Benihana

Natsu 2022 Discussion Thread - here be spoilers

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Ah, sumo returns. I need this: I’ve been stuck in lockdown for five weeks (and working from home for another four before that, going out once a week for groceries, so effectively nine weeks inside). Though I couldn’t catch today’s action live, I shall be sure to have it on screen Mon-Fri while working (one of the few perks). It will help with routine, as Haru did for me in March.

Anyway, some intriguing results today. Takakeisho looked powerless in his loss, as did Terunofuji obviously. Daieisho has a great record against him now. Doesn’t bode too well for the too guys lasting 15 days, but Ozeki-chasing Wakatakakage could benefit from a weakened sanyaku corps. Good start from him, and his brother. Both Waka beat a Fuji by yorikiri.

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My top picks were Wakatakakage, Takakeisho, Abi, and Shodai, and that went real well!

Waka got pushed (because Hokutofuji does that to everyone) and came out on top, which speaks well of his chances to hit another 10+ and maybe finish his ozeki run this month. That's the good news.

I normally have no faith in Shodai, but after the back half of Haru and his head-to-head with Kiribayama, that looked like a good matchup...  oi.

Kotonowaka is obviously strong and becoming a top-top flight wrestler, but for Takakeisho to look so lifeless was kind of shocking. Over the last couple years he's had this cycle of dropping out of every third basho; I hope he's not going to break the cycle by leaving even earlier this time.

Abi usually smacks Tamawashi. I guess we'll see if this was sumo being sumo (ie. no one's 100% to win at these levels) or if something's up with him. Or if Tamawashi is bringing big game, although that seems... less likely.

I still think Hoshoryu can do well; Endo is tricksy, so this one doesn't seem like the worst loss, although it's obviously not great. He's not gonna win tomorrow, but if he can go just 2-2 over the next four days (ie. 2-4 start), I think he'll have a pretty decent chance at maintaining rank. 

Teru... *sigh*

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Posted (edited)

Best Meisei has looked in the past 3 basho or so. Hopefully he’s healed up.
 

Mitakeumi looked to get darn near full extension on that big Superman air. There was some serious tonnage raining down on the first couple of rows at the conclusion of that big boy tilt with Takayasu. Miraculously, no one dohyo-side was flattened like a bug.
 

Hate to say it but Shodai’s body language had him looking every bit like a defeated man before he even touched his hands down. He just seems resigned to losing some days. The guy’s game day psyche seems to fluctuate and is a baffling mystery in that regard, but I’ll always root for him and hope he avoids kadoban.

Edited by since_94

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1 minute ago, since_94 said:

Hate to say it but Shodai’s body language had him looking every bit like a defeated man before he even touched his hands down. He just seems resigned to losing some days. The guy’s game day psyche seems to fluctuate and is a baffling mystery in that regard, but I’ll always root for him and hope he avoids kadoban.

I don't think I've said it before here, so I will now: I nicknamed Shodai the Sad Ozeki, but I've become uncomfortable with it because I think the guy might be genuinely suffering from some level of depression. I am not a psychologist, armchair or otherwise; I can only say this is a possibility, but it feels too possible to poke fun at.

Mitakeumi can stay the Happy Ozeki, though.

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Mitoryu's match was about as Mitoryu as can be. Gave up at the bales a full 3 seconds before Ryuden could be bothered with pushing him out.

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3 hours ago, RabidJohn said:---

He's never going to shake things up in the highest ranks, but Kotoeko remains one of my favourite rikishi purely for his entertainment value. He puts on a better show than many higher ranked guys.

I feel he and Shimanoumi are quite evenly matched and their head to head bouts always provide good value entertainment 

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My favorite bout today was Kotoekou's too. He was providing very likeable energetic sumou throughout the Haru basho and today we had another good sample. Unlike some of the other small guys he's always very straightforward (and often shows good technique as well).

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Very disappointing loss from Hōshōryū today - Uncle won't be happy with that.

The saving grace from Takakeishō and Terunofuji's losses is that they are rikishi of relatively strong mental calibre and capable of bouncing back. I wouldn't be too worried about their losses today having an effect on the rest of their bashō.

Takayasu flattered to deceive in his bout. He's no pushover, but his posture was completely off for most of the bout and it was clear Mitakeumi had the better positioning and stance.

Bouts of the day for me probably would be Wakatakakage - Hokutofuji and Terutsuyoshi - Kotoshōhō. Wakamotoharu was also fairly good - I haven't seen someone quite as visibly limber at the tachiai than he was for a long time now.

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2 hours ago, since_94 said:

I feel he and Shimanoumi are quite evenly matched and their head to head bouts always provide good value entertainment 

You want to check those stats again?

13-3 in favour of Kotoeko is hardly even.

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First time watching sumo outside of Japan in over 6 years. Watching replays of the bouts through the NHK site takes about 1.75 hours less than watching live. Who knew!

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9 hours ago, Benihana said:

Uh-oh, Takakeisho and Shodai looking weak.

Mitakeumi on the other hand looking strong, taking down 2 in a single bout.

So, basically you are predicting a mediocre second week for Mitakeumi and a possible yusho by Takakeisho or Shodai, right?

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4 hours ago, just_some_guy said:

Mitoryu's match was about as Mitoryu as can be. Gave up at the bales a full 3 seconds before Ryuden could be bothered with pushing him out.

Hence avoiding a possible unnecessary injury maybe? Knowing very well "he's out of gas"....

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4 hours ago, Sumo Spiffy said:

I don't think I've said it before here, so I will now: I nicknamed Shodai the Sad Ozeki, but I've become uncomfortable with it because I think the guy might be genuinely suffering from some level of depression. I am not a psychologist, armchair or otherwise; I can only say this is a possibility, but it feels too possible to poke fun at.

Mitakeumi can stay the Happy Ozeki, though.

I don't feel happy about it, but Shoidai always has that puzzled/befuddled look about him.  When we had a go at matching rikishi to Pokemon characters, he was clearly Psyduck.

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1 hour ago, Yamanashi said:

I don't feel happy about it, but Shoidai always has that puzzled/befuddled look about him.  When we had a go at matching rikishi to Pokemon characters, he was clearly Psyduck.

I legit refer to Ichinojo as Snorlax in my videos.

I also wanted to match rikishi to League of Legends characters, but if I did that everyone would be like "42x Gragas".

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It really is only a matter of time before demotion looms for both Takakeisho and Shodai, Takakeisho simply has no plan B if he can't get somebody straight out and Shodai got lucky in March, but it will be surprising if he is still ozeki at the end of this year.

As for Terunofuji, if he is still active at the end of the year I will be very surprised, he may be destined to be an eight-basho yokozuna like Kotozakura and Mienoumi.  Combine the injuries, both new and existing, and the fact the likes of Daieisho, Meisei and Tamawashi (never mind some of the new guys coming up) are causing him bother, it is only going to get harder from now on.

 

Swami

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Can someone offer a sharp tanto to Inosuke?  Always messing it up in the worst way (Ranting...)

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4 hours ago, Kaninoyama said:

First time watching sumo outside of Japan in over 6 years. Watching replays of the bouts through the NHK site takes about 1.75 hours less than watching live. Who knew!

Watching Kintamayama's will save you even more time. And they are punnier.

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4 hours ago, Yamanashi said:

When we had a go at matching rikishi to Pokemon characters, he was clearly Psyduck.

Speaking of Pokemon, I had expected to see Pokemon kensho prize banners again this tournament.  I guess that ship has sailed...

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3 hours ago, Swami said:

As for Terunofuji, if he is still active at the end of the year I will be very surprised, he may be destined to be an eight-basho yokozuna like Kotozakura and Mienoumi.  Combine the injuries, both new and existing, and the fact the likes of Daieisho, Meisei and Tamawashi (never mind some of the new guys coming up) are causing him bother, it is only going to get harder from now on.

Injuries definitely seem to be the main issue, and with them comes the inability to train and prepare properly for official tournaments.  From what I can gather, Terunofuji is either unable or unmotivated to put in the necessary work, the way Hakuho did despite his injuries, which arguably may have been less serious.

On his Ozeki and tsuna runs, Terunofuji seemed really "motivated to win".  But now that he has secured the coveted rope, he appears to have lost that motivation... Sigh.

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24 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

Injuries definitely seem to be the main issue, and with them comes the inability to train and prepare properly for official tournaments.  From what I can gather, Terunofuji is either unable or unmotivated to put in the necessary work, the way Hakuho did despite his injuries, which arguably may have been less serious.

On his Ozeki and tsuna runs, Terunofuji seemed really "motivated to win".  But now that he has secured the coveted rope, he appears to have lost that motivation... Sigh.

It looks like the knees.  At this point during his recent Kaiju period, he would push or lift the opponent around at the bales.  Now you can see there's no response: the knees won't give him the go-ahead.  I expect him to be out by day 3.  Done for good?  Who knows.

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6 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

Injuries definitely seem to be the main issue, and with them comes the inability to train and prepare properly for official tournaments.  From what I can gather, Terunofuji is either unable or unmotivated to put in the necessary work, the way Hakuho did despite his injuries, which arguably may have been less serious.

On his Ozeki and tsuna runs, Terunofuji seemed really "motivated to win".  But now that he has secured the coveted rope, he appears to have lost that motivation... Sigh.

I'm not sure if he is unwilling, clearly he is very much beaten up and at some point he must question if it is worthwhile continuing.  At the end of the day once he retires he has to deal with the long-term effects of his injuries.

 

Swami

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MAY 2022 (NATSU) BASHO LINKS AND STATISTICS BLOG--DAY 1

Links to 9 archived match videos, about 45 photos, match articles, selected Rikishi quotes, match results, Kimarite and time statistics with comparisons to the March Basho. I have added match results and Kimarite statistics for Juryo. Also Top Rank performance, Maegashira v san'yaku, and Top Ten performance in Juryo.

Enjoy

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I didn't like the way Tochinoshin's unstrapped knee gave out there. Hope he hasn't done himself more damage.

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Posted (edited)

First blow in Wakatakakage's Ozeki run. He can't afford to drop more than four total I think, and realistically three, if he's going to secure the promotion this basho.

Edited by Eikokurai

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