tachiai will now cause the rikishi at fault and his Oyakata to be summoned to the judges chamber for a warning, as per Takanohana Oyakata's suggestion.

Not entirely new, is it? Haven't they done this before, or am I hallucinating?

Not sure of the number of matta before a so-called "warning" [what good are they anyway, warnings?], but yes, same old, same old.

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The rijikai has decided that three mattas at the tachiai will now cause the rikishi at fault and his Oyakata to be summoned to the judges chamber for a warning, as per Takanohana Oyakata's suggestion.

Not entirely new, is it? Haven't they done this before, or am I hallucinating?

Warned people after excessive matta? Sure, but only for particularly egregious cases, not by any actual standard.

Takanohana's big on rikishi self-synchronizing at the tachiai no matter what the tachiai actually ends up being like, as we saw when he refused to follow the short-lived "both hands must be down clearly" edict a couple of years ago. Seems alright to me to have a standardized warning system in place if the underlying notion is to give the rikishi the freedom to have a tachiai of their choosing, because otherwise it's going to be abused by those who like to use matta for gamesmanship. I'd rather have this approach than a trend towards an amasumo-style tachiai. Not that I really expect this to matter much, in the end...IMO there's a bit of a perception bias going here where people remember the serial matta much more clearly than the 95+% of bouts that go off cleanly or with at most one false start, and this is probably just the periodical reminder for the rikishi not to overdo it, exactly because it makes things look worse than they are. It's really less about the warning being a deterrent itself than about the fact that a rikishi will find his name in the press for causing trouble afterwards, I think.

BTW, is that three matta total (with the reprimand going to the guy who "won" 2-1) or three matta by a single participant? Hmm.

Edited by Asashosakari

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BTW, is that three matta total (with the reprimand going to the guy who "won" 2-1) or three matta by a single participant? Hmm.

I think they mean the same guy refusing to sync ala Yoshikaze's 5 this basho.

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As much as it would cheapen the sport, the amasumo version of the tachi-ai isn't such a bad idea - especially if only used in a bout that featured at least 3 matta - and especially blatant ones by the same guy. (Who were the two guys in that match a few months ago that kept bumping each other over? It was fun to watch. Then they got yelled at....)

But after a few false starts, I can see the Gyoji taking matters into his own hands to at least get the match going. It would work for me.

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Not entirely new, is it? Haven't they done this before, or am I hallucinating?

Periodically they have another shot at it; but three matta by the same man is rare. What commonly happens in these situations is that each man has a matta, then they are chewed out by the chief judge, and they get it right. Knowledgeable members of the general public at such a time also start yelling at the gyoji to 'bring them together'.

By the third matta, no matter (matta?) whose fault it is, the commentator can acurately predict that the camera will switch to a close-up of the face of a snarling chief judge.

Orion

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I vaguely remember the German commentator on Eurosport mentioning a fine for matta somewhen in the late 90s, but that guy didn't always know what he's talking about.

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I vaguely remember the German commentator on Eurosport mentioning a fine for matta somewhen in the late 90s, but that guy didn't always know what he's talking about.

Fines were introduced in late 1991 (initially for both participants, then just the instigator after objections from the rikishi) - 100,000 yen I believe. Not sure when it was abandoned.

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In the 70's, a third matta was a rarity. The gyoji would stop all action and issue strong remarks to the rikishi before resuming the match. Now the shimpan makes a comment. I never saw a fourth matta back then.

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In the 70's, a third matta was a rarity. The gyoji would stop all action and issue strong remarks to the rikishi before resuming the match. Now the shimpan makes a comment. I never saw a fourth matta back then.

I distinctly remember an occasion back then where Arase and then-Wakamisugi had numerous matta. I don't remember the exact number but it was enough where the shimpan all came on the dohyo and with the rikishi and gyoji and had a conversation. Of course as atrocious as the tachi-ai were in the 70s, Arase was a common offender...

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But after a few false starts, I can see the Gyoji taking matters into his own hands to at least get the match going. It would work for me.

That's a compromise I could get on board for. Might be self-correcting, too - taking away a rikishi's right to a self-determined tachiai from time to time in front of the whole audience might affect the offenders even more than being called to the rijicho office and written up in the press.

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I distinctly remember an occasion back then where Arase and then-Wakamisugi had numerous matta. I don't remember the exact number but it was enough where the shimpan all came on the dohyo and with the rikishi and gyoji and had a conversation. Of course as atrocious as the tachi-ai were in the 70s, Arase was a common offender...

This incident must've been so bad it is actually written up in Arase's ja.wiki page. (I am not worthy...) It was Day 8 of Nagoya 1976, and they went through no less than eight matta.

Also mentioned is that when he was up for the kanto-sho in Haru a year earlier, people on the sansho committee argued that his bad tachiai habits should remove him from prize consideration. (He ended up being awarded, after all.)

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I have a question for those of you who know much more about sumo than I do. Why do the rikishis start the tachi-ai by mutual consent? Is it part of the discipline of being aware of one

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That's a compromise I could get on board for.

Amateur style tachi-ai can be just as prone to matta.

It does have one important distinction - I'd call it "advantage", but YMMV: In amasumo matta are true false starts, not ambiguous failures to synchronize, so it's much easier to recognize who was at fault, as sekitori mentioned in the previous post. (Okay, unless the answer is "the gyoji screwed up the timing of his call", which is where it turns back into a disadvantage over self-determination.)

I don't care to have the amateur tachiai replace the Ozumo version altogether, but I'd be okay with an escalating setup: The rikishi are allowed to self-synchronize until one rikishi has faulted twice (at most three matta in total if the other guy also had one), at that point the gyoji takes over. Two more false starts by either rikishi after that = DQ. I think that would be generous enough to not cause an excessive number of applications while keeping the worst offenders on notice that there are consequences.

BTW, does Japanese domestic amateur sumo have the "three matta = DQ" rule, or is that strictly an international thing?

Edited by Asashosakari

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That's a compromise I could get on board for.

Amateur style tachi-ai can be just as prone to matta.

It does have one important distinction - I'd call it "advantage", but YMMV: In amasumo matta are true false starts, not ambiguous failures to synchronize, so it's much easier to recognize who was at fault, as sekitori mentioned in the previous post. (Okay, unless the answer is "the gyoji screwed up the timing of his call", which is where it turns back into a disadvantage over self-determination.)

I don't care to have the amateur tachiai replace the Ozumo version altogether, but I'd be okay with an escalating setup: The rikishi are allowed to self-synchronize until one rikishi has faulted twice (at most three matta in total if the other guy also had one), at that point the gyoji takes over. Two more false starts by either rikishi after that = DQ. I think that would be generous enough to not cause an excessive number of applications while keeping the worst offenders on notice that there are consequences.

BTW, does Japanese domestic amateur sumo have the "three matta = DQ" rule, or is that strictly an international thing?

While it's not a perfect solution, having the Gyoji "drop the puck" as they do in hockey, hopefully both guys are ready. If not, as in hockey, "You Snooze, You Lose".

And you learn quickly not to mess around next time.

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I vaguely remember the German commentator on Eurosport mentioning a fine for matta somewhen in the late 90s, but that guy didn't always know what he's talking about.

Fines were introduced in late 1991 (initially for both participants, then just the instigator after objections from the rikishi) - 100,000 yen I believe. Not sure when it was abandoned.

And as I have done every few years, I again challenge anyone to prove even one instance when a fine was actually levied. I still maintain it's an urban legend, like the "grow bald and you're retired" legend which was rampant last decade or so until Taikomaru came along and put that to its final rest.

Edited by Kintamayama

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I vaguely remember the German commentator on Eurosport mentioning a fine for matta somewhen in the late 90s, but that guy didn't always know what he's talking about.

Fines were introduced in late 1991 (initially for both participants, then just the instigator after objections from the rikishi) - 100,000 yen I believe. Not sure when it was abandoned.

And as I have done every few years, I again challenge anyone to prove even one instance when a fine was actually levied. I still maintain it's an urban legend, like the "grow bald and you're retired" legend which was rampant last decade or so until Taikomaru came along and put that to its final rest.

Musashimaru was interviewed by Channel 4 (UK) television for their broadcast of the January 1992 tournament in which he said he was fined 100,000 yen. The interviewer asked him if anyone had paid the fine for him and he said no, it came out of his own pocket. I see no reason to disbelieve him.

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BTW, does Japanese domestic amateur sumo have the "three matta = DQ" rule, or is that strictly an international thing?

Where did you see that as a rule?

I saw it applied in the Lausanne European Championships, so I assumed it's codified.

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In one fight or several? I don't have a copy of the ESU's bout rules so I don't know if that is something they have adopted. I've never seen it written or used in Japan or in IFS tournaments.

One bout; a Georgian rikishi insisted on trying an Ozumo tachiai for some reason in his first match of the tournament. After he rushed in for the third time the gyoji immediately turned to his opponent and awarded him the victory. No debate with the officials or anything, so it didn't look like an ad-hoc decision.

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Memory leaking again, but haven't there been some complaints about Japanese amateurs getting away with false starts when abroad?

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Musashimaru was interviewed by Channel 4 (UK) television for their broadcast of the January 1992 tournament in which he said he was fined 100,000 yen. The interviewer asked him if anyone had paid the fine for him and he said no, it came out of his own pocket. I see no reason to disbelieve him.

I don't see any reason to disbelieve him either. I never heard of that interview, so I guess I finally have my proof.

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I've always been told that the difference with an amasumo tachiai is that there is no innate trust amongst foreigners like the Japanese rikishi supposedly have so that is why we need the gyoji to start us. It's also a good idea for the gyoji to call it because there are so many un-orthodox styles to deal with. Some guys almost start sideways or way back from the shikiri sen.

I have also been led to believe that the idea is to synchronise breathing with your opponent at the tachiai. That can sometimes be hard with amasumo especially when we have more than one bout which may even be back to back in the case of a repecharge.

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As I posted in another thread, the mattas today in Juryo and Makuuchi were plentiful. No less than four rikishi were called to the Judging Department offices and were reprimanded. Fujiazuma and Daidou, who had 4 mattas in their bout, and Kaounishiki and Hamanishiki who had three, were the culprits. "Next time, i will do it in one time," said Daidou, who was chewed out by Takanohana Oyakata. The Juryo head judge for today Mihogaseki said: "If they put their mind to it, they will come together!" (Right now??)

Edited by Kintamayama

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