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Nokotta

Hatsu 2022 - Day 11: Wardrobe malfunction?

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What's the limit to disqualify a rikishi for wardrobe malfunction? I'm sure I've seen more of Tsurugishō than what I ever wanted to see (blurred for convenience).

 

tsurugisho-akua.png

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Ball-room dancing 

Edited by since_94

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Whole thing has to come off, I think. And usually the gyoji intervene before it gets to that stage.

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I just watched the highlight video.  Tsurugisho's mawashi was pretty loose in the (what do they call that, the under thong?)

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I believe the gyoji wasn't able to see it in this match because of his position. But then what about the shimpan, can they intervene?

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No, shimpan intervening in a match is pretty universally mistaken for the bout being over. In fact, the shimpan have a rule to watch the replay first and ask questions later to avoid having to redo a bout due to a mistaken call. 

As much as it might have been unpleasant or titillating, depending on which side you swing, rikishi exposure was never really historically a big problem until relatively recently in sumo's history. The biggest problem with a mawashi falling off is inconveniencing your aite if he's a yotsu type: what's he gonna grab then? But if the mawashi is on and stays loose, there's no foul. 

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1 hour ago, Yamanashi said:

I just watched the highlight video.  Tsurugisho's mawashi was pretty loose in the (what do they call that, the under thong?)

Tatemitsu (written with the kanji for tachi as in tachiai and fundoshi).

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3 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

No, shimpan intervening in a match is pretty universally mistaken for the bout being over. In fact, the shimpan have a rule to watch the replay first and ask questions later to avoid having to redo a bout due to a mistaken call. 

As much as it might have been unpleasant or titillating, depending on which side you swing, rikishi exposure was never really historically a big problem until relatively recently in sumo's history. The biggest problem with a mawashi falling off is inconveniencing your aite if he's a yotsu type: what's he gonna grab then? But if the mawashi is on and stays loose, there's no foul. 

Gotcha! Thanks for the clarification.

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If I have my history right, they wrestled naked until foreign influences started creeping in around the 1700s. So he's just being old-school.

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1 hour ago, Churaumi said:

If I have my history right, they wrestled naked until foreign influences started creeping in around the 1700s. So he's just being old-school.

Off topic, but how did they do yotsu without a mawashi? Shodai style?

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12 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Off topic, but how did they do yotsu without a mawashi? Shodai style?

I would imagine that would have developed after they started wearing mawashi. I doubt they just grabbed a fat roll and went for it.

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I guess they could do a bear hug, though could one fully reach both arms around such ampleness?

The ashitori and kotenage guys would still be in business too.

Edited by Katooshu

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I'd bet it looked a lot like modern greco-roman wrestling, with shoving and kicking.

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31 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

I guess they could do a bear hug, though could one fully reach both arms around such ampleness?

Up till maybe the 1900s, sumo wrestlers weren't actually that rotund. Compare the images of Shiranui and Kimenzan to, say, Futabayama. The former two aren't really distinct as sumo wrestlers in that time period, and would pass for samurai (which they technically were).

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We are (un?)lucky that Tsurugisho's mawashi stayed.... nokotta. *I'll show myself out.

 

Dang it, can't believe I rewatched and rewinded the video a few more times, focusing on his crotch area (SpookyTVprogram...)

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29 minutes ago, hakutorizakura said:

Dang it, can't believe I rewatched and rewinded the video a few more times, focusing on his crotch area (SpookyTVprogram...)

For research purposes, of course.

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Why did I read this thread while eating beef stew?  Never again.

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On 19/01/2022 at 18:36, Seiyashi said:

The biggest problem with a mawashi falling off is inconveniencing your aite if he's a yotsu type: what's he gonna grab then?

I trust that's a rhetorical question.

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18 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Up till maybe the 1900s, sumo wrestlers weren't actually that rotund. Compare the images of Shiranui and Kimenzan to, say, Futabayama. The former two aren't really distinct as sumo wrestlers in that time period, and would pass for samurai (which they technically were).

I'm not that sure. Contemporary Ukiyo-e clearly depict 18th-19th century sumo wrestlers as very rotund men (see my avatar). Although they probably just painted a "standard rikishi" type rather than the actual guy, it still means that was the average rikishi body in the collective imagination.

I'm not saying that rikishi didn't become fatter throughout the 20th century. They did. My point is that 18th-19th century rikishi were still big belly guys. The photos portraying Shiranui Koemon clearly show his prominent belly, although I agree it appears that the diet and workout standards of the time favoured the formation of belly fat while leaving the arms relatively skinny (see Abi and Ichiyamamoto nowadays).

I made a couple of line charts to better show the situation (see attachments). The first shows the BMI (Body Mass Index) of all Yokozuna from Tanikaze to Terunofuji. Although one could object that early data might be not completely realiable, the pattern still shows that every Yokozuna was at least within the Obesity I range and most were in Obesity II-III, that is grave obesity. Of course, we must include muscles and all, but there has always been an undeniable tendency to be as fat as possible in documented sumo history.

The second shows the absolute weight of each Yokozuna. Long story short, no one made it below 100 kg. The lightest was Tochigiyama Moriya (the 27th Yokozuna, 1918-1925) with 104 kg for a height of 1,72 m (BM I 35,15, Obesity II). The second lightest was Umegatani Toutarou I (the 15th Yokozuna, 1884-1885) with 105 kg for a height of 1,76 m (BMI 33,89, Obesity I). And most of their contemporary Yokozunas were 130 kg+.

 Back to the main topic, modern yotsu-zumo simply uses the mawashi for extra grip. IMHO overarm throws, neck pulls and leg grabs of all kinds are perfectly executable even against a naked opponent.

image.png.6b448fb58994a68c4ef93242c1a727d2.png

 

image.png

Edited by Hankegami
put a corrected BMI chart
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8 hours ago, Reonito said:
On 20/01/2022 at 10:36, Seiyashi said:

The biggest problem with a mawashi falling off is inconveniencing your aite if he's a yotsu type: what's he gonna grab then?

I trust that's a rhetorical question.

What if it's not? :-D

55 minutes ago, Hankegami said:

I made a couple of line charts to better show the situation (see attachments).

Genuinely, fantastic work. I can guess who the two spikes in weight are (the two American yokozuna), but I'm legitly surprised to see that yokozuna BMI was so far above average even back in the olden days. The only niggling critique I have is that if what Churaumi said was correct, that mawashi were only introduced in the 1700s, that predates almost all the yokozuna depending on exactly when the mawashi were introduced. Top wrestler BMI probably didn't suddenly increase with the introduction of mawashis, so they would almost all be severely obese by BMI standards as well, but the data doesn't by itself disprove that they weren't rotund. (Combined with the collateral evidence of the ukiyo-e prints however, it probably does.)

Regarding grips around such a size, I think the solution might be that you wouldn't reach around the belly per se, where the angle and relative girth makes it difficult to complete a grip, but it would probably still be possible to reach around just under the armpits which are a natural leverage body point anyway. So a bear hug would be somewhat plausible.

And as for the point about "average" rikishi body types in ukiyo-e prints, you're spot on. The Edo-Tokyo Museum (next to the Kokugikan) has a nice exhibit on life in Edo times, including a mock shop of a bookseller and printer. I do recall the information card on one of these saying that prints of popular rikishi were rather production-lined, with standard template bodies and only the face changed, to speed up turnaround time.

Edited by Seiyashi

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1 hour ago, Hankegami said:

I made a couple of line charts to better show the situation (see attachments). The first shows the BMI (Body Mass Index) of all Yokozuna from Tanikaze to Terunofuji. Although one could object that early data might be not completely realiable, the pattern still shows that every Yokozuna was at least within the Obesity I range and most were in Obesity II-III, that is grave obesity. Of course, we must include muscles and all, but there has always been an undeniable tendency to be as fat as possible in documented sumo history.

 

Nice charts, but the highest BMI on the far right seems to be a serious mistake...

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2 minutes ago, Doitsuyama said:

Nice charts, but the highest BMI on the far right seems to be a serious mistake...

Yes, I noticed myself. Some numbers weren't pasted by Excel and the last entry resulted Harumafuji's BMI. Just edited with a corrected line chart properly showing Kisenosato and Terunofuji jumping up at the end.

The weight line chart is correct, anyway. You can find Terunofuji at the right end just as expected.

1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

The only niggling critique I have is that if what Churaumi said was correct, that mawashi were only introduced in the 1700s, that predates almost all the yokozuna depending on exactly when the mawashi were introduced.

I found this print depicting Tanikaze and Onogawa, reportedly dated 1783 (here): they both wear mawashi, although very different from the ones we are accustomed to.

Anyway, I checked Cuyler's (1979) Sumo from Rite to Sport but I failed to find evidence for Charaumi's statement. The earliest evidence provided by Cuyler are the Englishiki dolls (see below), figurines he mentions as being "more than a thousand year old". He does not give better context (and I am not an expert of Japanese archaeology), but I guess it means Heian period (794-1185). If Cuyler is to be accepted as a realiable source, well, these rikishi statuettes clearly wear mawashi.

Another strong evidence is a roll that Cuyler attributes to Kose no Kinmochi (too heavy, see my next post), apparently a grandson of better-known Heian painter Kose no Kanaoka (9th century, see here and french wiki). Given that Kanaoka was active ca. 850, the roll itself might be dated to ca. 900 AD. And clearly shows westrlers keeping their fundoshi on, not to mention unexpectedly early evidence for fat rikishi. This might not be this surprising, since modern sumo rules were most likely developed by the Heian court to avoid death events causing ritual pollution. Here the idea to push your aide out or on the ground instead of knock him out.

However, another roll that Cuylers reports as being from the late 16th century (that is, not far from the establishment of modern sumo) again shows rikishi wearing their mawashi (once again wait for my second next post). My conclusion is that rikishi always wore mawashi after all, possibly since sumo entered the Heian court with all its taboos.

 

image.png

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