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Kaikitsune Makoto

Makushita hopefuls - oyakata's comments

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So here are the rest of comments by Kumegawa (former Kotoinazuma), Takasaki (former

Oginohana) and Yamahibiki (former Dairyu). Amanogawa had translated these as I mentioned

in Sawai & Kageyama-thread. The "notes" after some comments are my comments.

About Sawai:

(When he was at Sumo Kyoshujo, ) He was diligent doing keiko - but not really so with

basics like shiko, although he did seem to favor moushiai. His sumo was very powerful.

His lower body showed good flexibility when he endured. It's a bit hard to tell if he's a

serious or frivolous guy [laughter], because I never see him talk much. ( by Yamahibiki )

He was not particular doing extra routine-keiko, but he definitely was the best among all

those new boys including college graduates. One good thing about his sumo is he already

has his style - migi yotsu. ( by Takasaki )

( He is not that big, but his sumo-strength comes from the fact that ) He has his own

style, and he also has techniques. I'd suggest he should stick only to migi-yotsu now, no

oshi. Possibly he'll go up the peak. I mean, he seems to have what it takes, impetus,

should I say. And I think he has this passion inside although he does not talk too much.

( by Kumegawa )

About Kageyama:

He has a different type of seriousness and diligence compared to Sawai's. Sawai was

diligent ( at Sumo Kyoshujo ), but was not eager for extra work. But Kageyama obviously

looked very determined and serious about sumo. He did great in Kyushu - he has good power

and speed, belt work was good too. I think he'll be up in Juryo in next year. (

Yamahibiki )

He can do any type of sumo, has a good physique. ( Kumegawa )

I like it how he shows aggressiveness. He wins his matches always by being aggressive. He

still doesn't have his own style, but he sure will develop it soon. ( Takasaki )

About Kadomoto:

He has oshi-zumo - well, he was not working all that hard at Sumo Kyoshujo [laughter],

but his sumo was strong. He liked moushiai-geiko okay, but did not seem overly

interested in doing basics ( shiko etc.). My impression is that Kageyama was the best

"student" of the three. ( Yamahibiki )

I think he'll make upper Makushita for sure. ( Kumegawa )

(note: this Kumegawa's comment appears to be an answer to the reporter's spesific

question whether Kadomoto will hit the wall now in middle makushita.)

He already has his sumo style, so I think his success depends on how he'll be able to

hone it. If asked if he will make Juryo within 2006, I would say there still is much

remained to be seen -especially in comparison with Sawai, who is more stable in

performance. But because Kadomoto's sumo is oshi-style, he can make a breakthrough once

he rides on the right wave. ( Takasaki )

About Hakiai:

Did he get a torn ligament? ( Takasaki )

Right, I heard his knee felt like "heaved" ( when got injured ).

( Yamahibiki )

Note: I think Hakiai totally messed up his knee before that final injury already and most

likely has severely torn ACL if not more.

About Ikioi:

I start looking at Ikioi these days. He is big and has good atari. He had practiced sumo

before high school, but then he stopped it for 3 years before joining sumo. I think

Ikioi's sumo is goukai - showing his tremendous power. His body looks bigger than he

really is when he's up on the dohyo. He IS tall, though. He used to practice sumo with

Sawai everyday at Furuichi-Doujou, so he sees Sawai as his rival. His shiko looks

beautiful. He can lift his legs pretty high - he has a flexible body. He is a serious

earnest young man. ( Yamahibiki )

He seems to know how to do sumo - he is adroit. ( Kumegawa )

About Wakanoho:

I saw him doing light keiko at my heya, and was impressed how he was as good as Sandanme

right from the start - and he even hadn't done sumo before. He still does not know much

about sumo and still has this wrestling "pulling" habit.. but once he really starts

developing sumo... we don't even know how good he can be. He was not able to beat Sawai,

Kageyama, and Kadomoto when he was at Kyoshujo, though. ( Yamahibiki )

Think of Baruto having already made that high rank.... ( Takasaki )

About Nakanishi:

I was a little disappointed by Nakanishi's 2-5 in Kyushu. He seemed to have lost weight a

little -- well, this may be one of bad times he has to go through.. things will hopefully

turn better for him when he puts back some weight. ( Kumegawa )

About Fukuoka:

( At Sumo Kyoshujo, ) He did not have that much of a presence.. (Yamahibiki)

Yes, he kind of looked a bit docile.. he did join moushiai-geiko, but was not vigilant at

all but was just there like a bystander. Well, there were a lot of "hopefuls" at that

time, and probably that's why Fukuoka did not appeal that much. He would have, otherwise.

( Takasaki )

About Fukunaga:

Sometimes he loses too easily by tsukidashi. I'm sure he'll entertain sumo fans when he

makes higher in rank, but I kind of worry that he might injure his neck ( if he continues

his present style )... He won the championship in the middle weight class in World

Tournament - I'd understand how his opponent had difficult times tackling him as his sumo

is so kaleidoscopic. I hope him to improve tachiai though. ( Takasaki )

I heard how strong he was against Sawai at high school sumo - well he was strong only

against Sawai. :) But I do agree his tachiai is bad.( Kumegawa )

About Takahashi:

He lost weight probably because of a bowel surgery he took at his senior year ( at Tokyo

Agricultural University ), which made him unable to do sumo for one whole year

afterwards. But he'll work hard, and will show what he has. ( Takasaki )

About Takamifuji :

He looks stiff - well, hardness can be power, but his lower-body is way too stiff. He

would easily succumb to the opponent's inashi. And there's not much time left for him

when you think of his age. But I admit his last bout of Kyushu was good - though he

couldn't make it, it was pretty close. ( Kumegawa )

I think he has good strength. Tepid sashi would only give him a chance to sally forth. (

Takasaki )

About Isobe:

He sure is persistent. I'd give him a credit for doing well with such a small physique.

But he needs to show aggressiveness in order to win more. ( Kumegawa )

About Dewaootori:

He still has much to learn about tachiai, as many people have pointed. He tends to be

only defensive - he seems too much hung up on getting mawashi which still is rather

problematic unless he assures uwate-grip. He's often advised to go for mae-mitsu...

well, he has to improve his strategies against oshi-zumo. He doesn't seem to have much

problems defeating Kageyama at Keiko-ba. Senpai-advantage, I guess. ( Takasaki )

About Kimurayama:

( He seems going one step forward, one step backward lately, ) I think he was suffering

from elbow injuries and some other health problems. He has good techniques - he can do

well enough both with yotsu and tsuki. But I really can't be for his anomalistic tachiai

style. I believe he should go straightforward with it. ( Takasaki )

About Sugita:

He has a bad neck... and so his sumo style must be giving him hard times. But he is

strong and is running up the banzuke. So far, his techniques have overwhelmed those lower

rankers, but he may have to face tougher times when he makes upper Makushita. I don't

think he will change his style, so, practically, he doesn't have a choice but pursue and

refine his style. Personally I do like his sumo. ( Yamahibiki )

About Maenoyuu:

He was dropped down to lower Sandanme.... his back must have been in a terrible

condition. He has a good power, so he'll come back once he recovers. ( Takasaki )

Note: Well I guess this explains fully why Maenoyu dropped out of the picture. He has the

KaioU-disease...

About Kagaya:

I really am cheering for him. He's very diligent and does real good hard keiko all the

time -despite his bad eyes ( ablatio retinae ). No matter if his master watches keiko or

not, he just does it just the same. He doesn't seem to get tired of moushiai-geiko.

Dewaootori still can't handle him - well I guess it's partly because of Dewaootori's sumo

style. It may be easier for Kagaya to tackle bigger guys, although it'd be a different

story when they really met on the Honbasho dohyo. But I really hope to see him upper in

banzuke. He has good skills and speed, is a great model for small rikishi. ( Takasaki )

About Katsunofuji:

He is interesting. He was a quiet boy and was not standing out from others, but was

working very hard ( at Kyoushuujo ). He is good getting morozashi, and persistent too. He

has a good shapely body. ( Kumegawa )

About Shironishiki:

He could show more power once he grows bigger. ( Kumegawa )

He may be having hard times gaining weight, probably by constitution. See how his body is

armed with muscles - it perhaps shows that he can't grow into very big. ( Yamahibiki )

Well, maybe not, but maybe yes. Mongolians would suddenly grow huge. No one thought

Hakuho would be that bigger. ( Takasaki )

About Kazafuzan:

He may be hitting a wall nowadays - he lets opponents get mawashi too easily. (Kumegawa )

Well his sumo looks somewhat rough, but he has come this far in spite of those

shortcomings. I think he will rise even higher as he learns more of sumo. ( Yamahibiki )

About Soukokurai:

He's by far better than others in solidness of lower body. You can see how excellent his

physique reflexes. ( Yamahibiki )

But he goes way too thoughtlessly for opponent's mawashi, just because he relies much on

his physical ability. He should use his brain when facing bigger opponents. ( Takasaki )

Arawashi, Okinokuni:

Okinokuni performs power-zumo. I've seen several bouts of his, and was very impressed.

And he is big! ( Yamahibiki )

Note: I don't know now how this rikishi is. Probably Amanogawa made some mistake with the

first kanji as she doesn't know all lower division rikishi, has Japanese brain and hence

sees the kanji and guesses the reading when she is not sure.

I think Arawashi is good. He looks dashy and snappy like a spring. His throws are good

and sharp too. ( Takasaki )

Mongolian boys all have very solid lower bodies, so they all want to go for mawashi and

stick to it, aiming to decide the bout with throws. (Yamahibiki)

Takanoyama, Daisougen, Daitenshou:

Honestly, I was not expecting much from Daitenshou at first because he looked so skinny.

But he really proved himself - he's made makushita now.. he has good flexible moves at

the edge of dohyo. I wonder if he hasn't learned aggressive sumo yet? But his sumo will

be even more exciting one if he goes forceful. ( Yamahibiki )

Daisougen will be far better too if he masters aggressive sumo style. Mongolian boys just

keep racking up wins once they learn a good knack ( of deciding the match ). ( Takasaki )

Takanoyama gets attentions because he is fascinatingly unpredictable once he grabs

mawashi. But really, not so many rikishi would stay in the same size like Takanoyama. He

never seems to become stout enough.. maybe he can't gain weight by any means, so he only

tries to develop his muscles. He is powerful, and he knows brisk leg-trips. So fun to see

him fight. ( Yamahibiki )

Houchiyama:

He should as well be qualified as Sekitori. He only lacks luck, I guess. But he has what

it takes and will need 4 or 5 wins to make it. ( Takasaki )

He looks like a quiet guy - could never be impervious. ( Yamahibiki )

"Best 10 of promising sekitori-to-be":

1. Sawai

2. Kageyama

3. Wakanoho

4. Dewaootori

5. Ikioi

6. Kadomoto

7. Fukuoka

8. Shibuya

9. Katsunofuji

10. Fujimoto

By Kumegawa & Takasaki & Yamahibiki

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Thanks! Very nice to get to know more about these young deshi! (I am not worthy...)

Especially, I didn't suspect Ikioi to be SO promising. Looking forward to seeing him on the dohyo - hopefully the stream will start showing us some minarai action again!

And I'm glad that they still consider Kagaya a good prospect, here's hoping he makes it to sekitoridom soon despite his "handicaps"...

Edited by Azumaryu

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Okinokuni performs power-zumo. I've seen several bouts of his, and was very impressed.

And he is big! ( Yamahibiki )

Note: I don't know now how this rikishi is. Probably Amanogawa made some mistake with the

first kanji as she doesn't know all lower division rikishi, has Japanese brain and hence

sees the kanji and guesses the reading when she is not sure.

I think she meant Nakanokuni. 仲の国 (Nakanokuni) 沖の国 (Okinokuni)

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Surprised Wakanohou at his age is considered 3rd best. Has he gone up agasint anyone in practice noteworthy?

Man, this is one of the best makushita groups in a while. I wish they would show these matches on our TV Japan broadcast.

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Man, this is one of the best makushita groups in a while. I wish they would show these matches on our TV Japan broadcast.

With any luck, they will be shown live for the January basho on the NSK Sumo Stream link above starting about 9:30 PM your time, and Dale will probably be able to post videos of most of them on his banzuke.com site. We ususally get better access to the lower divisions when the basho is held in Tokyo. Keep your fingers crossed.

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Surprised Wakanohou at his age is considered 3rd best. Has he gone up agasint anyone in practice noteworthy?

I think what they evaluate is his potential. His young age and lack of prior sumo experience suggests he'll go very far...

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Really a great post, thanks Amanogawa for all your work in translating that! (I am not worthy...) It's nice to get some insiders' perspectives...even committed stattos like myself are better off with not just the numbers. (Zabuton flying...)

With any luck, they will be shown live for the January basho on the NSK Sumo Stream link above starting about 9:30 PM your time, and Dale will probably be able to post videos of most of them on his banzuke.com site. We ususally get better access to the lower divisions when the basho is held in Tokyo. Keep your fingers crossed.

FWIW, 9:30 PST is just barely before Juryo (the dohyo-iri is usually around 9:40 to 9:50), so they really need to start the stream even earlier if we want to see lower Makushita. Which they did during the last few Tokyo basho, of course, at least on some days.

The stream capper is Doitsuyama, btw. (Cheers...)

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"Best 10 of promising sekitori-to-be":

1. Sawai

2. Kageyama

3. Wakanoho

4. Dewaootori

5. Ikioi

6. Kadomoto

7. Fukuoka

8. Shibuya

9. Katsunofuji

10. Fujimoto

Soon 2 years since these evaluations so about time to look at the results a bit. Sawai, Kageyama and Wakanoho all in makuuchi in Aki so well done there. Dewaotori had it all, formidable power, youth, good sumo style and momentum. Then something happened and he is a total shadow of his former self. Still very young but weak. Probably ill with some diabetes or chronic bad back of shoulder etc. Ikioi has been going nowhere in makushita despite his Kyokushozan like frame and has been a big disappointment too. Kadomoto is of course Toyohibiki and he is currently the number one prospect in a way that he will be high maegashira in Aki while the top 3 will be at lower end. Fukuoka has also been stagnating in makushita without much highlights. Shibuya may be too silly to succeed in sumo? Or at least he has not advanced at all despite very young age and good tools. Probably slacks off at keikoba. Katsunofuji was silently in makushita doing quite well before bad injury and now he is working his way up from the mud. I have no idea what Fujimoto does nowadays and why.

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Interesting stuff. Seems like aran/yamamotoyama/ri/minami are the new Goeido/Tochiozan/toyohibiki/wakanoho. 2 years later

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