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2019 Aki Basho Discussion (spoiler alert!)

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Uh... not a great first post but hey...

i actually love henkas. Takes big balls to do that in a big match and failing when attempting them is humiliating for the rikishi and tends to be the HL of the basho when your henka sucked.

 

also the reaction of the Japanese crowd is hilarious. They all laugh but also make a “oooh you!!!” Face. It’s just the best.

 

every once in a while of course, not all the time.

 

anyway, lovely being here, I love sumo and I am excited for tonight’s fights 

Edited by Kuhne
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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

I said that victory guaranteed him a shot at the yusho today (“guarantor of a yusho opportunity”) not that victory was guaranteed. Pulling a henka was a cheap way of seriously increasing his odds at getting a victory. And yes, it does increase the odds, since the rikishi who pulls a henka wins much more often than not. I don’t have data on that to hand, but from experience of watching sumo for 12+ years I feel confident making that claim. From time to time an aite reads the move and counters it successfully, but he’s more likely to fall on his face or be run off the dohyo, particularly if the henka is totally unexpected and well disguised, as Mitakeumi’s was. Henka takes 50-50 odds and makes them 80-20. After all, if it produces no advantage, why would anyone ever bother doing it?

Someone did the number crunching at some point; I recall reading it. I can't track it down, but yes, it increases the chance of success by a good bit.

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Should Takakeisho or Mitakeumi win, 2019 will become the first calendar year since 1999 with two Sekiwake yusho.

Should Okinoumi win, it will be the first calendar year since 1992 with two hiramaku yusho.

Bonus fact: Asanoyama won as M8w. Okinoumi is M8e. Two hiramaku yusho in one year by rikishi at the same rank (ignoring the tozai divide) has never happened.

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While anything can happen, Takakeisho has to be the favorite. He has the easiest match up on senshuraku and his earlier bout this basho against Mitakeumi was very one-sided. 

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6 hours ago, Rocks said:

Yes, huge Eastwood fan. But in doing that he was giving the fans a good show, unlike Mitakeumi. Those are lines from movies, not quotes from God. The fans deserve to get what they paid for, or at least an honest effort to make that happen. 

And Yoks don't fall for it because Sanyaku rarely, if ever,  pull it in against them without an obvious injury. Mostly because it's letting the fans down. 

The fans paid to watch sumo. Henka is sumo, as much as hatakikomi is.

Sanyaku henka all the time. As do M1-4, who the yok(s) also generally face.

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Even the purist of the pure sumo fan has a limit of tolerance where henka is concerned. Everyone has their own idea about when it's acceptable, who is 'permitted' to do it and how many bouts they'll accept it in on a given day. Trying to find a consensus is impossible. For example, it's often frowned upon in significant bouts, by sanyaku on lower-ranked opponents or if overused. 

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I like the henka because if it fails you really, really end up with the disdain of pretty much everyone watching.

Using a henka may be questionable for some but if there’s something worse than using a henka it’s losing by henka. It’s on you for being duped.

But there’s one worse and that’s trying a henka and failing, then losing the match. That’s when you really see everyone look down on the rikishi, even the opponent sort of looks down at them. “You tried that shit on me?!??!” 

Some people make it sound like using a henka is an always win get out of jail free card or something but it is not.

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1 minute ago, Eikokurai said:

Even the purist of the pure sumo fan has a limit of tolerance where henka is concerned. Everyone has their own idea about when it's acceptable, who is 'permitted' to do it and how many bouts they'll accept it in on a given day. Trying to find a consensus is impossible. For example, it's often frowned upon in significant bouts, by sanyaku on lower-ranked opponents or if overused. 

Since the henka is a highly evasive but perfecty legal move, I doubt if anyone can really fault a rikishi for using it, no matter what his record or rank may be. Rikishis should be taught to expect it against every opponent they face and if they lose by it, It's their fault for not recognizing it. 

Even yokozunas, who are expected to produce the best sumo possible, have used it. I remember that Hakuho, noticing that Kisenosato delayed the tach-ai several times, pulled off the best henka against him that I have ever seen. I didn't blame him for using it. I did however, blame his opponent for falling for it--literally. 

If the NSK frowns on the henka as being totally non-competitive sumo, there is a simple solution. Change the rule to state that at the tachi-ai, at least some form of sold physical contact must be atttained and have the gyoji and/or the shimpan enforce it. If they decide that a rikishi is at fault for evading contact, he will be disqualifed. I believe that the henka is a very interesting and useful strategy and I hope that such a rule is never created. 

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18 minutes ago, sekitori said:

Since the henka is a highly evasive but perfecty legal move, I doubt if anyone can really fault a rikishi for using it, no matter what his record or rank may be. Rikishis should be taught to expect it against every opponent they face and if they lose by it, It's their fault for not recognizing it. 

Even yokozunas, who are expected to produce the best sumo possible, have used it. I remember that Hakuho, noticing that Kisenosato delayed the tach-ai several times, pulled off the best henka against him that I have ever seen. I didn't blame him for using it. I did however, blame his opponent for falling for it--literally. 

If the NSK frowns on the henka as being totally non-competitive sumo, there is a simple solution. Change the rule to state that at the tachi-ai, at least some form of sold physical contact must be atttained and have the gyoji and/or the shimpan enforce it. If they decide that a rikishi is at fault for evading contact, he will be disqualifed. I believe that the henka is a very interesting and useful strategy and I hope that such a rule is never created. 

I'm not sure any of that really disputes my post. As I said, everyone has a different tolerance threshold. Very few people say it should never be used at all. Context is everything. Almost all criticism of henka I've ever seen has factored in context, for example the condemnation of Hakuho pulling a henka on Harumafuji in a yusho playoff. It was the specific circumstances of the bout and Hakuho's status as the GOAT that led people to object.

Edited by Eikokurai

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3 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:
50 minutes ago, WAKATAKE said:

Very interesting sansho list:

Shukun-sho
Mitakeumi (conditional)
Asanoyama
Okinoumi (conditional)

Kanto-sho
Mitakeumi (conditional)
Okinoumi
Tsurugisho

http://www.sumo.or.jp/EnHonbashoMain/champions/

The "condition" is the yusho..

If I'm reading https://www.daily.co.jp/general/2019/09/22/0012723452.shtml correctly, it's a little more creative than that: The two shukun-sho are conditional on the particular candidate winning the yusho, while Mitakeumi's kanto-sho is conditional on him not winning the yusho.

(Corrections welcome though...)

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5 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

If I'm reading https://www.daily.co.jp/general/2019/09/22/0012723452.shtml correctly, it's a little more creative than that: The two shukun-sho are conditional on the particular candidate winning the yusho, while Mitakeumi's kanto-sho is conditional on him not winning the yusho.

(Corrections welcome though...)

I think it's Asanoyama gets the shukun-sho no matter what and Mitakeumi/Okinoumi only get it if they win the yusho. If Mitakeumi doesn't win the yusho, he gets the kanto-sho instead. So he's guaranteed something, but we will only know which once the yusho is decided. Tsurugisho and Okinoumi get the kanto-sho too.

Disclaimer: My Japanese is crap and I'm filling in gaps using prior knowledge of the situation.

Edited by Eikokurai
Fixed error about kanto-sho. Okinoumi's is unconditional.

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Kyokai Twitter

Sansho winning Rikishi:

Today we met and decided on the following prizes:

Shukun-sho Mitakeumi (Yusho-shitara), Asanoyama, Okinoumi (Yusho-shitara)

Kanto-Sho Mitakeumi (Yusho-dekinakattara), Okinoumi, Tsurugisho

Gino-sho No one

 

I'm not going to try translating any further than that.

Edited by Gurowake
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1 minute ago, Eikokurai said:

I think it's Asanoyama gets the shukun-sho no matter what and Mitakeumi/Okinoumi only get it if they win the yusho. If Mitakeumi/Okinoumi don't win the yusho, they get the kanto-sho instead. So they're guaranteed something, but we will only know which once the yusho is decided. Tsurugisho gets the kanto-sho too.

No, Okinoumi's kanto-sho is unconditional, he'll just get a shukun-sho as well if he gets the yusho. Mitakeumi seems to be the either/or situation, shukun if he does and kanto if he doesn't.

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No prize for Takakeisho under any circumstances is quite interesting; I guess they see him as an Ozeki except for how their pesky rules work.  I could see him definitely be considered for Yokozuna after next tournament.

Edited by Gurowake

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Just now, fwuzzle23 said:

No, Okinoumi's kanto-sho is unconditional, he'll just get a shukun-sho as well if he gets the yusho. Mitakeumi seems to be the either/or situation, shukun if he does and kanto if he doesn't.

Yes, you're right. I didn't mean to repeat Okinoumi's name. Will amend!

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I missed the sumo completely yesterday because I was getting married so I am coming late to the henka debate, but here are my two cents.

First, I always think that in combat sports, when you pay to watch it you are paying for the privilege of watching two guys have a fight, not two guys having a good or entertaining fight. The right of the "fans" to be "entertained" never outweighs the right of the fighter to do anything within the rules to win, and in particular, to protect themselves from damage. And no-one watching from the sidelines should ever question the courage of someone who is prepared to step up there and fight - most fans never would and never could do that, and so if the guy up there decides to do something that will help him win, is within the rules, and protects him from damage and injury, then more power to him. This isn't ancient Rome where slaves fight to the death for our entertainment - they are professional sports people who make a living from what they do - if we happen to be entertained along the way then that's a bonus. But we have no right to be entertained just because we bought a ticket (which I would note, most of the people complaining on here haven't done, and are watching it for free on the internet).

Second, the concept that all fans hate the henka? Personally I love it because it is smart. Two old guys sitting at ringside also loved it when Mitakeumi did it to Goeido - they were laughing their heads off. If you as a fan hate it then that's your opinion, but I'm also a fan and I think it's fine - don't presume that your opinion is shared by everyone else out there. Personally I'm just happy I get to watch sumo, for free, via the internet. Everything else is a bonus.

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What does Mrs Morty think?

And congrats.

Edited by lackmaker
Extra

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20 minutes ago, lackmaker said:

What does Mrs Morty think?

And congrats.

Cheers. She's not really a sumo fan but I do tell her who is fighting while I'm watching and she picks a winner, and usually does better than 50% because she is smart :-)

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So nice to see Ikioi give the Juryo yusho interview. He's such an affable personality; hope he makes it back up to Makuuchi.

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9 hours ago, Joaoiyama said:

Like the great Konishiki said, today is so easy to henka that it seems the rikishi are asking for it.

Yeah, right, because it was impossible to successfully henka the great Konishiki... (Sigh...)

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Sakatottari from Terutsuyoshi! Always great to see rare kimarite.

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