Nagoya senshuraku update (spoilers)

Yesterday, I previewed the rikishi who had something to fight for on the last day. How did they do?

Hakuho: never a doubt! How did he ever lose to Mitakeumi?

Goeido, desperate for a win, was easily handled by “no gifts” Takayasu, who finally had his game face on again.

Tamawashi, desperate for a win, also seems to have lost his mojo, and will drop from his Sekiwake rank after 4 basho, and possibly (likely?) out of san’yaku altogether. He lost to Tochiozan, who should by all rights find himself in san’yaku, but as discussed in my previous post, there’s quite a logjam.

Mitakeumi beat Onosho in the battle for a special prize. Mitakeumi moves over to the East side, and Onosho joins the joi.

Aoiyama did what he needed to do, but so did Hakuho. If the schedulers have a sense of humor, these two will face each other on day 1 at Aki. Aoiyama joins the san’yaku hopefuls logjam. Yoshikaze is guaranteed a san’yaku slot, along with Mitakeumi, and most probably moves up to Sekiwake.

Tochinoshin’s loss may improbably keep him out of san’yaku despite an extremely impressive tournament at M2. Ichinojo reverted to poor form and missed a golden opportunity to move up from the mid-maegashira ranks. Ura broke his losing streak and should more or less keep his rank. M10e Chiyotairyu and M10w Shohozan both improved to 10-5 and will float way up the banzuke. Finally, Tokushoryu lost the “winner stays in Makuuchi” playoff to Nishikigi.

13 thoughts on “Nagoya senshuraku update (spoilers)

  1. I am eagerly awaiting Josh’s heya power rankings. For this tournament, the Sadogatake crew was taken out back for a Teradaya-style bloodbath. Among their Top 10 wrestlers, there was 1 kachi-koshi. The headline is the certain demotion of Kotoshogiku and the hushed whispers of intai…but Kotoyuki is staring at Juryo. And with his dreadful 4 wins, he’ll find himself falling closer to Kotoeko. If Kotoshogiku retires, the stable is left with NO makuuchi wrestlers and Kotodaigo their lone bright spot. After him, it’s a sad story of 2-5 and 3-4 records.

    With this situation, I would be surprised if Kotoshogiku retires. Unfortunately, he’ll be in the bruising ranks of the top maegashira, facing two kadoban Ozeki, desperate for every win. Dark days for a storied franchise.

    • The Kyushu Bulldozer’s body is falling apart, a bit each basho. Its really sad to watch, but it is happening. Each basho he starts a bit lower rank, and struggled to break the .500 mark. While he has been tons of fun, he has a kabu and will head off to some role in the kyokai, so he’s taken care of pretty well.

      As for Kotoyuki, whatever is physically ailing that guy, I hope he can recover. He has taken quite the downward path in the last few basho. He has skill, but…

  2. Among the up-and-comers, let’s keep an eye out for Yago. His debut was quiet as it was at the same time as the lauded Mongolian Mitoryu (Torbold Baasansuren). But Yago was the one who finished with a solid 5-2 last tournament and he followed it up with the Makushita yusho this week. Was Ms11 high enough for him to make his Juryo debut in September? I hope so. Will he rise into the Maegashira as quickly as Mitakeumi?

  3. I found it bewildering and a bit annoying that they kept hyping Aoiyama up as a challenger for Hakuho. That would be like trotting out Ed Grimley as a contender for Batman. Aoiyama’s sole approach to sumo is be enormous and swing for the fences. Sure, that’s quite solid stuff for Maegashira 8, but it really does not cut it farther up the banzuke. At least it won’t work in the current era.

    Goeido booted up into the buggy 1.0 version this morning, and it’s sad to see. Takayasu – I know people have been saying “what injury” and looking at what he had taped. Sadly I did not save off the url to the Sanspo news story where I think they are talking about how he pulled his groin muscles. That was why for a few days he was walking so gingerly. If they taped his mawashi area -I don’t want to know what that sounded like when they pulled the tape off (Takayasu being a hirsute fellow).

    There is a huge log jam for san’yaku, and its a really healthy sign of the vitality of sumo. This will be controversial, but I think Tamawashi’s demotion is for the better. Sekiwake should be a staging area for an Ozeki run for those who keep the rank more than 2 basho. He is tough and dedicated, but he could not put together the wins to campaign for it, though he expressed a desire to make it happen.

    We should take note that with a healthy Hakuho, the promotion lane to Ozeki is especially steep. You have to average 11 wins per basho with that guy standing on the path.

    I still think Mitakeumi is the next Ozeki, but I am fairly sure his path is not straight, nor is this turn at Sekiwake going to be the time he can put it together. I expect at Aki we will have Terunofuji back and healthy enough to operate in kaiju mode. So he can make 11 wins at Aki, but it’s going to be very tough indeed.

    Don’t be surprised if Yoshikaze stays at Komusubi. At this point in his career, Yoshikaze really does not have anything to prove. He is already transitioning nicely to the role of coach and community facing “nice guy” of sumo. People love this guy, and sumo fans love him even more.

    Tochinoshin had a healthy basho, and did very well indeed. But he is one bad fall from re-injuring his knee, and being unable to use that enormous strength of his.

    I do hope and hope and hope that Ura is not forever degraded by the damage his knee took in his premature tour of the upper ranks. I am hoping he drops to M5 or M6 for Aki, and can refine his sumo and avoid further injury.

    Great write up as always!

    • Ahahaha, you killed me with that description of Takayasu’s under-mawashi taping. Anyway, he seemed to be fine yesterday for the tachiai.

      I think Ura is already on the mend. He seemed to put weight on his knee and not suffer too much for it, bounced a few times, win that last bout (even if, as Moti wrote, it was a win by Slippiotoshi).

      • I do hope that Ura can get healthy. So many of the beloved rikishi who are fading now are doing so because of a small injury that never quiet healed, and just kept compounding and getting a bit more injured each basho. Sumotori go bad at the knees early in most cases, so it was really worrisome to see that he had already picked up damage.

        On Takayasu – after I read about that pulled groin, I toyed with a number of ideas on how to write it up, especially after commenters seemed to be asking for more info. But each time I ran it through my head it ended badly with references to his really pretty girlfriend and unseemly subjects. You may know that Takayasu seems to be a perpetual worrier, and the fact that his sumo brother Kisenosato is possibly headed to dry dock weighs heavily on his heart, I am sure. So even though we are this tiny, English language outpost in the world of sumo, I feel inclined not to give the new Ozeki a hard time. After all, he was the only Ozeki who survived this basho.

        • Well then, let’s hope that if ever they need to tape him up, they’ll remember to shave first. He really seems like a nice guy, after all. :-) And yes, I’m sure he’s worried about Kisenosato. Those two really look like a tight teddy-bear family.

  4. I did not actually realise how popular Aioyama is with the Japanese fans. For the final weekend I am as sitting amongst Japanese families, and they were going crazy for him.
    It is probably quite deserved, as when other rikishi enter the stadium they tend to just walk past the fans or give a slight nod and smile. But Aioyama actually stopped and shaked hands and thanked fans. It was really nice to see.

    • Yes, this is one of the thing that only having an NHK highlight show robs from us. The “atmospherics” of sumo that really fill in what happens and why. Beyond that, Aoiyama is hugely popular in the media as well, because that sweet personality is real and comes across on TV, too. So he tends to show up on morning shows and goofy evening programs because he’s fun and everyone can recognize him. He recently got married to a woman who seems, from all indications, just as sweet and bubbly as he is. They both gush endlessly about how much they love being in Japan, and that plays really well to the pubic.

      I tease the guy because he puts on weight in unfortunate areas, but that is really down to genetics and nothing more. He literally cannot help the fact that he has man-boobs of epic size.

      I do genuinely hope that he will take his chance at the next higher level of sumo seriously, and begin to train and execute sumo outside of his rather tiny comfort zone. His size make speed and lateral movement tough for him, but he has reach and strength on most rikishi. The Yoshikaze match was a great example. Aoiyama was able to keep Yoshikaze out of engagement range due to those tremendously long arms forever shoving the Berserker back and then down.

      • I still think that he has a really unfortunate ratio of fat to muscle mass, which means some of his weight is dead weight, and I think that this is something that he can probably improve.

        • At 31 years of age that’s probably not in the cards for him anymore. He’ll do well to maintain the condition he’s in. (Fortunately he seems to have been largely free of injuries to this point.)

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