Let’s face facts. This yusho was won by an ozeki who did not battle another healthy ozeki or yokozuna before his coronation on Day 14. His Day 14 bout was against a lethargic Ichinojo who’s spent the last two tournaments at M13. He will, no doubt, climb higher. But does anyone among my readers believe Ichinojo today is a serious sanyaku contender? And as for Kisenosato, over this fortnight he beat 5 men who ended the tournament with winning records (I’m not counting the walkover victory against Goeido). He fought nine maegashira.
In contrast, last tournament was won by Kakuryu with the same 14-1 record. His only loss was actually to Kisenosato. But he defeated two yokozuna & three ozeki, only fighting five rank-and-filers, the lowest ranked being Endo at M3. When he was awarded his yokozuna rope after his first yusho, he had lost the previous title in a play0ff with a 14-1 record. Kisenosato’s jun-yusho record against that field was 12 wins. Solid for an ozeki but is that really tsuna worthy?
I will likely be alone in asking the Yokozuna Deliberation Council to hold off and see if he can pick up another jun-yusho or yusho in the next tournament. He’s a solid ozeki. Why taint his legacy by elevating him too quickly, like Goeido and Kakuryu? The answer is obvious: as Bruce has pointed out, the first Japanese yokozuna will be a coup as the Sumo Kyokai hopes to continue to bring more fans into the sport after the dark days of yaocho.
But is this how they want it to be done? When many fans watch these matches and wonder openly about fishiness that may have kept Kotoshogiku in his rank longer than he should? When his very yusho last year, coincidentally fell 10 years from the last Japanese yusho? Within a year he loses his rank after chronic kadoban status with his kadoban twin, Goeido? My point is clear. Make Kisenosato earn his rope against a full, healthy crop of sanyaku competitors. What will the Kyokai do? Likely the same thing as the NFL post-9/11: please the local fans. Invent the tuck rule so the Patriots get to the Super Bowl over the Raiders. There’s been a lot more interest with ESPN being a two-hour drive from Foxboro, no?
6 thoughts on “My Rant Against Promotion”
I agree. He has always been second best, and Yokozuna literally means grand champion. He’s a good ozeki, but he should have to earn Yokozuna status with two yushos against better competitors
Sadly, we’ve gone a long way from when Harumafuji (Ama) had 4 yusho as an ozeki, finally getting his tsuna after back-to-back zensho yusho.
I also would agree…wholeheartedly! I know the Japanese are desperate for a native-born, Japanese yokozuna…but the YDC really should hold-offed on the promotion despite the impending public cry. At least, until the next basho…make Kisenosato proved that he’s yokozuna material. No doubt, kudos to Kisenosato for winning the tournament, and I do like him a lot (I’m still surprised that he was able to clinch it, with or without any yaocho)…but I’m just not sold on that he’s going to uphold the grand tradition of being a very worthy repeat yusho champion! But only time will tell…
In terms of sheer combat prowess, Goeido 2.0 achieved a much more spectacular win at Aki than Kisenosato did this basho. It’s true that Hakuho was out for surgery, but Goeido took on and defeated everyone else. At the same time, Kisenosato can’t help that everyone was out. He can only fight the men who show up.
I honestly believe this is all about politics and marketing. They want a draw for the Japanese fans, and any fig leaf will be enough for them to put that plan into action. I had mentioned on twitter: “The NSK and YDC have been itching to do this for some time”.
Although his schedule was light this basho due to injuries, Kisenosato was also in fairly rare form. Even when he got into trouble he was able to rescue himself and win anyhow. If this actually is an upgraded Kisenosato combat system, he is likely to be at least on par with Kakuryu in terms of delivering sumo every basho.
Again same point I made on previous post.
A Japanese Yokozuna is needed badly, so need to produce one asap. Winning a Yusho for Kise is good enough. I think to seal the deal, the fight with Hakuho was staged. I just don’t buy it that Hakuho attacked relentlessly and carelessly. It is uncharacteristic of him. I think it was done to legitimize promoting Kise, even when the requirement is not yet met.
And yes I agree with your rant. Almost all Ozeki and Yokozuna are unhealthy. The yusho is not prestigious