Akinomaki

Non-K-November basho 2020 Discussion (spoiler space)

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That's two days in a row where a tricky little guy (Terutsuyoshi yesterday and Enho today) tried a sneaky move that came undone through one shove from a big slow guy. 

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1 hour ago, Amamaniac said:

I was actually surprised when Chief Judge Takadagawa proclaimed in his monoii announcement that Wakatakakage's "ashi" (foot/leg, in this case toes) had turned over.  Like you say, the judges tend to overlook that technicality.  While I can't be sure, my impression is that this was the first time since I started following oozumo (~8 years) that "toes turning over" was the basis of a monoii decision.

It also happened in a Hakuho Kisenosato match....

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1 hour ago, Amamaniac said:

This is actually Enho's 9th Makuuchi tournament.  It would be cruel and unusual if he were to drop out of the Top Division after this basho, never to return.  

But I still have faith that Enho's Makuuchi career will continue for as long as Mainoumi's Makuuchi career did.  That said, I am not, however, convinced that Enho will ever become an oyakata for Miyagino Stable or otherwise.  Somehow small (i.e., tiny) wrestlers don't inspire the commanding presence needed to run a stable IMHO.

Enho gambate ne!

I really hope that you are right about Enho's career - it would be such a shame if he did not succeed. While I don't think he would be the greatest stablemaster of all times, I think there are plenty that have probably done worse. 

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The more Enho tries and fails with his tricks, the more he starts to look like a guy out of his depth who doesn’t know what he’s doing, which is a shame because he’s obviously a very talented technical wrestler. It’s becoming a bit cringey though. I know he’s going to struggle going chest to chest with the big men, but he seems to have totally abandoned grappling of late in favour of the kind of ducks and swerves I’d employ if I was forced into a mawashi against my will and made to face Kaisei.

Poor Asanoyama. Just as he was emerging as arguably the strongest and most technically accomplished of the young Japanese cohort, along comes a revived Terunofuji to remind him of his shortcomings. The ex-Ozeki is winning all too comfortably right now against guys who should be his match. 

Edited by Eikokurai
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Terunofuji did a great job preventing Asanoyama left uwate. The japanese was trying countless times, but in the process he just fell into Teru's hands. I don't think he was injured, but that impact against the ground could stun an elephant...

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43 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Poor Asanoyama. Just as he was emerging as arguably the strongest and most technically accomplished of the young Japanese cohort, along comes a revived Terunofuji to remind him of his shortcomings. The ex-Ozeki is winning all too comfortably right now against guys who should be his match. 

Eh, I'd argue his losses this and last basho have shown the lie in the "strongest and most technically accomplished" category. He might have been at some point during his rise, but not now.

When he wins, he wins in convincing fashion, but his losses are another matter. His crippling dependence on his left has been noted so many times that you'd have to be a masochistic chivalrist not to use that against him. He is unlucky insofar as Terunofuji is almost his natural kryptonite in terms of sumo style, but I'd say that his sumo only looked unstoppable because he improved and rose fast enough that it didn't matter what you did against him. Now that everyone else has caught up, sat up, and taken note, his inefficiencies are being exploited against him, and his lack of a head game isn't helping either.

I'd go so far as to say that Takakeisho has looked better than Asanoyama ever since Asanoyama was promoted. And after yesterday's lucky escape, Shodai's forward sumo is looking fairly decent too.

Edited by Seiyashi

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Enho is great when he wins, but some of his losses look pretty embarrassing... maybe you just can't have one without the other. 

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Asonoyama got chucked down like a sack of potatoes. I’m calling Terunofuji yusho now. He’s been hugely impressive on days 1 and 2 and he’s no stranger to the pressure cooker of the joi, is he?

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30 minutes ago, since_94 said:

Asonoyama got chucked down like a sack of potatoes. I’m calling Terunofuji yusho now. He’s been hugely impressive on days 1 and 2 and he’s no stranger to the pressure cooker of the joi, is he?

If his body holds up. 

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

... if I was forced into a mawashi against my will and made to face Kaisei.

Ha ha, the look on Enho's face when he landed and saw Kaisei about to pummel him was basically this. You can see the whites of Enho's eyes as he realizes his move hadn't quite gone to plan and the game was up.

 

 

Untitled-1.jpg

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

Eh, I'd argue his losses this and last basho have shown the lie in the "strongest and most technically accomplished" category. He might have been at some point during his rise, but not now.

I still think he is of the young Japanese rikishi. Takakeisho perhaps has more explosive power but is limited to applying it forward, so lacks the technical accomplishment. Asanoyama is for me the strongest and deftest among his compatriot peers in a grapple. 

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I remember an old super nintendo sumo game where rikishi attributes are basically power, speed, defense, and technique. Among the current ozeki, probably Shodai is the leader in the defense category, TKO in power, then Asa and Teru in tech. But of course Teru is better, that's why Asa is losing against him. If only there is a way to graft Teru's upper body onto Shodai's legs, there you have the sure thing next yokozuna.

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That was classic Terunofuji, I love it. This ought to be a good basho. 

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All the Top Division regulars appearing in the Juryo ring entering ceremony this tournament make me think for a second that it is the prelude to the Top Division bouts...  

The illusion is largely the result of five familiar Top Division faces (especially Kotoshogiku) having dropped down into the Juryo Division after the last Grand Sumo Tournament.  But another factor is the return rise of Ura and Jokoryu, Ura having previously spent five tournaments in Makuuchi and Jokoryu 15.  

Just for the record, 75% of the men in Juryo this tournament have appeared in the Top Division in the past!  I want to think that this is par for the course, but I can't help but feel that it is something of an anomaly.  A few among the 21 former Top Division Juryo men could arguably be classified as dead wood (but nonetheless distinguished), and may represent in part what is wrong with the banzuke in this current age of transition.  In short, new talent is hard to come by.  Idle speculation on my part.

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12 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

 In short, new talent is hard to come by. 

and when it shows up, some of that old wood isn't quite as dead as it looks....yet.

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1 hour ago, Amamaniac said:

Just for the record, 75% of the men in Juryo this tournament have appeared in the Top Division in the past!

That stat only looks bad if all of them were crashouts from makuuchi. However, only Shohozan, Kotoshogiku, Ikioi, and Abi can be definitely classed as makuuchi regulars. Nishikigi stopped being one for quite a while, especially if you count from the first of his 6 MKs in makuuchi, and Ishiura and Chiyomaru are probably more charitably described as 50-50 - too good for juryo, not good enough to be consistently in makuuchi.

Quite frankly, the same 50-50 or worse description applies to most of the division that's been in makuuchi - Chiyonoo, Daiamami, Azumaryu, Tsurugisho, and Daishomaru off the top of my head (although I may be wrong). Takagenji and Kyokutaisei are exceptions only because of the quite unusual circumstances surrounding their rise and fall from makuuchi (Takanofuji's dismissal and injury respectively). In any case, none of the rikishi in this paragraph are headliners, so the fact that they've been in makuuchi at some point and are now back where they usually are isn't a cause for concern in my book.

I'd agree that the fact that we have 3 hitherto makuuchi stalwarts plummeting into juryo is quite an in-your-face sign of the times, but that should be the alarming stat and not the 75%. Instinctively, I'd say that only a minority of wrestlers in juryo at any point in time will end their career with a high at juryo. (I'd like to back this up, but I'm already procrastinating from work as is, so that might have to wait till after the basho.)

Edited by Seiyashi

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1 hour ago, Amamaniac said:

All the Top Division regulars appearing in the Juryo ring entering ceremony this tournament make me think for a second that it is the prelude to the Top Division bouts...  

The illusion is largely the result of five familiar Top Division faces (especially Kotoshogiku) having dropped down into the Juryo Division after the last Grand Sumo Tournament.  But another factor is the return rise of Ura and Jokoryu, Ura having previously spent five tournaments in Makuuchi and Jokoryu 15.  

Just for the record, 75% of the men in Juryo this tournament have appeared in the Top Division in the past!  I want to think that this is par for the course, but I can't help but feel that it is something of an anomaly.  A few among the 21 former Top Division Juryo men could arguably be classified as dead wood (but nonetheless distinguished), and may represent in part what is wrong with the banzuke in this current age of transition.  In short, new talent is hard to come by.  Idle speculation on my part.

This is just like a study I started a few months ago: finding the makuuchi basho with the highest average "career highest rank" ( so far it's May 2008).  I'd jut need to do this for Juryo, which should be easier with 14 set ranks.  Unfortunately I'm too busy to do it now, but it might be interesting.  Unfortunately, up-and-comers would not count much (until they were has-beens on the way down!)

 

P.S. see initial post in Ridiculous Predictions thread.

Edited by Yamanashi

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5 hours ago, Karasukurai said:

Ha ha, the look on Enho's face when he landed and saw Kaisei about to pummel him was basically this. You can see the whites of Enho's eyes as he realizes his move hadn't quite gone to plan and the game was up.

 

 

Untitled-1.jpg

The Endo of yesteryear would have ducked under Kaisei and won by okuridashi.  He needs to get back to 100kg minimum and learn to carry that weight to be effective at all.

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1 hour ago, Amamaniac said:

All the Top Division regulars appearing in the Juryo ring entering ceremony this tournament make me think for a second that it is the prelude to the Top Division bouts...  

The illusion is largely the result of five familiar Top Division faces (especially Kotoshogiku) having dropped down into the Juryo Division after the last Grand Sumo Tournament.  But another factor is the return rise of Ura and Jokoryu, Ura having previously spent five tournaments in Makuuchi and Jokoryu 15.  

Just for the record, 75% of the men in Juryo this tournament have appeared in the Top Division in the past!  I want to think that this is par for the course, but I can't help but feel that it is something of an anomaly.  A few among the 21 former Top Division Juryo men could arguably be classified as dead wood (but nonetheless distinguished), and may represent in part what is wrong with the banzuke in this current age of transition.  In short, new talent is hard to come by.  Idle speculation on my part.

I find that if you actually watch and keep track of the 28 Juryo guys you note the ones who are rising through (Tobizaru, Enho, Terutsoyoshi, Kotonowaka, Terunofuji) more than the ones dropping down looking for the way back (Ikioi, Nishikigi, Kotoshogiku, Shohozan, Ishiura).  It's a very cool division: more parity most of the time, unpredictable as anything, and quality almost inditiguishable from mid-Makuuchi the majority of the time.  28 is a great size, ensuring that nobody doing well from the bottom will face only the lower half of the division until it is too late to keep them from winning.

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Just for the purpose of a quick comparison, I tabulated some Juryo stats for two tournaments: November 2020, i.e., now (A) and May 2010 (B).  The former is what I consider a troubling (?) transition period tournament, and the latter a tournament from a period with a relatively robust banzuke.  

Number of wrestlers without any Top Division experience: (A) 7 [25%]; (B) 11 [39%]

Total number of Top Division tournaments previously registered by aforementioned wrestlers: (A) 442; (B) 268

This simple database survey suggests that some ten years ago, there were more up-and-coming talents or fresh faces and /or fewer stagnant veterans in Juryo than there are today.   Furthermore, the veterans in Juryo today have had more significant stays in the Top Division than those back in 2010.  In other words, the veterans in Juryo today are more familiar to fans in that they have had more Makuuchi exposure compared to those in 2010.  

Maybe all this doesn't mean anything.  But I am frankly troubled by the apparent lack of a successor to Hakuho (yeah, that's a big ask) or even ... Kakuryu.  Admittedly, there are a few new prospects, but no one that screams "dominant".  Even an injured, old Terunofuji can man handle the likes of Asanoyama.  

Something is just not right in oozumo at this point in time.  I can't quite figure out exactly what is happening.

But I will take oozumo any way it comes, because dominant or haphazard, oozumo the "game" entertains just as much as oozumo the "players".

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17 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

Total number of Top Division tournaments previously registered by aforementioned wrestlers: (A) 442; (B) 268

I'd like to dig into this too, but don't have the time on my hands now. But try this time last year? I suspect this banzuke is a massive outlier because of Kotoshogiku and Shohozan, who between them were in the top 4 of makuuchi by age last banzuke. 

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5 minutes ago, Seregost said:

Ura is back doing Ura's things :)

Starting watching sumo and follow SUmoforum in 2018, now I can see the wonderful Ura

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