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    Kisenosato moves to 4-2 with this forceful win on day 6.

    Aminishiki(!), Goeido and Hakuho all still unbeaten at 5-0.
    And then there was one: only Hakuho made it to six wins today.
    Last edited by Kevin S; 17-11-2017, 14:54.


      Day 8 is in the books. Not linking to video because literally every match was shit. Hakuho 8-0, Amawashi, Ichinojo and somebody so far down the table I can;t remember his name are at 7-1 but unless Hakuho gets injured, this one seems pretty much done. Kisenosato loses again, now 4-4. Received opinion seems to be he will "retire injured" before tomorrow because - I can't stress this enough - real Yokozuna don't lose five matches.


        Day 9. Kisenosato lost *again* and so now has a losing record. All of Hakuho's pursuers lost while he won in a bout that literally lasted two seconds. So, the Big H is 9-0, 4 or maybe 5 dudes on 7-2 and all the drama on this basho is more or less over.


          Have just seen the below comments exchange on the Japan Today website. Looks like Kisenosato has created a bit of a pickle here.

          YubaruToday 07:18 pm JST
          The Sumo association must be gnawing away at their finger nails wondering what to do with Kisenosato now.

          Typically any Yokuzuna who loses as many matches as he has would be removed from the tournament for some medical reason, but in his case if they do that, they would be faced with having to force him to retire.

          But then they look bad, for promoting him in the first place. Yet I am sure the spin doctors will figure something out.

          browny1Today 07:52 pm JST
          Yubaru - I guess so.

          Kisenosato fell into his first tourney win after a decade+ with only 11 real wins (3 wins by withdrawal and 1 loss) and all the yokozuna were out and the top ozeki.

          But on this win he was made Yokozuna, which could only have been done to appease the indigenous crowd, who believed nationality is more important than ability.

          Hakuho - the greatest sumo wrestler in history - rarely gets the accolades he deserves.

          SchopenhauerToday 07:57 pm JST
          Great yokozuna Hakuho wants to stay in Japan as a sumo stable master after his retirement. But the rules of the association does not allow him do so. It prohibits foreign nationals to own a sumo stable. All foreign stable masters acquired Japanese citizenship to realize that but Hakuho wouldn't give up his Mongolian citizenship since his father is a national hero of Mongol - his father was a great champion of Mongolian sumo. He is reportedly said giving up Mongolian citizenship hurts his father's pride.

          MizuameToday 08:13 pm JST
          >>But then they look bad, for promoting him in the first place. Yet I am sure the spin doctors will figure something out.
          Kisenosato deserved Yokozuna rank, I believe. His career statistical record was very good, if not outstanding. He just never managed to get it together to win a lot of tournaments. There are some Yokozunas who are validly promoted at the end of an illustrious career. He qualifies as one of them. However, he is now deteriorating rather rapidly and the end cannot be far away. I hope we now do not see a series of fixed bouts in an attempt to save him.
          Last edited by Kevin S; 21-11-2017, 09:58.


            Kisensato pulled out. Technically, that leaves him with a 4-6 record. Hakuho 10-0. Two of the guys on 7-2 lost, meaning only the fundamentally talentless Okinomi and Hokutofuji are within two wins of the top.


              Those comments Kev posts above are very interesting, as they tally with what I've been wondering (especially as this tournament has gone on) but didn't quite like to voice – how much was Kisenosato's elevation to yokozuna a reward for a solid though unspectacular career, by a sport overeager to end its near two-decade drought of top-tier homegrown stars, which might not otherwise have been justified? And where on earth do he and the Sumo Association go now?

              One of the above comments notes how it seems he got pretty lucky to fall into his eventual first tournament win against a field depleted of top-ranked opposition. The Sumo Assocation then promoted him to yokozuna after just that one win, following a series of runner-up finishes, rather than wait for the more common de facto standard of two consecutive tournament wins. And his history overall suggests that sort of slightly stumbling progress was not an especial outlier:
              [In Novermber 2010] Sumo Association official Takanohana said after the tournament that Kisenosato would be considered for promotion to ōzeki if he won at least 13 bouts in the March 2011 basho, which would give him 33 wins over three tournaments (the usual minimum requirement for ōzeki). However, that tournament never took place due to a match-fixing scandal and in the subsequent 'technical examination' tournament in May he secured a majority of wins only on the final day.
              [Later in 2011,] with 22 wins in the last two tournaments, he was once again a candidate for promotion to ōzeki in November. However, with a record of 10–4 going into his match on the final day, he lost to Kotoshōgiku. This gave him a record of "only" 32 wins in three tournaments, below the Association's loosely defined ōzeki promotion standard of 33, but the Sumo Association had already indicated before the match took place that he had done enough to earn promotion.
              He had long been regarded as one of the most promising Japanese sumo wrestlers, but prior to reaching ōzeki there had been concern expressed about his seeming inability to hold down a san'yaku position and a possible lack of fighting spirit.
              Kisenosato finished out 2016 with the most victories in a calendar year getting 69 wins. Harumafuji had 67 wins, and Hakuho (who sat out one tournament) had 62 wins. He is the first wrestler in the modern era of sumo to do this without winning a tournament
              [In January 2017,] on Day 14, Kisenosato secured his much-anticipated first career top-division championship with a win over Ichinojō and a Hakuhō loss against Takanoiwa. His first championship came in his 31st tournament as an ōzeki, longer than any other ōzeki since the Showa era began in 1926.
              He did then win his first basho after his elevation (13-2 + playoff), but his record since now reads 6-5-ret, 2-4-ret, sat out, 4-6-ret. Either he ends up forced into early retirement soon after having done almost nothing as Japan's first yokozuna in years, or struggles on in reduced circumstances that generally wouldn't be seen fitting of his position. In either case, the Sumo Association seems to end up with egg on its face.


                Kisenosato's 5 kinboshi (Yokozuna losses to megashira opponents) was apparently a post-war record. The buzz apparently is that next basho he finishes with 10 wins or he must retires. No more chances from the Sumo federation.

                Mewanwhile, Hakuho lost today in controversial fashion - he pulled up after the start, thinking it was a matta (false start), which it wasn't. His opponent proceeded to blast him out of the dohyo (something similar happened to Harumafuji in September). He was...not graceful about it Anyways, he's now 10-1, and with Okunomi and Hokutofuji both winning, they're only one match behind at 9-2 and there's at least the possibility of an upset again.

                Meanwhile: Mitakeumi (7-4) is putting together a decent tournament and he's got an outside shot at moving up to Ozeki and Tamawashi (8-3) is now kachikoshi (8 wins, hence assured of a winning record) and will move back to Komusubi for sure, possibly even up to Sekiwake again if he stays hot.


                  no video yet but it's over on day 14. Hokutofuji and Okonomi both lose to go 11-3, Hakuho wins to go 13-1 to take yusho #40.


                    Ok, so obviously Hakuho won, but there's now an interesting set of decisions facing the Sumo federation before the next basho.

                    At Yokozuna: can Kisenosato and Kakuryuu come back? Will Harumafuji be expelled? There is a scenario where only one Yokozuna remains come January.

                    At Ozeki. This is fixed. Only Goeido and Takayasu will line up as Ozeki next time. Mitakeumi has had three winning records in a row at Sekiwake, but they have all been 8-7 or 9-6, not enough for promotion.

                    At Sekiwake. Yoshikaze went 6-9 which means he's relegated, probably right down to Megashira #1. Komusbi Onosho managed to rebound from his terrible start to end 8-7. normally, that wouldn;t be enough to force your way up into Sekiwake, but with an empty spot and a requirement that there be at least two sekiwake, I think they give it to him.

                    At Komusibi. Except. Both the #1 Megashiras (Tamawashi and Takakeiko) had solid 11-4 bashos. *Conceivably* that pushes one of them - presumably the marginally higher-ranked Tamawashi - into Sekiwake ahead of Onosho. The likeliest scenario though is Onosho promoted, Kotoshogiku relegated (this is a certainty) and T'washi and T'keiko as the two Komusubi. There is also a good possibility they add a third Komusubi position to accomodate Hokutofuji, who compiled an 11-4 from the #3 megashira position.

                    In the top megashiara positions: Yoshikaze (demoted from Sekiwake) and Ichinojo (10-5) probably take the #1 spots. After that, who knows. Chiyotaryu probably should be demoted from M2 with a losing record but not obvious anyone did enough to take his place. Tochinoshin and Arawashi should make it at least to M3.


                      Good coverage of the Haramafuji saga here and here on the Tachiai blog. TL:dr, he's a goner. Retirement announcement coming today apparently. And the yokozuna committee is also seriously pissed off with Hakuho's post-basho speech, which I thought was pretty great.


                        What did Hakuho say, AG...??

                        Harumafuji's retirement is among the top stories on BBC Sport right now: Japanese sumo star Harumafuji retires after 'violent assault'


                          With wonderful BBC literacy then captioning the picture correctly with 'Mongolian' rather than 'Japanese'.


                            Report from Asahi Shimbun's English edition


                              Thanks ursus. It's a fine line to tread when you're a yokozuna – I suppose many would say Hakuho should just have kept his mouth entirely shut.

                              Mind, the reporting in that article is woolly enough to make it hard to piece together exactly what he did say and do, which doesn't help any. Clicking through to their recent couple of articles about Harumafuji suggests this isn't a one-off: they make only vague mentions of him "beating" Takanoiwa, but to leave out all reference to him fracturing the latter's skull with a bottle makes it sound like a much less serious incident, mendaciously so.


                                Originally posted by Kevin S View Post
                                With wonderful BBC literacy then captioning the picture correctly with 'Mongolian' rather than 'Japanese'.
                                Good point Kev, I hadn't even picked up on the contradictory nature of that. I can only assume the editorial policy is to append "Japanese" to "sumo" in the headline under the impression the casual reader won't be able to remember what 'sumo' is without that modifier, regardless of the fact it's actually a Mongolian sumo star being talked about.

                                Or they may just be trying to get across the fact that he competes in Japanese sumo, like a foreign player in the Premier League competes in English football. Even though there is no non-Japanese sumo. So the modifier is simultaneously both redundant and incorrect, gloriously.
                                Last edited by Various Artist; 29-11-2017, 15:06.


                                  NHK World describing Harumafuji as having “resigned in disgrace”. Their standard description of his assault is that Harumafuji hit Takanoiwa over the head with a beer bottle. Today’s announcement included footage of the resulting stitches.


                                    There is sumo outside of Japan (notably in Mongolia and Bulgaria), it just isn’t professional.


                                      Hakuho's speech/interview is here with some somewhat choppy translation. To really appreciate this performance, you have to understand how unbelievably shitty sumo interviews are. The fact that he actually cracked a joke is a big deal.

                                      The federation got pissed because i) he made a plea for Harumafuji (who the fuck is he to ask for that?) and ii) because he got the whole stadium to do a "banzai" with him, when traditionally this is only done with the yokozuna's "entourage". Implicitly he was saying "all fans are part of my entourage", which the fans loved but I suspect the federation saw as an offensively populist gesture.


                                        Good Japan Times review of Haramafuji's career.


                                          NHK World reporting today on an interim report from the Japan Sumo Association which says Harumafuji hit Takanoiwa with a karaoke remote control. No mention of a beer bottle.



                                            Hatsu Basho Time!

                                            Kisenosato and Kakuryuu are both starting. They are saying it is absolutely make or break for the latter but not the former which is horseshit and nippo-centric but there we have it. news from pre-basho warm up is Kisensato is not looking great.

                                            The schedule for the first two days of matches has been released. Pretty much everyone else is in. If the guys who got promoted last time keep up their good form, I think this could be a heck of a basho. Still, lots of speculation that since we're down to 2 Ozeki and 3 Yokozuna (maybe just 1 very soon), that room for promotion is opening up, meaning that guys who get on a run in early 2018 could be in position for promotion. The Tachiai blog has a good rundown on what it calls the "Tadpole Army" (i.e. the likeliest candidates for promotion) here. I actually think it;s missing an obvious candidate in Ichinojo. The man is a fucking boulder. And his fight with Goeido tomorrow should be the match of the day (though Onosho v. Hakuho could be tasty.)
                                            Last edited by Anton Gramscescu; 13-01-2018, 21:30.


                                              Thanks for posting. This thread has got me right back into Sumo...


                                                Day 1 is over. Mostly predictable results, including Kisenosato's loss. I thought he looked weak. He may be done. Kakuryuu looked good though, as did Mitakeumi.

                                                The Hakuho v. Onosho fight was interesting. After the last basho, the Sumo authorities told Hakuho to stop slapping his opponent off the taichai. He didn't always do it, but it was a tool in his repertoire, and they told him it was un-Yokozuna like. Watch Hakuho's hands at the start of the fight - he doesn't quite know what to do with them now that he's not allowed that move. Onosho gets the better of Hakuho in the initial exchange but since Onosho is temperametally incapable of not acting like a bull in a china shop, Hakuho wins more or less by acting like a Matador and sweeping him aside.


                                                  No time to link videos but things are kind of kicking off after 4 days. Kakuryuu, Goeido, Mitakeumi and Tochinoshin (who finally looks healthy) are all 4-0. Hakuho has lost his last two and is now 2-2 - genuinely he has no idea what to do with his hands: if you can watch the Day 4 fight do so because his tachiai (start) is just wildly inept, like I've never seen before from him. Kisenosato 1-3 and looks terrible. Stick a fork in him.

                                                  This is going to be a *really* interesting basho.


                                                    It was Goeido v Tochinosin today. I won't give away the result.

                                                    Also, Hakuho's match was 'fusen'?

                                                    And Kisenosato has lost again.