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pricklypomegranate

Oyakata Tier List

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Posted (edited)

This is my first time starting a thread, but I hope it's a good one. I have made a tier list of all 103 oyakata currently in the Kyokai, as listed on their website, except Banryuyama, a sanyo whom I cannot find a picture of. The goal is to rank oyakata according to your own personal criteria and we can have a good discussion about it. The categories are obviously tongue in cheek, and I hope you guys enjoy it. Apologies as Tokiwayama appears twice - can't seem to edit the photos. 

https://tiermaker.com/create/sumo-kyokai-oyakata-rankings--891841

Edited by pricklypomegranate
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Posted (edited)

It's sort of unrelated to the actual activity, but I'll have to confess that this made me realise I don't actually recognise that many oyakata. The recent retirees and prominent ex-wrestlers (ex-yokozuna or ozeki), yes, but a lot of the oyakata who were journeyman maegashira or, even worse, juryo for the vast majority of their career and who predated my time watching sumo, I completely don't know.

For that reason, pretty much half of them are going to end up in kabu-hopping for me, even if they aren't actually kabu borrowers!

The only standout oyakata IMO for actual, well, oyakata-ing is probably Isegahama. He's the only one who's struck me as completely decent and competent as both a coach and a director, repeatedly bringing up sekitori, a yokozuna, and a yokozuna potentiate. Shikoroyama would be fairly high on the list as well if not for his lack of control over Abi. Tokiwayama also has his head screwed on the right way, even if he has his work cut out for him trying to control his wrestlers. Oyakata in control of large stables like Kokonoe and Sadogatake probably get a higher than average score simply for coaching sekitori as well, although they probably have the assistance of very good scouting networks. And of course the recency + social media bias will make many recent retirees more prominent compared to other oyakata. Araiso and Naruto in particular may be standing on the cusp of a coaching revolution; if in 10 years time rikishi from these two stables dominate makuuchi, we know exactly why.

On the flip side, Michinoku doesn't strike me as being particularly successful nor competent; he basically stumbled into inheriting the heya and has not has a good strike rate in raising sekitori, not to mention he has to take some of the blame for the farce that Kakuryu's situation is becoming, but damn is he good looking. Nishikido always deserves a shout here for mangling mono-ii. 

More neutral/mixed oyakata for me would probably be Shibatayama, Oguruma, Miyagino, Musashigawa, Tatsunami. Shibatayama and Oguruma have a tendency for foot-in-mouth statements sometimes, although Shibatayama has generally done a good job in fronting sumo's response to the pandemic. Miyagino essentially lucked into training the best wrestler of all time; he might have some talent as a coach (you really can't tell if Hakuho at another stable wouldn't have improved faster and become an even greater wrestler than he already is, or would have done exactly as he did) but his scouting is meh; that said he's also another one with his head screwed on generally the right way. Musashigawa took over a prestigious stable and did sod all with it. Tatsunami seems to be doing a fine job nowadays, but his early days as a shissho were caught up in the tailend of the tempest that was ex-Annenyama.

Edited by Seiyashi
mixed up modern Musashigawa and Fujishima
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25 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

On the flip side, Michinoku doesn't strike me as being particularly successful nor competent

I beg to differ. He has a very good chanko restaurant. Expensive, but worth it. 

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1 minute ago, Kintamayama said:

I beg to differ. He has a very good chanko restaurant. Expensive, but worth it. 

Now that you mention it, I have been to the branch at Edo Noren which was decent; I assume the honten is far superior, though.

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2 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Now that you mention it, I have been to the branch at Edo Noren which was decent; I assume the honten is far superior, though.

Right above the heya, or at least it was 23 years ago..

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Just now, Kintamayama said:

Right above the heya, or at least it was 23 years ago..

:scribbles furiously: one thing to add to my to-do list when international travel reopens...

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Musashigawa restarted his stable from scratch. The old Musashigawa Beya became Fujishima Beya.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Naganoyama said:

Musashigawa restarted his stable from scratch. The old Musashigawa Beya became Fujishima Beya.

My bad, that takes some of the flak off Musashigawa then, even though it's not been a very successful heya.

I've always wondered why old Mienoumi did that though. Why split the heya one way and the kabu the other? Maybe he thought the more prestigious kabu should go to his higher-ranked deshi, but Fujishima was probably a better heya manager?

Edited by Seiyashi

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Interesting photo wall!  I agree that most of these faces draw a blank from me, and for the same reason.

I've tended to classify kabu users into three classes: Big Wigs (mostly ex-Yokozuna who have reached the top of the company); Oyakata (fellows who run a heya); nondescripts, who help out with PR/commentary or coach at a heya.  Your picture tier list prompts me to realize how many of these people I never recall seeing.

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58 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

My bad, that takes some of the flak off Musashigawa then, even though it's not been a very successful heya.

I've always wondered why old Mienoumi did that though. Why split the heya one way and the kabu the other? Maybe he thought the more prestigious kabu should go to his higher-ranked deshi, but Fujishima was probably a better heya manager?

Historically Fujishima is the more prestigious kabu though. Other than that, I think your explanation is pretty much spot-on, surveying some old threads:

http://www.sumoforum.net/forums/topic/8806-fujishima-oyakata-shinpan/
http://www.sumoforum.net/forums/topic/26628-new-heya-from-tomorrow/
http://www.sumoforum.net/forums/topic/30799-musashimaru-starts-own-heya/

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Posted (edited)

In my personal list, Nakagawa, Taganoura, Kasugano and to a lesser extent, Shikihide and Taganoura are quarantined. Any others you think I should include? 

Also, in the top tier would be Isegahama, Takadagawa, Shikoroyama, Tamanoi, Naruto, Oitekaze, maybe Sakaigawa, Sadogatake and Araiso (though he is still untested). 

Top brass Hakkaku goes into shisho grade - Shibatayama a tier lower as I do appreciate him handling all the scandals, but his recruiting and coaching does not seem to be stellar. 

Edited by pricklypomegranate

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I hate to make new threads for small posts like these so I'll just say a news program made their own 'tier' list of oyakata which is funny.

image.png

The vertical axis goes from 'Chatty' (blue) to 'Mumbler/Quiet' (purple) and the horizontal axis goes from 'Harsh' (red) to 'Positive' (Yellow)

From left to right moto- Yoshikaze, Mainoumi, Kakuryu, Hokunofuji, moto-Goeido, moto-Aminishiki, Izutsu-oyakata, moto-Kotoyuki, moto-Tochiozan, moto-Kisenosato, moto-Takekaze, and moto-Kotoshogiku.

Just a FYI before you go to that oyakata meet and greet. Also I'm pretty sure the title of this chart is Explanation of newcomer oyakata but Hokunofuji is there so I dunno. Maybe they needed someone in the quadrant.

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10 minutes ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

I hate to make new threads for small posts like these so I'll just say a news program made their own 'tier' list of oyakata which is funny.

image.png

The vertical axis goes from 'Chatty' (blue) to 'Mumbler/Quiet' (purple) and the horizontal axis goes from 'Harsh' (red) to 'Positive' (Yellow)

From left to right moto- Yoshikaze, Mainoumi, Kakuryu, Hokunofuji, moto-Goeido, moto-Aminishiki, Izutsu-oyakata, moto-Kotoyuki, moto-Tochiozan, moto-Kisenosato, moto-Takekaze, and moto-Kotoshogiku.

Just a FYI before you go to that oyakata meet and greet. Also I'm pretty sure the title of this chart is Explanation of newcomer oyakata but Hokunofuji is there so I dunno. Maybe they needed someone in the quadrant.

Unrelated, but how do you embed a photo like that? I’ve never been able to work it out and every pic I have is too big.

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Posted (edited)

Someone at Oitekaze has done a good job of recruiting and nurturing talent. Obviously the Nihon graduates were advanced to start with, but getting all of them to sekitori is still an achievement--plus someone like Tobizaru, despite substantial amateur experience, has clearly surpassed expectations, and I'd say the same of Daiamami, who had makushita-juryo elevator written all over him in his earlier days.

Then you have successful but unspectacular high school competitor Daeisho winning a makuuchi yusho, and foriegner Daishoho, with just a few years of high school sumo before turning pro, becoming a regular sekitori too. Seems like a good heya to be if you were a solid amateur and want to reach your potential as a pro.

I don't know the inner workings of each heya though, and exactly who is to credit for the results.

Edited by Katooshu

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I’m just 3 years into following sumo, so I’m not sure if I can necessarily discern the influence of the oyakata, but Arashio seems to have had an impact in the last 14 months.

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3 hours ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

I hate to make new threads for small posts like these so I'll just say a news program made their own 'tier' list of oyakata which is funny.

image.png

 

Hokunofuji

 

That would be Kitanofuji ;-)

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

I think you're mixing up ex Sokokurai with ex Kisenosato. 

Oops. Thanks for pointing that out. Deleted. 

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12 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Unrelated, but how do you embed a photo like that? I’ve never been able to work it out and every pic I have is too big.

Just paste the image link and it'll add it in automatically.

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8 hours ago, sahaven111 said:

That would be Kitanofuji ;-)

Whoops, I'll leave my shame there.

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3 minutes ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Just paste the image link and it'll add it in automatically.

No link. Photos from files or on my phone.

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6 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

No link. Photos from files or on my phone.

That won't be a good starting point, since your account has, like, 100kB of free upload space.

You can upload to some hosting service. If you have a Microsoft account, you can push stuff to OneDrive and generate a link for sharing, which you can embed. That's my recent MO.

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10 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

No link. Photos from files or on my phone.

Upload it to imgbb then pull it from there.

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On 26/05/2021 at 05:09, Kyokufuji said:

I’m just 3 years into following sumo, so I’m not sure if I can necessarily discern the influence of the oyakata, but Arashio seems to have had an impact in the last 14 months.

What is it that makes you say that? I'm not trying to challenge you; I'm genuinely curious.

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Just now, Jomangor said:

What is it that makes you say that? I'm not trying to challenge you; I'm genuinely curious.

Wakatakakage getting into sanyaku with two KKs in the joi for the first time, and getting Kotokuzan into juryo with two KKs in the makushita joi, even after both got the short end of the banzuke luck stick last basho. Those two joi zones are possibly the toughest and most competitive in sumo, and getting wrestlers there and keeping them there is no mean feat.

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8 hours ago, Jomangor said:

What is it that makes you say that? I'm not trying to challenge you; I'm genuinely curious.

 

8 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Wakatakakage getting into sanyaku with two KKs in the joi for the first time, and getting Kotokuzan into juryo with two KKs in the makushita joi, even after both got the short end of the banzuke luck stick last basho. Those two joi zones are possibly the toughest and most competitive in sumo, and getting wrestlers there and keeping them there is no mean feat.

Answered for me! 

Yup. Basically this. Seemed like something flipped for Wakatakakage around that time, and to a certain extent Wakamotoharu.

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