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I think it's perfectly fine to have the toriteki have to square off against long-time sekitori who've fallen from grace rather than from injury.  In basho where there is not a overly strong contender for the lower-division yusho, someone still has to go 7-0 (unless some weird things happen in terms of heya and rank distances), and it might easily be someone who just happened to win all their matches but had been treading water for the past few years, and after their promotion they'll be lucky to get 2 wins.  If there is a new guy coming up who is decent competition for the sekitori that we might lament has to start lower than his clear strength, all the better.  Also, there's not really much of a guarantee that the sekitori will actually 7-0.  There are plenty of occurrences of much weaker rikishi managing to find a way to win.  It's clear now that Asanoyama is stronger than Yutakayama, and from what I recall of their collegiate records that was presumed to be the case, at least until Asanoyama did significantly worse than Yutakayama for his first year.  It wasn't that Asanoyama was ever the weaker one; he just didn't have things go totally his way at first and so it took him a bit longer. 

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It is, however briefly, going to raise the level of competition in the lower divisions. They have to wrestle who shows up, after all. 

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I don't think having toriteki wrestle sekitori fallen from grace matters much in the long run. That said, depending on how far down the sekitori falls, you wind up in a situation where you are potentially ruining a toriteki's best chance at some of the limelight when they're having a good basho and are now on a collision course with a sekitori at 6-0 each. It won't matter for toriteki who are going to make it to sekitori or the makushita joi some day, they'll get their share of the media and limelight. It's those toriteki who maybe have at best, like, one hot streak in their entire career to try and at least make it into the NSK's end-of-basho champions photo, and that goes poof because they ran into an ex-sekitori.

I dunno. To be fair the situation above is pretty rare too. 

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I don't really understand the fuss of underranked sekitori in makushita joi. Sure he may take a few wins off some rikishi and occupy a promotion spot, but at the same time, when they dropped out of juryo that opened up a promotion spot that otherwise wouldn't have existed.

So it really all balances out at the end. And the first time Ryuden came back up through Ms, he got pretty mired in it for a while.

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Whenever there is change, there are winners and losers.

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I'm not sure about them breezing through the ranks. Abi did it, but that doesn't mean the others will. Tomokaze is not having it easy in Sandanme and yes, I know he was injured and it's different. But we shall see.. 

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I don't mind it. It makes it interesting to see if someone can beat them. In sumo, just a slight loss a balance, one too many steps backward, etc. can be costly even to a superior rikishi, and most of the time sekitori who've fallen into makushita don't just cakewalk back with 100 percent wins. Admittedly most cases involve an injury and this one doesn't....but I'd hardly be surprised at Ryuden taking losses. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Oof, if any of this actually has merit, I'd not be so sure Ryuden gets out of this with being sidelined for just a few Bashos. 

Edited by Thorbjarn

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5 minutes ago, Thorbjarn said:

Oof, if any of this actually has merit, I'd not be so sure Ryuden gets out of this with being sidelined for just a few Bashos. 

What do you mean? His punishment has already been confirmed to be three bashos out and reentering in Kyushu.

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5 hours ago, Gurowake said:

someone still has to go 7-0 (unless some weird things happen in terms of heya and rank distances), and it might easily be someone who just happened to win all their matches but had been treading water for the past few years, and after their promotion they'll be lucky to get 2 wins

Case in point: Kaito was 0-7 (!) at Ms 16 last November; from Ms51 he went 7-0 Y and rocketed to Ms5 last March.  After a 1-6, 2-5, 3-4 he retired after this basho.

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13 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

Takadagawa Oyakata gets a six month, 20%  salary reduction as well.

I don't have the energy to go search right now, but is this still the same shisho that told him to "man up" when his juryo debut was derailed by a massively busted knee?

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7 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

What do you mean? His punishment has already been confirmed to be three bashos out and reentering in Kyushu.

I totally overread that the punishment had already been decided upon. In that case, I'm quite surprised, seems somewhat lenient considering Sumo puts emphasis on dignity and reputation and this should be very damaging to both for Ryuden. 

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Posted (edited)
On 28/05/2021 at 05:35, Thorbjarn said:

I totally overread that the punishment had already been decided upon. In that case, I'm quite surprised, seems somewhat lenient considering Sumo puts emphasis on dignity and reputation and this should be very damaging to both for Ryuden. 

The punishment is for breaking the covid rules. The affair should only be relevant, if they some day have to decide about his yokozuna-promotion and if he has the hinkaku for that. Is what he did a nice thing? No. But the NSK is neither the catholic church, nor Megadeth.

Edited by Benihana
typo
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Regarding Ryunden's alleged behaviour: that's just....horrid. I'm no reliable moral compass but whilst he's been suspended for the multiple COVID breaches (the amount alone is nuts!), the conduct of Ryuden here is beyond reprehensible. I mean, have people been kicked out of sumo for less?

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3 hours ago, Benihana said:

Is what he did a nice thing? No. But the NSK is neither the catholic church, nor Megadeath.

Is that Marty Friedman era Megadeth?

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I'm not sure I fully agree with a lot of the narrative here that the falls of Abi and now Ryuden (and presumably later Asanoyama) due to these suspensions is necessarily punishing lower division rikishi. Sure, Ryuden may go 7-0 as Abi just has, but as @Kintamayama states, you have to actually do it. And on the flip side, his demotion (as with Abi and Asanoyama, starting from makuuchi) creates an opening for one of the 70 paid ranks for a rikishi who either would have been on the promotion bubble or a fledgling sekitori who would have been fighting against demotion. After Nagoya, someone must take his spot. While that rikishi may well be the one trading places with the Abis and Ryudens of the world on the way back down as those guys eventually get re-promoted, they could equally seize the opportunity and carve out a career for themselves in the salaried ranks.

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On 27/05/2021 at 05:37, Atenzan said:

Oh, right... sorry, I have a pillow to
scream into here somewhere.

A solution I'd prefer to see is have temporary ranks at the bottom of makuuchi for the suspended. Have a M17 or J14 kyakuseki spot and freeze them there for the length of the suspension. Everyone between the bottom of makuuchi/juryo and the suspended's original spot gets effectively moved up half a rank, we still have 70 sekitori and no demotion/promotion kerfuffle has to ensue.

I prefer they crash down to makushita, even if they pull 7-0 the next 2 basho.  they still give up the silk mawashi and their attendants, so there is sting to the demotion, plus it covers the basics, you don't fight, you go down the elevator until you can fight again, neh.

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On 19/05/2021 at 08:33, Kamitsuumi said:

I'm not sure if this is the best forum for it, but these scandal rags sure pull no punches. I'm sure Shibatayama is having the best day of his life.

Shincho reports that Ryuden broke covid protocol by being with his mistress, who had an abortion recently at his insistence.

did the mistress step follow and stated that she had an abortion at his insistence?  all this 2nd half information is hard to keep straight.

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Posted (edited)
On 27/05/2021 at 21:35, Thorbjarn said:

I totally overread that the punishment had already been decided upon. In that case, I'm quite surprised, seems somewhat lenient considering Sumo puts emphasis on dignity and reputation and this should be very damaging to both for Ryuden. 

I haven't asked any of my Japanese friends about this but I'm curious, as well. It could be that marital infidelity is not as large an offense on the societal scale as we might presume. I'm not being glib. Certainly, the view of how bad this is varies around the world quite a bit.

Oh, but the abortion bit is more than marital infidelity. Of course, I don't know the Japanese take on this side of the story either.

Edited by Kaminariyuki

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Marriage as a business decision is still a big thing in Japan and its not surprising in a lot of these relationships there exist many open secrets. Especially in the world of sumo, where personal preference might come far behind other things such as heya management skills, koenkai preference, societal standing etc. At least in sumo a sekitori and wife can still see each other a lot, compared to an office worker where the interaction cross section between husband and wife can be shockingly small.

That said any celebrity who demonstrates infidelity will not do well in the arena of public opinion. Whether the NSK cares is another thing, the COVID violations are going to be more important since the protocols allow fans in the stands, personal things are personal things.

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I think it's safe to say that the NSK punishment is only for his breaching of COVID protocol in the course of seeing his mistress, and not for the marital infidelity per se. That will be left to be dealt with in the court of public opinion and the level of koenkai support for him.

While previous indiscretions like violence, social media screwups and driving accidents have led to punishments, it's generally only violence, lying, and drugs (very heavily stigmatised) that will get you thrown out more often than not. Everything else is your personal business (and IMO rightly so; the NSK has no business policing the private lives of its members and arguably went a bit far with the SNS ban).

 

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6 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

and arguably went a bit far with the SNS ban).

I agree 120% with this.  However, I can read an active twitter site for Terunofuji (@ganerdene91).  It's mostly retweets, but he's had posts through 2020 and 2021.  Some other lower rankers seem to be still posting, but most stopped by October 2019.  What, specifically, has been banned?

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

I agree 120% with this.  However, I can read an active twitter site for Terunofuji (@ganerdene91).  It's mostly retweets, but he's had posts through 2020 and 2021.  Some other lower rankers seem to be still posting, but most stopped by October 2019.  What, specifically, has been banned?

Not sure. I was mildly surprised to see that as well although I assumed it was dormant and didn't investigate further. And I doubt the NSK has the resources to actively police the ban, so it's effectively just a big stick for hitting people over the head with if they're blatant about it and/or breach it in a big way.

Did you manage to see what the content of Terunofuji's posts were?

Edited by Seiyashi

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3 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Not sure. I was mildly surprised to see that as well although I assumed it was dormant and didn't investigate further. And I doubt the NSK has the resources to actively police the ban, so it's effectively just a big stick for hitting people over the head with if they're blatant about it and/or breach it in a big way.

Did you manage to see what the content of Terunofuji's posts were?

Well, they're in Japanese, so ... however the last two weeks have been about the Yusho, including tweets from Czech and US govt accounts about the prizes they gave to Terunofuji.

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7 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

I think it's safe to say that the NSK punishment is only for his breaching of COVID protocol in the course of seeing his mistress, and not for the marital infidelity per se. That will be left to be dealt with in the court of public opinion and the level of koenkai support for him.

While previous indiscretions like violence, social media screwups and driving accidents have led to punishments, it's generally only violence, lying, and drugs (very heavily stigmatised) that will get you thrown out more often than not. Everything else is your personal business (and IMO rightly so; the NSK has no business policing the private lives of its members and arguably went a bit far with the SNS ban).

 

Another reason why they are going solely on the Covid restrictions violations only may be because Ryuden isn't that high profile of a rikishi. Sure he's in makuuchi, and he made a remarkable comeback, this makes him well known in our circles, but what about the Japanese public perception of him? If this were Takakeisho, Takayasu or Endo the story and punishment would definitely be much different.

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