Day 7 – Redemption Will Wait


I want a shot at redemption
Don’t want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard

Paul Simon

The basho is turning wackier, with only Hakuho anchoring it at the moment.

Let’s start from the end this time. Hokutofuji grabs his third kinboshi, from the kinboshi dispenser that Kisenosato is proving to be. He takes a different tactic than Takakeisho and Shohozan, and combines nodowa with a right ottsuke which doesn’t allow the Yokozuna to get a left-hand grip.

I would expect the Yokozuna to just rely on his right hand, but he seems to be baffled and lost, and after a few dances around the dohyo Hokutofuji sends him out. Third loss for Kisenosato, and the sigh of relief from his fans yesterday seems to have been premature.

He is in an interesting position if he wants to go kyujo, though. You don’t just decide that you don’t want to participate. You have to hand in a medical certificate. And with the storm brewing around Takanoiwa’s medical certificate, the Kyokai is going to be checking that the certificates it gets are genuine. If he hands in a certificate regarding the state of his left arm and chest, he’ll probably have to abide by whatever the doctors recommend for it, and I doubt that it will just be “two weeks rest”.

In the penultimate match, we have our only reliable yokozuna keeping his finger in the dike. Onosho said after the two trained together, that “the training was a valuable lesson for him to win their real bout”. I think he meant it, because he actually prevented Hakuho from getting any sort of grip on either his mawashi or his body. So Hakuho switched to plan B, sidestepped and handed Onosho his second tsukiotoshi of the basho. So in fact Onosho’s only win so far is against “Guilty Feet Have Got No Rhythm” Harumafuji on day 1.

Goeido‘s match with Shohozan seems to have been a replay of yesterday’s match with Chiyotairyu. Shohozan takes the initiative, and Goeido just reacts and retreats, and can’t find a way to attack. This is his second loss, he drops out of the chaser list. Also, he wanted to redeem himself for the last basho, and that redemption will be really hard to achieve now, because he really needs to do superb sumo from now on to make himself look like an Ozeki again, much less a candidate for a rope-run.

Takayasu, on the other hand, having made no vows, maintains a cool head after his losses. He takes Chiyonokuni‘s belt right from the tachiai. Chiyonokuni manages to escape the grip and plans to launch one of his cat-bat flurries, but he is too close to the edge and Takayasu gets him out before he can do anything. Takayasu needs to scrape three more wins to clear his kadoban, and with only one Yokozuna and one Ozeki to face in the second week, has a very good chance of doing so.

The Kotoshogiku vs. Yoshikaze bout starts well for old Giku, although Yoshikaze denies him the hips. But it seems that Kotoshogiku doesn’t have enough stamina and simply loses power after holding Yoshikaze against the tawara for a few seconds. Yoshikaze takes advantage and runs Kotoshogiku to the other side of the ring.

Tamawashi runs all over Mitakeumi. It seems Mitakeumi doesn’t even know what hit him.

I didn’t like the Takakeisho we saw today. It was too much like his old self, which may mean he is developing a Goeido-like tendency for version-flipping. Chiyotairyu attacks and attacks, only to have Takakeisho sidestep and hand him the tsukiotoshi. Well, Takakeisho can always say that he didn’t do anything that Hakuho didn’t do.

Ichinojo seems to have decided to go as Aminishiki today. Only, being about two times as thick as Aminishiki, he can’t move sideways fast enough, and Tochiozan‘s grabbed head simply meets his torso. Oops. But this basho Ichinojo thinks fast on his feet, and he manages to recover and push his opponent. Yet another win for the boulder. Tomorrow he faces the ailing Yokozuna, which is going to be a challenge for him, as he is not the kind of oshi man that Hokutofuji or Takakeisho are. Anyway, go go bridge abutment!

I don’t know exactly how, but Takarafuji actually managed a worse tachiai than Shodai. It seems he can’t win on days Aminishiki wins. Problem is, of course, that Aminishiki wins a lot. Shodai pushes him all the way out, and today Isegahama has only Aminishiki and Terutsuyoshi to look to… wait a minute, you really have to see this:

Terutsuyoshi faces the hitherto undefeated Sokokurai. The bout ends pretty quickly, only… they touch the ground at the same time. Then there are two whole minutes of monoii. And a torinaoshi.

But it is well worth the wait, because what follows is really, really exciting sumo. Kudos to both Terutsuyoshi and Sokokurai, to whom I apologized for the jinx of mentioning yesterday that he was undefeated.

OK, so this was more than a minute. More like 8 minutes (unless you were smart and skipped the monoii). We now go back to our scheduled programming.

Arawashi doesn’t waste much time in his match with Daishomaru. Unlike yesterday’s annoying henka, he gets right into a belt grip and pushes Daishomaru all the way to the other side. Quick and clean, and he keeps himself in the chaser group.

Chiyoshoma is disappointed again today. He manages to get a good grip on Endo and tries a suso-harai. Failing that he loses that shallow grip and his balance with it.

Daieisho tries a tsuppari attack against Tochinoshin. But the Georgian pays no attention, and gets him where he wants him – in a strong mawashi grip. From then there’s only one way for Daieisho, and that’s out.

It’s the seventh day. Seven is an odd number, and on odd days, Chiyomaru loses. Like clockwork. What is that slow, weak tachiai supposed to mean? Kaisei takes the gift and says thank you very much.

Ikioi seemed to have the upper hand in his bout with Okinoumi. But eventually, both fell down, nearly the same time, the shimpan had to consult amongst themselves before awarding Okinoumi the white star.

What’s up with Asanoyama? Where is the strong sumo we saw yesterday? Or is he only capable of executing that against feeble old men? Myogiryu sails forward easily and picks his fourth win.

I’d like to say that Kagayaki wins when he doesn’t do his Kermit Flail. But, well, this was basically a fluke. He did almost get Nishikigi in a kotonage, but then Nishikigi grabbed a hold of his hand – maybe with a tottari in mind, and dragged him to the other side, but then both fell, and unfortunately for Nishikigi, he fell first.

We’re down to the geriatric battle of the day. I’ve been waiting for this bout since the results of Aki became known, but it was a little too short for pleasure. Takekaze is on his way to Juryo, or to intai, and if Aminishiki wasn’t older than he, I’d berate him for harassing the elderly. The tachiai commences with a coconut clash, which seems to bother Uncle not at all. And then he did his push-me-pull-you trick and rolled the Oguruma man like a die.

That’s it, other than Kotoyuki quickly giving Daiamami another black star, though both will probably see each other in Juryo in Hatsu.


Our Supreme Leader, Father Of Phoenixes, Ruler of Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka, King Of Kings, Hakuho Sho.


Hokutofuji (M3)
Ichinojo (M4)
Arawashi (M5)
Okinoumi (M12)
Aminishiki (M13)

Not a single member of the sanyaku in this list!

As you know, I follow Naruto beya. So here is Torakio trying to break a world record in matta. Be that as it may, the Bulgarian is kachi-koshi, 4-0, and who knows, may have his eyes on the jonidan yusho.

14 thoughts on “Day 7 – Redemption Will Wait

  1. I think Takakeisho was just up against someone who does all the things he does but with more size and power. He didn’t win pretty but he did adapt and that’s a good step for him.

    I think Kisenosato’s strategy for this basho is “defend, defend, defend,” believing that most of the other rikishi can’t force him out. I really thought Hokutofuji was about to flag and hand the win to the yokozuna so big kudos to the little guy. I’m happy he won.

    Ichinojo’s henka was one of the silliest things I’ve ever seen but in a weird way I’m proud of the big guy for doing something other than his usual stand-around waza.

    Okinoumi v. Ikioi was awesome. Fun stuff today.

    • This basho Ichinojo has been very mobile. But apparently, Newtonian laws apply and you’ll need superhuman muscles to be able to move that mass quickly enough. Not to mention the damage to the dohyo.

      If that’s Kisenosato’s strategy, he should open the book of Hakuho, chapter 1 verse 12: “If thou art a Yokozuna, take the copulating initiative!”. Amen.

      • The next verse reads:

        Nor shalt thou, being the mighty man which beareth the name of yokozuna, flee from thy foe as the deer flies from the hunter, lest thine enemy scorns thee as a big fat windy puff.

        And when the great wolf of the steppes that is named Ichinojo descends upon thee (at about 8.30 UCT tomorrow, check local channels for details) thou hadst best gird up thy loins and square thine ass, or verily, thou shalt be cast unto the second row, and the elders of the children of Nippon shall mutter against thee.

      • That was the funniest henka attempt I’ve seen in a while. I’m glad he could counter.


  2. Goeido’s dun this bs all week and now his gay backpedaling ain’t working anymor lol.
    Sumo Elvis is a beast, nearly as heavy as kaisei and aoiyamammaries and he’s not even fat, but takakeisho got him w/ defense.
    Hokotofuji will b moving on up to sanyaku.
    Onosho is wild and out.
    I think arawashi, ichinojo, and hokotofuji can beat hakuho if all the stars line up.
    Alot of guys r injured and many jus don’t seem to have the same high energy..

  3. Senshuraku prediction: If Goeido cannot get his act together and start doing his actual own sumo, rather than this dance-around-and-wait-for-an-opening BS, Takayasu is going to mince him.

  4. Hi,

    I am new to sumo and was wondering why some people are critical of Takekeisho’s victory over Chiyotairyu. Maybe I am biased because Takakeisho is my favorite rikishi but I thought that he timed his sidestep perfectly to win by tsukiotoshi. I would think that good sumo is not all direct frontal assault and that sometimes it requires a bit of artfulness and deception. I’ve been impressed by Takakeisho’s confidence, power, timing and improvisation in the dohyo so far.


    • I totally agree, although I’m a Takakeisho fan also, so maybe we’re seeing the match from a different perspective!

  5. Is it just my impression, or is Terutsuyoshi on the verge of fainting after his bout? (at about 7:10 in the video)

    • It looks like he is. Well spotted. He is certainly not supposed to use chikara-mizu for himself, and he looks all wobbly. It’s not uncommon for rikishi to be disoriented after a bout, though it’s usually because of heavy impacts, especially to the head.

      In this case both rikishi were out of stamina even before the bout ended.

  6. Great find on the Terutsuyoshi-Sokokurai video! Man, the dude Torakio was fighting is huge! Almost Orora huge.

  7. Kisenosato looked lost today, on defense only. My feeling that he was promoted too soon or in error (or for other reasons known only to the committee) is proving to be correct.

    Can’t say I agree with you about Takakeisho though, I thought he was thinking on his feet and being light-speed tactical, just like Hakuho with his light speed reflexes and decisions.


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