At long last, we are just about 24 hours away from the Kyushu banzuke! Sumo fans rejoice! As usual, Tachiai will start our wall to wall coverage leading up to Kyushu pretty much now. I would like to sincerely thank the newest members of the team for providing amazing coverage of jungyo, and some fantastic biographical pieces during what is normally a slow season for sumo. It was very much appreciated.
But out of 7 bouts, Asanoyama won four, and Terunofuji only three. Terunofuji’s technique must have been seriously lacking, as Takanohana, sitting as always by the side of the dohyo, felt compelled to interfere and offer advice. Terunofuji was duly thankful, but the lesson did not continue long. The kaiju’s damaged left knee started sending out alarms, and eventually Takanohana ordered him to stop the session, telling him “not to overdo it”.
The session was over, but we have a very headstrong kaiju on our hands. He stayed around and continued to perform Shiko. “I have to overdo it!” he said to the reporters.
It remains to be seen, then, if this was just a bump in the road, or the beginning of a spectacular road accident.
(Based mostly on Nikkan Sports, but I strongly advise against looking at the original photo accompanying the article. That is, unless a clear view of a 187kg rikishi’s crotch, complete with jock itch, is your thing. The photographer must be a Kotoshogiku fan.)
Kakuryu continues to scale up
Kakuryu seems to have an organized and itemized practice plan for the entire Jungyo. He completed the yotsu practices, continued to oshi practices, and now he is increasing the level of competition.
The other Yokozuna and Ozeki have been avoiding any bouts with joi members, probably for tactical reasons. Kakuryu, however, decided to take up soon-to-be Komusubi Onosho today:
He fought nine bouts with the special prize winner, of which he won 8 and lost 1. There’s certainly room for optimism about the recovering yokozuna here. “Of course I’ll participate. There is no pressure. I’ll just go out there and do what I always do”, he said despite the fact that his Shisho designated his next basho as “make or break”. “My ankle is fine even when I apply maximum load to it.”
Birth Name: Shogo Kawabata
Home Town: Osaka, Japan
Highest Rank: Maegashira 7
Daishomaru Shogo was born in the bustling city of Osaka Japan in 1991. As a primary school student, He competed in city-wide competitions and earned the rank of children’s sumo Yokozuna in the sixth grade. After completing primary school, he was scouted by the coach at Meitoku Gijukun, an elite sports boarding school. Daishomaru joined their sumo team and went on to win a national championship. After the death of his coach, he elected to attend Kanazawa Gakuin High School rather than continue in the Meitoku system. He experienced great success at Kanazawa, collecting one individual championship and several team titles. When it came time to pick a university, Daishomaru chose to attend Nihon University for their renowned sumo program. Although injury prevented him from competing for his first two years at Nihon, he recovered and become one of the university teams co-captains. In the semifinals of a national tournament, he would best his fellow co-captain to win the championship. With this victory, he qualified to enter sumo at the rank of makushita tsukedashi, rather than starting at Jonokuchi.
In 2014 Daishomaru joined Oitekaze beya. His Oyakata had also attended Nihon University, as had his stablemate, the ever popular Endo. He finished his premiere tournament with a respectable 5-2 record at the 2014 Haru basho, and would get back to back kachi-koshi in May and July. After two consecutive make-koshi, Daishomaru put together a strong run of winning records that earned him a promotion to Juryo for the 2015 Natsu basho. After winning only six matches in his Juryo debut, Daishomaru returned to the Makushita division for the following tournament. He would rebound almost immediately, taking the Nagoya Makushita yusho and climbing back into the Juryo division by September. Daishomaru entered the Makuuchi division in March of 2016 and reached his highest rank to date, Maegashira 7, two tournaments later at Nagoya. He spent much of 2017 at the bottom of Makuuchi until a stand out performance at the September competition saw him pick up ten wins and contend for the yusho up until day seven. As an oshizumo practitioner, Daishomaru prefers to fight with a strong pushing offense. Statistically, he wins 35% of his matches with an oshidashi pushout, and 30% with a tsukiotoshi thrust down.
Daishomaru (left) vs. Tokushoryu (right), Aki basho, 2017.