Makushita Bout Leaves Edge Broken.
Reports from reader nicolaah (who is attending the basho), and twitter indicate that the dohyo built in the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium was damaged in a bout on Tuesday. As the photograph above shows, the edge and one of the steps appears to have crumbled and broken away.
Fans have noted that the dohyo has been in tough shape since the first week, and that it is aging quickly. The environmental conditions in Nagoya are tough on a rammed earth / clay structure such as the dohyo. The relentless heat and high humidity make it difficult to keep the structure from crumbling unless it is heavily watered, but over watering causes the surface to become increasingly slick. This slippery Nagoya dohyo is a common fixture in sumo, and has taken its toll on rikishi over the years. Last year, Yokozuna Hakuho damaged a big toe while maneuvering on the slick Nagoya dohyo, and required surgery and almost a year to completely recover.
While the Nagoya venue is air conditioned, first hand reports note that the cooling air does not tend to reach all the way to the dohyo, and with the intense lights within the canopy raising temperatures at least 6°C, the fighting platform dries quickly.