It’s Jungyo Time!

Are you ready for Jungyo? The winter jungyo begins tomorrow, 12/3. For the Aki Tour, Herouth provided a great map which you can reference under the features menu. I’ve replicated her map for the winter tour. This 1500-mile journey will cover 10 locations over the next two weeks. The first 8 events will be a 660-mile course of one-day stops in eight different venues on the island of Kyushu. The last two stops will be on two islands in Okinawa with each of those events lasting two days. As the final event will wrap up on December 17, this will give rikishi almost a full month to prepare for the Hatsu Basho starting 1/14.

Two Week Winter Tour

Of particular interest in these events will be the attendance of sekitori. We already know that we are down one yokozuna with the retirement of Harumafuji. I hope he gets to sleep in late tomorrow and enjoys a late afternoon tee-time at a picturesque golf course while the other sekitori prepare to haul their luggage around Kyushu.

Two other yokozuna, Kisenosato and Kakuryu have nagging injuries to worry about. Their health is a priority for the Sumo Kyokai and they are expected to come back to sumo at full force, or join Harumafuji on the links. That leaves us with Hakuho as, likely, the sole yokozuna participating.

19 thoughts on “It’s Jungyo Time!

  1. The yokozuna have already announced what they will be doing in the Jungyo right after senshuraku. In fact, at the time, Harumafuji was supposed to be kyujo… Participating are Hakuho and Kakuryu, while Kisenosato is kyujo. Alas, Terunofuji is going to participate. Takayasu is also expected to attend.

    I’ll try to do my daily newsreels like last time, but I have a hunch the press will be low on jungyo and high on scandal. :-(

  2. I was just wondering how Takanoiwa will be treated by the fans when he is healthy enough to return to the dohyo. After all, if he hadn’t acted disrespectfully towards his seniors, none of this subsequent mess would have occurred. Does anyone believe if he had gone on the record and admit he was, at least, partially to blame for everything that happened that night, that Harumafuji would have been treated better by the board?

    • I also wonder how he’ll be treated by the other wrestlers. If Harumafuji was popular with his peers, there will probably be some resentment there.

      • Rian, I agree completely. We’ll never know, of course. I’m always amazed how all the matches have that same business-like aura about them. You’ll never know from their demeanor or body language if they are fighting a good friend or hated enemy. Just prior to the bout and right after the bout, its always the same. I realize that’s the nature of the sport, but, even after a couple years of watching, it never fails to surprise me. I remember a while back, the commentator on NHK mentioned that the two wrestlers have been good friends for years and years, and it went EXACTLY the same as every other bout that day.

      • Takanoiwa tried to hide the injury from Takanohana and claimed he fell when asked. Only after his oyakata noticed the wounds were not consistent with the story everything came to light.

    • I don’t think the problem is the board. At least, not the conservative faction of the board.

      The interim report was couched in terms that were very favorable to Harumafuji, in my opinion. First, they make it clear that he was not acting on self-interest, but that he was defending Hakuho’s rank. So: our samurai exhibits deference to a senior, and tries to instill that deference in a junior.

      Then they make it clear that he was not acting on a grudge or malice, by stressing that he first defended Takanoiwa, and that he was generally nice to the junior samurai.

      And they also make it clear that Takanoiwa had at least two opportunities to correct his behavior and didn’t use them.

      They also point out that he was not acting on drunkenness.

      They even take the opportunity to mention that he was drinking Sake, rather than some uncouth foreign brew. (They were not using the word “sake” which can be used for any alcoholic beverage, but “nihonshu”, which is specifically Japanese Sake).

      I think if it was up to the conservative faction, they would have given him a medal rather than dismissed him… or at least, dealt with it the same way as they did with “Golf Club” Kasugano. The only problem is that violence is against the law in Japan. And the minister of sports has already had several talks with Hakkaku about this issue. And the whole thing is a public mess, which Japanese society really, really hates.

      The real problem is probably the YDC, because they basically heard the same report that we did, and still decided that he should be “dealt with with utmost severity”. So they believe that the criminal act and the public damage to the image of Sumo trump the samurai code. It’s hard to argue with this position. And, to get back to your point, they don’t seem to believe in extenuating circumstances, and they knew what Takanoiwa’s part was in this. If anything, if he comes out in public he may tell a different story altogether.

  3. Interesting also that Takanohana was replaced as head of the Jungyo when Hakuho states he would not participate if Takanohana were to continue in that role.


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