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.


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:


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:


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.

11 thoughts on “Jungyo Newsreel – October 20th

  1. That Kisenosato-Hakuho bout was fantastic! I feel that Kisenosato could maybe have hung in there a bit longer, but nobody wants to risk injury in a bout that’s not part of the basho.

    • Yes, it was a good one. I loved the sound of air being sucked in at the tachiai, as if to fill the vacuum left where Hakuho was a second ago. :-)

      The end there just goes to show how very difficult it is to cause the Kisenosato roly-poly toy to lose balance. That man has superb control of his lower body.

    • Presumably there’s some game theory as to how much you show the opponent you’re likely to face in a crucial bout in the basho…

  2. It’s cool to see this in Hirakata, that’s where I lived back when I studied abroad in college. I’d totally pony up the money for a local ad.

    Good job sweating to the oldies, Terunofuji. I hope these workouts help him in Kyushu.

    • The wanpaku keiko seems to have two varieties: one that includes very small children (yesterday I saw some with a mawashi worn over a diaper!), who generally go into the ring in groups and the sekitori play around with them, making faces, running away etc.

      Then there is keiko with actual wanpaku. That is, youngsters who practice sumo IRL, in dojos around Japan. Although there is a stereotype that most are just fat kids who are just sent to do sumo because they can’t do any other sports, those kids are usually very serious about it, just like any kids in a high school soccer team or taking martial arts around the world are.

      Kisenosato came to sumo from the wanpaku world. I don’t recall exactly, but I think he finished second in the all-Japan wanpaku championship (which is held at the kokugikan).

      So I believe that the kid that was assigned to the Ozeki was one of the more serious ones. Of course, the bout is still not taken very seriously, but yes, that kid probably has some real sumo waza.

  3. Excellent salt toss from Hakuho!

    I can’t help but feel that maybe Kisenosato could stand to lose 5 kg to be a touch more mobile

    • Yes, Hakuho really piles up the sodium chloride in the Jungyo…

      And I think 15kg would be more like it. Kisenosato was a lot lighter in that bout in which he stopped Hakuho from matching Futabayama’s record. And I believe if he was a little lighter, his injury would have been less severe.


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