Kisenosato Excited for Kumamoto Temple Dohyo-iri

Kisenosato returned to perform a yokozuna dohyo-iri ceremony at the Rengein TanJyoji in Kumamoto prefecture. Kumamoto is on the island of Kyushu and borders Fukuoka prefecture where the Kyushu tournament will be held. His former Naruto-oyakata, ex-yokozuna Takanosato had performed a dohyo-iri at this same Temple. Kisenosato had also participated in such ceremonies as a sword-bearer and as a dew sweeper. He was particularly excited to be here as a yokozuna this time.

According to the website, the temple is dedicated to the memory of the Buddhist Saint Koen. The original temple was built in 1177 but was burned to the ground in a war in 1582. It was rebuilt in 1930.

9 thoughts on “Kisenosato Excited for Kumamoto Temple Dohyo-iri

  1. According to Nikkan Sports, Ura has been taking training bouts on a heavily bandaged knee. Reports are that he’s moving with a noticeable limp.

    All indications are that he’s chosen to forego surgery for now, and he’s trying to gambarize through what most assume is a torn ACL. If this is the case, it looks like we can say goodbye to Ura’s career as a viable and competitive sumotori. Needless to say, this is insanely ill advised. It is borderline criminal negligence by the oyakata and the doctors to allow this, but, then again, Ura is not a child. He should know better, and not knowing better is going to cost him his sumo career.

    Now excuse me while I quietly weep.

    • Yeah, I saw on Twitter how he’s been training. I’m hoping someone gains some sense this week and he plants his pink mawashi firmly on the couch for several months.

    • Yeah, I thought of making a post about this. But as I only caught it very late at night I settled for a quick tweet. It’s horrible. Every word John Gunning said in his article is true. The kyokai should radically change it’s attitude.

      • I love that article. Thank you for the link. I wonder if the Japanese press would publish that opinion in Japanese? I only disagree with the one odd little point about the healthcare being adequate. Recovery time, I think, is an integral part of healthcare and that is what is limited. You can’t just put a brace on an ACL injury. You repair it AND rest it so the body can heal. The next Hakuho won’t be the tallest guy or the biggest guy or the fastest guy, he’ll be the most careful and luckiest to not suffer an injury and have it nag him for the rest of his career.

        • It may be that the current Hakuho is exactly that guy. I won’t be surprised if there were many guys with the potential for greatness who dropped along the way – maybe had to make do with a low rank, rather than fully retiring – because of injury. Terunofuji may be a live demonstration of that.

          • Yes, if I recall correctly even Hakuho himself has acknowledged that he’s been gifted with exceptional durability. It’s easy to forget now that he does have some recurring injuries, but just by making it to age 30 virtually unscathed he had several prime years on top of what most other high-profile guys from the six-basho era got.

        • I think the “sufficient medical care” part was an allusion to the common Western mis(?)conception that the Japanese medical system is not quite on the cutting edge when it comes to highly specialized issues such as rare diseases or indeed professional athlete injuries.

    • Not sure how familiar you lot are with soccer, but here’s a scenario:

      Harry Kane busts his ACL and has to take the rest of the season off as he needs surgery plus at least nine months of recuperation and physiotherapy to return to his best. What happens when he recovers?

      In the real world he returns to the Spurs first team as soon as he’s ready.

      In a world run by the JSA there’s a catch. He can’t play for Spurs or England: instead he has to play for Ebbsfleet United in the National League. For no money. If he stays injury free he can work his way up through the divisions and play for Spurs again sometime in 2021.

      • 1) “As soon as he’s ready” implies that he will ease his way into his starting role. He won’t go straight from the couch to starting and playing a full 90 minutes. His training will steadily increase, he may scrimmage with backups, he may even be put on loan with a weaker team…but given the considerable investment in a top player who also plays for the national team, that would likely be too risky. However, he’d likely be taken out of other competitions for a while and his first few appearances “back” would likely be coming in off the bench. Sumo is set up for this with its lower divisions but the loss of social status would be a huge hit. As Asashosakari has pointed out, there are few slots for makushita wrestlers to move up into juryo. I just think that if more wrestlers were able to drop in order to recover, that would leave more openings and opportunities for healthy makushita wrestlers. Unfortunately, as Gunning pointed out, with heavier jungyo demands there is NO time for recuperation. And I think this is where risk for yaocho grows.

        2) Team sports have a different dynamic where teammates can compensate for a player not being 100% when he rejoins them. Even in baseball, which is arguably less physically demanding, it’s common for recovering athletes to play with minor league teams before coming back.


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