[sumo] [spoilers]Asashoryu's open armed and beloved return.
kintamayama at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 8 16:55:44 EST 2007
----- Original Message ----
From: Scott M. Kahn <smk1 at columbia.edu>
To: Sumo Mailing List <sumo at webtrek.com>
Sent: Saturday, December 8, 2007 7:23:53 PM
Subject: Re: [sumo] [spoilers]Asashoryu's open armed and beloved return.
In case you forget, Asashoryu returned to Japan soon after the
incident and was quoted as apologizing for what happened. This
should have been it. However, the consortium of hotheaded oyakata
and the press precluded Kitanoumi from reacting properly, in my
opinion, and the situation was allowed to boil over to a point that
many were calling for Asashoryu's forced retirement.
Following the manslaughter charges that soon followed, the public
and press were able to put this into a more proper perspective, and
Asashoryu was welcomed back.
And, in case you forget, I posted soon after the incident, a list of
steps that I predicted would be adapted for Asashoryu's
rehabilitation into sumo. Including a Kyokai-sanctioned apology.
If you think that the real negotiations were not worked out behind
the scene, and much of what you are reporting and reposting is
meant for public consumption, including what was probably a well
choreographed lecturing of Asashoryu by his oyakata, then you are
mistaken. In the same manner, there is no way that Asashoryu was
presented his freedom to travel prior to the soccer incident
without the behind the scenes blessings of the Kyokai. Period.
They knew. The major point with the soccer incident was that the
Kyokai was embarrassed, and it was Asashoryu's fault for doing so.
You will be force fed more public displays of Asashoryu's obedience
to the Kyokai, and the Kyokai will tolerate Asashoryu's need for
freedom. This is the rehabilitation of Asashoryu's image at work.
If the Kyokai is smart, they will raise it to a level at which the
public embraces Asashoryu, leading to cash infusion into the
Kyokai. But don't think this is the result of anything other than
behind the scenes negotiations and mediation.
As for your continued thesis that the Kyokai "owns" its wrestlers, I
am not close enough to sumo to personally tell if the Kyokai is run
like an army or whether those wrestlers from Juryo on up are
allowed their independence. In a case like Asashoryu, who has
responsibilities as a Mongolian citizen of great stature, the
Kyokai should, in my opinion, allow him the freedom to fulfil such
And as for my comments that Asashoryu has revolutionized sumo on the
dohyo, this speaks for itself. Asashoryu has brought a style of
wrestling to sumo that is quick, talented, smart, and talented
beyond what was previously displayed on the dohyo. The only
wrestler who I have seen that comes close in performance was
Chiyonofuji. This new style has left the Japanese wrestlers in
need of changing their approach to sumo, I think there was a recent
interview with Musoyama that spoke to this very clearly.
I find it ironic that you choose not to speculate on whether
Takanohana was a steroid abuser, however you are quick to criticize
Asashoryu for not obeying the perceived rules of the Kyokai without
first hand knowledge of the agreements that Asashoryu and the
Kyokai had behind the scenes regarding his independence and
reporting of his injuries. I think Asashoryu is due the same
respectful consideration from you in lieu of this knowledge that
you afford Takanohana. This was my point when all of this
overreaction first came out, and still is.
Quoting Moti <kintamayama at yahoo.com>:
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Scott M. Kahn <smk1 at columbia.edu>
> Quoting Moti <kintamayama at yahoo.com>:
> <<A Clintonian-like revision. Please reread posts from the time
> the incident. Especially reports of inflamed oyakata>>
> That was then, we are talking about now, no? Things change
> according to the situation, and the situation is that now he has
> apologized. Different ballgame.
> > Not "after some reflection"- after the apology. The "average"
> > Japanese wanted some sort of sign that Asa understood he was
> > wrong, and when they got that , they just naturally moved on.
> > Like most of us, BTW.
> <<He was wrong for a transgression, not a manslaughter. And you
> forget that the initial hysterical outburst was for his
> reread the polls at that time. Perhaps this is a lesson to those
> who reacted in haste that there are more trying issues that they
> should have been focusing on. >>
> That's human nature.At the beginning, everyone is hotheaded. with
> time, things are forgotten. Again, things have changed-he
> apologized. That part of the puzzle was missing back then. I
> still think if he would have apologized and returned to Japan
> immediately, most of this could have been avoided.
> << Asashoryu's dedication to his
> position has always been there, as I and others who are far, far
> better acquainted with him have related in many posts.>.
> At the risk of repeating myself, being acquainted with him has no
> bearing on this discussion.That is a major issue between us. I
> have quite a few acquaintances but that doesn't mean they could
> do no wrong.
> << How ironic
> that a simple display of participation in a Jungyo on an injured
> heel gets more sympathy than when Asashoryu participated in
> Hakuho's final Ozeki basho with injured arms, back, etc. and
> him for a minute on the dohyo, only so that Hakuho would earn his
> promotion by defeating a Yokozuna. To me, that is the ultimate
> display of respect for one's position as Yokozuna. I guess there
> are only selected times when such participation is viewed as
> Apples and oranges. He showed great dedication here, and screwed
> up there. He was the first yokozuna ever to lose by hair-pulling,
> and yet he graciously gave his kensho money to a retiring gyoji.
> That's life. You get the spotlight on you when you screw up, and
> not when you do what is expected of you.
> <<OK. I still think the Kyokai needs to understand how to better
> manage the public perception of foreign wrestlers.>>
> What? A different attitude towards foreign wrestlers? Shouldn't
> it be the other way around? The foreigners adapting to the sport
> they joined and its ways? The public perception of foreign
> wrestlers is not helped by their unwillingness to bow after a
> loss, their beating up on the press, etc..It's not the Kyokai's
> job, it's the foreigners' job (or any rikishi's job, regardless
> of origin) to adapt.
> <<Takanohana was promoted as a rebirth of a sumo deity.
> who has changed how sumo is performed, has been promoted as a bad
> boy. >.
> Whoa.... Asashouryuu has "changed how sumo is performed"??? I'd
> love for you to elaborate on that.
> <<< From what I know of both individuals, Asashoryu exhibits many
> more of the qualities that I would want from a yokozuna. No, the
> Kyokai would rather promote Takamisakari because of his
> and immature antics.>>
> OK, I'm losing you totally here.. Say what??? The Kyokai will
> promote whoever wins more bouts, not whoever is more flamboyant.
> I don't see what you are trying to say. So you would want your
> Yokozuna to be above the rules? Or would you bend the rules every
> time your yokozuna slips up? Where's the boundary, the limit to
> what a yokozuna can do, in your eyes?
> > No. He missed the tournaments because of a career ending knee
> > injury. All the rest is speculation. And let's not get started
> > with steroids and Asa , shall we..It's all speculation.
> > Takanohana didn't fly to Paris to get his knee operated because
> > of steroids. And even if for argument's sake he was on
> > it was the knee that ended his career.
> <<His knee injury occurred as the result of steroid use. Too
> weight on his frame and stress. That's OK, I think enough time
> passed for all of us to publicly admit that. You have
> By the way, do you have a close up of Takanohana's face while he
> was on steroids?>>
> The same can be said for Asashouryuu. Yet you prefer to skip
> that part. Throwing mud at a dai-yokozuna without any shred of
> evidence just to make a point about someone else is not nice. You
> make it sound as if you KNOW that happened for a fact. Evidence
> please. Give me a quote on that from a tabloid.
> <<Takanohana's career ended because he sold his soul. >.
> Sez you. Totally unaccepted by me. Any substantial evidence to
> back that up? Any shred of evidence other than what you THINK is
> steroid use?
> suspension was a result of participation in a charity soccer
> And, we haven't been told the entire story. While you might
> that Asashoryu was completely at fault, the truth has not come
> about the circumstances and inner agreements between Asashoryu
> Kitanoumi and the Kyokai. >>
> Oh, so now you have some concrete inside information about a
> conspiracy in high places that only a select few, including you,
> are privy to..
> <<You may believe what you want, I haven't
> seen evidence that the Kyokai was not aware of Asashoryu's
> and whererabouts. I suspect he was given permission to miss the
> Jungyo (the back injury listed was chronic, not serious), but he
> screwed up by participating in the charity soccer event. The
> Kyokai got caught with its mawashi down when Asashoryu was filmed
> at the charity event. Of course it is Asashoryu's responsibility
> for partaking, and terrible judgement. But I see nothing that
> convinces me that the reaction was not a cover up for the
> embarassment and mishandling of the situation and the sponsors,
> that Asashoryu was the victim of an absurd decision brought upon
> a consortium of rabid oyakata who never appreciated him in the
> first place.>>
> This is so way off the scale of logic I don't know how to handle
> it. EVIDENCE???
> Of course he was given permission to miss the jungyo-he had a
> note from his doctor excusing him from PE class for 6 weeks.
> Where's the scoop in THAT?? That's the whole point of the
> And I see now you acknowledge he screwed up and that it was
> terrible judgment!! So actually, we agree!!
> <<,Public hype vs. actual personality, and Japanese vs.
> Again, personally, I would rather Asashoryu have my back than
> Takanohana, based on generous and valuable reports from the more
> knowledgable people on this list, yourself included... If you or
> others have warm Takanohana anecdotes, I'd love to read them so
> that I could reevaluate my opinion.>>
> I haven't said a word about my personal like or dislike of
> Takanohana, yet you keep coming back to this point. I have
> mentioned Sumo fans in general, not me. And there really is no
> argument that Takanohana was vastly more popular than Asa in
> Japan, even before the scandal. Asa is widely disliked for many
> reasons, without going into them. Just a fact. So much so, that
> he burst into tears upon winning the yusho a few basho ago when
> he heard one guy yelling out his name-these are his words. I
> don't want you to reevaluate your opinion of Takanohana.- you
> have already said things about him based on the oxygen in the
> atmosphere only and "insider stories" and nothing I or anyone
> else will say can change your attitude towards him..I want you to
> get your facts straight. It has nothing to do with who or what I
> personally like, which is arguable. Popularity of a rikishi as a
> fact , is just that- a fact. Takanohana was far more popular than
> Asa. That's all I'm
> saying. I'm not saying if that is the way the universe should
> line up. It's the way it is. And what you or I personally would
> prefer has no bearing on this fact. I don't base my evaluation of
> someone's action on the sole fact that I met him-I base it on the
> facts as I know them, which I of course divulge, and not on some
> fuzzy insider information.
> Now, if you would care to elaborate on these shady deals you are
> accusing the Kyokai of, backed with hard evidence, I and all of
> us here would love to hear it.
> There is not much use in a discussion when you make some really
> serious allegations without letting us in on the sordid details
> in full. Otherwise, it's just based on gossip and rumor. Even an
> article in a tabloid referring to what you are saying would at
> least be a start..
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