Tachiai In The News

With a hearty thanks to Mr. John Gunning….

He has penned an article in the Japan Times on the fan driven English language sumo media. He gives well deserved mentions to notables such as:

Sumo Forum – The place to go to read actual sumo experts
Moti Dichne – Better known as Kintamayama, the grand duke of sumo media
Grand Sumo Breakdown – If you don’t listen to them, you should.

And nestled in there is a mention of Tachiai, with a specific shout out to our ace prognosticator Leonid Kruglyak (lksumo) and contributor Herouth.

Team Tachiai is honored to make the press, and to be described in positive terms.

It’s a testament of how global sumo fandom has grown, and I think will continue to grow. People like John Gunning, Moti Dichne, and Jason have spent more than a decade blazing the trail that the rest of us are now following.

That being said, I do hope that we get to have Mr. Gunning back as commentator on NHK soon. I have no news of this, but I do miss having him on the color commentator rotation for the weekend broadcasts.

Tachiai / Grand Sumo Breakdown Mock Natsu Basho

Hello sumo fans. If you are like me, you are sadly disappointed by the news of the world, and the loss of the May tournament. The sumo world has already suffered one tragic loss, and we hope that everyone else in Japan (and all of our global readers) can stay safe and healthy. But Team Tachiai, and our friends at Grand Sumo Breakdown sure do miss sumo, and we think maybe many of you do as well.

Rather than wait for the next basho (maybe July?), we have decided to conduct a mock Natsu basho. Some people will be annoyed or outraged by this move, but please keep in mind – its all in good fun. Rest assured, both Tachiai and Grand Sumo Breakdown have taken great care to simulate the basho with as much accuracy as we can muster. The torikumi (fight roster) will be constructed as close as we can to the same approach the Sumo Kyokai would use. The individual matches are mapped out comparing statistical strengths and weaknesses between the contestants, and the system tracks such things as attitude, winning momentum, fighting spirit, minor injuries and major injuries. The whole thing will be completely fictitious, but we will all be working very hard to bring you an authentic basho experience. This mock basho is crafted by fans who love the sport, respect the athletes and the traditions of sumo.

We will start our coverage with the release of the day 1 and 2 torikumi this Friday, the same as it would have happened if the basho were going ahead. You can expect the same daily previews and highlights that we would normally present. Sadly there will be no NHK or YouTube videos to go along with our coverage. But from what I understand, Grand Sumo Breakdown will be hosting some podcast segments covering the mock basho.

So shake off those “safer at home” lockdown blues. Join Tachiai and Grand Sumo Breakdown for a trip into what could have been. Our coverage will begin in the next few days.

Sumo Fan Survey!

Our friends over at GSB have created a survey (link here and in the embedded Tweet below) to learn more about rikishi popularity. We all know Ikioi is the greatest but NOW is when you fill it in to a survey and see it actually reflected in data. As people may be aware with the Tableau dashboards around the website, Leonid’s prognostication and the encyclopedic knowledge of Bruce, Herouth, and Josh, we love data. Metrics are good. Sometimes it’s just because they make pretty pictures but often there are interesting things to learn. Mostly, I just like pretty graphs that move when I click and I expect the numbers will shift quite a bit next year when Terunofuji returns to Juryo…and hopefully Makuuchi soon after!

Seriously, though, who wouldn’t love a stats-based approach to running a heya? Even if it is just my armchair heya? I’m particularly interested in the heya popularity data.

The Empire Strikes Back is always the best Star Wars movie, and Terunofuji is Lord Vader. When he beat Kisenosato…or perhaps when he beat Kotoshogiku…and knelt to accept his kenshokin, was anyone else struck by how his oicho-mage evoked Vader’s kabuto-inspired mask? Or maybe it was the evil of the victory…I dunno. He’ll always be Vader to me and now he’s back! Dun, dun, dun…

Wow. Post-basho delirium is in full swing. (Send help.) Thank God for that amateur tournament in a few days.

Grand Sumo Breakdown Launches


The crew at Tachiai welcome a new site dedicated to bringing English language sumo fans the rich media environment they deserve.  They call themselves “Grand Sumo Breakdown”, and they appear to be focusing on audio podcasts.

We have attempted, in the past, to establish a podcast regime, but the overhead of running the text content for the site and the pre/post production of audio was just more than our personal lives could manage. So we welcome the GSB crew, and look forward to actively listening to their contributions to the sumo world.

Their podcasts are available on iTunes and Stitcher (coming soon to Google Play).

Grand Sumo Breakdown.