🌐 Location: Miyakojima, Okinawa
After freezing in Kitakyushu, the jungyo entourage boarded planes and headed down south to Okinawa. In fact, so much down south, that they were almost within waving distance to Taiwan. This means warm weather, and rikishi going around in Yukata.
Right off the plane, landing in Miyakojima airport on Dec. 12, Hakuho was doing the fansa rounds, sought after by both the passengers who shared his plane, and awaiting fans.
The press was there as well, to ask Hakuho for his comment about the death threat letter he received at Kitakyushu (He didn’t actually receive it personally. It was delivered to his contacts there, and they handed it to the Fukuoka Prefectural Police). He deferred his comment to the next day (the next day he said “The Kyokai is handling all communication about it”).
Other rikishi were also making use of the hiatus. Yutakayama and Toyonoshima visited a local hospital’s day care center for the elderly, together with Yutakayama’s tsukebito, Rikito.
The locals were thrilled, and shot questions at the rikishi: “How much do you weigh?”, one of them asked Yutakayama. “Well, officially, 175kg. But lately I’ve been eating too much, I am about 180kg by now”.
Rikito is a member of the Jinku team, so he entertained the locals with some Jinku, and everybody around joined in the “haa-dosukoi-dosukoi” calls.
The jungyo event itself includes two days at Miyakojima, both “nighters” as the Japanese call events being held in evening time. This is also why this newsreel is posted late. Usually a Jungyo day starts in the morning with asa-geiko, but these “nighters” start in the afternoon and only make it to the media sites the next day. The format is also a bit different, though of course it includes the popular kiddie sumo, tsuna-shime, jinku and shokkiri.
Hakuho was looking less genki than usual. He settled for some keiko with low-rankers:
This downturn in his health may also explain why it was Kakuryu who did the tsuna-shime (rope tying) demonstration (which has been performed regularly by Hakuho on all previous days).
On the dohyo, Kakuryu took Daieisho for a full workout, including both san-ban (no information on content) and butsukari, which you can see here:
It seems to be a peculiarity of the Izutsu Yokozuna, that he doesn’t take his butsukari partners for a monkey-walk (that’s what I call that type of suri-ashi Daieisho is performing in the above image) while holding on to the back of their head. He just tells them to walk it and stands aside. He also does away with the korogari (the roll that follows a failure to push) many times, ordering them to try again instead.
The main change in the format was that the top 16 rankers (excepting kyujo rikishi) fought in elimination format rather than the usual rank-for-rank torikumi. Both Yokozuna and Both Ozeki were eliminated in the first round. The winner was Yoshikaze.
Those below the top 16 fought as usual, as you can see in this video (together with some drumming, babies galore, and the usual apology for Harumafuji’s behavior)
Aminishiki tries the Hakuho trick of harite right off the tachiai, and discovers that you need to be really, really fast to pull it off…
Here is another TV video, blissfully free of the scandal and full of interesting stuff (and bouts):
- Tochinoshin in moshi-age (winner picks next partner)
- Kakuryu vs. Daieisho in one of their san-ban.
- Memorial corner for Yuho (see below)
- A local amateur (well, a dan 3 judoka…) defeats Shodai
- Kaisei vs. Chiyomaru
- Ichinojo vs. Kotoshogiku
- Yoshikaze vs. Mitakeumi
- Everybody dances around the dohyo!
Despite his fatigue, Hakuho continued to service the flocking fans:
And now for the treat of the day. In September, the former Yuho, who hailed from Miyakojima, passed away. He continued as a sewanin (a non-toshiyori NSK employee) since his retirement. The NSK put up a commemorative exhibition for him at the Jungyo venue. In addition to that, a special verse in his memory was added to the sumo Jinku, performed by no other than Ikioi:
Remember that sekitori do not usually take part of the Jinku. Ikioi is the only one there in his own Kesho-Mawashi, and of course an oicho-mage. Never mind the fact that he towers above the rest. He reads the verse off the paper fan in his hand. Dosukoi!