Nagoya Day 14 Highlights


Takayasu-Harumafuji

It has been a rough morning in Castle Bermondsey, so I do beg forgiveness in being tardy with the update. Many of you will have seen the NHK highlight reel by now. For whatever reasons there seems to be a desire to keep Hakuho from claiming the yusho outright by now. I say this because Aoiyama has had a ridiculously easy schedule. Don’t get me wrong, he still won all of those matches fair and square. But compare this to some prior basho where anyone outside of san’yaku who was close to the leader group was given increasingly difficult matches until they fell away.

For example, you have a Maegashira 8 (Aoiyama) who is on a hot streak. So who does he get for day 14? A Komusubi? An Ozeki? Nah, lets pit him against a Maegashra 12. So there remains an outside tiny chance that Hakuho will lose to Harumafuji on day 15, and we will see The Boss square off against Aoiyama. Followed by several minutes of slow motion replay of Aoiyama’s pendulous man-mammaries swinging wildly as Hakuho batters his up and down the dohyo for sport.

In other news, Ura is now make-koshi, and it is for the best. He has many fans, and they seem to love their little wizard – he is lovable. But he was always going to go make-koshi the first time he faced the san’yaku battle fleet. In the grand scheme of things that would have been Aki, but due to injuries it was at Nagoya. He will come to rest down the banzuke, and with any luck be dominant down there and have a chance to not do further damage to that banged up knee. Trust me when I say, Ura will be back.

Selected Matches Day 14

Chiyonokuni defeats Sokokurai – Chiyonokuni’s rally is a great story coming out of Nagoya. After his turn in the meat grinder as Maegashira 1 during Natsu, he seemed to have started Nagoya down and unfocused. He was able to get his sumo together and return as strong as in the past, and lock down a winning record. Chiyonokuni is another rikishi we will likely see more good things from in the future.

Hokutofuji defeats Ishiura – Hokutofuji picks up kachi-koshi and will be a rank or two higher in Tokyo come September.

Onosho defeats Yoshikaze – Special prize for Onosho, I will predict. That would be two in a row for his first two Makuuchi basho. Yoshikaze looked like he was not quite fully spun up, and Onosho executed well.

Tochinoshin defeats Kotoshogiku – The big Georgain consigns Ojisan Kotoshogiku’s san’yaku rank to the past. Really nice execution by Tochinoshin in this match. His return to good form is a welcome development.

Tochiozan defeats Mitakeumi – No Ozeki run starting for Mitakeumi, there is always next time, but he will get to keep his Sekiwake rank. Tochiozan once again looked calm and worked his attack plan expertly.

Hakuho defeats Goeido – Goeido must beat Takayasu on day 15 to avoid the probationary kadoban status.

Harumafuji defeats Takayasu – Harumafuji once again deploys a tottari. Takayasu ends up looking even more hurt. This basho has really knocked him around, and I hope he gets a chance to heal up.

7 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 14 Highlights

  1. “Aoiyama has had a ridiculously easy schedule. Don’t get me wrong, he still won all of those matches fair and square.”

    Are we sure that his Day 13 win was “fair and square?”

    I guess the forces that be decided that it was unlikely that Hakuho would lose back to back bouts to close the tournament, so they figured that Aoiyama would have to go through Hakuho on a Ketteisen even if things went his way. It would have been interesting to see a guy be champion without facing any Ozeki or Yokozuna though.

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    • They do seem to put an awful lot of trust in Hakuho’s ability to come out on top in these scenarios, and I wonder if it’s going to backfire on them one day.

      The most noteworthy case was probably seven years ago when Toyonoshima had his basho of a lifetime and both he and Hakuho entered the final day tied at 13-1. Didn’t get matched up, even though Hak’s regularly scheduled bout was not exactly compelling (against 8-6 ozeki Kotooshu).

      On the other hand, at least they had given Toyonoshima a tougher second-week schedule, similar to what Aoiyama arguably should have faced.

      http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Banzuke.aspx?b=201011
      http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi_basho.aspx?r=1227&b=201011

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  2. It looks like when Harumafuji got that Tottari from Ura he was thinking “Hey, I forgot about those. They can be pretty effective”, and proceeded to execute two of them, with much more expertise than Pretty In Pink, of course.

    Speaking of Pinkie, he actually looked a little more spirited today, but Tamawashi wasn’t about to let him even start anything.

    As for Mooby Dick, he won all those matches fair and square, except one that the shimpan gave him. Anyway, tomorrow he’ll be facing Yoshikaze, so I’m not betting on a playoff.

    And speaking of Yoshikaze, I definitely saw him pull Onosho down after the bout was over. It’s not the first time he throws his rival around after a bout is over in this basho. I like this not one bit.

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    • That pull was late and pretty dangerous. A little shove to send them off the dohyo is one thing, yanking someone down like that is a sprained knee waiting to happen. Not impressed with Yoshikaze after that. Onosho, on the other hand, had the appropriate response: squat down and receive the victor’s reward.

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  3. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed in Ishiura his basho. When he is at his best I see real flashes of brilliance there that more than compensate for his size disadvantage. His career has been a story of gradual, but constant improvement, I hope he hasn’t hit a plateau. Hakkiyoi Ishiura!

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    • I feel the same way about my guy Shodai. I had a lot of high hopes for him coming into this basho but the last few days he’s seemed to have accepted his fate of demotion and isn’t putting his full heart into his sumo. Hopefully he can rebound at Aki and make another run at the upper ranks.

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