Sunday, January 20, 2008


Sumo- week one digest

Greetings fans, and welcome to the New Year Grand Sumo tournament, brought to you courtesy of Softmap and Yamada Denki, the two electronics retailers who do for my TV access what the Apple store does for my internet access.

And to those of you who say "WTF, Dan: when are you going to sort your life out?" I say: the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. And by "blowing", I mean "twisting".

Anywell, Dan is happy because he has Sumo to look forward to every day. For those of you who don't follow the sport, it is the comeback for Asashoryu, who was suspended for two tournies by the antiquated collection of pant-pissers on the Sumo council for the heinous crime of participating in a charity football tournament when he took some time off from Sumo on the pretext of recovering from a back injury.

Damning though the evidence is, I don't think falling over on some grass is quite as damaging as being bashed around the ring by the likes of Chiyotaikai.

After beating the snot out of fellow Yokozuna Hakuho in front of the Yokozuna Deliberation Beards prior to the tournament, Asa looked odds on to be the least popular comeback champion since Tyson beat up Frankie Dettori Bruno for the second time.

However, Asa blotted his copybook on day two of the tournament: losing to pouty Jon Kunimura-lookalike Kisenosato. Hakuho, meanwhile has a clean sheet and is out on his own as the tournament leader. Asa and a couple of rank-and-filers are one win behind as the tournament enters its second week today.

Yesterday saw Asa pull out a great escape as he was forced to the edge of the ring by Dejima, before pulling off a matador-esque sukuinage (beltless arm throw), which nearly had his opponent buying a ticket for readmission. Asa conceded afterwards that it hadn't been particularly pretty Sumo, but his nonchalant demeanour as he sent Dejima out was great comedy.

(All the action's after 4:30- look how calm Asa is, the cocky devil.)

Hakuho had a tough bout against Miyabiyama, but came up with the goods to protect his unbeaten record, although I expect he had a pretty sore face this morning.

Although Hakuho holds the lead in the current tournament, the outcome will most probably be decided on the final day (a week today) when the two Yokozuna are scheduled to meet. Watching Asa in preparation for bouts at the moment, he doesn't seem to be suffering from a lack of motivation. On the contrary, watching him glare off into the crowd during warm-ups one gets the impression that he would like nothing better than to stomp some heads. Understandable, given his treatment at the hands of the Sumo Council. The other evil gaijin (me, VMM) are hoping he'll score a comeback win. Nothing against Hakuho, but it would be nice to see him give the finger to the haters.

Pugnacious Ozeki Chiyotaikai, meanwhile, followed up on his near-success in the Kyushu tournament by losing the first seven matches of this tournament, retiring from the tournament after yesterday's defeat. In his defence, he has been hampered by the injured elbow Hakuho inflicted on him during their fierce battle in Kyushu.

Go on, then: happy memories...

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Spot on analysis.
I ain't hating on Hakuho but this is Asa's world and we just live in it.--VMM
Yo, Discovery Channel or one of those other documentary networks are doing a special on Asa and how he's rocked the sumo establishment. You ought to get someone to download it after it premiers.

So, I'm a dead ringer for this Kisenosato, am I? Were I a nicer person I might not point out that I've long considered you Daryl Johnson's less-charismatic doppelganger, but then again...all you limeys do look alike.

Email me, you douchebag. Hemp's Happy Hour is still 5-7, and you're right up the Keihan now.

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