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Eikokurai

Understudies for the Yokozuna dohyo-iri?

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Posted (edited)

Watching Hakuho's dohyo-iri just now, I got to thinking about how his tachimochi and tsuyuharai change depending on who is available. I realized I've never in all my years watching sumo wondered what happens if one or both go kyujo mid-basho. Are rikishi put on standby for the job? i.e. Does someone get told they're the understudy and should be ready to take over or does it come as a last-minute surprise?

On a related note, has a Yokozuna ever ended a basho with two completely different tachimochi and tsuyuharai to when he started? And has a Yokozuna ever lost more than one tachimochi or tsuyuharai during a basho?

Edited by Eikokurai

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At least to your first question, during Hakuho's abortive participation in Haru, Midorifuji was told on fairly short notice that he was to be tachimochi, and had to go watch YT footage of previous yokozuna dohyo iri to know what to do. Apparently, Terutsuyoshi scolded him afterwards for letting the sword visibly shake during the dohyo iri.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

I realized I've never in all my years watching sumo wondered what happens if one or both go kyujo mid-basho. Are rikishi put on standby for the job? i.e. Does someone get told they're the understudy and should be ready to take over or does it come as a last-minute surprise?

Certainly there's always at least one rikishi who should be ready, as you might have noticed that if a rikishi is fighting the yokozuna, they won't be tsuyuharai or tachimochi that day. So normally, you would see days where Shodai wouldn't take part in Kakuryu's dohyo-iri, or for example Takarafuji against Hakuho. I believe on those occasions it's gone to the next-highest ranked guy in the ichimon (since anyone who might be fighting the yokozuna is only even in the dohyo-iri because the yokozuna hasn't got enough makuuchi guys in his own stable), but I would personally be curious especially if that's not the case. Not sure if anyone keeps data on this (but it wouldn't surprise me if someone did)?

Edited by themistyseas
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Watching Hakuho's dohyo-iri just now, I got to thinking about how his tachimochi and tsuyuharai change depending on who is available. I realized I've never in all my years watching sumo wondered what happens if one or both go kyujo mid-basho. Are rikishi put on standby for the job? i.e. Does someone get told they're the understudy and should be ready to take over or does it come as a last-minute surprise?

On a related note, has a Yokozuna ever ended a basho with two completely different tachimochi and tsuyuharai to when he started? And has a Yokozuna ever lost more than one tachimochi or tsuyuharai during a basho?

I was going to ask exactly the same thing!

Can they just pick anyone? They always seem to be the smaller guys for Hakuho if Enho or Ishiura can't do it...

Edited by Stupidface

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Posted (edited)

The heavy hitters of SF are about to descend and make what was murky clear, but I want to point out that Kaisei has worked some Hakuho dohyo-iri as tachimochi(?).  Also Takarafuji as mentioned above.

Edited by Yamanashi

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18 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Midorifuji was told on fairly short notice that he was to be tachimochi, and had to go watch YT footage of previous yokozuna dohyo iri to know what to do

I bet there will come a time where we will all learn what to do in our jobs by watching YouTube videos.

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19 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Midorifuji was told on fairly short notice that he was to be tachimochi, and had to go watch YT footage of previous yokozuna dohyo iri to know what to do. Apparently, Terutsuyoshi scolded him afterwards for letting the sword visibly shake during the dohyo iri.

To be fair, he was watching Glen Campbell videos, which didn't help his dohyo-iri skills at all.  On the other hand, if "Galveston " comes up at the karaoke bar, this guy rules.

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1 hour ago, Kamitsuumi said:

I think at one point Kaisei and Kyokutenhō were the go-to for Hakuho, but their stablemasters had a spat and Hakuho had to go outside the ichimon, and this was the result: https://mobile.twitter.com/sumokyokai/status/466894152144150528

You can see a lot of pics of Kyokutenhō in early Hakuho dohyo-iri, including one at the Sumiyoshi Taisha in 2013 with Kaisei as tachimochi; also Aminishiki with the sword in 2007 at Itsukushima, Hiroshima.

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