Sumo Fans Worldwide

I wish I spoke more languages. Particularly Japanese, for obvious reasons. (If I use kanji on this site, it’s because I’m trying to practice.) This is the map of visitors to this site. Now, I know this blog isn’t quite as popular as The Huffington Post but I hope it’s more entertaining.

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Poll: Should Terunofuji Withdraw From March Tournament?

Background: Terunofuji withdrew from the January tournament after breaking his collar bone. At the time, he was also hobbled with a knee injury. With only three wins he is kadoban and in danger of demotion to sekiwake if he does not log a winning record in March. The March tournament begins on 3/13. He pulled out of the January tournament on 1/15. Assuming they immobilize his shoulder, resting him and keeping him from aggravating the injury, it takes 6-8 weeks to heal a broken collarbone.

If he withdraws, the implications are clear, he will be demoted to sekiwake for the May tournament. He will then need to register 10 wins in May to secure promotion back to ozeki status. If he cannot do it, he’ll be treated like anyone else, needing 33 wins in three consecutive tournaments (unless you’re Goeido) to get promoted back to ozeki.

I don’t want to influence the voting with my opinion, so click here if you want it: Continue reading

Is Chiyonoumi the Real Deal?

Homarenishiki’s presence in the lower divisions is certainly increasing my own attention to the lower ranks; I don’t know about y’all. Anyway, while looking over the results of the New Year tournamenScreenshot (145)t I noticed that Chiyonoumi won sandanme division. He comes from Kochi which means I automatically pay more attention. Kochi is a great place.

Then, when I looked deeper at his record, he’s had a pretty stellar year in professional sumo with three yusho now, and a steady progression up the banzuke. He won his first two yusho under the name Hamamachi. One of those yusho, in Jonidan, came with Homarenishiki also performing well in the same division. Homarenishiki finished 6-1. They have not fought.  Continue reading

初場所 2016, 15日目: Special Prizes

Shodai’s makuuchi career is off to a great start; 10 wins and a Fighting Spirit award. To provide a bit of a comparison with highly touted debuts: Endo got his first kanto-sho after his third tournament while it took Ikioi almost 2 years to pull it off. Of course Ichinojo’s rise was even quicker as he scored two special prizes and a kinboshi, finishing in second place upon his debut. However, we’ve all seen the ups-and-downs those three have gone through. Continue reading

初場所 2016, 15日目: Kotoshogiku Yusho

WP_20160124_10_11_28_ProApologies for the late update. I was up to watch the final day but internet was out. I live near DC and we’ve been having a snowstorm the past few days. I was upset not being able to watch live. Thanks to Kintamayama, I was able to watch just now.

It’s official, we have the first Japanese yusho in 10 years. I’m excited for Kotoshogiku and for the sport. Hopefully this will spark more interest among Japanese – and Kotoshogiku. He’d not had a good 2015, starting the year kadoban after 6 wins in November 2014 and then going kadoban again after the May tournament. I’m hoping for consistent double-digit wins from him and ozeki-worthy performances.

I’m concerned for Goeido. He was only able to pull out four wins and is kadoban for the third time in his short ozeki tenure. He’s had 1 tournament with 9 wins and 5 where he’s scraped by with 8.

初場所2016, 14日目: Kotoshogiku Can Taste It

Kotoshogiku has the yusho in the bag. With Hakuho’s quick loss to Kisenosato, only Goeido stands in his way. He’s also clearly determined. After a matta, he plowed straight into a helpless Tochiozan. Tochi-from-Kochi does seem a bit weakened in his left leg; it seems a bit like Ikioi’s injury. He was in obvious pain crouching for the tachiai, which probably caused – and was exacerbated by – his false-start. Continue reading

初場所2016, 13日目: Toyonoshima Smells Yusho

Now, Toyonoshima should not be in this. He lost to Okinoumi early in the tournament but was somehow declared the winner. He went off script, defeated Kotoshogiku (who’d “found” the power to defeat three yokozuna in a row) and finds himself one back from the leaders. Hakuho and Kotoshogiku are now tied for the lead as Hakuho bested junior-zuna Kakuryu.

Harumafuji forced out Kisenosato who’s been having a terrible tournament. It’s still quite possible for us to have 3 kadoban ozeki who are not named Kotoshogiku. The question for tomorrow, will Tochiozan play ball? C’mon Tochi from Kochi!

初場所2016, 11日目: The Zabuton Fly

Kotoshogiku now leads alone. His straightforward, jack-rabbit action was too much for the yokozuna and a jubilant Kokugikan erupted with cheers, and zabuton rained down on the dohyo as Hakuho was forced out of the ring.

Harumafuji now shares his place with Hakuho, one loss back after his convincing win over Goeido. He will face Kotoshogiku tomorrow and a win will make this a three-man race. This looks to be an exciting yusho.

初場所2016, 10日目: Woah-kinoumi

I’ve changed Okinoumi’s name. It’s now をきのうみ. I’ve just gotta say, “Woah.”

One year ago there was a bloodbath in the rough-and-tumble ranks between maegashira 4 and Sekiwake. Both sekiwake and both komusubi were demoted. The only one among the top 10 maegashira to finish with a winning record was Terunofuji who launched himself into a spectacular ozeki run. Another “beneficiary” of this calamity was Okinoumi who leaped from M6 to Sekiwake in March. From there, it’s a tale of two cities: Terunofuji gets 13 wins and a jun-yusho. Okinoumi goes winless the first few days and pulled out injured. Continue reading

初場所2016, 9日目: Ikioi Beat Tochinoshin

Ikioi pulled off a great win over his fellow komusubi to pick up his third win of the tournament. While the Georgian now must go undefeated to achieve a winning record and retain his rank, Ikioi has a *little* breathing room. He faces Shohozan tomorrow and will have his hands full with the likes of Aminishiki & Aoiyama later in the week. Shohozan was blown off the ring by kamikaze Yoshikaze today and will be looking for redemption tomorrow.

Hakuho and Kotoshogiku still lead with Harumafuji alone one win off pace. This resurgent Kotoshogiku dominated Kaisei while Hakuho decided to skip today’s effort, pulling out a glorious henka against Tochiozan. “Hey, if Aminishiki can do it every day, why can’t I do it once?”

初場所2016, 8日目: Aminishiki Henka’s Himself

In one of the more amusing “out-take” bouts of sumo, Aminishiki flopped as he pulled a henka on Aoiyama. Aoiyama was able to recover and maintain his balance as he’d likely known it was coming. Aminishiki must’ve spun too hard, potentially clipping the gyoji, lost his balance and fell flat on his belly.

In the first ozeki bout of the tournament, Kotoshogiku defeated Kisenosato to maintain his undefeated record. He never gave any opening and looked solid. Hakuho also stays unbeaten by mugging Yoshikaze, slamming him in a bloody heap off the dohyo. A week into this tournament and I’ll be stunned if the first Japanese title in a decade goes to Kotoshogiku, a guy who’s had trouble getting his kachi-koshi much less garnering 10 wins expected of ozeki or 14 to be in yusho contention.

Faux-zeki Goeido offered mere token resistance to Kaisei. He ran around the ring and tried a kick at one point but never got any drive against the maegashira. At first it looked like Kaisei shoved him out but on the replays it looked like he fell out. A rather inexplicable one there which has me wondering…

Sadly, Ikioi is injured now. He was outmatched by Harumafuji’s patented pivot move and may have aggravated an ankle or knee injury. He was in obvious pain, limping back into the tunnel. Hopefully it was a mild tweak of the ankle because he’ll have his hands full with Tochinoshin tomorrow. It would be a shame for his great start to be spoiled by injury. The rest of his tournament would be against maegashira as after Tochinoshin he’ll be done with sanyaku opponents and well positioned for kachi-koshi. Depending on the severity of the injury, I almost hope he gives up a fusen loss to rest a day and come back strong Tuesday.