Eikokurai

Sumo ‘What ifs?’

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, ryafuji said:

You certainly don't get that many 18-year-old sekitori, particularly foreign-born ones.

Or as the Kyokai's relevant banzuke topics put it at the time:

Hatsu 2007

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Wakanoho was promoted to the Juryo Division at the age of eighteen years, five months, thirteen days. This is the eighth youngest promotion in the modern era.

Kyushu 2007

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Wakanoho is making his Makuuchi Division debut at the age of nineteen years, three months. This is the sixth youngest debut in the modern era.


Edit: At the time of Wakanoho's top division debut, the highest-ranked rikishi who was younger than him was at Makushita 59. (Himself somewhat of a what-if due to frequent injuries, Masuraumi.)

Edited by Asashosakari
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1 hour ago, Asashosakari said:

It's not a matter of language inflation, it's one of not willfully ignoring relevant context, in this case the age of the competitors. Somebody like 23-year-old Oshoryu going an empty 24-0 to start his career is where appellations like "spectacular" are misplaced, not with somebody like Wakanoho. You've got this exactly backwards.

It’s idiolect. Nothing else.

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Just now, Eikokurai said:

It’s idiolect. Nothing else.

Which directly contradicts your spiel about hating language inflation, since you're essentially okay with calling "dog bites man" level stories spectacular here. Oh well.

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8 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

I reserve words like “spectacular” for guys who reach Makushita undefeated or Juryo having dropped only a handful of bouts. His rise was strong but steady. 5-2 and 4-3 kachikoshi along the way don’t scream for attention. 

Arguably, the three most 'spectacular' rikishi is modern sumo history had a combined 2 yusho in Makushita and below. Yet they have a combined 107 yusho between them In Makuuchi. And number three on the yusho list, had 64 losses and 10 absences in Makushita and below. Itai on the other hand went 26-0 (29-0 if you figure in Mae-sumo) and made Komusubi one time. Jokoryu is another shooting star that has also flamed out at Komusubi. :-)

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Kishinoyama said:

Arguably, the three most 'spectacular' rikishi is modern sumo history had a combined 2 yusho in Makushita and below. Yet they have a combined 107 yusho between them In Makuuchi. And number three on the yusho list, had 64 losses and 10 absences in Makushita and below. Itai on the other hand went 26-0 (29-0 if you figure in Mae-sumo) and made Komusubi one time. Jokoryu is another shooting star that has also flamed out at Komusubi. :-)

Sure, but we were talking about the rise, not where they eventually rose to. Hindsight and all that. Those stats are interesting as a possible indicator of Wakanoho's future though.

Edited by Eikokurai

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Posted (edited)

Wakanoho would almost certainly have made Ozeki and was a pretty good shot at Yokozuna based on how high he got at a young age compared to Asashoryu and Hakuho.  I have back to Hatsu 2002 recorded when rikishi have met certain age/rank requirements, the most important of which is reaching M3 by age 23.  Most people who do that make Ozeki. Those who haven't in the time frame are Tochiozan, Asasekiryu, and most likely Chiyootori, Ichinojo, sorta Osunaarashi but that's not really indicative, and who knows for Onosho and Kotoshoho, while the only Ozeki that haven't hit that mark graduated from college (Kotomitsuki, Shodai, Asanoyama) and thus it was effectively impossible.

I also record how many years ahead of schedule (to the nearest half year) people make it to each rank.  Asashoryu was at least 1.5 years ahead, as that's what he was at in Hatsu 2002, but he had already been there 4 basho, so it's at least 2 years early for him.  Hakuho got there 3.5 years ahead.  Kisenosato was also 3 years ahead.  The best since then is Takakeisho at 2 years ahead.  Wakanoho was 3 years ahead, so it's pretty safe to say he'd at very least have been a good Ozeki, if not Yokozuna.  If his existence didn't prevent Kotoshogiku, Kisenosato, or Kakuryu from becoming Ozeki when they did, we might have had 7 Ozeki for some number of basho where we had 6 in this timeline.  He could have prevented some number of other Ozeki since then from being promoted as well.

There haven't been any talents in terms of age progression anywhere close to Wakanoho since him.  As mentioned, Takakeisho has been the closest, with Onosho and Kotoshoho next (although his swift departure makes him more likely to become another Asasekiryu or Chiyootori).  In terms of those currently in the lower divisions, the best hope in terms of current age/rank is Otsuji, followed by Yoshii and Hokueiseho, though it's reasonable to possible put Hokuseiho ahead of the other two since he hasn't hit the wall yet.  If Hokuseiho makes Juryo next basho and spends two basho there and 3 basho in Makuuchi before reaching M3, that would be a year from now, and he'd be slightly faster than Takakeisho and slightly slower than Wakanoho.

Edited by Gurowake
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1 hour ago, Gurowake said:

Kotoshoho next (although his swift departure makes him more likely to become another Asasekiryu or Chiyootori)

I'm still holding out hope that he'll be back up quickly, and that his next stint will be more lasting, once his ankle fully heals.

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On 29/05/2021 at 13:35, Eikokurai said:

I hate language inflation. My girlfriend used to cry “Oishiiiiii!” when eating some Family Mart snacks. I thought it was overkill. If that’s oishii, what do you say when you’re eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant? You have nowhere to go.

Ah, the English language needs its champions.

All I can say is "Sugoi!"

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Posted (edited)

A bit of a flip to the usual "what if" scenario, but I had a shower thought: What if Terunofuji had retired by now?

The shocking thing is, nothing would have changed for the rest of the sanyaku. Asanoyama and Takakeisho pick up one more yusho each, but that's it. Terunofuji didn't prevent either man from completing two yusho in a row by virtue of his score.

I don't know what it says that you can remove a kanban rikishi and have almost no ripple effects on those around him. On the one hand, if you removed Hakuho, suddenly sumo history in these 10 years looks very different. On the other hand, if you remove Terunofuji as a factor in makuuchi over the last year, nothing changes.

What gives?

Edited by Seiyashi

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Terunofuji didn't prevent either man from completing two yusho in a row by virtue of his score.

Well, he didn't, but Takakeisho would probably have gotten a 14-1 yusho in November had it not been for him, so he might have presented a stronger case for immediate yokozuna promotion after his September jun-yusho. That being said, I don't think he would have actually been promoted.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

A bit of a flip to the usual "what if" scenario, but I had a shower thought: What if Terunofuji had retired by now?

I assume you’re referring to retiring instead of choosing to fall down the ranks, but on a related note, what if he’d made Yokozuna back in 2017? He was arguably just the one win from promotion, possibly two. Had he ended 13-2 instead of 12-3 in July, that may have been enough. He had finished 13-2D in May after losing to new Yokozuna Kisenosato in that playoff. 13-2D > 13-2JY for 26/30 would have been a perfectly promotable record. If he’d won that playoff, even better: 13-2Y > 13-2JY. With Hakuho taking a zensho, the Kyokai may have look favourably on a slightly more competitive jun-yusho.

How long could he have got away with kyujo as a Yokozuna?

 

Edit: Just realized we touched upon this earlier in the thread. I’d forgotten.

Edited by Eikokurai

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, that's what I'm referring to - if Isegahama hadn't managed to convince Terunofuji to stay. 

Maybe one year is a bit too short a time to assess a rikishi's impact if he were suddenly yanked out of our timeline, but then again Terunofuji is not likely to leave behind a void as he's not an era definer like Hakuho. 

I'm thinking it's yet another indictment on the parity of the sanyaku and maegashira that even if you take Terunofuji out of the picture, still no one can dominate. But I could be wrong and I'd be interested to hear alternative takes on this. It's something I find quite interesting, I just don't know what's the full implications. 

Edited by Seiyashi

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The biggest what if for me (with the benefit of hindsight), is what if Terunofuji had taken time out to get his knees fixed back in early 2016, instead of trying to hang on to his rank and making things worse?

He probably wouldn't have fallen as far as he eventually did, and he might have gotten the rope 3 years earlier. 

He might also have prevented Kisenosato's promotion and forced Hakuho's retirement earlier.

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What if Takanohana hadn't done his rebellion to get on the board of directors in 2010? One of the oyakata that supported him was Magaki. No rebellion, no Takanohana-"ichimon" intermezzo, Magaki-beya rikishi don't get put into Isegahama-beya when the stable shuts down, but rather move to somewhere else in the Nishonoseki group (probably Takanohana-beya, come to think of it).

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I've got a big one for you: what if Ivan Boryshko had stayed with his Dad?

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What of the Soviet union won the cold war and Japanese were getting recruited into Mongolian wrestling rather than the other way around?

 

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4 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

What if Takanohana hadn't done his rebellion to get on the board of directors in 2010? One of the oyakata that supported him was Magaki. No rebellion, no Takanohana-"ichimon" intermezzo, Magaki-beya rikishi don't get put into Isegahama-beya when the stable shuts down, but rather move to somewhere else in the Nishonoseki group (probably Takanohana-beya, come to think of it).

I was going to say that the whole Takanohana post-retirement story is like a Shakespearean tragedy, but it's really more like a Greek tragedy, isn't it?  There were so many actions that seem to draw from compulsion rather than logic.  It's hard for someone like me who reads it as history to make sense of it.

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6 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

What if Takanohana hadn't done his rebellion to get on the board of directors in 2010? One of the oyakata that supported him was Magaki. No rebellion, no Takanohana-"ichimon" intermezzo, Magaki-beya rikishi don't get put into Isegahama-beya when the stable shuts down, but rather move to somewhere else in the Nishonoseki group (probably Takanohana-beya, come to think of it).

What if, as reported by John Gunning in one of his columns was initially being discussed, Magaki had merged into Miyagino instead of Isegahama? 

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I'm an alternate history nerd, so I regret not finding this thread earlier.

What if Ōsuna-arashi didn't go for his fateful drive?

What if kōshō seido were never abolished?

What if the concept of yokodzuna never existed? Or the limit on foreign deshi, or the ban on foreign oyakata, or or or or :D

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If I were able to take "what-ifs" and make them into reality I'd go with "What if Harumafuji never bonked Takanoiwa with a remote control?" or "What if Kisenosato didn't injure/properly rehabbed his pec?"

I miss seeing those two on the dohyo.

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Harumafuji would probably be gone by now as well, though. Kise might still be wrestling, though he would also be on the old side for a yokozuna.

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19 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Harumafuji would probably be gone by now as well, though. Kise might still be wrestling, though he would also be on the old side for a yokozuna.

Probably, but it would have been nice to see their careers end on a better note.

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20 hours ago, just_some_guy said:

If I were able to take "what-ifs" and make them into reality I'd go with "What if Harumafuji never bonked Takanoiwa with a remote control?" or "What if Kisenosato didn't injure/properly rehabbed his pec?"

I miss seeing those two on the dohyo.

 

20 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Harumafuji would probably be gone by now as well, though. Kise might still be wrestling, though he would also be on the old side for a yokozuna.

If they’d both made it to past year or two, when Hakuho and Kakuryu were out for ages at a time and Terunofuji was still making his comeback, they’d have likely been able to increase their yusho totals quite healthily. Harumafuji would be a Dai-Yokozuna with at least ten yusho and Kisenosato would have probably have reached around 4-5 I reckon.

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On 20/07/2021 at 13:53, Seiyashi said:

Harumafuji would probably be gone by now as well, though. Kise might still be wrestling, though he would also be on the old side for a yokozuna.

Maybe Kisenosato would (also) be in the Olympic opening ceremony were he still active. :P

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