Kaioshoryu

Hakuho retires

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16 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

hakuhointai.jpg.045a44b9f5e5ebfb9d36811c63b16b03.jpghakuhointai.jpg.03a57fdbd23719dad988cb35070b103f.jpg

There's a expression for this photo in Portuguese: "cara de bunda" (something alike but not exactly "assface"). It's a face os forced smile in a situation where you would not smile at all.

 

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People complaining about hakuho being bullied by the NSK just kills me. For many years he was the goose that laid the golden egg, and as such he was allowed certain liberties. And now it is time to get in line and get over his self and his ego and join the team. And if he doesn't, he will be buried like the other oyakata before him that tried to go their own way. There's no secrets here, the prospective rikishi know that's the way it is when they join as do the prospective oyakata. Ding dong the witch is dead.

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19 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

hakuhointai.jpg.045a44b9f5e5ebfb9d36811c63b16b03.jpghakuhointai.jpg.03a57fdbd23719dad988cb35070b103f.jpg

I wonder where the eldest daughter was. She's the one who supports him the most.

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8 minutes ago, Hakuhonofan said:

I wonder where the eldest daughter was. She's the one who supports him the most.

Behind him, propping him up?

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12 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

They suggest that Hakuho may be swallowing his pride and playing the NSK's game (... for now). 

Isn't that pretty much the case for every high-ranked rikishi who becomes an elder of the Kyokai? They all go from being one of the stars of the show at the top of the hierarchy to blue-overalled bouncers in the hanamichi at the bottom of their new hierarchy. That's a come-down for anyone.

Yes, I find this pledge-signing business highly distasteful (rooted in xenophobia as it is), but I suspect that skinny 15-year-old Mongolian kid had much worse to deal with before he rose to become the GOAT. He managed that, so I'm certain he can take this. I'm certain, too, that the furore surrounding his retirement is nothing he didn't expect.

He's also got Takanohana's very recent example to show he can't fight his way to the top of the Kyokai, and he's never come across to me as being dumb.

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Just now, RabidJohn said:

Isn't that pretty much the case for every high-ranked rikishi who becomes an elder of the Kyokai? They all go from being one of the stars of the show at the top of the hierarchy to blue-overalled bouncers in the hanamichi at the bottom of their new hierarchy. That's a come-down for anyone.

Yes, I find this pledge-signing business highly distasteful (rooted in xenophobia as it is), but I suspect that skinny 15-year-old Mongolian kid had much worse to deal with before he rose to become the GOAT. He managed that, so I'm certain he can take this. I'm certain, too, that the furore surrounding his retirement is nothing he didn't expect.

He's also got Takanohana's very recent example to show he can't fight his way to the top of the Kyokai, and he's never come across to me as being dumb.

Even as active rikishi they're still subject to the NSK as a whole and individual oyakata in the heya or which may be responsible for whatever aspect of sumo life they're partaking in (e.g. jungyo), so I'm not sure that they're going from the top of a hierarchy to the bottom of a new one per se. The pay definitely now sucks, and they're going to become less prominent in future, but it's not as if everyone is ever going to forget who they were as a rikishi. Other than the financials, which is probably smoothed over by the retirement payout and any profits from their danpatsu-shiki, there's probably in fact less of a jump between rikishi to oyakata than we think, even for someone as big as Hakuho.

That being said, whether or not it feels like a big jump is different, and different rikishi might take to it differently. Kakuryu did hanamichi duty with some style (but it should also be pointed out that he retired during a basho so he was immediately parachuted in as a guard for want of anything better to do immediately, whereas now the NSK has some time to decide what to do with Magaki-oyakata). Comparing Magaki oyakata with the 16-year-old Monkhbatyn Davaajargal is a very different matter because 45 yusho and a lot of money is going to change your self-image. Sure, he has taken bigger things before. But does he feel he needs to? He's not necessarily dumb, but it's his judgement I have doubts about rather than his intellect.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Sure, he has taken bigger things before. But does he feel he needs to? 

Taking Japanese nationality with a view to becoming an oyakata is committing oneself in my book, especially when one could have retired back to Mongolia and never had to work again.

Edited by RabidJohn

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3 minutes ago, RabidJohn said:

Taking Japanese nationality with a view to becoming an oyakata is committing oneself in my book, especially when one could have retired back to Mongolia and never had to work again.

No, I mean taking the BS from the NSK, not so much needing to be an oyakata. With a bigger ego comes less tolerance for petty insults.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

No, I mean taking the BS from the NSK, not so much needing to be an oyakata. With a bigger ego comes less tolerance for petty insults.

Ok, signing that bloody pledge then! 

My point is that none of this is knee-jerk decision making on Hakuho's part. If he wasn't committed to it, he wouldn't have gone for the Magaki kabu when Hakkaku informed him he wasn't getting an ichidai toshiyori.

There are evidently pro- and anti-Hakuho factions within the NSK. The fact that his acquisition of Magaki has been approved, albeit conditionally, means the pro faction is in the ascendancy, which must give him some encouragement.

Edited by RabidJohn
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A wild guess: could it be that the Kyokai´s recent experience with a dai Yokozuna-turned-oyakata prompted them to be, say, a bit more careful with rikishi that enjoyed demigod-like reverence joining their ranks ?

(And I need a tagline: "Say it ain´t so, Hak !" ;-))

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

I never heard anything about a denial.

Yeah, appears I got that bit wrong.

 

Edited by ryafuji
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16 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

Here are several links (in English) that shed light on the situation.  They suggest that Hakuho may be swallowing his pride and playing the NSK's game (... for now).  Of course, he must be 10X more outraged than most of us are, but he knows how to deal with opponents of all shapes and sizes inside and outside the ring.

Yeah, this is undoubtedly the case. Despite Hakuho doing weird things throughout his career that would obviously get him reprimanded, I certainly don't think he's clueless. He also knows that the slightest misstep, or anything that can even be perceived as the slightest misstep, will be turned from a molehill into Mt. Fuji.

Conversely, the NSK now has something to think about with Hakuho's "contract" being criticized in the media, and they might want to refrain from intentionally antagonizing him further until he does something to warrant it.

Then again, since watching Shibatayama ranting to the media when Hakuho went to watch the Olympics before the facts were even clear, I don't know if they really care. For an organization that's been repeatedly embarrassed by scandals, they don't seem to be particularly worried about being criticized for their actions when it comes to Hakuho.

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In my opinion the Kyokai didn´t do themselves a favor with reminding Hakuho in writing of the rules basically everybody has to adhere to. That gives them much less leeway on how to deal with infractions of other members, or they will be publicly accused of double standards. That´s one thing they can´t afford.

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15 hours ago, higashiyama said:

People complaining about hakuho being bullied by the NSK just kills me. For many years he was the goose that laid the golden egg, and as such he was allowed certain liberties. And now it is time to get in line and get over his self and his ego and join the team. And if he doesn't, he will be buried like the other oyakata before him that tried to go their own way. There's no secrets here, the prospective rikishi know that's the way it is when they join as do the prospective oyakata. Ding dong the witch is dead.

And so they made all of those potentially problematic ones sign an oath. 

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He got a phone call from Orora

One of the guys who had winning record against Hakuho

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6 hours ago, RabidJohn said:

Isn't that pretty much the case for every high-ranked rikishi who becomes an elder of the Kyokai? They all go from being one of the stars of the show at the top of the hierarchy to blue-overalled bouncers in the hanamichi at the bottom of their new hierarchy. That's a come-down for anyone.

Not only that, but the skills that make one a great sports champion and the skills that make one an effective administrator of a sports organization are different. Hakuho brings in a wealth of technical knowledge that would make him an effective shinpan, and his past experience in mentoring his kohais would make him an effective shisho, but for everything else involved in being part of the NSK, he's effectively starting over at the equivalent of Maezumo. Maezumo knowledge plus a Takanohana-sized ego is not a great combination; if Hakuho has the insight to realize this, he might come to a better end.

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I loved Hakuho. In a lot of ways, he was the embodiment of what I feel the ozeki/yokozuna rank ought to be: this implacable wall that lesser wrestlers crash against and fail. The fact that he could and would win in so many different ways kept his frequent victories from ever feeling stale to me, and when other wrestlers were able to overcome him, their triumph felt much greater. 

In some ways, it might have been nice if the ending of his career were more clear cut. But then again, this gradual tapering out does seem to be the norm. No top competitor is going to call it quits until it's absolutely clear they cannot perform any longer, so maybe this was to be expected and simply felt exasperated due to the pandemic. And, perhaps, exasperated by the vacuum of talent I perceive at the top of the banzuke right now. 

I think what I'm going to miss most, however, is Hakuho's dohyo iri. I thought he had such a smooth, powerful performance. Maybe it's just because he got to practice it so much? But it was always a pleasure to watch. I hope that he's able to find his niche with the kyokai, simply because he seems to be one of those rare people who is not only good at doing a thing, but also at coaching others to do that thing. 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Sue said:

Maezumo knowledge plus a Takanohana-sized ego is not a great combination; if Hakuho has the insight to realize this, he might come to a better end.

I keep seeing these references to Takanohana, but Hakuho came from pretty much nowt. As a scion of the 'great Hanada sumo dynasty', Takanohana had an unrealistic sense of entitlement.

I don't believe Magaki-oyakata will ever manage to lower his profile to Musashigawa or Naruto levels, simply because he already has sekitori deshi, but they're good role models for him - at least until Shibatayama and the rest have retired.

Edited by RabidJohn
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4 hours ago, Benevolance said:

I think what I'm going to miss most, however, is Hakuho's dohyo iri. I thought he had such a smooth, powerful performance. Maybe it's just because he got to practice it so much? But it was always a pleasure to watch.

I was curious how many he's done. Of course, he has 899 wins and 129 losses as yokozuna, but that includes fusenpai which don't have dohyo-iri. Counting the number of wins/losses as Yokozuna without fusenpai nets a number of 1016 for Hakuho so I believe that's the amount of dohyo-iri he did in official tournaments, if I'm not mistaken. Obviously that doesn't count the numerous ones he's done in various other places.

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The DB includes appearance counters (net of fusenpai) for all rikishi.

Hakuho.png

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2 YouTube videos from NSK featuring his rmilestones and his bouts.

 

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22 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

The DB includes appearance counters (net of fusenpai) for all rikishi.

Hakuho.png

Ah, I didn't know that number was for appearances. Actually, I see now that my 1016 was off—it didn't include fusensho, during which he does do a dohyo-iri, and with that included my script gets 1019 as well.

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Posted (edited)

https://hochi.news/articles/20211004-OHT1T51168.html

Magaki-oyakata, ex-Hakuho (damn, it's weird referring to him like that), has been assigned to the Guidance Dissemination department of the NSK, and he has been given the rank of iin-taigu-toshiyori (the standard rank for ex-yokozuna or ozeki).

AFAIK the GD department is the default assignment for each new oyakata, so there's not much to read into whether or not the NSK thinks he's suited for the job. Where he goes after next year's reshuffle is a different matter altogether.

EDIT: Also, now that the retirement has been formalised, maybe the thread should be renamed to "Hakuho retires" or something similar.

Edited by Seiyashi
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