Nagoya Day 10 Highlights


Valor In Defeat.

Day 10 brought few surprises, but a massive amount of outstanding sumo action to Nagoya. Again the stand out match revolved around crowd favorite Ura, who was unable to be Takayasu, but threw everything he had at the big Ozeki. Fans appreciated both the unquenchable fighting spirit shown by Ura, and the stability, poise and patience from Takayasu.

Takakeisho showed no less fighting spirit in his match against Yoshikaze, who was not phased in the least by the youngster’s manic attack plan. Yoshikaze is an interesting figure in sumo. He is a fantastic all around athlete, and would have likely been successful in sports other than sumo, as he played baseball in college, too. This augments his sumo in that he can perform moves that others might not have the overall physique to attempt. We don’t frequently see him lift an opponent, but today Yoshikaze carried Takakeisho out like it was his bed time.

Ichinojo gets rightfully accused of being a big slow container ship in a mawashi, but today his exhausting marathon grapple with Tochinoshin is the stuff of epics. Both men knew going into this bout that it was going to be a contest of strength and stamina, and Ichinojo had the ability to hold his own in a contest of might.

Highlight Matches

Takarafuji defeats Gagamaru – Takarafuji secures his kachi-koshi by taking advantage of Planet Gagamaru’s spherical shape, and rolling him around the dohyo to victory. The laws of physics are a harsh mistress, and wise is the rikishi who studies Isaac Newton and Galileo.

Takekaze defeats Nishikigi – After a blistering start, Nishikigi is now in a 4 bout losing streak, and his remaining in Makuuchi is starting to look questionable. Takekaze, of course, seems timeless and is able to concoct a winning strategy for nearly any opponent this far down the banzuke.

Chiyonokuni defeats Daishomaru – Great to see the scion of Kokonoe beya back in the fray. After a miserable Natsu and a weak start in Nagoya, he seems to be in his grove and applying himself well.

Aoiyama defeats Chiyotairyu – The man moutain Aoiyama delivers the doom against Chiyotairyu, who was looking to lock down his kachi-koshi today. Aoiyama will be much further up the banzuke in Tokyo, and with any luck he will expand his catalog of sumo techniques and recuse himself well.

Kotoyuki defeats Ishiura – Facing a ride on the shame train back to Juryo, Kotoyuki decides he is going to really engage and fight. He put away Ishiura today, who drops to 5-5. Kotoyuki’s next loss locks in a make-koshi and a demotion.

Onosho defeats Tokushoryu – In what has been called by some the “Battle of the Angry Tadpoles”, Onosho has come away with his kachi-koshi. His performance since joining Makuuchi in May has been impressive, and I would be interested to see if he scores his second special prize this basho.

Yoshikaze defeats Takakeisho – Takakeisho was destined for a make-koshi this tournament, and today the Berserker delivered. Takakeisho will be back stronger and greatly improved. I sincerely hope that many of his matches this basho helped him explore the need to expand his sumo, and the staggering variety of tactics a solid Makuuchi rikishi can and will deploy in just a few seconds.

Mitakeumi defeats Shodai – It was not even close. Shodai has a raging problem with being consistent in his delivery, and as we oft repeat here, his tachiai is sloppy and high. Mitakeumi, being a squat, burly fellow, knows he can keep Shodai high and quickly run him out.

Kotoshogiku defeats Goeido – Wow! The Kyushu Bulldozer side steps the Goeido war-charge and succeeds.

Takayasu defeats Ura – Both rikishi really impressed today. I encourage readers who have time to re-watch the match a few times, and one viewing focus on just Takayasu, and another viewing focus on just Ura. When Ura deploys the knee grab, there is a moment where Takayasu is doomed, and he thinks through it in a blink of an eye and counters to win. That, dear readers, was a masterful move.

Hakuho defeats Chiyoshoma – Of course he did. But he played with Chiyoshoma for a bit first. I swear he and the Mole Boss discuss match strategies. The Boss is now at 1046, one away from tying Kaio’s all time win record. Hakuho zensho looking increasingly likely. At this point, I am keen to see him do it again.

Harumafuji defeats Tamawashi – Prior to Nagoya, there was a good amount of discussion that Tamawashi would be the next sumotori to reach for Ozeki promotion. Tamawashi is very good, but he is perhaps one notch below the level needed to vie for Ozeki. It will be interesting to see who the schedulers throw at him for the final 5 days, as he needs to find a way to 3 more wins to stay at Sekiwake.

Personal Note – Bruce is on a business trip today, so posting will happen at odd times and may be lacking depth and detail.

6 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 10 Highlights

  1. Fist off: Congratilations to Ura and Takayasu for a match that defies description. I love seeing Ura fight – it gets increasingly clearer that he enters each bout with a pretty solid plan in mind and the ability to see it through. But the upper sanjaku are different customers than the Maegashira he faced last basho.

    Secondly: I hope that Uras injury suffered in that match is very, very light and will not hinder him in any shape or form.

    Aoyama has worked on his sumo and his center of gravity. in the last few basho he fought with a lot of forward lean and overcomiting massively. A rikishi “only” needed to sidestep at the right moemnt and Aoyama was done in. But now he holds a bit back, takes his steps and doesn´t leaves his feet behind. And on this stable plattform he is able to show consistency. Hats off to Aoyama. In my opinion the rikishi who has improved his sumo the most betwee bashos.

    Onosho continues to impress. Why he and Mitakeumi are still seen as pusher-thruster type sumotori is not understandable. Both have a wide aray of techniques and moves to draw from.

  2. I think Ura is going to take the fighting spirit prize this basho. That is, if the kyokai forgives him for turning this bout into a Charlie Chaplin show (like this: I think he really started to piss Takayasu off at some point.

    I don’t really think that Takayasu was doomed at all. He had plenty of time to set up both his neck grip and the position of the leg, and the one who ended up blinking in suprise was Ura. It wasn’t much different, by the way, from what Hakuho did when Ura got a grip on his mawashi. Since Ura was committed to one side, he was exposed on the other, and an experienced wrestler doesn’t need much more than an inviting handhold. I was glad to see Takayasu actually dusting off his brains for a change.

    But really, that pug Ura. Going for the arm! Going for the leg! Retreating, then charging at a run! Just slap a yapping sound track on the video, and you’ll have the perfect comedy clip.

    Goeido looks like he will be joining Terunofuji in Kadoban at Aki. He still has two Yokozuna and Takayasu to meet. He will need to beat at least one of them for a kachi-koshi, and who knows what Pretty In Pink is going to play against him.

    Mooby Dick was very energetic today. It’s clear he is not trying to avoid the joi in any way.

    The Ichinojo/Tochinoshin bout was worth the price of admission. 2 minutes 7 seconds, and not a dull moment.

    What exactly happened there with Yoshikaze and Takakeisho’s mawashi? Did his hand get stuck in it? It looked like he pulled Takakeisho up and nearly threw him off to his corner before he let go of the mawashi.

    As for Hakuho, I am not sure he was playing. I think he is being extra cautious not to drop his zensho by a moment of carelessness.

    • Re: Hakuho, agree and feel that he is constantly preparing the perfect game plan to take down the opponent every single time. Chiyoshoma is a really high energy (and to me, sloppy at times) rikishi and I think taking the heat out of the situation by slowing him down and putting him into a composed mawashi battle played perfectly.

      (none of the Kokonoe-beya rikishi have especially good composure, come to think of it)

      • Hmmm. I haven’t monitored the Kokonoe guys so I can’t say if you’re right or wrong, but if you are, it’s a bit surprising, given the stable master up until a year ago, and the general quality of the heya.

        • Yeah, I mean, it’s a subjective thing I suppose and very much debatable, but when I look at Chiyoshoma and Chiyonokuni I typically see a lot of legs and arms flying everywhere, very high energy action packed stuff but not a lot of movement that seems deliberate (obviously this is not a fair comparison but when I think of who is MOST composed, it’d be folks like Takayasu, Hakuho, Kisenosato).

          Chiyotairyu and Chiyootori may be a counterpoint to this as the former starts to establish consistency and the latter attempts to, but it’s something I’ve felt was also missing from Chiyomaru and Chiyoo.


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