🌐 Location: Katsuyama, Fukui
Today, the sumo nobori flags were flapping in the wind in Katsuyama city.
Those of you with sharp eyes (and Kanji skills) will note some flags that one doesn’t normally see in honbasho. For example, a flag for Kimura Ginjuro – the gyoji, and a flag for… Naruto beya, which is certainly not participating in the Jungyo due to having as yet no sekitori whatsoever.
The rikishi practiced. Not only on the dohyo, but all over the venue. Take a look at Ryuden lifting weights. Well, the sort of weights that are available in abundance in the Jungyo:
The towel, by the way, is a point of courtesy. Keeps your sweat away from your partner.
Ishiura was busy… nail gazing? I thought that was reserved only for yokozuna.
So… maybe this is not actually a practice photo. It seems there is a line forming (that’s Homarefuji behind him), which probably means they are waiting to greet one of the Yokozuna.
But here is some actual practice. Wakatakakage seems to be doing an off-dohyo reverse butsukari for Mitakeumi. Just a reminder – a butsukari practice is when a low-ranking rikishi has to push a high-ranking one again and again until he dies, or at least feels as if he did. A reverse butsukari is when a high ranking rikishi feels he needs the exercise, but only has someone ranked lower than himself available to push. It’s basically the same thing, but since the high ranking one calls the shots, it’s usually a lot less like a torture and a lot more like an actual practice.
Mitakeumi later switched to the dohyo and gave straight butsukari to youngsters, much like yesterday:
And yes, that’s Kisenosato on the dohyo. This is the first time in this Jungyo a Yokozuna practiced on-dohyo, and that it should be Kisenosato only tells you how badly banged up the other Yokozuna are.
Kisenosato was giving butsukari as well – first to Nakazono, a low ranker (I’m not sure, but I think he is one of his tsukebito):
Then he switched to Takanosho:
And you can see a bit of this action here:
横綱稀勢の里のぶつかり稽古💥— かず (@6SUMO_) July 31, 2018
The Yokozuna doesn’t have to do anything, really. Just be heavy.
In addition to practicing, the various sekitori also did a lot of fansa. This included, for example, Shohozan volunteering as a photographer:
And also Tamawashi signing autographs and having his photo taken with fans. Which for some reason, Kaisei was doing everything in his capability to prevent:
ここで暫くファンサービスに応じてました！— mai (@mai93027278) July 30, 2018
Relax, Kaisei! I’m sure Tamawashi has no intention of applying a kotenage to any of the fans!
Between the practice and the torikumi, the tokoyama re-arranged the hairdos for the rikishi:
Just before the Juryo dohyo-iri, the Shokkiri took place. Surprise – we have reverted back to the Shokkiri team from Takadagawa beya, rather than the Kasugano pair from yesterday. And just to show you that each pair has unique features in their act, they went and got what looks suspiciously like an Acme-branded hammer:
Moving on to the Torikumi, it seems that Enho is the regular fill-in in Juryo. That makes sense, but why not just let the guy wear his shimekomi, and be done with it?
Short stop here for beginners: Low ranking rikishi practice and compete in the same black cotton mawashi. When they compete, they insert loose sagari (those cords hanging down from it) into it. Sekitori, on the other hand, practice in a white cotton mawashi which is folded at the front like a roll of toilet paper. When they compete, however, they wear a silk mawashi in the color of their choice, with matching, stiffened sagari. This silk mawashi is called “shimekomi”.
So in the picture above Tobizaru is the sekitori wearing his off-white shimekomi and you can see the stiff sagari protruding to his sides. Enho is a Makushita fill-in, so he wears his black cotton mawashi and you can see his loose sagari hanging down his hips.
Enho has a shimekomi stored somewhere in his heya, from the Haru basho this year, in which he participated as a sekitori. Since he is going to be a sekitori again next basho, he will be putting it back into use.
So let’s move on.
Actually, again, there is not much information about the day’s torikumi, other than the fact that Kagayaki has beaten Ikioi by yori-kiri. And this was only mentioned because Ikioi was doing the duties of “local boy” today, on the premise that his… grandmother hails from a nearby town. 😀
But there is a video of the musubi-no-ichiban:
結びの一番、稀勢の里対鶴竜戦❗️— かず (@6SUMO_) July 31, 2018
At this point I’m really getting worried about Kakuryu. Three wins in a row for Kisenosato against the man who won two yusho in a row only a couple of months back? What the heck is going on with Kakuryu’s foot? He looks like he is doing laundry with it, not sumo.
That’s it for today, and since, for some unknown reason, the sumo ladies did not take any Enho photos other than that one against Tobizaru, I’ll have to settle for Arawashi instead: