Haru Banzuke Video Podcast

The video edition of the Haru banzuke podcast – It’s an hour of Josh, Andy and Bruce talking the upcoming March basho in Osaka. The team covers the banzuke, some of the more noticeable promotions and demotions, and our world renowned “Genki Report”.

Throwing caution to the wind, the team dives into sumo news, including Takakeisho’s continued bid for Ozeki, Tochinoshin’s kadoban troubles, and the fact that Takayasu is following Kisenosato’s bad habit of collecting too many jun-yusho’s without going all the way.

Yes, it’s true – Andy gets Bruce to express his outrage that the turgid slug Shodai is able to retain his Maegashira 3 rank with a make-koshi.

It’s long – it’s strong, and its here for your enjoyment.

4 thoughts on “Haru Banzuke Video Podcast

  1. Bruce, don’t you count Hokutofuji among the tadpoles?

    The story with Nishikido beya is the okami-san. At least, that’s what I read – Nishikido oyakata married this active opera singer, and she kind of wanted him to be more with her than with the rikishi, have his meals with her etc., so he wasn’t around the stable much, and it was left in the care of the ani-deshi. That’s not a good thing – see the recent scandal at Naruto beya. Some of the ani-deshi punished youngsters by cutting off their hair, and there was a rebellion and several rikishi left the stable. I don’t know what’s the situation with the okami-san right now, but it appears that Nishikido oyakata is not really in a coaching mood. Mitoryu seems to have to fend for himself, and Gokushindo made his real progress while he was under the care of Kakuryu’s sumo academy. Once he became sekitori he was “graduated” from the position of Kakuryu’s tsukebito-cum-apprentice, and told he cannot go back, as his position has been taken by Shohoryu (who is not Hoshoryu).

    Terunofuji’s stagnation at Makushita is kind of the same story. No okami-san was involved there, but he was stuck at Magaki beya for a while, while the oyakata was ill and hardly present. Only three rikishi were left there, all low-ranking, and he thought of quitting. Luckily the heya was closed and merged into Isegahama, where there were some people to pull him up. So he didn’t get stuck in Makushita because Makushita is such a barrier for his talent – he just didn’t have the correct guidance. His problem now is totally different, though.

    I think the turnaround in Ishiura’s performance may be related to Enho. He didn’t take the little guy seriously before. And Enho has become stronger, and I’m sure he makes a good keiko rival. I’m also sure Ishiura doesn’t want to end up empty-handed with Enho holding the sword in Hakuho’s dohyo-iri. So, some motivation, and a good rival with good techniques he can learn from.

    I think Itadaki, Nishikigi’s head tsukebito, is, indeed, Isenoumi’s chanko-cho. He always posts expert opinions on food ingredients and whatnot. So Nishikigi is actually being fed well recently.

    Did you know that the Taka twins are also half Filipino?

    • This is all amazing stuff – thank you! I wanted to bring up some things that I thought were interesting and it is really cool when we can continue the discussion, it’s awesome. Re: Terunofuji it does raise the question of what other gems are hiding at under-coached dying heya.

      Re: Ishiura and Enho… do you not think that Haleo powder has anything to do with it…..!??!?! ;)

      The Filipino connection is really interesting to me and also, while we kind of focus on the stagnation certainly of Takayasu over the past year or so – the thing that’s really important is that his elevation in and of itself has made him a role model for so many others and we may see this in the next wave

      Not that there haven’t been rikishi of Filipino heritage before Takayasu and Mitakeumi but i wonder if their incredible popularity may create something of a Kyokushuzan/Takamiyama waterfall moment where the next generation of Filipino or half-Japanese/half-Filipino rikishi goes on to incredible success, motivated by having a real hero to have looked up to and realising there is an opportunity for big success in the sumo world? (this is just a quasi ignorant hypothesis)

      • Half-Filipino who were born and raised in Japan can’t really set a trend. Full-blooded Filipino will not have the same opportunity, as they need to compete for the scarce foreigner slots without the now well-oiled Mongolian recruitment mechanism. It’s not as if Takayasu and Mitakeumi can serve as liaisons for Filipinos. They don’t speak the language and I doubt if they ever were to the Philippines. So it’s really more a matter of the half-Pinoi community in Japan which may see a higher rate of sumo wrestlers per capita than the Japan average.

  2. Really hard to pick a winner this time. I love the stability of this jungyo-free Hatsu-Haru break, but it makes it difficult to get a sense of everyone’s fitness and form.

    But I will predict Osaka hero Ikioi drawing from the crowd, grinding out 10 painful wins, and then limping away.


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