Natsu Day 13 Highlights

Kakuryu Day 13

I note with great enthusiasm that the Juryo yusho is coming down to a final weekend barnyard brawl of epic proportions. Even though I am greatly enjoying my beautiful TV Japan feed now, it sadly does not include Juryo that I must find some other way to watch. Tied with 10 wins each at the end of day 13 are: J1w Onosho, J2e Kotoeko, J4e Meisei and all the way down at J14e Tsurugisho.

The big news from day 13 is that Tochinoshin lost today against Shodai of all people. I have to credit Shodai for stalemating Tochinoshin’s attack, and for reading the right time to drop the big Georgian to the clay. With this loss, Day 14’s match against Kakuryu is more or less going to decide the yusho. A Kakuryu win would open the amazing possibility we could end day 15 with a 3-way 13-2 playoff between both Yokozuna and the presumptive shin-Ozeki. If you think I am going to stay up all night to watch that, should it unfold, you are right.

Highlight Matches

Takekaze defeats Asanoyama – Strange little match that ended when Asanoyama staggered towards the tawara and fell down. Kimarite was listed as hatakikomi, but looked more like a slippiotoshi.

Chiyonokuni defeats Sadanoumi – My earlier assumption about Chiyonokuni is clearly wrong, and he keeps up the pressure. His win today saw him defuse a decent throw attempt by Sadanoumi.

Nishikigi defeats Daiamami – The survivor giving himself some breathing room for the Nagoya banzuke. This was a great yotsu match, with both men really giving it a lot of effort. This style of sumo favors Nishikigi, as his eyesight is rather poor, and when he had his opponent in a chest to chest position, it negates the problems with his eyes.

Takakeisho defeats Aoiyama – Aoiyama’s superior reach stymied after the hit and bounce back tachiai. Aoiyama continued to land meaty blows to Takakeisho’s face, but it seems Takakeisho decided to endure it, and kept thrusting center-mass, as is his preferred technique. Aoiyama may have been enjoying himself to the point he did not notice that Takakeisho had him moving in reverse. Takakeisho kachi-koshi. Nagoya may be the revenge of the tadpoles.

Aminishiki defeats Okinoumi – Uncle sumo wins another, and he looked fairly good with this one. Aminishiki was known to be in less that optimal condition before the start of the basho, and his record is quite miserable. But it was good to see him use a somewhat rickety but effective uwatenage for a win.

Kagayaki defeats Myogiryu – Kagayaki racks up his kachi-koshi in a really solid win. Again I will state that this guy focuses on sumo fundamentals, and you can see great sumo from him almost any day. A bit more mass, a lot more muscle and a bit more seasoning and this guy is going to be a handful.

Kyokutaisei defeats Yoshikaze – Yoshikaze really is a half step or full step slower than he was a year ago. Kyokutaisei continues to look strong in his debut tournament.

Tochiozan defeats Chiyomaru – Chiyomaru surged out strongly at the tachiai, and almost had Tochiozan out, but Tochiozan rallied, and Chiyomaru found it tough to do anything other than continuously back away. Tochiozan wins the match and is kachi-koshi. Chiyomaru is now make-koshi.

Abi defeats Takarafuji – Abi uses his preferred opening gambit once again, and it is only partially effective on Takarafuji, who keeps working inside. But even Takarafuji’s solid sumo fundamentals are breaking down due to Abi’s near ridiculous proportions. With Takarafuji applying pressure at the extreme end of Abi’s reach, Abi releases the pressure and lets Takarafuji fall.

Shohozan defeats Endo – This match was a running brawl that underscores just how poor the decision was to have Endo return. Shohozan can win out and still get kachi-koshi, Endo is headed south on the banzuke for Nagoya.

Mitakeumi defeats Kotoshogiku – They went yotsu right away, with Mitakeumi getting a double inside grip, but this is not normally a problem for Kotoshogiku. Fantastic battle of strength that featured Kotoshogiku disrupting Mitakeumi’s repeated attempts to finish him. I am going to guess Kotoshogiku’s knees are in better working order these days, and that’s nothing but a recipe for fun. The yorikiri came with Mitakeumi unleashing a Kotoshogiku style hip pumping attack. Nice match

Shodai defeats Tochinoshin – Shodai has been stumbling through his matches this tournament, and somehow he took down the presumptive shin-Ozeki. The key was blowing Tochinoshin’s repeated attempt at a grip, until he lunges forward to land his left, and Shodai backpedals with vigor, leaving Tochinoshin falling flat to the clay. This came as a huge surprise to everyone, but in general the crowd seemed to thing it was a wonderful thing. This loss opens the yusho race again, and it just gets crazy this weekend. Who would have though Shodai could do what Hakuho could not? Shodai kachi-koshi.

Hakuho defeats Ikioi – I am going to say it, The Boss is only about 80% right now. Who cares why. He’s still the dai-Yokozuna, and he’s still going into the final weekend with 11 wins. Ikioi once again looked solid, persistent and aggressive. This was harder for Hakuho than his fans would expect.

Kakuryu defeats Ichinojo – Big K now tied for the yusho, and the possibility that he could earn his goal of back-to-back yusho is now within reach. This match was a mawashi battle, with Kakuryu taking the fight to The Boulder on his own terms. Even though Ichinojo used the tawara to help make himself immobile, Kakuryu affirmed that he is the Yokozuna, and overcame. He faces Tochinoshin to possibly decide the Emperor’s cup tomorrow.

14 thoughts on “Natsu Day 13 Highlights

  1. Is it even possible for the yusho to be decided tomorrow? I don’t see it, it all comes down to the last two matches on senshuraku, with a high possibility of a playoff.
    Kakuryu wins tomorrow – he would need Tochinoshin to lose again on senshuraku and possibly beat Hakuho if he defeats Ichinojo today.
    Tochinoshin wins tomorrow – he would need another win on senshuraku. With no win on the final day, he’d need Hakuho to lose tomorrow but defeat Kakuryu the day after.

  2. Now, what i hope happens is Hakuho wins out, including against Kakuryu, but Kakuryu Defeats Tochinoshin and the day 14 opponent. After Tochinoshin’s second loss he wins out. who knows what happens in the 3-way.

    • That’s the great-for-sumo to-good-to-be-true outcome. The three top dogs at 13-2. Not sure how a three-way playoff is organized, but it must be great.

      • Three-way playoffs are indeed glorious affairs. Two rikishi are randomly selected to face off first, with the winner going on to face the next rikishi. If the winner of the first bout wins again, he wins the tournament. If not, the winner of the second bout wrestles the loser of the first bout. The first rikishi to win two in a row is champion.

        So it could be just two bouts, or it could be an infinite number of matches until two of the rikishi are too exhausted to go on.

        Let us all pray to our respective deities that a playoff becomes necessary.

  3. Ikioi was in visible pain during his match today. I’m assuming that’s why Hakuho was so gentle with him and protected his head at the end of their match today. That’s good to see from the Dai Yokozuna.
    Shodai is officially an enigma. Katchi-koshi through reactive and seemingly unprepared sumo. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the next basho.
    Ichinojo seems to expect his large weight to win him most of his matches. It’s unfortunate to see and I wish he’d lose some weight and improve his skills.
    There are a number of intriguing younger rikishi in the top division right now and Onosho is making his return in the next basho. We’re going to have some fun matches in the future, for sure!

    • I think we are seeing the future in Shodai. He’s staying healthy with his extremely conservative tachiai and he’s picking up solid wins. Has he ever been henka’d? And it seems others injure themselves against him. Tochinoshin appeared to reach for his clavicle or shoulder…maybe from the fall?

      • Slo Mo replay shows Tochi landing his right hand/wrist on the tarawa, then planting his chest on the hand. There was a loud groan (exclamation) on the way back to the locker room, but might have just been emotions (hope it wasn’t an injury).


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