Natsu Day 14 Highlights

The-Boulder

Great day of sumo… Our operatives inside the Kokugikan report that the Great Cat himself was well pleased with today’s activities, and blessed sumo fans with some fantastic matches. Find a way to watch all of day 14.

Nagoya has enormous potential, given today’s results. I will discuss more in the day 15 preview. The Natsu yusho is for Kakuryu to lose now, and his sumo was absolutely amazing today. Many sumo fans had dismissed Kakuryu in the prior year, perhaps thinking he was lazy, or would rather not compete. His style of sumo is rather unique, and it’s quite difficult to watch at times. Many fans want to see an all out, guns blazing battle. Where the best attack wins. Sometimes, the best attack is not to try and overpower your opponent, but rather to keep your opponent from winning. It’s somewhat alien in western sports, but it’s amazing to see Kakuryu use it with such great effect.

In Juryo, we are indeed going to have a final day barnyard brawl for the yusho. There are 3 Juryo rikishi with 11 wins at the end of day 14: Onosho, Kotoeko and Tsurugisho. I urge you to find and watch Kotoeko’s day 14 match – because he is bringing that kind of sumo to Makuuchi in Nagoya.

Highlight Matches

Ishiura defeats Kyokutaisei – Ishiura wins doing actual sumo. This is noteworthy.

Aoiyama defeats Daiamami – A large man oshi-matsuri, with Aoiyama once again focusing on his opponents head. This is not really working for him, and then he decides, “Yeah, let’s put some force center-mass!”, and shifts to Daiamami’s chest. Hey! Look, out goes Daiamami! Aoiyama gets his 8th win and his kachi-koshi.

Chiyonokuni defeats Tochiozan – Chiyonokuni takes it to 11, and hands Tochiozan his make-koshi. I would guess we may see Chiyonokuni pick up a special prize, and that would be his first! If he can stay this genki, he is going to be a lot of fun in Nagoya.

Takakeisho defeats Myogiryu – Myogiryu having a great basho, but Takakeisho seems to have snapped back into his sumo finally, and he’s on a mission. I am so eager now for Nagoya, as Takakeisho will be in the top half of the banzuke, Onosho will be back, and it’s going to be tadpole time.

Yoshikaze defeats Nishikigi – First match resulted in a monoii, and a re-match. Second match was a clear Yoshikaze win. It’s still possible for him to pick up a kachi-koshi on the final day, when his opponent will be Abi. That, dear readers, could be a wild and chaotic match.

Kagayaki defeats Asanoyama – Asanoyama failed to get his kachi-koshi today, and will have to hope for a win on the final day. Kagayaki continues to execute solid, basic sumo, and has been winning with it. Any hopes Kagayaki has for double digits are going to be tempered by his final day bout against Chiyonokuni. Yikes!

Aminishiki defeats Ryuden – Ryuden (now 2-12) in a world of hurt with the Nagoya banzuke now, as Uncle Sumo uncorks some kind of magic genki sauce and blasts him out of the ring after some preliminary struggle. As always, the crowd in the Kokugikan goes nuts whenever Aminishiki is on the dohyo, and goes double nuts when he wins.

Sadanoumi defeats Chiyomaru – Sadanoumi somehow survives a really powerful osha-battle with Chiyomaru to pick up his kachi-koshi. To me it looks like Chiyomaru had a tough time getting into basho mode, and is struggling with his sumo. Maybe a bit too much mass from the bulbous one? Sadanoumi lands his 8th win and can take comfort in his kachi-koshi.

Shohozan defeats Daieisho – This one was another in a series of Shohozan brawls disguised as sumo matches. Both men were going for some kind of painful death grip on the other, and the winning move was a nicely executed watashikomi thigh trip. Shohozan can still finish kachi-koshi if he wins day 15.

Tamawashi defeats Ikioi – Tamawashi switches to freight-train / densha michi mode and runs Ikioi down the tracks, improving to 7-7 going into the final day.

Kotoshogiku defeats Kaisei – Kotoshogiku kachi-koshi!!! The two go chest to chest straight away, and the enormous mass of Kaisei is clearly near the limit for the Kyushu Bulldozer. But he revs up, engages his tracks and lowers his blade.

Shodai defeats Mitakeumi – What the hell Shodai? Again, his mechanics are abysmal, but his instincts are dead on. Big outcome of this match may be the fact that Shodai seems to have crushed Mitakeumi’s right ankle when they both went to cuddle the kita-kata shimpan.

Kakuryu defeats Tochinoshin – Watch this match, maybe a few times. Tochinoshin really puts a lot into this match, and Kakuryu does some of his best “Big K Sumo” ever. Kakuryu is a reactive sumo expert. His plan is to stalemate Tochinoshin until he makes some kind of mistake, and then use that mistake to finish him. Tochinoshin immediately goes to land his left, and Kakuryu shuts that down, opting for a palm to the face. Tochinoshin tries to go left again, and gets a bit of a grip, but Kakuryu shifts his hips and denies him leverage. Tochinoshin now has a double outside grip on Kakuryu’s loose mawashi, and can’t find a way to keep the Yokozuna from shifting around, robbing Tochinoshin of his ability to lift and shift (his primary weapon). Kakuryu is deep double inside, and leaning in at 45 degrees, stalemate for the Georgian Ozeki hopeful. Tochinoshin tries to pull out a leg trip, but Kakuryu is too far back for the trip, shifting his hips again as Tochinoshin is now dangerously unbalanced. Kakuryu advances, and Tochinoshin tries to pivot for a throw, further impeding his defensive stance, Kakuryu has his opening now, raises his foot and pops a trip against Tochinoshin’s left knee (the good one), and collapses the Georgian at the tawara. Holy smokes! What a match!

Ichinojo defeats Hakuho – Sumo fans could have ended their day with the Kakuryu v Tochinoshin match with satisfaction, but the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan had one last treat in store for us. The Boulder squared off against the dai-Yokozuna, but this was not the passive version of Ichinojo today. Huge, powerful and motivated, Hakuho, who is clearly not quite at full power, had his hands full with 500 pounds of pony tossing, ice cream eating behemoth. Hakuho unleashed a pair of his usually disruptive moves at the outset, but Ichinojo must have gone into the match with the intent to endure the Yokozuna’s initial attacks however he could. It seems he wanted to play a longer game. With Hakuho’s initial gambits exhausted, they spent a moment leaning chest to chest in the center of the dohyo. As Ichinojo moved to advance, Hakuho timed a weight shift to load a throw against Ichinojo. Ichinojo sensed the Yokozuna shifting for leverage, and took advantage of it, pivoting into the uwatenage as the Yokozuna went to the clay. Kokugikan erupts, cushions fly and it’s ice cream and ponies for everyone.

19 thoughts on “Natsu Day 14 Highlights


  1. I’ve heard some speculation that Tochinoshin has a couple broken bones in his wrist. If that’s true then I’m sure that also played a factor in the big mans lifting power. Regardless Kakuryu showed excellent Yokozuna level sumo today. I just hope Tochinoshin doesn’t push too far and do serious unrepairable damage for the sake of the Yusho and we have another repeat Kisenosato incident on our hands.

    Ichinojo! Holy cow! (Or pony in his case) That’s the kind of sumo I love seeing him bring to the Dohyo! If he could do that every time we’d have another Ozeki soon. I do think he should shed a little weight to help with his stamina issues (same goes for you Chiyomaru) but the fact remains that when he makes up his mind to toss ponies, he delivers.

    I’ve never really thought much of Chiyonokuni but look at the man, he’s has an amazing basho and I hope he is rewarded for that.

    As much as I don’t like seeing Abi henka, I like seeing him go into his final day looking for his Kachi Koshi. He’s been a punching bag this entire basho but has shown astonishing resilience and good spirit through it all.


  2. There is not going to be a barnyard brawl in Juryo. Since Onosho is pitted against Tsurugisho tomorrow, at least one of them is going to stay with 3 losses. This means, depending on Kotoeko’s result, this is going to be either a straight yusho or a plain two-man playoff.

    The NHK announcers said something about Asanoyama being injured, limiting his ability to achieve that kachi-koshi.

    Ichinojo went into that match with self-assurance stemming from his practice with the Yokozuna just before the basho. If you recall, the Yokozuna had several practice bouts in which Ichinojo won, and the Yokozuna was left out of ATP, losing matches with other wrestlers following that. So Ichinojo knew that he has the ability to exhaust the Yokozuna if he perseveres. And persevere he did.


    • Well, I guess I have been loose with my definition of barnyard brawl – I mean that in general the ones in contention face off on the final day in some manner, and it seems in Juryo, this is the plan


  3. I love Kakuryus sumo. Sometimes he does amazing stuff. And sometimes he backs up out of the ring trying to pull, but let’s not focus on that. The good stuff is really really good when it happens.

    Rooting for him!


    • I was very disappointed in him with the henka, but he bought it back with his apology. Probably someone is going to say it was PR, but I choose to believe he was sincere.


  4. The winning rikishi will sometimes offer the losing rikishi a hand to stand up but I’ve rarely seen a losing rikishi accept the help — it seems like a point of pride from them to get back to their feet under their own power. (I have seen Hakuho accept a hand up from Kakuryu after Hakuho won in a way that landed them in a heap off the dohyo with Kakuryu on top.) So have a look at what Hakuho does after his loss to Ichinojo: https://twitter.com/TheSumoSoul/status/1000307239503122432
    Especially in light of Hakuho’s reaction to beating Ichinojo at Nagoya in 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQkKl8GS3Oc (I believe this latter reaction was due to Hakuho’s high and disappointed expectations of Ichinojo)


  5. I actually like when a guy pulls a henka, it adds spice to a tournament when usually all the excitement we get is from match ups. When Terunofuji pulled a henka against Kotoshogiku (I think) people were disappointed, but it made Kisenosato beating him even better for the tournament win. I understand the frowning on it though.


  6. Chiyonokuni did not hand Tochiozan his make-koshi since Tochiozan had already achieved kachi-koshi.

Comments:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.