Our ozeki all started out with Day 1 victories. I’ll with my most anticipated bout, Terunofuji’s return against Tochinoshin. This played out as expected: a great belt bout. What had me on pins-and-needles was how Terunofuji’s shoulder and knees would hold up, and so far he’s looking strong. The maegashira gave it his all but had no chance.
Harumafuji is quick out of the gate, leading a field as the lone yokozuna with a Day 1 win. He blasted Tochiozan into the crowd and will face Okinoumi tomorrow. Kakuryu lost a great, closely contested bout to Toyonoshima with the feisty Takayasu on tap for tomorrow.
Hakuho lost and I don’t like it. I usually root for Takarafuji since he looks like my Uncle but not against the superzuna. After a strong tachiai, Hakuho pulled to the side but Takarafuji recovered and forced out Hakuho rather quickly. It looked like he tried to take a page out of Haumafuji’s playbook but it backfired and Takarafuji took advantage of the retreat.
Day 1 losses are usually quite rare for the yokozuna, though this is now the third time in the last year. Before he started the May 2015 tournament with a loss, we have to go back 3 years before that to his previous Day 1 loss. The last time he won a tournament with a Day 1 loss was November 2008 (to Aminishiki).