View Full Version : Day # one, of the Hatsu Sumo Basho, was a scorcher!

14th January 2008, 02:32
Well, it seems that we are in for a most thrilling Hatsu Sumo Basho! Both Yokozuna seemed on their mark. :D Asashoryu was ferocious and Hakuho was brilliant. Sadly, Chiyotaikai is still suffering from the injury Yokozuna Hakuho inflicted upon his right arm, last time around. :cry: Kaio was sly & mighty, Kotomitsuki was poetic, Kotooshu bested Miyabiama, Ama got a butt-whipping from Tochinonada, Aminishiki out-foxed Goeido, Asasekiryu was lightning-quick in his defeat of the Herculean Wakanosato, Homasho made me cry... does it get any better than this? These are "the good old days" ! While it's far-too-early to proclaim any dominant force in this Yusho, I suggest we all stay tuned to our NHK broadcast for this most exciting competition in years!

Hey John McCulloch,
What do you predict? Yes you, the "Jimmy the Greek" of the professional Sumo world. Does Asa look like the invincible force he used to be? Can Hakuho's cool and elegant precision, prevail to capture the yusho? These and many other questions are burning (like wasabi mustard) on the tip of our tongues! Quick, someone pass me a cup of sake! :D What do you think? Anyone else have an insights? Thanks All and be well!

Later, Jon Palombi

John McCulloch
15th January 2008, 21:14
Well... Asashoryu was out-Asashoryu-ed by Kisenosato on Day 2 - an exciting and strong win.

I haven't seen the day 3 footage yet but so far my main impressions are that Hakuho is looking fine, Baruto and Chiyotaikai are looking hurt and the new big lad Ichihara looks like he could be the real deal (on Day 1's evidence).

This is a good basho already!

John McCulloch

Earl Hartman
17th January 2008, 02:01
I hope Asashoryu gets his ass kicked. The man is a disgrace to sumo. He should have been drummed out.

It's a testament to the desperation of the Sumo Kyokai and the waning of sumo's popularity that he's still wrestling.

19th January 2008, 02:29
Well Earl,
you may have an undeniable point. Asa is, in many ways, like the American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mike Tyson. An indomitable force, yet, too wild to tame. When he defies the Sumo Kyokai Association (not to mention 1500 years of traditional educate!), he makes himself an obvious target to criticism and rebuke. Still, you've got to admit, look at what his presence does for the ticket sales! Sumo MUST be popular to survive into the 21st century. Yes? Also, I agree, he's had it way too easy, for far too long. Perhaps Yokozuna Hakuho will give him further instructions in proper Yokozuna behavior? Or will it just come down to their match? Thanks for your input.

Later, Jon Palombi

Earl Hartman
20th January 2008, 02:34
The man can wrestle, no doubt about it. But he has no class.

I like Hakuho. So far, he looks, acts, talks, and wrestles like a yokozuna should. I hope he beats Asa and brings some dignity back to the title of yokozuna.

21st January 2008, 02:34
Hey Earl,
I agree, after 8-0, Hakuho is performing magnificently. Yeah, he does behave with much more dignity and poise than Asashoryu. My wife, Alice, says he is "Takanohana-like". Yes, he sure is much like that composed and majestic Yokozuna. Even so, it will eventually boil down to the last handful of matches. I feel Asa will tire a bit, towards the finish of this tournament. By now Hakuho is way beyond his sophomore jinx, so I don't expect him to crumble from the pressure. He does indeed seem to hold the poise and stature of the Yokozuna, well indeed. Is it Hakuho's to claim? Can Asashoryu rally, by digging-in-deep, to reclaim his domain? Since none of the Ozeki seem to be likely contenders for the championship, who will rise to challenge the Yokozunas? I might have suggested Kotoshogiku but after his Day #8. match with Hakuho, I just hope he can continue to walk! It looks like it is going to be a barn-burner. Stay tuned, folks, for all the unfolding action!

Hey John McCulloch,
What's your take on this Basho? Baruto seems to be recovering fine. Kisenosato is quite promising. Ama is struggling but very hungrey. Most of the Ozeki are floundering... So, will it be a battle of Yokozunas, on Day # 15? Will it be composure or bravado, that rules the day? What do you think?

Later, Jon Palombi

John McCulloch
22nd January 2008, 03:59
No shortage of excitement so far.

Today's match between Ama and Asashoryu was wonderful. Ama's had a pretty poor basho up to this point, but the match brought out all his skill.

Hakuho is still looking great. I preferred his sumo when he was on the way up - he seemed to have more fighting spirit - but you can't deny that he looks very comfortable as yokozuna.

Kisenosato was powerful today against Roho and has had a great basho so far.

It was a great shame that Kotoshogiku had to drop out as he was fighting really well. It looked like he could have been in line for a promotion. Poor guy.

Kyokutenho will be a challenge for both yokozuna due to his weird octopus-like flexibility and experience. Takekaze could also strike a blow for angry small guys everywhere! He's super fast and the height disparity could be to his advantage, especially against Hakuho.

As for the others, I like Toyonoshima - he's small but has textbook technique and growing confidence. I also think Ichihara will develop well as the year goes on (although he was cr@p today). He's got ice in his veins and a ton of lead in his belly! He just needs to get used to the pace of makuuchi.

As for the Hatsu basho outcome, I still think Asashoryu will win because he has been in this exact situation many, many times. I think he is the most skillful rikishi (but certainly not the most dignified). In any event, IMHO it is good for Hakuho and the rest of the field to have to deal with Asashoryu because it will inevitably bring the technical standard up. After all, they must REALLY want to beat him.

We have more serious contenders in this basho than for some time and that indicates that the level as a whole is on the way up.

Looking forward to Day 10.

John McCulloch

22nd January 2008, 06:20
How popular is sumo in Japan still compared to... say... Australian cricket? =P

Josh Reyer
22nd January 2008, 10:31
How popular is sumo in Japan still compared to... say... Australian cricket? =P

Do you mean how popular is sumo in Japan compared to Australian cricket? Or how popular is sumo in Japan compared to cricket in Australia? Because I don't know enough about cricket in Australia to answer the second question, but I can say that in the various sports popularity polls taken in Japan, baseball has long come out at number one. In a recent 2007 poll, 51% of respondents said baseball, 23% said soccer, and 18% said sumo. However, this down from the Waka-Taka boom of the mid-90s, when sumo reached over 50%. Still, it remains in the top three.

John McCulloch
28th January 2008, 02:41

Quite amazing - see here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-BPFcYLZQA)

John McCulloch

Earl Hartman
28th January 2008, 16:55
While Asa was not humiliated as I had hoped, at least he lost.

Hakuho wrestled a great match. Really good sumo.

Let's hope Asa learns a lesson from this. Not likely, but one can always hope.