The Grudge Match And The Beautiful Kimarite

Terutsuyoshi, 22 years old, 168cm, 115kg, is Isegahama’s lowest-ranked sekitori at Juryo #9. With his small stature and his bad knees, he has a hard time securing kachi-koshi ever since he reached Juryo, with three 7-8 records and two 9-6.


He started this basho with five straight losses, but already provided us with great entertainment on day 7, which nearly ended with him fainting with the chikara mizu ladle in his hands.

Today he faced Takagenji, who regained sekitori status this basho. Takagenji is Juryo #14, 20 years old, 191cm and 160kg. He is very ambitious. And he is from Takanohana beya.

So the sekitori from Harumafuji’s heya was facing a sekitori from Takanoiwa’s heya. And it seems that emotions were running high.

So let’s watch a little sumo:

Tachiai. Takagenji attempts a face slap. Terutsuyoshi evades it, and being of small stature, plants his head in Takagenji’s stomach and looks for a grip. Takagenji literally has the upper hand – gets a grip from above on the little man’s mawashi, catches him under his armpit with his other hand, and turns him around.

Then, suddenly, the spirit of the absent Ura mounts the dohyo and possesses Terutsuyoshi. He grabs onto the same arm that was used to twist him around, bends down, and the surprised Takanohana wrestler finds himself in a heap below the dohyo.

But look at the face of Terutsuyoshi. The man is clearly very angry. And Takagenji is no less. He gets back up to the dohyo, but does not bow, not even a nod, and leaves it immediately. The gyoji calls him back to properly bow – not something you see every day.

And while the young Isegahama man cools down, ladle in hand, we hear the call of the kimarite: Koshinage. This is only the 23rd time this kimarite has been performed since the beginning of the 20th century.

This leaves the announcer and the commentator arguing: was it a koshinage, or was it an ipponzeoi, as the commentator called it at first?

The main difference between these two kimarite is that in koshinage, the throw’s axis is the thrower’s hip, while in ipponzeoi, the less rare one, the axis is the thrower’s shoulder. I leave it to the reader’s judgement. (Well, mostly because I’m really bad at kimarite). Whichever it was, it an awesome come-from-behind throw.

Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that Terutsuyoshi suffers from tonsilitis and that his throat was killing him today. I’d get a sick day for that, but rikishi can’t.

Terutsuyoshi doesn’t say why he was so angry, other than “Takagenji was staring at me, so I stared back”. Takagenji just says something like “emotions ran high”. I call it a grudge match.

13 thoughts on “The Grudge Match And The Beautiful Kimarite

  1. It’s difficult for me to say the difference between the kimarite – there are only three video records of Koshinage available from sumodb, and one of them is in 2004-o-vision.

    • My thought is that Takagenki took a ride on Terutsuyoshi’s hip, so that’s the “axis” for the throw. So, the kimarite call by the official is correct. For an ipponzeoi, Takagenki would have to go over Terutsuyoshi’s shoulder more than his hip which didn’t happen here. In reality, it’s splitting hairs. But, I’ll go with the officials over the commentator most of the time for this type of call.

      That was DEFINITELY a grudge match. Wow.

  2. First of all – great write up. Secondly, Takagenji – why the poor manners? I am surprised the higher ranked sekitori don’t “upgrade” his notion of how to be an top ranked rikishi.

    • Higher ranked sekitori from his heya? You mean you want Takanoiwa to tell him how to behave, especially to higher ranking sekitori? A…hem.

      • I have this problem, where no matter how great a wrestler is, if they don’t have manners and show respect for their fellow wrestlers I cannot cheer for them. Because of this I am not a fan of the Taka twins.

        • I tend to agree.That’s why I’m no fan of Hakuho, though I can’t ignore the man’s sheer brilliance.

          The twins have a lot of cute going for them, but a pretty face is not everything, and I get bad vibes from both their Twitter accounts. I haven’t checked their politeness before, as the bow ceremonies are usually so well practiced that even concussed rikishi perform them properly, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled from now on.

          • I did once see a very dazed Rikishi walk to the wrong part of the dohyo at the end of the bout, but he did still manage to give a bow.

  3. I’ve cheered for the Juryo mini-dino for awhile now, and in all fairness, his range of expressions typically never approaches anything close to cheerful. He is the epitome of salty.

    It does look to me that his hip is the focal point of the throw, but it’s hard to tell when a match isn’t filmed like an aikido video.

  4. Wasn’t Terutsuyoshi the wrestler that Harumafuji practised tachi-ai with just before the final play-off against Goeido in September?

    • Yep, that’s the one. It seems Harumafuji likes to practice with him. Short videos from the pre-basho also showed him practice with Terutsuyoshi.


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