Haru Day 8 Highlights

Kaisei Salt

The second week is underway now for Haru. Act two is working as expected, as the number of rikishi who can contend for the cup keeps narrowing.  At this point, the contest is centered on Yokozuna Kakuryu. He has performed masterfully thus far and has certainly shown his detractors as fools.

That said, the dark horse contender, Maegashira 6 Kaisei, is a storied veteran who has held San’yaku rank in the past. At some point in the next week, it’s likely we will see Kakuyru and Kaisei meet on the dohyo.

Highlight Matches

Ikioi defeats Kyokutaisei – The gyoji originally awards the match to Kyokutaisei, but the Monoii reversed that. An eagle-eyed judge caught Kyokutaisei’s right hand touch the dohyo as he was chasing down Ikioi to finish pushing him out. The crowd goes wild as local man Ikioi racks another win.

Daiamami defeats Nishikigi – Nishikigi put up an excellent fight, but Daiamami wins again to remain only one win behind the leaders. After going chest to chest, the two stalemated in the center of the dohyo for a considerable period of time, but Daiamami rallied and finished Nishikigi by yorikiri. As Maegashira 16, there are many higher-ranked opponents he might face as a “test” of how firm his score is.

Aoiyama defeats Daishomaru – The Bulgarian pulls down Daishomaru with his enormous reach to remove Daishomaru from the group 1 behind the leaders. Quick, effective and uncompromising.

Sokokurai defeats Asanoyama – Asanoyama took control of the match early, and they went chest to chest. Asanoyama began moving forward, but Sokokurai unloaded a fluid uwatenage against Asanoyama. Nice win for Sokokurai.

Ishiura defeats Hidenoumi – Dare I say it? Ishiura seems to be gaining confidence, and his sumo is looking better day by day. He dominated today’s match, and Hidenoumi was always a half step behind.

Myogiryu defeats Kotoyuki – Kotoyuki has yet to pick up a single win and is now make-koshi. It’s been a disastrous basho for Mr 5×5.

Yutakayama defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki seems to always put up a good match, but today Yutakayama proved the stronger in this shoving battle.

Abi defeats Chiyonokuni – Excellent sumo from Abi today, he did not get too far forward, and he kept Chiyonokuni reacting to his sumo. His initial attempt to pull Chiyonokuni down failed, but he recovered to land a right-hand grip, which he then used to throw Chiyonokuni. I love the fact that on his way to the clay, Chiyonokuni tried one last attack – a foot grab, that nearly paid off.

Kaisei defeats Okinoumi – Kaisei picks up his kachi-koshi on day 8 and is a legitimate contender for the Emperor’s cup. His match against Okinoumi had more in common with the day to day functions of earth moving equipment than it did with sumo. Kaisei lowered the blade, engaged the treads, and cleared the dohyo.

Ryuden defeats Hokutofuji – Readers, know I am a sucker for a strength battle between two rikishi, and these two put on quite a show. They went chest to chest early and battled with vigor for any advantage. Unlike some matches that turn into a leaning contest, Ryuden kept pushing for a superior grip, and Hokutofuji kept blocking and breaking. Ryuden, unable to achieve any mawashi grip with his left hand, resorts to a boob-grab, much to the discomfort of Hokutofuji. This turned out to be the winning move, and he was able to keep Hokutofuji high and move him back and out. Although listed as yorikiri, I wonder if a new, breast specific, kimarite should be coined. We saw Harumafuji use this technique in the past against rikishi.

Takarafuji defeats Chiyomaru – Thank goodness Takarafuji finally wins one. I will be so glad if he can rally now, and actually achieve kachi-koshi. Chiyomaru was slapping him relentlessly, but as Takarafuji tends to do, he just kept working to get his position, which he achieved. From there it was a quick set of steps to heave Chiyomaru out.

Shodai vs Tamawashi – Ok, are we back go the “good” version of Shodai now? I would like this one to stay. The discouraged, ready to quit one should go on vacation, and maybe never come back. Shodai was still too high at the tachiai, but Tamawashi could not move forward, and ended up with his heel on the tawara. Anticipating his counter-advance, Shodai used Tamawashi’s forward push to swing him down.

Ichinojo defeats Arawashi – Arawashi injured and make-koshi. Ichinojo absorbed Arawashi’s initial vigorous attack, and then calmly took him outside the ring.

Endo defeats Chiyotairyu – Endo’s head snapped back from the force of Chiyotairyu’s tachiai, but his right hand latched shallow on Chiyotairyu’s mawashi. This probably saved him from being down and out immediately. It also seems to have really fired Endo up, as he came back strong, and in a blink of an eye he pushed Chiyotairyu out. Good work from Endo to even up to 4-4. Worth a re-watch on slow motion, that right hand grab was only active for a moment, but it was the key to his win.

Tochinoshin defeats Mitakeumi – The big Georgian forcibly removes Mitakeumi from the hunt group. Mitakeumi shifted at the tachiai, attempted a tottari, then came on strong. Tochinoshin gave ground, but quickly ran out of room. But he had enough of a grip to swing down the King of the Tadpoles for his 6th victory. [Mitakeumi looked to be limping after this bout; we all hope he’s ok. –PinkMawashi]

Takayasu defeats Takakeisho – Blink and you will miss this one. Takakeisho reaches for a left hand grip, but before he is set, he tries to pull the Ozeki down. Takayasu is ready, shifts to his right and pushes with considerable force. Takakeisho is out in a blink of an eye.

Goeido defeats Kotoshogiku – Kotoshogiku gave him a very good match, but could not set up his hip thrusting attack. Goeido was off balance a few times, but manage to stay stable, and control the match. Both Ozeki are at a respectable 6-2 starting the second week.

Kakuryu defeats Shohozan – This was always going to be a tough match for the Yokozuna. Shohozan is a tough, brutal and fast rikishi. He prefers to pummel his opponents on the way to winning. Kakuryu started strong, looking to finish him early before anyone got hurt, but Shohozan rallied and began the pursuit. Kakuryu is incredibly mobile, and kept shifting, robbing Shohozan of each opportunity to rain blows down on the Yokozuna. As he moved, he kept striking Shohozan on the head, disorienting him. This worked, and he was able to slap down Shohozan for the win. Kachi-koshi for Big K, and he is the man to beat for the cup.

9 thoughts on “Haru Day 8 Highlights

  1. Sokokurai showed that he is not to be scratched out yet.

    Good win for Ishiura. Many believed that he henkas people too much, but in my view his henkas were (and will be) mostly reasonable. This is his 8th Makuuchi basho, he has mostly been a bottom maegashira. Surely, the constant fear from dropping to Juryo haunts him, so his henkas are totally fine with me. He is not a yusho-contender, so I’ll actually be glad to see him up and doing henkas to the top rikishi (who will perfectly expect
    what he is capable of doing).

    Happy for Kaisei, he seemed very happy for his kachi-koshi too. But I think his happy days are about to end. He relies only on his size and the moment he meets more technical rikishi he will have troubles.

    Tochinoshin, Goeido and Takayasu hint us that we will have crazy last 5 days. They seem calmer and they found their rhythm with convincing wins. Kotoshogiku, indeed, gave Goeido a good match.

    Kakuryu, again, is the man of the day for me. He knew exactly what Shohozan is up to and gave him a lesson on his own game.

    It is very questionable which will be Kakuryu’s opponent for day 10. While unlikely, it is not impossible that they give him Kaisei instead of Chiyomaru. It will make a lot more sense and the fans for sure will approve.

    P.S.
    I had to change my “Ridiculous” name, not much sumo in it.

    • I was also thinking Day 10 is natural for the Kakuryu-Kaisei matchup. If it doesn’t happen then, it almost certainly can’t without a playoff, as the Yokozuna has to face the 5 sanyaku rikishi he hasn’t met yet. I know the schedulers really like to stick with rank, but Chiyomaru is having a rough basho, and it would only be one rank out of order. We can dream…

  2. I really don’t see Takarafuji going 7-0 against the slate he’s likely to face…after Arawashi, it’s likely both M1s, Kotoshogiku, Takakeisho, Shohozan, and Shodai, although with his record he might catch a bit of a break from the schedulers.

  3. Nice to see controlled methodical sumo is back in fashion. I like a straight up slugfest from time to time but not every match!

  4. Abi is gaining a ton of popularity

    One of my favorite bits of the day was a shouting match between groups of fans across the arena – Chiyonokuni had a massive cheering section, which prompted Abi fans to shout back. There was about a solid two minutes of “CHIYONOKUNI!!!!” “ABI!!!!” “CHIYONOKUNI!!!!” “ABI!!!!” leading up to their bout, and it was hilarious at times with the crowd breaking out in laughter

    And the match itself was worthy of it!

  5. i could have cried for my Kyokutaisei – soooo unlucky! i was screaming the house down and then i saw the replay …….. oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but as for his stable mate Kaisei – wow! kachikoshi already – doing sooo well – lovely to see (i’m not mentioning my all time favourite berserker as i have no words any more 🙁 )

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