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Pokemon collabs with Sumo

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It seems the Pokemon Company will be teaming up with the Nihon Sumo Kyokai for the next couple of tournaments. The Pokemon Company will have banners at both the November and January basho. They'll also be sponsoring kesho-mawashi, and at the January basho, the gyoji will don a special Pokemon-themed outfit.

https://www.sumo.or.jp/pdf/kyokai/211027pokemon.pdf

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Looks like the sumo pokemon, Makuhita, will be getting the spotlight alongside company mascot Pikachu.

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Makuhita is a silly name for that Pokémon, the proper Japanese name Makunoshita has the proper sumo connotation, makushita in the style of makunouchi.

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As long as the gyoji isn't actually going to be in that Pikachu mascot outfit it should be fine, I guess...? The gyoji have enough difficulty moving around the dohyo as is without getting run over.

On a serious note, this is probably the most seriously commercialised "pop culture" that sumo has ever gotten, isn't it? There's been the occasional anime-inspired kesho-mawashi but you could argue they were isolated enough instances to be highbrow art-like.

Edited by Seiyashi
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2 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

As long as the gyoji isn't actually going to be in that Pikachu mascot outfit it should be fine, I guess...? The gyoji have enough difficulty moving around the dohyo as is without getting run over.

On a serious note, this is probably the most seriously commercialised "pop culture" that sumo has ever gotten, isn't it? There's been the occasional anime-inspired kesho-mawashi but you could argue they were isolated enough instances to be highbrow art-like.

Why not, could turn out funny.

Wasn't there something with Hello Kitty a few years ago, or was that just merch?

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2 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

Makuhita is a silly name for that Pokémon, the proper Japanese name Makunoshita has the proper sumo connotation, makushita in the style of makunouchi.

For anyone who's interested, the relevant excerpts from Bulbagarden (the Pokemon wiki) for Makuhita and its evolution, Hariyama. Can I also take the chance to say that I think we've found Takanosho's spirit Pokemon? (Look for Makuhita with its mouth closed)

Makuhita is very gutsy and never gives up, no matter how many times it is knocked down. Energy is built into its body each time it rises back up. Broken trees often surround its nest, because it trains by slapping and slamming into them. It is known to mistake Exeggutor for a tree, and gets flung away as a result. This Pokémon eats lots of food and gets plenty of sleep. Its rigorous training and lifestyle give it a sturdy body able to withstand any attack. It is the only known Pokémon to know the move Smelling Salts. It is found living and training in mountainous areas.

Origin

Makuhita appears to be based on a sumo wrestler, also called a rikishi or sumōtori. It also resembles a punching bag due to its plump body and topknot. The topknot may be a reference to a chonmage (a traditional hairstyle for sumo wrestlers). Makuhita's hands resemble boxing gloves, and its two-toed feet resemble geta or zōri (Japanese wooden sandals). The black marking around its neck resembles a baby bib, indicating its youth and inexperience as an unevolved Pokémon.

Name origin

Makuhita and Makunoshita may be corruptions of 幕下 makushita (the third-highest sumo division).

 

Hariyama's body consists mostly of muscle instead of fat. When its body tenses, its muscles become as hard as stone. It likes to match power with other big-bodied Pokémon and can stomp the ground to build its own power. Trucks can be sent flying, telephone poles broken in two, and trains can even be stopped by its powerful slapping arms. They are kindhearted and practice etiquette, praising its battle opponents. As it grows older, it focuses more on training Makuhita.

Origin

Hariyama seems to be based on a sumo wrestler, also known as a rikishi or sumōtori. Its bald head and long hair resemble a chonmage (a traditional hairstyle for sumo wrestlers) before it's tied into a topknot. Its two-toed feet resemble geta or zōri (Japaense wooden sandals). The square flaps surrounding its midsection resemble sagari (stiff strings) that hang off a wrestler's mawashi (cloth belt). Its large hands, category, and ability to learn Arm Thrust may be a reference to harite (an open-hand strike), and its habit of stomping the ground in battle may be a reference to shiko (an exercise/ritual used to drive away spirits). Its ability to learn Brine and signature move Smelling Salts may be a reference to the ritual of throwing salt before a match to purify the dohyō (wrestling ring), and ability to learn Whirlwind could be a reference to the god of thunder, Takemikazuchi, who is believed to have fought in the first recorded sumo wrestle.

Name origin

Hariyama and Hariteyama may be a combination of 張り手 harite (an open-hand strike), 張り合う hariau (to compete with), 張り倒す haritaosu (to knock down), 針山 hariyama (pincushion; referring to its plump body), and 山 yama (mountain; referring to its large size).

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Makuhita_(Pokémon)

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Hariyama_(Pokémon)

Edited by Seiyashi
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This coincides brilliantly with the release of Legends Arceus in 2022. My kids already enjoy watching sumo when it's on, but they were super excited to see sumo and Pokemon together. My oldest hoped that "the pokemon would sumo fight in the ring". And it got me thinking, maybe it's Hiyonoyama's time to shine!  Can the NHK mascot take down Pikachu?    (Kensho-kin...)

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2 hours ago, Taikoubana said:

 

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Nice to see Takakeisho there to support the lower rankers

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

On a serious note, this is probably the most seriously commercialised "pop culture" that sumo has ever gotten, isn't it? There's been the occasional anime-inspired kesho-mawashi but you could argue they were isolated enough instances to be highbrow art-like.

Pokemon is the highest revenue media franchise in the world, beating out Hello Kitty. So I don't think sumo could get a much better collab than this!

That being said, Pokemon is getting exposure in sumo for a couple basho. But is sumo getting exposure in Pokemon? If not, can you really call it a "collaboration"?

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23 minutes ago, Taikoubana said:

Pokemon is the highest revenue media franchise in the world, beating out Hello Kitty. So I don't think sumo could get a much better collab than this!

That being said, Pokemon is getting exposure in sumo for a couple basho. But is sumo getting exposure in Pokemon? If not, can you really call it a "collaboration"?

Sumo is getting Yen. That's the collab part.

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I assume the gyoji thing will be Pokémon patterns in the fabric of their clothes? 

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4 hours ago, Benihana said:

Why not, could turn out funny.

Wasn't there something with Hello Kitty a few years ago, or was that just merch?

Back in Fall 2020 there was a post about a CM for Yoko Tuna or something; the cartoon included a Hello-Kitty-like gyoji.  I think I named it Shikimori Harokiti (one of my rare high points).

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I recall some sumo pikachu plushies, maybe there will be a popup store selling them exclusively during the honbasho.

https://pin.it/4APIHNr

Edited by rhyen

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According to the press release, Pikachu and Maku(nos)hita will also be appearing in mascot form at the Wampaku National Championships for elementary school 4th-6th graders in the next few weeks. Pikachu alone for the boys on October 31, both of them for the girls on November 14.

 

7 hours ago, Taikoubana said:

It seems the Pokemon Company will be teaming up with the Nihon Sumo Kyokai for the next couple of tournaments. The Pokemon Company will have banners at both the November and January basho.

To avoid people looking for them prematurely: The kensho will be appearing on senshuraku only for the November tournament, and then throughout the whole January basho (apparently to the tune of 200+ banners).

Edited by Asashosakari
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9 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

According to the press release, Pikachu and Maku(nos)hita will also be appearing in mascot form at the Wampaku National Championships for elementary school 4th-6th graders in the next few weeks. Pikachu alone for the boys on October 31, both of them for the girls on November 14.

 

To avoid people looking for them prematurely: The kensho will be appearing on senshuraku only for the November tournament, and then throughout the whole January basho (apparently to the tune of 200+ banners).

More details from the kensho thread

13 hours ago, Akinomaki said:

New pokemon kensho banners will be wandering around the dohyo in Kyushu, but only on day 15.

Banner design - for Kyushu they are the package design from the historical Pocket monster games, the first 2 are from the initial one, Pocket monster red-green of 1996

l_ts0153_pokesumo02.jpg

More than 200 kensho will appear at the Hatsu basho, every day this time, showing different pokemon.

The 2 kensho on the right thus are for Hatsu and won't appear in Kyushu.

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On 28/10/2021 at 02:48, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Sumo is getting Yen. That's the collab part.

The impact of Covid and Hakuho’s retirement package forcing the Kyokai to modernize and run itself like a 21st century business?

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Trying to use this to convince my 11 year old daughter to come into the Kokugikan with me for once, but she’s not having it. Despite collecting Pokémon. 

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1 hour ago, since_94 said:

Trying to use this to convince my 11 year old daughter to come into the Kokugikan with me for once, but she’s not having it. Despite collecting Pokémon. 

Well, if she is into Pokémon go, there are gyms and stops on site.

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2 hours ago, rhyen said:

Well, if she is into Pokémon go, there are gyms and stops on site.

She is into it. She is also into experimenting with being something of a contrarian at almost-twelve, which means not liking whatever dad likes. And dad likes sumo.

It’s all good, though. She can name most of Makuuchi and Juryo if I give her the first syllable of their shikona and she sometimes hangs out outside the venue with me. She would probably come in if she thought she could catch a “rare” one…

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9 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

The impact of Covid and Hakuho’s retirement package forcing the Kyokai to modernize and run itself like a 21st century business?

Covid is hitting this promotion, too. The onrei banners would be up every day if there were a Pokemon unique to this collaboration sitting on the dohyo.

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I know next to nothing about Pokémon, but I suppose if Shikimori Inosuke were made to wear a Pikachu suit it wouldn't affect his skills much, since he seems to not see well and falls off the dohyo all on his own.

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To me, of all the rikishi I have seen during basho since 2017, the most Pokemon-like is Kotoyuki; especially with the taped-up penguin hands and the amazing rolling exits.

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I guess my next question is which Pokémon is the grouchiest one? 

 

You know, so I know which one will Konosuke have?

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6 hours ago, Churaumi said:

I guess my next question is which Pokémon is the grouchiest one? 

 

You know, so I know which one will Konosuke have?

Curse you, curse you to hell, @Churaumi (jk).  You made me go back through the Pokemon Universe (unexplored since my children kinda grew up) to find the name of the Pokemon who always looks cranky because he has headaches: Psyduck.  Also, this Pokemon has the body type of one of the top gyoji, ifyouknowwhatImean.

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I think Psyduck is the perfect personification, no pokemonification - of impotent gyoji rage. 

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