Thursday, August 21, 2008

大相撲名古屋場所 Sumo! The Nagoya Basho

Well, in my profile I have written that I am Sumo fan and that is true. So let me make a few comments on the recent Nagoya Basho.


OK, there are a few bright spots, but the first thing that jumps to mind is Yokozuna Asashoryu. 2 losses in the first two bouts and he is out. From rumors that I have read in the media, He hardly practiced at all. He seems to have been much more concerned that the summer tour be held in Mongolia, than his performance at the Nagoya Basho. I really think he should have practiced more instead of worrying about a summer tour in Mongolia. He should think about that after the Basho.

名古屋場所でいい事がいくつか有るけれど、まず横綱朝青龍を思い出します。最初の五つの取り組みで2回負けましたか?それで休場?新聞で読んだ噂で、あまり稽古をしなかったそうです。 名古屋場所よりモンゴル夏巡業の方に集中したみたいです。モンゴルの夏巡業を考えるより、まず名古屋場所の為に一生懸命稽古をした方がよかったと思います。場所が終わってから、夏巡業を考えるべきです。

To be a great Rikishi, it does not only mean that you have enough power to overwhelm your opponents. You must have dignity and bearing. In Japanese we call this Hinkaku. And here Asashoryu falls short.


Hakuho on the other hand, has the bearing of a great Yokozuna. He achieved Zenshyo, or a complete string of wins for the tournament. And his wins were all quality Sumo. One thing I like about Hakuho, once he has pushed his opponent over the Tawara, if he is able to, he will stop his opponents fall. That is extremely polite, and shows that he truly has Hinkaku. I think he is on the way to becoming a great Yokozuna.


Another example of awful Sumo was Russian born Wakanoho. When my wife and I watch Sumo on NHK, we listen to the English commentary. And the English commentators call him “Waka-no-no” for his style of Sumo. I remember his bout with Ama. In my mind, he did not beat Ama by any kind of Sumo. He merely fell on top of Ama, and got lucky. He does way too much Henka. And what is all that hand dance he does at the Tachi-ai? He has way too much ego, he should do much more basic practice. Another Rikishi famous for his Henka, Hokutoriki, shared the same dismal performance of 4 wins and 11 losses with Wakanoho. While Hokutoriki recently is not doing Henka, in the past he did it too much, so he never developed strong Sumo technique.


Breaking News: Russian born Sumo Rikishi Wakanoho is presently being questioned by police, over the fact that he was found to be in possession of marijuana. It is highly likely that he will expelled from Sumo, and deported from Japan. I understand that his Oyakata let him live alone outside the Beya. This is a mistake. I am not at all against Rikishi from other countries doing Sumo, I think it is great. But they must follow all the rules, and live in the same way as any other Rikishi. I do not think foreign Rikishi should have any special treatment. Special treatment only encourages egoism, and does not build great Rikishi.

ニュース速報:ロシア生まれ力士若ノ鵬は警視庁で大麻を手に入った事について質問されています。相撲から追い出されて、日本から永久追放に成るでしょう。親方は若ノ鵬の一人生活を許した事をニュースで聞きました。私の考えではこれが間違いです。私は外国人力士が日本の相撲に入る事を、全然反対では有りません。とても素晴しい事と思います。しかし、外国人力士は相撲世界のルールをすべて従って、日本人の力士と同じ生活をするべきです。 特別扱いはだめです。特別扱いで力士はうぬぼれて、立派な力士に育ちません。

Now let us look at the Ozeki. When the Nagoya Basho began, there was speculation that Kotooshu could possibly become a Yokozuna. Well his final result of 9 wins and 6 losses show us that his previous Yusho was, for the time at least, a one-time wonder.


Now Kaio and Chiyotaikai. Kaio’s performance was OK, and Chiyotaikai did get rid of his Kadoban. But I recall that Chiyotaikai did several Henka, and in one bout he lost, I remember him flying over the Tawara like an airplane. These two guys seem to be only able to alternate between Kyujyo and Kadoban, and then to scrape by with a bare minimum Kachi-koshi. Come on guys, maybe it is time to retire.


Kotomitsuki did well with 11 wins and 4 losses, but can he keep it up? The Ozeki are supposed to make life hard for the Yokozuna. But these days the Ozeki seem to be concerned with mere survival.


In the Sanyaku, Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku both ended up with Make-koshi. I think these guys have it in them, but they must find the fire in the belly.


Then we have Ama and Toyonoshima. Here is some excitement. I was particularly impressed by Toyonoshima’s win over Yokozuna Asashoryu. Way to go Toyonoshima! He certain to become Sekiwake, and next Basho we can look at two strong Sekiwake battling it out to become Ozeki.


In the Maegashira ranks, my favorite Rikishi, Homasho did OK at 9 wins and 6 losses, but his last win was by a Henka. That is not quality Sumo. I think he has the ability to get into Sanyaku, but no more Henka please. Toyohibiki got an exciting 10 wins. But I was also very impressed with the quality of Tochinoshin. Even though he only got 8 wins, I think we can expect more of him.


As for most the rest of the guys, well they need to work harder. But really, maybe it is time for some of the Ozeki to retire. This could fire up some of the Maegashira to go for Ozeki and Sanyaku, and make for more exciting Sumo.

他の力士の方にはもっと頑張ってほしいです。しかし、 ベテラン大関は引退する時間です。前頭の力士が大関や三役に成る可能性がはっきり見えたら、 頑張る動機を与えるかも知れません。

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