Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Jonosuke

Isegahama Oyakata Speaks Out

14 posts in this topic

I set up a new thread for this story for two reasons. The other thread was more to do with an attempt to censure Isegahama oyakata over this article by the other oyakatas and Kyokai and this is the one about what the oyakata was speaking out on.

This story appeared during this past Aki Basho (one of the three in a series more or less covering the whole Aki Basho) and it subsequently cost Isegayama oyakata his Kyokai officer rank position. He is currently appealing the decision handed down by the Kyokai.

The Weekly Shukan Post is a rather trashy and sensational weekly with a strong anti-Ozumo bent with a rather dubious journalistic reputation. You need to take their articles with a healthy dose of skepticism. However the fact that Isegahama oyakata has not disputed all of what

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Edited by Jonosuke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting read as usual..

To put things into perspective, Isegahama is part of the Tatsunami-Isegahama Ichimon. As such, it is comprised of two rikishi -one foreigner in Jonidan, Shoushou from China, and one guy in Jonokuchi. Oyakata + coach + sewanin+ wakaimonogashira+ tokoyama+ yobidashi That's it. C'est tout. More staff than rikishi. No wonder the guy is whining. He has three years left till retirement? I'm willing to bet his heya will fold. He sure could have used that Tamanoshima/Tamamitsukuni duo..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, Isegahama beya can't really fold, considering it's lending its name to the rengo, can it? Well, let the speculations begin as to who is going to merge into it and take over the name...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that Tatsunami is sporting some real talent, mind you..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I will mention such a typical college rikishi I can hardly bear to watch now. He is my sister's son, Tamanoshima, currently in Makuuchi.  A good example of his bout is on the Nagoya Basho Day 11 bout against Kotonowaka. First he lost the left uwate, got pulled in and then at the dohyo edge he fell down, collapsing from his left knee. He has not built up his physique properly so his weak lower body would give him away.

http://www.banzuke.com/~movies/nagoya2004/...owaka_tamano.rm

here is the bout in Question, pretty harsh call, falling awkwardly is falling awkwardly, not matter how strong and tough you are. It could have happened to anybody regardless of how much lower body work they did.

Also Jonosuke you wrote

I have been taking care of this Takanoshima and his older brother Tamamitsukuni

Takanoshima? is that a typo?

Edited by sekihiryu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also Jonosuke you wrote
I have been taking care of this Takanoshima and his older brother Tamamitsukuni

Takanoshima? is that a typo?

Yes it is. I will fix it right now. Moti actually corrected me on another. Thanks.

Edited by Jonosuke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even taken with a whole bucket of salt, there seems to be more than a bit of truth behind this article. Ozumo definitely has changed during the last 40 years, and it will change even more further on.

Thanks for the read, Jonosuke-san!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting read as usual..

There's nothing more to add! Without you, Jonosuke, we might have a lot less of insight!

Subtracting the Shukan Post malus, the article is still very interesting. I don't know whether it is the journalist's way of writing or Isegahama's own expressions, but every line has a bitter taste to me. Something like "The old guard is being changed. The young ones don't care about our ideas any more." And I can understand him. It must be hard for those born in the 30's/40's to watch the ongoings. They learnt the old "Nihon-do" from their parents, but then there were the changings after WWII (sort of: from 1960=1760 to 1970), that may have been too fast and big.

PS: I took up Asashosakari's question and then the liberty to set up a (not so) little poll what may happen to the Isegahama kabu once when he retires. You can find it here.

Edited by Tamanaogijima

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting article. Thanks Jonosuke.

I think Isegahama has overlooked something. Surely it is not only sumo, but the whole world, which has changed beyond recognition in recent decades; whole cultures have undergone evolution/revolution.

What I am suggesting is that sumo is different not only because of foreigners and college rikishi, but because everyone has changed. I suppose it may be easier to train younger lads into traditional Japanese humility, but I think even that is mostly a romantic haze of 'It was always sunny in my youth' on the part of Isegahama.

Maybe great Yokozuna of the past did make you feel warm when they walked past, but also an English gentleman would have knocked the lights out of a man he heard insulting a lady. I can't imagine either being the case today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, for the most part I think these are words of a dissapointed elderly man... He was hurt by his sister's refusal to send her sons to his heya, and explains this behaviour (maybe correctly, maybe not) with greed... and then expands it to *all* rikishi. His is a weak heya, which probably indicates his failings as oyakata, whether in training, advertising, or simply inter-heya relationships. Bitter, that's how he comes through, and I wouldn't put much faith in his generealised "yaocho" shouts... details, please.

Also, don't you think he secretly regrets not taking those Mongolians back then... :-O

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shiroikuma-zeki,

How do Isegahama's comments here compare with what the other oyakatas say when they lament the decline of sumo-do? I'm thinking of what you wrote in the other topic (who's the guy on the left and sumo-do) about how every time you visit Japan and Naruto beya, some oyakata will talk to you at length about how sumo is "going to the dogs"...I imagine it's more than one oyakata, on more than one occasion.

Isegahama broke the cardinal rule of group behaviour here...never, ever speak out against the group in public...complain all you like behind the scenes, but present a strong, united front in public. Outsiders must never be privy to what goes on inside...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This "old sailor"-mentality is everywhere in life. There are always people who consider their generation proper and the new one more or less rotten. "Those were the days when we ate dirt and woke up 2am to do 1000 shiko and followed sumoudo" Generalizations are always unconvincing. Saying college rikishi are bad for sumo is pretty strange considering that many of them are fully devoted to life in sumo based on reports etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thanks to Jonosuke for the article, Shiroikuma for the comment, and Otokonoyama for asking for his comment..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0