Kintamayama

Nagoya Basho 2021

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The times are changing. I used to call Hakuho the “vanilla” yokozuna, it seems nowadays he is the main villain lol.

 As much as I wanted Teru to win and Hakuho “hand” him the reigns, the determination to win after all these 44 championships is very impressive. Congrats to Hakuho on his 45th. 

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I interrupt more unseasonal navel-gazing about the nature of sumo fans to bring you Asahi's follow up winner's interview with Hakuho:

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP7M4D0HP7MUTQP025.html

Unfortunately, I have to decline to translate it, as it is quite beyond my rudimentary Japanese. Google Translate gives a reasonable idea of the flavour, but also mangles some other bits, so it will have to wait until some members with the time and ability to translate it properly for us can do so.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Kuhne said:

think we should all just man up and admit teru has a huge fan base that secretly wanted him to destroy Hakuho in that final day and he got a broken face and arm for his troubles. Tobizaru had a better showing. 

70% of people in Japan had predicted (or expected) Teru to win. Now some of them blame Hakuho for beating Teru. They probably forget that sumo is a sport and a combat sport. It's not fair to put restrictions on athletes who do not break any role when competing. They will ask him to retire of he cannot win enough, but when he did win enough, they ask him to win "in style".  I don't think it's fair to treat anyone like this. 

By the way, if they don't like certain sumo skills such as henka, harite, nodowa, kachiage,  or any others, they should propose to NSK to forbid those skills. Otherwise please restraint from blaming rikishis for using them on the dohyo. Also, a yokozuna is a human rikishi, not a demigod.

Edited by Dapeng
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I know the topic's been done to death, and I don't want to spend much more time on it. But I do feel that we shouldn't pretend that Hakuho doing "ugly" sumo is some kind of free or easy win. Wrestlers like Terunofuji need to be able to deal with that kind of sumo as well. Of course he'd love Hakuho to take him on in a strength match, that's why Hakuho is going to want to avoid that (even though I wouldn't quite write off Hakuho in any belt match!) It's really a quite obvious and reasonable choice from his perspective.

And sure, I would've loved a titanic belt bout but this is sport, not sport fanfiction. I think what we got was perfectly fine, and Terunofuji knows what to work on for defeating Hakuho next time they meet.

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39 minutes ago, dada78641 said:

I know the topic's been done to death, and I don't want to spend much more time on it. But I do feel that we shouldn't pretend that Hakuho doing "ugly" sumo is some kind of free or easy win. Wrestlers like Terunofuji need to be able to deal with that kind of sumo as well. Of course he'd love Hakuho to take him on in a strength match, that's why Hakuho is going to want to avoid that (even though I wouldn't quite write off Hakuho in any belt match!) It's really a quite obvious and reasonable choice from his perspective.

And sure, I would've loved a titanic belt bout but this is sport, not sport fanfiction. I think what we got was perfectly fine, and Terunofuji knows what to work on for defeating Hakuho next time they meet.

To be honest,  the Haku - Teru yichiban is the most "violent" yichiban of this basho and in many years. Teru has more muscle strength and Haku more experienced and more skillful. In the end Haku prevailed because of his determination. 

All had predicted a ferocious fighting. It's probably the hardest-fought yichiban in all Hakuho's sumo career. We as sumo fans will not be treated such a yichiban for a long time.

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I agree with much that has been said and disagree with so much that has been said.

Has any other basho generated so much discussion in this forum? *

* That is meant as a purely rhetorical question, and should not be treated as an impetus for any member to pore over all the archived threads since the site’s inception to come up with a conclusive answer
 

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2 minutes ago, since_94 said:

* That is meant as a purely rhetorical question, and should not be treated as an impetus for any member to pore over all the archived threads since the site’s inception to come up with a conclusive answer
 

I was so looking forward to doing that..

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To my mind, this type of discussion isn't particular to sumo. It applies to other sports as well.

Take football (soccer) as an example. A team which faces a better team are often forced to use an overly defensive strategy, basically playing for 0-0 and hoping for a lucky goal, or penalties. It's the 90-minute equivalent of a henka. Both fans and pundits will typically criticize both teams - the weaker team for their ineptness to attack and the stronger team for failing to score. And there will always be individual players who are trying to bend the rules to gain advantages. So in football, you can win or lose with dignity and in the spirit of the game, or you can try to win at all costs. The former will attract fans in the long run, and the latter will alienate the fans.

So I am opposed to the viewpoint "if it's not prohibited, it's allowed". And even when there are sanctions available, handing out lots of yellow cards doesn't turn an ugly game into a good game.

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20 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

I was so looking forward to doing that..

I was anticipating a deluge of bar graphs and pie charts. Maybe a thesis or two.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Atenzan said:

 

I felt similarly cheated and disappointed after Hakuhou henka'd Harumafuji for a yusho decider, which I think was a kettei-sen but could have been a honwari day 15 bout.

But then sumo moved on, Hakuhou remained in the picture and I slowly warmed up to him again. With his antics this time around, I doubt he'll be around for long enough to mend his reputation, and I honestly don't think I want him to.

It's just a crying shame that these two days are going to be sitting on the top of the memory pile of such a brilliant rikishi.

Here is that bout where Hakuho henka'd Harumafuji .  If Hakuho defeated Harumafuji, he would win the yusho, but if he lost to him, he would have to fight Kisenosato.  So he took the easy way out.  Poor Jason, who uploaded this video.  He was a huge fan of Harumafuji and was angry and heartbroken.  The bout begins at 2:45.

 

Edited by sumojoann
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10 minutes ago, sumojoann said:

Here is that bout where Hakuho henka'd Harumafuji .  If Hakuho defeated Harumafuji, he would win the yusho, but if he lost to him, he would have to fight Kisenosato.  So he took the easy way out.  Poor Jason, who uploaded this video.  He was a huge fan of Harumafuji and was angry and heartbroken.  The bout begins at 8:45.

 

Harder to watch again now knowing Kisenosato’s story. He is almost forgotten when this comes up again. Attention is always on Hakuho and Harumafuji, but Kise got screwed out of a playoff and a shot at his first yusho.

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5 hours ago, sumojoann said:

Here is that 2004 Hatsu basho Day 15 bout between Hakuho, who was 19 years old, and Hokutoriki, who got henka'd.  The bout starts at 8:25. 

 

I remember a Day 15 henka a few years ago against Kakuryuor maybe Harumafuji, which drew a good deal of negative fan response. He actually apologized for that one. And, wow, that's the same age as Hokuseiho is now!

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Kaminariyuki said:

I remember a Day 15 henka a few years ago against Kakuryuor maybe Harumafuji, which drew a good deal of negative fan response. He actually apologized for that one. And, wow, that's the same age as Hokuseiho is now!

If you'll look a few posts above, you'll see a video and comments I posted about the very bout you are thinking of!  Day 15 of the 2016 Haru basho.  The bout starts at 2:45, not 8:45 as I originally posted.

Edited by sumojoann

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4 minutes ago, sumojoann said:

If you'll look a few posts above, you'll see a video and comments I posted about the very bout you are thinking of!  Day 15 of the 2016 Haru basho.  The bout starts at 2:45, not 8:45 as I originally posted.

Thanks for the video posts. Yes, I was working my down the thread from yesterday. We were remembering the same bout, of course. 

I get the disapproval but that's one of the best henkas I've ever seen. LOL, Harumafuji come back and wrestle! I do miss him. He was the guy who definitely could match Hakuho.

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Posted (edited)

Ura had a great basho, also, I must say. A commendable return to makuuchi!

Also, forgotten in the noise, two up-and-coming rikishi had redeeming battles on Day 15 despite difficult tournaments. Nicely done by Wakatakakage and Tobizaru! Not that I know anything bout the future of sumo but I expect some stellar performances from them both in the future

Edited by Kaminariyuki
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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Kaminariyuki said:

 

I get the disapproval but that's one of the best henkas I've ever seen. LOL, Harumafuji come back and wrestle! I do miss him. He was the guy who definitely could match Hakuho.

Here is my all-time favorite Hakuho bout, from Sept 2012.  He fought Harumafuji and lost magnificently! lol (And no henka involved!).  I particularly like the hug between Harumafuji and Aminishiki afterwards.  They fought fair and square and it could have gone either way, it was that close.  Harumafuji weighed 50 pounds less than Hakuho which made it even more amazing that he could defeat the GOAT.  Harumafuji was promoted to Yokozuna right after this basho.  THIS is the type of sumo I prefer seeing.  ***** FOR SOME REASON, THE VIDEO JUMPS TO THE END. YOU'LL HAVE TO USE YOUR CURSOR (OR HOWEVER YOU DO IT) TO START IT AT THE BEGINNING.***** (The actual bout starts at 4:20).

 

Edited by sumojoann
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There is just something so hilarious about this unbeatable kaiju, 14-0. Heir apparent, feared by all, then just looks like he was ran over by a dump truck on his way out of the ring on day 15. Dude will probably still be sore while he receives the rope. Which he well deserves btw 

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11 minutes ago, sumojoann said:

Here is my all-time favorite Hakuho bout, from Sept 2012.  He fought Harumafuji and lost magnificently! lol (And no henka involved!).  I particularly like the hug between Harumafuji and Aminishiki afterwards.  They fought fair and square and it could have gone either way, it was that close.  Harumafuji weighed 50 pounds less than Hakuho which made it even more amazing that he could defeat the GOAT.  THIS is the type of sumo I prefer seeing. 

 

Sure. Excellent ichiban. However, it was the sumo when Hakuho was on his peak and he was confident he could win but lost it. It's an amazing achievement of Harumafuji.

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Glad Terunofuji got the nod. It should have happened already though.

Curious to see if Hakuho can make the next two basho in the a row.

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1 hour ago, Eikokurai said:

Harder to watch again now knowing Kisenosato’s story. He is almost forgotten when this comes up again. Attention is always on Hakuho and Harumafuji, but Kise got screwed out of a playoff and a shot at his first yusho.

No one wants to see a henka, but if henka is forbidden, sumo will lose many of its charms.

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4 minutes ago, rzombie1988 said:

Glad Terunofuji got the nod. It should have happened already though.

Curious to see if Hakuho can make the next two basho in the a row.

If his right knee remains OK he will continue. In the current banzuke, only Teru has decent chance to beat him, but also on condition that Teru's knees can hold on.

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What I shall long remember from this match, even though I didn't see it live (go to the limericks area to find out why), is the long pre-match staredown and the crowd, unable to cheer or yell due to covid restrictions, deciding spontaneously to give both men a hearty round of applause for their unique accomplishments.  One can be optimistic and choose to remember that for a few seconds before the issue was decided, both were appreciated as winners; or be pessimistic and get frustrated at the result, looking for things in the match itself to criticize.  I think some of the arguments against Hakuho's tactics have been overstated by many: the word 'elbow' implies considerably more than what actually happened, there was no elbow contact, what hit Terunofuji was a forearm, and it doesn't seem to have had much of an effect.  The argument that Hakuho chose these tactics because he was sure to lose a pure belt battle is another overstatement: he avoided the pure belt battle perhaps because he didn't feel he had the huge advantage that he usually has against this opponent, but the outcome of that strategy was certainly not a guaranteed Teru win.  Terunofuji is the 73rd Yokozuna because he has shown that 'his brand of sumo' is virtually unbeatable.  The job of the 69th Yokozuna was to find a legal way to prevail over the unbeatable, and he did.  Whatever works.

If Hakuho stays, we'll look forward to the rematch, even though it seems unlikely that both will again get through 14 days to meet on Day 15, and there is no other way.  If he goes, we'll have a new top dog and Terunofuji fans can conclude that retirement is in part a concession that lightning will not strike twice in the same spot.  Whatever works.

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The symmetry of discussing Terunofuji's henka alongside Hakuho's kachiage has just struck me.

Back then everyone was demonising Terunofuji for pulling that henka on Kotoshogiku, but now we're willing to forgive him knowing the injuries he was carrying then.

Now we're all demonising Hakuho for that really brutal approach to the bout. 5 years down the road when he's interviewed about this, I bet you a few hats (or crow dinners, or whatever floats the Forum's boat) that we'll hear something about some injury somewhere, or something that makes his actions more palatable in hindsight.

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Does anybody can translate the full Yusho Interview? 

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8 minutes ago, Itachiyama said:

Does anybody can translate the full Yusho Interview? 

I've translated the one on the dohyo, which is a few pages back buried amongst the fanwank. The next-day interview that Asahi carried is still untranslated though.

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