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2021 "Kozumo" Hatsu Basho discussion thread

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Posted (edited)

Dohyo matsuri

"sumo watching safe and with peace of mind", and "Sincere thanks to all the medical people"

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b_13994038.jpgo20210109-OHT1I50052-N.jpgo  sum21010919070007-m1.jpgo4.jpgo 20210109-OHT1I50154-N.jpgo sum21010910410002-m1.jpgoErRj1AfUYAANlGp.jpg:thumbo4.jpgo4.jpgo b_13994036.jpgo4.jpgo 4.jpgo 382233d9df97ada123a6054225fa1b5e-371x450.jpgo 20210109-OHT1I50256-N.jpgo

yusho portrait presentation

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Edited by Akinomaki
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This basho isn't likely to complete given what is going on in Tokyo in terms of infections.  This is the 3rd straight day that Tokyo had 2000+ new infections.

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Isegahama chief of judging department on Takakeishou’s tsuna run: “We’ll have to see the flow of things and the results and discuss it. If we clearly say It has to be a high-level yusho or a zensho it will be problematic. Nothing is fixed yet (although the guidelines are back to back yusho or the equivalent as Ozeki..).” The feeling is that the competition wasn’t there last basho with all other Y/O out and with both Yokozunae out this time as well. “He didn’t face any Yokozunas last basho. We’ll have to see the results . Two straight yusho is not a given thing for his promotion,” he added. Asked if corona kyujo rikishi will retain their ranks, he said. “We just learned about this a while ago so we haven’t been able to discuss this yet. We haven’t decided on the specifics yet..” 65 rikishi out makes for some torikumi making challenges. “Yes, but we have no choice but to do it!” he summed.

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I was really looking forward to some distraction from the sheer crazyness in this pandemic world, but now I'm not even sure sumo can provide this. It seems way to real and way to irresponsible. 

I know I will watch if they start it, but I highly question the value of the tournament from a "sports" perspective. I know sumo is more than "just a sport", but this also means you don't necessarily have to crown a tournament winner every two month no matter what. 

It's probably not in the genes, but I just wish they'd go the route of asking fans explicitly for help right now, gofund me or something. It's a bad situation financially, but this is not their fault, and the level of risk involved just just seems so high. I think a lot of people, even internationally, would be willing to help. 

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17 minutes ago, Thorbjarn said:

It's a bad situation financially, but this is not their fault, and the level of risk involved just just seems so high. I think a lot of people, even internationally, would be willing to help. 

This certainly wouldn’t fill the budget deficit, but I would gladly pay to watch sumo. Why is there no streaming service for international fans? There is an immense amount of material that could be added to a sumo subscription service. Money is being left on the table by not making some effort to capture the international fan community. 

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Sumo is on NHK premium thru local providers. No idea of the cost but they don't just provide sumo so you probably get more than you want.

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Abema with its full coverage would be the choice internationally, and it should be easy, but they apparently need a cooperation partner overseas.

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At this point it’s hard to see the basho being completed. The pcr test result of rikishi or the jonidan retirement is top sports news in the media outlets, and the user comments are overwhelmingly negative. Even in the sumo Facebook fan groups I’m in which supported getting fans in last year have turned. The basho lasts two weeks, it’s not going to get better in Tokyo within that time.

I am wondering about fans who attend getting id’d by internet mobs.

 

For the financial situation, some sort of bail out from the government should be in order, no.? Things like sumo drive tourism and other cultural benefits...

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Posted (edited)

On the bright side: the Kitkat this basho have 3 new: Giku thanks, Tobizaru and Terunofuji, and Shodai is renewal-ed

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Edited by Akinomaki
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Just one less absence in Juryo than the 2011 May Yaocho Purge Basho.  I remember the sparseness of the juryo dohyo-iri (which is already sparse compared to Makuuchi) during that basho.  A bit sad.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Fukuyamada said:

Takakeisho pushes his way to the yusho, with a 12-3 score and is promoted to yokozuna.

@Fukuyamada's ridiculous prediction might not sound ridiculous at first - but it very might well be after Isegahama-oyakata's perspective on the issue. Consider that yokozuna-promotion will require full YDC approval. Of course, Isegahama-oyakata isn't on that council, but it might indicate some future resistance should Takakeisho get the yusho. I will translate his telephone interview to the best of my ability: 

"We will discuss and decide [Takakeisho's promotion to Yokozuna] after seeing the flow and results at the time. He has not fought any yokozuna in November. After seeing the results, I'm not sure if two consecutive yusho would do it. It'll need to be a high-level yusho, like a zensho. [The two yusho promotion criteria] is not a fixed thing. It'll be very difficult with so many rikishi going kyujo, but we'll just have to do it. I knew the PCR results today and cannot give a straight answer [about whether kyujo'ed rikishi will freeze their ranks] I have not decided concretely yet." 

So reiterate some bombshells by Isegahama-oyakata: 

  1. Even if Takakeisho does get the yusho, a 13-2 might not cut it. He may need a 14-1 or even a zensho, and it depends on the quality of that score. He has faced no yokozuna or ozeki in November, and will only be facing ozeki this Hatsu. To me, that sounds reasonable. 
  2. Tamanoi-precedent on freezing ranks might not be a 100% certain thing and is currently in the works... 

What do you guys think? 

Edited by pricklypomegranate

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3 hours ago, Shinobi Steve said:

This certainly wouldn’t fill the budget deficit, but I would gladly pay to watch sumo. Why is there no streaming service for international fans? There is an immense amount of material that could be added to a sumo subscription service. Money is being left on the table by not making some effort to capture the international fan community. 

The NSK tried something like that a couple of years ago, but it didn't work out, mostly because it was too expensive and not all divisions covered. (I can't even remember the name of the provider anymore . . . )

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, pricklypomegranate said:

What do you guys think? 

The Kyokai brass (and quite a few fans) weren't all that happy when Wakanohana's second yusho was only a 12-3. The YDC recommended him for promotion unanimously anyway. I'd expect things to go roughly the same way here for Takakeisho if push comes to shove (no pun intended).

Edited by Asashosakari

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

The Kyokai brass (and quite a few fans) weren't all that happy when Wakanohana's second yusho was only a 12-3. The YDC recommended him for promotion unanimously anyway. I'd expect things to go roughly the same way here for Takakeisho if push comes to shove (no pun intended).

Granted, Wakanohana did not face any Yokozuna in his second yusho and was beaten by a Yokozuna (Akebono) in his first yusho. However, he managed to snatch the first yusho from Akebono and at least faced his peers (Ozekis) on both occasions. However, in Takakeisho's first yusho, he did not face Yokozuna or Ozeki and still walked away with an inferior 13-2 to Wakanohana's 14-1, and will not face Yokozuna in his second yusho. To me, Takakeisho's situation is radically different - I feel that nothing short of a 14-1 or 15-0 should warrant promotion. I dearly wish Takakeisho to succeed and herald a new age, but rushing to promote him might shorten his career drastically (re: Kisenosato). 

Edited by pricklypomegranate

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Is there any chance then to show flexibility, as inconvenient as it is for planning and the wrestler's schedules, and just postpone it until cases are more stabilized? Aka not all the way until March, but maybe later on in January or the latest early February? When strict lockdowns are imposed cases usually go down significantly within 2-3 weeks. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

To me, Takakeisho's situation is radically different

You're free to feel that way, but I'm afraid you'll likely come to find out that your position isn't shared by the people with relevant influence on the matter, Isegahama's predictable saber-rattling notwithstanding. Of course nobody's going to tell Takakeisho, "Yeah, sure, just aim for a 12-3 yusho with a playoff win over Kiribayama or something." The stated expectations are always higher than what will end up being considered acceptable when all is said and done.
 

3 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

I feel that nothing short of a 14-1 or 15-0 should warrant promotion.

But why? If he gets a 12-win yusho here, he'll have gone 12-13-12 with two titles and one runner-up. If that's sufficient to be - by quite some margin (!) - the best active rikishi in the current mini-era, what justification is there for requiring 14 or 15 wins? Yokozuna (rikishi in general, really) aren't measured by all their predecessors, they're measured by their own competition.

It's not like the quality of a promotion run is much of an indicator of future results in any case. Kakuryu went 14-14 with prime Hakuho around to earn his promotion, then needed almost three years to score over 12 again and won only one yusho in the interim (with a 12-3). Musashimaru scored just 13-13 at a time when nearly all his contemporaries were somewhere between "subpar" and "toast", yet proceeded to be the dominant rikishi of the next three years and won 7 more yusho, but still only one of them with a 14-1 record. (And he had a sizable schedule advantage with all the other Musashigawa-beya ozeki around at the time...)

Sometimes 12's and 13's are all it takes. Actually, not sometimes, most times. That the likes of Asashoryu and Hakuho have routinely demolished the field with 14-1 and 15-0 records in recent decades is kind of irrelevant when many of those yusho could have been won with 13-2 or even 12-3, too. Their standing as successful yokozuna didn't need those large margins of victory. Yusho is yusho.

Edited by Asashosakari
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3 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

Consider that yokozuna-promotion will require full YDC approval.

The YDC has in its rules that 2 yusho in a row automatically means approval

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The two current Yokozuna are heading towards retirement at a rate of knots (perhaps Kak at any moment), so if Takakeisho wins the basho (if it survives), it makes sense to promote him immediately. There has been too many no-yokozuna bashos; Japan needs some good news and, they already made him work harder for Ozeki. I reckon they will promote him with very little fuss (unless they can't afford the wages at the moment!).

If he wins and gets promoted, expect at least one of the current Yokozuna to be itching to prove a point come March.

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If there was a requirement that you had to defeat a yokozuna to become one, Akebono would never have become yokozuna in 1993 since there were no yokozuna at the time. You cannot select who you fight, and you can only defeat those who participate.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Kashunowaka said:

If there was a requirement that you had to defeat a yokozuna to become one, Akebono would never have become yokozuna in 1993 since there were no yokozuna at the time. You cannot select who you fight, and you can only defeat those who participate.

Asashoryu never defeated a yokozuna in his time as ozeki either. He lost to both Takanohana and Musashimaru in his debut at the rank in September 2002, then didn't get an opportunity to face them again in the next two tournaments which clinched his quick promotion to the top rank.

Incidentally, apropos the last point in my previous comment: While Asashoryu went 14-1 for his two titles there, the runner-up score was 11-4 both times.

Edited by Asashosakari
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4 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

After seeing the results, I'm not sure if two consecutive yusho would do it. It'll need to be a high-level yusho, like a zensho.

What do you guys think? 

I think he is saying that even if he gets back to back yushos as an Ozeki, and even if he gets a high level yusho, OR even a zensho. it's a problem to promise a promotion in advance without seeing the quality..

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5 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

What do you guys think? 

A 8-7 yusho (however impossible it may sound) will be enough.

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2 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Yokozuna (rikishi in general, really) aren't measured by all their predecessors, they're measured by their own competition.

 

I agree with this. The banzuke is basically a distribution where if you're the top 1% then you're in the yokozuna bin, 2% ozeki bin and so on (I'm making these numbers up). 

 

32 minutes ago, Masunofuji said:

A 8-7 yusho (however impossible it may sound) will be enough.

This would involve a huge playoff with most if not whole makuuchi I guess. Awesomeness :-D

 

But hey, let's see first how the guy does in the next 2 weeks! (Sigh...)

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So if the basho gets cancelled, how would that affect Abi? Would the basho count towards his ban?

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