9 thoughts on “Aki Video Podcast

  1. Great round table discussion (again) for the upcoming Basho. Did someone predict Endo to end up on top of the rikishi pile after 15 days? I’ll have to eat more cake before I can swallow that morsel :)

  2. I like Josh’s point on Takayasu and the yokozuna ambition he should have. It feels like Goeido is on the opposite side. He knows by this point he’s not going to be a yokozuna, but he’s a pro at holding his rank, and he’s done it for 5 years now. Does he want to be Goeido, or a yokozuna?

    I hope Takayasu does sit out though. I thought he was on the yusho trail in Nagoya before the kotenage. It’s (hopefully) just a matter of getting his body in good shape.

    • Good question … and to be fair…. being Goeido is still a really, really, bloody good career.

      It’s just the untapped promise that we all believe Takayasu has or had (to say nothing of Goeido!) that maybe might make that feel a bit of a let down…!

  3. Thank you for the enjoyable and insightful discussion. Most of the points were informative. There were a few remarks that were imprecise though:

    I know you know this, but you left the impression that back-to-back yusho are required for yokozuna promotion, while there is no such requirement, and, in fact, neither of the last two ozeki promoted – Kakuryu and Kisenosato – won consecutive yusho prior to their respective promotion. Both were promoted after jun-yusho followed by yusho performances. I have no doubt that any Japanese ozeki who achieved the same result would likewise be promoted. (I believe the promotion language states that it requires two consecutive yusho or the equivalent. While that language is both vague and a bit silly – there really isn’t any equivalent to winning a yusho – this is sumo,so strict logic need not always apply.
    It does seem like Tochinoshin took a lot of time off to recover from his knee injury and that Kisenosato never took time off after suffering from his injury. However, the reality is that each of them were kyujo for three consecutive basho, no more, no less. The difference was that Tochinoshin had surgery during his kyujo while Kisenosato did not.

    As for what happens in Aki, I’m sure Takayasu will go kyujo. The whole point of his wrestling after his injury last basho was to secure his kk, thus gaining some breathing room. Tochinoshin, unfortunately, looks finished. Unless your name is Aminishiki you can’t wrestle for any extended time without knees. The question is will he hang on longer to make more (although less) money sliding down the banzuke.

    If Endo wins the yusho I’ll eat a piece of that cake, even if it’s three weeks old then. His only other time in the sanyaku he managed three victories. I would agree that he’s much improved though (and displayed very impressive technical skill last basho) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him gain a kk.

    • Thanks for the comments! Regarding the first part, I take the point, I think sometimes we take things a little for granted and don’t always state the full requirements or detail every time, but maybe that can be a teachable moment for us – especially with respect for newer visitors who may not be as clued in as some of our more die hard readers like yourself, who may already know the detail. We all know I also go on a bit when I get into full flow as it is! :)

      That being said, the root of my point was really: does the ozeki think he still has it in him to be yokozuna? Of course, the requirement is back to back yusho or the equivalent performance… but I don’t think he’s (or anyone) going around the stable saying “grant me the strength through this keiko to get the equivalent of two yusho performances!” As you state, it’s such a subjective thing! I don’t think that’s how competitors are wired. If the goal is to get the equivalent performance of two in order to get promoted… then you have to try and win two. Even in a magic world where Takayasu or Goeido or Tochinoshin were 100% fit, and then they picked up a 15-0 yusho in their next basho… I don’t think they would sit around and go “well, I’ve got to try and put 13 on the board and maybe that should do it next time.” I think they would be focused on the Emperor’s Cup, in order to prove the adequate level of performance that is expected of a candidate to become Yokozuna.

      Just my opinion, but I don’t think it’s a Japanese ozeki or not Japanese ozeki thing, no one has just managed to consistently challenge. When you have a pair of 34 year old guys helming the sport, you’d be eager for anyone to take the mantle if they show they can actually do it.

  4. Loved it. The assessment of the Ozeki was depressing, and I think maybe they should all take a trip to Lourdes. But the good thing is that my expectations are low so I’m prepared for the worst, and maybe Goeido will rise to the occasion. We know he can. Goeido and Inchinojo are the most frustrating rikishi to me- massive amounts of talent but just seem to check out, space out, or something. Maybe this is something Andy could do one of his charts to illustrate, and there is actually a pattern. Or maybe it’s related to Chaos Theory and somewhere a butterfly flapped their wings. Speaking of Andy, if I wasn’t a vegetarian I would vow to make a buttock stirfry if his prediction comes true. Thanks for the laugh!

  5. I think you guys should have talked about Aoiyama! With the Sanyaku’s weakness I really think he could get the runner-up position this tour! I agree Hakuho will get first, I feel he will be motivated by having 2 of his students for the Dohyo-iri. While I definitely don’t think Endo will win the whole tourney, he is the only guy in Sanyaku who looks promising coming into the tournament aside from the Yokozuna (obviously) and maybe Mitakeumi.

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