Haru Day 6 Highlights

bow twirling

The second act gets off on the right foot, with several of the undefeated picking up their first loss, but not (so far) Yokozuna Kakuryu and Kaisei. Both men remain unbeaten, with a growing crowd at one loss.

Point two – Who turned up the sumo to awesome mode today? Lots and lots of good matches from Osaka, so you may want to consider watching Jason’s channel and Kintamayama to get a broader look at all of the excellent sumo action that I am sure won’t fit into NHK’s highlight reel.

Highlight Matches

Sokokurai defeats Meisei – Meisei is in his first ever Makuuchi bout, and he puts up a valiant effort against Sokokurai, who manages to pick up his second win. This ends up a yotsu-zumo match, with both men working hard for a winning grip on the other’s mawashi.

Daiamami defeats Myogiryu – Myogiryu looking like he has run low on fuel (quick, someone go to Hiroshima and get some okonomiyaki!), while Daiamami turns this into another yotsu-zumo match. Daiamami shows off some truly classic sumo form delivering a yorikiri.

Daishomaru defeats Ikioi – Keep in mind, Ikioi is fighting hurt. Yes, he went on a 4-0 tear to start the basho, but it seems his pain is taking over. Daishomaru, with only a single loss, continues to look strong. I am going to watch for his upcoming match against Aoiyama.

Aoiyama defeats Asanoyama – Unlike some of his prior opponents this tournament, Asanoyama gave the man-mountain from Bulgaria a good fight. But let’s keep in mind that Aoiyama, in spite of his 5-1 record, is, in fact, undefeated so far this basho. He’s like some overflowing dollop of belligerent sour cream out there.

Ishiura defeats Chiyoshoma – Are you sitting down? Ishiura brought his real sumo today, and it was awesome. Chiyoshoma may have been expecting a henka, and when none appeared, he unleashed a frenzied series of blows on Ishiura’s shoulders and head. Then… what’s this? Ishiura initiates yotsu-zumo? Why yes he does! The two men go chest to chest, and Ishiura is getting the job done. The crowd loves it, and so do I! More of this please, Ishiura.

Chiyonokuni defeats Kotoyuki – Kotoyuki returns after taking a day off to nurse injuries suffered from (surprise surprise) falling off the dohyo into the random “lap of the day”. So Chiyonokuni does his best grumpy badger, flailing away at Mr 5×5, who withers under the attack. Chiyonokuni turns him around, and into today’s lap in the front row, which may or may not have been a stable master. Okinoumi is inches away from the impact zone, but looks completely un-phased, as it’s just another day at the office. Someone get Kotoyuki a towel and a coke.

Yutakayama defeats Ryuden – Ryuden seems to be getting tired of losing, as we have yet another yotsu-zumo match break out, with Yutakayama clearly dominating. Ryuden battles strongly, and flatly refuses to be pushed over the bales. Yutakayama tries twice for a leg trip, ultimately succeeding, and has the presence of mind to make sure he falls on top of Ryuden. I like the “help the man up” we see from Yutakayama following. This group I am calling “The Freshmen” really are a breath of fresh air into the top division.

Kaisei defeats Daieisho – An odd little match, the kimarite is listed as oshidashi, but really Daieisho falls over at the edge while Kaisei is about 3m away.

Hokutofuji defeats Kagayaki – Straightforward match, notable because Hokutofuji actually won.

Chiyomaru defeats Yoshikaze – I don’t know what is plaguing Yoshikaze, but it’s sad to watch. Yoshikaze was in charge at the start, but Chiyomaru got him off balance and out. Yoshikaze looked a bit hurt getting up. Ugh.

Shodai defeats Abi – Abi loves to start a match by leaning forward and smacking the dickens out of his opponent’s upper body. Shodai, being Shodai, absorbs a bit of it, seemingly waiting for inspiration. Abi is relentless, backing Shodai up. Then, much like his match against Hokutofuji, he decides he has had enough and hurls Abi to the clay. Ok, win #3 for Shodai!

Ichinojo defeats Chiyotairyu – Sumo Elvis blasts out of the tachiai and delivers a tsuppari salad to Ichinojo. Ichinojo laughs to himself, “Silly pony! I don’t like salad…” And puts his arms around Chiyotairyu, whose arms continue to work by their own purpose to continue the slap-fest. Now flailing like a trout, but completely ineffective, Chiyotairyu can do nothing but obey as the giant marches forward and delivers him to the edge.

Takakeisho defeats Mitakeumi – In this basho’s ultimate tadpole throw-down, it’s Takakeisho who comes out on top. Mitakeumi never really got his offense started, and could not counter Takakeisho’s attack. This is one of the reasons you see Takakeisho competing near the top: His sumo technique enables him to usually get the first hit in, and from that moment, his opponent is reacting.

Tochinoshin defeats Endo – Good golly miss Molly! What a bout! Endo sacrifices his face to Tochinoshin’s shoulder blast to land a morozashi double inside grip from the tachiai. While the Hatsu yusho winner continues to work on his head, Endo is getting ready to deliver some doom. Tochinoshin realizes he’s been had as Endo rotates him, threatening to send him out. In a hurry, Tochinoshin lands his lethal left, but Endo is not going anywhere. Tochinoshin cocks a throw as Endo rotates to take him to the clay. Tochinoshin’s superior strength carries the day, but it was a clear display of how far Endo has come from being injured and weak. Damn, that man has some sumo moves.

Takayasu defeats Takarafuji – It is at this point I feel really bad for Takarafuji. He’s given each opponent a solid match, and he is just always an inch short of the win. His match against Takayasu devolves into a chest-to-chest contest of strength and endurance, and he gives the Ozeki a run for his money. There was a moment early in the match where Takayasu attempted a pull-down. More rikishi should be looking for that, and make him eat it.

Goeido defeats Shohozan – Hometown Ozeki Goeido hands Kyushu’s Shohozan his first loss of the basho. As always, Goeido’s sumo is wild, chaotic and prone to pulling, but Shohozan fell for it… literally.

Kakuryu defeats Kotoshogiku – Kakuryu has managed to keep his sumo rolling for 6 days so far, and it’s great to see him win. Kotoshogiku went chest to chest early and launched him hip-pump attack. Kakuryu times it beautifully, waiting for a forward thrust from his opponent and converts that push into a flying trip to the clay.

19 thoughts on “Haru Day 6 Highlights

  1. I think Yoshikaze’s “problem” is age. :( He’ll go out on his shield and I don’t expect any less from him.

    Would Abi’s tsuppari be more effective if he landed more of them on his opponents chest instead of their head and shoulders? Abi’s height is an advantage, but in this bout it seemed a lot of his offense had more of an upward motion instead of moving horizontally. That’s a problem if that’s the case.

    It’s good to see Ryuden fighting at the edge of the dohyo. Both he and Abi are going to be challenging opponents for anyone as they get more experience at this level.

    I think Shohozan was too “obvious” about his strategy with Goeido. Goeido expected the attack that Shohozan presented and dealt with it. Perhaps “Big Guns” needs to vary his starting sumo when he takes on higher ranked rikishi?

    I am loving the quality of sumo at the higher ranks these days! Endo, Tochinoshin, Ichinojo, and more. There isn’t a “gimmie” match anywhere and it’s fantastic.

  2. Perfect description of Chiyotairyu after Ichinojo wrapped him up: “Now flailing like a trout, but completely ineffective…” :lol:

  3. Just watching now; between that Tochinoshin-Endo bout and the Takayasu-Takarafuji heartbreaker, I am going to need to seek a whole bunch of stuff out on Youtube today. Wow. WOW.

    • Today was a fantastic day of sumo, it’s going to be a sake and YouTube night for me as well.

  4. In the Yutakayama – Ryuden bout, it was Yutaka who did the successful leg trip. Not Ryuden. That leg trip was genius.

    • Whoops. Missed that one while proofreading. I’ve corrected it now. Thanks for pointing it out to me!

  5. Tochinoshin v Endo shows what sumo can be,full of speed, agility, aggression, skill, strength and grace. Like a fight scene in a ballet, with the important distinctions that here the “dancers” have a combined weight of 700lbs and are legitimitely knocking seven bells out of each other.

    • I don’t know if it was skill or luck, but I’m glad Endo didn’t land on his head, or break his neck.

  6. This is the first basho where I’ve followed this blog from the beginning, and the comments on Ichinojo make me wish I could draw because I’d write a Kid’s Intro to Sumo with Ichinojo explaining things to ponies as he fights them…or something… I’m also wishing TV Japan was included in our cable package >.>

  7. Ehmm……
    I just read all the match result and description of day 6 here but……is it me or there is one match missing ?

    Where is Okinoumi’s match ? Did he fight that day ?!?

    • Due to your humble writer trying to squeeze these posts in between doing paying work, fatherly duties, and occasional bouts of sleep and watching sumo, I don’t write up every match. Some of them are quite straightforward, and when pressed for time, I leave those aside.

      • Oh!
        I am fairly new to this blog and i never noticed before that some makuuchi match result were ommited. It’s the first time i noticed it. Sorry. I’ll be keeping that in mind now from now on when comming here to see the result of the makuuchi daily bouts.

        Thank you for all your work.


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