Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Basho

It's sumo time again. The November Tournament will start very soon and it's looking like it will be an exciting one.

Kotoshigiku has secured his spot at the second highest rank, while Ozeki Harumafuji barely stayed above a winning record.

Hakuho looks to dominate the tournament but will run into some tough competition with the new Ozeki.

Here are my predictions for the the Yokozuna and the 4 Ozeki.

Y Hakuho 14-1

O Baruto 11-4

O Harumafuji 10-5

O Kotooshu 9-6

O Kotoshogiku 13-2

I think it will be close race between Hakuho and Kotoshogiku. Let the wrestling begin!

Monday, October 3, 2011

September Basho Recap

Hakuho won. Harumafuji flopped. Ozeki? What Ozeki? The only real positive thing that this Basho offered was a Ozeki promotion for Kotoshogiki.

Here are my "Top 5 Rikishi" this tournament starting with #5.

5. Maegashira #1 Homasho had to fight all the top guys right off the bat. By day 8 he was 5 and 3 beating all three Ozeki and both Komusubi's. He will be promoted to Komosubi or possibly Sekiwake next basho. He ended the tournament with a 10-5 record.

4. Meagashira #11 Gagamaru came out swinging and by day 11 had a record of 10-1 and a win against Ozeki Baruto. He then went on to lose 3 in a row but ended the tournament with an impressive 11-4 record.

3. Sekiwake Kisenosato ended the tournament with a 12-3 record and a win against the Yokozuna but couldn't get the best of the Ozeki or fellow Sekiwake Kotoshogiku. Still a impressive tournament.

2. Yokozuna Hakuho had another great tournament proving that he is the best in the ring. He did however lose to both Sekiwake this basho. Ending with a 13-2 record he improves to a 533-106 record in the Makuuchi division. Very impressive!

1. Sekiwake Kotoshogiku proved that he belongs amongst the Ozeki. Although falling short of a playoff match against Hakuho he had a great tournament posting a 12-3 record and beating the Yokozuna in a thrilling bout. I look for him to really shake up the competition in the November basho. Congratulations to Kotoshogiku on his promotion to Ozeki

Well, this rounds out my top five for the Basho. I wish I could have been writing about my favorite wrestler, Harumafuji but he failed to do much in this tournament going 8-7 and blowing a chance for Yokozuna promotion.

Looking forward to November!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

After Day 11 : September Basho

Although there is much disappointment amongst the Ozeki, the Maegashira ranks offer some much needed excitement in the sumo ring. Maegashira #11 Gagamaru is sitting in position to seriously challenge Yokozuna Hakuho. After a day one loss to Aminishiki he has gone on a 10 bout winning streak beating anyone who stepped in the ring. With a vital day 11 win against Baruto he is poised to do something really great. The last time a Maegashira won a tournament was in 2001 when Maegashira #2 Kotomitsuki won the September Basho. I am hoping that Gagamaru will win the tournament.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Through day 4 :September Basho

Horrible. This is the worst Ozeki performance I have ever seen. Harumafuji has disapointed. Baruto is tied with him at 2-2 and Kotoshoo is 1-3. I cannot believe what I'm seeing.

Hakuho is rolling as usual. Kotoshogiku is at 4-0 and is looking for the Ozeki promotion. I have to say I am very excited about this fourth Ozeki prospect. It will really shake things up and make it more interesting for future Tournaments.

In the Maegashira ranks Kyokutenho is 4-0 with several rikishi at 3-1 including Gagamuru and Tochinoshin.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kotoshogiku: Ozeki Promotion?

This tournament is so important for several wrestlers. One of these is Sekiwake Kotoshogiku. His impressive basho in July, where he beat Yokozuna Hakuho and Ozeki Baruto put him in position for promotion. But, he failed to win 12 bouts and therefore was kept waiting.
In this tournament he will have to stand up to the higher ranked wrestlers and stay dominant of the rank in filers.
His last three tournaments have been very impressive with a record of 32 wins and 13 losses.

Will he gain promotion? We will see here in a few weeks. I do hope he makes it. It would be very good for sumo and create more competition for the the Ozeki.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Banzuke

The Septemeber Banzuke has been announced. I am very very excited for this basho. Until the tournament begins I will be writing about a few wrestlers I will be watching closely in this tournament.

The first wrestler I would like to highlight is newcomer "Takanoyama". This 98kg (215lbs) rishiki from Czechoslovakia is the smallest wrestler in the top division.

In the July juryo basho he went 10-5 beating Myogiryu who out weighed him by almost 100 pounds.

With an over all record of 225 wins and 177 losses I think he will do just fine in the top division. My personal prediction for this light weight rikishi is 9-6. I think he could go as high as Komusubi in his career.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hakuho losing for Good of Sumo

I have been reading recently on some sumo forums and have found Sumo fans comparing Sumo to WWF, saying that it is all staged. Saying that Hakuho in the last tournament dropped a couple bouts and lost the tournament to "create some competition". Making himself "catch-able" by wrestlers like Kotoshigiku, who beat Hakuho as he sought Ozeki promotion. Also that because Sumo is a dying sport, nobody except die hard fans will show up to see Sumo where one guy (Hakuho) is dominating. Therefore he is trying to create good sumo by dropping a few.

I think this is absolutely FALSE. I may have only been following Sumo for 2 and a half years, but I have seen nothing that would prove to me that Hakuho would purposely lose. He is very competitive. And by saying that Hakuho lost on purpose is basically like saying Harumafuji was handed the tournament.

Harumafuji worked hard for this one. Hakuho is beatable. Period. Just because he had the streak and has won the last 7 tournaments in a row doesn't mean the guy is never going to slip up.

I think we need to just watch the Sport and quit looking for it's flaws.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sumo: The Last pure Sport

You may wonder how I could call Sumo a "pure" sport, what with all the scandal the last few years. Betting on baseball, throwing bouts and the hazing of young wrestlers. Other sports have these same problems. Gambling, steroid use and other such happenings.

But lets look at the history of Sumo. Sumo wrestling like many sports was designed as a test of strength in combat. Like in the Highlands of Scotland they used these tests of strength as training for battle. You can still see this in their intense training today.

Also the religious significance is still seen today. The ritual dances take you back to an ancient time when Japan was cut off from the Western world. Watching Sumo is sort of like stepping back in time.

I think for these reasons Sumo remains a pure sport because although there have been subtle changes over the years, Sumo still retains tradition and the spirit of Japan of old.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wrestler of the Month: Maegashira 5 Kaisei

Coming to sumo in 2006 Brazil native Kaisei has risen up the sumo ranks. After moving up to Juryo in 2010 and getting a Yusho (tournament victory) in November of 2010 he made his Makuuchi debut in May of 2011. His first tournament went well as he won 9 straight and finished the tournament with a 10-5 record. He was then promoted to Maegashira #5. In the July tournament he went 6-9 while having to face an Ozeki for the first time. He will be demoted for the September Basho.

Here are some career stats for Kaisei:
Wins 145
Losses 99
1 Juryo Yusho

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Harumafuji Yokozuna Promotion

I have been reading in some forums about Harumufaji's possible Yokozuna promotion if he wins the September basho. People are saying that he's not Yokozuna material because of his inconsistency in the first half of the tournament. In essence losing the bouts he should win and winning the bouts he should have a harder time winning.
Lets look at the stats. Since becoming Ozeki he has never won more than 10 bouts except for his Yusho (championship victory) tournaments. But in 15 basho as Ozeki he has posted a 138-76 record.

Lets compare Harumafuji to the other Ozeki.

Baruto last six tournaments as Ozeki has won 58 and lost 32

Kotooshu last six tournaments as Ozeki has won 50 and lost 36 and sat out 4

Harumafuji's last six tournaments as Ozeki has won 50 and lost 29 and sat out 11

Now in my opinion Baruto has had the most success in the last 6 picking up two 11 win tournaments. But I still think Baruto is a ways off from Yokozuna as is Kotooshu.

Harumafuji has a 11-9 record against Baruto and is even with Kotooshu at 15-15. Against Kaio he was 16-12.

To wrap it up I think Harumafuji will have to work hard for Yokozuna. I think fans will have to judge for themselves. It's not cut and dry. All the Ozeki are pretty evenly matched. But I think he has the desire. He's one of the most exciting wrestlers I've ever watched and his ability to win is there. Go Harumafji!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fujiazuma is my Daughter's Favorite

My daughter Emmelynn (8 months) was sitting in my lap while I was looking through the wrestlers profiles on the goo.sumo website. I was clicking on some of the new wrestlers to get familiar with them. I had clicked on a few with no reaction from Emmelynn. She just sat there staring at the screen. Then I clicked on Fujiazuma. She clinched her fists, stuck her arms out and went AAAHHHH!!! with a huge smile on her face and then started to squeal like she does when she is happy. So we decided she liked Fujiazuma. I will be covering his career on here for her.

Born in Tokyo on April 19th 1986 made his Sumo debut in 2003. In January of 2011 he made his debut at the Juryo level posting an 8-7 record in his first Basho and 9-6 in his second. In July he appeared at the Makuuchi level at the rank of Maegashira #15 and compiled 10 wins and 5 losses.

Juryo Champion Myogiryu

Juryo 12 Myogiryu has been wrestling in Sumo since May of 2009. Since then he has posted a career record of 55-19.

I believe he will make the Makuuchi ranks very soon. I am impressed by his records in each tournament and for him to win his second ever tournament in Juryo is also impressive.
Here is his record from each tournament. The word Yusho stands for Championship Victory.

Miyamoto Yasunari
2009.05 Ms15TD 5-2
2009.07 Ms7w 5-2
2009.09 Ms2w 5-2
2009.11 Ms1w 5-2
Myogiryu Yasunari
2010.01 J14e 1-2-12
2010.03 Ms14e 0-0-7
2010.05 Ms54w 0-0-7
2010.07 Sd34w 0-0-7
2010.09 Sd94w 7-0 D
2010.11 Ms58e 6-1 Y Yusho
2011.01 Ms26w 6-1
2011.05 Ms8e 4-3
2011.07 J12w 11-4 Y Yusho (1st)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Makuuchi Newcomer Takayasu

Takayasu is a newcomer to the top division who has a chance to go far in Sumo. In his first tournament (July) he posted a 9-6 record with notable wins against Shotenro and veteran Takamisakari.

Born on February 28th 1990 he made his debut in 2005 and his Juryo debut in November of 2010. After three tournaments in Juryo, this July was his first tournament in the Makuuchi division. He started out with a loss and then went on a 7 bout winning streak before losing the next 5 out of 7.

His career record is 169 wins and 122 losses with a 9-6 Makuuchi record. He also has 1 Makushita Championship under his belt. His favorite techniques are Tsuki (push with elbows locked) and Oshi (push down with elbows bent).

I look forward to watching him the rest of the year.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wrestlers of the Month: Ozeki Kaio

The wrestler of the month is Ozeki Kaio.

Kaio began his long career in 1988 and moved up to the top division in 1993 finishing 4-11. After two more tournaments in the Juryo division he came back to the Top in November finishing 10-5. His first tournament championship came in 2000 when he won the May tournament as an Komusubi, posting a 14-1 record. After promotion to Ozeki two tournaments later he went on to win 4 more championships and posting a career record of 1,047 wins and 700 losses. He retired after this months tournament only winning 3. He withdrew after day 11. He holds the record for most wins passing Chiyonofuji.
Kaio will remain in sumo as a coach and will be named Asakayama.

Harumufuji Takes July Championship

Ozeki Harumufuji silenced critics in what I believe to be his finest tournament of his career. I was proud of him. After suffering from some ankle problems he has come back, trained hard and has put himself in a position to really challenge the Yokozuna Hakuho. His style is well suited for his size and he can thrust and grapple with the best of them. But one thing I think he is under estimated for is his ability to throw. His quick belt throws and underarm throws are some of the best I have seen. I believe he can get to Yokozuna.

I am anxious for the next tournament. Go Harumufuji!