In Japan’s national holiday calendar, the third Monday in September is “Respect For The Aged Day”. This happened to fall on day 9 of the Aki Basho. And indeed, most of the elders of the Makuuchi got respect.
|East||West||Age or beauty?|
Yeah, I couldn’t leave Aminishiki out. Respect the aged!
In fact, the best bout in Makuuchi today was served up by its eldest member, Takekaze, going against a very feisty Chiyonokuni whose energy dial is at 12 at the moment. Takekaze starts by attempting a pull-down, but not a very strong one, and Chiyonokuni quickly rallies and starts his tsuppari attack. Takekaze is unfazed, circles and circles, and gets a lovely morozashi. Chiyonokuni doesn’t really know what to do about it, and then Takekaze tries for a sotogake, and at the same time gets his hands on the back of Chiyonokuni’s mawashi. Chiyonokuni manages to slip away from one of the hands and attempts to throw Takekaze, but Takekaze still has his mawashi, and throws him neatly to the ground. Chiyonokuni very frustrated, hits the dohyo with his fist, and the Takekazaurus wins.
The elderly Yokozuna has also gotten up on his best side today, and well he should, because it seems the torikumi guys are leveling up his fodder. He was rather pleased with his sumo today, against a guy who picked a kinboshi off of him in July. Harumafuji, of course, shot at him at the tachiai, pushed him to the tawara, kept low, even tried to go for an ashitori, then decided there’s no point in being too spectacular when his rival is already at the edge, and just helped him out decisively. Keep that up, old lion. I want to see you eating Goeido at the end of this basho. Help me, Obi Wan Harumafuji, you are my only hope!
- Chiyomaru the Ever-Round somehow left his energy in the locker room. Perhaps it was Asanoyama’s jinxed west entrance.
- Yutakayama showed excellent footwork today.
- Old reliable, Takarafuji, plays a part in an excellent Isegahama day (all sekitori wins, including the suffering Terutsuyoshi, who was out of sumo when his rival, Kotoeko, performs an isami-ashi, a hiwaza (non-technique) and hands him a white star).
- Yago manages to string together three consecutive wins, and may have gotten his sea legs, but he is still far from kachi-koshi at 4-5.
- Chiyotairyu caught on to Onosho’s overcommitment issue. Onosho should hope that others don’t watch the footage, and start working on his footwork. By the way, when Onosho dropped back to Makushita, he asked Kisenosato for guidance, which the then-Ozeki generously gave him. Perhaps he should pay the recuperating Yokozuna a visit. The man is a great balance artist.
- Goeido secures his Henkachi-koshi.
- For someone with a bad ankle, I was impressed with the way Tamawashi was hanging on to the tawara with his toes.