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Does anyone here watch SUMO?
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
A troubling perception regarding the other current ozeki is that they seem to be content to maintain their ranking rather than elevating their game both physically and mentally in order to win basho.


Harumafuji and Kotomitsuki come to mind.

Btw, here's a neat sumo site: http://sumo.goo.ne.jp/eng/index.html
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brad2



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I have been watching the Osaka Spring competition this past week or so. I don't know any of the names but there are some really great bouts I think. I may be quite wrong but it seems that the whole competition was won by a non Japanese wrestler. He was very big and immensely strong. Seemed to be able to lift his opponent right off his feet and out of the ring.

I would like to know more of the form followed before each bout. I would like to know why sometimes they bend down and place their fists on the mat and then get up and walkaway and start all over again.

I would like to know why they wait to receive the envelope and do what seems to be a 'blessing' or maybe it is a form of thanks. As you see I am a novic just come to the sport.

Peggy
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Everything you wanted to know about sumo:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumo

And you're right, the best sumo wrestler right now is Hakuho, he is from Mongolia. His only real competition right now comes from Baruto and he is Estonian.

That's a real worry for the future of sumo, the young Japanese don't seem to be that interested in it anymore and there is a lack of top level Japanese wrestlers. Sweat
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shin2



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gaijinmark wrote:
Harumafuji and Kotomitsuki come to mind.


I think all the recent ozeki have been disappointments when it comes to elevating their sumo. Harumafuji is one of my favorite current rikishi, but since becoming ozeki, half the time he fails to earn double-digit victories in a tournament. Kotooshu's record is very similar. Both are still in their prime and have been relatively injury-free in the past year or two, so why can't they approach the level they demonstrated when each of them won a basho?
As for the native-Japanese ozeki, Kotomitsuki is on the downside of his career, and it seems he has a similar mindset as Kaio, whose only apparent goal in the last four or five years is to achieve kachi koshi (majority wins) in order to maintain his rank. Kaio was once an outstanding rikishi (earning five yusho) , so it's kinda sad seeing him hanging on, a shadow of his former self.
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dochira



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gaijinmark wrote:

And you're right, the best sumo wrestler right now is Hakuho, he is from Mongolia. His only real competition right now comes from Baruto and he is Estonian.


The other yokozuna was Asashoryu from Mongolia. But he was forced to retire recently after a drunken brawl which caused him to be disgraced from the sport.
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Anybody paying any attention to the May Basho? Looks to be pretty boring, I don't see anybody beating Hakuho. Baruto could make things intersting though. Fingers crossed
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shin2



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PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gaijinmark wrote:
Anybody paying any attention to the May Basho? Looks to be pretty boring, I don't see anybody beating Hakuho. Baruto could make things intersting though. Fingers crossed


Sumo's halcyon days have been over for awhile now. The lack of topflight competition and paucity of homegrown asskickers have severely hurt the sport.

Hakuho is a great rikishi, but truthfully sumo fans will always question just how great he really is because, with Asashoryu's retirement, he has no quality competition to measure himself against. The same was true when Asashoryu dominated; he routinely thrashed and humiliated everyone until Hakuho's ascent.
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Nagoya basho, Hakuho went 15-0, everybody else sucked. Shake Head
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Autumn basho underway. Hakuho 4-0 and got his 50th win in a row!! Victory! Peace!
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Congratulations to Hakuho for winning his 53rd match in a row, tieing Chiyonofuji for second most consecutive wins all time!! Applaud

But athletes are the same all over the world. When they asked Chiyonofuji what he thought about it, he said, "If he breaks it, THEN I'll congratulate him."
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Just an update on the world of sumo:

Hakuho's winning streak was stopped at 63 matches at the Fall Basho in Fukuoka. He lost to a wrestler named Kisenosato. Hakuho went undefeated for the rest of the tournament and won it.

Then at the New Year Basho, Hakuho was rolling along undefeated and yesterday got beat by Kisenosato again!

Kisenosato is a good sumo wrestler, but not a great sumo wrestler. Kind of reminds me of how Ali always had trouble with Ken Norton.
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Itazura ichiban



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

It may be enough to topple Hakuho's confidence. There's always some young buck ready to take him down, just a matter of time. hehe
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shin2



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Itazura ichiban wrote:
It may be enough to topple Hakuho's confidence.


Right now the only thing that will topple Hakuho is if the JSA or the yakuza order him to start losing matches to Japanese rikishi. And given the sport's history of yaocho (match fixing), this isn't a farfetched idea.


Itazura ichiban wrote:
There's always some young buck ready to take him down, just a matter of time. hehe


Not right now nor in the foreseeable future. The disparity between the lone yokozuna and the rest of the rikishi in the makuuchi division is immense. He has no real rival. Kisenosato, the only rikishi to beat him in the last six basho, isn't a genuine rival because he's never been in contention to win a tournament going into the final weekend. Until that happens, or until some other rikishi in the sankyaku ranks steps up (don't hold your breath on that one; they're collectively a mediocre lot), sumo will continue to suffer from the lack of competition.

Btw, I just read that Hakuho has clinched the basho, and there's still one more day to go.
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

shin2

I have to agree. If guys like Baruto and Harumafuji haven't done it by now, they never will. Kind of like expecting somebody that's hit .270 all his life to somehow turn into the next Tony Gwynn.

Interestingly enough, over New Year NHK had a special on Hakuho. He said that his technique was that at the start of the match, he only lunges forward a little. He plants his right foot and reacts to what the other guy does. He was using sumo terminology, but basically what he was saying was, you win with defense.

Just like every other sport.
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shin2



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gaijinmark wrote:


I have to agree. If guys like Baruto and Harumafuji haven't done it by now, they never will. Kind of like expecting somebody that's hit .270 all his life to somehow turn into the next Tony Gwynn.


Good analogy.

In any other competitive era, I think Baruto would be mired somewhere in the upper ranks of maegashira. I haven't seen the last few basho, but I remember him as being incredibly huge and kinda clumsy. Harumafuji has been a big disappointment to me. When he was Ama, he was feisty, athletic, and full of vim and vigor. He had that "eye of the tiger" mindset. Then, when he achieved ozeki status, he became like the others in his rank--content to achieve kachi koshi in order to keep his status. It's a shame sumo doesn't change its rules regarding promotion and maintaining a certain rank.



gaijinmark wrote:
Interestingly enough, over New Year NHK had a special on Hakuho. He said that his technique was that at the start of the match, he only lunges forward a little. He plants his right foot and reacts to what the other guy does. He was using sumo terminology, but basically what he was saying was, you win with defense.

Just like every other sport.


Interesting. As you know, there are basically two types of rikishi--pushers/thrusters, and belt technique guys. Hakuho is one of the latter. So it makes sense what you describe. It works to Hakuho's advantage since he will never succumb to someone who tries a henka (sidestep), which some rikishi do in order to get a cheap and undeserving win. Plus, because Hakuho has good size, is really powerful, and has good fundamentals, he can withstand any formidable tachiai by an opponent.
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

shin2 wrote:
given the sport's history of yaocho (match fixing), this isn't a farfetched idea.


Well, whaddya know: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110202/wl_asia_afp/japansumojpncorruption_20110202071101
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shin2



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gaijinmark wrote:


Well, whaddya know: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110202/wl_asia_afp/japansumojpncorruption_20110202071101


And it gets worse:

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/kan-expresses-anger-after-sumo-wrestlers-admit-to-match-fixing

This comes a couple of days after the head of the JSA emphatically denied ever knowing of yaocho (match fixing) occurring in sumo. He was blatantly lying since yaocho has been going on for generations. You'll notice in the article that the participants who have admitted to fixing bouts are two lower level rikishi and a retired stable master--all small fry. Obviously the JSA is trying to protect its more prominent members. But yaocho has been a practice that has been routinely accepted at all levels of sumo for possibly as long as there's been organized sumo.
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shin2



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The sh*t has hit the fan: the March basho has been cancelled.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/sports/view/spring-meet-in-doubt-as-wrestler-offers-to-quit-over-bout-rigging#show_all_comments

It is really disingenuous for the JSA, the Japanese government, NHK, and other entities associated with sumo to act like match fixing is A) only a recent occurrence, and B) limited to a tiny few miscreants. Like the other recent scandals which have plagued sumo in recent years, I suspect the JSA will make a show of being apologetic, make a show of proposing reforms, and make a show of promising to be forthright and honorable. Then it will be business as usual.

As someone who has followed sumo off and on for 50 years ( Sweat ), whose first sports hero as kid was not a baseball or football player but a sumo wrestler (dai yokozuna Taiho), and has really loved the sport, I am disappointed and frustrated at seeing sumo rot away. For most of the years I was a sumo fan, I had dismissed charges of yaocho as being just spiteful rumors. Unfortunately, in the last 10 years, I have regretfully realized yaocho has been ingrained in the sport for probably as long as it has been a sport. That said, it is only one of the many problems plaguing sumo since the turn of the century, problems largely brought on and sustained by the old boys' network that is the JSA.

Right now, sumo sucks.
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gaijinmark



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This looks to be a "Black Sox" scandal version of sumo. Only this could be a lot worse, I don't see anybody in the sumo world to be their version of Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Worst case scenario I'm thinking sumo could become like heavyweight boxing has become, a third tier sport that almost nobody really cares about.
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shin2



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

gaijinmark wrote:
This looks to be a "Black Sox" scandal version of sumo. Only this could be a lot worse, I don't see anybody in the sumo world to be their version of Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Worst case scenario I'm thinking sumo could become like heavyweight boxing has become, a third tier sport that almost nobody really cares about.


Not even someone the equivalent of Judge Landis can fix sumo's problems. You'd have to have someone with absolute authority along with the means to move mountains--more along the lines of a General MacArthur. One big obstacle lies with the bureaucracy embedded in all Japanese institutions which moves at a glacial pace.

Plus, with sumo--not only do you have to deal with the JSA and its stubborn bureaucracy and dog-and-pony show (deny, admit, apologize, promise, continue SOS), but there's also the government bureaucracy (sumo is a government affiliated public body and subject to preferential tax treatment), the yakuza (good luck telling those guys what to do), sponsors (including the yakuza), the cities which hold the six annual basho (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka), and NHK which televises those basho.

Sumo has been dying a slow death since the beginning of the 21st century, although that pace (unlike Japanese bureaucracies) has accelerated in the last five years. It has ceased to become relevant to the general population under 40. There is a paucity of native Japanese athletes entering the sport. Regulations limiting each sumo stable to only one non-Japanese rikishi (btw, naturalized Japanese citizens are still considered non-Japanese in the xenophobic world of sumo) have diluted the quality of competition. The last time a native-Japanese won a basho was five years ago. The constant barrage of scandals have turned much of the public away. Attendance and sponsorship have plummeted in recent years.

To use your phrase, gaijinmark, I think if it hasn't become a third tier sports yet, unless changes are made, it's about to become one.
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