Jungyo Newsreel – October 22nd


🌐 Location: Osaka

Terunofuji keeps working like mad

terunofuji-22

He came early to the morning practice, and found himself the only member of the joi present. So he got right up on the dohyo and did 14 bouts (opponents unspecified), of which he won 11 and lost 3. You could see him establish a left-hand upper grip right off the tachiai, and powerfully pushing his opponent all in one go. “Not good enough yet. I want to increase the number of bouts.” he said. When asked if he has any concerns regarding his body he replied with a smile “Yes, I have many of those”.

(Nikkan)

Ikioi goes on a diet to relieve back pain

ikioi-22

The Isenoumi wrestler, who was absent from the jungyo due to back pains, revealed that he was diagnosed following the Aki basho with a bulging disc, causing him pains whenever he leaned forward. He was advised not to have surgery, but instead to strengthen the muscles in the affected area, and lose some weight to take some of the load off it. He is on a diet following that advice.

Today he was not doing any on-dohyo exercise, except kiddie sumo, accompanied by cheers from the local crowd, as he is himself from the Osaka Prefecture.

(Sponichi)

Ichinojo leaves the Jungyo due to hernia

He practiced yesterday in Kishiwada, but did not participate in the torikumi, instead heading back to Tokyo. “It’s a hernia, but it’s a preexisting condition. The affected area has probably been overloaded”, said Tamanoi Oyakata, deputy head of the Jungyo department. “It’s not severe.”

(Sponichi)

Hakuho makes love to Takakeisho

In the form of butsukari geiko, of course…

takakeisho-22
The Miracle Of Love

The dai-yokozuna once again dedicated over five minutes to the youngster (shouldn’t he have deducted their Nagoya bout?), and sent him rolling on the ground time and time again.

The Takanohana wrestler was, of course, grateful for the privilege. “It’s not something he would have done for someone he thinks nothing of.”

Following his disastrous Nagoya basho, Takakeisho says he has learned his lesson: “I became depressed after the initial setbacks, and that made it hard for me to even out my score later on. I need to give 100%, grasp at the challenge, and stir things up without thinking too deeply”. Originating from the nearby Hyogo prefecture, Takakeisho vowed that by the next Osaka honbasho, he will be in sanyaku.

(Daily Sports Online)

Bouts

For those who cherish the Kotoyuki hoot:

Mitakeumi takes revenge on Terunofuji:

Can’t believe he lifted that mountain like that…

And the Musubi of the day:

Note the amount of salt that Hakuho throws in the Jungyo…

Different angle:

Kisenosato must be getting pretty frustrated. Hakuho 6 – Kisenosato 2.

Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 21st


Note: to offset today’s bad news, I just found torikumi videos from the 19th, and added them to that day’s post. Do not miss the Terunofuji-Mitakeumi bout!

🌐 Location: Kishiwada

Today’s news are mostly brought to you from hospitals and ambulances, but there is a musubi as well.

Enho injured, leaves Jungyo

Enho

During today’s practice session, Enho fell off the dohyo and injured his ankle. He was carried on a stretcher to the Jungyo’s on-hand ambulance, which got him to a local hospital, where his ankle was bandaged. He was then hurried back to Tokyo for further care. “It hurts both on the inner and the outer side. And it makes crunching sounds.” said Enho “but there is still time until the Kyushu basho”.

Tachiai wishes Hakuho’s uchi-deshi a quick recovery and continued health.

Ikioi joins the Jungyo

On a happier note, Ikioi has joined the Jungyo today. I think he would have wanted to join it yesterday, as his home town of Katano is much closer to Hirakata than it is to Kishiwada. But the Jungyo is still in Osaka Prefecture and I’m sure his local fans were happy to travel the distance to welcome him back.

He was assigned to Ichinojo on the torikumi form, but I do not have any information about the content of that bout.

Update on Nishonoseki Oyakata

As it turns out, when the oyakata had his accident, he was on his way home from a visit to a sauna, where he had a fainting incident. Nevertheless he decided to bike home, and doing that he collapsed with his bicycle and received the head injury that brought about his current condition.

His anesthetic medication  has been reduced to encourage him to regain autonomous breathing, and the doctors observed some positive response.

Shohozan, who is Nishonoseki’s only sekitori, expressed his concern and promised to do his best sumo “for the oyakata” while away on the Jungyo.

Harumafuji Gambarizes

This is a bit of late news from yesterday. After his first day, doing reverse butsukari, he followed that up by teaming with Chiyoshoma for a tachiai practice.

When asked if he is bothered by his elbow, he frowned: “I am not worried, but it hurts. There is almost no inflammation, though. I’ll gambarize”.

And a little bit of actual sumo

The musubi of the day. I think Hakuho decided that if Kisenosato is taking this seriously, then so does he. Hakuho 5 – Kisenosato 2.

Apparently, the gyoji, Inosuke Shikimori, is a Kishiwada local.

Jungyo Newsreel – October 20th


🌐 Location: Hirakata

Terunofuji sweats his heart out

The media continues to follow the ozekiwake’s recovery in his second Jungyo day.

terunofuji-shodai

As he promised yesterday, Terunofuji followed his extensive workout below the dohyo with some real keiko. He invited Shodai to sanban. His first bout was a total mess, possibly due to nerves, but he followed that with seven wins. Then he invited Yago and Meisei of the Juryo division to one bout each, winning those as well.

“I felt like even my heart was sweating. It was very tiring, as I have been away so long” commented the Isegahama man. “I’ll increase the number of bouts from day to day. Tomorrow I hope to do 20 bouts. I have to do twice as much as any other guy.”

Say what we may about the advisability of the kaiju’s return, Asahifuji is not raising any sloths in his stable, that’s for sure.

Goeido enjoys some kiddie sumo

Hirakata, today’s location, is five kilometers away from the Ozeki’s home town of Neyagawa. So on this occasion, the usually severe-looking Goeido decided to let loose a little bit, and engaged in some wanpaku-zumo:

goeido-with-kid

Later, it was time for the local man to do his official bout against Yokozuna Kakuryu. The bout was preceded by kensho-kin banners. One of them for some local project. You don’t see that in a honbasho:

strange-sponsorship-banner

As for the bout itself, it was described as an “amazing victory for Goeido”. So either the Ozeki got super motivated playing on his home turf, or Kakuryu really knows how to sell a Yaocho. 🙂

Musubi of the day

Kisenosato and Hakuho continue to give the spectators their money’s worth.

Hakuho sacrifices a few meters for a grip change, and, well, 4:2 to the dai-yokozuna.

More things you see only in the Jungyo

Ever heard of “sumo-jinku” (相撲甚句)?

It’s a traditional song form performed by rikishi dressed in kesho-mawashi. 5-7 rikishi stand in a circle, and one in the middle sings. This is not your 3-minute standard western jingle, either. As you can see in this video, the soloist changes every few minutes. The songs are in the theme of sumo, but not necessarily very serious. The other day I heard one whose general lyrics went “A pumpkin and a cucumber went to see some sumo”. It seems, though, that the score includes some greetings to the audience and wishes for support in the coming honbasho.

These songs (and the accompanying dance moves etc.) are a mandatory subject at the sumo academy (which every rikishi has to attend at some point). Of the current sekitori, Ikioi is considered a very talented jinku performer, but unfortunately, he is not participating in this Jungyo. The ones who are are not half bad, though!

Notice how towards the end the circle turns to the audience, and the rikishi start waving back at any members of the audience who try to get their attention.

What, another Yokozuna+baby dohyo iri?

Yes, but this one is different. Pay attention to the tsuyuharai. Yes. It’s Kotoshogiku. It should be noted that the general rule is that the higher-ranked rikishi is supposed to be the tachi-mochi. But there is a reason why Giku is doing the part that has two free arms to hold the baby: that is his own son!

The last time that Kotoshogiku participated in a Yokozuna dohyo-iri was when Hakuho went to Tohoku after the 2011 tsunami disaster, to encourage the disaster-stricken population the way only a Yokozuna can. Kotoshogiku said at the time that the experience inspired him to strive for that rank as well, which is how he succeeded in achieving Ozeki status. It may be that he repeated the experience today to motivate himself to return to that rank once more.

Who’s That Rikishi #4: Chiyomaru Kazuki


Chiyomaru

Age: 26
Birth Name: Kazuki Kinoshita
Home Town: Shibushi, Japan
Stable: Kokonoe
Highest Rank: Maegashira 11

With his rotund physique and jolly personality, one would be hard-pressed to miss Chiyomaru Kazuki. Born in Shibushi city in 1991, Chiyomaru practiced judo throughout much of his youth before entering Kokonoe beya after high school. His younger brother Chiyootori Yuki would join him a year later, and together the two would train under former Yokozuna Chiyonofuji. In 2007 Chiyomaru made his professional debut and would make steady progress through sumo’s lower ranks over the next few years. Tragedy would strike his family in 2011 when a fire burned down his parents’ home. Chiyomaru and his brother, now an active rikishi as well, decided to turn their tragedy into motivation and vowed to become more successful to help their parents rebuild their home.

It appeared that Chiyomaru’s younger brother was more serious about their vow, and in 2012 Chiyootori overtook his elder sibling and reached the salaried rank of Juryo. In an attempt to motivate him to train harder, Chiyonofuji assigned Chiyomaru to be a tsukebito for his brother. This assignment had the desired effect on Chiyomaru, who felt shame in being his little brother’s personal attendant. From this point on he applied himself full-heartedly to his training and eventually joined Chiyootori in Juryo at the 2013 Aki basho. In January of the following year, Chiyomaru would win his first division championship, taking the Juryo yusho with a 13-2 record. This victory would ensure his promotion to the Makuuchi division for the following tournament, where Chiyomaru would join Chiyotoori and mark the tenth time in history two brothers had competed in the top division simultaneously. Another strong performance would see him promoted to Maegashira 11 for the 2014 Natsu basho, his highest rank to date. Chiyomaru would remain in the lower Makuuchi for the next year until a disastrous 3-12 record in May of 2015 saw him relegated back to Juryo. Unable to put together a streak of winning records good enough to warrant a return to the top division, he remained in Juryo for another two years. In July of 2017, Chiyomaru was able to re-establish himself as a top rank rikishi, and he has remained in Makuuchi ever since. Chiyomaru mainly uses oshi-zumo on the dohyo, winning nearly 60% of his matches with either an oshidashi pushout or a yorikiri forceout. Chiyomaru has developed a large following of female fans who find him incredibly kawaii, and who affectionately nicknamed him 22, referencing his body fat percentage.



Links:
http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=7240
http://www.sumo.or.jp/EnSumoDataRikishi/profile?id=3040
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiyomaru_Kazuki

Jungyo Newsreel – October 19th


🌐 Location: Kashiba

Guess what just popped out of the ocean?

terunofuji-with-aminishiki
A Terunofuji expression you don’t get to see in honbasho

Yep, today’s main sports news item is Ozekiwake Terunofuji (above, saying hi to Uncle Aminishiki) joining the Jungyo after his serious knee injury during the Aki basho. Which, I remind you, was only a month ago.

How bad was his injury? “Well, at first I couldn’t even use the toilet” remarked the fallen Ozeki (TMI! Please don’t say anything that will cause me to imagine Shunba helping you there, ever again! Somebody hand me the brain-bleach, please!). He was unable to properly extend his leg. Apparently, this was a new injury to his meniscus, unrelated to previous knee problems he had.

terunofuji-muscling-up
Pump it up, Kaiju!

He received some treatment and some rehabilitation, and alongside that (wisely) concentrated on building up his muscles. “I worked out vigorously”, he said.

Today he refrained from doing any on-dohyo practice, and opted instead for shiko, suri-ashi, tachiai practices with his loyal Sancho-Panza, Shunba. And of course, strength training, as you can see here.

But if you think he is taking it easy, like his anideshi Yokozuna, you’re wrong. Tomorrow, when the Jungyo hits Osaka, he intends to join the rest of the sekitori and do some actual keiko.

Moreover, he was in the torikumi today. And the schedulers matched him up with Mitakeumi, no less. When I read that torikumi I was pretty sure Fish-Mouth will make himself a kaiju sandwich. But surprisingly, he didn’t. Mitakeumi did a quick nihon-zashi, and got the ozekiwake all the way to the tawara, but in the end, Terunofuji lifted the sekiwake with both arms (both uwate!) and got him out by Utchari. Video below!

Terunofuji’s problems are far from over, though. “If I told you that there is no pain, I’d be lying. But even if I rested, it won’t heal. I’ll just have to live with it”. He said.

About his demotion from Ozeki after 14 basho in that rank, he had this to say: “If my injuries are healed, I’ll be able to attain that rank again any time. The fact that I ended up with a completely new, unrelated injury that time does not make me happy, but I’m not wasting time thinking about a drop down the banzuke. I have to have self-confidence, and I’ll gain self-confidence by training and competing.”

And as usual, Tachiai wishes our favorite Kaiju a safe and healthy continued career.

It’s kisenosato’s turn to play with Asanoyama

The Yokozuna has apparently forgiven the kanto-sho winner for playing hooky from keiko the other day.

kisenosato-asanoyama-kashiba

He invited him to a 14-bout sanban today, of which the Yokozuna won 9, and Asanoyama a respectable 5. Half way through the series, the two were pretty much even, and you could hear the Yokozuna grunting unhappily.

Those two have kenka-yotsu – the Yokozuna is hidari-yotsu, while Asanoyama is migi-yotsu. In those bouts in which the Yokozuna achieved his favorite grip, he easily dominated. But not so much when he didn’t. “I couldn’t push forward, so it wasn’t good sumo”, said Asanoyama, “but when I got my right hand in I could somehow negotiate at my own pace”.

Following yesterday’s 11-bout session with Kakuryu, this has been Asanoyama’s sixth time to be called for sanban by Yokozuna in this jungyo. “When I lose a bout, I can tell from the experience itself what the reason for having lost was. The angle at which Kisenosato hits you delivers a huge impact. Then he follows that by rapid attacks. Everybody should learn how to position themselves and quickly attack, from watching him”.

The Yokozuna, when asked about the training, narrowed his eyes: “He is skilled, and he has power. I can use him to assess my own state right now. He is the best opponent for that, as he vigorously produces power” he nodded his head.

(Taken from Daily Sports Online).

One thing I’d like to see is Terunofuji taking up Asanoyama (if the Yokozuna let him play with their toy). The youngster seems to be a certified self-assessment tool for high-ranking wrestlers.

Harumafuji is back on the dohyo

The Yusho winner who has, so far, settled for workouts below the dohyo, except for a couple of torikumi in the beginning of the jungyo, decided to do some butsukari geiko.

harumafuji-reverse-butsukari-chiyonokuni

This was actually a reverse butsukari. That is, usually it’s the Yokozuna who lends his chest, and the lower-ranked wrestler who attempts to push him out. Given that a butsukari is usually a show of superiority, not just a form of practice, it’s relatively rare to see reverse ones.

Harumafuji commented that the reason he did not participate so far was finding himself “slow to recover from the fatigue of the honbasho”.

(Taken from Daily Sports Online. And if you read the article to the end and get to the part where they say that sumo originates from Israel, and that the calls “Haikioi” and “Nokotta” are actually Hebrew, well, that’s utter nonsense alternative reality).

Torikumi

hakuho-strangles-kisenosato
Is that a nodowa or a Vulcan nerve pinch?

Edit: This just in: some bout videos!

Hakuho-Kisenosato:

Kakuryu-Goeido:

Terunofuji-Mitakeumi!

Not Jungyo related, but sad news all the same

Apparently, Nishonoseki Oyakata (60) was found unconscious by passers-by after an accident with his bike. He was taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery, but so far is still in a coma due to a brain contusion. (Sponichi)

Short Jungyo Newsreel – October 18th


🌐 Location: Tsu

Short one today, as the newspapers are pretty dry.

Kakuryu on the mend, minces Asanoyama

kakuryu-asanoyama

Today it was Kakuryu’s turn to play with Asanoyama, the Yokozuna corps’ favorite toy in this jungyo. He took him for an 11-bout san-ban. The Yokozuna won all. Moving quickly, he led with his right and fiercely attacked the up-and-coming youngster.

“It was my own, never-retreating form. I am able to do sumo without any discomfort”, said the recovering Yokozuna. In Hamamatsu he took Asanoyama for 11 bouts as well and won them all. “But then, I was pushed back”, he recalls. Today, he dominated.

But is he back to his full form? “Not yet. There are still several days till the next honbasho, and I will work every day to improve my sumo and reinforce those parts that are currently unsatisfactory. Next time I’ll take on a rival who is a tsuppari specialist”.

Lots of bouts for your enjoyment

Most of these are Juryo and below, though.

Start with Takayoshitoshi vs. Akua (former shokkiri vs. current shokkiri performer here).

There is actually a second in that match that looks like they are actually doing shokkiri.

Hakkairyu vs. Motokiyama

Kyokushoho vs. Meisei

Azumaryu vs. Aminishiki

Daiamami vs. Kotoyuki

A real slapfest, that one.

Chiyonokuni vs. Takarafuji

Chiyomaru vs. Ishiura

Ishiura gets his just deserts.

As for the musubi no ichiban, if I find a decent video, I’ll add it. The only one I found was so bad I couldn’t tell if Hakuho won by Yorikiri or Oshidashi. Seriously. In fact, if it wasn’t for Kisenosato’s slightly larger silhouette, I wouldn’t even be sure who was who. That bad.

But Hakuho did win this time. So it’s 2-2 so far.

Legends of the Dohyo #3: The Peerless One


Raiden2

Throughout sumo’s long and storied history, there have emerged several men whose exceptional skill on the dohyo has led them to be considered the greatest of all time. Taiho, Chiyonofuji, Takanohana II, Asashoryu, Hakuho. These are all sekitori whose status as the best of the best has been hotly debated even to this day. Yet there is one man from sumo’s distant past who may overshadow them all. A rikishi whose sheer dominance elevated him to the status of legend. The mighty thunderbolt, Raiden Tameemon.

Like many legends, this story has humble beginnings. Born Seki Tarokichi in 1767, the man who would one day be known as Raiden Tameemon grew up in a small village in Shinano province. Even in his youth, Tarokichi’s strength was already considerable, and his father enrolled him in sumo classes in a nearby village when he was fourteen years old. During a 1784 jungyo tour of Shinano, the young Tarokichi impressed the visiting stablemaster of Urakaze beya with both his strength and extraordinary height. Standing over six feet tall he was considered a giant compared to his fellow countrymen. Tarokichi was invited to train at Urakaze stable in Edo (modern-day Tokyo) where he honed his sumo techniques. His time at Urakaze would be short-lived, and he would soon begin training at Isenoumi beya under Tanikaze Kajinosuke, sumo’s fourth Yokozuna and the first to hold the position while still living.

In 1790, Tarokichi would make his professional debut at the winter tournament under his new shikona of Raiden, which roughly translates to “thunderbolt”. He would finish his first basho with the best record of all rikishi who had participated, including his teacher Tanikaze and the fifth Yokozuna Onogawa Kisaburo. In 1795 Raiden would attain the rank of Ozeki, a position he would hold for seventeen years. Of the thirty-five tournaments he would enter, Raiden would emerge victorious on twenty-eight occasions*. Of these victories, seven were won without a single loss**, giving the Thunderbolt a record winning percentage of 96%. His supremacy on the dohyo became so renowned that the Sumo Association began limiting the techniques he could use in an attempt to keep his matches more exciting and less one-sided.

Despite dominating sumo for two decades, Raiden would never attain the prestigious rank of Yokozuna, retiring as an Ozeki at the age of 44. There have been many theories as to why he was never awarded the title, the most likely of which involving his strained relationship with the Yoshida clan. At the time, only the Yoshida clan held the authority to issue official Yokozuna licenses. It has been hypothesized that Raiden was denied a license due to his ties to the Tokugawa Shogun, whose regime was deeply opposed by Yoshida. Despite never being granted the rank of Yokozuna, In 1900 his name was inscribed on the Yokozuna Stone at Tomioka Hachiman Shrine, with the only title befitting his tremendous impact on sumo: “Peerless Rikishi” Raiden Tameemon.

* These are not considered official victories as the current yusho system did not come into effect until 1909.
**Although Raiden did not suffer any defeats during these tournaments, several of his matches ended in draws where the winner could not be decided definitively.

Links
http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=3143
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raiden_Tameemon
Sumo Matchup Centuries in the Making