Sponsors Withdraw Kenshokin

Thanks to my wife and Reddit, I was tipped off to the fact that 200 banners have been pulled from the tournament because of the 3 absent yokozuna. My wife sent me this link to the Asahi article. When I checked Reddit, the same article was also cited there. Reddit commenter u/saleph also linked to another article showing Takayasu as the top kensho recipient for this tournament. As I mentioned in the comments of Bruce’s previous post, this is a bit disappointing and should also clarify for us viewers that sponsorship money is another pressure for sekitori, particularly Yokozuna.

Takayasu: Aki Kensho King

I say disappointed because as I fan, I feel excited for this tournament – possibly more excited than if ALL the wrestlers were competing. With injured wrestlers out, we will see better quality matches, not just in this tournament, but next tournament as our yokozuna hopefully return healthy…or at least moderately healthy. Also, for this basho, the door is wide open for more competitors to grab a yusho or really impress. I would think this would be a prime time for sponsors to engage tadpoles rather than withhold funding. It would also be when I would think loyal sponsors would step up and continue to support their injured stars. Endo used to attract a ton of sponsorship money but when he went to Juryo, the money dried up and it does not seem to have returned. Perhaps that’s why he’s not gone kyujo, though I’m hopeful he’s genuinely healthy enough to compete.

All of my predictions from the podcast were probably totally wrong…especially my hopes for a 40th Hakuho yusho. But I am so jazzed for this basho, it isn’t funny. I really have no idea what’s going to happen. Will King Kinboshi (Harumafuji) fall out of contention in the first week? Or zen-sho yusho? My odds would be even money on both. Who will drop off the leadership pack by next weekend? Any of the ozeki? Which maegashira will be in the hunt deep into week two? I have no idea and that’s thrilling me. One Twitter fan tossed out the idea of an Ikioi-yusho…THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.

9 thoughts on “Sponsors Withdraw Kenshokin

  1. I totally agree, this should be a really exciting tournament and will showcase the up-and-comers. My wife and I are both very excited about watching to see what happens. The sponsors are, as is typical, short-sighted.

  2. The banners mostly address the crowd at the kokugikan, and to some extent, the crowds on TV. However, on TV, many times they are obscured when the camera focuses on the rikishi’s pre-bout, or on long shots (usually when the names of the contenders are presented).

    So I’m going to be looking to see if there are any vacancies in the crowd. The tickets are for a whole day. The spectators don’t stay put – they come and go and eat and make merry. I’ve already seen one tweet that said something like “Tomorrow I’m at the kokugikan but it’s a bit of a let-down”. People may decide to skip tadpole bouts or at least the long pre-bouts and just watch big names or personal favorites. If that happens, then it justifies the decision of the sonsors.

    It’s true in any spectator sport that big names sell. I have a basketball season ticket, and from time to time, especially after bad seasons, the management starts to bring in “big names” to sell season tickets. The result is usually disaster, but it seems that some fans fall for it every time.

    As for Harumafuji, I wouldn’t bet a dollar on him going zensho-yusho. Even his first bout is not a certain W.

    • When I am at a tournament, I stay all day…but that’s rare. There’s usually a very empty stadium that only really starts to fill at Juryo with everyone there for sanyaku. I figure/hope this will be no different…

      • Yeah, I am there for the whole day too. I actually like watching the lower ranks go at it. They are so intense.

  3. The sponsors will take time to adjust but they will eventually come around to backing the newer wrestlers especially as most of the next-gen stars will be native Japanese.

    Anyway, just for fun, I thought I would price-up the Aki basho. I would have Harumafuji as favourite at around 1.5-1, followed by Takayasu 4-1, Terunofuji 4-1, Goieido 8-1, MItakeumi 10-1, The Field (any other wrestler) 10-1. Absolutely no bets accepted. What do you think? Does this look like a reasonable asessment?

    • Well, if we convert to probability that would be:

      Harumafuji, 40% probability
      Takayasu and Terunofuji, 40% probability total
      Goeido, 11% probability
      Mitakeumi, 9% probability
      none of the above, 9% probability

      So not quite 110%, but something’s gotta give.

    • I had some links in there that got erased; I don’t know where that polldaddy thing came from (and “1 chance 5 each” shouldn’t be there either). Point is, those odds are a Dutch book.

      • I removed the polldaddy and “1 chance 5 each” for you, but the links are gone. Perhaps one of them was not closed?

        Tip: if you want to include links in a comment, start it with a blank line. It seems to circumvent the Polldaddy bug.

        • The version of the comment that was rendered for me while the comment was waiting in the moderation queue (too many links, I guess) had the links rendered correctly. I guess I’ll just skip them next time; they were mostly decoration.


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