rzombie1988

Something needs to be done about part-time Yokozuna's

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Hakuho hasn't successfully completed two bashos in a row since May/July 2017. Three years ago.

Kakuryu has only done it twice in the same time span.

I'm not saying these guys aren't skilled or still aren't good, because they are. But it does not seem fair to me that 99% of rikishi have to wrestle every tournament or risk getting demoted while Kakuryu and Hakuho can be almost part-time wrestlers at this point and not face any consequences.

What good is a yokozuna who is only around some of the time?

 

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Posted (edited)

I get that everyone gets injured sometimes, but unless Hakuho and Kakuryu get pressured by the JSA, I could see this going on for another 2 years. And I don't want to see that, and I don't want to see the next Yokozuna to start copying them and take it easy too.

There's really been no one else in history who is missing like these guys are regularly now. These two have missed or failed to complete even more tournaments than Kashiwado.

I also think this stuff hurts sumo. It makes the basho's look less competitive, taking away from victories and it makes it harder for new stars to emerge when these guys are still in the spotlight.

Edited by rzombie1988

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, rzombie1988 said:

What good is a yokozuna who is only around some of the time?

He's better than no yokozuna at all.

Near the end of their career, this is a usual pattern. The 2 are still more at work than yokozuna Kisenosato ever was - and much more than Takanohana in his last 2 years.

Edited by Akinomaki
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19 minutes ago, rzombie1988 said:

But it does not seem fair

I've said it before - Sumo isn't fair.  Sumo is sumo.  Rank has it's privileges and, for Yokozuna, that's not ever going to change.  Hakuho could continue missing 3 basho a year until the NSK mandatory retirement age of 65 if he wished as long as he wins 12 or more every now and then.

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Posted (edited)

These guys may be hanging around until that proverbial new star emerges.  Part time yokozunas are not stopping that.  Their absences should help that new hero to make himself known. In the meantime, they fill the NSK's symbolic need for at least one yokozuna for non-basho functions.

Edited by Asojima
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Akinomaki said:

He's better than no yokozuna at all.

There's little doubt in my mind that Terunofuji would already be Yokozuna if he could have taken the extended breaks without punishment that Hakuho can., for instance, and I'm sure many wrestlers feel the same way about their promotional dreams.

Edited by rzombie1988

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Asojima said:

These guys may be hanging around until that proverbial new star emerges.  Part time yokozunas are not stopping that. 

I disagree. Tons of wrestlers would no doubt be able to perform better if they were only going to compete in a few bashos a year.

These guys get beat up out there with the dohyo falls and with the training. All of that takes a toll on how well you can perform.

Edited by rzombie1988

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2 minutes ago, rzombie1988 said:

I disagree. Tons of wrestlers would no doubt be able to perform better if they were only going to compete in a few bashos a year.

But, isn't that your argument against the current yokozuna situation.

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Just now, Asojima said:

But, isn't that your argument against the current yokozuna situation.

If everyone could do it, it wouldn't be a problem.

But only Yokozuna can without punishment. Meanwhile, people like Terunofuji get to go through Sandanme again.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, rzombie1988 said:

There's little doubt in my mind that Terunofuji would already be Yokozuna if he could have taken the extended breaks without punishment that Hakuho can., for instance, and I'm sure many wrestlers feel the same way about their promotional dreams.

Every Yokozuna had to get there first. They all had to participate in every basho or fear potential demotion. No Yokozuna was able to take "extended breaks"before he achieved the rank of Yokozuna.

Yokozuna is just a very special rank that comes with certain privileges. 

And let's not forget that the tournament before this one both Yokozuna fought on senshuraku for the Emperor's cup.

 

Edited by Hakuryuho
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I enjoy watching Hakuho, the greatest rikishi of all time*. He'll probably only be around for a year or so more. So, I am more than happy for him to have as much rest as required, if I can watch him get the yusho a few more times in that period. 

Takanohana took a whole year out at the end of his career.

Kakuryu? Maybe time for him to call it a day.

So, I think there should be exceptions for dai-Yokozunas (those with 10+ yushos), who should be allowed more time. They have done more than enough to deserve extra time at the top - and they draw in the crowds.

Yokozunas who are not dai-Yokozunas, and so are pretty similar to high-performing Ozekis, should be asked to consider moving on after three or more incomplete bashos in a year.

*Probably - although Raiden might be the real GOAT. 

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2 minutes ago, Jejima said:

I enjoy watching Hakuho, the greatest rikishi of all time*. He'll probably only be around for a year or so more. So, I am more than happy for him to have as much rest as required, if I can watch him get the yusho a few more times in that period. 

Takanohana took a whole year out at the end of his career.

Kakuryu? Maybe time for him to call it a day.

So, I think there should be exceptions for dai-Yokozunas (those with 10+ yushos), who should be allowed more time. They have done more than enough to deserve extra time at the top - and they draw in the crowds.

Yokozunas who are not dai-Yokozunas, and so are pretty similar to high-performing Ozekis, should be asked to consider moving on after three or more incomplete bashos in a year.

*Probably - although Raiden might be the real GOAT. 

The current situation does remind me a bit of 1992 after all four Yokozuna retired within a year, and the new generation jostling for position, finally Akebono & Takahanada emerging.

Hakuho doesn't do it for me at all, rightly or wrongly he has rattled up records with competition at a very poor level.

But where do you draw the line with making exceptions for Yokozuna in terms of kyujo?  Kitanoumi withdrew for the first time in November 1981, having never ever withdrawn before, and until his retirement in January 1985, only completed eight entire tournaments after that, 1983 in fact he only lasted the full fifteen days in Kyushu.

 

Swami

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10 minutes ago, Swami said:

Hakuho doesn't do it for me at all, rightly or wrongly he has rattled up records with competition at a very poor level.

I cannot agree at all with your statement. He had to battle Asashoryu and Harumafuji and those are just two rikishi of quite a few that were doing Sumo at a very high level whilst Hakuho was racking up the yusho and with it the records. 

Compared to other Dai-Yokozuna he hasn't faced any weaker competition at all. 

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5 minutes ago, Hakuryuho said:

Compared to other Dai-Yokozuna he hasn't faced any weaker competition at all. 

Compared to other Dai-Yokozunas, he has a 'Dai-Yokozuna' to spare.

What do I mean by this?

Hakuho has 44 yushos. The next closest is Taiho with 32 Yushos. So, Hakuho matches his closest challenger AND has an additional 12 yushos (enough for 'Dai-Yokozuna' recognition) to spare.

 

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I'm not a fan of part-time yokozuna, but I get it. There is the added wrinkle that a yokozuna who goes makekoshi is expected to retire. It's happened before, and no one wants to end their career like that. So, they keep hanging on. Should they? Probably not, if you ask me. Can they? Yes, and especially considering Hakuho's mochikyukin calculations, it's beneficial to them to limp along. 

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He's allowed to do it, privilege of rank.

But there's still much to enjoy in his performances. We live through and view extraordinary times. 

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I agree with the topicstarter. I have been disappointed with the yokozuna performances for quite a while too. 

Hakuho has finished 7 out of 17 over the last three years, Kakuryu 8. They have only met 5 times in the last 4 years...Sumo is all about gambarizing and perseverence but I feel that the rikishi at the top are lacking it.

 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Gooner said:

Hakuho has finished 7 out of 17 over the last three years, Kakuryu 8. They have only met 5 times in the last 4 years...Sumo is all about gambarizing and perseverence but I feel that the rikishi at the top are lacking it.

and the rikishi who has been qualified to replace them is ?????

Edited by Asojima
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Yes, my guess is that Kakuryu, Harumafuji and Kisenosato would have all had shots at being dai-yokozuna had Hakuho not been around. I'm glad there are dissenters (most of my Japanese sumo-fan buddies, actually), but I'm with the crew that loves seeing him go out there in his mid-30s and still win bashos. Two of the last four, as I count 'em. I was a big fan before I actually got to meet the guy. I liked him, and love to watch him wrestle, and I'm cherishing the end of the era as long as he's good to climb up on the dohyo.

He doesn't like to lose. There are strong sanyaku rikishi coming up, IMO, and the mightiest of flesh and fleetest of foot can not stand against time. He's planning on retiring, in any case, as we've seen in the press and as I heard him say myself. I suspect the virus and Olympics rather stymied his plans. The kids are coming, but until then:

Hakuho banzai!!!

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Damn, I had stuff to do today!

Starting with Kashiwado:

Most basho left early (even one bout): Takanohana 17; Kakuryu 15; Kashiwado, Akebono, Hakuho 13.

Percent of total basho: Wakanohana (60) 55; Mienoumi 50; Tochinoumi, Takanosato 47

Lowest total: Tamanoumi -- fat lot of good it did him!

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Asojima said:

and the rikishi who has been qualified to replace them is ?????

Sumo history changes if various people aren't around.

Asashoryu was helped by having bad competition just as Hakuho was helped by having bad competition from 2010-2013.

Without Hakuho, there's no doubt people like Harumafuji, Kisenosato, Kakuryu and Terunofuji would have had a few more titles. And without him now, we'd probably have people like Shodai, Mitaekumi and Terunofuji around the Yokozuna level.

Edited by rzombie1988

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6 hours ago, Asojima said:

and the rikishi who has been qualified to replace them is ?????

There’s no requirement for a Yokozuna on the banzuke, so no need for a replacement right away.

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1 hour ago, rzombie1988 said:

Without Hakuho, there's no doubt people like Harumafuji, Kisenosato, Kakuryu and Terunofuji would have had a few more titles. And without him now, we'd probably have people like Shodai, Mitaekumi and Terunofuji around the Yokozuna level.

So, the point you wish to make is that even though Hakuho has been an incompetent yokozuna for the last three years, he has kept rikishi who have been unable to attain and retain the ozeki rank from performing at a yokozuna level.  I think I have got it now.

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

There’s no requirement for a Yokozuna on the banzuke, ....

Yokozuna Kakuryu came in handy for the Haru basho when they came up with a need for a yokozuna --ozeki.  :-P

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1 minute ago, Asojima said:

Yokozuna Kakuryu came in handy for the Haru basho when they came up with a need for a yokozuna --ozeki.  :-P

Hehe. True, it’s sometimes useful to have one spare.

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