Hatsu Day 13 Preview

Tochinoshin Hatsu Day 12

Can we beat the fountain of amazing sumo that was day 12? It’s possible, but day 12 set a very high bar indeed. Rolling into day 13, we have a real chance to see a rank and file rikishi take the Yusho for the first time in many many moons. In fact, I think the last time was Natsu 2012 when Maegashira 7 Kyokutenho (now Tomozuna Oyakata) hoisted the hardware. Prior to that, we have to go all the way back to Aki 2001 to find Kotomitsuki at Maegashira 2 winning the cup. Maegashira winning the cup is rare in the last 20 years, in part due to the absolute dominance of Asashoryu and Hakuho. Before we try to figure out who will carry the banner for Tochinoshin, keep in mind only one win separates Tochinoshin from Kakuryu, and Takayasu may still have a chance if they both drop a match or two.

As some readers have commented, there has been a flurry of pulling attempts in the past two days. Almost all of them have led to the defeat of the rikishi who pulls. Its baffling to see Kakuryu use this gambit two days in a row, but if we look at Kakuryu’s matches historically, he tends to pull for a win more frequently. But the difference being is that under normal conditions he develops the position to make it pay off. He coaxes his opponents into mistakes and over-committing. The past two days have seen him rush the process, and his opponents were waiting for it and exploited his mistake.

The day 13 torikumi shows a number of high/low battles, where the mid-Maegashira fight the bottom of the banzuke. In many cases, it seems like a happy rest period for the middle of the ranks, but in this tournament, the lower ranks have been excelling, and many mid-level Maegashira are finding themselves in a tight spot.

Hatsu Leader Board

Tochinoshin needs to stay off the clay and he will carry the day!

Leader – Tochinoshin
Chaser – Kakuryu
Hunter – Takayasu

3 Matches Remain

What We Are Watching Day 13

Sorry, abbreviated notes for day 13, as I am in bed with the flu

Sokokurai vs Yutakayama – Yutakayama pushing for the 8th win. Sokokurai is already make-koshi, so my guess is Yutakayama picks up the shiroboshi.

Asanoyama vs Chiyomaru – Asanoyama also looking for win #8, but Chiyomaru is in the same position. Chiyomaru has been fighting well and is ranked 14 slots higher. Ouch!

Shohozan vs Daieisho – Both of them kachi-koshi, but the M9e vs M13w battle could be a bit intense. Daieisho is no pushover, but “Big Guns” Shohozan seems to really have his sumo dialed in.

Abi vs Kaisei – M14e vs M8w bout, with M8w now seemingly immune to all thrusting attacks due to the curvature of space-time around his ever-expanding gravity well. Given that’s all Abi does, this is going to be a tough day. Both are kachi-koshi, so only promotion velocity is on the line.

Nishikigi vs Chiyonokuni – Nishikigi forever has a place in my heart, he will not give up. No matter how bad his situation looks, he comes in and gives it his all. Now Nishikigi (M15w) goes up against the angry badger Chiyonokuni (M7w). Chiyonokuni is no easy draw, and Nishikigi needs two wins to survive in the top division.

Chiyoshoma vs Kagayaki – Also in the “one win to survive” camp is the buxom Kagayaki (M12w) who faces down Chiyoshoma (M7e) who needs two wins to secure a winning record. Of their 10 prior matches, Chiyoshoma has taken 6.

Takarafuji vs Ryuden – At the bleeding edge of the scale, neckless teamster boss Takarafuji (M6e) matches up against freshman MVP Ryuden (M16e) in a bout that will likely feature a lot of struggling and awkward battle-cuddles from Takarafuji. Thankfully Ryuden is already kachi-koshi

Endo vs Kotoshogiku – Can you believe its possible that Kotoshogiku could be back in San’yaku? Unlikely, but possible. But to get there he needs to win out. Stop one in that crazy train is Endo who is fresh from his Mongolian minted kinboshi.

Tochinoshin vs Ichinojo – THE match, hell if you can only watch one match, watch this one. I have NO CLUE how this one is going to go, as tame Ichinojo has been replaced with this wild and aggressive one. Tochinoshin has been over-the-top genki, and when that much strength goes up against that much boulder, someone is going to get hurt.

Hokutofuji vs Yoshikaze – I love both these guys, they are outstanding rikishi. They need to heal what ails them and return in Osaka ready for battle.

Shodai vs Tamawashi – I am not sure how, but Shodai needs one win to hit kachi-koshi. It seems quite odd to me, given that he has been a mess for the last few basho, but I am kind of hoping that he can keep it together. Tamawashi is a tough brawler who got Tochinoshin a bit too motivated day 12. Over their career, Shodai has only beaten Tamawashi once in 5 tries.

Arawashi vs Takayasu – A win here would give Takayasu his first double-digit win since he became an Ozeki. But Arawashi is coming in hungry as he needs 2 more wins to secure kachi-koshi. Takayasu has settled down a bit, but I fear that in the long run without Kisenosato to train against, he will continue to compound some of the bad habits he has picked up in the last 9 months.

Goeido vs Okinoumi – Well, now I want Okinoumi to hit Goeido really hard in his CPU chassis, in hopes it reboots him out of debug mode and back into Osumo mode. But I am pretty sure that the CPU board is no longer under warranty, and is going to require an expensive factory reset.

Kakuryu vs Mitakeumi – Oh how embarrassing. The two chokers who like to back up and pull for a loss face off on day 13. Which one will choke harder, pull first and lose with vigor? Or will both of them remember they are outstanding rikishi with amazing technique and unique skills and decide to fight like the top men in the sport?

15 thoughts on “Hatsu Day 13 Preview

  1. Multiple lols especially on “battle-cuddles”. And I highly recommend vegan diet I haven’t gotten sick in 10yrs I’ve been mostly vegan..
    No way toch can carry Jo out, I hope Jo gives him a taste of his own strongman medicine.
    I thank kak and mitak caught the goeido virus.
    Question- wut wud happen if 2 rikishi from same stable wer tied w/ best record on last day? As they can’t wrestle each other.. random thought I had last night in bed..

    • If two rikishi from the same stable end Day 15 tied for the yusho, they would have a playoff. This is the only circumstance where this would happen. For example, stablemates/brothers Takanohana and Wakanohana faced off in a playoff for the 1995 Kyusho Yusho.

          • The first time I saw sumo wuz randomly changing channels out of boredom last winter and it wuz the basho where kise got injured and still won after playoff w/ teruno, wish I got to c more of terunofuji he wuz a monster and kise wuz awsum. I think that wuz last March?

        • Another newbie! Hi!

          My sister and I started watching on NHKWorld (Grand Sumo Highlights) just over a year ago. We got to see Kisenosato win last January – awesome sight – then again in March with that injury.

    • Yeah, spent the last week in a hospital overrun with flu patients. So I was fairly careful about hygiene, etc. But I may have gotten caught anyhow. Hopefully I can fight it off with my somewhat questionable Scottish biological army.

    • They can for a playoff. Similarly, brothers can’t, either, so there’s only the one Taka/Waka battle, I believe.

  2. Every time I see Ichinojo, I think of this guy. Too many hours of my youth was spent reading his adventures…

    Ichinojo of ancient Gaul

  3. Warning: a spoiler for day 13 below!
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    Hattorizakura lost his seventh match on day 13. I hope my writing this doesn’t ruin the basho for anyone.

    I want to express my sincere appreciation for Hattorizakura’s perseverance and for the improvement in his sumo since his first two matches this basho. His day six match was described on the blog as “one of [his] best efforts”, and in the following two matches he continued to impress. His day eight match was an epic mawashi battle, and he garnered applause from the audience for fighting back from the edge to the center of the ring. Alas, his opponent, Jk12w Takita, outlasted and eventually overpowered him. His day nine opponent, Jk10w Hayasaka, outweighed him by 30kg(!). He was forced back to the tawara where dug in his toes, jinked with his knees, pushed with his center of gravity, and made Hayasaka really work for the win. It’s worth a watch — no joke: http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi_basho.aspx?r=12268

    He’s come a long way from the rikishi who couldn’t manage a tachiai without falling over.

  4. Apart from the yusho race and the promotion/ relegation issues, don’t forget that there are still the special prizes to be decided. Abi and Ryuden have a chance to get 10 wins which should be enough for a fighting spirit sansho.

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