Kyokutenho Retirement Ceremony

Kyokutenho celebrated his retirement in a ceremony today. Hakuho and Asashoryu were on hand, helping to cut the top-knot of the yusho winning former sekiwake.

His official Twitter account, had this tweet:


ワイドナショー Segment on Ura

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“Downtown” comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto

This variety show is one of my wife’s favorite shows. She’s a fan of Hitoshi Matsumoto, the blond comedian (you’ll probably recognize him from “Silent Library”). They get asked questions and this one had to do with whether they thought Ura would become yokozuna. They hedge, noting it’s very difficult to become yokozuna but it’s an interesting segment. They show clips from his bouts, including an infamous one from his Juryo debut in the May tournament when he beat Dewahayate by koshinage. The best clips come from his bouts when he was a scrawny little kid, like when he flips the much larger kid. They also talk about his wrestling and gymnastic background. One of the featured guests also brings up Satoyama & Ishiura as guys that break the mold like Mainoumi. Yes, this is in Japanese but I think you can still get the gist and enjoy the segment if you don’t understand Japanese.

Hakuho’s Perfect While Injured

sp-sumo-a-20160523-870x620Hakuho’s legend grows by the match. His intensity, almost ruthlessness, in the ring is an utmost virtue in American athletics. You do what you need to do win, within the rules, of course…unless you’re the Patriots. He revealed that a nagging injury returned in the third match but he was still able to persevere and go undefeated. The guy is amazing. If Hakuho were an NFL team, he’d be the Montana/Young 49ers + Aikman Cowboys + Favre Packers. In Japan, a senshuraku henka controversy counts as the scandalous equivalent of texting dick pics to a masseuse (bad joke context).

Tochinoshin, Mitakeumi Awarded Special Prizes

Tochinoshin was awarded the technique prize and Mitakeumi won the Fighting Spirit prize. I can’t help but think that Endo would have won a prize if he’d been able to win today.

In another story line, Kaisei beat an unmotivated Tochiozan easily to get his kachi-koshi and likely promotion to sekiwake for the July tournament. All I have got to say after this one is, Yeesh…. Tochiozan looked like Marcus Davis on a called run. He took today off. Ikioi would have brought it.

Kaisei Determined To Win

At a few points in today’s bout with Kotoyuki, Kaisei looked like he was done. The win, though, staved off makekoshi and even left the door open for a winning record should he beat Tochiozan tomorrow.

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Kaisei’s Got Him Where He Wants Him

I was particularly impressed with today’s win because it came against a tough opponent who really dominated the match until the last seconds. There were several occasions where Kaisei was backed up on the straw bales but he kept pushing and kept pushing. That’s not what I am used to from him, quite frankly.

He’s still a win away but with a win, he’ll be the only kachi-koshi wrestler between Ozeki and M4W, Tochinoshin. Meanwhile, Endo is still in the race for a Jun-Yusho. Takekaze will be fighting for a winning record but Endo will be fighting for so much more. Special Prize?

Hakuho Yusho!

Hakuho won his 37th yusho when Kisenosato fell to Kakuryu on the last bout of the day. Just before, Hakuho withstood a great challenge from Harumafuji, securing his 28th win in a row. Tomorrow he will aim to keep the streak alive against Kakuryu. Kisenosato’s 10th jun-yusho must feel particularly bitter tasting.

Nagoya 7月, Here I Come!

I will be in Japan in July! Since we’ve got friends in Nagoya, we’re hoping to drop by for a day or two. I won’t get there until the 22nd so it will be hard to find tickets for the final weekend, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed! If I get to go, I’ll take some great pictures and post them here.

Endo Knew The Elbow Was Coming

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Endo Dodges the Elbow

The Endo/Osunaarashi bout was a bit anticlimactic. Everyone on the planet knew the Egyptian would throw the forearm at Endo’s head, most importantly Endo knew it. Surprisingly, there was nothing following it so when Endo parried the blow he pushed Osunaarashi out with apparent ease – to considerable approval from the crowd.

Hakuho will face Kisenosato tomorrow! Thanks to Kintamayama for the video!

Circle This Bout: Osunaarashi v Endo

Osunaarashi always steps it up  notch against Endo. Whether it was the kenshokin, pride, or something else, the Egyptian will come out swinging…even more so with his kachi koshi on the table. For Endo, hopefully he’s motivated to pick up a special prize if he wins these next four. It would be a big task but if he wins tomorrow, I think it’s a distinct possibility.

Terunofuji Wants Early Retirement

It’s the only way I can explain his decision not to sit out the rest of the tournament. Plainly, he wasn’t able to drive through Yoshikaze and get a yorikiri. That seemed to be his game plan but Yoshikaze got him spun around and from there the pressure was on Terunofuji to just stay in bounds. Yoshikaze couldn’t pick the ozeki up over the straw bales but he didn’t need to as Teru-no-knees fell over.

Sumo and Video

The Sumo Association has not been a big proponent of fans publishing videos. I hope this changes. The NFL is also very protective of its rights over video footage. I believe this is why the sport does not spread beyond the US. The NBA, on the other hand, has a much wider international audience. Today, I found this very interesting article about the NBA promoting fan videos. It makes the sport more engaging for fans and allows the sport to grow via social media…Web 2.0. Sumo was really made for Vine. I hope fans will be able to publish and share loops via Vine or YouTube a bit more freely.

Kaisei Goes For The Throat

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Brutal Nodowa

Kaisei’s forceful stranglehold on Shodai’s neck proved decisive. Kaisei’s now 5-5 at the 2/3 mark. He’ll face Harumafuji tomorrow and has Kotoyuki left among sanyaku opponents. He should be able to win the rest and secure himself a kachi-koshi winning record.

Kaisei has never beaten Harumafuji. He has won several times against Kotoyuki but Kotoyuki has the edge recently in their makuuchi matchups.

Kisenosato Over Kotoshogiku, Stays On Pace

Kotoshogiku’s knee seemed to buckle after a minute of waltzing with Kisenosato. Hakuho handed Terunofuji his makekoshi, hopefully ending the young ozeki’s tournament. My guess, he bounces back to a miraculous 8 wins in the next tournament on those struggling knees. Anyone willing to take me up on that bet? I’m almost willing to put actual money on it.

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Endo worked Mitakeumi over the edge

On a more positive note, Endo v Mitakeumi was a great bout between two young guns. The back-and-forth tussle between the two looked to go either way at several points. However, Endo’s right hand grip on Mitakeumi’s belt proved effective. With the victory, Endo’s on his way back. If both stay healthy, this promises to become a great rivalry.