Akinomaki

Sumo and the Olympics

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Posted (edited)

I started to doubt anything sumo-related was going to happen months back, at first because I couldn't find even Hakuho himself saying he wanted to do this dohyo-iri (though eventually an article where he did say that was found eventually, from 2018 around the time his father passed), but then as time went on and we heard absolutely nothing about it, I wrote the whole idea off. I spent the last week or so trying to manage expectations in the less well informed parts of the sumo-interwebs, but there's still a bunch of disappointed people who were utterly convinced this was happening.

Does anyone know how this story turned from Hakuho saying "I'd like to do a dohyo-iri to honour my father" turned into "Hakuho is DEFINITELY doing a dohyo-iri and the only reason he's not retired yet is for that one reason"? Mass hysteria? :-P Far as I'm aware there's never been any news hyping up the potential, just people's assumptions running a bit out of control. That's a genuine question; does anyone know?

Some people also seem to think that the opening ceremony should have had more stereotype stuff like samurai and ninja running around to Hatsune Miku while Naruto plays on the big screen, like some kind of base level caricature of Japan. Find it funny that non-Japanese people are saying how the Japanese should do their opening ceremony so it conforms to the aspects of the culture they like. That said, it wasn't a great opening ceremony so some criticism was deserved, but given the situation I don't think it was ever going to be good on the levels of the Shanghai or London ones.

I'm inclined to think some kind of groupthink/hysteria took hold because even now people think he'll do it for the closing ceremony... why would a yokozuna do a dohyi-iri to close something? I mean maybe it could happen and it'd be good if it did, but it makes no sense symbollically.

Edited by Hidenotora
typos
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4 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

London 2012 would like a word.

No way, ese

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9 minutes ago, Jabbamaru said:

No way, ese

Lizzy jumping out of a heli...no one's gonna top that, ever.

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34 minutes ago, Hidenotora said:

I started to doubt anything sumo-related was going to happen months back, at first because I couldn't find even Hakuho himself saying he wanted to do this dohyo-iri (though eventually an article where he did say that was found eventually, from 2018 around the time his father passed), but then as time went on and we heard absolutely nothing about it, I wrote the whole idea off. I spent the last week or so trying to manage expectations in the less well informed parts of the sumo-interwebs, but there's still a bunch of disappointed people who were utterly convinced this was happening.

...

I think the short answer is, seeing Hakuho essentially pull out all the stops to stay active till the Olympics, we sort of assumed that something was happening. Because to be very honest, his sumo in this last basho is only excused by his having a filial reason to want to stay active till the Olympics. If nothing was going to happen, then the question really is, what the hell was the point of all the start-stops over the past two years? He should just have retired while his legacy was still pristine, and focused on recruiting and training his deshi.

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I suppose that 2-day exhibition basho they were going to have is off since there is no one to exhibit too?

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Posted (edited)

I don't think a dohyo-iri would've been a good fit, I don't recall any opening ceremonies that just stop all sound and motion for a few minutes which is what would be needed. I quite enjoyed it as it was and sumo would've made no difference for me. What I thought would have been a nice touch is for Hakuho to present the medals in the wrestling weight class his father competed in, but I'm not sure even medal presentations are happening now; I read somewhere that they will simply be on pedestals and the athletes will pick them up when announced, which is what they've done in the Rowing World Cup events I've seen this year.

Can I just say that the one good thing about no spectators is that the TV directors can't cut away and show them, a personal bugbear of mine. I don't want to see people on their phones, or stuffing their faces, or mugging for the camera when they see themselves on the big screen, I want to see the sport, even if there's a break in play or a time-out or whatever. Show me the athletes.

Edited by Yubinhaad
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23 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

I think the short answer is, seeing Hakuho essentially pull out all the stops to stay active till the Olympics, we sort of assumed that something was happening. Because to be very honest, his sumo in this last basho is only excused by his having a filial reason to want to stay active till the Olympics. If nothing was going to happen, then the question really is, what the hell was the point of all the start-stops over the past two years? He should just have retired while his legacy was still pristine, and focused on recruiting and training his deshi.

Yeah that probably is the only explanation at this point. In his post-yusho interviews Hak was saying that he'd fulfilled a "promise to his father" by "being an active yokozuna during the olympics" (which was the absolute nail in the coffin for me in terms of this dohyo-iri, if that was the promise he made); as for if that was the original promise he made or if plans changed along the way when it became clear he wasn't doing a dohyo-iri (which I'm thinking he would have known months in advance at the earliest), we'll never know.

21 minutes ago, Churaumi said:

I suppose that 2-day exhibition basho they were going to have is off since there is no one to exhibit too?

This is now the next upcoming disappointment; none of the articles and news reports on that have ever been updated to say it isn't happening. But if it was, it would be a known thing at this stage (presumably the kokugikan would be booked and various other events planning related things) and as far as I know, no one has found anything like that yet. If it was happening, this is the kind of thing they wouldn't be keeping a secret, either through advertising the event for people to come (even if they're not foreigners over for the Olympics, they'd surely need to sell tickets to get people watching and make some money) or via television listings if it was just going to be a TV thing. At least there's actually evidence this was going to happen, but as it stands now things have changed so much since the idea was announced I can't see why they'd do it anymore.

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I would say having the olympic rings on all the Hakuho yukata fabric probably drove expectations somewhat.

Also regarding the expectation of including modern entertainment in the opening ceremony - they did that to themselves the moment Mario jumped out of a pipe in Rio.

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London was the best If only because they got Ray Davies out of his house. That is even more miraculous than Terunofuji's achievement.

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7 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

London was the best If only because they got Ray Davies out of his house. That is even more miraculous than Terunofuji's achievement.

But he performed during the closing ceremony.

And don't forget the virtual Freddie.

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9 minutes ago, Benihana said:

But he performed during the closing ceremony.

And don't forget the virtual Freddie.

Sorry, missed it.

Wikipedia: "Davies performed "Waterloo Sunset" as part of the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, watched by over 24 million viewers in the UK; the song was subsequently cut by NBC from the US broadcast, in favour of a failed marketing attempt for its upcoming show Animal Practice."

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Just now, Yamanashi said:

Sorry, missed it.

Wikipedia: "Davies performed "Waterloo Sunset" as part of the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, watched by over 24 million viewers in the UK; the song was subsequently cut by NBC from the US broadcast, in favour of a failed marketing attempt for its upcoming show Animal Practice."

Watch in on YT, it's worth it.

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3 minutes ago, Benihana said:

Watch in on YT, it's worth it.

I'll bet it was, but it may not feel as "in the moment" as it would ...  (checks notes) ... two Olympics ago.(Ranting...)

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26 minutes ago, Benihana said:

But he performed during the closing ceremony.

 

My bad, again. Forget I wrote that.

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33 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

London was the best If only because they got Ray Davies out of his house. That is even more miraculous than Terunofuji's achievement.

Perhaps I am missing something here, but Davies wasn´t exactly leading a hermit´s life back then. Since the mid of the naught years, he had a regular touring schedule going, and significantly cut back on performing live from 2013 on.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Gospodin said:

Perhaps I am missing something here, but Davies wasn´t exactly leading a hermit´s life back then. Since the mid of the naught years, he had a regular touring schedule going, and significantly cut back on performing live from 2013 on.

I thought he had fright of going out of the house. Or was that Dave? Geez, you guys with the facts. As I wrote earlier, forget I wrote that. 

Hakuhou's dohyo iri was magnificent.

Edited by Kintamayama
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4 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

You mean use the dohyo-iri that closes every basho?  Er ...

No. I'm thinking of several possibilities:

* Hakuho bow-twirling

* Hakuho yusho interview + banzai

* Gyoji (or referee) tossing. One Hakuho would be enough.

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33 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

I thought he had fright of going out of the house. Or was that Dave? Geez, you guys with the facts.

According to "God Save The Kinks" it was Ray, but in 1973. He plunged into a deep crisis after his wife had left him. 

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5 hours ago, Hidenotora said:

This is now the next upcoming disappointment; none of the articles and news reports on that have ever been updated to say it isn't happening.

Why would anyone rely on old news reports that were about an August 2020 staging? The date came and went (for obvious reasons), no rescheduling was ever announced, so the only reasonable conclusion for a long time has been that it's not happening.

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2 hours ago, Gospodin said:

According to "God Save The Kinks" it was Ray, but in 1973. He plunged into a deep crisis after his wife had left him. 

So I had it 9 percent right.. 

 

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15 hours ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

I would say having the olympic rings on all the Hakuho yukata fabric probably drove expectations somewhat.

Also regarding the expectation of including modern entertainment in the opening ceremony - they did that to themselves the moment Mario jumped out of a pipe in Rio.

I'm now imagining those yukata being angrily thrown away by Hakuho. 

They were pretty cringy in retrospect

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3 minutes ago, Mightyduck said:

I'm now imagining those yukata being angrily thrown away by Hakuho. 

They were pretty cringy in retrospect

The thing about those is that the IOC is the most litigious body in the world. They insist on the copyright laws being re-written to give them draconian powers such as suing a game company for using this symbol in their card game Legend of the Five Rings:

5rings.png.afe9424d8e5c8dafa1e4caf27a387869.png

because, obviously(!), it's five interlocking rings. Since this was part of the design on the card backs, the company had to pulp their stock and re-issue the cards with a different back, which in turn meant that anyone playing the game had to either not buy any new expansions or junk their old cards and buy everything over again to avoid having different backs on different cards.

The IOC regarded this as a positive outcome. Because they are bastards.

So, it's hard to believe that those yukatas went unnoticed by the Japanese arm of the IOC and that Hakuho didn't have some reason to think they were appropriate/allowed.

I guess that somewhere along the way the IOC and the NSK failed to come to some sort of kickback arrangement and the sport has simply been sidelined as a result. In any case, a Tokyo Olympics without Sumo but with Skateboarding is pretty bloody lame (I say this as a former and still occasional skateboarder).

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So, the upshot of the content here is that the thread name "Sumo and the Olympics" is a non sequitur.  Let's rename it to "Biscuits and Edelweiss"

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