Sunday, December 23, 2012

Input on Musashimaru from Sumo World

"Yes, Musashimaru is opening his own heya. When Musashigawa reaches 65, he will acquire his kabu (he was the most successful deshi of ex-Mienoumi), and will open his own new Musashigawa Beya. In addition to his nephew from Hawaii, he is also trying to scout some Japanese deshi" - Sumo World editor

Fia opens stable, gets his 17 year old nephew into sumo!

"Ex-Musashimaru has become the second foreign-born Oyakata to have his own heya. He is re-establishing Musashigawa beya and will assume the name on February 4th upon the current Oyakata's retirement. His 17 year old nephew whom he has been schooling will join him there as well. He will attempt to recruit new deshi. The heya will be established on the current Nakamura beya premises. Nakamura has closed down as the Oyakata will retire on February 9th-all deshi will move to Azumazeki beya tomorrow. 1 gyoji-to Hakkaku. If everything goes as planned, deshi from the renewed Musashigawa will appear on the dohyo come March basho 2013." - credit to Kintamayama for this post on sumo forum.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Behind the Curtain - Jan 2013


January takes us to the first basho of the New Year, and at this time too, there are 2 first time sekitori, stepping out from behind the curtain, making their debut in the paid ranks. Accompanying these two men is one more rikishi returning to the paid ranks for the basho at Kokugikan. These three have one important thing in common, they are hail from the great country of Mongolia. These are three of the 27 Mongolians in the Sumo Association today.

Tamanoi beya's Azumaryu at Makushita 1 West notched a very impressive 6-1 record at Kyushu to earn his first trip to the paid division. He tore through these first 3 bouts of the Kyushu tourney, going 3-0, ironically beating his countryman, and one of the other 2 stepping out from behind the curtain, Kagamio, with a very strong uwatenage.

This rising star was noted by Mark Buckton back in January 8, 2011 in the Japan Times Online. Mark selected Azumaryu to as the rikishi to watch in 2011, and by reaching the Juryo rank, Azumaryu proved Mark correct, a little late, but correct none the less.

"And, of course, the up-and-comer to watch for in 2011 - Azumaryu Tsuyoshi - from Tamanoi Beya. Aged 23, ranked higher than the yokozuna at the same point in his own illustrious career, he is a Mongolian from the same town as Hakuho, and one set to benefit from the expertise of his stable master, former ozeki Tochiazuma - the last Japanese to win a yusho."

That is a pretty high bar, comparing young Azumaryu to one of the current Mongolian Yokozuna, Hakuho. And this writer is somewhat partial to the point that the last Japanese yusho was from Azumaryu oyakata, former ozeki Tochiazuma, which occurred 7 years ago at the same Hatsu basho at Kokugikan, January 2006.

Azumaryu is joining his stable's fellow sekitori, Fujiazuma and Yoshiazuma, in front the curtain this basho.

Kagamiyama beya's Kagamio at Makushita 4 West slipped into paid ranks with a 4-3 record last basho. Kagamiyama beya as a grand total of 2 rikishi, Kagamio and the oyakata's son, Ryusei. Kamagio's tsukebito will need to come from another stable. With only 2 rikishi, Kamagio will continue to perform sumotori duties at this stable, like washing clothes and cleaning the toilet.

This is Kagamio's first time in front of the curtain. Unlike Azumaryu, who is breaking Hakuho records in speed of raising up the ranks, Kagamio has been at for almost 10 years, with his debut in sumo back in July 2003!

Sakaigawa beya's Shironoryu at Makushita 3 East earn his kachikoshi with a 4-3 record in November. It was reported that Kagamio was singing Hakkeyoi the whole evening after finding out of his promotion to Juryo. He is only 179 cm tall and 115.2 kg big, so he isn't a large sekitori, but he has great technique, which as we all know, can make up for size.

This is Kagamio's first time in front of the curtain. Unlike Azumaryu, who is breaking Hakuho records in speed of raising up the ranks, Kagamio has been at for almost 10 years, with his debut in sumo back in July 2003!

Sakaigawa beya's Shironoryu at Makushita 3 East earn his kachikoshi with a 4-3 record in November. It was reported that Kagamio was singing Hakkeyoi the whole evening after finding out of his promotion to Juryo. He is only 179 cm tall and 115.2 kg big, so he isn't a large sekitori, but he has great technique, which as we all know, can make up for size.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Behind the Curtain - Nov 2012

It is November, taking us to our last basho of the year, at the lovely Fukuoka Kokusai Center. This basho will not only be the first for the 70th Yokozuna, it is also the first basho for one newly promoted sekiori. Along with the new juryo rikishi, four other rikishi are returning to the 2nd division from behind the curtain.

Our lucky debut sekitori is Ryuden. He is also the first sekitori from Takadagawa stable. He is also the first sekitori raised by ex-Sekiwake Akinoshima. He is the first sekitori from Yamanashi prefecture in the last 22 years. Both the new sekitori and the oyakata had some interesting thoughts to share after the annoucement.

Ryuden started out, "As soon as I heard of the promotion, the excitement of it all began to hit me. I hope to be able to reach the Makuuchi division in two or three basho." Ryuden has already figured out where he can borrow a silk mawashi, which only sekitori may wear. He has been Kisenosato's tsuke-bito, and believes he can borrow some red mawashi from his senpai.

Kyokushuho from Mongolia started 2012 in the Makuuchi, found himself in Makushita for the Aki basho, and can end 2012 as a sekitori again. Kyokushuho was originally a rikishi at the Mongolia sumotori factory, Oshima beya, which merged with Tomozuna beya. With his return to Juryo, he joins his stablemates Kaisei, Kyokutenho (on of the original 6 Mongolians) and Asahisho.

Masakaze spent half of 2012 in the paid ranks. He was promote to Juryo at the Natsu basho in May, but fell back behind the curtain for the Aki basho. In September unfortantely, his stableman, Kimikaze only won 3 bouts in Juryo, so in essence these two are trading places, one behind the curtain, one into the paid ranks. Ogurama oyakata will still only have 3 sekitori at Fukuoka; Masakaze, Takekaze, and Yoshikaze. And yes, the Ogurama oyakata is former Ozeki Kotokaze, hence all the wind in these rikishi's names.

Homarefuji will have spent 4 out of 6 of the 2012 bash in the paid ranks. He started 2012 at the Hatsu basho as a first time sekitori and he has fought his way back to sekitori to end the 2012. This is icing on the cake for former Yokozuna Asahifuji and current Isegahama oyakata, since he not only has 4 sekitori, but he has the new 70th Yokozuna, Haramafuji It has been an exceptional year for Isegahama oyakata and his stable, along with their supporters.

Finally we have our last returnee, Akiseyama. He first appeared in front of the curtain way back in November of 2010, followed by 3 consecutive appearances in Juryo, until he fell back to Makushita for the September 2011 tourney. This November he finally gets to wear the silk mawashi again. It looks like former Maegashira #1 Higonoumi and current Kise oyakata will have a total of 5 sekitori, since his lowest ranked sekitori, Tokushinho, did just get 7 wins at Juryo 12, to most likely just barely stayed ranked in the paid division.