Sakura

Hatsu 2020 Basho Discussion (SPOILERS)

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1 hour ago, Gospodin said:

In times of trouble Goeido remembers his kubinage. I thought he had completely dropped it from his repertoire.

When I find myself in times of trouble,

It’s cause Goeido comes at me,

Trying kubinage 

Desperate Ozeki 

It’s a time of darkness when he is standing right in front of me

Looking for kachi-koshi 

That desperate Ozeki

 


 

 

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35 minutes ago, Chinonofuji said:

When I find myself in times of trouble,

It’s cause Goeido comes at me,

Trying kubinage 

Desperate Ozeki 

It’s a time of darkness when he is standing right in front of me

Looking for kachi-koshi 

That desperate Ozeki

 


 

 

Speaking words in Japanese, Let it Be ...

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Abi surprised everyone today, especially Asanoyama.  What made this occasion different from previous ones is that Abi started the tournament with three straight losses, and it seemed as though whatever injury he is sporting in his right knee, it was having an negative influence on his thrusting game.  Either his oyakata (Shikoroyama) read him the riot act yesterday, or he was miraculously cured, but it was game on today!

Abi's thrusts effectively kept Asanoyama off his belt, and kept him in control.  He took home a tidy 10 kensho for his efforts.

Edited by Amamaniac

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4 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

Props on the topical change of your avatar photo! 

If it is in fact (and I have heard the same thing before) permissible to step out first while carrying an aite off the ground, why do we rarely if ever see it happen?  It's like wrestlers don't want to risk doing just that.

I guess first of all like every athlete they'd like to get a clean win and secondly I suppose they don't want to risk being monoii-ed by an especially overeager and undercapable shinpan. 

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Imagine stepping away from Sumo for a year and then coming back and looking at the current Leaderboard after 4 days.

It would likely be a pretty surreal experience! 

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The bout between Tsurugisho and Chiyomaru was quite unusual; at least I have never seen anything like it.

Chiyomaru repeatedly thrusted against Tsurugisho's face desperately trying to create some space, but Tsurugisho managed to withstand the rather rough facial massage and force out the cutest roly-poly esthetician in the Top Division. 

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8 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Man, I saw myself in Enho as he flailed his legs and then completely gave up and accepted his fate. In that moment he was every man who has watched sumo and thought, “I’d like to have a go at that.”

It was comically sad but I expected more of Enho's opponents would lift him out by now.   The fact that Enho didn't allow himself to be carried out before (well, hardly ever) shows how good he is technically and athletically.     But I feel he has reached his peak, and getting his KK in this basho would be a huge feat.

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3 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

Abi surprised everyone today, especially Asanoyama.  What made this occasion different from previous ones is that Abi started the tournament with three straight losses, and it seemed as though whatever injury he is sporting in his right knee, it was having an negative influence on his thrusting game.  Either his oyakata (Shikoroyama) read him the riot act yesterday, or he was miraculously cured, but it was game on today!

Abi's thrusts effectively kept Asanoyama off his belt, and kept him in control.  He took home a tidy 10 kensho for his efforts.

What a truly fine sensei the man has in Terao. It is indeed a burden to live up to the man's legacy. 

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Kudos to Enho for going head on, but it was stupid. Sometimes you have to dive and go for the legs, no matter what some grumpy ex-Yokozuna thinks of it.

I thought Ikioi suffered from a leg injury, not brain damage. Does he even look what his opponents are doing or does he just blindly charge? Half a league, half a league...

As much as i like Kakuryu, he should call it a career. I know, i know, he's got the flu (officially), but he handed out almost a third of his 31 kinboshi in just one year and he didn't even compete in all 6 basho. If he competes in march, he better be convincing.

After Abi showed absolutely no resistance in yesterdays torinaoshi, i really didn't see that coming.

Exciting basho, though.

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26 minutes ago, Benihana said:

Kudos to Enho for going head on, but it was stupid. Sometimes you have to dive and go for the legs, no matter what some grumpy ex-Yokozuna thinks of it.

I thought Ikioi suffered from a leg injury, not brain damage. Does he even look what his opponents are doing or does he just blindly charge? Half a league, half a league...

 As much as i like Kakuryu, he should call it a career. I know, i know, he's got the flu (officially), but he handed out almost a third of his 31 kinboshi in just one year and he didn't even compete in all 6 basho. If he competes in march, he better be convincing.

After Abi showed absolutely no resistance in yesterdays torinaoshi, i really didn't see that coming.

Exciting basho, though.

Great comments, although I don't know if Kintamayama would take kindly to your characterisation of Ikioi... 

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2 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

Chiyomaru repeatedly thrusted against Tsurugisho's face desperately trying to create some space, but Tsurugisho managed to withstand the rather rough facial massage and force out the cutest roly-poly esthetician in the Top Division. 

It reminded me of his match vs. Shohozan, was it last basho? Shohozan punched him almost inconscious, but somehow the autopilot kicked in and he managed to win. 

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While I have yet to spot who is serving as Takanosho's tsukebito, I can confirm that Takanosho himself is still serving as Takakeisho's main tsukebito.  Frankly, it's great to see that kind of dedication.  But on today's NHK broadcast, I also spotted a sheepish Naya standing by with no clear role in his capacity as one of Takakeisho's tsukebito.  Whatever he does for Takakeisho may be unclear and minimal, but I suspect that Naya may be benefiting from being around both Takakeisho and Takanosho.  At least, he has started this tournament with two straight wins against veteran fighters currently in the Makushita joi ranks.  Perhaps Naya will finally make something out of himself in 2020.

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1 hour ago, Benihana said:

It reminded me of his match vs. Shohozan, was it last basho? Shohozan punched him almost inconscious, but somehow the autopilot kicked in and he managed to win. 

Shohozan:  I'm going to punch your face into a bloody pulp!

Tsurugisho: Does it look like you're the first?  Does it look like I care?

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Re: Kiribayama. I found myself in agreement with the result of the mono-ii. He was clearly losing when he made his attempt at utchari, but he bottled it/realised he couldn't pull it off and threw his legs up at the last minute, trying to float a little longer in the air. That's not utchari, pivoting to force your opponent out first; that's just a dead body.

Re: Asanoyama. Could he be in for a stroke of luck? If Takakeisho is the only remaining ozeki at the end of the basho, which is looking distinctly possible, I reckon any result that sees Asanoyama with at least 32/45 wins will get him the nod for promotion. 

Only day 4, but at the moment it's looking good for another 1st time yusho winner in January.

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Trip Report from Day 4 at the Kokugikan

-Arrived at the Kokugikan at around 12:30 for the early matches. Two ticket were windows open. One with virtually no line and one with a very long line snaking around the corner. Naturally, I chose the short line. I looked over at the ticket window with the long line, and who was taking tickets but none other than Terao. Mystery solved.

-Settled into my cushion in the sixth row. This is the press desk row, and other than the front row it may be the best seat in the house. Usually reporters don't bother to show for the early days, and so you can literally stretch your legs out and enjoy a day of sumo.

-There is a Sandanme wrestler named Omote. I'm looking forward to his future match-up against Ura.

-In upper Makushita, Naya and Chiyonokuni looked good, while Gagamaru looked like toast.

-In Juryo, Terunofuji continues to impress. Barring injury setbacks he should be back in Makuuchi within the year. Hoshoryu disposed of Takagenji with ease. Ichinojo was noticeably slimmer.

-In Makuuchi:

-I and most of the crowd were puzzled by the Kiribayama outcome. Seemed like the easiest torinaoshi call ever, if not an outright win by Kiri, although I didn't have the benefit of replay.

-Terutsuyoshi is listed now at 120k, but he has put on legit muscle to go along with his formidable skill (at both sumo and salt tossing). I expect him to become a regular visitor to Joi before long.

-Kotoshogiku remains a fan favorite, but how long he remains an active wrestler is another question. He picked up a nice win today, but I fear the end is near. Hope he can hold on a bit longer though.

-Speaking of fan favorites at the downside of their career, Ikioi is a broken man. He stepped up on the dohyo with a host of injuries, and following his bout he appeared to have collected even more. I respect his stoic demeanor and will to battle through injury, but it's not looking good for him at the moment.

-Tochinoshin has published the playbook on Enho, at least for big men. After being lifted out of the ring, the look of anger on Enho's face was palpable. Knowing Enho, I suspect his anger was directed toward himself at allowing himself to be scooped up rather than Tochinoshin for doing so. 

-Meisei is wrestling with one arm right now. I hope he goes kyujo to risk further injury and derailing his promising career.

-Abi was the surprise win of the day. It was textbook Abi and Asanoyama was completely unprepared. Despite the bandaged leg, Abi said on Day 1 that the leg wasn't bothering him, but he was not able to do any keiko leading up to the basho. Indeed, his shiko leg raise off his bandaged leg was as high as ever. Perhaps he's regained his feel and is ready to resume doing Abi things.

-Shodai continues to impress. We've seen stretches like these from Shodai before. Maybe this is the year he realizes his potential and becomes the Shodai we all hoped and expected he would become.

-Takakeisho and Endo was another highly anticipated bout. It appeared it was going Endo's way, but Taka showed Endo who was boss. I have Takakeisho as the clear favorite to win at this point.

-Goeido's win was a hail mary. He was dominated. Kanraku seems like a mere formality at this point.

-Hokutofuji picked up a fusensho win, but was likely disappointed at not having an opportunity to win the kensho that had been put up for the bout.

-Like Hakuho, Kakuryo's kyujo became a formality the moment he was shoved out of the ring, but I'm happy he provided me another opportunity to toss my zabuton.

Random notes:

-There are some massive bodies even down as far as sandanme, but the biggest difference I notice live is the speed of the top rikishi. It's just on a different level.

-After it was over we filed outside in the area where the rikishi come up to the venue from the road. It was packed with people, and among the crowd was Shodai, making his way to his ride. He was swamped with  requests for pictures, autographs, baby holdings, etc. He kindly and patiently accepted every one of them. Now I'm even more of a fan.

-Pink-clad comic husband & wife duo Peko and Pako were in attendance, but on the West side instead of their usual spot to the left of the camera view. 

-There's nothing like the atmosphere of live sumo at the Kokugikan, but in many ways the viewing experience is better on TV. If you so much as blink at the wrong time you miss the action, and there's no replay screen. Even so, as hard as it is to get tickets these days, I'm grateful for every rare opportunity I get to see sumo in person. 

TLDNR Cliff notes:

Went to the Kokugikan for Day 4. There was lots of exciting sumo and a great time was had by all (except Enho).

Edited by Kaninoyama
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Omg Tochi (Eek...)

Holy S*! That freaking bout gave me a feeling of child molestation or something... (Beingunsure...)

 

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"So my buddy told me that Mongolians were taking over Sumo, and I checked the standings today.  Tamawashi, Azumaryu, Kiribayama, barely breaking even.  And two other guys were 1-3 and quit!  I don't think there's anything to worry about."(Scratchingchin...)

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Flew to Tokyo from the UK and bought day 3, 5 & 6 tickets especially to enjoy watching hakuho before he likely retires this year... Need to check the terms and conditions of my travel insurance :-D

As a silver lining the torrential purple rain was a majestic sight. My wife saw one guy running around grabbing other people's cushions and throwing one after the other. A really visceral sense of the changing of the guard.

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18 hours ago, Otokonoyama said:

Caption time

EOT-ijrUcAAFbli?format=jpg&name=small

You will go to your room - even if I have to carry you there kicking and screaming!

Good night and sweet dream you little kid!

(Never too late to do this, right?)

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5 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

-Shodai continues to impress. We've seen stretches like these from Shodai before. Maybe this is the year he realizes his potential and becomes the Shodai we all hoped and expected he would become.

It might have been one of his most forceful tachiai ever, too. Almost stalemating Takayasu of all people on the initial hit? Shocked me, it did.

 

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Just saw Terunofuji's 5th straight win in juryo.  It looks like his injuries are fully behind him.   I expect him to take the juryo yusho.

Ura goes to 3-0.   He also looks like he is fully back from injury.  He will add JD yusho to his JK & SD yusho collection.

 

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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

It might have been one of his most forceful tachiai ever, too. Almost stalemating Takayasu of all people on the initial hit? Shocked me, it did.

 

I've seen him in person a few times, but he looked noticeably larger, meaning more solid, this time around. Maybe he's upped his keiko game?

Shodai with a real tachiai would be a compelling prospect.

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Good to see Kotoshogiku still has some fight in him, 3rd straight win after these two bad losses

Edited by Rainoyama
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With his win over Kaisei today, Kotoshogiku moves to tenth on the most wins in makuuchi, tied with Kyokutenho at 697.

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7 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

Hokutofuji picked up a fusensho win, but was likely disappointed at not having an opportunity to win the few dozen kensho that had been put up for the bout.

Reports told it only 5 were on the bout.

10 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

Only 5 kensho were planned for the Hakuho-Hokutofuji bout - 4 got canceled and 1 went to the Takeisho-Endo bout. https://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20200115/sum20011515580009-n1.html

You can check that yourself by counting them from the kensho list-up on the Japanese torikumi sheet you (can) get at the ticket gate (foreigners usually have to ask for it).

On 05/06/2018 at 15:16, Akinomaki said:

the (Japanese) torikumi sheets you get at the ticket gate - as a foreigner, maybe only if you ask for the Japanese version. Kotonoshiki this year gave it to me at once though, but I don't think he remembered that I asked him for that as well the year before.

Edited by Akinomaki

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