Chanko Thief

Favorite Yokozuna? Past And Present

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2 minutes ago, Ryoshishokunin said:

That's hard to tell--underneath the fat, how much muscle is on someone like Aoiyama?  You can see the huge traps on a lot of the bigger guys, for instance.  

I suppose. Definitely a lack of definition in rikishi nowadays though.

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Akebono.  i am super bias since i grew up on the small island as him.  plus i posted all crazy antics on the old sumo forum mailing list about Hawaiians in sumo in Japan.  i miss those days, big time.

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4 hours ago, Chanko Thief said:

I suppose. Definitely a lack of definition in rikishi nowadays though.

i don't know.  i like Chiyonofuji had good definition and definitely Kirishima.  but looking back, they are all fatties, expect the average weight is definitely up 10-20 kg where it was in the 90s.

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On 28/05/2020 at 13:15, Benihana said:

I only choose from those i've seen on TV since the 90s, and my favourite is Harumafuji. I go with @sumojoann. Without Hakuho he'd have been good for at least 20+ yusho. He had 9 under Hakuho's reign, which is an incredible feat. If he'd been still around by now, he'd have at least 2 more.

when in the 90s did you start, cause you missed out a super foursome; Chiyonofuji, Asahifuji, Hokutoumi and Onokuni.  they retired an we had a ozeki only period with Konishiki and Kirishima, no dohyo iri at the basho

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32 minutes ago, kawika said:

when in the 90s did you start, cause you missed out a super foursome; Chiyonofuji, Asahifuji, Hokutoumi and Onokuni.  they retired an we had a ozeki only period with Konishiki and Kirishima, no dohyo iri at the basho

I don't know exactly when i started watching sumo, but i don't remember having seen any Yokozuna before Akebono and Takanohana. And i don't know if Taka already was Yokozuna, when i started watching.

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6 hours ago, Ryoshishokunin said:

That's hard to tell--underneath the fat, how much muscle is on someone like Aoiyama?  You can see the huge traps on a lot of the bigger guys, for instance.  

Agree.  I am surprised when I occasionally see rikishi during a match or in the gym, and see the mass of muscles underneath that roll of fat.  Not most, just some.  Hokutofuji comes to mind.  And Ishiura, especially recently. Maybe that's why he's doing so well in the Mock Basho(Thinkingindepth...).

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26 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

Agree.  I am surprised when I occasionally see rikishi during a match or in the gym, and see the mass of muscles underneath that roll of fat.  Not most, just some.  Hokutofuji comes to mind.  And Ishiura, especially recently. Maybe that's why he's doing so well in the Mock Basho(Thinkingindepth...).

i remember when it was discovered that Akebono had a personal training, primarily for weightlifting, it was a big stink in the press.

 

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16 hours ago, kawika said:

i remember when it was discovered that Akebono had a personal training, primarily for weightlifting, it was a big stink in the press.

 

This came up on another thread recently. So he for sure had a personal trainer during his active sumo career? Any links to articles or videos on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

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1 hour ago, Chanko Thief said:

This came up on another thread recently. So he for sure had a personal trainer during his active sumo career? Any links to articles or videos on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

i am sure.  i was following sumo then and in Tokyo.  i got confirmation from his tsubito.  i will search for the Japan Times article.  i can picture the trainer, blonde haired, white dude, obviously on roids.  

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2 minutes ago, kawika said:

i am sure.  i was following sumo then and in Tokyo.  i got confirmation from his tsubito.  i will search for the Japan Times article.  i can picture the trainer, blonde haired, white dude, obviously on roids.  

Much appreciated kawika, thank you.

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A common factor in many of the choices expressed in this thread seems to be which Yokozuna was in his prime at the time of each Forum member's initial foray into the world of oozumo.  And perhaps for that reason, I have to admit that I have a strong bias towards Harumafuji.  Even though he was not a Yokozuna when I started following sumo, he did secure promotion to Ozeki shortly after I began following the sport, and I took great delight in watching his rise to Grand Champion status.  IMO Harumafuji was at his prime in the summer of 2012 (very few Yokozunas can claim that they secured their Yokozuna promotion with two straight zensho yusho).  His Yokozuna career was no sham, but he was plagued with injuries that he didn't necessarily have in the earlier years.  

Aside from his technical mastery and speed, what made him so appealing to me was his human side, his close relationship with his mother and brother(s), his interest in seeking higher education while in the sport, and his legitimate artistic pursuits in painting.  But if I am being absolutely honest, the assault on Takanoiwa in October of 2017 left a bad taste in my mouth.  His philanthropic work opening a school in Mongolia did help redeem him in my eyes, but sadly I can't hold him up as the Yokozuna worthy of the greatest respect...  

He definitely was my favourite Yokozuna, and I still haven't found another Yokozuna that can eclipse the enthusiasm that he generated in me as a sumo fan.

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Posted (edited)

<---------

Hakuho is the best Rikishi to ever grace the sport of sumo in my opinion. The number of records he holds is just baffling. He is in a class of his own. 

In my opinion rikishi like chiyonofuji, asashoryu and taiho are just below him.

Edited by Hakuho
clarify

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37 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

A common factor in many of the choices expressed in this thread seems to be which Yokozuna was in his prime at the time of each Forum member's initial foray into the world of oozumo.  

This is very true but not in my case. I started watching sumo toward the end of Chiyonofuji's career and I still think Hakuho is number one. I thought Chiyonofuji was great and he was exciting to watch. Of the Yokozuna that I have actually watched live on TV, I'm inclined to go with Hakuho, Chiyonofuji and Asashoryu in that order. Taiho is second on my list of all time Yokozuna. Chiyonofuji and then Asashoryu (Many people hated him but he was exciting to watch!) are in third and fourth place respectively. Their are other great Yokozuna but they are not in the top four of my list. 

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Hakuho all the way.

As much as I have respect for the matches, technique and the stories/legends that go along with prior Yokozuna, I feel so fortunate to have become a sumo fan doing a period where I could lay witness to the greatest of all time doing his thing. He's broken nearly every record, and sure, he's a "heel" (bad guy for non-pro-wrestling fans), but he backs it up. I've grown to love his cockiness, because, it's Hakuho? What are you gonna do about it?! Is he wrong?!!

The man is a Yokozuna in every sense of the word, and has been for what, 14 years? It will be a long, long time before we see his like again.

That said; from a 'from the heart' perspective, Musashimaru seemed like he was always fun to watch/root for, and I really wanted Kisenosato to unseat Hakuho and usher in that new era.

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There is some great feedback/discussion on this thread everyone, let’s keep it coming, I would love to see this topic expand and get everyone’s input, especially all of the new people joining the forum. Here is a great video (curtesy of YouTube account Sumo, Sumo, Sumo) of various Yokozuna performing the dohyo-iri.

 

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Yoshibayama would be my favourite past yokozuna.

  • Entered sumo by purely accident because of a comical case of mistaken identity at a train station.
  • Used his shikona to pay tribute to the surgeon who saved his life from appendicitis (Yoshiba).
  • Got drafted into WWII mid-sumo career. Came back skinny, and with a bullet permanently lodged in his foot. Still went on to become yokozuna.
  • Once insisted on a draw instead of torinaoshi because his opponent could no longer stand.
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Of the 23 Yokozuna who started in the six-basho era (fudging Taiho in), the rikishi with the fewest make-koshi on the way to the rope are:

3 Wajima, Hakuho

2 Taiho, Akebono, Aseshoryu

1 Musashimaru

On the flip side, those with the highest percentage of tournaments with MKs on the Yokozuna trail are: Kakuryu (22%), Chiyonofuji (26%), Mienoumi (29%), Takanosato (30%)

 

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1 hour ago, Yamanashi said:

Of the 23 Yokozuna who started in the six-basho era (fudging Taiho in), the rikishi with the fewest make-koshi on the way to the rope are:

1 Musashimaru

Had no idea about this. What an incredible record.

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That is pretty astonishing considering he took almost a decade to reach yokozuna from his debut. He didn't race there, like the other names listed.

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50 minutes ago, yohcun said:

That is pretty astonishing considering he took almost a decade to reach yokozuna from his debut. He didn't race there, like the other names listed.

Some say that this was because he lacked a 'killer instinct'. I really liked him because he was really a gentle giant, friendly and open and with a great sense of humour. I think I'd put him in the #1 favourite spot too but it's so hard to choose. I liked Takanohana's hinkaku and Harumafuji's speed. But Hakuho is an unparallelled phenomenon that is hard to disparage, despite his antics and the deep insult to Japanese customs at times and his crazy behaviour on November 22 1017 when he refused to acknowledge Yoshikaze's kinboshi. He may be the GOAT and has it in him to do much good for sumo for decades to come, but he is not my favourite Yokozuna.

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On 07/06/2020 at 05:11, Houmanumi said:

Hakuho all the way.

As much as I have respect for the matches, technique and the stories/legends that go along with prior Yokozuna, I feel so fortunate to have become a sumo fan doing a period where I could lay witness to the greatest of all time doing his thing. He's broken nearly every record, and sure, he's a "heel" (bad guy for non-pro-wrestling fans), but he backs it up. I've grown to love his cockiness, because, it's Hakuho? What are you gonna do about it?! Is he wrong?!!

The man is a Yokozuna in every sense of the word, and has been for what, 14 years? It will be a long, long time before we see his like again.

That said; from a 'from the heart' perspective, Musashimaru seemed like he was always fun to watch/root for, and I really wanted Kisenosato to unseat Hakuho and usher in that new era.

Exactly my thoughts. His consistency and the sheer number of records he holds just make him the undisputable GOAT in my opinion. 

Not to take away from the other legendary Yokozuna, but imo Hakuho is just in a class of his own an he proves it time and time again, 13 years after his elevation to the highest rank.

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25 minutes ago, Hakuho said:

Exactly my thoughts. His consistency and the sheer number of records he holds just make him the undisputable GOAT in my opinion. 

Not to take away from the other legendary Yokozuna, but imo Hakuho is just in a class of his own an he proves it time and time again, 13 years after his elevation to the highest rank.

I tried to bet my friends that you'd say Hakuho was the greatest yokozuna, but none of them would put up money against me.  Damn!

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This topic does not concern  opinions as to who is the best yokozuna. It only asks for opinions as to who is one's favorite yokozuna. To me, the best yokozuna ever is Hakuho. No one is even close. 

But because his promotion to yokozuna started relatively late in his career, because he attained so much success after that promotion, and because he was a small rikishi with such great athleticism, my favorite is still Chiyonofuji.

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Here's a great new video that was posted just a month ago.  It shows all of the bouts of Hakuho & Asashoryu.  Excellent! 

 

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2 hours ago, sekitori said:

This topic does not concern  opinions as to who is the best yokozuna. It only asks for opinions as to who is one's favorite yokozuna. To me, the best yokozuna ever is Hakuho. No one is even close. 

But because his promotion to yokozuna started relatively late in his career, because he attained so much success after that promotion, and because he was a small rikishi with such great athleticism, my favorite is still Chiyonofuji.

Exactly. Hakuho is clearly the best by almost every metric we can think of, but while I have tremendous respect for him as an athlete, he’s never really excited me other than in his early years when he was challenging Asashoryu. Therefore, I can’t choose him as my favourite. I like the guys with character and/or a story.

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