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Makunouchi Banzuke Page
Re: Level Dohyo
As for myself, i have just been busy and haven't read sumo messages for a week
(until this afternoon), thus the lack of response to your essay.
I feel your proposal would eliminate too many matches... the problem is bad
enough as it is. Having to choose between a level dohyo or an uneven one with
more of the top matches, I go with the uneven one... and though they may not be
rewarded with respect to rank or promotion for facing tougher competition, my
esteem for the non-futagoyama rikishi at the top (especially Kaio!!!) is all
that much higher for them. Yes it is a shame that things are unfair, but a
greater decrease in matches between the top rikishi would be even worse.
Also, someone mentioned that you would have to apply it to Maegashira levels as
well, to avoid the case of someone like Takatoriki bouncing back and forth
between sekiwake/komusubi and the M1-M4 levels...
Two points. First of all, he already does that anyway.
Second, this argument could also apply to someone like Kaio. If, in one
tournament, Takatoriki is the other Sekiwake, then his match load is reduced.
The next tournament, Asahiyutaka is the other Sekiwake instead of Takatoriki.
Since the proposal was that rikishi face less top oponents by having a
futagoyama (or musashigawa, etc.) rikishi at their same rank. Thus, Kaio and
Asahiyutaka would have no "claim" for reducing their number of matches against
all the Ozekis and yokozunas... whereas if Musoyama and takatoriki were
Komusubi in that same tournament, Musoyama would only be expected to face one
yokozuna, and one ozeki, same as takatoriki. Thus Musoyama has an advantage
being a komusubi along with takatoriki, whereas if he were sekiwake along with
kaio (like Asahiyutaka is in this example) this advantage is lost. And it culd
just as well be the other way around... which would be even more unfair, IMO,
having the higher ranked sekiwakes (Musoyama and Takatoriki, let's say) with
EASIER schedules than the lower ranked komusubi (Kaio and Asahiyutaka, to
complete the switch).
Anyway, it seems there are other difficulties and complications that would
cause the "level dohyo" proposal to actually be the "less uneven dohyo", but
still uneven nonetheless. And to simply make things a bit more even and
sacrifice all those wonderful matches, to me, is futile. It would be MUCH more
desirable, and feasible, to get rid of the same-heya rule. Essentially, I agree
with Masumi... sumo guru that he is.
Well, that's my take on it... sorry it took so long to get around to reading my
email and responding to your essay, which you undoubtedly spent some time and
thought on. I appreciate the time and energy you put into it, giving us
something to talk about and debate.
But given that the dohyo is uneven, how could we possibly see eye-to-eye???
Looking forward to the next basho... sorry taka may be out, but excited at the
prospect of the next tournament being artifically and temporarily levelled a
bit from his absence... I will be rooting for a non-Futagoyama to pull this one
off... once again, especially Kaio!!! I hope Buck takes it to 'em...