Benevolance

Haru 2022 Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

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58 minutes ago, sumoforever said:

Today's win is a good sign that Takayasu might finally get his first yusho. He had to dig deep to defend against Hoshoryu's sumo today, in what was an excellent match demonstrating Takayasu's well-known stamina. The way he weathered the pressure in this match, coupled with the varied kimarite (including some strong throws) that he's used so far this basho, makes me think this could finally be the time for Takayasu to lift the trophy. Hopefully it won't be a repeat of his final few bouts of Haru 2021.

Great start to your participation on the Forum!  I was more than happy to offer you your first like.

Loved the juxtaposition of "sumo forever" and "1 post"...

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1 hour ago, sumojoann said:

What a fantastic day of sumo!!!  But wow!  Is no one going to mention the MATTA MADNESS??  I don't recall ever seeing so many in one day.

There was one day 3-4 years when I felt compelled to inquire if it was National Matta Day in Japan; 2-3 more than today from my admittedly dodgy memory.

---

Kotoeko put on another great show today, even if he did have to get bloody doing it.

Did Yutakayama TKO Akua today? 

What a scrap between Chiyoshoma and Myogiryu! Day 10 and the former hasn't pulled a henka yet...

I thought that was an impressive win by Takayasu. Hope he can keep it up as he faces higher ranked opponents.

I'll bet that was a tiny nick in Wakatakakage's scalp - they always bleed way more than they should. Great win over Abi. I know I've likened Wakatakakage's style to Chiyonofuji before, but physically he reminds me more of former ozeki Kirishima (Michinoku oyakata).

Today was a good example of why Mitakeumi isn't yet ready for the rope. I've seen him deliberately go for the belt and win, most notably his 1st over Hakuho and most recently against Tamawashi, but today he had absolutely nothing to counter Hokutofuji's double grip. A potential yokozuna would have had something, even if it was unsuccessful.

That was also quite an impressive win by Takakeisho today. The longer it went on, the more I thought it would go Endo's way.

I have to admit Shodai actually managing to KK would be a great narrative, but I still believe it unlikely.

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14 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:
1 hour ago, sumoforever said:

Today's win is a good sign that Takayasu might finally get his first yusho. He had to dig deep to defend against Hoshoryu's sumo today, in what was an excellent match demonstrating Takayasu's well-known stamina. The way he weathered the pressure in this match, coupled with the varied kimarite (including some strong throws) that he's used so far this basho, makes me think this could finally be the time for Takayasu to lift the trophy. Hopefully it won't be a repeat of his final few bouts of Haru 2021.

Great start to your participation on the Forum!  I was more than happy to offer you your first like.

Loved the juxtaposition of "sumo forever" and "1 post"...

Forever has to start someday, after all :D

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Best day of sumo in a long time. Plenty of good matches, most of the frontrunners looked powerful, and we got plenty of blood. I am fully on the waka hype train now, he is on fire.

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Forgive me if I overlooked someone's post, but a survey of comments made after today's Top Division action shows that future star Kotonowaka is not getting much love.  

I am fully invested in Takayasu and his chances for a first championship in Makuuchi.  And kudos to Wakatakakage who is on fire this month (n.b., in the Abema broadcast today, they played an interview with Asanowaka in which the Takasago sekitori raved about Wakatakakage as his role model).  

But aside from a loss to frontrunner Takayasu, Kotonowaka has been producing nothing but wins.  His victory today against Daieisho was a "hello" moment.  And tomorrow he is pitted against Ozeki Takakeisho.  He is definitely being tested with no holds barred, whereas Takayasu – just one slot below the youngster on the current banzuke – is being treated with kid gloves, relatively speaking.  That said, if I were Takayasu, I think I'd rather be going up against Ozeki Takakeisho than his Day 11 opponent ... Wakatakakage!

Some great matchups for tomorrow.  Can't wait.

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1 minute ago, Amamaniac said:

But aside from a loss to frontrunner Takayasu, Kotonowaka has been producing nothing but wins.  His victory today against Daieisho was a "hello" moment.  And tomorrow he is pitted against Ozeki Takakeisho.  He is definitely being tested with no holds barred, whereas Takayasu – just one slot below the youngster on the current banzuke – is being treated with kid gloves, relatively speaking.  That said, if I were Takayasu, I think I'd rather be going up against Ozeki Takakeisho than his Day 11 opponent ... Wakatakakage!

Kotonowaka is quite overshadowed this bashō like Wakatakakage is/was? At least in the midst of the action where two ōzeki are fighting for their rank, another has eyes on him as a newcomer, Takayasu might finally get his yūshō and Wakatakakage is enjoying some limelight as a shin-sekiwake having an excellent basho.

The good news is, if Kotonowaka keeps it up, he gets into the joi and gets his turn to enjoy some limelight. And once the two ōzeki's survival becomes obvious and all eyes turn to the yūshō race, Kotonowaka will also come into focus.

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1 hour ago, RabidJohn said:

That was also quite an impressive win by Takakeisho today. The longer it went on, the more I thought it would go Endo's way.

Meaning the longer it went on, the more likely it was for somebody to dive into Endo's lap? :-P

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51 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

But aside from a loss to frontrunner Takayasu, Kotonowaka has been producing nothing but wins.  His victory today against Daieisho was a "hello" moment.  And tomorrow he is pitted against Ozeki Takakeisho.  He is definitely being tested with no holds barred, whereas Takayasu – just one slot below the youngster on the current banzuke – is being treated with kid gloves, relatively speaking.  

I think Kotonowaka is doing great but I don't think his legs are there yet and I expect him to lose to any Sanyaku he faces except maybe Takanosho who is hapless this basho. Kotonowaka has 2 wins against Sanyaku in his career and both were guys doing poorly at the time. He will do better with experience but the added pressure of the yusho is not a good way to get it. I expect him to lose to a 7-3 Ozeki hungry, as his last match shows, to clear kadoban before facing his peers. That will basically take him out of the yusho race. I expect he'll be fighting for the second  sanyaku slot if Hoshoryu MKs and drops near the end of the basho. 

 

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Hokutofuji the giant killer takes another scalp today.

Takayasu looked absolutely knackered at the end of his ultra long bout (in his terms). Lucky to get the win this time, Takarafuji definitely smelled a chance there. 

Shodai's miraculous rise from the ashes continues. 5-5 and I'm rooting for him to go all the way. 

We've got some juicy matchups for tomorrow. Takakeisho yusho anyone? ;-)

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Have we just seen the last ever bout between Tochinoshin and Kaisei after 27 meetings? Felt like it. The former is on the cusp of staying in Makuuchi, while the latter is heading for a slide further down into Juryo. Neither can have much time left on the dohyo. Once both retire, only Aoiyama will remain of the non-Mongolian foreign sekitori and he surely won't be that far behind. I recently noted that its 15 years this month since I first watched a full sumo basho and went along in person to see it live. I took a look at the banzuke for that tournament and there were no fewer than five Europeans* in Makuuchi: Bulgarian Kotooshu at Ozeki, the Georgian Kokkai, Russians Roho and Hakurozan, and Estonian Baruto (who went kyujo in the end). Those were very different times. There are a few guys in the lower divisions now who could yet break through, but it feels like we're nearing the end of an era.

 

*Georgia is culturally European, being Orthodox Christian, but geographically in Asia.

Your post reminded me that just the other day I was idly contemplating why the there haven't been any more (good) European rikishi than the current old guard. I guess there haven't been enough good candidates, but on the other hand I don't think the influx of Europeans was ever that big. Somehow seems like the recruiting base, shallow as it was already, has just dried up. Perhaps the sumo fad in the west among young people has faded as well. Although I would've thought that successful rikishi like Kotooshu, Baruto, Tochinoshin et al would've inspired more youngsters to take up sumo, but I suppose the interest and the availability of amasumo clubs was just never that high. And comparing with the Hawaiian period, it's interesting to note that we never got a European yokozuna. Never say never, but I don't think that we ever will. 

Edited by dingo

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Posted (edited)

Hokutofuji can really be a pain to higher ranked guys. Even with Mitakeumi's improved form over the last year, Hokutofuji has managed to beat him 5 of their last 6 meetings. He's also taken 5 of the last 7 vs Takakeisho. 

Edited by Katooshu
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5 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

Forgive me if I overlooked someone's post, but a survey of comments made after today's Top Division action shows that future star Kotonowaka is not getting much love.  

I cannot abide anyone who advertises his lack of Waka so blatantly. A curse upon his goats and hockey pucks! 

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No Dantsu? No  Taka? I don't consider those a problem. The only thing I'm concerned about a rikishi is the way that they Waka. 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, sumojoann said:

Is no one going to mention the MATTA MADNESS??  I don't recall ever seeing so many in one day.

You are probably right about the historic surplus of matta(s) today.  I counted seven, although Akua accounted for two of the seven.

With such a healthy sample to work with, we can perhaps address the perennial question of how matta(s) relate to bout outcomes.  What is interesting is that on this occasion, five of the six (83.3%) wrestlers who charged early ended up losing their bouts.  Only Kotoshoho managed to win after his false start.  

As Morty pointed out, many of the false starts witnessed today were "egregiously aggressive", which definitely fed into the unofficial view that matta(s) can get opponents pissed off and fired up to get pay back in the ring.  That is to say that matta(s) work against the "mattaer" (or whatever the instigator is called ;-)). 

Edited by Amamaniac

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Posted (edited)

Some mattas were fierce, but it hasn't quite gotten to the "Hoshihikari on Yamamotoyama" level of plain violence.

I've lost access to that video many eons ago, does someone know how to look for it on YouTube?

EDIT: It might've been Hoshikaze, my memory is a bit misty.

Edited by Koorifuu

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4 hours ago, Katooshu said:

Hokutofuji can really be a pain to higher ranked guys. Even with Mitakeumi's improved form over the last year, Hokutofuji has managed to beat him 5 of their last 6 meetings. He's also taken 5 of the last 7 vs Takakeisho. 

Wasn't there a discussion about who the next Akinoshima was in terms of giant-killing? I don't think Hokutofuji was it, but Hokutofuji is definitely firmly in the list of rikishi that the sanyaku cannot afford to underestimate.

That's a pretty short list, and would to my mind currently include Hokutofuji, Daieishō, and Endō. Kiribayama, Tamawashi, and Hōshōryū maybe hover around the edges of that category, but there haven't really been that many stalwarts bouncing up and down the joi long enough to develop that reputation. And before anyone mentions Takayasu, I don't think Takayasu is quite in the giant-killing category as opposed to being a giant himself; as an ex-ōzeki hampered by injury his sumō is still sanyaku-calibre.

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6 minutes ago, Seiyashi said:

Wasn't there a discussion about who the next Akinoshima was in terms of giant-killing?

First, there has to be a giant to kill.  They seem to be in short supply right now.

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11 hours ago, sumoforever said:

Today's win is a good sign that Takayasu might finally get his first yusho. He had to dig deep to defend against Hoshoryu's sumo today, in what was an excellent match demonstrating Takayasu's well-known stamina.

I must say I was impressed by his defensive/tactical sumo.  Toward the end of the bout, Hoshoryu prepares to load a throw, and realizes that Takayasu is behind him!

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Posted (edited)
On 22/03/2022 at 14:32, Seiyashi said:

Wasn't there a discussion about who the next Akinoshima was in terms of giant-killing? I don't think Hokutofuji was it, but Hokutofuji is definitely firmly in the list of rikishi that the sanyaku cannot afford to underestimate.

That's a pretty short list, and would to my mind currently include Hokutofuji, Daieishō, and Endō. Kiribayama, Tamawashi, and Hōshōryū maybe hover around the edges of that category, but there haven't really been that many stalwarts bouncing up and down the joi long enough to develop that reputation. And before anyone mentions Takayasu, I don't think Takayasu is quite in the giant-killing category as opposed to being a giant himself; as an ex-ōzeki hampered by injury his sumō is still sanyaku-calibre.

As far as giant killing from the Maegashira ranks, the most kills from active rikishi (EDIT: updated after Day 15 of this basho)

Endo - 7 kinboshi, 22 ginboshi 

Hokutofuji - 7 kinboshi, 20 ginboshi

Ichinojo - 8 kinboshi, 19 ginboshi

Okinoumi - 4 kinboshi, 26 ginboshi

Tochinoshin - 2 kinboshi, 21 ginboshi

Edited by Oshirokita
corrected typo for Okinoumi, updated for end of basho
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Daieisho - 4 kinboshi, 13 ginboshi

Myogiryu - 6 kinboshi, 18 ginboshi

Tamawashi - 5 kinboshi, 12 ginboshi

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14 hours ago, Kamitsuumi said:
14 hours ago, Tigerboy1966 said:

Anyone know why Onosho (M3e) is on before Meisei (M3w) today. I thought they went in ascending order of the higher ranked wrestler in the bout.

West is treated as higher on even days, and the Ozeki trio do their rotation every 3 days.

Never noticed that. There's always something new to learn. Thanks!

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One more giant killer (before he fell to Juryo):

Shohozan - 5 kinboshi, 18 ginboshi

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On 21/03/2022 at 09:59, Amamaniac said:

What's been happening since the pandemic hit is enough to drive anyone mad.  I take inspiration from how the NSK has forged ahead, defying the odds and keeping this precious tradition we love alive.  It's that kind of human spirit that gives me hope for the future.

As for the latter issue, there are plenty of people on this Forum that appreciate you, whether you realise it or not.

Thank you for your kind words(Hugging...) but you do know I was only joking,dont you? 

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7 minutes ago, Fujisan said:

Thank you for your kind words(Hugging...) but you do know I was only joking,dont you? 

I was hoping that you were only joking, but you never know when someone might need a little human kindness.  Better safe than sorry. ;-)

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