Guide to
Barbara's Sumo Site
  1. Barbara's Sumo Site
  2. Sumo News Page
    1. 2007-05-29 Hakuho Tsuna Preparation
    2. 2007-05-30 Hakuho becomes yokozuna
    3. 2007-05-31 Hakuho receives belt
    4. 2007-06-01 Hakuho at Meiji Shrine
    5. 2007-06-03 Interview with Hakuho
    6. 2007-06-20 Hitorizumo Ritual
    7. 2007-06-25 Hakuho on the Banzuke
    8. 2007-07-06 Hiro's Pre-basho Sum Up
    9. 2007-07-23 B4 Post-Basho Summary
    10. 2007-07-26 Kotomitsuki promoted to Ozeki
    11. 2007-08-01 Asashoryuu Suspended
    12. 2007-08-02 Some Losing Techniques
    13. 2007-08-04 Tachiai Techniques
    14. 2007-08-23 Asashoryuu Scandal Update
    15. 2007-08-29 Asashoryuu Goes Home
    16. 2007-09-04 Upcoming Basho Update
    17. 2007-09-04 Hiro Tries Out
    18. 2007-09-28 Basho 5 Sum Up
    19. 2007-10-07 Tokitsukaze Dismissed
    20. 2008-05-27 Basho 3 Kotooushuu
    21. 2008-11-29 Ama News
  3. Individual Tournaments Pages
    1. Year 2007 Basho 1
    2. Year 2007 Basho 3
    3. Year 2007 Basho 4
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Sumo News  

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  5. Barbara's Anime-Manga Site

Sumo News

Hakuho watches while his heya-mates condition hemp.

May 29, 2007 - Hakuho's Tsuna Preparation. Hakuho, waiting for official notification, watches on in this news clip while the tsuna, or ritual rope belt, is fabricated by his heya-mates. The raw hemp is conditioned by rubbing with rice bran. The gentleman at Hakuho's left is, I believe, his father, the Mongolian former yokozuna.

Hakuho recites his acceptance phrase after receiving official notice of his promotion to yokozuna.

In 2001, Hakuho was just a skinny kid starting sumo.

Hakuho is promoted to yokozuna. On May 30th, Hakuho received official notification of his promotion in the form of a visit by two Sumo Association officials. At that moment, the new yokozuna traditionally makes a formal statement in response. This statement becomes part of the historical moment and is always remembered, so its composition deserves careful consideration by the newly-promoted rikishi. After the notification segment in this video clip, Hiro Morita narrates a 5 minute nutshell history of Hakuho's career so far, showing his famous Mongolian yokozuna father, his ranking compared with great yokozunas of history in terms of his ascent, and a summary of his path to ozeki and his current promotion. I personally was shocked to see here one of his earliest sumo matches in 2001, as just a kid of 15 or 16, a very small and skinny kid indeed to have grown so large and powerful in the space of only 6 years!

Hakuho demonstrates the Shiranui-Gata Dohyo-iri with his new belt.

May 31, 2007 - Hakuho's belt. After a lot of hard work by his heya-mates fabricating the hemp in the past two days, his belt is ready to be braided. The whole heya takes part, applying enormous force while braiding and twisting the rope to the sound of a drum. Then the new belt is bound onto a grimacing Hakuho for the first time, and he demonstrates the Shiranui-Gata Dohyo-Iri while being coached by a person (possibly former yokozuna Taiho) on his left. Hakuho makes a remark indicating that the ritual is actually quite difficult! He has only another half a day to get it right before his first official Dohyo-Iri at the Meiji Shrine on Friday.

Hakuho performs his first official Dohyo-Iri.

June 1, 2007 - Hakuho at Meiji Shrine. Finally, Hakuho does his first official dohyo-iri. The tradition is that the new yokozuna first does a dohyo-iri at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, at which are the shrines of Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken. The ritual belt made the day before had been sanctified by Shinto ritual. Afterwards, Hakuho is interviewed.

Hakuho expresses his joy at the birth of his daughter.

June 3, 2007 - Hakuho is interviewed by Hiro Morita. Here is a 5-minute interview of Hakuho. In a more relaxed atmosphere, he reveals how happy he was at the birth of his daughter and how pressure killed his early chances at a promotion. Key matches are shown including his very first match in professional sumo - which he won. At one point Hiro asks him "Have you surpassed Asashoryuu?" and the answer is muffled - he says "Mada-mada deshou" which means "Not yet but I will continue toward that goal." Small segments are edited out when they are duplicates of clips already posted on my site.

The invisible Rice God meets a local official for a ritual sumo match.

June 20, 2007 - Hitorizumo at Oyamazumi Shrine. Summer Solstice is celebrated at Oyamazumi Shrine in Ehime Prefecture with a ritual sumo match between an invisible Rice God and a local official. The deity always wins 2 matches to 1, which puts the deity in a good mood and insures a plentiful harvest. Afterwards, schoolgirls plant rice seedlings in a plot of ground in the shrine. More info:

Hakuho displays his copy of the Nagoya banzuke.

June 25, 2007 - Hakuho on the Banzuke. The banzuke, the official listing of rank which precedes a tournament, for the first time in 4 years shows two yokozunas at the top. At a press conference Hakuho shows the banzuke to the press and speaks about his committment to do good sumo.

Many new yokozunas have had first-basho difficulties.

July 6, 2007 - 2007 B4 Pre-Basho Summary. Hiro points out what is in store for viewers of the upcoming basho. How likely is it that Hakuho will have a lackluster performance during his first basho as yokozuna? What are the chances that Kotomitsuki will make ozeki? Hiro offers his opinions on these and other questions.

Winners of Special Prizes, Basho 4 of 2007.

July 23, 2007 - 2007 B4 Post-Basho Summary. Hiro Morita presents a summary of the 2007 Basho 4 results. He looks at the key matches among the leaders, the new yokozuna Hakuho, the special prize winners, and the performance of Kotomitsuki who will be promoted to ozeki. Finally, he takes a look ahead to the Autumn Basho.

Kotomitsuki is lifted aloft in celebration of his promotion.

July 26, 2007 - Kotomitsuki is promoted to Ozeki Kotomitsuki is told, by representatives of the Sumo Kyoukai, that he was unanimously elected to the rank of ozeki. Kotomitsuki gives a short acceptance speech, then gives interviews and begins a celebration in his heya.

Asashoryuu's expression is serious following announcement of his punishment.
August 1, 2007 - Asashoryuu is Suspended. After sending the Sumo Federation a notice of injury, citing a stress fracture to the back and other medical problems and claiming he was too injured to participate in the required between-basho tour, Asashoryuu returned to Mongolia and participated in a charity soccer match. The event was seen on TV. The Sumo Federation became furious and voted to suspend him. In the video a sumo elder explains the situation, then we see some of the video of the yokozuna playing soccer. Apparently, this is the first time a yokozuna has been suspended in this way. In the past, yokozuna offenses were either dealt with by censure or by dismissal, with suspensions reserved as a punishment for lower-ranked wrestlers.

Asashoryuu performing an illegal hair-pull, resulting in his loss due to disqualification.

August 02, 2007 - Some Losing Techniques. In this informational feature, not tied to any specific current news item, Hiro Morita discusses and demonstrates "Hiwaza" - the five "non-techniques" officially recognized by the Sumo Association. These are ways in which a bout can be decided without the winner making a successful sumo - in some cases, without even touching the opponent. Some famous cases of Hiwaza are shown and analyzed, such as Asashoryuu's disqualification for grabbing the mage (hair) of his opponent.

Mainoumi successfully applies "Nekodamashi" against Mitoizumi.
August 4, 2007 - Tachiai Techniques. Hiro Morita shows us a selection of tachiai techniques. Especially fascinating are the tachiai techniques used by the legendary Mainoumi, a small wrestler who used speed and an incredible command of advanced techniques to enable him to beat much larger and stronger opponents. Mainoumi is still greatly respected today and is consulted as an expert on "small man" sumo. Among the examples here are "Hassotobi", a technique in which Mainoumi was able to leap into the air, then almost magically land at the rear of his opponent, ready to push him out using okuridashi. Another amazing Mainoumi technique is "Nekodamashi" - a clap of the hands which forces the opponent to involuntarily recoil. Also shown are examples of the neck-crushing technique "Sokubiotoshi", chin uppercut "Kachiage", and palm strike "Harizashi". Properly applied, these techniques can sometimes result in knocking out the opponent! An example of a famous KO is shown. Oyama oyakata gives additional demonstrations in slow motion.

Asashoryuu looks haggard, leaving his building en route to a physician for treatment.

August 23, 2007 - Asashoryuu Scandal Update. Hiro Morita updates viewers on the events following Asashoryuu's suspension. Videos of Asashoryuu and sumo officials are shown.

Asashoryuu is seen entering the airport for his flight home.
August 29, 2007 - Asashoryuu goes home. Asashoryuu's return to Mongolia, for treatment of his physical and mental condition, is finally approved. His departure invites speculation: will he ever return?

The reason Kotomitsuki is holding a fish is not explained in the video.

Sept. 4, 2007 - Upcoming Basho Update. Here is a quick summary of all that is going on this basho. Kotomitsuki's press conference, the Asashoryuu affair, a statement from Isenoumi and a Kyokai doctor, comments from fans and rikishis Iwakiyama and Kotooshu, a look at shinnyuumaku Goeido, and more, presented by Hiro Morita.

NHK announcer Hiro Morita waits for his turn.
Sept 4, 2007 - Hiro Tries Out. As promised, on Aug 4th Hiro Morita presented himself at the Kokugikan for the annual amateur sumo tryouts. These tryouts, under the Japan Sumo Federation, divide applicants into different classes and establish ranks for each class. Hiro tries out for the lowest rank in the adult class, "shodan", which is considered to be the first rank. Shodan can be awarded for a variety of accomplishments, such as winning amateur meets, in addition to excelling in the try-outs. However, only the top eight try-out applicants in a class are eligible for shodan, so Hiro must win enough matches to rise to within the top eight. This video has some truly unique looks at the amateur tryout process in Japan.

Goeido prepares to meet Hakuhou on day 14.

Sept. 28, 2007 - Basho 5 Sum Up. Hiro goes through the results of the 2007 Autumn basho, the winner, the special prize winners, the spectacular debut of newcomer Goeido, the initial basho as ozeki for Kotomitsuki, and more.

Former oyakata Tokitsukaze.
Oct 10, 2007 - Tokitsukaze Dismissed. The newest scandal to rock the world of sumo is the death of wrestler Tokitaizan under suspicious circumstances. In this report we see a summary of the case against stablemaster Tokitsukaze which led to his dismissal.

Kotooushuu speaks to reporters after his win on day 14.

May 27, 2007 - Kotooushuu Results in Basho 3. Hiro Morita shows the key matches leading to Kotooushuu's stunning victory in the Natsu Basho 2008.

Ama, now Harumafuji.
Nov 29, 2008 - Ama yuusho playoff, promotion, name change. Big news for Ama! Scoring a magnificent 13-2 in the basho 6, Ama met Hakuho in a playoff. Though the yuusho was taken by the yokozuna, Ama's promotion to ozeki was assured. Following the promotion, Ama took the respected ring name Harumafuji. The video shows key matches, interviews, and the acceptance ceremony.

Please leave

Comments About This Page
You will find a reply form at the bottom to add your comments on each page.

Thank you so much for the videos! I really enjoyed watching them. Hakuho has been my favourite since he entered Makuuchi.
From Margarete, Location Western Europe, on Thursday, May 31, 2007
I turn on the NHK news very early in order to catch these, but occasionally am so sleepy I miss part. I too was flabbergasted by the comparison of the 2001 to the 2006 Hakuho and the station did that very very well. Any chance of having the news snip attached to our 4-disk set?
By the way, you probably don't need the praise but I appreciate and enjoy these video clips with commentary and I almost always find your comments spot on. I have a small martial arts background and appreciate your technical comments. I too am an Ama enthusiast. I can't say that he will be the next yokozuna, like I have said about Hakuho, but he might well become the next ozeki.
From Linda N, Location: Western USA, on Friday, June 1, 2007
Barbara: Excellent work! Many thanks for taking time to put this page up. I'll look forward to more in the future.
From Earle J (Yosakoiboi), location: Western USA, on Saturday, June 2, 2007

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This page last modified: 11/30/2008 23:40:59