NHK & the Ozumo
A visit to NHK, years of watching the show and the opinions of our Ed-in-Chief
Hanging With the Rikishi
Barbara Ann Klein
Barbara Ann Klein recounts her experiences with the “boys” in a pictorial diary series
Sumo Exhibit at the
Barbara Ann Klein
SFM’s Editor takes in the exhibit celebrating 80 years of the Japan Sumo Association at this famous Tokyo museum
What a collection – All-Japan Sumo Tournament, Hakkaku-
beya visit and sumo exhibits at the Edo-Tokyo Museum
Kyushu Basho Review
Lon gives us his Kyushu Basho summary, along with the henka sightings results, and his take on the year in brief
Lower Division Rikishi
Mikko Mattila covers lower division ups and downs
Eric explains all you need to know and then some about the Kokugikan building – the mecca of sumo
John’s unique bimonthly view of news from outside the dohyo
For the lowdown on Guess the Kotomitsuki – baby of SFM’s John Gunning
Todd’s bimonthly focus on 3 of the most interesting sumo sites today
In the second of our cartoon bonanzas, sit back and enjoy ST’s offerings
Let’s Hear From You
What was it that made you a sumo fan? American Todd Defoe tells all
See what SFM readers had to say since our last issue
Answer the Qs and win yourself next basho’s banzuke.
And we have already heard the stories about the Taka-Waka playoff, where Takanohana purportedly gave one up for the brother. No Mark, I don’t think you really want to see this kind of situation develop.
I would also like to remind you that another yokozuna, Musashimaru, was similarly surrounded by a bevy of high-level rikishi. Is your statement, “History shows that these two yokozuna held the Emperor’s Cup aloft fewer times, but against more consistently talented opposition than Takanohana ever faced.” a summary dismissal of Dejima, Musoyama and Miyabiyama as inferior rikishi? If so, I believe you are wrong. If not, then perhaps you would agree that your statement is patently false. Takanohana faced similarly skilled rikishi and consistently beat them. Facing the other ‘Takas’ would not have made a significant difference in his win-loss record.
And then there is financial liability. How many oyakata would be willing to put their meal tickets against each other in live competition? Having Randy Johnson pitching batting practice to Alex Rodriguez is one thing, but would George Steinbrenner allow them to face each other in a real game situation? I think not. It just
doesn’t make sense to force the oyakata to put his heya members against one another. If you do, you simply add more fuel to the fire of my first argument.
Mark, I am not so much in favor of preserving tradition for tradition’s sake. I just believe that the hazards of making this change far outweigh the benefits.
MB: Interesting comments and assumptions above, Emmett, but not without flaws. The most significant dead-end down which you are currently driving is basing your entire belief and subsequent argument on “rumors and innuendo”, whilst supposedly seeing each and every man who has been or will ever be a rikishi as incapable of competing fairly and on an even dohyo if they come up against a heya mate.
Don’t get me wrong, Takanohana was a marvelous yokozuna and I in no way dismiss the Musashigawa men he faced, as all are (were) talented rikishi. Yet, I must say that comparing the three rikishi you name above to Takanonami and Takatoriki is numerically mystifying. NB: Takanonami won two yusho as an ozeki (both times beating Takanohana in playoffs, thereby refusing to lie down) in a career that saw him hold the rank for over 35 basho,
facing and defeating Akebono and Musashimaru numerous times. Musoyama held the rank 11 basho fewer and won no Emperor’s Cups at that rank – his lone yusho came as a sekiwake, albeit a very gifted sekiwake at the time.
To this end, as the three Musashigawa rikishi you name have secured just two yusho between them and Takanonami alone equals this, you yourself have proven that Takanohana did, in not facing an ozeki of the caliber of Takanonami and a man with Takatoriki’s capability (one yusho / 15 time sekiwake / 10 time kanto-sho recipient), have an easier ride than Akebono and Musashimaru.
That does venture off-topic somewhat but back on – your attempt to say intra-heya bouts could not succeed by comparing the sport of individual participants to the team sport of U.S. Major League Baseball is confusing at best. Baseball stateside is an activity with documented and ongoing records of substance abuse as well as of bribery. Would I thus tar every single baseball player in the U.S. with the ‘Rose brush’ or accuse them of steroid abuse to secure unfair advantage? That individuals could behave so is