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Having the option to sit out a tournament surely has helped him during recent years. It can be a curse, look at Kisenosato who got injured in his first tournament as Yokozuna and when it showed that he'd never get back to the same level, he was forced to end his career. At Ozeki, it is rare to restart far down the Banzuke, but it is possible. Yokozuna grants loads of benefits, but the psychological pressure and always being underneath a microscope can be very exhausting I'd imagine. 

Edit: it is way more accurate to use the phrasing "felt forced" in regards to Kisenosato. He was not forced by the governing bodies or anything, which could also happen. 

Edited by ReiseReise
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There is not enough love here for Ishiura breaking out a fucking mitokorozeme in this basho to put down Nishikigi. 

I'm old and have been following Sumo ever since I worked in the private sector for a Japan based multimodal logistics company fifteen years ago and I haven't seen a rikishi use that technique since the late 80's.

Edited by J.T.
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 You're absolutely right, here is the video to go with this monumental use of the kimarite. I think the best bet could be the kimarite department store Mainoumi. 

 

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On 11/14/2019 at 5:00 PM, ReiseReise said:

Read about this before. It deviates a little from what Sumo is about judging by the Information I read, but it will probably be quite a lot of fun. Looking forward to hearing how you liked it. 

Hakuho is still amazing. He hasn't been as much of an escape artist during the last few tournaments, but he is still top notch. He is definitifely the strongest candidate to raise the Cup in the end. 

 

In a word, it was amazing.  The set up was a 4 man exhibition, with 3 sections:  First, a basic explainer of the rules of sumo and a demo of how a 400+ lb. guy can do a full split. Second, a round robin mini-tournament.  And last, 6 lucky people (who paid a lot extra) got to step in the ring with the 4 big boys.  

The food was alright, but the main event was obviously the show.  

The 4 sumo were retired from active competition, but still very much in sumo shape and put on a great show.   They were:

Kumago ("Kuma") - He sang a sumo song for us. At a previous show he sang "I Want It That Way" for the crowd.

Bungo Nishiki - A very good athlete.  Was easily the most flexible of the big guys.

Musahikuni ("Musa") - The American.  Also the youngest, at 24.  The crowd was into him.  Looks like he pulled a muscle during his match with Kuma (the other three were noticeably annoyed with Kuma afterwards)

Tououyama - The ham among them.  Won the mini-tournament.  The crowd adored him.

And the MC was Konishiki.  He was great at explaining the different techniques of sumo and what was happening in ring.

The price for the show and food was $100, and it was money well spent. There was another tier where you could have a meet & greet with the sumo also, but a friend of mine snuck in. 🙂 

Definitely would recommend, and I definitely want to learn more about sumo. 

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Konishiki, how cool is that! 

Sounds like you had a blast, happy to hear that. Quick look around Sumo DB indicates that the wrestlers you saw in action had their career highs in Makushita, which is pretty respectable. Konishiki as a former Ozeki at the Event is amazing of course. 

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Day 11 had come and gone, Hakuho remains the sole leader with a 10-1 score followed by Asanoyama with 9-2. Both man are performing quite well, Hakuho seems determined to get his first title in the Reiwa era. 

Mitakeumis Ozeki hopes are dashed. He picked up a sixth loss today and with Asanoyama and Hakuho left to fight, there is a distinct possibility for him to drop out of sanyaku for the first time in 17 or so basho. It would be a shame, but he simply doesn't sèem to be at his best. 

Takakeisho picked up win number 8 today, putting him out of risk regarding a possible kadoban status in January. He seems to have shaken off the rust and is looking good. Maybe he can spoil Hakuho's party a little? 

We had the ultra rare mitokorozeme a few days ago. Not as rare but still not an everyday occurance was Shodai's utchari he used today to get his eight's win over a game Sadanoumi. See below:

https://youtu.be/OcyS7bdDsr0

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Hakuho managed to extend his record of top division Bashos won to 43, capturing the very last tournament of (t)his decade with a 14-1 scoreline. 

Mitakeumi will very likely fall out of sanyaku for the first time in almost 3 years, ending a run of 18 Basho in the upper echolon of the banzuke after a 6-9. We will very likely loose Hokutofuji and Endo aswell. Asanoyama and Abi make good cases for Sekiwake promotions, Abi should get the nod should they only be willing to promote one of the two. 

Enho made Kachikoshi with an 8-7 score, securing his needed 8th win on senshuraku, the final day. He will face top tier guys in his next campaign, although he'll be lucky enough. 

Asanoyama with another Double digit win while beating top competition, yet not on an official Ozeki run. 

A huge return to salaried ranks awaits us aswell: Terunofuji, former Ozeki and Makuuchi Yusho winner, also known as the heel who prevented Kotoshogiku from getting back to Ozeki with a blatant henka, won the Makushita Yusho with a clean 7-0 from Makushita #10. He had dropped as far down the rankings as the second lowest division after bad injury luck. It is not likely that he will reach former heights, but as the first ever Ozeki to even try to get back into the paid ranks after dropping out I felt praise is in order. It will be interesting to see how he will deal with fighting every day. 

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Hakuho managed to extend his record of top division Bashos won to 43, capturing the very last tournament of (t)his decade with a 14-1 scoreline. 

Mitakeumi will very likely fall out of sanyaku for the first time in almost 3 years, ending a run of 18 Basho in the upper echolon of the banzuke after a 6-9. We will very likely loose Hokutofuji and Endo aswell. Asanoyama and Abi make good cases for Sekiwake promotions, Abi should get the nod should they only be willing to promote one of the two. 

Enho made Kachikoshi with an 8-7 score, securing his needed 8th win on senshuraku, the final day. He will face top tier guys in his next campaign, although he'll be lucky enough. 

Asanoyama with another Double digit win while beating top competition, yet not on an official Ozeki run. 

A huge return to salaried ranks awaits us aswell: Terunofuji, former Ozeki and Makuuchi Yusho winner, also known as the heel who prevented Kotoshogiku from getting back to Ozeki with a blatant henka, won the Makushita Yusho with a clean 7-0 from Makushita #10. He had dropped as far down the rankings as the second lowest division after bad injury luck. It is not likely that he will reach former heights, but as the first ever Ozeki to even try to get back into the paid ranks after dropping out I felt praise is in order. It will be interesting to see how he will deal with fighting every day. 

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On 11/20/2019 at 11:33 AM, ReiseReise said:

We had the ultra rare mitokorozeme a few days ago. Not as rare but still not an everyday occurance was Shodai's utchari he used today to get his eight's win over a game Sadanoumi. See below:

https://youtu.be/OcyS7bdDsr0

That was pretty awesome.  Not sure why, but competitors seem to be pulling out all the stops during this basho.   The things each man is doing to secure a win makes this contest feel very important.

Edited by J.T.
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Banzuke for January got published, not a merry Christmas for Abi who got denied a Sekiwake promotion once more. Takayasu has a chance to regain Ozeki with ten wins in January. Ikioi back in Makuuchi, presumeably healthy. 

Makuuchi

Hakuho        Y    Kakuryu
Takakeisho    O    Goeido
Asanoyama     S    Takayasu
Abi           K    Daieisho

Endo          M1   Myogiryu
Hokutofuji    M2   Mitakeumi
Tamawashi     M3   Kotoyuki
Okinoumi      M4   Shodai
Meisei        M5   Enho
Takarafuji    M6   Tochinoshin
Shohozan      M7   Onosho
Aoiyama       M8   Ryuden
Takanosho     M9   Yutakayama
Sadanoumi     M10  Ishiura
Chiyotairyu   M11  Kagayaki
Tsurugisho    M12  Chiyomaru
Kotoshogiku   M13  Kotoeko
Terutsuyoshi  M14  Shimanoumi
Azumaryu      M15  Ikioi
Tochiozan     M16  Kaisei
Kiribayama    M17  Tokushoryu

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Who does Abi need to murder to make sekiwake? This is ludicrous.

I have an irrational dislike of Goeido, so I hope he goes down this time. Takayasu is a surly hairy bastard, so I hope he goes back up.

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I'm with you on the Abi situation. It is weird. Maybe that social media scandal played a role. 

Goeido has been on the brink of demotion a lot. But he sure seems on borrowed time. 

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Ishiura got away with a violent outburst against junior stable member Hokaho. After a few heated Training bouts, both Rikishi exchanged fisticuffs for a bit. It happened in front of press and in the wake of quite a few forced retirements during the last few months because of violence scandal. Instead of being a minor interna affair, the incident became a pretty big public problem for Hakuho's student. 

The verdict is a month of 20% pay reduction for Ishiura, three months of 20% pay reduction for stable head Miyagino-oyakata. Both Ishiura and the junior Hokaho received stern warnings. 

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Two days in Hatsu 2020 and both Yokozuna have already lost to Endo. Hakuho's loss being the more spectacular one. I love this Sport! 

Edit: Madness continued with Kakuryu and Hakuho both dropping matches against Myogiryu and Hokotufuji. Hakuho has already dropped out of the tournament, not a good start to what he pronounced to be the final year of his career...

Edited by ReiseReise
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After four days, both Yokozuna are out of the tournament once more. It might be the beginning of the end for Kakuryu, who will be under a lot of pressure come March. 

Goeido is facing a serious danger of demotion, after a 1-3 start. Since he was 0-3 at first, he might draw some much needed confidence from yesterday's beautifully executed kubinage. 

Spotless 4-0 records: Hokotufuji, Shodai, Kagayaki and Terutsuyoshi. Hokotufuji got a fusensho (default win) because of Hakuho's withdrawal, but he also beat Kakuryu aswell as both Ozeki, Takakeisho and Goeido, in actual matches. Those 11 days are going to be very interesting. 

Edited by ReiseReise

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Five-way tie for the lead. I dig it. Asanoyama also looking like a killer in the wings at 5-2.

The yokozuna withdraws are iffy, but if they were trying to game the system wouldn't they fake it *next* basho so they could be healthy for later in the year? Is the money basho that everybody tries their hardest during going to be the July basho in Nagoya (which concludes a week before the Olympics start) or the September basho (which is in Tokyo a month after)? 

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Yokozuna is a tough job despite the privileges, and it is very complicated in regards to losing records. Even an Ozeki has the simple, yet clear cut consequence to a losing record that is the danger of demotion. A Yokozuna will very likely feel the pressure of retirement after a Makekoshi. 

Dropping out is the way around it, since the rank is protected, but the usage of it is limited. Both Mongolian Yokozuna don't have too many continues left, I'd think. If there was another (preferrably Japanese) Yokozuna in the making, voices calling for them would probably be way louder right now. 

Hakuho and Kakuryu both are very likely not at 100%. Almost no rikishi is. They probably went in thinking they could perform like a Yokozuna and realised they underestimated their own lack of form (maybe even injury), and dropped out, mostly to save face. It has happened and still does. 

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This is the first basho I've ever followed but what the hell, new decade, new things right? Between twitter and youtube it's actually not that hard to follow even if it's a relatively small English community.

Some pretty good matches today. Endo vs. Enho lived up to the hype, easily the most energetic match of the tournament so far. I can see why the fans love Enho because it's honestly absurd how much he looks like a small child in the ring next to most of his opponents, but his technique's great. Kind of a huge loss for Endo though. He's not out of the running but he definitely has to do that much more work now. I like Endo a lot based off the whole 6 days I have been a fan of this sport.

Shodai looks super fucking strong for a guy that doesn't have a top rank. The throw he won with today felt almost dismissive. Takakeisho also just chugging along with his short t-rex arms that no one seems able to grapple. Fighting that guy seems like a nightmare.

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Goeido lost, which I am super happy about, because I kinda want there to only be one Ozeki at the end of this basho, just for the chaos. Especially since Takayasu is going to struggle to win out and get back up to Ozeki.

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I'm entirely convinced that Takayasu as off now is not even a candidate for eight wins to keep Sekiwake. He just doesn't seem to be able to use his left arm. 

Takakeisho, Shodai and Tokoshoryu are leading with a 7-1. Terutsuyoshi, Kagayaki and Endo are in pursuit with 6-2 scores. Since Shodai and Takakeisho square of tomorrow, one will guarateed to stay in the lead and get Kachikoshi tomorrow. Tokoshoryu has Tsurugoshi as opponent, which should be a win since that guy is basically too injured to walk properly. 

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Takayasu's hopes of going back to Ozeki are gone and Goeido's hopes of staying are fading fast.Enho feinted a henka on a false start, then went the other way when the match began properly. Have that, Goeido.

Bad day for Sanyaku, only Asanoyama and Abi won; Endo especially got clowned. Shodai and Tokoshoryu are your leaders, the former facing serious sanctions for smiling inside the Kokugikan following his win over Takakeisho. Takakeisho, Kageaki and Yutakayama all one win off the pace.

Edited by DangerMark
That's a joke, by the way.

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Abi hadn't done a lot so far, so being my first tournament I wasn't seeing much of the hype until that last fight. Then he just exploded Endo and okay yeah, I see.

Ryuden didn't make any friends in the crowd with that armbreaker move. I've seen someone get suspsneded in football for more or less the same move. I'd be careful about throwing that around in a combat sport full of old men running stables and carrying grudges, but that's just me.

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A lot of Abi's popularity stems from him being a likeable young dude. His sumo is a little one-dimensional, but can be spectacular when he is able to execute his oshi attacks. 

There have been a few crazy tournaments during what has to be considered a transistional period in professional sumo, but this one takes the cake. Takakeisho would be the only somewhat normal winner at this point, everyone else is pretty much an upset.

The sheer chance of us ending the first tournament of the new decade with a win by Shodai, who for all his talent and promise has never even seemed close to fulfilling his potential up until now is baffling. He is also joined at the top by the guy on the last possible rank on the banzuke with Tokoshoryu. There is still five more days to go, though and both will face opposition tomorrow they have negative head to head records against (Shodai v Daeisho 2-3 career head to head, Tokoshoryu v Aoiyama 3-5).

Three guys lag one win behind (Takakeisho, Yutakayama, Kagayaki), three more two (Hokotufuji, Terutsuyoshi, Tochiozan). That's going to be a heated finish I expect a few eliminators. 

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