Friday, September 17, 2010

Homasho Wins One

It had to happen. Today my favorite rikishi won his first match of the tournament. That means my prediction of him staring 0-5 was correct and since his first victory came from a lower ranked rikishi it proves my point about him having difficulty with high ranked opponents.

As my friend from the Keio Plaza Hotel always says, “Homasho now has one eye open.” Once a rikishi wins two matches he has both eyes open and he will begin to see how the tournament should go.

The big story for this basho is Hakuho’s winning streak. Today he won his 53 straight match which ties him with Chiyonofiji for the second highest number of consecutive victories. Tomorrow he goes against Kinsenosato who has beaten Yokozunas in the past. If he wins and takes sole possession of second place he then has to keep it going until he wins 70 to set the all time record. That would also mean that he wins this basho with a 15-0 record which would beat his own record of three undefeated bashos in a row.

Now, you may be thinking that Futabiyama who won 69 in a row would have won at least three bashos in a row but somehow that isn’t the case. Since he retired in 1945 and his record was set before that, there must be some circumstances I’m not aware of that resulted in him not winning three tournaments in a row with an undefeated record. It may have been that he skipped a basho or two with injuries or that some bashos didn’t take place because of the war. I also believe that at that time there were only four tournaments a year but that shouldn't affect this type of record.

The big Bulgarian, Kotooshu is still undefeated and so is the small Yoshikaze. They will start moving Yoshikaze up against some higher ranked rikishi next week to give him a stronger test but Kotooshu is where he is expected to be and will go against Hakuho on the third or second last day.

With regard to the rest of Japan, the weather has cooled considerably. On the weather report one night they showed a map of Japan with all those weather lines that show fronts and high and low pressure areas. One line was long and ran from the southwest to the northeast almost splitting the country in half. The weather man pointed to the right side of the line and said, “This is summer.” Then he pointed to the left side and said, “This is autumn. When this line is completely east of Japan it is officially autumn.” The next day the temperature dropped 15 degrees and it rained constantly for 24 hours. It was autumn. One day later it has cleared beautifully, the temperature is in the high 20’s (80’s F) and the humidity is only about 50%. Quite comfortable. I sleep with the windows open and turned off the air conditioner. This morning it was so cool in the apartment I actually had to turn the heat on for a short time.

This was a good thing to test since my girlfriend is arriving tomorrow. We will be fighting over the room temperature for the next ten days.

We have a busy schedule. We’re going to sumo twice. I’m quite excited because we have tickets for the last day. I expect that Hakuho may have it wrapped up by then but you never know.

We have also been asked to go to morning practice at one of the sumo stables. During a basho they all work out in their home stable in the morning. The younger rikishi work out really early because their matches are early in the day. The senior rikishi go a little later then eat and sleep until it is time to go to the stadium. The young girl who works at La Rochelle has an uncle who knows the Oyakata (Head Coach) of one of the stables and they got permission for us to go.

This same young lady asked us to go to Disneyland with her so we will be doing that one day as well.

We will also be dining in a few new restaurants with friends. As usual, the first meal is okonomiyaki with our friend from the Keio Plaza and we will be eating one night at La Rochelle. I ate there a week ago at a special food presentation event and it was a great evening. I’m looking forward, as always, to going back.

Our friends that we met in Hawaii have planned a day for us involving a visit to a Japanese Garden, lunch at their home and then he says a surprise.

My friend who is in Paris right now on family business will be back next week and we plan to go to a baseball game with him.

There are a few new places in Tokyo that my girlfriend wants to see so we will be out and about every day.

A picture up date for you all. I have replaced the picture I took of the Seibu Dome the night we went to the baseball game out in Saitama. My friend from the Keio Plaza has much better camera skills than I do and when he sent me his pictures I had to use them. His picture of the dome does a better job of showing that there are no walls. You can see the park out behind the scoreboard. I also added a picture he took of the Shrimp and Pork fry meal we ate at the stadium as well as a shot of one of the displays of support that the crowd pulled off in support of their team.

More sumo updates in future posts and I’ll let you know who’s winning the basho of room temperature.

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