Kaminariyuki

Nokozuna again?

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4 minutes ago, Highway said:

Granted I admit that is a fair point. Still, I would simply state that knowing when to retire and therefore not having to withdraw from too many tournaments - is an important part of preserving one's legacy.  

Indeed, I don't think we disagree too much. No rikishi can climb onto the dohyou without adopting the sumo lifestyle in a radical way, so I think we can return the favor slightly and grant leeway depending on whats affecting the life of the rikishi instead of just focusing on results - in this case a citizenship issue.

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42 minutes ago, Highway said:

Granted I admit that is a fair point. Still, I would simply state that knowing when to retire and therefore not having to withdraw from too many tournaments - is an important part of preserving one's legacy.  

That is assuming all they care about is sumo and glory. Kakuryu has got the livelihood of the second half of his life to hold out for, and Hakuho has made it very clear that he wants to appear at an Olympics. I think both of them would gladly trade a little of the lustre off their careers for those immediate goals.

Edited by Seiyashi

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As I said before, an ozeki has 3 consecutive bad basho to lose his rank for good (but can still choose to remain as a active rikishi). A yokozuna should be given at least 3 consecutive kyujo before entering a basho in which his performance must satisfy the NSK. In addition, a yokozuna should yusho at least once every 6 bashos.

Edited by Dapeng

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13 hours ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Almost all the recent (I'm talking past 40 years) yokozuna who retired with 75%+ basho completed in their final two years were forced out due to some scandal or impropriety so its a bit hard to understand what you are arguing for here. Only completing 3~5 of the last 12 basho is exceedingly common. Hakuho has had two yusho in the past year and the number of non-scandal yokozuna who have retired with that sort of performance is very very short.

The only ones were forced out were Futahaguro and Asashoryu, although poor performance plus a premature promotion contributed to Futahaguro's exit as well as bad behaviour.

In the past 40 years: Mienoumi was a late-bloomer who made Yokozuna very late, and he declined very rapidly, retiring less than a year after his final yusho.  Wajima had a few kyujo near the end but won his final yusho only two tournaments before he retired.  Kitanoumi should have retired late 1982 to be honest, in 1983 he only completed one full tournament (Kyushu).  Takanosato, like Mienoumi, reached the top but old injuries/illnesses came back with a vengeance and possibly he retired a year too late.  Chiyonofuji was going after Taiho's yusho record and won his final yusho in his final full tournament (November 1990) before retiring.  Hokutoumi retired pretty quickly when he realised his old injuries were not going to heal very quickly.  Asahifuji also retired very quickly, following a rapid decline.  As mentioned before Onokuni's broken ankle probably extended his career by a year.  Of more recent Yokozuna, perhaps only Akebono timed his retirement best.

 

Swami

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4 minutes ago, Swami said:

Kitanoumi should have retired late 1982 to be honest, in 1983 he only completed one full tournament (Kyushu).

Kitanoumi's case was a bit special as he was apparently asked to carry on till the new Ryogoku Kokugikan (the current one) was ready to replace the Kuramae Kokugikan. He's probably the only other case of an "ulterior motive" retirement that I can think of beyond Hakuho and Kakuryu. He himself apparently wanted to retire after his last yusho, which was also a zensho.

Edited by Seiyashi
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Wajima was another one who some accused of extending his career somewhat, although more in the case of predicting that he would retire in March 1981 when his oyakata reached retirement age, thereby paving the way for Wajima to take over Hanakago Beya - albeit not for very long.

Swami

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On 06/11/2020 at 14:49, Highway said:

My problem with it is that in the minds of some it may cast a shadow over the basho, and whoever wins it will get a "good job on winning, but it's not quite as impressive as there were no yokozuna involved" - which is absurdly unfair to the winner and all others who do well this basho.

Yeah, I don't disagree with this at all. There's no perfect solution. There should really be a yokozuna there for the up-and-coming wrestlers to take shots at, and if you win a tournament without one on the banzuke people will always be saying "he might not have won it had a yokozuna been there", which is a bit of a downer.

It's a shame, but I just think allowing them time off and not forcing them into tournaments where they're just going to perform poorly and possibly injure themselves further is the less bad solution in the long run.

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16 hours ago, Swami said:

The only ones were forced out were Futahaguro and Asashoryu

Harumafuji?

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29 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Harumafuji?

If I remember correctly, he made the decision to retire.

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20 hours ago, Swami said:

The only ones were forced out were Futahaguro and Asashoryu

Apparently the YDC recommended retirement for Asashoryu, but the NSK had not made an official decision yet

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I'm still pretty salty about Harumafuji. I have a feeling if he'd dragged his feet juuuuust a bit on retiring, he'd have come out the right side of the controversy. And while I absolutely love Hakuho's skill and precision, Harumafuji's speed and audacity were beautiful to behold.

Anyway, not that it needs to be said, but I'm cool with the yokozuna sitting out, and I don't begrudge them a long window of retirement. None of the current crop really wows me as yokozuna material (yet) and I think having the old guard in to play occasional spoiler is great. But not having them there so often is a plus: under Hakuho's dominance, it was pretty much impossible to move up. The current set up lets the kids wrestle and put together ozeki streaks, win some occasional yusho, but perhaps keeps them from getting the rope until they're more seasoned and consistent. 

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10 hours ago, Kishinoyama said:

If I remember correctly, he made the decision to retire.

Under obvious pressure to do so. He wasn’t going to be allowed to stay.

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4 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Under obvious pressure to do so. He wasn’t going to be allowed to stay.

We will never know that for sure since he retired first.

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1 hour ago, Kishinoyama said:

We will never know that for sure since he retired first.

We know as much as we need to draw the obvious conclusion.

For what it’s worth, Asashoryu also resigned first.

Edit: Wiki says about Harumafuji that “On December 20, 2017, the YDC said that they would have recommended Harumafuji's resignation had he not already retired.”

Edited by Eikokurai

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The YDC has two buttons: 1) he should retire and 2) he should retire but we're not recommending it yet. 

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

 

Edit: Wiki says about Harumafuji that “On December 20, 2017, the YDC said that they would have recommended Harumafuji's resignation had he not already retired.”

The YDC can not force him to retire. Notice the word recommend in your comment.

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5 hours ago, Kishinoyama said:

The YDC can not force him to retire. Notice the word recommend in your comment.

Then the original post that started this discussion is also wrong re: Futahahuro and Asashoryu.

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

Then the original post that started this discussion is also wrong re: Futahahuro and Asashoryu.

One of the definitions of recommend is 'to suggest an act or course of action'. That is not an ultimatum. 

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5 hours ago, Kishinoyama said:

One of the definitions of recommend is 'to suggest an act or course of action'. That is not an ultimatum. 

The actual term "kankoku" is a bit more direct than the meager translation we have to use, rather a call to retire. And we know that in Japan and especially in sumo, things don't need to go according to a written rule to be binding.

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8 hours ago, Kishinoyama said:

One of the definitions of recommend is 'to suggest an act or course of action'. That is not an ultimatum. 

There’s dictionaries and then there’s precedent. We know from how the Kyokai behaves that when a Yokozuna is “recommended” for retirement that means “get lost”. Japanese is rarely as direct as English.

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40 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

There’s dictionaries and then there’s precedent. We know from how the Kyokai behaves that when a Yokozuna is “recommended” for retirement that means “get lost”. Japanese is rarely as direct as English.

To put it another way, for a high-context language like Japanese, the listener is expected to understand what the speaker is saying without the need for the speaker to be direct - hence quirks like missing grammatical subjects and vague, interpretable terms. In effect, the language is by nature half-euphemistic; if people are recommending you for retirement, you're expected to know to take the hint and get out without it getting ugly. It gives you the plausible deniability of saying I'm backing out with grace, while at the same time achieving the objectives of whoever's telling you to get out.

The other thing to note is that the structure and narrative of sumo is very different from that of Western sports. You don't have financially independent stables competing under the auspices of an organising body with pundits occasionally weighing in and saying this manager or player should go. Player- and team-centric narratives just don't work here because it's a completely different context. When the YDC makes a recommendation to retire and the NSK semi-echoes it, it's more like your boss rather than a rival/critic intimating you're useless, which carries very different connotations.

Edited by Seiyashi
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12 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

To put it another way, for a high-context language like Japanese, the listener is expected to understand what the speaker is saying without the need for the speaker to be direct - hence quirks like missing grammatical subjects and vague, interpretable terms.

So instead of "You're fired", you might hear something like : "It is respectfully suggested that it would not be unwelcome if certain parties might wish to explore other areas of employment."

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9 minutes ago, Tigerboy1966 said:

So instead of "You're fired", you might hear something like : "It is respectfully suggested that it would not be unwelcome if certain parties might wish to explore other areas of employment."

Or, to continue in the vein of Sir Humphrey Appleby, "Our relationship which I might tentatively venture to aver has not been without some degree of reciprocal utility and perhaps even occasional gratification, has as a result of certain recent events been seen in some quarters to have been affected to such an extent as to prompt the regrettable suggestion that it should approach a point of irreversible bifurcation and, to be brief, must therefore be brought to the propinquity of its ultimate termination by the party not referred to by me in the perpendicular pronoun."

Edited by Seiyashi
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