Japanese sumo wrestlers lack mean streak, says new champion Kotoshogiku


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Maybe we Japanese are too set in our ways, maybe we lack the greed to win at all costs.

Hungry seishin....that's what's lacking not greed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's not that they lack greed, and it's not that they don't know how to play dirty. It's that they suffer from the slave mentality and ressentiment. It's always, according to them, the other's defect. The other plays dirty, he'll win at all cost, sacrifice honor; he's too big and we're not big enough; their legs are longer than ours; they're savage meat eaters and we're civilized eaters of vegetables, etc, etc, etc.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

"roly-poly sport"

Condescending journalism.

"It's always, according to them, the other's defect"

You read a different article perhaps. In the one I read Kotoshogiku praised the Mongolians and blamed himself and the other Japanese.

I can see no mention of a "mean streak" in the original Japanese. "If you'd win it doesn't mean a thing and, well, maybe well lack the avarice."

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Japanese have some great rikishi but they all seem to falter at a certain point, Endo should get his knee fixed and start his run again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

yeah it seems like kotoshogiku's comments were translated horribly by afp (to cause drama i'm sure), but what do you expect from them.

i wish him all the best but i can't see him becoming yokozuna. only one other wrestler in the history of sumo have become a yokozuna at 32,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

GREED? Why would you use the word greed to describe what the great foreigner sumo wrestlers have in order to win at this [ sport ] ? What the foreigners have is determination, hunger, and the amazing will to win. I went to see sumo on January 21 and I must say that Kotoshogiku san is very good. Better than what I have seen in a very long time. If he wins, great. If not, it's not because he is not greedy. It's ONLY because the winner was better than him. Easy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When Japan makes something good, it always becomes international. Look at karate and judo. Totally internationalized. Why do people think this is bad? We should be proud.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

More like tenacity to win, or will not take lose as an answer would have been a better translation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gokai - I agree. Internationalizing an activity(esp sport) will strengthen it in many ways, generating further interst and income and possibly securing it's future.

While locals lament the positive side is ovelooked.

When did the last Australian win an Aust open? Years & Years ago. The locals want to see an Aussie win but love the international game so much it doesn't matter.

England the home of soccer - last had a world cup when? The locals lament, yes, but love the international game too much to overly worry.

Some Japanese sumo fans need to appreciate the wider picture and understand that the presence of foreign champions has lifted the sport remarkably. Some even talked about sumo having a world cup or entering the olympics.

The purists would probably be shaking though.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"we lack the greed to win at all costs" yep I think something was lost in translation there.

My 2 cents: the AFP journo who translated this is French or a native from a country which, like the French, does not differentiate as clearly "greed, to be greedy, hunger, to be hungry" etc.

Re the article itself, I agree that it's probably more a mental thing than say technique or strength. It's also possible that foreigners who take on sumo are more performance driven than their Japanese counterparts. Have always thought that Mongolians in particular are athletes who 'chose' sumo rather than 'overweight kids/teens' looking at something to do (which is perhaps what happens in Japan, dunno).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pretty clear from the context that he means something more like strong desire to win rather than greed.

Its also pretty clear that the main explanation for the lack of Japanese tournament winners is the fact that so few young Japanese want to join that world, meaning the domestic talent pool is pretty limited. If you are a strong kid with some athletic talent, sumoo offers you huge downside risk (an extremely spartan lifestyle, the possibility of a significantly shortened life expectancy, exposure to bullying and constant risk of injury, etc etc) with little upside (unless you are among the handful of people who can sustain a lengthy career in the top division, you won`t get paid much).

Id choose baseball, soccer or just about any other sport too. Im not too familiar with Mongolia but I`m guessing that for whatever reason their wrestling is seen as a better option to alternatives and therefore is able to attract some of the better kids, who go on to become Hakuho or Asashoryu.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When Japan makes something good, it always becomes international. Look at karate and judo. Totally internationalized. Why do people think this is bad? We should be proud.

And pundits in Japan hate that foreigners have gotten better and more proficient in these sports as well. They even go so far as to call foreign Judo, using the English and Japanese as 柔道, to infer that there is a difference, not just in style but attitude and personality. And they make excuses that Japanese are unable to compete because they are using "traditional" styles and not the foreign style.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sumo is / was rigged the JP guys knew about it so make your money and forget about winning.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yubaru -concerning Judo your comments are spot on. The whinging after the last olympics that the foreign judoists were just wrestling to get points was loud.

But re Japanese vs foreign Sumo wrestlers, I think it was all said in an interview with Asashoryu a few years back when asked what is the difference between Mongolian & Sumo wrestlers? He said to the effect of :

"When I was six, aside from basic schooling I was doing chores / work, horseback riding and for entertainment there was daily wrestling. The small and the big. It was tough. It was our life. The six year olds in Japan were playing video games and watching tv."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"All the Japanese wrestlers want to win championships," the 32-year-old told a news conference.

So, get off your fat asses and stop using your inferiority complexes about foreigners as an excuse. I heard the same kind of whinging about Konishiki, Akebono and Musashimaru when I first came to this country. I'm disgusted.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think that these wrestlers today, Japanese one's that is, are pretty much spoon fed from childhood, they lack the motivation and desire to work harder to excel at the sport.

Don't think anyone would have ever heard Chiyonofuji, Wakanohana, or Takanohana complaining, they'd be busting their butts in practice, studying video, finding weaknesses in their opponents and doing what it took to win, and not sit around waiting for someone to hand it to them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The stables killed themselves and the sport when they started training foreigners.

Sumo should have stayed uniquely Japanese.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Sumo should have stayed uniquely Japanese.

Sumo is still uniquely Japanese, but it's nice to see that the wrestlers come from all over the world!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sumo should have stayed uniquely Japanese.

You're right! And it should go into effect as soon as all the Japanese in the major leagues, premier league, bundesliga, the Spanish and Italian leagues, come home. And oh yeah, don't forget to withdraw, Nishikori, since we're keeping everything pure.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"…..which historians agree dates back some 2000 years.....".

The mother lode of all crap!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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