Kintamayama

Hattorizakura (Shounanzakura)-intai

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

So, in the opinion of Forum members, who next bears the weight of this awesome mantle?  In other words, who' the new Worst in Sumo?

[Sorry ... too soon?]

Here's what the bottom of my rankings looked like as of Hatsu this year.  I don't update them every basho now since I don't actually use them.

Shishimaru 1186.751
Kyonosato 1186.44
Wakafujioka 1183.915
Daishiryu 1161.624
Moriurara 1156.312
Nishikio 1155.119
Azumayama 1154.081
Sawanofuji 1138.556
Sawaisamu 1113.338
Higohikari 1101.709
Hattorizakura 844.8249

 

Thus there's no one that's anywhere near as bad - the remaining terrible rikishi are all at least somewhat on par with each other.  His rating was continually going down as well, because the system finds it hard to assign a rating to someone when they aren't winning (or losing) a reasonable number of matches.  It was 893 in Hatsu 2020 and 944 in Hatsu 2019, and I don't think it's possible to really say he was getting worse.  The rest of those are fairly stable, since they win at least some of the time.

 

Here's the top 10 from the same basho for comparison:

Hakuho 2171.593
Kakuryu 2048.143
Terunofuji 2003.194
Takakeisho 1998.988
Asanoyama 1930.172
Shodai 1929.984
Takayasu 1923.333
Mitakeumi 1922.538
Hokutofuji 1892.537
Daieisho 1867.232
Edited by Gurowake
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I only started keeping records of the ratings from Haru 2018, and since then there have only been two rikishi to dip below 1100 other than our man in question, Kyokushoriki, who was that low for the two basho before he retired, and Higohikari as of Not-Kyushu 2020.

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Just when you thought nothing new could happen to him, a new wrinkle in his final basho: a loss on day one and then an unprecedented four full days off before losing again on day six, seven, nine, ten, eleven, and thirteen.  

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Posted (edited)

Because of his record, Hattorizakura / Shonanzakura is probably the rikishi who asserts the most pressure on their opponents in all of Ozumo. I say this in the sense that against the likes of Hakuho and Terunofuji, you definitely try your best to win but a loss is not all that bad, but against Hattorizakura? It's a bout that you cannot afford to lose, since if you do......

Edited by mikawa
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8 hours ago, Yokozuna Hattorizakura said:

never thought this day would come, a real tragic day for sumo. he will always be yokozuna in my heart

Nobody is even close to his level. There a few contenders for the title like Kirinohana (8 basho, 0 kk) and Sawanofuji (32 basho, 3kk). and good old former title holder Moriurara is still around.

This seems reasonable, a couple of veterans and a newcomer to keep an eye on.

Incidentally, I thought of you when I saw the intai announcement.  This must be a tough time; thoughts and prayers.

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I really did not appreciate him, frankly. When people comment on him he comes across like a hapless rikishi who sucks at sumo despite trying.

From what I've seen, however, he throws his matches and is basically a parasite on sumo.

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Showing my curmudgeonly side here, but I'll be glad to not hear of him anymore. I can't imagine how someone could (in theory) train every day and still be that awful unless they were severely mentally challenged, a quadriplegic, or deliberately losing. There is in my opinion no place for deliberately losing in professional sports, especially in so unconvincing a manner as he always did.

Sumo is supposed to honor the gods, yes? If I were the gods his matches would have pissed me off so bad that I'd send some sort of highly contagious airborne respiratory ailment down to earth as a punishment...

Anyway, best of luck to him and hopefully he's better at something else than he was at sumo.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, since_94 said:

Yes, he should definitely rest and take things easy at his parents’ house. Because that is what a young man in his prime should do. Fear not, fair youth; the Universe will provide.

Is he the oldest son?  Then, that is certainly a viable option, as per Japanese tradition.

The eldest son may never leave the family home, and is responsible for the care of his parents when they are old

Edited by Jejima

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19 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

I’m not surprised. It seemed inevitable after he was overlooked for a role in the Olympics opening ceremony.

The organizers missed a golden opportunity. They wanted to focus on anime and video games more than things like Ozumo. What better than to have Shonanzakura ceremonially lose a match to Sailor Mercury, or to Shin-chan?

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They wouldn't even need to script that. Would that count as yaocho if they did?

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I always wondered how he would fare against an average punter in the crowd. Maybe they could make a gameshow along those lines as his next career move. 

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52 minutes ago, Jemuzu said:

I always wondered how he would fare against an average punter in the crowd. Maybe they could make a gameshow along those lines as his next career move. 

Depends on how big you were.  If he thought he'd get hurt if he fought a real match with you, he'd do everything he could to make sure he went down at the slightest contact, as has been alluded to above.  The fact that he won a few matches legitimately indicates he didn't throw *every* match, but he clearly was very worried about getting hurt against the bigger guys.

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To be fair, he won the last match he won because the other rikishi tripped on his own feet.

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7 minutes ago, Churaumi said:

To be fair, he won the last match he won because the other rikishi tripped on his own feet.

True, but that didn't happen in all of the wins.

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I could only watch the first few minutes of this video.  Between the constant losing and the sad music, it was all too much!  With all his diligent training, why couldn't someone teach him a proper tachiai? 

 

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To sort of expand on my brief comment yesterday:

I've never been one to disparage his presence in Ozumo, and I frequently cringed at the way some other fans did. But by the same token, there's just no reason to put him on some kind of "at least he had the guts to try" pedestal, either. There are certainly times when it's appropriate to laud a person's spectacular failure at something, but some sort of history-making pushing of boundaries generally ought to be involved. All Shonanzakura did was join a sport with an open-door policy, and he didn't create history, just trivia. Nobody talks about the many other guys who somehow find their way into Ozumo without having any real business being there (and there are plenty), either because they quit much sooner, or because they at least achieve some modest improvements after a year or two and become faceless jonidan dwellers.

The best thing to hope for is that persevering in sumo for six years allowed him to pick up some relevant life skills, and that his time there will eventually be consigned to footnote status in his life story, because it really shouldn't be anything more than that.

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2 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

To sort of expand on my brief comment yesterday:

I've never been one to disparage his presence in Ozumo, and I frequently cringed at the way some other fans did. But by the same token, there's just no reason to put him on some kind of "at least he had the guts to try" pedestal, either. There are certainly times when it's appropriate to laud a person's spectacular failure at something, but some sort of history-making pushing of boundaries generally ought to be involved. All Shonanzakura did was join a sport with an open-door policy, and he didn't create history, just trivia. Nobody talks about the many other guys who somehow find their way into Ozumo without having any real business being there (and there are plenty), either because they quit much sooner, or because they at least achieve some modest improvements after a year or two and become faceless jonidan dwellers.

The best thing to hope for is that persevering in sumo for six years allowed him to pick up some relevant life skills, and that his time there will eventually be consigned to footnote status in his life story, because it really shouldn't be anything more than that.

That's one way of looking at it. I'm sure there are many other equally valid viewpoints out there.

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I'm mostly in agreement with Asashosakari's post on the guy: I did kind of get sick of when newer people who'd genuinely not heard of him before would be followed by someone inevitably  posting the videos linked above from earlier in his career when he was a total joke, rather than just really bad at sumo, which is where he ended up at the end of his career.

Some people took the mere fact he was in sumo at all as some kind of personal insult, usually from the viewpoint of "he's taking up a valuable spot someone else could be using" (doesn't really work like that) or "he's a disgrace to the national samurai spirit of sumo which is like a religious ritual for the Japanese people" (too much time on Wikipedia mate), which I never understood at all. He just highlighted some aspects of sumo that are unique compared to most sports, in that people who are essentially "amateurs" share the same stage as the greatest to ever step in the ring. In any other sport a guy like Shonan would be the worst player on the Sunday league football team or whatever. Also, that you can't really be kicked out of ozumo for the sole reason of being bad. There's maybe a discussion to be had on if someone like Shonanzakura is any more or less of a "parasite" on the sport than the jonidan lifers who we pay no attention to, because they're just a drop in the ocean and there's a consistent group of guys who are of similarly poor quality. Someone like, say, Moriurara; 34 years old, 18 years in sumo, highest rank jonidan 56. No shade on him either but any damage to the NSK's coffers due to Shonanzakura is more than doubled by this guy, so you're going after the wrong guy if this is your angle.

I can at least respect him for trying to do what he loved (and there's no other explanation as to why he stuck around so long; he must have loved sumo), though maybe he tried it for a little too long. That said he just turned 23 and still has plenty of time to do something with his life, hopefully without the long term health issues that will follow some of these other no-hopers around forever.

In closing, I didn't hate the guy like some people seemed to, nor was I a fan, but the fact his mere existence seemed to annoy people so much was kind of funny. He did look much better in this most recent basho compared to the meme compilation videos of his earlier days when he'd just fall over on purpose, but the fact he lost to a literal child 13kg lighter than him in the form of Byakuen might have been too much, for even him.

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On 26/08/2021 at 10:40, Eikokurai said:

Everyone on this forum is undefeated!

We've seen posts on this forum from at least three people who were ozumo rikishi at some point and all of them had honbasho losses on their record.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Gurowake said:

True, but that didn't happen in all of the wins.

I didn't say it did, but I'm doubtless gravity was his best friend. I didn't see his other two. However, I have seen more solar eclipses in person than Hattorizakura had wins, if that puts the rarity in perspective.

Edited by Churaumi
That reads snippier than I meant it too

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A historic event. People missing what a big deal this is. Hopefully he will be just as consistent in his second career.

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Not that I want to pry into his personal life, but I was always curious about his story. It seemed like there had to be more to his being there than simply a love of sumo, because sumo life ain't exactly grand and he wasn't exactly getting better. So why stick around for so long? 

Though, to be fair, I've trained people who weren't ever getting better at their job and clearly didn't like being there, either, but a pay cheque is motivation I can understand. 

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16 hours ago, Inside Sport Japan said:

We've seen posts on this forum from at least three people who were ozumo rikishi at some point and all of them had honbasho losses on their record.

I'm counting two. Maybe even one since Osunaarashi's post is from before he was a rikishi.

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1 hour ago, sahaven111 said:

I'm counting two. Maybe even one since Osunaarashi's post is from before he was a rikishi.

The only one I know for sure is Cal Martin (Araiwa).  Did Brodi Henderson (Homarenishiki) himself ever post or was it just his father?

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Posted (edited)

There's also Kagamifuji, who joined ozumo at 15 and intai'd a few months after his debut.

In the thread below, from 2004, he comments on seeing Kotooshu train, and also notes that some Mongolian kid named Arawashi looked pretty handy in the sumo school.

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=2829

 

Edited by Katooshu
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