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Narutobeya happenings

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I follow Narutobeya on Twitter and Instagram, so I'm creating this topic to record my news and views (sometimes incorrect/lamebrain; that's why I've cordoned it off in its own topic!)

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Narutobeya entered Kyushu 2021 with 5 rikishi in Makushita, and Anzai climbing the ladder to join them after dropping from Ms36 due to injury.  It looked like one of them would punch through to Juryo soon.

Now at the end of Hatsu 2022 the top tier has faced disaster.  Oshoumi has dropped from Ms7 with two injuries in two tournaments.  Oshoryu had rebounded to Ms11 but wilted again with a 1-6 record.  Hagiwara, after 8 initial KKs, injured his leg in December and is out for the second basho.  Anzai missed the January tournament with another injury. 

Only Ms15TD Oshoma was able to withtstand the strain, achieving his second KK and headed for ~Ms 4 to Ms7 next basho.  In fact, of the top 10 ranked Naruto rikishi (out of 16), only Oshoma received a katchi-koshi.

So how did Narutobeya end Hatsu with over 50% wins?  The bottom of the stable wrestled "out of their minds".  Marusho, injured at mid-Makushita and out last basho, came through with 6-1 at Sd87 and may be climbing again.  Honma, one of the original heya deshi and a perennial mid-Jonidan wrestler who missed 6 basho with a gruesome foot injury, has been a tiger since returning and recorded a KK in his first Sandanme tournament.  Oshozan, the other remaining "pioneer" of the new heya, broke into Sd and has gone 6-1 this basho.  Even Yamane, kyujo last basho after reaching Jd11, has bounced back with a 6-1 and maybe a visit to Sandanme soon.

The troubling undercurrent over the last year is the continued rash of injuries.  Is it just the luck of the draw, or a bad streak?  Are ex-Kotooshu's training methods (he seems to like his wrestlers to move quickly) responsible for the injuries?

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I think Oshoma will be Ms5, so a strong KK could take him to juryo.

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Injuries have definitely become a big issue in a very short time at the young heya. Obviously they are part of sumo, but pretty much everyone at Naruto who's shown even a bit of promise has sat out with them at some point, including the now retired Torakio. Oshoma's been fine, but hard to look much into that since he's only been pro 2 tournaments. It's also been happening at all age and experience levels, not just to the older guys who came into ozumo with wear and tear from years in the amateurs...

I'm not sure what's going on, and perhaps the injuries aren't worse than normal and it's just Naruto being more cautious than most oyakata, but from the outside it's a bit worrying.

Edited by Katooshu

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Could it be that what Naruto studied at Nittaidai isn't fully applicable to sumo?

On 24/07/2018 at 17:39, Akinomaki said:

I'm looking forward to get to know how the health of the rikishi in Naruto-beya will develop. The oyakata recently had studied at university especially about training methods to avoid injuries - and on TV it always gets emphasized that by drinking half a liter of plain yogurt a day, he kept his blood sugar at an excellent level - taking care of more healthy nutrition is also something the heya appears to be a front-runner.

With a few improvements like that, the general health level in sumo can get much better, without having to change the sumo way.

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10 hours ago, Katooshu said:

Injuries have definitely become a big issue in a very short time at the young heya. Obviously they are part of sumo, but pretty much everyone at Naruto who's shown even a bit of promise has sat out with them at some point, including the now retired Torakio. Oshoma's been fine, but hard to look much into that since he's only been pro 2 tournaments. It's also been happening at all age and experience levels, not just to the older guys who came into ozumo with wear and tear from years in the amateurs...

I'm not sure what's going on, and perhaps the injuries aren't worse than normal and it's just Naruto being more cautious than most oyakata, but from the outside it's a bit worrying.

There is no doubt that he pulls his rikishi maybe more quickly than usual after injury.  Other than Oshoumi, who seems to be a real battler, Naruto has no problem sitting his rikishi mid-basho.

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2 hours ago, Yamanashi said:
13 hours ago, Katooshu said:

Injuries have definitely become a big issue in a very short time at the young heya. Obviously they are part of sumo, but pretty much everyone at Naruto who's shown even a bit of promise has sat out with them at some point, including the now retired Torakio. Oshoma's been fine, but hard to look much into that since he's only been pro 2 tournaments. It's also been happening at all age and experience levels, not just to the older guys who came into ozumo with wear and tear from years in the amateurs...

I'm not sure what's going on, and perhaps the injuries aren't worse than normal and it's just Naruto being more cautious than most oyakata, but from the outside it's a bit worrying.

There is no doubt that he pulls his rikishi maybe more quickly than usual after injury.  Other than Oshoumi, who seems to be a real battler, Naruto has no problem sitting his rikishi mid-basho.

It might not be politic to suggest rank over injury, but I sure hope Naruto's approach pays off. If he pulls his rikishi mid basho that often, his rikishi are going to be yo-yoing very slowly up the banzuke if at all, versus someone else who deals with the injury to have a minor MK. By the time they get to sekitori, if at all, they may not have that long as a sekitori thanks to the time they took to get up there.

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On 31/01/2022 at 02:05, Yamanashi said:

There is no doubt that he pulls his rikishi maybe more quickly than usual after injury.  Other than Oshoumi, who seems to be a real battler, Naruto has no problem sitting his rikishi mid-basho.

Interesting, given that during a documentary about his heya awhile back, Naruto Oyakata proclaimed that he had secret training methodologies that would prevent his disciples from getting injured.

Maybe that was nothing more than yanking the rikishi before the injuries get worse. 

And Bulgarian yogurt. 

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3 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

Interesting, given that during a documentary about his heya awhile back, Naruto Oyakata proclaimed that he had secret training methodologies that would prevent his disciples from getting injured.

Maybe that was nothing more than yanking the rikishi before the injuries get worse. 

And Bulgarian yogurt. 

I mean, to be fair, anything other than "we're having him treat his injury by mounting the dohyo and gambarizing" in the sumo world does sound like the application of some sort of proprietary secret sauce (yogurt-based or otherwise). 

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They periodically display their daily meal on Twitter.  Much less evidence of Bulgarian Yogurt for the last year or so.  They get a lot of beef and fish and pizza and pastry from heya supporters.  Also, since none of the rikishi is over 25, they don't have a grizzled "chanko chef", so they use more of a team effort in the kitchen, including the yobidashi Kenta.  The food looks very appetizing.

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11 hours ago, Tochinofuji said:

I mean, to be fair, anything other than "we're having him treat his injury by mounting the dohyo and gambarizing" in the sumo world does sound like the application of some sort of proprietary secret sauce (yogurt-based or otherwise). 

Well there was a scene in the documentary where they wouldn't show what they were doing because it was the dohyo's trade secret. There was also a scene where he was yelling at one of his deshi (I think it was the Bulgarian kid who got ousted for bullying) during keiko to not fight in a way that would invite injury.

It's still a young dojo though, so time will tell if his methods are ultimately effective or not. 

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40 minutes ago, Kaninoyama said:

(I think it was the Bulgarian kid who got ousted for bullying)

The kid who got busted for bullying was Sumidagawa, from Sumida Ward, Tokyo.

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18 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

The kid who got busted for bullying was Sumidagawa, from Sumida Ward, Tokyo.

Pretty sure the foreigner did as well, and was sent packing back home. 

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I am always aware of oyakata proclaiming that they would reform or change the ways the sumo has been trained or instructed.  Naruto and Nishonoseki have said things in that fashion and I am a bit sceptical as to how much they would change the tradition.  We had one stablemaster bent on reforming the JSA who was expelled for other transgressions, but still it is a dangerous road. Japan is about incremental changes or updates, not about sudden turnovers. 

Anyhow, Naruto has scouted a lot of promising rikishis, so at least he has the eye for a talent, or never stops searching for a new one, or has the connections to get young prospects introduced to him, so sooner than later he would get a sekitori. Hopefully, one of many more to come.  

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Naruto seems to be focusing on developing a close relationship with Nippon Sports Science University, where he did some schooling and where several of his deshi come from. He's done keiko sessions at the club and regularly donates food to them (the NSSU blog even had a post from today thanking Naruto for 90kg of rice).

NSSU has the last two amateur yokozuna and two best college sumo competitors, Daiki Nakamura (going into 4th year) and Hidetora Hanada (going into 3rd year), and if he can land either of them it would be a great score. Given that multiple Naruto rikishi also happened to come from the same high school as Nakamura, you have to think Naruto's a serious contender if Nakamura turns pro, which he probably will.

Edited by Katooshu
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The culinary artists at Narutobeya have recently tackled tuna sashimi ...

 ... and a surprising purchase of a raclette machine (after all, Osh means "Europe"):-)

 

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Iwata is retiring, as per the beya's Instagram page.

Danpatsu-shiki done, so he'll definitely feature in the upcoming "Retirees after Haru 2022" thread.

Somewhat alarmingly for this thread's discussion topic, it's supposedly down to injuries, even if Iwata was never a prospect.

 

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On 28/02/2022 at 14:56, Koorifuu said:

Iwata is retiring, as per the beya's Instagram page.

Aw man, the photos of rikishi retiring always make me emotional, especially when they are crying when their topknot if finally cut.

I hope he finds a nice second career.

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8 hours ago, Kaitetsu said:

Aw man, the photos of rikishi retiring always make me emotional, especially when they are crying when their topknot if finally cut.

I hope he finds a nice second career.

I agree.  Only in Sumo (AFAIK) do you have that irredeemable act that you can't go back on.  Once that last cut is made, you're out of active Sumo.

Rikishi in the background in the first photo: Mukaida, Mishima, Sakurai, Marusho, Anzai.  The young gyoji attached to the heya, (Shikimori) Komei, is officiating.

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On 08/02/2022 at 10:54, Katooshu said:

Naruto seems to be focusing on developing a close relationship with Nippon Sports Science University, where he did some schooling and where several of his deshi come from.

NSSU has the last two amateur yokozuna and two best college sumo competitors, Daiki Nakamura (going into 4th year) and Hidetora Hanada (going into 3rd year), and if he can land either of them it would be a great score.

Hanada maybe not - he wants first to turn Amefuto (American football) player rather than becoming a sumo professional - that maybe later (he can enter till he turns 25, but will maybe have no TD qualification then) http://hochi.news/articles/20220305-OHT1T51278.html

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I had to look this up.  A real rabbit hole!  55 pro teams in three divisions.  Many of them are company teams (Fujitsu Frontiers, Asahi Beer Silver Star).  Playing rules based on NCAA football.

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Posted (edited)

Naruto-beya arrived at their Osaka lodging and the dohyo has been built!

953883511_Foto07-03-2022172212.thumb.jpg.6b21d3fb52bd43f510321cf844ddffec.jpg108623886_Foto07-03-2022172220.thumb.jpg.32188ea6db869f3d78de3016832127a6.jpg

 

Edited by Kaitetsu
Error on the photo loading
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Also, Shikimori Komei officiated the dohyo matsuri (+ Kenta with the clappers).

vXayEjI.png     bIQ2nY7.jpg

jSKDVF0.jpg      jt5Z5zv.jpg

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Honma has been on a good run since returning from injury. KK in 7 out of 8, and in both of his sandanme basho.

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