Kintamayama

Nagoya Basho 2021

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23 minutes ago, Asashosakari said:

the Asashoryu days

That fist pump and "war face" were pure Asashoryu.

Whatever they are like in real life, most of the greats in combat sports are not very nice people once the fighting starts. Hakuho found himself both physically fit and facing a legitimate threat for the first time in a couple of years. He didn't just want to win, he wanted to dominate and hurt his opponent. Once the match starts Hakuho is mean and  vicious and cold and if he was any more Alpha he would have to live on the steppes and survive by killing wolves with his bare hands.

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Am I the only one who is holding, at the same time, two incompatible opinions about Hakuho's performance?

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, lackmaker said:

Am I the only one who is holding, at the same time, two incompatible opinions about Hakuho's performance?

No. I love the outcome, especially given where he started four months ago, but really wish he'd have gone about it another way. It wasn't even beating the ozeki at their own game or brand of sumo, which would have been equally dickish but yet have shown off his sumo mastery in a perfectly acceptable way.

Edited by Seiyashi
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1 minute ago, lackmaker said:

Am I the only one who is holding, at the same time, two incompatible opinions about Hakuho's performance?

No, you’re not alone.  And I would venture the same might be said for how many fans feel about the entirety of Hakuho’s amazing career and its long arc.

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2 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

But I'll be joining the calls for his departure if he continues to give us this type of sumo in Aki.

I don't even particularly mind a rikishi mixing it up, even a Dai-Yokozuna. Sumo allows for a bit of variety and it can be exciting seeing something new. But context is everything. He's not trying these things out to stop himself getting bored or to develop his skillset, is he? He's doing it to delay the inevitable. He knows, or at least I infer that he believes, that he can't meet Terunofuji on equal terms at present. That wouldn't matter if it was 10 years ago and he could adapt, learn new skills or simply accept playing second fiddle (as Kakuryu etc had to), but at 36 it's not just going to be "at present". It's forever. You can't reverse entropy.

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I am not defending his actions, but the NSK shouldn't be surprised about a lack of hinkaku when they haven't given him any reason to have any. With no ichidai-toshiyori possibility, what is his motivation to have any. (For honesty, I should say that he was not the most hinkaku of rikishi before that announcement)

For even more questioning... What does hinkaku actually entail? Wasn't Takanohana praised by some folks for that face he pulled because it showed some sort of Yokozuna-like determination and pride? 

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4 minutes ago, lackmaker said:

Am I the only one who is holding, at the same time, two incompatible opinions about Hakuho's performance?

I hope not. Anyone who thinks things are black and white isn't thinking. Opinions should be complex.

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5 minutes ago, lackmaker said:

Am I the only one who is holding, at the same time, two incompatible opinions about Hakuho's performance?

I think it's called "cognitive dissonance".

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Sakura said:

I am not defending his actions, but the NSK shouldn't be surprised about a lack of hinkaku when they haven't given him any reason to have any. With no ichidai-toshiyori possibility, what is his motivation to have any. (For honesty, I should say that he was not the most hinkaku of rikishi before that announcement)

For even more questioning... What does hinkaku actually entail? Wasn't Takanohana praised by some folks for that face he pulled because it showed some sort of Yokozuna-like determination and pride? 

Takanohana won the bout in a much more kosher manner, though. And I think Hakuho is catching way more flak for his bout behaviour rather than the fist pump and war face. A little emotion IMO is well understandable and ought to be tolerated after a zensho, which is an extraordinary achievement; I felt his habit of little arm swings with the kensho bundle after each won bout were worse than the war face because of the implicit swagger.

Edited by Seiyashi

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Slight change of topic, but how common is it for Hakuho's whole family to be there? I want to read something into their presence and in particular their emotions. Did they go along to see their husband and dad win his final basho before announcing the retirement he's already decided upon? Or were they just there because it was something to do during the summer holidays and they were crying the normal amount?

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Posted (edited)

I interrupt your unseasonal dose of fandom wars to bring you the transcript of Hakuho's winner's interview (as requested by @Benihana):

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP7L6JFSP7LUTQP01V.html

  • Q: You've come back with a zensho yusho.
    • A: Yes, it's the best.
  • Q: You had an intense battle with Terunofuji. How did you feel about it?
    • A: I didn't pay attention to thoughts that "my right knee wasn't good". I just gave my all.
  • Q: What did you think when you won?
    • A: Before the basho, I didn't think I could win with a zensho yusho. I'm really relieved.
  • Q: Your family is here? (@Eikokurai: May be relevant to your last post)
    • A: My four-year-old daughter just knew that her father was a sumo wrestler, but actually got to see it in action in good shape. I hope she remembers this.
  • Q: What about your right knee surgery in March?
    • A: I was wondering about the surgery. I thought I would never be able to mount the dohyo again.
  • Q: What are your aims after this?
    • A: This was my 899th win as a yokozuna. After 1 more I will be at 900. With the aim of [that] one win I will give my best.
  • Q: [Your thoughts on] 15 days of a "do or die" basho.
    • A: I went forward with the aim of gambarising for the Tokyo Olympics. Now we're here, and I could fulfil my promise to my father. It was a grave matter. I think it was good to have an aim like that.
  • Q: What is the state of your knee?
    • A: It fought for 15 days. If I couldn't have stepped up [to the dohyo] by myself, I would have always have had regrets till the very end. Thinking about various other things instead, I could step on the dohyo and achieve a zensho.
  • Q: Was there a realisation to end it here?
    • A: Let's not talk about that. Let me rest.
  • Q: What about Terunofuji?
    • A: For the 15 days, he was the only one who fought with that intensity. There was truly a sense of stability, and it was completely different from the Terunofuji who stood on the dohyo three years ago.
  • Q: Is there a difference compared to previous championships?
    • A: All my goals, dreams motivations, and records inspired me. Taiho said he lost his ambition after winning 32 times. I found meaning in that no one had won a yusho after 6 basho off. I set another record, and that is good.
Edited by Seiyashi
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Looking at Hakuho's interview, I suspect that he will retire after clocking that first win in Aki. He speaks of Taiho losing motivation but he also is going to lose motivation. So many loose ends have been tied up in this one, so many sources of inspiration burnt.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, specialweek 2 said:

So who represented sumo ceremony at Nagano Winter Olympics? Btw why is everyone assuming Hakuho has a role in the Olympics? 

Akebono is part-Japanese. Hakuho, as far as I know, is not. Of course, I didn’t recall Akebono’s involvement. Nor did I ask the question maliciously. I was merely curious and, thus, appreciate the informative responses I’ve received.  
 

Edit: I’m going to take back this claim about Akebono. Wikipedia says he is American-Japanese, but I think they are referring to his current citizenship. Sorry to confuse. 

Edited by Michishige
Incorrect info

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Just now, Michishige said:

Akebono is part-Japanese.

He is? 

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1 minute ago, Eikokurai said:

He is? 

According to Wikipedia he is…maybe I shouldn’t blindly trust that, though. (Thinkingindepth...)

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1 minute ago, Michishige said:

According to Wikipedia he is…maybe I shouldn’t blindly trust that, though. (Thinkingindepth...)

He took Japanese citizenship, as Hakuho has done. I don't think he has any Japanese heritage though. 

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Just now, Eikokurai said:

He took Japanese citizenship, as Hakuho has done. I don't think he has any Japanese heritage though. 

Yes, I agree. I edited my previous post…I was led astray by modern convenience. 

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

We're into diminishing returns territory now. Every extra yusho he wins matters less to his legacy than it used to. 45 is the same as 44. People aren't judging him on records anymore, but be sure plenty will privately dock him a few reputation points for every win they feel is beneath a man of his talent. 

My feelings exactly. I saw Terunofuji hit the clay first; I heard the gyoji announce the match was over and pointed the gumbai; but the yusho didn't feel like a victory to me. In fact, it felt like a loss - a complete destruction of the positive reception that he had cultivated over the past 13 days, which I think he wrestled well, a loss of his reputation, rather than gain, and an erosion of public goodwill. I hope Hakuho retires soon after he does whatever he does during the Olympics and basically abandon the 900 win target, but not primarily because I am finding his sumo increasingly difficult to watch, but out of great concern for his future. Hakuho showed up how superficial a yusho could really be and I guess the old Confucian adage is really true - the more you take, the less you have. 

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Just now, pricklypomegranate said:

I hope Hakuho retires soon after he does whatever he does during the Olympics and basically abandon the 900 win target,

He only needs one more. He can win his first match next basho and retire on the spot after his next loss, just like yokozuna used to do in the days of yore.

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6 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

He only needs one more. He can win his first match next basho and retire on the spot after his next loss, just like yokozuna used to do in the days of yore.

Why retire after this 900 win target, when you can retire after a zensho yusho? 

I suppose I am thankful to Hakuho for showing me how superficial a yusho can really be. It gives me great confidence that my favourite rikishi don't have to be the greatest winners of all time. But at the rate he's eroding his reputation and the goodwill of the public, his peers and others in the sumo community, I am just really really concerned for him. 

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Great, now Terunofuji's elbow is buggered we can look forward to four straight withdrawals and a retirement mid 2022. At least Kisenosato got to win a yusho as a yokozuna. 

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, ryafuji said:

Great, now Terunofuji's elbow is buggered we can look forward to four straight withdrawals and a retirement mid 2022. At least Kisenosato got to win a yusho as a yokozuna. 

It looked very bad on the replay, but is it confirmed?!

If so, that's one more thing Hakuho has to answer for.

Edited by Seiyashi

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1 minute ago, Seiyashi said:

Is it confirmed?!

That's one more thing Hakuho has to answer for.

No, premature speculation caused by my current mood of frustration. 

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8 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

Great, now Terunofuji's elbow is buggered we can look forward to four straight withdrawals and a retirement mid 2022.

...leaving Hakuho as the sole active yokozuna again.

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Cue the Chris Sumo fanboy reaction

Hakuko went no holds barred and the strategy was simple, he knew he couldn’t play a long mawashi game with Teru. Hoping Teru’s elbow damage isn’t permanent. Intai coming soon? At this point I’d rather Hakuho go all the way through Aki and give Teru the revenge match, THAT is what we need now

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