You weren’t expecting that news this morning, were you? Neither was I, frankly. We’d known Ishiura’s retirement was going to happen fairly soon but the fact that he would stay on with the Kyokai has taken us by surprise. Even more surprising is that the Magaki kabu has been occupied by the former Chikubayama, Hakuho’s former stable-master. So he’s out. As Ishiura’s kesho mawashi says, “Carpe Diem.”
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the fact that all of these kabu are in use and questions about various succession timelines. I imagine it works the same as any equity. If you own stock in Root Beer, Inc., (I like Root Beer), and more people want your stock, the value of that stock goes up. Root Beer, Inc. to the moon, baby!! But if you issue more stock, it dilutes the value of the equity you have and the price goes down. If we start handing out Kabu to every Hakuho, Terunofuji, and Harry, it will decrease the value of those already in circulation. So I presume these are the conversations that are going on among the oyakata — and may have even factored into the choice not to create a new Hakuho kabu but that’s speculation. The big difference is that I can’t be aged out of my ownership of Root Beer, Inc. when I hit 70 — and I can also buy it back if I’m full of regerts.
What does this mean? Well, ex-Magaki — I’m talking about Chikubayama, not Hakuho here — is out of the Kyokai. He’d had sanyo status where he was a retired advisor attached to Hakuho’s Miyagino-beya. The Kyokai’s profile page for Miyagino-beya has already been updated to reflect the change. So I need to look somewhere else to show you an example. Recently, Irumagawa-oyakata retired and Ikazuchi-oyakata took over. Irumagawa is still attached to Ikazuchi-beya as sanyo, and he can stay there for five years, collecting income. It’s not a big leap to presume Ishiura would have paid a premium to buy Chikubayama out early, or that this timeline was the reason for Ishiura’s delayed retirement announcement (we’ve kind of known he wouldn’t return to the dohyo for a while). Cash out before being forced out? It’s a sensible choice. Carpe Pay Day-um?