Kintamayama

Preparations of the Y/O- November 2020

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Takakeishou today: "Before anything, all I'm thinking of is I'd like to yusho.. I have to get a good result," he said. He concentrated on the fundamentals today. The last few days he practiced with new-Sekiwkae Takanoshou. "I think I'm in good shape. I hope I do good sumo on opening day. If my pushing will be strong, I can use all kinds of techniques to follow up. I will be polishing my tsuki-oshi. If I don't attack all out, my body won't move," he summed somewhat.

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Here is a short video detailing Asanoyama's training at Takasago beya, with a little interview with the man himself at the end. I am enjoying this series. I hope they show what the devil is going on in Miyagino beya next (Laughing...)

 

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"I'm training as usual," said Hakuhou today. He has been training with heyamates Enhou and Juryo Ishiura lately. "I'm moving extremely well,. but I'm not sure if my injury is totally healed. At this juncture there is a possibility that I won't be able to enter the basho, but I'll have to go the hospital for a checkup to see what's what, but till then.." he added. He was lately called upon to get well and get out there by the YDC. "If he enters and drops out again in the middle, whatever will be said will not be good.. That's what I'm afraid of the most. He isn't getting younger so he must heal his old injuries the best he can," said Miyagino Oyakata.

Edited by Kintamayama
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The old Izutsu beya building will be demolished. "Yes, I know. It really makes me sad. I think it will happen soon, " said Kakuryuu (who passed his time there for 18 years) today. "It should happen any day now, sadly. That is what I'm feeling lately. It's like my own home. I have many memories from there. I have pictures etc. but it's going to disappear for real.. The memories are countless. I can talk bout stuff forever and remember things endlessly.. Still, even if it is physically demolished it will always be in my mind, as long as I live. " he said. Next basho entry? "I feel I'm not ready yet. Compared to what I was able to do before the virus, I feel it is not good enough..When I enter, I better show a good result. Saying eight bouts is enough and stuff is not good, " he summed. He still hasn't done any sumo, five days before day one. He did lend his chest to Kiribayama for some butsugari and did the fundamentals today, but still 1000% out.

Edited by Kintamayama
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Kakuryu has sure hit the perfect storm. The threat of dismissal, the prospect of having no future in the sumo world and now the demolition of Izutsu stable... I'm sure many are concerned about him and have high hopes for Kiribayama, so here's how they are doing - enjoy! 

 

 

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YDC top Yano was interviewed by Nikkei shimbun, in the first part (registration and login necessary) he said about the 2 yokozuna

  • Hakuho lacks the sense for bushido (the new film Sumo-do -samurai successors emphasizes that part): that is, after the fight is over, immediately get calm again - he doesn't. His dame-oshi and behavior on the dohyo is equaled to that of Asashoryu
  • Michinoku-oyakata had declared earlier that Kakuryu is prepared to put his career on the line in November, Kakuryu should be aware of that. A yokozuna should be able to get into proper condition by himself.

Yano hopes both yokozuna will be in the basho and deliver results

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35 minutes ago, Akinomaki said:

YDC top Yano was interviewed by Nikkei shimbun, in the first part (registration and login necessary) he said about the 2 yokozuna

  • Hakuho lacks the sense for bushido (the new film Sumo-do -samurai successors emphasizes that part): that is, after the fight is over, immediately get calm again - he doesn't. His dame-oshi and behavior on the dohyo is equaled to that of Asashoryu
  • Michinoku-oyakata had declared earlier that Kakuryu is prepared to put his career on the line in November, Kakuryu should be aware of that. A yokozuna should be able to get into proper condition by himself.

Yano hopes both yokozuna will be in the basho and deliver results

Ugh. As @Kintamayama has taken pain to note, they have only advisory power, but that advisory power to oyakata is pretty much equivalent to intai. Truly, nothing makes my blood boil like the YDC. 

Hakuho has done some horrendous things on the dohyo - I grant Yano that - but that is such a blanket statement. He doesn't do that all the time, and sometimes he prevents older/injured rikishi from falling off the dohyo. The work he did outside sumo and tiding the sport through its rough patches is conveniently omitted. Sorry, but in my (weightless) opinion, he's not even close to Asashoryu in this respect (who displayed atrocious behaviour on and OFF the dohyo). Miyagino Oyakata's no stranger to controversy and judging from his most recent comments, it looks like he's defending his student though, so I doubt even if the YDC recommends him to retire there will be any action (unless someone from the Kyokai above orders Miyagino to let Hakuho go). Have they even considered that their organisation's behaviour is partly the reason (though not justification) for why he rebels so much? 

Didn't Michinoku-oyakata tell Kakuryu that he better show good results the next time he competes and not November explicitly, or are we just thinking of that in principle? Anyways, that's not possible. From the many reports and information divulged from Kakuryu, he is obviously not in a position to compete, physically or mentally. Yano is living pure fantasy, and if the YDC forces Kakuryu to fulfil it, he's going to pay physically and emotionally, perhaps for life. 

The YDC preserve the culture of sumo, yes, but I think they just have to give due consideration to precedents, and whether that particular aspect is toxic. Sorry for ranting. 

Edited by pricklypomegranate
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12 minutes ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Didn't Michinoku-oyakata tell Kakuryu that he better show good results the next time he competes and not November explicitly, or are we just thinking of that in principle. Anyways, that's not possible. From the many reports and information divulged from Kakuryu, he is obviously not in a position to compete, physically or mentally. Yano is living pure fantasy, and if the YDC forces Kakuryu to fulfil it, he's going to pay physically and emotionally, perhaps for life.

I don't know ATM the exact wording of Michinoku, but I guess it was: (his) next basho, leaving a bit room for interpretation. The press and the YDC obviously understood it as the November basho, so it likely was a clear statement.

Edit: he is prepared to put his career on the line, not: he will put his career on the line

Edited by Akinomaki

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14 minutes ago, Akinomaki said:

I don't know ATM the exact wording of Michinoku, but I guess it was: (his) next basho, leaving a bit room for interpretation. The press and the YDC obviously understood it as the November basho, so it likely was a clear statement.

If I remember correctly, he said almost the exact words that were said to Kisenosato. "Next time he enters the dohyo, it may be do or die." 次の場所に進退も  Shintai-means "remaining in a post or resigning", as I understand it. Usually, this wording is final. If Kakuryuu screws up next time he appears he will retire. Just like Kisenosato.

Edited by Kintamayama

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10 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

If I remember correctly, he said almost the exact words that were said to Kisenosato. "Next time he enters the dohyo, it may be do or die." 次の場所に進退も  Shintai-means "remaining in a post or resigning", as I understand it. Usually, this wording is final. If Kakuryuu screws up next time he appears he will retire. Just like Kisenosato.

Yes, tsugi no basho ni: at the next basho. But that usually means the actual next basho, just with interpretation his next basho. Interesting is also the mo, mainly = also/even: on the one hand it can be an emphasis, on the other hand may indicate that there is another possibility.

Edited by Akinomaki

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2 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Ugh. As @Kintamayama has taken pain to note, they have only advisory power, but that advisory power to oyakata is pretty much equivalent to intai. Truly, nothing makes my blood boil like the YDC. 

Hakuho has done some horrendous things on the dohyo - I grant Yano that - but that is such a blanket statement. He doesn't do that all the time, and sometimes he prevents older/injured rikishi from falling off the dohyo. The work he did outside sumo and tiding the sport through its rough patches is conveniently omitted. Sorry, but in my (weightless) opinion, he's not even close to Asashoryu in this respect (who displayed atrocious behaviour on and OFF the dohyo). Miyagino Oyakata's no stranger to controversy and judging from his most recent comments, it looks like he's defending his student though, so I doubt even if the YDC recommends him to retire there will be any action (unless someone from the Kyokai above orders Miyagino to let Hakuho go). Have they even considered that their organisation's behaviour is partly the reason (though not justification) for why he rebels so much? 

Didn't Michinoku-oyakata tell Kakuryu that he better show good results the next time he competes and not November explicitly, or are we just thinking of that in principle? Anyways, that's not possible. From the many reports and information divulged from Kakuryu, he is obviously not in a position to compete, physically or mentally. Yano is living pure fantasy, and if the YDC forces Kakuryu to fulfil it, he's going to pay physically and emotionally, perhaps for life. 

The YDC preserve the culture of sumo, yes, but I think they just have to give due consideration to precedents, and whether that particular aspect is toxic. Sorry for ranting. 

I don't necessarily agree with the YDC either, but I can see where they're coming from, especially with an understanding of some behavioural psychology. I can agree that they're insensitive as hell especially regarding Kakuryu, but if you agree that their role is to be the custodian of Japanese values - 大和魂の守護者 - then it's not surprising that they feel the need to draw that line in the sand.

The question is, who are we comparing Hakuho against? If Asashoryu, then almost anyone ever in sumo looks like a saint next to him. Excepting the highly unusual circumstances of Futahaguro's departure (which may or may not have been engineered by the-then Tatsunami oyakata), Asashoryu was perhaps the biggest walking embarrassment to sumo ever. I still recall watching - on Singapore's Chinese news no less, which is quite parochial otherwise - the report of Asashoryu's suspension for playing football in Mongolia while injured. So Asashoryu's a low bar to clear, and definitely not the yardstick to compare hinkaku by. Or to put it another way, if the default expectation of behaviour is complied by, then anyone who deviates is automatically "the other". There is no spectrum - you're either conformant or not, such is the Japanese way. It fits with this theory that Harumafuji isn't often talked about, since his remote-control incident was apparently quite out of character, and he can't fall neatly into either category as a result. So if Hakuho doesn't behave like rikishi should, then he's in the same category as Asashoryu to Japanese minds.

If we consider who the views are coming from - YDC, committee full of senior members of Japanese society, likely to all be conservative to a fault - then basically Hakuho has got an impossible task in trying to please them. He's gaijin - strike one. Every single act of his will be scrutinised for being an infraction, and his 44 yusho come only so partially close to redeeming him. Yusho are a cause for celebration, especially from a Western perspective - we celebrate each yusho for rikishi as the summit of their achievements. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the YDC, in line with Zen wisdom, sees the yusho not as a goal in itself, but merely a reward for putting on good sumo. Hakuho's on-dohyo tactics will have gone down very badly with them because it's not considered graceful, legitimate sumo. Nor will that training video of him dangling Mitakeumi around by the foot have helped, or that tejime incident after Osaka last year - all these would have been typecast as expressions of his "foreignness", never mind that most of the audience clapped along with him. If he has to resort to those tactics to win, then he's better off retiring, Olympics be damned. I'd also bet that the YDC doesn't approve of his career necromancy, but doesn't/can't say too much about it because they can't really fault the source of that motivation, which is to emulate his father - perfectly worthy to Japanese sensibilities.

The biggest problem with the YDC really is the age-old quis custodiet ipsos custodes - who will guard the guards (or their mouths)? The YDC is supposed to be the quality control for the NSK with respect to the yokozuna and a lesser extent, the ozeki, but because they have no skin in the game, the YDC usually just ends up running their mouths. This cuts both ways also, because (and I might be corrected on this) the YDC has no explicit power to forcibly remove yokozuna other than a "recommendation to retire", and that's only come out where the oyakata and rikishi are inclined to agree to retire anyway. So they are happy to make noises precisely because while they're a ostensibly prestigious body, they know their words don't actually need to mean anything, and their best means of action is persuasive rather than coercive. It's also not clear to what extent the NSK is happy for the YDC to do it. In some ways, the YDC being that strident is fairly good for the more conservative elements in the NSK who are probably thinking what the YDC is saying but don't want to come out and say it, and to once in a while remind rikishi that whatever they may achieve, they're still not much in the scheme of things - sumo is bigger than any individual rikishi.

If all this is as clear as mud, that's because it probably is. As much as we might like clarity in our sumo and related matters, that's never been the Japanese way - and to a certain lesser extent, that's true of other East Asian cultures as well. It can make for very frustrating reading standing on the sidelines, but as much as we're invested in the storylines of individual rikishi, the NSK and YDC's remit has never been about one rikishi, or even sumo as a sport as we understand it in the modern sense, but about preserving an expression of Japanese culture via sumo.

Edited by Seiyashi
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It's like a volcano, the longer it's been since something erupted out of the head YDC mouth, the likelier it's going to happen soon.

He's just saying something to say something.

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I've tried to go back into the history of the YDC.  It seems to me like the NSK directors didn't like the second-guessing and criticism from the press and public over Yokozuna decisions, so they constructed a completely advisory (no real power) committee so that those members can huff 'n' puff while the NSK itself looks like the wise adults in the room.  Was that the original plan?

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12 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

 the mo, mainly = also/even: on the one hand it can be an emphasis, on the other hand may indicate that there is another possibility.

That's why I wrote "may".

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Kakuryuu is out. Oyakata is using the do or die phrase regarding Hatsu. Not enough keiko, still has pains, etc.

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"My lower back has not gotten any better. Not perfect. No use entering like this," he said. No sumo training today, just lending his chest to Kiribayama. His lower back situation worstened during training today. "Just putting on the mawashi is painful.. I though it was getting better and got carried away.. Thinking that here I'm on the road to recovery, I overdid it and here we are. Next time I appear i have to show a good result. I'm not thinking of resting from now till January. I just want to do everything I can to be ready for whenever I return," said Kakuryuu.

Edited by Kintamayama
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7 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

There's that "do or die" again..

That sounds prompted by the YDC. No one was using shintai in relation to Hakuho before this. Considering it's not that long since he won a yusho, it feels premature.

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Kakuryu just has not been the same since Sakahoko died and the stable folded. Looks like intai will be coming in January.

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4 hours ago, WAKATAKE said:

Kakuryu just has not been the same since Sakahoko died and the stable folded. Looks like intai will be coming in January.

I hope he’ll show one last dance on dohyo

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Shoudai seems to discuss his age a lot, and today is his 29th birthday. "I feel aged.. I really don't want to accumulate those years. I want to do youngish sumo as much as I  can," he said. He received a cream cake from his koenkai with a picture of him and the Cup from last basho printed on it. His heyamates were all there to support him and have a go at the cake. He never likes to know who he faces during a basho. "I'm thinking of not checking out who my opponents will be on day 1 and day 2. I wonder if I should avoid social media so as not to be informed.. I just want to avoid any unnecessary stress, " he added, planning on continuing this routine from last basho. Today, he had 10 bouts with Yutakayama, checking out last minute adjustments. "In any case, at this stage I have been able to prepare as usual," he summed. If he gets the yusho, he will be the first since Hakuhou in 2006 to get the yusho in his Ozeki debut basho.

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For Kakuryu, next January basho will probably be his last one as a active rikishi. For Hakuho, he still can yusho next January. But as a GOAT, I think he should take at least one yusho plus one jun-yusho in one year.

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An ozeki has three bashos to keep or resume his rank. Maybe a yokozuna should be given four bashos. 

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I've always felt the opposite.  To avoid gaming the system, the rules make it difficult for anyone but a Yokozuna to recover from injury because of dramatic loss of rank.  I think any Rickshi should be able to skip at least one Basho without serious loss of rank, maybe two or more based on medical evaluation.  In the past, the Kyujo system got gamed by Rikshi leaving a basho when they were doing poorly, and the baby got tossed with the bathwater.

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Completely revamped to reflect Isegahama oyakata's comments and recommendation for you to retire see that nonplussed photo of Hakuho in the photo (Laughing...)

Source: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20201106/amp/k10012698061000.html

Kakuryu's withdrawal was definitely expected but fans still held out hope that Hakuho would appear. However, it appears that he won't. 

Isegahama Oyakata: [About Nokozuna again] "It's a shame that both Yokozuna have withdrawn consecutive basho. However, they are injured and cannot help it. I hope they can fulfil their responsibilities next basho in perfect condition." 

Isegahama Oyakata: [About Ozekis] I want the Ozekis to do their best this time. I would like shin-Ozeki Shodai to concentrate and do his sumo freely. I believe he has Ozeki-level ability, and hope he does his best to demonstrate his skill. 

Looks like Isegahama is super chill compared to the fire and brimstone YDC comments. Hmm... 

Edited by pricklypomegranate
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2 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Looks like Isegahama is super chill compared to the fire and brimstone YDC comments. Hmm... 

It'd be interesting to see if the YDC and NSK come to disagreements about Hakuho. Kakuryu is probably a bit too far gone without a major new justification, but the YDC might not take too kindly to Isegahama's acceptance of the situation.

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