Benihana

Natsu 2022 Discussion Thread - here be spoilers

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5 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Those guys were around so long it took me a while to realize Ozeki could even be demoted, haha. Kotooshu was the other one active when I got into sumo and he had the rank for years too (47 basho) It took a while for me to accept that Kaio, Chiyo and Koto were more the exception than the rule.

These 3 are first, second, and (narrowly) 4th on the all-time list of Ozeki basho, so yeah.

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1 hour ago, rhyen said:

Well, he was Rikishi no .4 back when Terunofuji first made Ozeki.

Harumafuji and Terunofuji outranked him and Aminishiki was the super senior in the stable. 

I was forgetting that. He was actually no. 5 (below Homarefuji) on at least one occasion around then:

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Banzuke.aspx?b=201511

 

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I share the sentiment with some of the previous posters who felt the basho was a bit of a disappointment. Although, IMO, it was compensated with some performances in the lower divisions. I look forward to Oshoma, Hokuseiho fighting in Juryo. Kinbozan too, maybe soon. Atamifuji's development as well and Kototebakari possibly fighting against Asanoyama in July.

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2 hours ago, Octofuji said:

The highlight for me this basho was Sadanoumi. I love his fast-paced yotsu- style and it will be great to see him up against the joi in Nagoya.

He probably won't be high enough ranked to face all the top rikishi unless there are withdrawals, though he'll probably meet some joi maegashira.  Among the sanyaku he has a better chance to face Daieisho, Wakatakakage, and Takakeisho since they have heyamates who are (or likely will be) joi maegashira.

 

2 hours ago, Octofuji said:

The flip-side was Takarafuji putting in his second really disappointing basho in a row. It will be strange to think of him as rikishi no. 4 at Isegahama

If he's #4, it won't be by much.  Midorifuji and Terutsuyoshi could easily be just ahead of him in rank, if not lower.  It's going to be a cluster of dobeya rikishi that will have quite an impact on scheduling.

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The tournament was definitely not the epitome of excitement vis-a-vis official oozumo tournaments.  I won't deny that.  Frankly, the post-Hakuho era crisis is still lurking.  Terunofuji is doing his best to ensure that there is at least one dominant figure on the banzuke (the current set of Ozeki is disappointing, perhaps one of the most inconsistent set of Ozeki in history?).  

But the beauty of the oozumo tournament system is that there is always an interesting narrative.  Perhaps sometimes one has to look harder for it.  For me, my interest in this tournament was fuelled by the expectation that we might see a major playoff between multiple wresters finishing with a 11-4 record.  Pathetic yes, but that is as much a part of the history of the sport as are zensho yusho 15-0 championships.

The point of interest for me became seeing how many of the 20-odd wrestlers who had four or fewer losses as at Day 8 would end up with or drop down to four or more losses by Day 15.  The fact that only Terunofuji managed to end with only 3 losses, holding out for seven days after getting his 3rd loss on Day 8, in a way beat the odds.  About 15 other wrestlers did not manage the same feat.

But almost every wrestler on the banzuke represents a unique story.  Ultimately, there end up being plenty of "stories" to digest.  On the positive side, in the Top Division, there were the Midorifuji story, the Sadanoumi story, the Wakamotoharu story, the Takanosho story, the Daieisho story, and the Kiribayama story (not to mention Terunofuji's).  An honourable mention has to go to Tochinoshin for getting his back-to-back kachikoshi after a slump of 7 makekoshi.

On the negative side, you don't have to look farther than the Ozeki...  But I'd also throw in the new roster of ringside judges as a negative development.  While it was nice (?) to see some new faces like moto-Kisenosato and moto-Kotooshu, the shake up ended up worsening the judging situation IMHO.  

I realise now that I am trying to argue that for me this was just as "interesting" a basho as any other.  The only real excitement came from an unexpected source: Takanosho.  As soon as he lost the highlight bout of Senshuraku to Sadanoumi, any excitement that may have existed evaporated into thin air.  

I guess I am easy to please.  Give me any official tournament and I am happy.  ;-)

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, dingo said:

Ahh, takes me right back to the Kaio-Chiyotaikai era. I liked those guys. 

I am 100% certain you are referring to Kaio/Chiyotaikai after 2004. Chiyotaikai peaked early, as the majority of oshi wrestlers do, and Kaio was arguably one of the strongest Ozeki ever until his last yusho.

BTW I really miss his kotenage. That lightning quick left grab of the wrist out of nowhere, pull and pat on his opponent´s shoulder was great technique. Nobody employs it like that today.

Edited by Gospodin
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22 minutes ago, Gospodin said:

BTW I really miss his kotenage. That lightning quick left grab of the wrist out of nowhere, pull and pat on his opponent´s shoulder was great technique. Nobody employs it like that today.

It's interesting that, as an Oyakata, he hasn't had much luck teaching it to his rikishi.  Only a couple of them have won more than the average number of bouts with kotenage.  But I see a lot of heya where that is the case: the Master doesn't often pass on a special technique, but passes on general style and motivation.

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48 minutes ago, Gospodin said:

BTW I really miss his kotenage. That lightning quick left grab of the wrist out of nowhere, pull and pat on his opponent´s shoulder was great technique. Nobody employs it like that today.

Don't let @John Gunning hear that.

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14 minutes ago, Jakusotsu said:

Don't let @John Gunning hear that.

Are his X-rays he posted still available here ? With all due respect: regardless of the martial art, if you are caught in an armlock you accept your fate and give in.

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5 hours ago, Leoben said:

I may be misremembering, but I believe there was an interview where he said something to that effect, that he was still dealing with covid symptoms even though he "recovered" a while ago. If long COVID can be such a burden to regular-bodied people, I can't even imagine what it must be like for someone that weighs nearly 170kg and has poor cardio.

Massive nitpicking by me but I don't think it's fair to say these guys have poor cardio. Hours of daily sparring and training would have them fitter than most.

But yes, obviously the weight would be a massive issue and your point is bang on.

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Posted (edited)

There's a few members here lamenting the lack of a "dominant" rikishi making the basho dull. I think the reason the basho was dull was because those who were supposed to make it interesting (I'm looking at you no-zekis) did not. I didn't care for the hakuho era because I don't want to see the same person expected to win every time out (and doing so). I found it boring (despite his skills) to watch him playing with his food every match (not his fault no one was his equal until his decline). I don't like it in Moto GP or F1 either, and prefer to be surprised as to who wins. I think if the current "crop" of ozekis fought to their expected levels with the current joi, the bashos would be fairly exciting. 2011/2012 exciting, maybe not but at least fun.  

Edited by Kujo
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Posted (edited)
On 23/05/2022 at 23:32, Octofuji said:

The highlight for me this basho was Sadanoumi. I love his fast-paced yotsu- style and it will be great to see him up against the joi in Nagoya. I don't expect he'll be there for long but I'm hoping for some spectacular wins at the edge.

The flip-side was Takarafuji putting in his second really disappointing basho in a row. It will be strange to think of him as rikishi no. 4 at Isegahama. I've not heard of any injuries this time so maybe it's just age.

When ex-Aminishiki was on the NHK broadcast doing guest commentary, he confirmed that Takarafuji had indeed been dealing with injuries and was barely able to train back at the heya leading up to the basho. 

Edited by Kaninoyama
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7 hours ago, Amamaniac said:

The tournament was definitely not the epitome of excitement vis-a-vis official oozumo tournaments.  I won't deny that.  Frankly, the post-Hakuho era crisis is still lurking.  Terunofuji is doing his best to ensure that there is at least one dominant figure on the banzuke (the current set of Ozeki is disappointing, perhaps one of the most inconsistent set of Ozeki in history?).  

But the beauty of the oozumo tournament system is that there is always an interesting narrative.  Perhaps sometimes one has to look harder for it.  For me, my interest in this tournament was fuelled by the expectation that we might see a major playoff between multiple wresters finishing with a 11-4 record.  Pathetic yes, but that is as much a part of the history of the sport as are zensho yusho 15-0 championships.

The point of interest for me became seeing how many of the 20-odd wrestlers who had four or fewer losses as at Day 8 would end up with or drop down to four or more losses by Day 15.  The fact that only Terunofuji managed to end with only 3 losses, holding out for seven days after getting his 3rd loss on Day 8, in a way beat the odds.  About 15 other wrestlers did not manage the same feat.

But almost every wrestler on the banzuke represents a unique story.  Ultimately, there end up being plenty of "stories" to digest.  On the positive side, in the Top Division, there were the Midorifuji story, the Sadanoumi story, the Wakamotoharu story, the Takanosho story, the Daieisho story, and the Kiribayama story (not to mention Terunofuji's).  An honourable mention has to go to Tochinoshin for getting his back-to-back kachikoshi after a slump of 7 makekoshi.

On the negative side, you don't have to look farther than the Ozeki...  But I'd also throw in the new roster of ringside judges as a negative development.  While it was nice (?) to see some new faces like moto-Kisenosato and moto-Kotooshu, the shake up ended up worsening the judging situation IMHO.  

I realise now that I am trying to argue that for me this was just as "interesting" a basho as any other.  The only real excitement came from an unexpected source: Takanosho.  As soon as he lost the highlight bout of Senshuraku to Sadanoumi, any excitement that may have existed evaporated into thin air.  

I guess I am easy to please.  Give me any official tournament and I am happy.  ;-)

I could not have said this any better.  I had many of these same thoughts but I couldn't articulate them.  Perhaps I can add some personal thoughts.

Not being facetious, but any honbasho is better than no honbasho, even if a few might disagree.  Though this basho WAS disappointing in significant ways, there are ALWAYS some great bouts to look back on, like Wakatakakage vs Abi, Kiribayama vs Hoshoryu and definitely Midorifuji vs Tochinoshin, as well as others.  Depending on whether Hoshoryu won or lost, I always said out loud, either, "Good for you, Nephew!!" or "Oh-oh!  Uncle won't be happy!"  Exciting to see Takakeisho looking healthy and getting his KK in the eleventh hour.  And Sadanoumi!!  What can I say except in 9 years of watching ozumo, I've never seen him like this!  I'm a big fan of Takanosho so was excited he got as far as he did, but sad he didn't go all the way.

Part of the problem with these post-Hakuho-era basho is of course the fact they're lacking the GOAT himself and even though Terunofuji can proudly hold his head up high, there is sort of a vacuum as a result of Hakuho's retirement.  Even though towards the end when Hakuho only showed up irregularly due to injuries, we still knew he was there, and would sooner or later return to the dohyo.  Perhaps lingering sadness over his retirement exacerbated by the generally poor performances by the Ozeki inevitably cast a pall over the basho itself.

You can't say there was no humor in this basho.  My husband didn't believe me when I told him that early on, the co-leaders were Aoiyama and Ichiyamamoto!

As Amamaniac pointed out, each basho has something interesting to focus on, even if you have to look harder for it.

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I suppose the problem I had with this basho is that the potential narratives which emerged as alternatives to "Teru wins again" didn't seem particulary compelling. Yes a Sadanoumi yusho would have had a heart-warming "Cinderella Man" flavour but we had that when Tokushoryu won a couple of years ago, and for me, one Tokushoryu-type yusho goes a long, long way. Takanosho seems like a nice bloke and he's a very solid all-rounder but I just couldn't help feeling that if he was really the best we've got, we're in big trouble.

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I agree with many who felt this basho was somewhat lacking. While many of the reasons already given are very good, I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was that exaggerated all the other peeves for me. Then I came back to the realisation that the yusho was taken on the final day with an uncontested 12-3 score. In other words noone else in makuuchi managed to get more than 11 wins. That's pretty underwhelming. Ozeki Kisenosato for example would've wiped the floor with the competition this basho. 

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44 minutes ago, dingo said:

I agree with many who felt this basho was somewhat lacking. While many of the reasons already given are very good, I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was that exaggerated all the other peeves for me. Then I came back to the realisation that the yusho was taken on the final day with an uncontested 12-3 score. In other words noone else in makuuchi managed to get more than 11 wins. That's pretty underwhelming. Ozeki Kisenosato for example would've wiped the floor with the competition this basho. 

Did you mean to say Yokozuna Kisenosato, or were you referring to his abilities when he was an Ozeki?

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44 minutes ago, dingo said:

Ozeki Kisenosato for example would've wiped the floor with the competition this basho. 

The ozeki Kisenosato I remember would've gone 11-0 then choked and lost 4 straight.:-P

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1 hour ago, RabidJohn said:

The ozeki Kisenosato I remember would've gone 11-0 then choked and lost 4 straight.:-P

His ex-heyamate wasn't that far off in the two times in recent memory he managed to be in yūshō contention. Of all the things to learn from his senpai...

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1 hour ago, RabidJohn said:

The ozeki Kisenosato I remember would've gone 11-0 then choked and lost 4 straight.:-P

Better check that memory then, never happened.

Kisenosato definitely wasn't a choker.

It was terribly sad when he succumbed to injury.

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Curious but then how about 15-0 and 14-1?

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1 hour ago, SDM said:

Curious but then how about 15-0 and 14-1?

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query.aspx?show_form=0&group_by=rikishi&having=1&form1_wins=15&form1_losses=0&form1_y=on&form1_m=on

With 15, no surprises there: Hakuhō is the record holder with 16 zenshō, twice as much as the second, Taihō.

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Query.aspx?show_form=0&group_by=rikishi&having=1&form1_wins=14&form1_losses=1&form1_y=on&form1_m=on

With 14, again not too many surprises: Hakuhō has 19, but the runner up is Chiyonofuji with 14, then Taihō with 12.

Terunofuji has only 1 zenshō in Kyūshū last year. No 14-1s; his sole 14-1 result was his junyūshō against Hakuhō in Nagoya last year. Otherwise, he has 3 13-2Y and 3 12-3Y. Contrasting the two most recent yokozuna with a similar number of yūshō: Kakuryū has 4 14-1s, one 13-2, and 1 12-3. Harumafuji has 3 15-0, 3 14-1, 2 13-2 and 1 11-4. 

In tabular form:

  15-0 14-1 13-2 12-3 11-4
Terunofuji 1 0 3 3 0
Kakuryū 0 4 1 1 0
Harumafuji 3 3 2 0 1

It feels like Terunofuji doesn't stack up super favourably against his recent compatriots. It is a small sample size, but it feels like the quality of Kakuryū's and Harumafuji's yūshō were better simply by the scoreline. Of course, they were competing in an environment where Hakuhō was also running up the numbers, so they had to have a higher score to stand a chance of beating him; no doubt a number of their junyūshō were to Hakuhō in which case their scores would be a bit more padded out in the lower scoreline department.

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I have a question for the sumo pundits on this forum:

Rising star Atamifuji is a relative newcomer to the sekitori ranks.  Despite this being his second tournament in the Juryo ranks, he is still wearing his mage flat (i.e., no oicho).  I had always assumed that the oicho mage was a privilege reserved for sekitori.  Of course, most of us have seen sekitori with their hair still loose, and this is usually attributed to their hair not being long enough to gather in a mage topknot.  But when I look at Atamifuji's current mage, it is clear to me that his hair is longer (and thicker) than several veteran sekitori, whose mage look smaller and shorter in comparison.  What is the precise criteria for a wrestler's hair to be eligible for oicho mage grooming?

I doubt age is the determining factor.  But as explained above, hair length does not appear to be the ultimate factor either.  The only other thing I can think of is the number of tournaments a wrestler has competed in.  But that doesn't make a lot of sense to me either.

After Atamifuji's impressive double-digit record this tournament, he looks set to be a sekitori mainstay, if not a Top Division star.  I will be even more puzzled if he doesn't show up with a oicho-mage next tournament! 

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5 hours ago, dingo said:

Ozeki Kisenosato for example would've wiped the floor with the competition this basho. 

I don't mean to suggest this is a general statement, but I think Kisenosato could have wiped the floor with them this basho.

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6 hours ago, SDM said:

Better check that memory then, never happened.

Kisenosato definitely wasn't a choker.

It was terribly sad when he succumbed to injury.

It was terrifically unfortunate that he succumbed to a career-ending injury just 1 basho after finally putting to rest his reputation as a choker.
Maybe not that specific result, but I said it for comic effect rather than as fact. 

Nowt wrong with my memory in this case.

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