Chanko Thief

Favorite Yokozuna? Past And Present

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3 minutes ago, Kaminariyuki said:

Who is Hakuho fighting in that last clip?

Harumafuji. 

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2 hours ago, Kaminariyuki said:

Who is Hakuho fighting in that last clip?

Harumafuji.

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Favorite yokozuna Wajima my least favorite kitanoumi Kita was a Dai yokozuna I just did not care for his style. Favorite non Yokozuna takanohana the ozeki and Takamiyama.

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On 27/05/2020 at 13:01, Chanko Thief said:

I was curious to see which of the Yokozuna past & present that you all favor. Even if they were active before you started watching sumo, based on footage you have seen, or research you have done, who is your all time favorite Yokozuna and why? If you can’t narrow it down to just one, feel free to list a few.

This thread is a gold mine. Just wanted to thank Chanko Thief for the OP. If I'd have been watching back in the day, I'd have certainly been a Chiyonofuji and a Wajima fan, as well. I learned a little about the sport by watching some of the videos and reading the comments here. Arigato gozaimasu.

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Thanks Chanko Thief - this is a great thread to get into for my first post on the forum.  I first got into sumo watching from the UK in the 80s, so Chiyonofuji looms large and is my favourite of those I have watched.  However, as a full-living Yokozuna both in and away from the dohyo, it is the sainted Hitachiyama. And it is somewhat appropriate to the OP that my nominee is the man who popularised Chankonabe.

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On 13/10/2020 at 01:39, Bugman said:

I'd have to go for Chiyonofuji, when i was a child in the UK, channel 4 used to show Sumo highlights and that was his era.  I used to watch them with my father, neither of us having a clue what was going on, but cheering for the wolf, knowing that we were witnessing a champion.

Same here, although I was a bit older.

But picking one is like picking your favourite band - it depends when you started watching. I've missed almost the whole of Hakuho's reign and his record speaks for itself but I don't know if he ever had the charisma of Chiyonofuji or not.

One thing about Chiyonofuji: he knew when to quit.

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6 hours ago, nagora said:

Same here, although I was a bit older.

But picking one is like picking your favourite band - it depends when you started watching. I've missed almost the whole of Hakuho's reign and his record speaks for itself but I don't know if he ever had the charisma of Chiyonofuji or not.

One thing about Chiyonofuji: he knew when to quit.

So did Hakuho. Then the virus came along and put the Olympics back by a year...

I've been watching sumo again regularly for 5 years or so, so I've witnessed Hakuho's slow decline in more detail than I got to watch Chiyonofuji's slow decline on C4 (which only concentrated on bouts from Aki each year from 1987-91, with the rest of the year as background stories). Hakuho doesn't have Chiyonofuji's infamous death stare, nor does he control his emotions so well, but at his prime Hakuho was utterly invincible in a way that Chiyonofuji never was. 

It's mainly nostalgia that makes Chiyonofuji my favourite, but Hakuho is so close...

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Hakuho, Chiyonofuji, Haramafuji

 

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16 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

So did Hakuho. Then the virus came along and put the Olympics back by a year...

I've been watching sumo again regularly for 5 years or so, so I've witnessed Hakuho's slow decline in more detail than I got to watch Chiyonofuji's slow decline on C4 (which only concentrated on bouts from Aki each year from 1987-91, with the rest of the year as background stories). Hakuho doesn't have Chiyonofuji's infamous death stare, nor does he control his emotions so well, but at his prime Hakuho was utterly invincible in a way that Chiyonofuji never was. 

It's mainly nostalgia that makes Chiyonofuji my favourite, but Hakuho is so close...

I wouldn't have said that Chiyonofuji had a slow decline, the end came quite abruptly IMO - a 13-2 win, then two withdrawals from injury and he retired.

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=1354

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I thanked the OP for their post but never said why Hakuho is my favorite.

On 08/04/2021 at 07:27, nagora said:

But picking one is like picking your favourite band - it depends when you started watching. I've missed almost the whole of Hakuho's reign and his record speaks for itself but I don't know if he ever had the charisma of Chiyonofuji or not.

Of course, in the general community, there's a mixed reaction to Hakuho's personality and style. Sometimes his behavior is simply not very Japanese. I became a fan at his zenith and consider him one of the most focused and gifted athletes I've ever seen, in any sport. He is so intensely centered on winning, so extraordinarily fast, but with a cunning and finesse that make that speed an amazing asset. In-person, he is quite charismatic, IMO. I've only met him once, but I found him charming, particularly for such a famous person in an esteemed position. I don't know his philosophical or religious views, but I consider him to have a Buddhist-like approach, incongruous for such a violent sport. I will always remember a scene at one of the bashos I attended, where Hakuho seemed to be nearly in a meditative state as he sat beside the dohyo, awaiting the start of his bout. The action resulted in one of the rikishi being hurled off the elevated dohyo and completely taking out the guy sitting next to Hakuho. His eyes were slightly closed and from a distance, it seemed that he never flinched. We have a strong group of sanyaku, and possibly a few megashira, who are clearly now capable of competing with the dai-yokozuna, and may yet wear the rope themselves. He's getting older and nursing injuries and surgeries, but I don't think any of them would actually be favorites to beat him, even to this day. I admire his prowess and I confess, I actually like his style, too. A scrawny kid from Mongolia, go figure.

THe man is completely dedicated to sumo. I hope I live to see him an oyakata, and may he train multiple yokozuna of the future.

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20 hours ago, nagora said:

I wouldn't have said that Chiyonofuji had a slow decline, the end came quite abruptly IMO - a 13-2 win, then two withdrawals from injury and he retired.

If things had gone according to plan, Hakuho would have retired a couple of basho after his 13-2 win in March 2020...

However, I agree that Hakuho's decline (2016-20) was more marked than Chiyonofuji's (1987-91), especially when considered against his earlier dominance.

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Posted (edited)

I haven't reviewed most of the footage (sumo bouts or documentary) of yokozunas before Hakuho, Kakuryu, Kisenosato and Harumafuji. So while I would like to say Chiyonofuji, I don't think I know enough to make intelligent comment about it. However, of the four that I am most acquainted with, I'd say it's a tie between Kakuryu and Hakuho. A lot of people don't like and are dismissive of Kakuryu, but I find his calm and gentle disposition very refreshing from other Mongolian rikishi, who tend to be very fire-and-brimstone or the Japanese ones, which tend to be too stoic. His ability to quickly identify opportunities for winning and being able to give the correct response demonstrates how adaptable and masterful his sumo was, especially when he was healthy. With regard to Hakuho, of course I would rather he'd never gotten embroiled in post-bout behaviour scandals, but I do not think we will ever see someone with such fighting spirit again in our lives. His sheer determination to overcome injury, to see over the next mountain, to reach the highest levels of mastery is nothing short of spectacular. Unlike many of the most recent yokozuna, who see the rank as a burden, you can feel the zeal and joy Hakuho has at being a Yokozuna. If he retires in July, the foremost thing I will remember him by is how he constantly pushed the boundaries of sport - how he showed us the outer limits of what was truly possible in sumo. 

Edited by pricklypomegranate
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