Internet… Satellite TV… Fiber Optic Cables… What happens when several of these malfunction at once? Sumo fans take to their mobiles to get their burly men fix. Sadly it’s balls for posting to tachiai.org. But through the magic of standing outside my front door waving money around, one of the multiple repair people who were supposed to come to my house and do work has actually arrived. Whats more, they actually did work.
Day 3 continued the evolution more or less along predictable paths, but with a small exception or two that shall be noted below. Thus far, the Natsu basho is being incredibly predictable. Sumo fans may have gotten spoiled by some of the topsy-turvy action of the past year, and coming across a tournament where the favorites win each day may seem quite pedestrian. But then many of the agents of disruption are either lower down the banzuke, banged up, or simply not genki. This would include Yoshikaze, Onosho, Takakeisho, Ura and Hokotofuji. The other option is that the banzuke is so perfectly tuned, that everyone is fighting more or less at their predicted ability.
Also of note, there are additional stories in the Japanese sumo press that Yokozuna Kisenosato is arranging affairs for his post-rikishi life. This includes getting his kabu in order, establishing a residence in Tokyo (outside of the stable), and other matters. For fans who were behind him all the way, or leanered to respect him because he never let up, it’s going to be a bitter time. As we covered extensively at the time, his injury was repairable with immediate surgery and a lengthy recovery period. But now it seems there is no way for him to regain his former left arm/chest strength.
Myogiryu defeats Aminishiki – We knew coming out of jungyo that Uncle Sumo would be shaky this time due to injuries. He had a strong tachiai, but tried to pull Myogiryu down, that was the signal; and Myogiryu then took over and dispatched him with ease.
Asanoyama defeats Aoiyama – It’s quite obvious that Aoiyama has enough damage to his knees and possibly hips that he is barely able to do sumo at all. A kyujo at this point is a certain ride back to Juryo, while staying in may get him a win or two, he runs the real risk of compounding his injuries. On the other side of this, Asanoyama with a 3-0 start. Good job!
Daiamami defeats Takakeisho – Notable in that Takakeisho is still not 100%, he was too far forward and easily slapped down. We need the angry tadpole back!
Chiyonokuni defeats Hokutofuji – Part 1 of the sad sack back to back story arc. Hokutofuji is really a mess right now, and I wonder if he would be better off just going to Hawaii (no the part that is on fire) and relaxing for a while.
Kagayaki defeats Yoshikaze – And part 2. Clearly Yoshikaze had a step change downward a couple of tournaments ago, and is in some sort of lower energy state. Short of a Fukushima Daiichi onsen trip, or a lightning strike, I am not sure what can re-energize my favorite rikishi. Kagayaki looked very good, though!
Takarafuji defeats Chiyoshoma – This was a fun bout, maybe some of the better sumo of the day. Watch towards the end where Chiyoshoma escapes Takarafuji’s uwatenage just to lose his balance and backslide into a waiting Ryuden.
Ikioi defeats Ryuden – Theory. In some mystical ritual that involved a visit to Yakushima and a ceremony in front of a protected grove of Yaku Sugi, Yoshikaze’s genki was transferred to Ikioi. Much like loaning out a kabu, Yoshikaze is loaning is boundless battle energy to Ikioi. Also Ikioi has decided to just put it all on the line every day.
Shodai defeats Chiyotairyu – I am delighted that Shodai is winning, but lets be honest. He is stumbling through the matches and winning by sheer luck. But that’s good enough for sumo! I do hope that it gives him back the confidence and courage that seems to have left him last year.
Kotoshogiku defeats Yutakayama – I love how terrifyingly fast Kotoshogiku can be off the line. Yes he has faded from his Ozeki days, but the guy still has some outstanding moves. I just wish we could get him back in San’yaku so he would do his back stretches again.
Mitakeumi defeats Abi – Abi looked like a spider on a hot plate. That, or each of his limbs were individually trying to escape from Mitakeumi in different directions, dragging his foreshortened torso along for the ride. Welcome to the joi, Abi. You are going to get past this hurdle one day, ad we will be cheering you on.
Ichinojo defeats Daieisho – Daieisho attempted a henka, and to my surprise Ichinojo was able to recover. Daieisho maintained the initiative for several more seconds, until Ichinojo rallied at the center of the dohyo and tried to pull Daieisho down. It almost didn’t work. Move forward, great Boulder.
Tochinoshin defeats Tamawashi – Tochinoshin looking very genki, but this match had at least one notable. At the end, Tochinoshin falls. Note the extreme motions he goes through to protect that knee. The fact that he lost his balance after the match ended should be an event of note. I sincerely hope we don’t see him succumb to injury on the eve of securing a valid Ozeki ticket.
Endo defeats Goeido – Field testing of Goedio 2.1 suffered a set back today, as the production system branched into the reverse protocol that engineers have been trying for years to correct. Endo, being a wily sort, saw this at once and put the naughty sumo-bot down before he could endanger the grannies in the 3rd row, once again forever endearing himself to his vast brigade of fans across Japan.
Hakuho defeats Shohozan – Blink and you miss it!
Kakuryu defeats Kaisei – If you wanted to head to the Ryogoku station a few minutes early, you could have skipped this match and no one would blame you. I think all of the Salarymen who were there for the day did exactly that.
16 thoughts on “Natsu Day 3 Highlights”
At M13, Aoiyama will need 6 wins in the remaining 12 days to ensure a top-division stay, and 5 to have any chance of avoiding Juryo.
As you say a very predictable day, not even sure Endo – Goeido counts as an upset given recent head to heads although I guess that was against previous Goeido releases 😀
Intersting to see Ichinojo and Tochinoshin winning in non-standard ways. Tochinoshin looks like a man on a mission, surely only injury can stop him. The way Ichinojo’s going we’ll be talking about him on an Ozeki run in the not too distant future.
Has anyone been watching Terunofuji in Juryo? Doesn’t seem to be going well
Terunofuji is looking like he has farther to fall. It breaks my heart, but the man is physically sick at this point.
Shame for such a young fella 😟
I don’t understand, guys. In matches where Hakuho seems the least bit tentative, people opine about his lack of good health and his possibly diminishing sumo. When he dominates, it’s all crickets. Kakuryu was 13-2 in March with less than perfect health. Why not the King of the Ring? And that’s assuming he really does have injuries. Does he have to win all 15 to get his just due?
When an athlete has dominated a sport for their entire career, that dominance is expected behavior. So, if it doesn’t happen, that’s usually a good reason to discuss things. This philosophy and approach definitely applies to Hakuho.
Hello Rich, you might be new here. If so, welcome to Tachiai! Thank you much for reading our blog. We have been talking about Hakuho for several years. You may wish to discuss your concerns with the other bunch of readers who accuse tachiai of being Hakuho fanboys.
I don’t mind him winning scruffy. I wondered if it was good ol fashioned ‘ring rust’ from being out for a while – if such a thing exists in sumo. Maybe he’ll start to look the part with a few more wins under his mawashi.
your Yakushima genki-transfer ceremony b/n Yoshikaze and Ikioi theory holds water i think! it’s the only thing that makes any kind of sense! am a fan of Ikioi but oh Yoshikaze….I will make many offerings to the Gods of Genki on your behalf, asking them to grant full genki power rights to BOTH the Green and the Purple
and another lovely little win for KYOKUTAISEI – oh boy am i Shiawase! happy happy joy joy…
My husband and I really enjoyed how excited he was with his four envelopes!
I know! it was gorgeous! LOL – and I love that he’s sending it off to his Oyakata (his father) in Asahikawa in Hokkaido ;-) His father provided some tough love in the early years and to see they both have a strong relationship today is lovely
This match with Endo shows just how much Goeido gets in his own way mentally on the dohyo. Whenever he hasn’t been defeated by his opponent, Goeido moves forward strongly and performs quality sumo. But, when his opponent is his equal or has defeated him, Goeido tries not to lose.
Mitakeumi v. Abi was probably my favorite bout of the day. Poor Abi’s really getting trial by fire =-p
Is there any point in henka against Ichinojo? The boulder moves so slowly that it doesn’t really serve any purpose.