Kyushu Day 12 Highlights


Ichinojo-smiles

There are three rikishi that have stood out this basho.  Okinoumi is fighting very well in spite of a chronic injury to his lower pelvic region that most days makes it difficult to walk normally, let alone dominate on the dohyo. Ichinojo, after many tournaments languishing around with never a strong winning or losing record, is somehow healthy enough that he is returning to his 2015 format.  In that era, he was so big and so strong that he was considered somewhat unstoppable. Then back injuries, compounded by his enormous 400-pound bulk, kept him from being much more than a sumo oddity. Hokutofuji continues to impress, he is young enough to be a dominant rikishi for the next several years, as many veterans that we know and love today start thinking of retirement.

Highlight Matches

Okinoumi defeats Aminishiki – Okinoumi continues to look strong, and for another day Aminishiki is denied his kachi-koshi.  Given Okinoumi’s chronic injuries, it’s too much to hope that he is “well”, but we can say that for Kyushu, he is doing well. He is now 10-2, one behind Hakuho.

Kotoyuki defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama is in miserable shape with his knee, and Kotoyuki (who is on an upswing now) made very quick work of shoving him out of the ring. For a time I considered Kotoyuki likely to return to juryo, but now he is one win away from kachi-koshi.

Ikioi defeats Daiamami – It’s great to see Ikioi fighting well in spite of his back injury. He wrapped up Daiamami immediately out of the tachiai, and manhandled him out directly. Thought it is a long shot, Ikioi could still reach kachi-koshi as he improves to 6-6. Daiamami is make-koshi with this loss.

Endo defeats Myogiryu – Endo is showing no signs of slowing down, clearly wanting to stake a spot higher up the banzuke in January.  Myogiryu put up a good fight in this oshi-zumo struggle, but it was never in doubt. Endo now 9-3.

Shodai defeats Kagayaki – After a pathetic start, Shodai is back to doing some level of sumo. He dominated Kagayaki today, with a nice leg-thrust at the end to push Kagayaki out.

Arawashi defeats Kaisei – Arawashi struggled to throw the big Brazilian, but there is simply too much of him for all but the strongest to toss. After two failed attempts, he simply pushes him over the tawara.

Takakeisho defeats Tamawashi – Both men headed higher in the banzuke, and this bout may have decided which one of them gets the better promotion. Another oshi-zumo fest, Tamawashi struggled to deal with Takakeisho’s impressive balance and subterranean center of gravity. With the win, Takakeisho picks up his kachi-koshi. The damage he took to his mouth on day 10 looks terrible!

Onosho defeats Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu lands his make-koshi in a fairly straightforward bout against the Red Mawashi (I am convinced it has magical powers). Onosho did a much better job of keeping his mass centered over his rather small feet.

Chiyonokuni defeats Yoshikaze – With two street brawlers like these fighting, there is always a chance for a crazy battle that covers the dohyo. This match delivered, with both men launching into a blistering tsuppari contest, with Yoshikaze eventually sacrificing his face (again) to switch over to a mawashi grip. Much to everyone’s delight, Chiyonokuni rallied in the midst of being thrown and won the match. Fantastic sumo.

Ichinojo defeats Goeido – Goeido was again denied his kachi-koshi, this time by an Ichinojo who was dialed in and ready for some mega-sized power sumo. Recent fans may wonder where this Ichinojo has been: he was always there, just a bit too hurt to actually compete this way. Goeido gave it everything he had, but when battling an opponent that appears on most maps, options are limited. Ichinojo picks up a well-earned kachi-koshi, and my gratitude for bringing back landmass-scale sumo.

Hokutofuji defeats Takayasu – First off, Hokutofuji continues to impress. Secondly, I am going to chalk up Takayasu’s sumo this basho to his incomplete recovery from his torn thigh muscle.  He has only made limited use of his primary attack style, which is a very strong yotsu-zumo that exploits his immense strength and almost inhuman stamina. Today he let Hokutofuji dictate the match, and it was all Hokutofuji. Now with 10 wins, he is one behind Hakuho.

Hakuho defeats Mitakeumi – Quick and simple affair. The boss chose to move away from yesterday’s misunderstanding by focusing on sumo and leaving little doubt that few can beat him.

15 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 12 Highlights

    • But really, second opponent in two days to launch a nodowa attack on a man with no neck. When Daieisho finally realizes this, I firmly believe that he is overcome with shock and collapses in despair.

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  1. Chiyoshoma — fake matta, airborne henka, pure sumo villain. Boo! But then after pushing Nishikigi out, he goes to some trouble to prevent Nishikigi from going backward off the dohyo by hopping forward and grabbing the back of Nishikigi’s mawashi.

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    • Besides taking a knock to his Ozeki pride, I think that going kyujo is the smart move at this point. He has nothing to lose. He’s not in yusho contention, and he’s not at risk of demotion, so why not? The worst that could happen is he injures himself even more and has to go kyujo in January. But realistically, he’s always been a stubborn guy and takes the Ozeki rank very seriously, so I see him sticking it out to the end.

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    • From a certain point of view, that’s the sensible thing to do. He has his kachi-koshi, he’s not in contention for the yusho, and as an ozeki he can’t claim kinboshi or special prizes. All he misses out on by going kyujo is the potential kensho-kin for beating Goeido, Hakuho, and (probably) Takarafuji. And he avoids the very real risk of re-injuring his leg; he was limping at the end of that bout.

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      • Oh definitely, it’s a tough call to make between pride and reason. I just checked the torikumi, and his match against Goeido is tomorrow. I’d be shocked if he didn’t take the chance to prove himself against his fellow Ozeki. I also forgot that with Kisenosato out, the pride of his heya now rests on his shoulders. It would not look good for Tagonoura beya to lose both their top men. My money’s on Takayasu staying in until the end.

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  2. We have a group of rikishi emerging, aged between 21 & 25, who have established themselves at the top end of the banzuke and are likely to be around for a long time. When we get a bunch of guys who are all damn good and are likely to be fighting each other over and over again in the net few years they are going to mutually improve their skills, In no particular order I’m talking about Mitakeumi, Onosho, Takakeiho, Hokutofuji and Ichinojo. I think of them as sumo TNG.

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  3. Hakuho’s explanation for yesterday’s shenanigans: “I thought that this wasn’t the sumo the fans came to see, that’s why I wanted the shimpan to watch the video”.

    Oh yes, the fans came to see dame-oshi. Or a slap in jikan-mae. Or butsukari-geiko in the middle of a bout. 😠

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    • I’d buy that explanation… except that the fans certainly didn’t come to see Hakuho standing around on the dohyo for what felt like half an hour and holding up the bow-twirling ceremony. It explains calling for a mono-ii, but not the sulking afterwards.

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  4. Watching the replay of the Aoiyama – Kotoyuki bout, I’m sure that should have been a torinaoshi, or even a reversal of the gyoji’s decision. I think there was air between Aoiyama’s heel and the clay until after Kotoyuki touched down.

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  5. My main man Takakeisho looked pretty stunned after the match, they butted heads pretty hard, I wonder what the concussion rate is for rikishi compared to NFL football players in the U.S.

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    • He looked pretty shaken after his match. I was worried he was going to pass out or throw up during his NHK interview. Give the man some space!!!

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