Akinomaki

Diet members caucus demanding development in sumo

Recommended Posts

One thing is for sure- In any scenario, I am against including the Ozeki in a new kosho deal. I remember those dark days well, other people's different recollections notwithstanding. I'm 100% sure the abolishing of the system came ONLY because of the then Ozeki's blatant misuse of it. It wasn't even speculation-it was openly discussed in the press. As for the other rikishi, I think it is imperative to reinstate the system, or a make-over of it, but no Ozekis. My suggestion: Makushita and upwards go with the old system, Sandanme and lower and the Ozeki- no change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Fukurou said:

More important to the PTB's, loss of rank for the rikishi = loss of income to the oyakata.

AFAIK none of the payments that the stablemasters receive from the Kyokai are tied to their deshi's rankings, and I doubt that any private heya supporters are withdrawing their financial support just because a sekitori from the stable went 0-0-15. So, no, that's at best a minor consideration.

Edited by Asashosakari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Kuroyama said:

I'm not sure why it's important to use other individual sports as guidance, when no other individual sport is organized as sumo is.

That's my point. All the "oh, rikishi have it so hard" rings a bit hollow when they're already in a better (at least more secure) financial situation than just about any other individual athlete out there. I want people to be mindful of the bigger picture when they try to justify certain demanded changes. Again, the reason kosho existed at all for 30 years is that it was seen as a compromise that didn't tilt things too far in the (incumbent) rikishi's favour. When the rikishi failed to hold up their end of the bargain (basically, "don't make too much use of it"), it was scrapped.

 

Quote

And my suggestion was about preserving income only, to remove that incentive for rikishi to fight injured when they cannot do without. (Let's face it: they're not exactly compensated a princely sum to start with.) Most of your objections are about preserving rank, on which, now that I re-read my comment, I see I didn't quite make my thinking clear. My suggestion entails no change to the ranking system. What I'm suggesting is a means to ensure salary in those cases where a rikishi must fall out of sekitori ranks to recover from an injury.

My objections were about preserving rank exactly because rank == salary. They're one and the same, the way that athlete compensation is set up in Ozumo, and they're simply not easily separated without a major overhaul of how rikishi get paid. Why should an injured ex-sekitori receive more money than some hopeful youngster at the same rank? The young guy probably is dealing with injuries, too. And how much more money, and for how long? Should somebody like Terunofuji or Ura receive better treatment than some unfortunate Ryuden-type who gets injured in his very first juryo tournament? All of that would massively upset the hierarchical nature of Ozumo.

Anyway, one could just as well look at it like this: Rikishi are free to save part of their sekitori salary for potential rainy days, such as an injury rehab period. If they fail to do that, it's not the Kyokai's fault. One can debate if rikishi should be getting paid more altogether, but the whole idea that rikishi should be getting paid during extended rehab stints specifically is unlikely to lead to any place the Kyokai wants to find itself in.

Edited by Asashosakari
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

AFAIK none of the payments that the stablemasters receive from the Kyokai are tied to their deshi's rankings, and I doubt that any private heya supporters are withdrawing their financial support just because a sekitori from the stable went 0-0-15. So, no, that's at best a minor consideration.

Really. I thought the stablemaster received some payment depending on the rank of his rikishi - he gets more for having a Makuuchi rikishi in the heya than a Juryo rikishi, etc.

Edited by Fukurou

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

I think the easiest way is to keep the system as it is and simply treat the injured rikishi similar to the new recruits: having been sanyaku within a year before return gives e.g. an ms1 TD qualification, makuuchi ms10, juryo sandanme TD.

You've beaten me to it. I had exactly the same thoughts while reading through the thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

That's my point. All the "oh, rikishi have it so hard" rings a bit hollow when they're already in a better (at least more secure) financial situation than just about any other individual athlete out there.

And my point -- or part of it -- is that they're not exactly individual athletes, even if they do compete individually. A yusho winner's heya benefits at least as much from his victory as he does himself. (Or, where else does all that rice and beer go?) As it also benefits from his promotions, and suffers from his demotions. A rikishi is alone on the dohyo, but there's a very strong sense in which he's part of a team, or a household, which he represents when he fights.

9 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

They're one and the same, the way that athlete compensation is set up in Ozumo, and they're simply not easily separated without a major overhaul of how rikishi get paid. Why should an injured ex-sekitori receive more money than some hopeful youngster at the same rank? The young guy probably is dealing with injuries, too.

Nothing could be more clear than that some kind of major overhaul is necessary. My suggestion might not work (or probably would not work) on a number of grounds, but "it's a major overhaul!" is not a good objection.

It should also have been clear that the sort of injury I'm talking about, requiring extensive surgery and rehab, is most probably not the kind of thing a young hopeful is dealing with at all. And if he is, the possible consequences for him of taking several basho off to heal are less serious. What's not merely probable, but certain, is that the young hopeful will not have a household to support.

9 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Rikishi are free to save part of their sekitori salary for potential rainy days, such as an injury rehab period.

Perhaps they should be forced to then, much as a portion of their kensho is put into a retirement account for them. Or they could be made to participate in some kind of insurance plan that would replace a portion of their income if injured.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

AFAIK none of the payments that the stablemasters receive from the Kyokai are tied to their deshi's rankings

http://www.sumoforum.net/forums/topic/18078-the-business-of-sumo/

I couldn't find the original article on the site anymore, but it's archived here: https://web.archive.org/web/20090608113129/http://www.askmen.com/sports/business_150/185_sports_business.html While it's short on specifics, it's pretty clear that heya receive payments based on deshi ranks. @Orion probably knows the details better than anyone else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kuroyama said:

Perhaps they should be forced to then, much as a portion of their kensho is put into a retirement account for them. Or they could be made to participate in some kind of insurance plan that would replace a portion of their income if injured.

I would have expected the NSK would be able to negotiate a group income-support insurance plan to make the liability more predictable (and lower cost).  On the other hand, drawing a relief check is not in line with the ganbarou culture, is it?

And, of course, the medical care is free, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kuroyama said:

And my point -- or part of it -- is that they're not exactly individual athletes, even if they do compete individually. A yusho winner's heya benefits at least as much from his victory as he does himself. (Or, where else does all that rice and beer go?) As it also benefits from his promotions, and suffers from his demotions. A rikishi is alone on the dohyo, but there's a very strong sense in which he's part of a team, or a household, which he represents when he fights.

Lots of individual sports have training groups, managed athlete stables etc., to say nothing of sports that have representative national teams (many winter sports, for example). Sumo may be taking things a lot farther than other sports do on the "community" aspects, but it's not exactly in a class of its own as far as these things are concerned, at least IMHO. The collective-employment aspect is a much greater divergence from other such sports.

 

2 hours ago, Kuroyama said:

Nothing could be more clear than that some kind of major overhaul is necessary. My suggestion might not work (or probably would not work) on a number of grounds, but "it's a major overhaul!" is not a good objection.

That's certainly true, but feasibility is the difference between having a discussion about potentially useful suggestions and rambling on about a bunch of pipe dreams. I'm not against the latter at all (I rambled on myself earlier), but you didn't actually seem to be aware of the feasibility issues.

Anyway, as others have pointed out, the major issue in most injury cases isn't actually rikishi going without their salary for a period of time, it's that this period of time is often excessively long because of the difficulties even a competent rikishi will face on the way back up (rather than down). The aforementioned stop-loss/re-entry ideas could handle that, and personally I wouldn't consider those to amount to a major overhaul in how Ozumo works.

 

1 hour ago, Kuroyama said:

http://www.sumoforum.net/forums/topic/18078-the-business-of-sumo/

I couldn't find the original article on the site anymore, but it's archived here: https://web.archive.org/web/20090608113129/http://www.askmen.com/sports/business_150/185_sports_business.html While it's short on specifics, it's pretty clear that heya receive payments based on deshi ranks. @Orion probably knows the details better than anyone else.

Fair enough, although if that article is accurate, it's indeed hardly an earth-shattering amount of money. Quote: "The association provides stables with approximately $550 in monthly training payments for each wrestler who’s not in one of the top two divisions. There’s plenty of incentive for masters to recruit and train winners: For sumo stables, the cash cows are yokozuna -- or grand champions -- who are worth about $3,000 every two months." Two things: 1) That implies that there are no different payment levels whether a rikishi is in makushita or in jonokuchi, which jibes with what I've read elsewhere. 2) That's a mere ~$1000 extra per month for a yokozuna over a random new recruit, and presumably the difference is much smaller for maegashira and juryo rikishi. I highly doubt any shisho is pressing rikishi into competition over a couple of hundred bucks.

(FWIW, this reward-type payment for having sekitori in the stable is likely to be a substitute for the usual $550 training stipend, because only toriteki are considered to be in-training. I'll have to take a look at the Kyokai's accounts again; there were a few items I couldn't make sense of in the past, this may correspond to one of them.)

Edited by Asashosakari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one thing that must be reformed is the physical abuse of rikishi. I think a big part of this abuse is the attitude, "I had to put up with it. You put up with it." Until that changes, nothing will change.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

1) That implies that there are no different payment levels whether a rikishi is in makushita or in jonokuchi, which jibes with what I've read elsewhere. 2) That's a mere ~$1000 extra per month for a yokozuna over a random new recruit, and presumably the difference is much smaller for maegashira and juryo rikishi. I highly doubt any shisho is pressing rikishi into competition over a couple of hundred bucks.

I would agree with this and I am sure that the reward for sekitori is not in addition to the money provided for "in training". The in training payments are basically their salary. Sekitori receive an actual salary so have no need of this in training payment. As far as the amounts? They are minuscule. The reward payments for sekitori are to cover expenses, such as clothes, travel,  etc.,  which are needed for events the sekitori are required to attend by the Sumo association. The Sumo Association can hardly demand a rikishi never drives and then not provide cab fare, right?

 

1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

I highly doubt any shisho is pressing rikishi into competition over a couple of hundred bucks.

Also right. They are pressing them not for hundreds of bucks but many, many tens of thousands of bucks provided by the supporters. It's a heck of a lot easier to get 10000 yen per head for a dinner with sekitori, preferably high ranked ones, than it is when you have no sekitroi in your heya. They are probably many hard core fans of a heya who will show up to support no matter what. But having a winner on your team brings out the bandwagon jumpers,  and their cash, in droves. The same holds true for sponsors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

On the other hand, drawing a relief check is not in line with the ganbarou culture, is it?

No, but neither is taking time off for surgery and rehab. And we see where that has gotten everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Kuroyama said:

No, but neither is taking time off for surgery and rehab. And we see where that has gotten everyone.


Sorry, I forgot to put my sarcasm-lock key on for that one.;-)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Rocks said:

I would agree with this and I am sure that the reward for sekitori is not in addition to the money provided for "in training". The in training payments are basically their salary. Sekitori receive an actual salary so have no need of this in training payment. As far as the amounts? They are minuscule.

No, these training stipends have nothing to do with the allowance that the lower-rankers themselves are entitled to and which does scale by rank.

 

Quote

Also right. They are pressing them not for hundreds of bucks but many, many tens of thousands of bucks provided by the supporters. It's a heck of a lot easier to get 10000 yen per head for a dinner with sekitori, preferably high ranked ones, than it is when you have no sekitroi in your heya. They are probably many hard core fans of a heya who will show up to support no matter what. But having a winner on your team brings out the bandwagon jumpers,  and their cash, in droves. The same holds true for sponsors.

We were talking about rikishi dropping down the rankings temporarily due to injury. Again, I highly doubt anyone who actually contributes financially to a heya will disappear in an instant if that happens, because that's not how that type of support works. I also doubt that casual bandwagon jumpers are any sort of relevant source of direct income to heya, given that fanclub-type support by "ordinary" people is much less prevalent than big-monied koenkei support, and given that the Kyokai handles all the marketing of sumo to those regular fans in centralized fashion.

If it's a permanent loss of skill and the rikishi ultimately doesn't return to prominence at all, then that's a different matter, but it's also irrelevant because no amount of system-changing will guard against that.

Edited by Asashosakari

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 08/02/2018 at 07:17, Akinomaki said:

I think the easiest way is to keep the system as it is and simply treat the injured rikishi similar to the new recruits: having been sanyaku within a year before return gives e.g. an ms1 TD qualification, makuuchi ms10, juryo sandanme TD.

Does anyone here know anyone in the Kyokai? Because this seems to be a laudable solution.

They may already be heading that way with their recent decision to guarantee Takanoiwa what amounts to a J14TD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2018 at 11:24, Fukurou said:

In an occupation where everyone is injured to some extent all the time, how does one define "severe enough"? On the same scale as you'd evaluate some Jo in the street?

A simple black and white proposal: if a rikishi undergoes any surgical procedure to repair an injury, he gets a one-basho pass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2018 at 09:30, Asashosakari said:

Which other individual sport sees its athletes earn any money from the promoter of that sport when they're out injured?

There are any number of pro athletes in team sports with guaranteed salaries these days

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2018 at 06:27, Benihana said:

2. If you declare not to enter the next basho until a certain deadline, because you have to heal or undergo surgery, you only drop as if you had a 6-9 or 5-10 MK.

I've had similar thoughts.  It makes so much sense that it's guaranteed that the Kyokai will never adopt it!  :-/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now