NHK World Grand Sumo Review Airs Friday (Japan Time)

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NHK World’s Grand Sumo team keeps up the intensity with a year and 2018 Grand Sumo Review program, airing during Friday Japan time. Details on the NHK web site, though it seems that once again Raja Pradhan gets tortured.

2018 Grand Sumo Review

US Show Times

  • 11:30 PM Eastern Thursday / 08:30 PM Pacific
  • 03:30 AM Eastern Friday / 12:30 AM Pacific
  • 11:30 AM Eastern Friday / 08:30 AM Pacific
  • 05:30 PM Eastern Friday / 02:30 PM Pacific

You can watch it online from your computer, mobile device or most streaming systems such as an Apple TV.

26 thoughts on “NHK World Grand Sumo Review Airs Friday (Japan Time)

  1. Hehe… they most certainly deliver on the promise to show us Raja being roughed up again. 🙂

    Just seeing him next to Naruto oyakata (Kotooshu) is comical. Raja is basically eye-level with the man’s bellybutton! And the oyakata plays with him like a rugdoll. Not even putting in an effort.

    And it’s nice to see little Oshozan get some international exposure!

    In other parts of the show, I was mostly of the same opinion as Murray – Takakeisho can’t really become a Yokozuna if he doesn’t increase his range of techniques. That is, learn how to do yotsu. However, Takakeisho himself fully confesses that he can’t. “I can’t reach the mawashi. So all I can do is polish up my tsuki-oshi”, he said a few days ago.

    • Completely agree, one of the reasons I would guess Onosho may have more upside thank Takakeisho, if he can keep his injuries from accumulating. That being said, Takakeisho is going to be a fun Ozeki once he makes it there. He is fairly inventive with his sumo, and we have seen him expand quite a bit on his core “wave action” attack process.

      I really truly hope the great Hakuho is healthy, as each time Takakeisho fights him, its more or less a skill check between a rising star and possibly the greatest rikishi ever. I think their match could be a highlight for week 1.

      • It was very interesting to hear Onosho’s thoughts about the need to make continual adjustments to his sumo. And I was pleased to see that Asanoyama got a shout-out as a future high-ranker. I’d love to see it.

    • Kotoshogiku got a long way with hug-and-chug and Harumafuji got a long way with the henka-not-henka + Tasmanian devil spin.

        • “Topping out” at Ozeki is pretty damn high, before his knees gave way. Harumafuji sure wasn’t a one trick pony by any stretch of the imagination but HNH isn’t a kimarite…but could result in several. My point is, if you’re good at something, be damn good at it. Or else be Hakuho, who just seems fantastic at everything. I just don’t think we will see anyone else well-rounded like that for a LONG time. The reason I like his brand of sumo is that it won’t be nearly so disastrous for his knees (glances uncomfortably at Giku, Tochinoshin, and Terunofuji).

          • My sense from watching the review was that they were agreeing that Takakeisho could get to Ozeki on his current trajectory, but that he’d need to diversify to aim higher.

      • Having a signature move is not the same as being a one trick pony. And there is a huge difference between Kotoshogiku’s case (He never made Yokozuna) and Harumafuji (who has a sack full of waza).

        • I agree with you and Leonid that there’s a gulf between the two. But Takakeisho is not going to be a belt-battler. He doesn’t have the reach of a Tochinoshin. Abi’s got crazy reach and even he’s hesitant to put it into practice. It puts a lot of strain on the knees and I imagine it means a whole new set of weight training to get that upper body power. While belt battles and the yorikiri ideal seems to evolve into throwing alternatives, Pushing-thrusting seems to allow for (hated but effective) retreating, pull-down techniques as well. So I don’t think it’s necessarily so limiting to be a pusher-thruster.

          I guess my point was that those guys got a long way by developing that signature move. Oshi-zumo and Yotsu-zumo seem to be totally different animals, though, where diversification into the other may not be as easy or effective as fully developing complimentary skills. I always wished Kotoshogiku would develop more throws as his humpety-bumpety has weakened. Sukuinage is his second most used kimarite lately (10%) and it makes sense for him to develop that instead of switching to oshi-zumo.

          I’ve been going over kimarite and there’s a whole field of techniques that I haven’t fit into here yet…and that’s footwork/tripping. Those are some of my favorites, things where wily guys like Aminishiki and Sokokurai come to mind. I wonder how easily pusher-thrusters can add those to their repertoire vs belt guys.

          • I think they can’t. To do a leg trip you need to be close up to your opponent. Tsuki-oshi is all about keeping your opponent away from you. Frankly, I think if sumo becomes an exclusive tsuki-oshi sport, more than half of the 82 kimarite will become extinct.

            Back to Takakeisho. Indeed, he doesn’t have the reach and he says so himself. Thus, he will not be Yokozuna, unless the entire upper echelon is replaced with tsuki-oshi wrestlers.

            Abi is on his way to diversify his sumo. He is just taking his time with it, which is completely understandable. He practices it in Jungyo almost all the time now. His problem may be that his oyakata is not an expert on these methods. He may need to apprentice himself to Kakuryu again. 🙂

            The point, however, is not that wrestlers should replace their signature move. It’s that they need to have alternatives, especially for that “little” gap between Ozeki and Yokozuna. If your signature move doesn’t work, or if your rival manages to execute his faster or find a defense against it, you need to have your alternative well drilled in. Tochinoshin is known for his forklift attack, but he can deliver a massive tsuppari when he needs to. He may be too old to get to Yokozuna at this stage, but as far as his skill set is concerned, he could get there.

            • If everyone stops doing yotsu-zumo, there will be no more Yokozuna unless they lower the bar. Oshi-zumo is just not as reliable as yotsu to be able to produce the 90%+ wins over 30+ matches. Of course, it may be that with all the oshi-zumo that the winning score is 12 more often than it is now and 13-12 will be good enough, which is a bit more feasible than 13-14 for oshi-only rikishi. In reality, oshi-specialists will learn how to grapple in order to increase their win rate against more hardcore oshi-specialists who can’t grapple.

    • You CAN get to yokozuna as an oshi/tsuki specialist. If you don’t believe me consult the current JSA chairman.

      • It’s not that oshi/tsuki specialists can’t make Yokozuna. It’s that they can’t make Yokozuna if they can’t do what Hokutoumi is doing to Konishiki in the final bout of this very entertaining playoff:

  2. I stood next to Kotooshu in line at a buffet in about 2006 (2004?) during the Last Vegas “Grand Sumo Tournament” featuring The entire macuuchi division at the time. I’m 6’5″ and he towered over me. He seemed monumentally unbeatable. And we was a very nice guy. Great to see him succeed, start and run a beya and continue helping to promote sumo. Gotta love the energy!!

      • Height can be a tricky thing to perceive. I shook Barack Obama’s hand back when he was campaigning (handing out donuts at the Eastern Market metro station with Adrian Fenty). I was struck by how small he seemed. He’s so slim, it seemed he was shorter than me even though he’s actually quite a bit taller. Anyway…my chance to brag that I shook Barack’s hand.

        Now this being DC (and I know there are several DC area fans on here) someone else is going to come in here and be like “NBD, I play basketball with him every Thursday.”
        But I don’t care. 😋 Nya~~

  3. I’m so going to put a dohyo in my back yard. I do not care that this says “Do not do this at home.” I will most certainly do this at home.

    While y’all suckers are whizzing by (read: crawling by in the heavy traffic) on Conn. Ave, I’m going to be out in the back yard practicing my Kotoshogiku back bend and salt throw.

    Seriously, though. This makes me want to do this. I’ve got a cousin who’s Kotooshu’s height but I think I can take him.

    • A dohyo is not a problem. It’s just packed dirt. Getting yourself enough friends to participate depends on your social skills, so I’d say no problem there, either. The real problem is getting yourself proper medical insurance in the USA. Good luck!

  4. Great comments above! I actually like the banter here a lot! And thanks for posting the above video, Bruce — it is good to see Kotooshu giving a FUNNY lesson in sumo strength to the reporter — and his young charge Oshozan Is having a nice laugh on seeing such beautiful and easy power!

    Here’s my thought: I all comes down to Takakeisho and how badly he wants to keep winning yushos — and maybe, just maybe capitalizing on his skills he can reached Yokozuna-level. Does he need an signature move — or not — I dunno. Opinions here vary. I don’t know EVERYTHING sumo, but it is good to hear new things that I can add to my ever-expanding library!

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