Jungyo Newsreel – Days 5 and 6

san-yaku soroi-bumi

Day 5

🌐 Location: Himeji, Hyogo prefecture

3800 people came to view the event in Himeji. The main objects of interest were, of course, the Hyogo local boys – Myogiryu, who comes from Takasago, some 10km from himeji; Terutsuyoshi, from a nearby island; and the young jonidan Teraowaka, of Shikoroyama beya.

Myogiryu was the object of a demonstration of oicho-mage construction, while Terutsuyoshi played with the kids:


Those kids are almost Terutsuyoshi’s size…

The jinku team members in their borrowed kesho-mawashi basked in the adoration of the spectators.

The hills are alive with the sound of music

Of all the bouts, the only one I have anything about is the musubi-no-ichiban. I don’t know the result, but since Hakuho is closer to the ring, I guess it was his win:


Day 6

🌐 Location: Takarazuka, Hyogo prefecture

3150 people came to view the jungyo event in Takarazuka.

As in every Jungyo event, there was a speech by the mayor. However, this time, the mayor happened to be female. This means the speech was not delivered from the dohyo:

Tomoko Nakagawa, mayor of Takarazuka

The mayor addressed the issue in her speech: “Not being able to deliver my speech from the dohyo is frustrating and painful”. She later held a press conference, in which she said she was insulted by the salt thrown after the incident in Maizuru (Note: salt is thrown on the dohyo whenever a serious injury occurs on it. It’s also thrown as a marker of separation between events and even thrown if practice seems somewhat subdued. The claim that it was thrown because of the women is false). She also added that she will write to the NSK and ask them to treat men and women equally, whether it’s on or off the dohyo, implying that if women have to give speeches from the side of the dohyo, men should have to do the same.

The mayor’s speech got a mixed reaction – applause on the one hand, jeers on the other (mostly by male spectators). The discussion is becoming heated. While everybody agrees that women should be allowed when life is at stake, there are many – men and women – who think that breaking away from this tradition or even asking for it to be broken is not warranted.

On to actual sumo.

Tobizaru worked hard enough to get his hair in zanbara again:

Ichinojo practiced his kaiju mode, grabbing kids and eating them. OK, maybe not eating. But certainly giving them atomic wedgies.

By the way, there were over 30 local kids, starting from those little “play with the big mountain” toddlers and through to serious wanpaku sumo practitioners. Ichinojo was not alone on that dohyo – there were Kaisei, Ryuden, Chiyoshoma as well.

Takayasu decided to invite the ever-popular Endo for butsukari. Takayasu does butsukari with all his heart. So Endo ended up looking like this:

Takayasu showing his love and compassion

By this time, Hakuho was on the dohyo as well, doing his shiko and waiting his turn after the Ozeki. He revived Endo by pouring some water on him (it’s common practice for a third party to do that, especially high rankers):

Hakuho bastes the roast

You can’t really see endo and Takayasu in this video, but pay attention to Hakuho. He is priming the audience for applause, and when Endo finally manages to push Takayasu out, the Yokozuna gives the signal:

Then Hakuho himself started training on the dohyo. He did reverse butsukari (that’s when the lower ranked man offers his chest to the higher ranked one) with Ishiura.

Note the tsukebito waiting at the side of the dohyo for the incoming sliding sekitori:

As you can see, at this point Takayasu is on the sidelines, continuing to practice with his tsukebito. Here he tries to sharpen his leaning skills:

Tsukebito are busy people…

In sadder news, Terunofuji has gone kyujo. He was on the bout program. In Jungyo, they don’t do the fusensho thing – the Jungyo is intended to entertain the audience. Terutsuyoshi filled in for him, meaning that Terutsuyoshi did two bouts this day.


10 thoughts on “Jungyo Newsreel – Days 5 and 6

  1. Sad news about Terunofuji but I hope he gets his needed rest. He’ll need it if he hopes to stay in Juryo this summer.

  2. My issues with the mayor’s speech are twofold: 1) the blatant factual error she made; if a blog run by English speakers can know that was wrong, I don’t see what excuse she had. (Willing to stand corrected on this, though.) 2) By making the comments she did, she’s, IMHO, making this event about herself. The day isn’t about her; it’s about sumo and she’s deluding herself if she thinks her speech is anything more than a formality to get past before the actual reason for the event gets going. I can almost guarantee the 10-year-old boys in the audience just wanted the mayor to finish up so the wrestlers would start their routine. Seriously, if not being able to give her talk in the ring is the worst problem she’s having, the worst sexism she’s experienced, or whatever, then she’s got nothing to complain about.

    • Sounds like sadly ill-informed and under-researched. Not going to help the existing situation. The mayors advisors should have maybe asked the question ‘are u sure?’ Wistful thinking on my part perhaps

  3. Tobizaru is a handsome man.

    Not much sumo to comment on except maybe Ishiura being forced to take a charge head-on :p

    I think the Mayor was brave to bring up the issue in front of an audience she knew would have at least mixed feelings about it. I admire that.

  4. Thank you Herouth. I really love those jungyo videos — the longer the better. (And your commentary.) They really show a lot about the relationships, the process, and the individuals. But does Hakuho have his limp back? I hope not.

    About the Mayor: “Oyaji cannot be changed,” says Kotoyo Obikawa, an office worker in Tokyo, using the Japanese word for middle-aged man. “Teach gender equality to schoolkids.”

    I still remember from year 2014 a male member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly shouting “You should get married,” at a female colleague as she was giving a speech. He denied making the second comment that she received: “Can’t you even bear a child?” As I recall, some colleague told to go home and do same. For these and Shinzo Abe’s third arrow of Womenomics plus statistics, see:


  5. I understand your initial reluctance (expressed by Bruce in his post) about treating the whole “women on the dohyo” controversy on Tachiai. I think that you made the right choice in not ignoring it and that your coverage of it has been pretty good and fair, and in just the right amount.

    I also think there is no reason to apologize for it, as if you were giving in to sensationalism or something. Yes, Tachiai is a blog about sumo, the sport, and probably 90% of readers come here for that (except in those occasions when it’s all over the news). But sumo doesn’t exist in a void, especially because it is so deeply rooted in Japanese history and society. Yes, this controversy will probably have zero effect on the sumo kyokai in the next ten to twenty years and yes, the mayor of Takarazuka using her red dais by the dohyo as a platform to make a point was a tiny bit opportunistic, but (even) Japanese society is changing and – Japanese – reactions on social media reflect precisely that. The great blessing of Tachiai is that it is not accountable to anyone in the kyokai and doesn’t rely on it for information, so it doesn’t need to bury its head in the sand as the Japanese press often does. Keep up the good work and the freedom!


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