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Basho Talk Haru 2015

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i have seen many "dumb" losses over the year

but daido's loss against satoyama is very special even in that category

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Regarding the recurring yaocho topic...

On one hand, we know that yaocho exists (most of us read in disgust the emails sent by certain offending rikishi during the yaocho scandal) and also that there are strong incentives for yaocho to always exist. Further, anyone familiar with Japan knows that helping someone out when they're having a hard time (Shohozan) when you've already got what you want is something that happens quite naturally here. Personally I think it probably continues to this day in some form or other...people will always bend the rules if they think they can get away with it AND a strong enough incentive exists.

This however is a far cry from actually calling yaocho in a single bout. One can have an opinion, of course, but that is not proof. I've made these comments before, I think, but any number of factors come into a bout - not least psychological ones as well as blind luck - and while that is bigger in the lower level bouts (see Gernobono's Daido-Satoyama post above), it still exists at any level. One of the essential skills for becoming ozeki or above is achieving consistency, and that requires the ability to minimize those luck factors as far as possible.

Back to the point...I don't think it's possible to call yaocho with any accuracy. Too many split-second factors - slight shifts in balance and centre of gravity; slightly mistimed thrusts that can be catastrophic etc. Nevertheless, confirmation bias will always ensure that if a bout looks dodgy, and you are already convinced that the game is rigged, then you're going to have little trouble broadcasting your 'justified' opinion.

I have no problem with that...just another view after all. But, as mentioned above, opinion is not proof of anything.

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And another knee got crushed today :-(

Chiyoootori suffered some sort of heavy knee injury in his loss to Ichinojo.

He was caried out in that odd wheelchair.

Doesn't look good.

I think he just tried to hard to get that Kanto-sho and did not acknowledge when he ran out of chances to win against Ichinojo.

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So the one-trick-pony rikishi Kotoshogiku - who had managed not even 8 wins per basho on average when ranked joi-jin in 2009/10 - suddenly put in 11 in 2011. And Goeido must be one of the weakest Ozkei in recent history.

Sure, and Harumafuji and Kakuryu who both put in consistent 8-7 results before their promotions just suddenly raised their level? It's amazing how all the conspiracy theories are always centered on the Japanese rikishi and never on anyone else.

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Drats! In a completely unexpected turn of events, Mike Wesemann called the Hakuho-Terunofuji bout "fake as a three-dollar bill".

i totally agree with him

terunofuji is the next ozeki from mongolian grace....

all those "there are no fake bouts" ever asked themselves why those "entertaining" bouts always have the "right" winner......just look at ichinojo-terunofuji on day 14.....any doubts terunofuji will win?....and the mongolians like no others know how to please the audience

Gernobono- you are on the wrong side.. Mike also prophesied so many wrong things based on his "beliefs" that it's not even embarrassing anymore. Hakuhou was not supposed to win 33 yushos ever . He now has 34, for example. And to say that that match( of all matches..) was yaocho is really wrong. Hakuhou going for the last record that still stands, losing on purpose to a 23 year old kohai? And a Mongolian kohai?? Really?? Gernot? I know you and your knowledge of sumo and I don't believe you really think so..

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You want a clear cut non-distputable yaocho? Today's Georgian derby. Did anyone think for a moment that a 7-7 Tochinoshin would lose to a 11-3 Gagamaru? In which universe? Of course compatriot yaocho exists, that's not the point. There are bouts that simply can't be yaocho. And it seems that lately every single loss by Hakuhou is deemed yaocho..LOL.

Edited by Kintamayama
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You want a clear cut non-distputable yaocho? Today's Georgian derby. Did anyone think for a moment that a 7-7 Tochinoshin would lose to a 10-4 Gagamaru? In which universe? Of course compatriot yaocho exists, that's not the point. There are bouts that simply can't be yaocho. And it seems that lately every single loss by Hakuhou is deemed yaocho..LOL.

Exactly! I don't have 'rose colored glasses'. I know sometimes the fix is on but their are some bouts that I know are not fixed.

I wish I was good at predicting outcomes as some of the members that post in this forum. I would know who won before the tournament started. However, I'm glad that I don't know. I can actually enjoy watching six tournaments every year. It must be pretty boring knowing who is going to win beforehand. :-)

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All yaocho comments aside:

Haru-Hak was an amazing match. Haru was doing good blocking Hak's left hand from getting a grip on his belt. At a certain moment he stops blocking Hak's hand to go on the offensive. He can't finish it, Hak get's the left outside grip and it was all over. Beautiful match and an amazing basho all over.

Concerning the yaocho comments:

This might be a stupid question, but who is this 'Mike' person people seem to be referring to as some sort of expert in weeding out the yaocho matches from the real bouts?

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You want a clear cut non-disputable yaocho? Today's Georgian derby. Did anyone think for a moment that a 7-7 Tochinoshin would lose to a 10-4 Gagamaru?

Without a sansho on the line for Gagamaru, it was obvious that there would be no real resistance from him.

An not considering him for a sansho on condition of winning, like Chiyootori with the same result going into day 15, indicates that nobody did doubt that Gagamaru would lose.

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We watch a sport where the action happens in a split second. So often there is a different explanation why someone did not take the obvious grib (miss, hidden finger injury etc etc). The point was made here a while back, that even in lenghty games there is element of chance, let alone in a 15-day 15-bout basho within which rikishi might have a bowl problem, sleep deprivation or ermm headache on any given day.


People who start with the premise, that the best rikishi should win whenever he wants to (especially since we now have a supposedly perfect Dai-yokozuna) start data mining from within a match and with any error they then detect is supposed proof that the fix was on. Paranoia grows and grows over time and the obvious understanding of a bout becomes more and more secondary. And yes in this basho there were a handfull of highly suspect bouts, last one avoidable with scheduling, at least should think no betting this time around. Coupled with several career-changing injuries an exciting basho is a mixed bag. The final bout is historic on many levels.


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What a match between the two Yokozuna, the earth stood still. :)

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It's the first time in 14 years that all days were sold out in Osaka. That's two straight sold out bashos after January.
Isegahama Oyakata, member of the judging department and also Terunofuji's Oyakata: "If Terunofuji wins 14 or more next basho, there is a chance he will be promoted to Ozeki. Of course, the quality of his wins will be taken into consideration as well".
"13 wins will not be enough, I think,"added Kitanoumi rijicho.

A rare event will be held on May 2nd at the Kokugikan in Tokyo. Nishonoseki Ichimon will hold a training session open to the public for free. This will be part of the "Kokugikan Prosperity Festival" which will be held on the KKan grounds. The training will commence at 9 am. A talk show with Kisenosato and Kotoshougiku is planned as well.

"I hope this will build up interest for the Natsu Basho. Rikishi outside of the Ichimon will be welcome to participate as well," said Oguruma Oyakata from the Ichimon. Takasago Ichimon did a similar event back in 2012.

Edited by Kintamayama
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People who start with the premise, that the best rikishi should win whenever he wants to (especially since we now have a supposedly perfect Dai-yokozuna) start data mining from within a match and with any error they then detect is supposed proof that the fix was on. Paranoia grows and grows over time and the obvious understanding of a bout becomes more and more secondary.

This. The end result of any extended yaocho speculation is always the implicit claim that a top-level rikishi (no, not just Hakuho, basically the entire makuuchi division) is just an automaton who follows perfect programming and never does anything "wrong" unless he wants to, and so the "better" rikishi should always beat the "worse" rikishi or it's evidence of a fix. As somebody said above, one wonders if people of that mindset ever actually competed in any sport above hobby level.

When you reach the point where you think that anything "good" (Terunofuji beating Hakuho, or a particularly attractive bout, etc.) is happening because it was fixed, and anything "bad" (Terunofuji losing to Kaisei) is only happening because...I dunno, because it wasn't fixed well enough, you might as well stop watching. That's like reading a book just to count up the misspelled words. Other than making yourself feel clever, what's the point?

I'm half-surprised nobody has yet suggested that Hakuho's entire recent 36-bout winning streak was engineered simply to make Terunofuji look good in ending it. (Actually, it's probably been claimed and I just haven't seen it yet...)

Edited by Asashosakari
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The end result of any extended yaocho speculation is always the implicit claim that a top-level rikishi (no, not just Hakuho, basically the entire makeuuchi division) is just an automaton who follows perfect programming and never does anything "wrong" unless he wants to, and so the "better" rikishi should always beat the "worse" rikishi or it's evidence of a fix.

Indeed. Unfortunately, with Mike it has grown so far that he actually believes that the bottom of a yaocho-free leaderboard must look like this:

2-13 Kisenosato

1-14 Kotoshogiku

0-15 Goeido

(add one win if one of them should face Endo...)

Edited by Randomitsuki

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Really can't believe Hak got shit for making Kisenosato look like a fool. Kisenosato seemed to be channeling Edmond Honda from Street Fighter with the way he dove in the other day. You don't see Hak diving in like that and I don't blame Hak at all for taking his chance. Kisenosato wasn't paying attention and paid for it. You have to take advantage of other people's mistakes.

I hope we aren't getting high on Gagamaru again. This is the same guy who's biggest enemy was gravity only a few months ago. He has no skills working the belt and unless he's pushing forward, he's useless. He's not even as good as Aoiyama.

Good basho for Terunofuji. Let's see if he can keep it up now and let's see how he does when Kakuryu is back. He seems to be able to beat Ozeki regularly, so that's a good sign.

Edited by rzombie1988
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Good basho for Terunofuji. Let's see if he can keep it up now and let's see how he does when Kakuryu is back. He seems to be able to beat Ozeki regularly, so that's a good sign. I'd love to know why he hasn't fought Harumafuji in the last 6+ basho's.

And he never will, unless it's a playoff for the yusho. They are from the same heya.

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Good basho for Terunofuji. Let's see if he can keep it up now and let's see how he does when Kakuryu is back. He seems to be able to beat Ozeki regularly, so that's a good sign. I'd love to know why he hasn't fought Harumafuji in the last 6+ basho's.

Cos he's his heya-mate, mate! No fights within the same family.

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Good basho for Terunofuji. Let's see if he can keep it up now and let's see how he does when Kakuryu is back. He seems to be able to beat Ozeki regularly, so that's a good sign. I'd love to know why he hasn't fought Harumafuji in the last 6+ basho's.

And he never will, unless it's a playoff for the yusho. They are from the same heya.

Thought so. I had read it wrong from the way it was put up.

That's good news for both guys. Bad news for everyone else.

Edited by rzombie1988

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re yaocho

I think there's two questions here: 1) Does it happen? and 2) Why does it happen?

The problem with the whole ST scenario is that instead of just answering question 1), he tries to construct elaborate answers to question 2) that depend on some kind of sinister machiavellian conspiracy.

And while it's always fun speculating about theories like that, my problem with his scenario is that it always comes down to "the Mongolians are orchestrating this" -- whereas his scenario would only really make sense if it was "the Japanese" orchestrating it.

If everyone is so desperate to have a Japanese champion or a Japanese yokozuna, then there's no way that Kisenosato, say, or Goeido, would ever lose a bout to another Japanese rikishi. Surely, if everything was to fit into the machiavellian plan, it would be the Japanese-doshi bouts that would have to be fixed, not the ones involving Mongolians. But those aren't the ones he calls. Maybe he just doesn't like Mongolians?

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Isegahama Oyakata, member of the judging department and also Terunofuji's Oyakata: "If Terunofuji wins 14 or more next basho, there is a chance he will be promoted to Ozeki. Of course, the quality of his wins will be taken into consideration as well"."13 wins will not be enough, I think,"added Kitanoumi rijicho.

Wow. :-O

Andreas21 was right after all.

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Last 3 bouts were among the best of the tournament. The ability for these guys to stay on their feet is quite amazing at times. The Yokozuna match was quite riveting, with Harumafuji able to keep Hakuho's left arm away from the belt for most of the match, but once Hakuho managed to get that outer left grip, I knew it was going to be over in a manner of seconds.

Sadanoumi really surprised me this tournament. He started out as everyone expected (being near the top of the all-time high pick list for UDH), but unlike Tamawashi (who placed even higher on that list), he managed to win most of his remaining matches and will end up back in the joi again. Certainly he wasn't facing the top competition once he fell to MK, but that he didn't fall any further shows he most likely belongs somewhere up there.

Takarafuji seems to be quite unlucky in timing his KKs. He goes 8-7 as an M2 twice in three tournaments without a sanyaku promotion, while he goes 7-8 at M1 in a basho where a 9-6 M8 does get a Komusubi spot.

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Isegahama Oyakata, member of the judging department and also Terunofuji's Oyakata: "If Terunofuji wins 14 or more next basho, there is a chance he will be promoted to Ozeki. Of course, the quality of his wins will be taken into consideration as well"."13 wins will not be enough, I think,"added Kitanoumi rijicho.

Wow. :-O

Andreas21 was right after all.

14 would get him to 35, not to mention a very probable Yusho or playoff loss. That would be pretty impressive indeed.

However, so far, the only remotely comparable situations (with regard to ranks and era) involved double digit wins in Maegashira, followed by strong Sekiwake performances. Terunofuji got a rather lucky jump to Sekiwake from M2 with an 8-7, although he fought the same opponents he would have fought anyway...

I don't know, I feel his meager 8-7 and his non-existent previous tenure at sanyaku should count against him, but I guess a Yusho would be too much to overlook.

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I always say that if someone deserves to be a rank, they will get there one way or the other. You can be any rank you want, but if you don't win, you don't win.

Edited by rzombie1988

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Isegahama Oyakata, member of the judging department and also Terunofuji's Oyakata: "If Terunofuji wins 14 or more next basho, there is a chance he will be promoted to Ozeki. Of course, the quality of his wins will be taken into consideration as well"."13 wins will not be enough, I think,"added Kitanoumi rijicho.

Wow. :-O

Andreas21 was right after all.

I think my post on the subject was slightly more accurate. They're wanting 35 wins over 3 tournaments from a shin-sanyaku starting at M2, which was my expectation given historical patterns.

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