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Why Sumo Wrestling is a bit more interesting than usual this week...

That's a huuuuuge question. And i don't have much time... Sumo is Japan's national sport, it's always had good support from older generations but it's been getting more and more popular over the past decade.

The wrestlers live pretty spartan lives, but i think the top ones make pretty good money. Doesn't change much about their daily lives.. which are made up of a solid eat>train>eat>train etc.

After almost every top division fight you'll see the winners accepting a stack of envelopes, they'll full of cash... The best wrestlers in the most important fights look like they win a solid million yen cash or so, per win.. a million yen is around 10k usd

EDIT: i calculated this by guessing that the envelopes are full of 10,000 yen notes, and knowing that 100 of those is a million, some of those stacks look a heck of a lot thicker than a 100 sheet block of paper. I could be entirely wrong.
Baseball is America's national sport, and it has been rocked with cheating scandals throughout it's history. I find that to be dishonorable.

To me... cheating is very low. to put it ever so lightly. I View cheating and cheaters in the same way that Tschumi views Terunofuji... perhaps my assessment was wrong... maybe what Terunofuji did in that match could be considered a kind of cheating.

I wonder, has Sumo ever had any notable cheating scandals? I am not trying to be hostile in asking this, I ask only out of curiosity. Because I hope that they haven't. I don't like it when cheating sullies the waters of anything.
 

Tschumi

Member
Baseball is America's national sport, and it has been rocked with cheating scandals throughout it's history. I find that to be dishonorable.

To me... cheating is very low. to put it ever so lightly. I View cheating and cheaters in the same way that Tschumi views Terunofuji... perhaps my assessment was wrong... maybe what Terunofuji did in that match could be considered a kind of cheating.

I wonder, has Sumo ever had any notable cheating scandals? I am not trying to be hostile in asking this, I ask only out of curiosity. Because I hope that they haven't. I don't like it when cheating sullies the waters of anything.
I'm honestly not sure, I'll have a quick look, i rather suspect steroids but, yeah hold on...

Oh that's right, they had match fixing for a very long time.
The hierarchical structure of the sport, in which a minority of top-ranked wrestlers have great advantages in salary, privileges and status over the lower-ranked wrestlers that make up the majority of sumo participants, may have contributed to the use of match-fixing in order to prolong careers for top-ranked wrestlers and assist in the distribution of promotions.
In 2011 it was confirmed, lot of rikishi got kicked out, but it might still be around because beyond criminal intent, some sumo seem to feel duty bound to "go easy" on particularly deserving rikishi
 
I'm honestly not sure, I'll have a quick look, i rather suspect steroids but, yeah hold on...

Oh that's right, they had match fixing for a very long time.

In 2011 it was confirmed, lot of rikishi got kicked out, but it might still be around because beyond criminal intent, some sumo seem to feel duty bound to "go easy" on particularly deserving rikishi
I'm sorry to hear that. I suppose it's simply inevitable when sports and eh hem... big (te he)... money is on the line. People everywhere have to eat. Speaking of, you mention their spartan eat train sleep lifestyle...

How much do they eat? How much of them is muscle and how much is fat? Are the ladies really into the sumo dudes in japan? Should I start eating up? ;) ... As the national sport I suppose they are famous in their spheres of influence, there are regional favorites, regional squads all that kind of thing? Do they do alot of commercializing and merchandising and such?

I sort of feel in america sports in general are more about the merchandising, with probably hockey being the least egregious offender. Or maybe i'm just becoming too much of a grump.
 
Sumo is dumb af

Meanwhile

Dj Khaled Yes GIF by VH1
 

Tschumi

Member
I'm sorry to hear that. I suppose it's simply inevitable when sports and eh hem... big (te he)... money is on the line. People everywhere have to eat. Speaking of, you mention their spartan eat train sleep lifestyle...

How much do they eat? How much of them is muscle and how much is fat? Are the ladies really into the sumo dudes in japan? Should I start eating up? ;) ... As the national sport I suppose they are famous in their spheres of influence, there are regional favorites, regional squads all that kind of thing? Do they do alot of commercializing and merchandising and such?

I sort of feel in america sports in general are more about the merchandising, with probably hockey being the least egregious offender. Or maybe i'm just becoming too much of a grump.
Man you've asked a slew of awesome questions.

First off I reiterate that going back a few years in Jason's All Sumo Channel's playlists and watching an entire basho's highlights is a good way to learn a lot, he makes a lot of side observations and stuff throughout a tournament.

They eat shitloads of distinctive food, there are restaurants here which sell sumo food, they're heavy on the rice lol. The idea is that eat/train/eat/train in ways that are known to build a layer of fat around the outside of their bodies without making their organs super fatty or anything. It would be an awfully uncomfortable lifestyle, you can find videos of their training sessions.. lots of big men in small sweaty rooms doing infinite variations on squatting and lunging while trying to push the other guys around the clay training floor.

They do tend to have pretty mainstream "pretty" wives, but most women think they're cute in a similar way to babies. It's funny to them.

Rikishi are known to come from certain prefectures, and get recognised for things like being the first rikishi from such and such to do whatever, but the "groups" are defined by stables.. these are approximations of teams, they live and train together, usually - if not exclusively - under a former rikishi stable owner. Every now and then these owners have a bit of influence on things, a recent example being a yokozuna (who i liked a LOT) getting kicked out based on dubious accusations from a stable master.

Re: your position on cheating, your similie about my beef with Terunofuji was perfect haha, i rather feel the same way. Very, very hard for me to get excited about dominance in Le Tour de France, for example.. in this case, i think my distance from the sport for most of my life allows me to kind of just appreciate it one bout at a time.
 
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Tschumi

Member
Op did you saw the sumo anime?! I loved that.
I have not, but I'm certainly interested in it!

Amazing OP. Wanted to give my props. I watched the vids, and while I still can't get into sumo, you got me to care about this event. Thanks.
Utterly stoked to read that man, thanks hugely <3 like i said to Punished Miku that's probably Mission Accomplished for this thread :)
 

Tschumi

Member
If you like anime about spokon\martial arts you are gonna love it.
I don't actually have the largest stable of anime tastes, i think the closest thing to this that I've watched was Ping Pong by Yuasa Masaaki... He's like the only director i know lol.. but it looks like it's got some other more expressionist flavours in it that could be pretty evocative.. stoked!
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
I don't actually have the largest stable of anime tastes, i think the closest thing to this that I've watched was Ping Pong by Yuasa Masaaki... He's like the only director i know lol.. but it looks like it's got some other more expressionist flavours in it that could be pretty evocative.. stoked!
I loved ping pong the animation to death but this one is comepletely different, it's basically sport shonen but without irrealistic super moves, every move is probably something used in real sumo.

Also please watch the damn thing with jap VA.
 
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Romulus

Member
You know people try and downplay these guys because they're fat, but that's a different type of strength you can't get from working out. Any regular joe would get fucking tossed by one of these dudes fast, and not just because bigger is better. Judo, bjj, wrestling, sumo, promotes "fight strength." You can't get that anywhere else but fighting all the time.
 
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Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
The problem is some sumo fights are very quick and is tough for the uninitiated to catch what happened and why.

I follow from time to time, mostly western rikishi (like tochinosin) and while it’s fascinating sometimes I can’t even understand what happened.
 

BigBooper

Gold Member
I watched a few of the linked videos this weekend. I don't know if I'll follow, but glad I watched anyways.

If a hulk of a man that had no experience tried to enter, say peak Brock Lesner or The Mountain, would they stand a chance?
 

Tschumi

Member
I watched a few of the linked videos this weekend. I don't know if I'll follow, but glad I watched anyways.

If a hulk of a man that had no experience tried to enter, say peak Brock Lesner or The Mountain, would they stand a chance?
I don't think so, there's so much subtlety that i think the sumo would neutralize and counter anything they tried.. if they went for a trip the sumo would just turn it into a flip lol
 

Tschumi

Member
HAKUHO AND TERUNOFUJI WILL FACE OFF FOR THE YUSHO IN THE NEAR FUTURE ermagerd

FOR THE RECORD, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WATCH THIS FREE ON THE NHK WORLD WEBSITE

HAKUHO WINS!!!

Savage AF, Hakuho ruined Terunofuji. Probably injured him too.

A really unconventional fight, after the longest stare-contest you'll ever see Hakuho completely ignored the battle charge at the start and feinted a face-grab before bringing his right elbow up in a crushing blow to Terunofuji's face that looks to have done something that's causing some bruising in the immediate aftermath to the fight. He then fought with rabid intensity, taking full-blooded swipe/punches at Terunofuji, the enraged Ozeki gave as good as he got but Hakuho then got inside his opponent's distracted guard for a very firm belt hold. Terunofuji juked fantastically to break free, but lost his balance, and with a swift triip Hakuho had Terunofuji off-balance. He then more or less yanked Terunofuji's elbow out of it's SOCKET and twisted him to the floor before unleashing a full throated bellow - rarely, rarely seen in sumo - and row-yer-boat style fist pump.

A unique fight, what a fucking bout, you won't see another like that any time soon. Equal parts viciousness, taunt, misdirection, clear thinking on the part of Hakuho, execution and savage joy. I'm pumped, I'm pumped!

Terunofuji meanwhile may have traded in his yusho heroics for a dislocated elbow, or something along those lines, as the fight ended when Hakuho got his bandaged arm in a lock and threw him to the ground via that hold alone.




EDIT: I think Terunofuji will be Yokozuna in September, so you know, congrats to him. See if his elbow doesn't bother him too much. Still don't like the buster.
 
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Rat Rage

Member
HAKUHO AND TERUNOFUJI WILL FACE OFF FOR THE YUSHO IN THE NEAR FUTURE ermagerd

FOR THE RECORD, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WATCH THIS FREE ON THE NHK WORLD WEBSITE

HAKUHO WINS!!!

Savage AF, Hakuho ruined Terunofuji. Probably injured him too.

A really unconventional fight, after the longest stare-contest you'll ever see Hakuho completely ignored the battle charge at the start and feinted a face-grab before bringing his right elbow up in a crushing blow to Terunofuji's face that looks to have done something that's causing some bruising in the immediate aftermath to the fight. He then fought with rabid intensity, taking full-blooded swipe/punches at Terunofuji, the enraged Ozeki gave as good as he got but Hakuho then got inside his opponent's distracted guard for a very firm belt hold. Terunofuji juked fantastically to break free, but lost his balance, and with a swift triip Hakuho had Terunofuji off-balance. He then more or less yanked Terunofuji's elbow out of it's SOCKET and twisted him to the floor before unleashing a full throated bellow - rarely, rarely seen in sumo - and row-yer-boat style fist pump.

A unique fight, what a fucking bout, you won't see another like that any time soon. Equal parts viciousness, taunt, misdirection, clear thinking on the part of Hakuho, execution and savage joy. I'm pumped, I'm pumped!

Terunofuji meanwhile may have traded in his yusho heroics for a dislocated elbow, or something along those lines, as the fight ended when Hakuho got his bandaged arm in a lock and threw him to the ground via that hold alone.




EDIT: I think Terunofuji will be Yokozuna in September, so you know, congrats to him. See if his elbow doesn't bother him too much. Still don't like the buster.

So Hakuho and Terunofuji are the best sumo wrestlers right now? What does it take to become a Yokozuna? Isn't Hakuho the only Yokozuna right now?
 

Tschumi

Member
So Hakuho and Terunofuji are the best sumo wrestlers right now? What does it take to become a Yokozuna? Isn't Hakuho the only Yokozuna right now?
At the moment you'd have to say yes, they are the top two Rikishi in Sumo. Though Terunofuji's arm apparently just got pulled from its socket so he might already be spoiled Yokozuna goods, which would be a shame even I would say.

Edit: You asked what it takes to become a Yokozuna. It's not set in stone, but generally you need to win two basho in a row whilst an Ozeki, I believe. These things are decided by committee, Kisenosato got Yokozuna a few years ago despite only winning one basho, because in place of two consecutive basho they took into account his getting many wins over multiple basho as well as that one tournament win. Phew, mouthful.

<what follows is elaborations on that initial point :p >

Hakuho is the GOAT, but he hasn't participated fully in a tournament for the last 6 meets - he's been recovering from knee surgery, among other things, it seems - and during this Hakuho-less vacuum Terunofuji (and a few other lucky Rikishi) have won basho. In fact, Terunofuji won the three basho before this one - Yokozuna-level domination, no doubt.

A short while ago it wasn't this straight forward, another Yokozuna named Kakuryu retired before this tournament.. He was a pretty meh Yokozuna, he barely ever won anything, but he technically had it in him to dominate his peers. A few years back a longtime Japanese Ozeki named Kisenosato got to Yokozuna, and he had a fantastic mix of poise and weight, but he had to retire injured within a year of finally attaining that rank. My favoutire Yokozuna, Harumafuji, was forced to retire a few years ago on the back of possibly baseless claims that he fractured the skull of another rikishi in a drunken fight... It was later suggested that that Rikishi's skull already had fractures in it, but Harumafuji got the bum's rush anyway.

Harumafuji had a great mix of rattlesnake speed, the kind of technique and mastery of finishing moves that you see in the Enho video of my OP, size and strength... He was such a maverick that sometimes he got undone in pretty annoying ways, but yeah I would say he was the closest we had to a Hakuho peer while he was around.

 
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Tschumi

Member
Can you have draws/stalemates?
No, everything that can't conclusively be decided after video review and judge chatter gets resolved with a do-over, even if two or more rikishi end with an identical record they have a series of playoff bouts on the same day
 
Because of this thread I've been watching highlights. It's a pretty intense sport. I've seen a few matches where the wrestlers get bloody.

The reason I asked is that sometimes it's not clear who won because both fighters go out of the ring or fall together.
 

Tschumi

Member
Because of this thread I've been watching highlights. It's a pretty intense sport. I've seen a few matches where the wrestlers get bloody.

The reason I asked is that sometimes it's not clear who won because both fighters go out of the ring or fall together.
I'm really glad you're looking into it. Yoshikaze, a rikishi who is retired now, seemed to break his nose every basho lol, always good for a bit of claret...

... If it's ever really too close to call, you'll see a "mono'i", which is when the judges who usually sit around the ring stand in unison and climb onto the dohyo to discuss, watch video reviews, etc, then they'll either call it one way or call for a do-over.. if there's no mono'i it's probably not as close a call as you reckon
 
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Probably not. Probably just because of my layman's understanding. You mentioned that there are recognized finishing moves. What I'm seeing is probably a recognized take down, but since I'm still new to the sport and both are going down it looks close when it really isnt
 

Tschumi

Member
Probably not. Probably just because of my layman's understanding. You mentioned that there are recognized finishing moves. What I'm seeing is probably a recognized take down, but since I'm still new to the sport and both are going down it looks close when it really isnt
There are 82 'finishing moves', they're called Kimarite (earlier in this thread i said there were 'over 100', oops) they incorporate judo throws, too.



This is a cheesy video from the 90s, feature 'Demon Kogure', a guy who's still cavorting in that makeup now as a grandpa lol

 

Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
Btw, bit sad that Tochinoshin ended 7-8 he was so close to kachi-koshi. He’s never getting back to Ōzeki I fear.
 
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Tschumi

Member
Btw, bit sad that Tochinoshin ended 7-8 he was so close to kachi-koshi. He’s never getting back to Ōzeki I fear.
He's been around for a long time, and yeah like I said earlier in the thread his knee dictates his joys and sorrows... If his knee gets better he might have another golden run, but yeah he might just fizzle out into lower divisions and disappear.. I'd rather be Tochi than Aoyama, that guy's been picking around the lower ranks of the top division for years never doing too much... Hardly a good payoff for the nicest pair of jugs this side of california :p

Yeah that guy was legit, he was in sumo for many years actually, made a real fist of doing it that way... Enho is today's answer perhaps
 

Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
He's been around for a long time, and yeah like I said earlier in the thread his knee dictates his joys and sorrows... If his knee gets better he might have another golden run, but yeah he might just fizzle out into lower divisions and disappear.. I'd rather be Tochi than Aoyama, that guy's been picking around the lower ranks of the top division for years never doing too much... Hardly a good payoff for the nicest pair of jugs this side of california :p


Yeah that guy was legit, he was in sumo for many years actually, made a real fist of doing it that way... Enho is today's answer perhaps

Seeing so many rikishi with injured knees, I often wonder about whether a weight cap would be beneficial - never going to happen tho.
 

Tschumi

Member
Seeing so many rikishi with injured knees, I often wonder about whether a weight cap would be beneficial - never going to happen tho.
you could be right, i think it might also have to do with how damn high the platform is, among other factors... a huge factor is how they don't get injury breaks - they're punished for missing meets... 2 months is just not enough recovery time, and usually they either train for those entire 2 months despite injury or at least appear in charity tournaments

join me in hoping Takakeisho comes back from his injuries strong, look him up, since his debut he got to Ozeki really quickly... might be a future japanese yokozuna EDIT: He even won a yusho last year I think
 
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Tschumi

Member

That's the yuusho Takakeisho won

EDIT: minnasan, everyone who sees this, this Basho is an interesting one, it's the Basho in which Yokozuna Kisenosato decided to retire, he'd been battling debilitating injuries since he fell off the dohyo on the third-last day of his FIRST basho as a yokozuna - poor guy - and after losing a lot of matchups that should have been easy for a Yokozuna he would announce his retirement shortly hereafter...

You also see Tochinoshin during his downfall, he's injured his knee again and he's a shadow of his dominant self of earlier in the year.

Finally, yes, you get to see Takakeisho - my pick for a future Japanese Yokozuna, if he heals up from current injuries. He's a fascinating rikishi, he's got a preternatural sense for counters and redirecting opponent's attacks... His opening day win features a shockingly on-point shoulder bump to send a higher ranked wrestler to the ground like a boss.
 
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We went to see it a few years ago when we were in Japan and it is an amazing experience live.

I can't remember who was fighting who but Hakuho just absolutely beasted someone as I can remember Googling all about him afterwards.
 

dave_d

Member
Makes me want to watch Sumo again. Admittedly I first started watching when my local PBS station had it with a guy we called "Super Fats!", aka Konishiki. (Not sure if he really did or didn't deserve to be a Yokozuna.) Come to think of the last time I was watching it they had a guy named Toki who basically looked like Sumo Elvis.
 

Pretty interesting documentary I just watched, goes a little bit into the background of sumo, training, food, etc. They even have simps!

Is there a schedule for the upcoming matches/tournaments? The one thing I hate about pretty much EVERY MMA/boxing promotion is it's nearly impossible to find actual fight times for prelims. Almost every website lists just the main card starting time. Then you gotta find some random youtube "Journalist" who can confirm fight start times. Is that an issue with these tournaments? Am I gonna miss like 8 fights because the Japanese version of Dana White cucked the promotion so they'd stop using Facebook for their prelims and not Fightpass? *cough* LFA 112
 

Tschumi

Member

Pretty interesting documentary I just watched, goes a little bit into the background of sumo, training, food, etc. They even have simps!

Is there a schedule for the upcoming matches/tournaments? The one thing I hate about pretty much EVERY MMA/boxing promotion is it's nearly impossible to find actual fight times for prelims. Almost every website lists just the main card starting time. Then you gotta find some random youtube "Journalist" who can confirm fight start times. Is that an issue with these tournaments? Am I gonna miss like 8 fights because the Japanese version of Dana White cucked the promotion so they'd stop using Facebook for their prelims and not Fightpass? *cough* LFA 112
They happen every 2 months like clockwork, they are in Tokyo - the 'spiritual home' - 3 times a year and Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka the other times. This year is a bit different, the next basho is in September because of the Olympics. But yeah, u get a fix every 2 months and it always seems to come just a mite earlier than you think lol

The youtube channel i keep spruking, jason's all sumo channel, has playlists going back a decade of every basho... He doesn't give exhaustive highlights, he typically does 4 or 5 fights a day - the bigger fights to the end of the day - but it's still good. Every now and then he's busy and he just puts up the NHK extended highlights that play in the am the next day, and these ones give u a look at the wider roster duking it out in bite-sized format.

EDIT: that was a tight documentary, I hadn't seen it, lol that 15 year old girl with 'mitakeumi's logo... mitakeumi is my favourite too haha, young gun of great consistency
 
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Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
They happen every 2 months like clockwork, they are in Tokyo - the 'spiritual home' - 3 times a year and Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka the other times. This year is a bit different, the next basho is in September because of the Olympics. But yeah, u get a fix every 2 months and it always seems to come just a mite earlier than you think lol

The youtube channel i keep spruking, jason's all sumo channel, has playlists going back a decade of every basho... He doesn't give exhaustive highlights, he typically does 4 or 5 fights a day - the bigger fights to the end of the day - but it's still good. Every now and then he's busy and he just puts up the NHK extended highlights that play in the am the next day, and these ones give u a look at the wider roster duking it out in bite-sized format.

EDIT: that was a tight documentary, I hadn't seen it, lol that 15 year old girl with 'mitakeumi's logo... mitakeumi is my favourite too haha, young gun of great consistency

Btw Jason is stopping uploading for awhile. Apparently his dad is in poor condition and he flew to be by his side.
 

Tschumi

Member
Btw Jason is stopping uploading for awhile. Apparently his dad is in poor condition and he flew to be by his side.
Yeah so I heard.. He was around to do the first week and a bit of this most recent basho... i think he'll be back for the next one... though u know come to think of it covid's so unpredictable.. maybe i'll offer to send him the footage via MEGA or something so he can keep going :p
 

Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
Yeah so I heard.. He was around to do the first week and a bit of this most recent basho... i think he'll be back for the next one... though u know come to think of it covid's so unpredictable.. maybe i'll offer to send him the footage via MEGA or something so he can keep going :p

That’d be incredible!
 
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