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Godango

Mount Rushmore of Ozumo: Celebrating Legends

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On 03/04/2024 at 08:40, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Some things changed after 1958, but the paint was pretty dry by the 60s so I don’t see any room for anyone after that to get added to the mountain. 

Following Godango's lead I won't quote the whole thing, but just wanted to say I was happy to read your contribution even if Asashosakari immediately had a correction to make. Explorations of the more historical side of sumo are exactly the kind of thing this discussion should promote (to me, anyway) and while your eventual approach is effectively the opposite of the one I came to use I think it's probably more of a true comparison.

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9 hours ago, Yarimotsu said:

Following Godango's lead I won't quote the whole thing, but just wanted to say I was happy to read your contribution even if Asashosakari immediately had a correction to make. Explorations of the more historical side of sumo are exactly the kind of thing this discussion should promote (to me, anyway) and while your eventual approach is effectively the opposite of the one I came to use I think it's probably more of a true comparison.

I think there's a dichotomy here between what the actual Mount Rushmore represents and what people mean when they say "The Mount Rushmore of X", which pretty much universally means the four greatest of all time, regardless of whether or not that's a historically accurate metaphor. E.g., Google Mt. Rushmore of basketball and you get Wilt, Russel, Kareem, and Jordan, with occasional suggested substitutions, but you don't get James Naismith, who invented the sport, or other central early figures. So if people interpret the question as the four greatest wrestlers of all time, or of a certain era, or of the ones they've seen fight, that's perfectly consistent with how the term is generally used.

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4 hours ago, Reonito said:

I think there's a dichotomy here between what the actual Mount Rushmore represents and what people mean when they say "The Mount Rushmore of X", which pretty much universally means the four greatest of all time, regardless of whether or not that's a historically accurate metaphor. E.g., Google Mt. Rushmore of basketball and you get Wilt, Russel, Kareem, and Jordan, with occasional suggested substitutions, but you don't get James Naismith, who invented the sport, or other central early figures. So if people interpret the question as the four greatest wrestlers of all time, or of a certain era, or of the ones they've seen fight, that's perfectly consistent with how the term is generally used.

Agreed, and I'm loving it. My intention when starting this thread was to see how different people interpret the question, and what different people value and I'm getting that in abundance.

I think it's brilliant that people have brought in influential sumo commentators (including those on this forum), historians, etc. I was close to including the Kokugikan in my original Mt Rushmore.

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2 hours ago, Godango said:

the Kokugikan i

Which one?  I've been to two.

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28 minutes ago, Washuyama said:

Which one?  I've been to two.

Part of why I left it out (Laughing...)

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Since we're getting meta about what Mt Rushmore means, my heretical take: rikishi who, for better or worse, put ōzumo on the course it is today. My nominees:

Nishinoumi I - insisted on yokozuna being inscribed as an official rank, changing the structure of the banzuke as we know it. 

Asahikuni - first to recruit Mongolians en masse and paving the way for the current tension present in sumo about the recruitment of foreigners. 

Futahaguro - arguably most responsible for the tightening of the requirements for yokozuna. How much impact this had is debatable, but I'd bet Takakeishō would be yokozuna by now if not for the tightened promotion requirements. 

Chiyotaikai - main prolific abuser of the kōshō system. Would we have less of an injury problem in the upper ranks without him - would Shōdai, Mitakeumi and Takayasu still be ōzeki, at least? 

 

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19 hours ago, Yarimotsu said:

Following Godango's lead I won't quote the whole thing, but just wanted to say I was happy to read your contribution even if Asashosakari immediately had a correction to make. Explorations of the more historical side of sumo are exactly the kind of thing this discussion should promote (to me, anyway) and while your eventual approach is effectively the opposite of the one I came to use I think it's probably more of a true comparison.

It’s a non issue and a good post from Asashosakari. Like I said I can’t really look stuff up right now, I do not even have access to Wikipedia.

9 hours ago, Reonito said:

I think there's a dichotomy here between what the actual Mount Rushmore represents and what people mean when they say "The Mount Rushmore of X", which pretty much universally means the four greatest of all time, regardless of whether or not that's a historically accurate metaphor. E.g., Google Mt. Rushmore of basketball and you get Wilt, Russel, Kareem, and Jordan, with occasional suggested substitutions, but you don't get James Naismith, who invented the sport, or other central early figures. So if people interpret the question as the four greatest wrestlers of all time, or of a certain era, or of the ones they've seen fight, that's perfectly consistent with how the term is generally used.

For me people usually ask this question as like ‘first five into the HoF’

Maybe there is some divide between Americans and non Americans 

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3 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Futahaguro - arguably most responsible for the tightening of the requirements for yokozuna. How much impact this had is debatable, but I'd bet Takakeishō would be yokozuna by now if not for the tightened promotion requirements. 

Futahaguro goes on Mt. Ozumo when Millard Fillmore goes on Mt. Rushmore.

[IYKYK]

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4 hours ago, Seiyashi said:

Futahaguro - arguably most responsible for the tightening of the requirements for yokozuna. How much impact this had is debatable, but I'd bet Takakeishō would be yokozuna by now if not for the tightened promotion requirements. 

Thank God for Futahaguro!

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3 hours ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

For me people usually ask this question as like ‘first five into the HoF’

Maybe there is some divide between Americans and non Americans 

Absolutely agree, from the context I could infer the Mt Rushmore reference was about greatness but because Godango made the clauses he did I thought it was worth some actual introspection. Definitely I'd more often hear references to Hall of Fame / an actual reference to the sport involved when talking generally about greatness over different eras. 

Taking a typical question about a superlative (the best, the most etc) and turning it into a different question in parallel is one of the mental challenges I like to explore just for fun on my own. For example, I find the current myriad of "fantasy football" style sumo games to be thoroughly disengaging not because I hate the format (I quite like Roto Sumo's implementation and see no reason to change it, and I participate in kachi clash just because it's the biggest game) but because these games are all fundamentally the same game. I've thought about implementing my own variation on the format which causes players to think differently about their chosen teams (along the lines of the 'hot air balloon game' idea floated not long ago, there's a lot of attributes you can desire from a team other than "more wins". I might still end up doing that at some point but I realised it has nothing to do with the initial "problem" of too many games doing almost exactly the same thing. Those games will continue to exist for completely different reasons than players not thinking of something else to play.

So yeah, we could just accept the Rushmore analogy as presented or we could use it to explore a bit. Personally if someone wants to have a conversation with me about the best players in any code of football, I always would qualify if we're talking about attacking positions only or if we're trying to look at other positions as well. Most of the usual same ways of analyzing those sports highly value one or two positions that directly impact goals scored, and measuring a defender's greatness on the same scale is almost sacrilegious. I'd rather try to answer the difficult questions of whose impact really mattered where - which is why baseball's stats era is an interest of mine despite having basically no interest in the sport itself. 

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To me, the Mt. Rushmore motif works well for Sumo because Ozumo is an individual sport.  I don't really have to consider how a rikishi got along with his heya-mates or whether he was relegated to the wrong position by a dumb manager, as you might consider when listing All-Stars (as happens with American Baseball, e.g.).

If they put another President on Mt. Rushmore then we can directly compare it to a top 5.  My suggestion is to rank the top 5 and then leave the last guy off.

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