Nagoya Day 11 Highlights


Mitakeumi Kensho Stack

Tachiai Is Not Spoiler Free.

A word to our readers. We dearly appreciate all of you, and are grateful that you take the time to come by and visit our little sumo site. A special thanks to all of you who take the time to add your voice to the community here, and post your comments on our stories. As happens from time to time, we get people who are disappointed that we are reporting facts about the day’s sumo events prior to their chance to watch it either on Youtube or HNK. For that, we are somewhat sorry, but let me explain our policy.

Sumo fans in the west are at a huge time disadvantage. By the time the early birds rise in the US East Coast morning hours, matches have been over for hours, and the results are known to everyone who follows sumo across the world – except for the Americas. We made a decision that we would write and comment about the events that happen in Japan from a Japanese time reference. So for Tachiai, there is no such thing as a spoiler. We know that some of our readers are fairly hard core (as we are) and sometimes stay up overnight to watch the matches as they happen. If we waited until Noon or 1:00 PM Eastern, we are just a few hours away from the next day’s matches starting. Very silly. In addition, some of our contributors are fortunate enough to be at the venue and watch the action live. It would make no sense to limit their ability to contribute and report.

So for now and the foreseeable future, Tachiai is an “as it happens” venue. If you want to savor the anticipation of not knowing the outcome until you see it on video, we ask that you refrain from the temptation to check our site, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Because we will post major events more or less as they happen. In the instance of twitter, I follow several dozen sumo fans in Japan, and they are tweeting like mad about the matches as they happen, so the entirety of the day, and everyone’s reactions to them bouts is known as I prepare to write.

Again, thank you everyone who reads the site and visits us, we really do treasure you, but we are going to follow sumo action during a basho as closely as our sleep schedule allows.

Highlight Matches

Takekaze defeats Kotoyuki – With Kotoyuki’s make-koshi confirmed, we can assume he will be relegated back to Juryo, short of some divine intervention. Takekaze inches closer to yet another winning record and remaining in Makuuchi.

Okinoumi defeats Gagamaru – Bloody lethargic match was closer to a pair of tired grizzly bears fighting for a sleeping bag than any kind of sumo. Gagamaru has always be sort of low energy “win by being huge” sort of rikishi, but given the speed and energy of the young ones, he looks tremendously out of place. Back to Juryo with him as well.

Nishikigi defeats Aoiyama – Nishikigi will not surrender to the specter of a return to Juryo. Today he was able to best Aoiyama, who has been on a tear this basho. First the shimpan had to talk it over, but they upheld the gyoji’s gumbai. Given Aoiyama’s mass, there is a real question of mechanical injury on any fall or throw. We hope the big Bulgarian is undamaged, though it looks like his damaged knee hit hard.

Chiyonokuni defeats Takanoiwa – Takanoiwa must be hurt, as I know he can produce some powerful and effective sumo. But it’s great to see Chiyonokuni back in winning form. He looked confident and aggressive today, and kachi-koshi is still within reach.

Onosho defeats Takarafuji – Onosho continues to impress, do not be surprised if he wins yet another special prize for his excellent sumo this tournament. I suspect he will take the “Young Rikishi Punching Bag” slot from Takakeisho for Aki. Victory seemed to come in the form of Takarafuji slipping and falling, but a win is a win.

Tochiozan defeats Chiyotairyu – Tochiozan has quietly been putting up some solid sumo for a few basho now. I expect him back in the joi for Aki given his kachi-koshi, and we shall see how genki he is feeling then. Chiyotairyu is also likely to finish with a winning record, and a modest move up the banzuke for the fall.

Ichinojo defeats Ikioi – Another marathon battle from the JNS Ichinojo, and the crowd was eating it up. Much respect to Ikioi for going the distance on this one.

Tochinoshin defeats Hokutofuji – Brillant session of mawashi combat today, and both rikishi looked very good. It’s always a tough road when someone decides to challenge Tochinoshin in a strength contest. Possibly san’yaku slot for the mighty Georgian if he can pick up a couple additional wins.

Takakeisho defeats Kotoshogiku – Takakeisho very effectively countered the Kyushu Bulldozer’s front attack. Takakeisho took a pounding this basho, but there is and remains a reason he achieved Maegashira 1 ranking. Talk in sumo circles is questioning if Kotoshogiku will retire on his 8th loss and imminent demotion from san’yaku.

Yoshikaze defeats Shodai – Shodai earns his make-koshi, and will have a chance to improve his tachiai for Aki. Shodai’s fundamental mechanics are sound, but some of his execution requires upgrades before he can compete at the next stage of his evolution. Yoshikaze was in control of this match from the start.

Tamawashi defeats Takayasu – After a good opening gambit by Takayasu, Tamawashi rallied and took the match. The deciding fact was Tamawashi’s ability to block Takayasu landing an effective mawashi grip. Well played Takayasu!

Goeido defeats Ura – Solid Ozeki performance from Goeido, damn I am happy to see him booted up in 2.0 mode for multiple days in a row. Ura is a bit banged up from his prior days with the Ozeki / Yokozuna corps, and was looking vague and stiff. Goeido needs to push hard for his kachi-koshi, it would be ugly to have kadoban twins for Aki again.

Harumafuji defeats Chiyoshoma – A solid and decisive win for Harumafuji, he is now safely in kachi-koshi territory. Each basho he seems a bit more injured, and I really want him to be an active Yokozuna for a while longer. But it’s clear the cumulative damage to his joints are taking their toll.

Mitakeumi defeats Hakuho – Zensho is no longer an option, the shin Sekiwake stops The Boss’s winning streak at 25. This is still Hakuho’s yusho in all likelihood, but Mitakeumi scored an important victory that puts his possible Ozeki campaign into an active mode. He needs two more wins to kick it off. If Iksumo’s forecast is correct, Ikioi and Chiyoshoma seem to be the likely donors.

5 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 11 Highlights

  1. Mitakeumi is one big eraser, and a big one was needed to erase the smirk off Hakuho’s face for the rest of this basho. Yum-yum.

    Ura’s foot has still not healed from yesterday. I’m actually surprised he didn’t have any bandaging for it. Doesn’t Kise have a Makuuchi-level medical team?

    I may be mistaken, but I think Takayasu’s problem started when he reached down for a grip and realized he was reaching for the forbidden zone. Pulling back his hand he lost a couple of precious seconds and the rest of bout.

    And Harumafuji pulls the second tottari in this basho – the first one was on his own arm, of course. 🙂

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  2. Thankyou for your site and coverage Bruce. I will try to be a bit more considerate where I post my comments. I often forget the time difference with the US.

    Today I was sitting with fellow Australian, whom had never watched the sport before, so they were judging the wrestlers based on their win/loss record for this tournament. It was actually interesting talking to them about this, because when the Yoshikaze/Shodai bout was starting, they noted how poor Shodai’s record was and how Yoshikaze would wipe the floor with him, which is what happened. It is just interesting to hear, as Shodai was once considered the new Japanese hope for Sumo, but to an outsider he is just a below average wrestler.

    Goeido 2.0 (which is the term that keeps going through my head thanks to you) was a marvel to see. He is just so smooth and fast. He makes it look effortless.

    Down in Juryo, Oosunarashi ( sorry about my spelling) is only one 1 win away from A winning record, but he landed HARD on his injured knee. He had to be helped up, could barley get off the dohyo and seemed to be having a lot of problems. I really like him as a wrestler, and he seems to get harshly punished when he has a losing record, so I hope his knee will hold up, he can quickly get that last win and rest for the last few days.

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    • Ōsunaarashi is a really sad story. His spirit is as strong as every, but his body can no longer function effectively as a sumotori really at any level. I predict he is going intai soon. When his body worked correctly, he was a joy to watch, a great rival for Tochinoshin. Sadly I think he is done soon or even at the end of this basho.

      By the way, very thankful that you have been sharing your experience and observations from the basho with us on the blog. First hand reports are always the best.

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      • I’ve got the slight hope that when (not if) he drops to makushita in the near-ish future, he’ll use that as an opportunity to take a long break and rebuild his body and then his career properly. But while he’s still together enough to hang on to his status and paycheck, it won’t happen.

        I always have to remind myself just how young the guy is – born in the same year as “young hopes” Mitakeumi, Hokutofuji and Ura. But he’s already entering his fifth year as sekitori. If only he could get fixed up (and then not immediately break down again), he’d have another 5+ years in the paid ranks to look forward to, even if the break+rebuild would take a couple of years beforehand.

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  3. I’m not too worried about my guy Shodai. He’ll learn from this, I’m sure of it. It seems to take most guys a few attempts to get a solid spot in the Sanyaku. I was looking at Kissenosato’s career record and he bounced up and down the banzuke several times before he got his ozeki status.

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