It was an exciting end to the tournament, and featured a hilarious appearance by a drunk Kawamura Takashi. Kawamura is the mayor of Nagoya and had to make a trophy presentation. Let’s just say that I don’t think Harumafuji understood most of the guy’s slurred speech. He definitely had his fans, though, laughing at his antics and posing for pictures with him. The dude was blitzed off his gourd and I can’t find any mention of it in the news. I believe the next speaker was the head of the regional newspaper and he was clearly not pleased. He said something to the effect of, “back to a real, formal ceremony.” Unfortunately, I was too far away to get good video or pictures. Next time, I’ll bring a zoom lens.
Nonetheless, it was an exciting atmosphere. The final few matches were full of importance. Once again, Kisenosato was a bridesmaid. His victory over Goeido means we will have two kadoban ozeki, again. It also meant there was some real drama for the yokozuna face-off and potential for a three-way play-off. Terunofuji staved off demotion while dropping Kaisei with a little switcheroo move. I thought Kaisei was clearly disappointed to lose out on about $10,000 of kenshokin and going makekoshi, losing his sekiwake rank. Since two of his wins were fusen victories, I wouldn’t be surprised if he drops out of sanyaku altogether.
It was an amazing experience to be there on senshuraku. Ura has a lot of fans and should prove to be an exciting wrestler. He seems to have more support, even, than Shodai. I was shocked that he didn’t get a special prize but I bet he would have if he’d beaten Tochinoshin.
The couple in the box behind us were great and were strong supporters of Hakuho, as it seemed many were. They were there with me watching well before the makushita and we stayed through the end of the ceremonies. I think my daughter was on TV before Takekaze fought. We were sitting next to the commentator’s table, not the one with Mainoumi. There was another table on the other side. I joked with my wife that it would be funny if I was picking my nose or something during the shot because we didn’t notice that the camera was on us. Anyway, if anyone has footage, it would be interesting to see.