Kintamayama

Nagoya Basho 2021

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Just now, Kaninoyama said:

The final match was exciting, but the above is certainly debatable. 

It is, but I really though the last week was amazing. The 2 best rikishi racing to the finish. Neither losing until the inevitable showdown on the last day. One with Yokozuna promotion on the line, and the other coming back after a year long layoff.

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9 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

He’s fighting the way he’s fighting because he’s aware of the limits of his body.

To draw on a different sport, Michael Jordan of the 1997-1998 "last dance" season was not the Michael Jordan of his 1986-1992 prime, but he was still a dominant player. Though maybe he didn't need to play those two last seasons for the Wizards...

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Jesinofuji said:

Slaps are Sumo. Tsuppari. So are elbows. Kachiage.

Not Yokozuna Sumo - not by Hakuho. Nor Kachiage or Nodowa.

Edited by bettega

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6 hours ago, Kishinoyama said:

Well, the unwritten rules need to be written down. Otherwise, they are not in actuality rules.

Sumo is much more than a sport. It's a culture, an art, a reflection of Japanese society. The rules and traditions can and often are intangible becuase they are passed down orally or through practice. Just because they are not "black and white" does not mean that they are any more trangressable. That's such a superficial way to look at it. To think otherwise, in my opinion, would be to resemble the sumo commission that recommended the ichidai toshiyori abolished because "it was not in the charter". Not that this would come into play either any more in my opinion. Hakuho did not make a good case for himself. 

3 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Then again, I suppose many fans who are all about the results may not actually care if Hakuho-as-oyakata ends up amounting to anything...

Yes, exactly. In my opinion, if you look at what he has done off-dohyo, he's actually about 70-80% a good person. He has a great capacity for empathy, generosity and compassion. What a shame if these positive aspects of his personality were to be corrupted, or never to be discerned again by a public less invested in sumo, and if such a generally good person were to be written off from any meaningful future in sumo. In my opinion, if he doesn't retire now or fundamentally change his philosophy about sumo and express this paradigm shift, he's really setting himself up for tragedy and catastrophe. 

50 minutes ago, Koorifuu said:

The bit I find the most curious is that nearly everybody - if not all - people who've got recognisable SF usernames and avatars is on the "Hakuho's antics = bad" side of the barricade, while usernames & avatars that I barely ever see here (if at all) are on the "Hakuho's antics = perfectly OK" bench.

It's almost as if general fans of the ozumo world feel one way, and on the other side, the dedicated fanboys of an individual popped out of the bushes to make themselves heard.

I have not been as active here as I have been spending my time in another Forum. But SumoForum is becoming some sort of an oasis for me. At least we are cognisant and pay the potential, catastrophic, real-world effects of Hakuho's actions the due consideration and caution it deserves. This sort of opinion and self-realisation is very very rare, or in the extremely small minority of other well-known areas for sumo discussion (e.g. Reddit, YouTube). It's deeply troubling. Sort of like knowing that there will be car crash, and the people in the car are still enjoying the joyride. 

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5 minutes ago, bettega said:

Not Yokozuna Sumo - not by Hakuho. Nor Kachiage or Nodowa.

Nodowa? The current chairman of the JSA built an entire career out of that technique. I don't recall him being criticized for it when he was a yokozuna. 

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Elbows are illegal in boxing, judo and freestyle wrestling. Elbows are legal in Muai Thai, MMA, and Sumo.

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4 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

Nodowa? The current chairman of the JSA built an entire career out of that technique. I don't recall him being criticized for it when he was a yokozuna. 

Yes. Nodowa is another technique that's no fun to be on the receiving end of, but it's a part of sumo and rikishi do it all the time.

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6 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

Nodowa? The current chairman of the JSA built an entire career out of that technique. I don't recall him being criticized for it when he was a yokozuna. 

And there are many clips of Harumafuji pushing men out by the throat...it was kind of his best move. That and his lightning HNH.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours 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. 

10 hours ago, pricklypomegranate said:

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 think you are missing an important point here. This win was not simply #45, nor was it simply zensho #16. It's mostly the win that comes after a year of injury, a year in which he heard that he was more or less done, that there was little chance of him ever winning a tournament again. That he was dragging it out just to get to the Olympics... Hardly anyone would have bet on a zensho! On this forum alone, the messages were quite edifying (without being primary anti-Hakuho-ism), especially the days following his forfeits before or during the tournaments... And the icing on the cake, he was denied an Ichidai-toshiyori - which, in concrete terms for the rest of his career, may have had little impact on him, but was nonetheless, in my opinion, a very difficult blow to swallow.

Moreover, to say that he would never have won without using infamous techniques, I think that remains to be seen. His first 13 bouts suggest that he had a good chance to beat Shodai in a more traditional way. With Terunofuji, it could have been more difficult, of course... But from there to give him for sure a loser on a regular bout is in my opinion a step too far.

The fact that he fought like that shows that he wanted to win more than to fight honorably. On a "normal" tournament, it would have been a shame for him, considering his achievements so far. On THIS one, I don't necessarily approve, but I can understand what he showed. It was not the good ol' Hakuho coming again for victory #XX, this time deciding to do ugly sumo plus adopting a disrespectul behaviour. The guy came back from nowhere!

Edited by serge_gva
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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, serge_gva said:

I think you are missing an important point here. This win was not simply #45, nor was it simply zensho #16. It's mostly the win that comes after a year of injury, a year in which he heard that he was more or less done, that there was little chance of him ever winning a tournament again. That he was dragging it out just to get to the Olympics... Hardly anyone would have bet on a zensho!

I don’t think any of this really challenges the point about diminishing returns. Yes, all that is true, but how much significance has that had or will it have on his legacy? Is that what we’ll be talking about 25 years from now, that he got one extra yusho after a year of injury? It might come up in conversation, but I suspect it will be as a footnote in his long and decorated history. His legend was made a long time ago. Everything he does now is icing.

Edited by Eikokurai
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

I don’t think any of this really challenges the point about diminishing returns. Yes, all that is true, but how much significance has that had or will it have on his legacy? Is that what we’ll be talking about 25 years from now, that he got one extra yusho after a year of injury? It might come up in conversation, but I suspect it will be as a footnote in his long and decorated history. 

It is debatable, and I think the answer to this question may depend a lot on the environment where it is asked. Maybe for a genuine sumo fan, indeed, this victory will not carry much weight. But for a sports fan in general, a comeback like this is the perfect recipe to make more history. It is like Roger Federer winning a Grand Slam again. No matter what means he uses - taking advantage of several opponents dropping out, playing on the injured side of his opponent in the final, throwing his racket at Mirka in a rage :-D - it will be remembered by most, I think.

1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

We may be able to forgive – if that’s the right word – one basho like that from him after almost a year on the sidelines, but I wonder how many of his supporters will take the same view if he’s still fighting like that a year from now?

[LATE EDIT - I admit that I started to answer before I got to the end of the topic (Signofdisapproval...)]

Here I agree with you completely, and even more: we don't need a year, the next tournament like this will already be too much. This time, it will be nothing but a pointless #46, would it be a zensho.

But considering what he managed to do after 1 year of injuries, or 4 months after an operation, I don't rule out that he could beat Terunofuji in a good old fashioned belt fight. And if he doesn't, I don't think it will tarnish his 15-0 record from July that much - to the contrary: the best way to put this win on the light side would be a style-perfect September tournament, even if it didn't end in a win.

Unfortunately I'm leaning pretty much towards the intai theory as soon as the 900th win is reached :-/

 

Edited by serge_gva

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20 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

I don’t think any of this really challenges the point about diminishing returns. Yes, all that is true, but how much significance has that had or will it have on his legacy? Is that what we’ll be talking about 25 years from now, that he got one extra yusho after a year of injury? It might come up in conversation, but I suspect it will be as a footnote in his long and decorated history. His legend was made a long time ago. Everything he does now is icing.

People are still talking about Takanohana's  "guts pose" victory over Musashimaru after he busted his knee, and that was 20 years ago. Maybe this is Hakuho's equivalent, who knows. 

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1 minute ago, ryafuji said:

People are still talking about Takanohana's  "guts pose" victory over Musashimaru after he busted his knee, and that was 20 years ago. Maybe this is Hakuho's equivalent, who knows. 

True.

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Sorry if I missed this, but any news on if Terunofuji suffered any injury? That was a brutal kotenage pull twice and the angle on the second looked rough. Through the tunnel, Terunofuji was holding his right arm up a bit.

Really hoping it was just a strong move with no physical impact to his elbow. Wishing Terunofuji some health luck for a rikishi who's body has been through so much already.

 

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Already a lot of great commentary on Hakuho above but I’ll add my take from the last two days.

My initial reaction was Hakuho is smart and knows exactly what he needs to do to beat Shodai and Terunofuji. But my second thought was he knows he can no longer beat these guys through the strength and skill he used in the past. 
 

The key being that Hakuho knows his days of dominance are over. And this was the perfect Haukho written storybook ending. Your last win is for the yusho over the guy who is going to replace you as the sole Yokozuna. 
 

If he does come back for win 900 next basho how does that end? Withdrawing after his first or second loss? Sticking it out and potentially ending his career with 10-5? Not the story someone so focused on their legacy wants to go out on. The best case scenario is he he comes out strong and repeats what he did this basho. But based on his performance the last two days does he really have confidence in himself to do it again?

I think he’s planning to come back in September now, but once he thinks things through (maybe right after the olympics) he will retire. 

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15 minutes ago, Katsunorifuji said:

If he does come back for win 900 next basho how does that end? Withdrawing after his first or second loss? Sticking it out and potentially ending his career with 10-5? Not the story someone so focused on their legacy wants to go out on. The best case scenario is he he comes out strong and repeats what he did this basho.

Hakuho has spent his career setting himself new targets. He’s also someone who doesn’t like to quit. It’s plausible that he’ll come back for that 900th win, but then decide “Hey, I’m in good shape! I’ll carry on. New target: Yusho 46.” Then what if he starts to fade and ends up nowhere the championship? Does he come back again to end on a high or retire on a downward trajectory? That fist pump yesterday doesn’t suggest he wants to go out on anything but a win.

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Posted (edited)

The GOAT entered his "Do or Die" basho to provide the riffraff below him with an opportunity to prove it contained an individual with the strength and ability to overcome his aging, injury-ridden, slowed-down body.  He did.  They didn't.  Hopefully,  he will give them another chance in Aki.

Edited by Asojima
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7 minutes ago, Asojima said:

The GOAT entered his "Do or Die" basho to provide the riffraff below him with an opportunity to prove it contained an individual with the strength and ability to overcome his aging, injury-ridden, slowed-down body.  He did.  They didn't.  Hopefully,  he will give them another chance in Aki.

Let’s not overlook that Takakeisho and Endo went kyujo, Asanoyama was suspended, Takayasu fought with a back injury, the two Komusubi were both debutants and Terunofuji actually did hold his own. Things changed between the ultimatum and the honbasho.

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3 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Let’s not overlook that Takakeisho and Endo went kyujo, Asanoyama was suspended, Takayasu fought with a back injury, the two Komusubi were both debutants and Terunofuji actually did hold his own. Things changed between the ultimatum and the honbasho.

Like I said, maybe he will give them another chance in Aki.

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14 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Let’s not overlook that Takakeisho and Endo went kyujo

He did beat Endo, before the latter's injury IIRC

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

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?

I find myself paying attention to rikishi's families in attendance during bashos.  They are normally focused on briefly by the news cameras with the commentators mentioning who they are.  In all the years (since 2013) that I've watched honbashos, I have seen Hakuho's family in the audience only once before.  It was many years ago when they had only one child, I believe.  His wife was crying then, too.  Now they have four children.  There have been several times I have seen his wife and 2 or more of the children in that tunnel area on senshuraku after the final bout after Hakuho won the yusho.  In the crush of people, I don't recall seeing Hakuho acknowledge her or the kids but I'm not sure of that.  There may have been one time when he smiled at his family and patted his son on the head.  (It wasn't through lack of caring, imo.  He was being rushed so fast by the officials to get prepared for the winner's ceremony that he didn't have time).  I do remember the last time I saw her and some (or all) of the children in that tunnel area (over a year ago, of course).  She had to practically press herself and the children against the wall to avoid the mob of people passing by (tsukebito, oyakata, misc sumo officials, other rikishi and of course, the news media).  She and the kids got a quick glimpse of him.  I could be mistaken but I don't recall if his wife or kids ever traveled outside of Tokyo to watch Hakuho fight.  I WAS quite surprised to see the family in Nagoya, especially during the Covid pandemic.  When I saw them all sobbing, I felt sure that Hakuho was going to make an intai announcement during his yusho interview, but I was wrong.  As for why they seemed so overcome with emotion and not just happy that he won, I suspect that it was the cumulative effect of multiple factors -- watching their husband and dad suffer from injuries, fear over his surgery, overhearing comments that Hakuho was washed up and should get out of the way, possible teasing by classmates, etc.  And THEN to witness their hero rise from the ashes like the Peng he is, to see him achieve not just another yusho but a ZENSHO yusho, and especially to see his emotional outburst, it was all too much.  Even though I was rooting for Terunofuji, I couldn't help but be touched by Hakuho's family's love for their husband and dad.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peng_(mythology)

Edited by sumojoann
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5 hours ago, Koorifuu said:

The bit I find the most curious is that nearly everybody - if not all - people who've got recognisable SF usernames and avatars is on the "Hakuho's antics = bad" side of the barricade, while usernames & avatars that I barely ever see here (if at all) are on the "Hakuho's antics = perfectly OK" bench.

It's almost as if general fans of the ozumo world feel one way, and on the other side, the dedicated fanboys of an individual popped out of the bushes to make themselves heard.

I'd say you got that switched around. The dedicated fanboys are those who spends the time on the forum to be present and become household names, have avatars and spend tons of them analysing each little query from their database. Those who who you don't remember and who only seldom if ever post are the general public who only came out of their little lurkerdom when something divisive happened. They aren't dedicated enough to bother for commenting on the general chatter.

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5 hours ago, Koorifuu said:

The bit I find the most curious is that nearly everybody - if not all - people who've got recognisable SF usernames and avatars is on the "Hakuho's antics = bad" side of the barricade, while usernames & avatars that I barely ever see here (if at all) are on the "Hakuho's antics = perfectly OK" bench.

It's almost as if general fans of the ozumo world feel one way, and on the other side, the dedicated fanboys of an individual popped out of the bushes to make themselves heard.

But then again, this is how it works in most sports, honestly. The difference here is that ozumo isn't a sport per se and shouldn't be viewed the same way. One could look at Hakuho's antics being the equivalent of a footballer/soccer player diving for fouls or a stockcar driving slightly nudging somebody else out because "oops didn't see you there" - you're determined at the being the best, no matter how many grey areas you need to exploit or how many rules you need to bend, and how many gentlemen agreements you disregard... but the cultural repercussions are at least ten fold and shouldn't be overlooked nearly as much.

I resemble that comment.

But tbh I think I'm as dedicated as any English speaking fan can be, I follow the sport every day and consume all the historical media I can... I'm just not much of a message boarder, I guess.

Could have something to do with the fact that this forum is high-brow and I watch my p's and q's with what I write here... and I'm more comfortable being a vulgar troll in godforsaken cyber-slums.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, neonbelly said:

I resemble that comment.

But tbh I think I'm as dedicated as any English speaking fan can be, I follow the sport every day and consume all the historical media I can... I'm just not much of a message boarder, I guess.

Could have something to do with the fact that this forum is high-brow and I watch my p's and q's with what I write here... and I'm more comfortable being a vulgar troll in godforsaken cyber-slums.

I, too, resemble that comment!  I read SF multiple times every day and feel like I'm still at the stage where I need to learn and absorb rather than reveal my shortcomings when it comes to sumo knowledge.  I only post when I have something to say and what I think others might find interesting.  Fortunately, I have been able to avoid cyber-slums, neither visiting them nor dwelling in them!

I enjoy unearthing interesting Youtube videos (some obscure) when another member mentions a particular bout.  I am as dedicated as any fan, have been since 2013 and am showing no signs of slowing down or losing interest, unlike with some other hobbies or interests I have had in the past.  I feel so privileged to dwell among such intelligent witty fellow members.

Edited by sumojoann
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1 hour ago, sumojoann said:

I have seen Hakuho's family in the audience only once before. 

I recall several photos in the after-yusho photo shoot raising the cup (sorry, I don't remember the Japanese term for it).  It was a good way to watch how the family has grown from basho to basho.  The last really great picture I saw was he and his family holding the Hakuho-meter back in 2017 or so.

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