Natsu Senshuraku Comments


With the final day in the books, we have already covered some of the big news of the day. But before we can consider Natsu complete, there are a few other topics to bring up.

Special Prizes

There was a flurry of special prizes awarded today, in fact more of them than I can remember in recent tournaments.

Shukun-Sho (Outstanding Performance) went to Shohozan, for being the only rikishi to beat the yusho winner, Kakuryu. The prize was dependant on Kakuryu winning the final match. In his sansho interview, you actually get to see Shohozan smile! Nah, it’s still moderately scary.

Kanto-Sho (Fighting Spirit) went off in cluster-bomb fashion to: Tochinoshin, Chiyonokuni and Kyokutaisei. Tochinoshin because he was some kind of European winning machine, Chiyonokuni because he seems to have finally found his sumo at his higher weight, and Kyokutaisei because he went double digits in his first top division basho, and he was a movie star.

Gino-Sho (Technique) went to Tochinoshin, as it seems the NSK want to load him up with sansho before his Ozeki promotion, as a way of saying “Nice work you big bear!”.

Notable Matches

There were also a handful of matches that were worth note

Ishiura executed some actually solid sumo against Juryo visitor Kyokushuho for a win. That win may have saved him from relegation back to the farm division, and we may get to see him occupy the Nishikigi memorial “last slot on the banzuke” position for Nagoya.

Speaking of Nishikigi, he went double digits and handed Asanoyama his make-koshi. For a man who has struggled much the last couple of years, I was impressed to see Nishikigi that genki. I just worry he may get over-promoted.

Takakeisho sounded the call heralding Nagoya’s tadpole march, by racking his 10th win of the basho against Sadanoumi. Takakeisho closed out the basho with 8 continuous wins, after having a very rough start that made his fans worry that he was not going to get his sumo back after going kyujo in Osaka. Never fear, he’s back and he’s ready now it seems. Nagoya will see ur-Tadpole Onosho rejoin the crew, and it’s tadpole sumo once again. Frankly, I can’t wait.

Chiyonokuni put Kagayaki away by controlling the form and pace of the match. With Chiyonokuni hitting 12 wins, he’s going to get a huge promotion for Nagoya, and I am going to guess he is going to suffer much like Natsu of 2017 where he was promoted to the joi, and it took him months to recover. Kagayaki will escape a disastrous promotion velocity and have time to patiently continue to incrementally improve. This guy is going to be a big deal if he can stay healthy.

Yoshikaze got a first hand look at Abi-zumo, and shrugged. Abi was all over the place, doing all kinds of things that don’t normally work in sumo. He’s up on his toes, he’s leaning far forward, and his balance is shifting moment to moment. But hey, it got him 7 wins in the joi, and a kinboshi. But honestly the veterans are starting to deconstruct his attacks, and he’s going to be bottled up soon enough. Hopefully he learns some new tricks, because I think he has a lot of potential.

Tamawashi really needed the win he grabbed over Shodai, he scoped by into kachi-koshi territory, and will likely be back in san’yaku for Nagoya. If he can keep his injuries under control, he will have a chance to dislodge the likes of Ichinojo from his transitional Sekiwake rank.

With Natsu done, all of the rikishi have about 60 days to train, seek treatment for injuries, fly off to Europe to see family or just generally carry on with sumo functions. Big events will come next week, as we are expecting to see at least a handful of retirement announcements, announcements of shin-Sekitori coming from Makushita into Juryo, and the announcement of a new Ozeki in the world of sumo. I will write more later about Tochinoshin, as there is much to examine.

But for now, thanks for reading Tachiai, we have had a great time covering the Natsu basho, and we hope you have enjoyed our site.

9 thoughts on “Natsu Senshuraku Comments

  1. While on notable matches, would love to read your thoughts on the Arawashi-Aoiyama match, Bruce.

    • Good catch – that bout featured Arawashi tugging the daylights out of Aoiyama’s right arm. I had never seen that done before, and I have to wonder if it was strictly on the up and up. It certainly threw Aoiyama off his sumo. If that’s a legit and allowable tactic, it probably shuts down Aoiyama from here on out. But it also looked like it was likely to cause a variety of mechanical injuries.

      As this was a rebuilding / recovery basho for Aoiyama, it would be quite unsettling if he exits the tournament injured.

      • The officials called it a “kotehineri,” arm lock twist down. I’ve been keeping track of kimarite since the last basho, and I hadn’t seen it yet!

        It didn’t look to me like Aoiyama injured his arm, but I was watching Kintamayama and it cut away pretty quickly.

  2. Yay Tamawashi! What a run to get his kachi koshi after a tough 1st week. Yutakayama has caught my eye despite his terrible record this basho. I’m sure he’ll get it together next time. . Great to read all the blogs and comments – thanks Tachiai team!

  3. thanks Yoshikaze for giving me heart failure and making me wait until Day 15 for your kachikoshi! but what a way to obtain it! omedeto! and Kyokutaisei – what more can i say!!!! overjoyed! both you and Yago are making this old Hokkaido gal very happy this side of the equator!

    • I was thinking you’d be pretty happy that Kyokutasei got a Fighting Spirit award! My husband and I love his enthusiasm and have been rooting for him. We wish him a long career with countless envelopes.

      • yes, i had a very happy day in my Tachiai teeshirt bouncing round the place shouting, cheering, wailing, clapping, exclaiming… all of the above. my hubby just cracks up at my antics… with all the interviews yesterday, all i could hear coming from his computer chair was him saying ‘ano… ano…’ mad bugga he is! LOL. i look forward to watching K steadily climb the ranks and then Yago joining him in top division – 2 Hokkaido rikishi – heart be still! hehehe…. and as for my fave berserker… he’s the gift that keeps on giving!

  4. Tochinoshin = technique prize? That’s an odd one.

    I hope MItakeumi is allowed to fully recover his ankle injury. I should mention Endo here. I have no idea what a torn bicep involves. I love watching these two guys and hope they get well and back to fighting form.

    (If I don’t mention your favorite injured rikishi, it’s because my mind is feeble, not that I begrudge them a recovery. I’m amazed to see the brutal falls these guys take!)

    I was hoping Hakuho would win the yusho since it was dedicated to his late father, but I guess he just couldn’t fight his usual fight through his grief. He was noticeably less aggressive this match, was he not? Hopefully, he’ll come roaring back.

    I am glad to see Kakyru is fighting so well. We’have two solid yokozuna and, perhaps in a year or so, Tochinoshin will join the ranks.

    This was a match full of surprises. It’s a great time to be a sumo fan!


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