Jungyo Newsreel – October 15

🌐 Location: Kyoto

Hakuho ❤️ Asanoyama

Hakuho's first butsukari with Asanoyama
Ah, true love

After the sekitori were done with their moshi-ai geiko today, Asanoyama was headed down to the locker room, when he was called back by Hakuho: “You’re a Makuuchi freshman. And you got a prize in the last basho. Come over here for some butsukari“.

Asanoyama, of course, did not refuse. “Once you get called, all you can do is respond with all you have”, he enthused.

The enthusiasm soon waned as he was thrown to the ground time and time again. Hakuho dedicated 5 minutes to the love-making, and he doesn’t do things by halves. “It felt a lot longer than 5 minutes” said Asanoyama later to the press.

Here’s a glimpse:

After he released (what remained of) the Kanto-sho winner, accompanied by advice to avoid pulling back his backside when he pushes, Hakuho said about the 189cm, 165kg mostly yotsu-zumo freshman: “He is much like me: has softness, weight and strength. At last such a youngster has come along. One must nurture him and lend him a hand up. They say that he has come too far too fast, but if, once he hits a wall, he has the ability to put his feelings in it, he will be able to extend his success further”.

So far in this Jungyo, Asanoyama was called in by three Yokozuna: Kisenosato for sanban first (and disciplinary butsukari two days ago), Kakuryu for sanban, and now Hakuho for butsukari. I suppose if Harumafuji ever gets to do actual keiko, he won’t  want to be the only Yokozuna not to make out with the lovely new Maegashira. It only remains to be seen if Asanoyama can show the same kind of motivation Onosho has shown, because Onosho really made the best of the similar expert training he had in the previous jungyo, enough to get himself to sanyaku.

Kyoto is a special place

Kyoto is different from most cities in Japan (for one, it has streets with names!). And the Jungyo day in Kyoto was special. Instead of the usual torikumi, the non-sekitori divisions competed in elimination format. The three winners got prizes:


The winners:

  • Jonidan: Hokutoshin (Hakkaku beya)
  • Sandanme: Imafuji (Nishonoseki beya)
  • Makushita: Takagenji (Takanohana beya)

Wait, what happened to Enho?

And yes, if you’re into these things, that’s an actual Maiko in full regalia in the foreground, and she was not the only one observed there. I find this very exciting. To draw a parallel, it’s like Sekitori coming to watch a Geisha performance wearing their Kesho-mawashi. Maiko do not dress like that when they are off duty.

The Juryo and Makuuchi parts of the event went in the usual style. In the penultimate bout, Kakuryu beat Goeido by yorikiri, while Kisenosato beat Hakuho by oshi-dashi.


Edit: Got the musubi!

Things you can only see in the Jungyo

We’ve seen a glimpse of this here in the previous Jungyo, but I can assure you that it’s a very common occurrence. Though not all babies get to have their own tsuna:

Yokozuna + Baby Dohyo Iri

Note that the ceremony also includes touching the baby to the sacred ground three times, tegatana style.

And this is what the shitaku-beya looks like during the jungyo. That is, the sumo equivalent of the “locker room” or “green room”.


Those big trunks are what each sekitori receives together with his kesho-mawashi.

9 thoughts on “Jungyo Newsreel – October 15

  1. Fantastic as always! You’ve done a great job pulling back the curtain and letting us non-Japanese fans see what goes on between the basho!

    That is mighty high praise indeed for Asanoyama!!! It’s not every day one get’s compared to the greatest Yokozuna of this generation, and even rarer to hear it from the Yokozuna himself!

    • I think it’s more than just about Asanoyama. Between the lines I think I see that Hakuho is not too impressed with the “tadpole” model of rikishi. Asanoyama, as I remarked in the past, has the Terunofuji body type. And he is a yotsu-zumo rather than oshi-zumo man. It seems that Hakuho believes that this type of wrestler is what the high levels require.

      • That’s a very interesting point! I might not share his view on the tadpole body type, but I have to admit that I agree with him when it comes to yotsu-zumo. Now don’t get me wrong, both techniques have their flaws and oshi-zumo can be very successful, but I feel that being an exclusive oshi-zumo user limits you. You need to be very big and very strong to find great success (Akebono), otherwise, it leaves you vulnerable to sidesteps, slapdowns, loss of ballence, and if your opponent gets your mawashi you’re toast. I find in today’s sumo, you need to be more of a hybrid to succeed, with a bit more emphasis being placed on yotsu-zumo. Mitakeumi is a great example of this, adding in more yotsu-zumo to compliment his oshi-zumo and giving him a more rounded repertoire.

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing the photos from backstage! What an interesting thing to see! Also, it’s interesting how the Yokozuna flock to youngsters who show promise. I will be curious to see how much attention Asanoyama and Onosho get in the future.

  3. Hakuho’s baby is growing like a weed! Did you notice the rikishi holding the baby ever so subtly bouncing it to calm it down? :-)

    Back to sumo … what is that the crowd shouts when the yokozuna stamps the ground? Thanks …


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