Day 6 – There Can Be Only One

Another day at the office

Day 6 leaves us with only one man having any mathematical possibility of a zensho-yusho. Of course, the basho is still in early days, and the king may lose his crown yet, but at the moment, Hakuho reigns supreme.

But he is not the only sekitori with a clean, white score sheet. Down in Juryo, there is another man who is 6-0. The name may sound familiar: he’s a former chicken farmer, the only Chinese national on the banzuke. I give you Sokokurai!

Today the Inner-Mongolian had a match with the other all-win Juryo man, young Abi. Abi was all over the veteran, with his signature quick moves, but Sokokurai secured first a left-hand belt grip, then a morozashi, and showed Abi the way out with an okuridashi.

While we are in Juryo, want to see a beautiful kakenage? Here is the bout between Yutakayama and Kyokutaisei:

And now, how about a wardrobe malfunction, featuring, unsurprisingly, Ishiura messing around with a mawashi knot?

The way it looks, one of the shimpan must have informed the gyoji that the knot was untied, as he wasn’t in an angle to see it. So Ryuden – whom I must have jinxed yesterday in my comments about his standing among obasan – was lucky to lose by shitatenage rather than by exposure of manhood.

BTW, is it only me, or did Ishiura take advantage of the situation to improve his hold on the knot?

My advice to sekitori who are assigned to Ishiura: get your tsukebito to sew your mawashi knot before the bout.

OK, moving on to the Makuuchi, what did we have today?

Nishikigi is showing surprising tenacity, and at this rate, will secure his stay in Makuuchi for yet another basho. His match with Myogiryu was a battle for grips, but as Myogiryu changed his grip that last time, Nishikigi drove him out of the ring. Those grip changes are always risky.

Kagayaki is back to his bad sumo, where he looks more like Kermit the Frog flailing wildly than like a sumo wrestler with effective tsuppari. Kotoyuki says thank you and goodbye.

Asanoyama decided he has to regain his sumo, which is a good thing, but the hapless rival is our favorite Aminishiki, who is now down with the rest of the chasers. I hope he hasn’t damaged good old Uncle Sumo. That throw was all like “You wanted to get back to Makuuchi? Well, let me remind you what Makuuchi is really like”. Very aggressive. But can’t blame him. Aminishiki knows he is playing with the big boys again. Anyway, Asanoyama was on the offensive from the start, and although Aminishiki was the first to securely grab some silk, Asanoyama grabbed some of his own on the same side and performed that decisive uwatenage. Let’s hope Aminishiki returns tomorrow with his sneaky sumo and funny interviews.

Okinoumi certainly looks genki, and Endo didn’t make his bout easy in any way, as he was on the offensive and secured a grip with his right hand. But it was Okinoumi who grabbed his arm for a kotenage at the end.

Day 6 is an even day! And on even days, Chiyomaru brings his sumo to the arena! His match with Ikioi starts with a tsuppari barrage, and then suddenly he goes for a hug. Of course, no way for him to get anywhere close to Ikioi’s mawashi, but he doesn’t need to. He simply pushes the man down for a tsukiotoshi.

Kaisei doesn’t give Daishomaru any room to do anything. This bout was over in a flash, with Kaisei driving the maru in a quick arch to the bales.

Shodai‘s bout with Daieisho is also a matter of seconds. Shodai was simply not there today.

Continuing with the flash bouts, Chiyoshoma and Arawashi was supposed to be a lovely bout, but here is one henka I could certainly do without. The Japanese announcer: “It was disappointing sumo today”.

Curiously, now that Aminishiki has lost, it seems like everybody else in Isegahama finally started to win. I checked, and Homarefuji and even poor Terutsuyoshi who was winless until today won. And they are joined by Takarafuji, who unbelievably wins a tsuppari battle with Chiyonokuni.

Ichinojo bounces back from yesterday’s loss. Well, not “bounces”. More like “rises ponderously”. It’s a battle between his weight and patience and Tochinoshin‘s strength. Tochinoshin is the first to secure two hands on Ichinojo’s mawashi, although one of them is at the front. Ichinojo manages to undo that grip, and eventually they settle into a standard migi-yotsu, and Tochinoshin tries to lift the boulder. Um, no. With all due respect, nobody can lift that thing. And after he wastes his energy on this attempt, Ichinojo starts pushing him all the way to a plain and simple yori-kiri. I’m glad Tochinoshin did not cause further harm to his knee in that attempt, but go, go Mongolian boulder!

Hokutofuji continues to impress. He keeps his pelvis miles from Kotoshogiku‘s, pushes forward, then retreats fast and pulls the Komusubi down. Kotoshogiku is going to drop back down to Maegashira at this rate.

Tamawashi goes on a slapping match with Yoshikaze. But the elderly sekiwake is not what he used to be. Tamawashi gets him overcommitted and pushes him down.

Even Mitakeumi got the memo: Onosho can be easily beaten if you get him to charge at you like a billy-goat. So they get forwards and backwards a few time, and then Mitakeumi make a fast retreat, and hands Onosho yet another hatakikomi. Sad. In the last basho Onosho said that he learned what his weak points were and he’ll work on them, but I guess he was thinking about different weak points. That man also seems to be heading back to maegashira, unless he learns the art of footwork fast. Mitakeumi, on the other hand, despite his injury, is sailing through quite nicely and is looking to maintain his sekiwake position easily.

Goeido booted up in the wrong mode today. He didn’t really engage Chiyotairyu. He was reactive. And eventually, he lost his balance. Chiyotairyu is probably surprised that he managed to scrape a white star off of the hitherto undefeated Ozeki, and without even breaking much sweat. The Ozeki also drops off the leader list, and joins the legion who will now have to wait for the Dai-Yokozuna to make a mistake.

Takayasu, however, drops even further, with his second loss of the bout. He was actually initiating a strong tsuppari, but he didn’t seem to realize that Takakeisho is a newer model from the same locomotive factory where he himself was manufactured. The Ozeki found himself further away from the center than he wanted, and got pushed out decisively.

And finally we get actual Yokozuna sumo from Kisenosato. This one was decisive and dominant, despite the fact that Tochiozan had him in a Morozashi for a couple of seconds. And did my eyes decieve me or did Kisenosato use his left side to twist Tochiozan back for the tsukiotoshi? More of this, please, Kisenosato. We are low on Yokozuna right now!

Finally, another wonderful textbook uwatenage from the Lord Of The Ring, Hakuho. Tachiai. Slap. Quick migi-yotsu. Drag to the tawara. Then perform the throw. And as both bodies were already on a trajectory, the Yokozuna deftly lifts his left leg and gives Shohozan a little more torque to ensure that he falls down first. Again, a work of art.

The leader list:

only one man. The almighty Hakuho.

The chaser list:

Goeido (O)
Mitakeumi (S)
Hokutofuji (M3)
Ichinojo (M4)
Arawashi (M5)
Okinoumi (M12)
Aminishiki (M13)

For your enjoyment, here are the Taka Twins – with a guest appearance by Enho!



37 thoughts on “Day 6 – There Can Be Only One

  1. Goeido duz the same weak sumo everyday and it won’t keep winning.
    Takakeisho is legit ballin.
    Yoshikaze seems broke.
    Tochiozan has internally spontaneously combusted.
    Hokotofuji is quite fast 4 having all that blubber.

    • Goeido did some pretty strong sumo for 4 days. Yesterday’s wasn’t strong, but it was appropriate for the rival. Today… let’s hope he doesn’t continue on that path.

      • At least he’s not doing henka’s evry match, but all he duz is a quick thrust and then pull down attempts, it’s weak and won’t work on upper echelon opponents

  2. You’re correct that Ishiura improved his grip after the pause to fix things. That grip is also what led to his victory. Sneaky, sneaky stuff there. I unfortunately have to agree with the commentator about Arawashi. He did something similar the last time he faced Chiyoshoma and he didn’t look proud of his behavior when he was accepting his win either.
    It’s too bad that Uncle Sumo was handed a loss, but these things happen. He probably isn’t complaining about needing only three wins for his katchi-koshi already.
    “Oh, Goeido! What are you doing?!” is literally what I said during his bout today. So disappointing!

  3. I think there might be a problem with the site. For me, this post is fine once I view the comments, but from the front page, the first video is Ishiura – Yutakayama, the second is Tamawashi – Takayasu, and the last two are… a map of Fukuoaka.

      • Desktop, Firefox Quantum 57. I thought I’d tried a full refresh, but I tried again just now (ctrl-f5) and that worked, so I guess I must have done it wrong the first time.

  4. Revenge of the M1s! Those two guys are hitting reverse on the meat grinder and running up a steady stream of victories over the Ys, Os, Ss, (and Ks?)! It will take quite a reversal at this point to keep those two out of sanyaku, which is about to have a massive turnover.

    Tamawashi just has too many advantages over Yoshikaze. They are both active and aggressive, but Tamawashi has more size, more reach, more strength. He’s looking pretty strong again.

    Hakuho’s win wasn’t lucky but boy was it close. Shohozan was going for that throw and Hakuho reversed it on him. Beautiful reverse.

    • Well, for Tamawashi it’s more of an attempt to return to his previous glory. Takakeisho is certainly going to take Onosho’s place as the tadpole of choice.

      I don’t think the initiative in the Hakuho’s uwatenage was shohozan’s. It seems to me that Hakuho’s left hand is applying power to Shohozan’s mawashi. But I think Shohozan was trying to reverse it, and would have succeeded, if Hakuho didn’t do that deft left leg trick.

      • Seemed to me like they were both barreling to the edge together and both decided, “Fine, I’ll throw him when I get there,” and Shohozan got his leg set first. But it was fast and I’d buy Hakuho being the initiator, like you say. Cool exchange for sure.

      • It looks like Onosho has an easily-exploited weakness, and Takakeisho – who was looking hesistant last basho, to the point I mentally nicknamed him “the bouncy ball” for his tendancy to bounce off people and go back for another go – is looking much better this time around.

        Onosho – Hakuho tomorrow, and I think we can all predict how that’s going to go.

      • Watching the replay, did Hakuho’s knee make contact with Shohozan in a rather, umm, uncomfortable place?

        • Oh geez, I believe you are right. Probably an immediate retaliation for Shohozan’s attempt to reverse the charges. “Next time don’t mess with me, boy. I’ve teabagged bigger rikishi.”

  5. Ta — Ka — Kei — Sho!

    Actually, I have to put asterisks next to all three of his high profile wins. Harumafuji hadn’t been training like a yokozuna and must have been in a bad place mentally due to the impending doom. Takakeisho capitalized on Kisenosato’s structural weakness, as he should, but the question still remains what he could have managed against Hatsu Kise. Takakeisho’s win over Takayasu was the most legit but it’s still clear that the ozeki isn’t quite at 100%.

    But still, all the haters and losers who preferred Wobbly Onosho to my pick Takakeisho could not have been more WRONG. Sad!

    • Oh, god. Which of the following is worse for the world of Sumo?

      1. A yokozuna beats up a fellow rikishi, and the scandal only erupts when said rikishi submits a partially falsified medical certificate to the NSK.

      2. Donald Trump starts commenting on Tachiai.

    • It’s quite silly, but saying Takakeisho’s name in the Trey Parker movie announcer voice from South Park has become a thing in our house. None of the other 4 syllable names sound so much like an up and coming young action movie star.

    • Haha nice. I still pick Onosho; I think he’ll bounce back from this bad outing and work his way back to san’yaku pretty easily. But he sure isn’t looking great out there this time around, no doubt about it. And Takakeisho is looking great the last few basho after his dud.

  6. The best hard fought match of Day 6 in my opinion was all the way down in Jonokuchi between Jk 4 Kozakura and Jk 3 Yabuoka. I was really cheering on Kozakura to win it, so he can get back up into Jonidan.

    • Oh wow, that kid has got some stamina. Sorry for Kozakura, but I think the best man won. Or best boy.

      Since you watch the low level bouts regularly, any idea what’s up with that bandage on Torakio’s face?

      • No clue, I saw a couple people ask about it on the Narutobeya Twitter, but didn’t see any official response. He didn’t have a bandage on today, so it must have not been anything too serious. His match was matta-tastic -poor kid looked a bit embarrassed.

        I agree that Yabuoka was the better fighter for sure. It’s so rare to see the lowest division matches go back and forth for so long!

        I admit I have a soft spot for Kozakura cause I want him to earn some money for surgery eventually. I know we make fun of some of the bigger guys like Aoiyama for their flabby looks, but that much loose skin can Get infected and also screw up your center of gravity.

    • Man, that was a fantastic bout! What a great display of strength and technique from both rikishi! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Takakeisho has some serious confidence and his thrust attack is working fantastically against the top rikishi, this kid is going places!

  8. Retreating Goeido = No-way-do.

    Hakuho is a craftsman. The way he used his leg as a rudder to steer the pair to the right side…just beautiful.

    If there’s one new statistic I want to see, it’s the length of the wrestlers’ reach. Tamawashi seemed to just keep Yoshikaze at arms length where he couldn’t do anything.


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