Frequent readers of the site are aware that I have been keeping close tabs on an rikishi who hails recently from Texas, an outstanding young man who has taken the shikona Wakaichiro. When we last saw Wakaichiro, he was in Osaka, where he ended the tournament with a 3-4 make-koshi. While I am sure it was disapointing for him, his fans knew he would be able to rise again.
Heading into Natsu, he is ranked back in Jonidan, at 14 East. He has twice failed to maintain his posting into the Sandanme division, finding himself out-matched by larger, heavier and more experienced opponents. In addition, if the amount of taping and bandaging are any indication, Wakaichiro continues to accumulate petty or troubling injuries, which would seem to be constraining his performance on the dohyo.
Now we come to day 1, where the man from Texas will face off against fellow Jonidan 14 Tokimaru. One interesting little pattern that I have noticed – Wakaichiro fights much better when he is in Tokyo. I have no idea why that might be the case, perhaps like me he has trouble sleeping in new surroundings, and any resulting sleep deficit hinders his sumo. Either way we are keenly looking forward to his first match of Natsu, and wish him good fortune, a solid tachiai and powerful win.