Definitely Low-Tech Fantasy Sumo


I’m glad I didn’t put more time into developing a quality fantasy sumo app on that platform. I got a notice last night that they were hacked. So, to avoid the security pitfalls of web development, I just want to stress my low-tech method. I’ll never make anything that requires people to put in a password because I know a lot of people use the same password across multiple sites. I don’t, and mine are always randomly generated, so I’m glad I don’t need to change a whole bunch of passwords. The site was giving me a bad vibe, anyway. My paranoia (which you can probably guess by my @unseen.is email address) paid off in this case.

Anyway, if you want to do fantasy sumo, my low tech method is this: send me an email to tachiai@unseen.is with your bids, process described in the previous post. I’ll track it each week and post a running table each day with the results. You can also post them here in the comment section…whichever makes you more comfortable. I’m just really hoping to generate more interest, particularly in Juryo this go round and lower ranked bouts next time.

Low-Tech Fantasy Sumo


I really want to do fantasy sumo but finding a free platform to develop something legit has been difficult. I especially don’t like the sketchy pop-under ads I noticed after I tried last time. So, let’s go low-tech and see if anyone’s interested before I put a bunch of time into it. Now that the banzuke is out, this is how it will go down: you email me a list of your top 10 wrestlers and how much you’re willing to pay to recruit them. You get $1000 to spread among your 10 and you will end up recruiting 5 wrestlers (makuuchi & juryo only for now) into your heya.

  1. Email me at tachiai{at}unseen[dot]is
  2. Subject: “Fantasy Sumo Entry”
  3. Give me a Heya Name and your oyakata alias
  4. 10 wrestlers w/ bids

Since this is the first time, I’ll cut off the first round of bids this Sunday night. To give you a sense of what I mean, these are my bids:

  1. Hakuho, $300
  2. Harumafuji, $300
  3. Takayasu, $50
  4. Ikioi, $50
  5. Takarafuji, $50
  6. Sadanofuji, $50
  7. Osunaarashi, $75
  8. Ishiura, $25
  9. Kaisei, $50
  10. Jokoryu, $50

You get points with wins. 1 win = 1 point. 2 bonus points at the end for a special prize, 3 for a yusho. If anyone decides to try, I’ll post the rosters before action starts and then report on each day’s results. I hope it gets a bit of friendly competition going and ultimately I’d like to expand it to lower divisions and get more interest in those divisions since I personally know very little about the lower ranked wrestlers. Anyway, I figure I’ll see if there’s interest in this low-tech method. It should be pretty interesting to see the strategies people use.

November Tournament, 2015: Banzuke!!!


For starters, Homarenishiki jumped from Jonidan #82 to Jonidan #8. He’s moving up so quickly, he’ll be making his makuuchi debut before the Sumo Kyokai’s webpage loads. Oh, wait, no, the page loads so slowly, Goeido will be kadoban for the 10th time before you get to see the banzuke. More seriously, It would be nice to see Homarenishiki start the new year in Sandanme, Makushita by summer, Juryo by 2017? We’ll see. Just stay healthy!

Champion Kakuryu will lead the November Tournament from the East with Hakuho taking a very unfamiliar position as West yokozuna. Harumafuji returns as yokozuna #2 in the East. Terunofuji claims the top ozeki slot, O1E. Kisenosato follows as O1W with Kotoshogiku O2E and kadoban Goeido O2W.

Screenshot (142)

The lower sanyaku ranks are pretty much the same as in July, Tochiozan and Myogiryu as sekiwake and Tochinoshin as komusubi East. Yoshikaze gets to move into the komusubi West position, returning to the sanyaku for the first time since May 2014. His last three tournaments have been excellent, cleaning house during the last two tournaments with one of each special prize, two kinboshi, and a jun-yusho.

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琴 (koto): An Excuse to Listen to Tool for the Rest of the Evening


Traditional Japanese instruments don’t get much attention in popular music. The koto is a great sounding instrument and is relevant to sumo because the kanji for Koto is used in the shikona of several wrestlers, generally from the Sadogatake heya, headed by former Kotonowaka (琴ノ若), including two ozeki – Kotoshogiku (琴奨菊) and Kotooshu (琴欧州). The heya was established in 1955 by Kotonishiki (琴錦). Please check out my brief post about the kanji for nishiki, 錦, from a few days ago.

So, what is a koto? It is this stringed instrument, played with picks and the bridges can be moved to change the sound. I’ve not listened much to koto music, preferring the shamisen. If you haven’t heard the Yoshida Brothers play the shamisen, I encourage you to check them out…they’re amazing.

But back to the koto. Perhaps the most famous track, the sound of the koto was incorporated into Dr. Dre’s “Still Dre”. I know you’ve heard it. It’s really simple and very catchy. In college, that song was EVERYWHERE. However, my personal favorite is this cover of Tool’s “Lateralus” using a bunch of koto. I miss Maynard’s voice and the buzz of the guitars but this is fantastic. I love great rap tunes but I’m a huge metal head and I especially love prog metal from Tool, so after listening to the koto version I HAVE TO listen to Tool’s original. And then more Tool. This is really going to kill my evening because I will have to lie down and listen to their albums on a loop now.

Origami Sumo (紙相撲)


My son attends a Japanese school on the weekends. He’s in first grade, and after spending the summer in Tokyo, his Japanese is better than mine. Japanese school lets him keep is Japanese skill level up and this weekend they made origami sumo wrestlers. As you can see, the dohyo is a paper plate. My son and his sister had a little sumo tournament. If you click on the gif, you’ll find the instructions for making the little origami wrestlers. However, when I Googled ‘origami sumo wrestler’, there are some insanely good origami wrestlers that I think look a lot better and more realistic. Just as paper football can get really competitive with a few beers, I think this could be a good drinking game…though it might lead to some real drunken sumo.

Origami Sumo
Origami Sumo

Mythical Creatures


“When I say hey, thou shalt not say 鵬.”

Many shikona use kanji for mythical creatures.The most notable ones are 竜, 龍 and 鵬. 竜 & 龍 (ryuu/ryou) mean dragon while 鵬 is a mythical bird that I’ve seen translated as phoenix. Aside: “Thou shalt spell pheonix, P-H-E-O-N-I-X, not P-H-O-E-N-I-X, regardless of what the Oxford English Dictionary tells you.”

In the makuuchi today, two of our yokozuna have these characters, Hakuho and Kakuryu (白鵬 & 鶴竜). Kyokushuho and recent retiree Kyokutenho also share the character 鵬 while a further four wrestlers in the makuuchi for the most recent tournament use the alternative kanji for dragon, 龍. These are Myogiryu, Tokushoryu, Chiyotairyu, Asasekiryu.

This is a statue placed near the beach in Kochi of Sakamoto Ryoma, a samurai from the time of the Meiji Restoration. There's been a revival of interest in him in Japan because of a drama series based on his (short) life. Sucks to take a sword to the head on your 33rd birthday.
This is a statue placed near the beach in Kochi of Sakamoto Ryoma, a samurai from the time of the Meiji Restoration. There’s been a revival of interest in him in Japan because of a drama series based on his (short) life. Sucks to take a sword to the head on your 33rd birthday.

When I think of the character for dragon, I’m reminded of Ryoma (坂本龍馬). I had put a picture of a statue of Ryoma in a previous post but here it is again. When I think of actual dragons, I think of Skyrim. As for Peng birds, I don’t really have much context for that. I play too much Skyrim for that.