Jump to content

Sumo - Hatsu Basho (January)


Recommended Posts

  • Paid Members

Never noticed it properly discussed on here, so this might end up on its arse, either way, I thought I’d post it.

I’m a pretty big follower of Sumo Wrestling and have been for years. Watched it as a youngster on Eurosport, and got my head in to it a bit more when I was in Japan in 2006.

I became much more of a fan a couple of years ago and now it’s arguably my main sport passion. 

We’re currently at day of this months Tournament (Basho) and the results so far are pretty crazy to say the least. The Ozeki who won November’s tournament with a record of 13-2 has yet to win a match this month and is 0-4. On top of the the 2 Yokozuna’s are not competing again, this is following formal notice warnings from the Yokozuna Deliberation Council telling them they must compete or it may be suggested they retire. It’s expected that one of them will bow out gracefully and a new sumo will be promoted to Yokozuna ranking. Now really is a great time to get in to Sumo, if you have any interest. So much happening and a bit of a changing of the guard is apparent.

I thought I’d post a basic ‘guide to sumo’ in here. I’ve done an audio version here, along with daily results so far here: SUMO DROP but I thought a text version would be useful for those who are interested in Sumo, and are up for some discussion, but don’t really understand the rules, rankings and divisions. For reference, I only really follow the Makuuchi division, which is basically the premier league. I do occasionally catch up with Juryo, mainly to see who’s in contention for promotion to the main stage.

Divisions
There are several divisions in Sumo wrestling, and the focus of our review shows, will be the top division, the Makuuchi.
Sumo wrestlers start out in the bottom division and based on their win/loss record in each tournament, can be gain a promotion up to the next highest division, until they reach the Makuuchi division.

3402686D-4F54-4881-8443-BD8932AC0045.thumb.png.03a24549f0804de396d7a17f13cb322e.png

Basho Events
The Sumo tournaments are called Basho’s. Each Makuuchi division Basho lasts for 15 days and takes place every other month. Each Sumo (Rikishi) will compete in 1 match each day, for a total of 15 fights. They will be pitted against other Rikishi in the division who are at a similar ranking.
The aim is to finish a 15 day Basho with as many wins as possible. If a Rikishi is victorious and gains more wins than losses by the end of the 15 day Basho, it is considered an overall win. This means they will enter the next Basho event at a higher ranking. If they win several Basho events in a row, they might have the opportunity to be promoted in rank. With that promotion comes a higher pay and higher prestige.

Rankings
When a Rikishi is promoted up to the Makuuchi division, they start at the rank of a Maegashira. The vast majority, typically around 33 Rikishi, will be ranked as a Maegashira when competing in the Makuuchi division. They can however be promoted in rank to elite levels, based on their performances and win/loss records at Basho events. Their overall aim is to reach the highest rank possible and become a Yokozuna.

9D79FAF1-09BD-4147-AF42-8B1FF404E549.thumb.png.6d2c19c3d4e2fc53634a5a7cbf12cf84.png

Glossary
There are far more comprehensive glossary’s available online, but these terms will give you the basic understanding required when watching Sumo.

Basho – the name for a Sumo tournament, short for Honbasho
Dohyō – the name for the ring in which the Sumo’s wrestle
Gyōji – the name for the referee in a Sumo bout
Hakkeyoi – the crazy phrase the referee constantly shouts during a bout, which means “Put some spirit in to it” in order to encourage the Sumo’s to keep fighting
Kinboshi – If a standard Meagashira Sumo defeats a Yokozuna during a bout, they are awarded a Kinboshi gold star, which results in a permanent pay rise, due to beating the highest ranking Sumo
Kinjite – The forbidden, illegal moves in a Sumo bout. This includes, hair pulling, eye gouging, punching, choking and grabbing an opponent’s crotch
Komusubi – 4th highest Sumo ranking
Maegashira – 5th highest Sumo ranking
Makuuchi – the name for the highest division, in which the top 5 ranking groups of Sumo’s wrestle
Matta – name for a false start to a bout, usually because both fists of each Sumo have not touched the floor, which typically leads to the referee restarting the bout
Ozeki – 2nd highest Sumo ranking
Rikishi – the name for all professional Sumo wrestlers
Sanshō – the name for the 3 different prizes awarded to Sumo wrestlers for exceptional bouts of wrestling
Sekiwake – 3rd highest Sumo ranking
Senshūraku – the name for the final day of a Basho
Shimpan – the ringside judges who give ruling over a disputed decision during a bout
Shishō – the name for the master in charge of a Sumo stable
Shonichi – the name for the first day of a Basho
Yokozuna – highest ranking Sumo

Here’s a calendar of the scheduled 2021 Basho events pencilled in. 

E9BBDA30-FF31-4BDE-A601-E7598A9CC6EE.png.9f9ea24fabd3d507a0ec4934f3ffe426.png
 

Anyway, yeah, day 4. What a wild ride it has been so far. Only 3 unbeaten by day 4, all from the general pool of fighters, and out of those yet to win a match, one is an Ozeki who was a contender to become a Yokozuna. Not a chance of that now.

Edited by Kaz Hayashi
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

Nice post Kaz. I used to watch Sumo as a kid too, fascinated me. Id still watch bits and pieces if I knew where to look, i'm generally drawn to any kind of one on one combat/strength sport, i gues nostalgia ties into it. Its why I still love watching Strongman.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

I loved watching sumo on Eurosport as a kid. Was a load of fun. For some reason, though, never kept up the interest. I think it might've been because it seemed so infrequent and irregular as to when it was broadcast here, so I couldn't keep track of when to watch.

I went to Ryogoku when I was living in Tokyo, but only ever as a visitor to the Kokugikan in down-time - sumo tickets, like nearly everything Japanese traditional culture, are ridiculously expensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

For anyone wanting to watch, who haven’t found specific discord chats yet, send me a DM. 
The general issue we currently have is that the NHK hit YouTube uploads with copyright strikes, and pull them in seconds, which is fair enough. However, it means we can’t watch the tournament as it happens each day if you’re based in the West, there isn’t a legitimate means to watch it. Which is a shame. What’s more odd s that they don’t copyright strikes every day, just every other day. Odd.

...

Wow Scotty, that’s mint. But fair enough really. I can see why you made the connection you do. 
 

31 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

I went to Ryogoku when I was living in Tokyo, but only ever as a visitor to the Kokugikan in down-time - sumo tickets, like nearly everything Japanese traditional culture, are ridiculously expensive.

It really is, much cheaper to go to the lover divisions, where they all start, including the likes of John Tenta, who was 7-0 in Jonokuchi division, 7-0 in Jonidan division and 7-0 Sandanme division, unbeaten record. Then was promoted to Makushita division, but quit the sport before competing in his first Basho at that level. Imagine being able to blag a cheap ticket to watch the Jonokuchi and seeing him steamroll everyone.

46 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

Nice post Kaz. I used to watch Sumo as a kid too, fascinated me. Id still watch bits and pieces if I knew where to look, i'm generally drawn to any kind of one on one combat/strength sport, i gues nostalgia ties into it. Its why I still love watching Strongman.

Same here man, still a big fan of strongman. I’ve only seen it in person twice though, the U.K. qualifiers for World in Leeds a few years back. The likes of Big Z, Thor, Felix, Shahlaei, Hall & Holland’s were spread across both. Great fun, and still obviously mint to watch the world over xmas on tv. But yeah I agree, these, Sumo... it’s the reason why I’m drawn to a good Hoss match in wrestling.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

That’s a cracking post Kaz. Can’t say I have any real knowledge of Sumo so that was a really interesting read. I can’t pretend I’ve ever tried to follow Sumo but, like Carbomb, it’s more to do with it not being so readily available to watch over here more than anything. I also vaguely recall watching it on Eurosport occasionally as a kid as well. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members
2 hours ago, Kaz Hayashi said:

 

Same here man, still a big fan of strongman. I’ve only seen it in person twice though, the U.K. qualifiers for World in Leeds a few years back. The likes of Big Z, Thor, Felix, Shahlaei, Hall & Holland’s were spread across both. Great fun, and still obviously mint to watch the world over xmas on tv. But yeah I agree, these, Sumo... it’s the reason why I’m drawn to a good Hoss match in wrestling.

yeah, we'd planned on going to a competition last year, had the hotel booked and everything. Think it was Europe's Strongest Man but with the World Deadlift Championships the same weekend. Covid fucked it.

Worlds Strongest Man on the TV every Christmas is tradition.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

Great matches today (day 5).

We still have 3 unbeaten, with 5-0. One of which is Meisei. After day 1, I mentioned on the pod that he was my ‘one to watch’ this Basho. He was promoted into the top division in September, he finished with a record of 9-6, he again finished with 9-6 in November and is doing me proud so far. He defeated Tokushoryu today.

BC940E91-AACD-44E1-B1BE-DE46CA2FA2C5.thumb.jpeg.a05134b371d89d037ccb9ee2f6165da6.jpeg

Takakeisho has finally got a win, making him 1-4. He won the overall November Basho with a record of 13-2 but until today has had a horrid start. If he bounces back and goes of a win streak, he’s still got a chance of staying in Yokozuna consideration. He has to win every match from now until the end. He defeated Kotoshoho today.

Akiseyama entered this Basho as a ranked outsider. He was ranked at 16th, which is basically joint bottom of the division, and he’s currently on a 5-0 win streak. He defeated Hoshoryu today.

05C07B64-94C8-4CD1-B4DD-503C1316C6DE.thumb.jpeg.f201cb158ac4e3e1ba01c6bd95aa2ac7.jpeg

The other guy with a 5-0 win streak is Daieisho. He was ranked joint no.1 (in the general pool) meaning if he puts on a good tournament, he can be promoted up to elite ranks, to Komusubi, maybe even Sekiwake depending on who else moves around. He defeated Takayasu today.

None of the unbeaten 3 are currently elite ranked, they are all fighters from the general pool of Madgashira wrestlers, which is great to see. Everything to play for as we’re a 1/3 through the tournament.

I won’t do these updates every day like I do on the pod, but I’ll do an update on day 10 and again on the final day, 15. Happy to chat obviously if anyone has an interest and can point people where to watch it if interested.

Edited by Kaz Hayashi
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members
1 hour ago, Carbomb said:

Honestly, man - loving these posts. If I wasn't already oversubscribed to too many podcasts, I'd be following yours. 

Oh mate don’t worry about that, I went out of my way to try and not promote these like a pod shill, I very much enjoy posting articles on here for what they are, so if people enjoy reading them, I’m happy to keep posting. I’ll do my best to post everything in layman’s terms.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

Was it about 1999, 2000 that Dejima was tipped to be the next big star or something? He was one of the few I remember. Obviously, I remember Akebono (not exactly difficult), and also that Argentinian guy whose name I've forgotten, Takanohana, Wakanohana, and Tatsuhikari (who I don't think made it past sekiwake, but I could be wrong - there was something about his style I liked).

EDIT: Oh, and Kyokutenho - I remember there being a lot of noise about there being a bit of an influx of Mongolians, which made sense, as they're big on their own wrestling, and I'd imagine a lot of their arslans would have been suited to the game.

Edited by Carbomb
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

Yes mate, Dejima won a summer 99 Basho, got to Ozeki, but dropped off a couple of years later. He went on to become an elder. You mentioned Wakanohana, he actually later became the head of the Japan Sumo Association for a few years. 
In terms of Mongolians, they still love it man. There’s 6 or 7 in the Makuuchi as we speak, including both Yokozuna who aren’t competing this month. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Paid Members

We’re over 1/2 through this tournament, 9 days/matches in to be precise, meaning depending on how rikishi’s have done so far, it’s now time to go for it.

Shock results so far:

Takakeisho - He hasn’t been able to pull it back. As I said in the OP, he won November’s Basho, was a favourite to be promoted to Yoko based on how he does this Basho, but my god, he’s been on his arse. After day 9 he’s now at 2-7. This means in order for him to bounce back and salvage a kachi-koshi (more wins than losses out of 15 fights) he needs to win every single match. Bad craic.

Kotoshoho - When it rains it pours. The lad gained kachi-koshi at his 6 bashos, he was destined for good things. He has lost every fight so far this basho and is 0-9. What a nightmare.

No one is undefeated but Daiesho is at 8-1. He is absolutely ready to step up in rank providing he bounces back from his first defeat today, and goes back to winning ways.

Shodai is performing very well, and is the best performing, highest ranked fighter in the Basho. He’s currently at Ozeki rank, he’s at 7-2 and if he continues with his winning ways, he’s a big contender to take over a Yokozuna spot.

In our pod on day 1, I mentioned that my “one to watch” was general (Maegashira) ranked sumo, Meisei. He’s doing me proud. He’s at the top end of the table, currently at 6-3. Saying that, he’s joined by 9 others at 6-3, so he needs to be careful and keep his eyes on the prize to be considered for rank promotion.
 

Edited by Kaz Hayashi
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Kaz Hayashi changed the title to Sumo - Hatsu Basho (January)
  • Paid Members

Is this basho on Eurosport? Might try and catch the rest.

EDIT: Oh, wow - I just decided to Google to see what happened with Tatsuhikari, and found out he died in 2011 :( 

Seems I was wrong - he never got past Maegashira.

Edited by Carbomb
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...