Kaioshoryu

Hakuho retires

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Here is a photo I found of Hakuho a couple of weeks back. I think it is very appropriate for his intai as I felt it not only encapsulated his essence, but also what he meant for many of his fans. Perhaps you all will remember him as such. 

GOhxElw.png

What should sumo look like, especially for a Yokozuna? How should a Yokozuna behave and what are the limits? To what extent should they be invested in the next generation? What does it mean to be a hugely successful foreigner in a traditionally conservative society and sport? While he might not have provided us the answers, I think Hakuho has provided us very good hints. His very presence is a living critique of the system itself - its good and bad. 

He tested the limits of yotsu and strategic sumo, the standards of Yokozuna behaviour and occasionally my temper as well. I made no secret that I disliked what would be his final performance against Terunofuji. Many focus on his more reprehensible aspects, but I would instead like to encourage you all to consider his character and legacy more comprehensively.  He was a rikishi and Yokozuna, for sure. But most importantly, at least to me, he was a supremely dedicated son, a loving father and a capable mentor for the next generation, whether they are 8 in the Hakuho Cup, or 18, about to make their shindeshi appearance, fighting alongside him. I am not his #1 fan, but he made the sport a meaningful part of my life. 

Thank you, Hakuho. 

Edited by pricklypomegranate
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Assuming his intai is official in November, he will have had the second-longest career of any Yokozuna in the modern era (Chiyonofuji).  Less than half of those Yokozunæ had careers as long as his reign as Yokozuna.

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34 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

Assuming his intai is official in November, he will have had the second-longest career of any Yokozuna in the modern era (Chiyonofuji).  Less than half of those Yokozunæ had careers as long as his reign as Yokozuna.

Chiyonofuji had 59 basho as Yokozuna and 81 in Makuuchi;  Hakuho has had 84 and 103. Chiyonofuji only edges on it career basho (125 to 122). I’d still give this one to Hakuho.

Edit: Actually, just to immediately counter my own argument, Hakuho went kyujo way more than Chiyonofuji. The latter only missed six full basho and had five part-kyujo as a sekitori. Hakuho has had more than that in the past four years. They’re about even I guess.

Edited by Eikokurai

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Others have focused on Hakuho's career, eulogising it more eloquently than I could, but the exciting thing for me is that Hakuho starts his training and recruiting career in earnest. It's frankly amazing how he managed to keep winning yusho while also actively recruiting mostly decent sekitori. If Kiribayama's improvement this basho due to Kakuryu's coaching is any indication, then I can't wait to see how Hakuho's retirement - and more time that he can devote coaching as an oyakata - translates to improvements in Miyagino's present and future rikishi.

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27 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Chiyonofuji had 59 basho as Yokozuna and 81 in Makuuchi;  Hakuho has had 84 and 103. Chiyonofuji only edges on it career basho (125 to 122). I’d still give this one to Hakuho.

Edit: Actually, just to immediately counter my own argument, Hakuho went kyujo way more than Chiyonofuji. The latter only missed six full basho and had five part-kyujo as a sekitori. Hakuho has had more than that in the past four years. They’re about even I guess.

Hakuho fought 65 Day 15 bouts as Yokozuna. Kitanoumi was in 51, Chiyonofuji 47, and Taiho 45. Big edge to Hakuho, even after taking the kyujo into account.

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16 minutes ago, Reonito said:

Hakuho fought 65 Day 15 bouts as Yokozuna. Kitanoumi was in 51, Chiyonofuji 47, and Taiho 45. Big edge to Hakuho, even after taking the kyujo into account.

Sure, but we were comparing careers as whole above. Things even out there, literally: Hakuho fought 84 last-day bouts as a sekitori; Chiyonofuji fought … 84. 

Edited by Eikokurai
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2 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Chiyonofuji had 59 basho as Yokozuna and 81 in Makuuchi;  Hakuho has had 84 and 103. Chiyonofuji only edges on it career basho (125 to 122). I’d still give this one to Hakuho.

Edit: Actually, just to immediately counter my own argument, Hakuho went kyujo way more than Chiyonofuji. The latter only missed six full basho and had five part-kyujo as a sekitori. Hakuho has had more than that in the past four years. They’re about even I guess.

You really have to specify modern era when there were expected to be 6 basho per year; the OB who came before this had advantages and disadvantages (schedule-wise) that I find impossible to quantify (please note I said I find it impossible).(Noddingyes...)  Hakuho became Yokozuna in July 2007, ~85 basho depending when they count retirement.  That's longer than the entire careers of Oyakata Shibatayama, Hakkaku, and Isegahama, as well as Wakanohana and Akebono.

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51 minutes ago, Kaninoyama said:

It's just unimaginable that his yusho record will ever be broken. 

Maybe if we move to 12 basho a year.

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4 minutes ago, WAKATAKE said:

Terunofuji had no comment about Hakuho's pending intai in his post basho interview

https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202109270000233.html

Maybe he was thinking, "Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard", but Terunofuji has enough class to go for mindless good taste.

(It's a MP joke, in case anyone's actually offended.)

Edited by Seiyashi

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27 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

Maybe if we move to 12 basho a year.

Paradoxically that might actually make it even more difficult, because then rikishi have much less downtime. Now, they have 2 months to recover from knacks they pick up in a basho; with 1 basho a month, the effects of unhealed injuries will add up even faster.

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15 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Paradoxically that might actually make it even more difficult, because then rikishi have much less downtime. Now, they have 2 months to recover from knacks they pick up in a basho; with 1 basho a month, the effects of unhealed injuries will add up even faster.

Just by pure mathematics though, the more basho there are, the more you can win, and your opponents would suffer the same problems anyway so it ought to even out. That’s why we always talk about the modern era versus pre-modern when Yokozuna could only win a max of 2 yusho a year.

The real answer though is one-day tournaments 365 days a year.

Edited by Eikokurai
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Usually when a yokozuna retires there seems to be this talk about what kind of career that the last person who defeated the yokozuna will have. Last person to beat Kisenosato was Tochiozan, and we know how that turned out. So who was the last person to truly defeat Hakuho?

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=12210

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Finally Hakuho's non-stop hokey-cokey in and out of tournaments over the last three years seems to be coming to a close.

Hideously overrated and for all the anti-Kyokai bilge that appears, notably on Chris Gould's channel, he has been treated extremely leniently for treating the yokozuna rank like a public convenience.

 

Swami

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10 minutes ago, Swami said:

Hideously overrated

I concur. Everyone always bangs on about his 45 yusho, but never mention that he didn’t win 58 yusho. Pff. Call me when he’s won more than he hasn’t.

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10 hours ago, Kishinoyama said:

I am happy that he is retiring after winning his last tournament. Akebono did the same thing when he retired.

Not quite the same thing. Hakuho would have probably entered Aki Basho if it wasn't for the Heya-ban.

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21 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

I concur. Everyone always bangs on about his 45 yusho, but never mention that he didn’t win 58 yusho. Pff. Call me when he’s won more than he hasn’t.

Yeah, 77.5% strike rate for any sport is terrible. (Yawning...)

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51 minutes ago, Swami said:

Finally Hakuho's non-stop hokey-cokey in and out of tournaments over the last three years seems to be coming to a close.

Hideously overrated and for all the anti-Kyokai bilge that appears, notably on Chris Gould's channel, he has been treated extremely leniently for treating the yokozuna rank like a public convenience.

 

Swami

Yes Chris already sounds like he’s going to cry with his preview video that he put out, since his hero fighting the evil JSA now has to join their ranks

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The kindest way to put it, perhaps, is that he has redefined the rank in many ways, some good and some not so good. He's stretched the limits of what was thought possible in ozumo by breaking so many records, but whether that should have earned him any tolerance for his subsequent less-than-admirable decline, or his occasional gaffe, is another matter altogether. If anything, his tenure solidified the divergence that began under Asashoryu - that the vague ideal of the "best" yokozuna is more than just the "winningnest" yokozuna.

In his defence, he didn't start the yokozuna absence phenomenon - credit for that has to be laid at Kisenosato's door - but, as with everything he did, he pushed the limits on how far he could take that forbearance from the NSK and the YDC.

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He planned on announcing his retirement after Nagoya, but the Kyokai were all "why retire after a zensho, you still have it" etc. He spoke with his family and decided to continue. Then came the Corona Miyagino detention. He saw it as a blessing, planning to use the extra down time to heal his injured right knee. It turns out  the knee has not healed as he had planned. So he decided to retire. An official Kyokai announcement is expected within a few days. As an aside, and not surprisingly, the Kyokai finds itself in a serious bind. One Yokozuna left, so there is one Yokozuna left.. This Yokozuna, as strong as he may be, is working on borrowed time, as we say in Corsica. One misstep, one wrong fall, and the delicate knees are in danger. The way I feel, every time he mounts the dohyo can be the last. And the current crop of kadoban yes kadoban no Ozeki are in no way immediate candidates for Yokozuna. We may find ourselves with no yokozuna and one Ozeki come March. OK, one Yokozuna and one Ozeki, and it's not like we even have real Ozeki contenders with the erratic lot of late, starting with Mitakeumi and culminating with Takayasu with the up and coming youngsters far from making a serious impression record-wise. We shall see.

Edited by Kintamayama
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6 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

 

In his defence, he didn't start the yokozuna absence phenomenon - credit for that has to be laid at Kisenosato's door - but, as with everything he did, he pushed the limits on how far he could take that forbearance from the NSK and the YDC.

Takanohana missed even more bashos at the end (7 whole bashos straight).

Edited by Kintamayama
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9 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

but the Kyokai were all "why retire after a zensho, you still have it" etc.

That's really weird. After all the noise they made about the way in which he won the zensho, and the pretty public struggles he had with his knee, the NSK not only thought he could carry on, but encouraged him to do so. I thought they would have been glad to capitalise on an opportunity to be well shot of him, and when he was offering to retire of his own volition, too.

9 minutes ago, Kintamayama said:

Takanohana missed even more bashos at the end (7 whole bashos straight).

Yep. But I think if there is any influence on Hakuho's 6 non-complete spree (one of which was due to COVID, but which hardly matters as it was bracketed by two kyujos which meant he wouldn't realistically have participated in the COVID kyujo basho anyway), it's more likely to be Kisenosato rather than Takanohana, who had 8 non-completes (i.e. total or partial kyujos), compared to Takanohana's 7 full sitouts.

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4 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

That's really weird. After all the noise they made about the way in which he won the zensho, and the pretty public struggles he had with his knee, the NSK not only thought he could carry on, but encouraged him to do so. I thought they would have been glad to capitalise on an opportunity to be well shot of him, and when he was offering to retire of his own volition, too.

 

But was there really talk from the Kyokai regarding Hakuhou's absence? I felt it was more YDC/press than coming from the Kyokai itself. I remember Hakkaku actually saying he needs to come back when he's totally healed and defending Hakuhou. 

Edited by Kintamayama

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Miyagino-oyakata ignored the media and vanished by car. Asked about the intai he said: I don't know (wakarimasen) https://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/sports/sumou/3676111/

Asashoryu praised Hakuho on his Twitter: A splendid yokozuna, o-tsukare https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202109270000374.html

Former NHK, sumo celebrity Mr Sugiyama: Like a live image of Futabayama https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP9W544LP9WUTQP013.html

His mother heard it first from the media, in Mongolia, voices like "Thanks", the pride of our country" on the social media 

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