Nagoya Day 4 Preview

Endo - Chiyoshoma

So far most of the rikishi have been true to form, and the basho is proceeding along expected lines. I would caution readers and sumo fans not to read too much into this. With Act 1 focusing on getting everyone to an actual honbasho competition level, the first week frequently offers few surprises until we hit Saturday.

The rikishi that really sticks out to me right now is Endo once more. I am not going to say he is (as he was once proclaimed) the savior of sumo. But the man is fighting well, and has overcome an amazing array of injuries and set-backs to be in the top half of Makuuchi. He is just outside the joi-jin this tournament, and that’s probably where he should be until his arm is 100%.

With Kisenosato likely to take his final bow this year, Japanese fans need another star to pin their hopes on. Many might think Takayasu is the likely candidate, as I once did, but frankly his sumo is chaotic enough that its causing him injuries. More and more I am coming to think that Aki 2018 will be the pivotal basho that may be later seen as changing point for the current era of sumo.

What We Are Watching Day 4

Ishiura vs Takagenji – The rikishi with very poor manners (Takagenji) comes to Makuuchi to face off against Ishiura. As they have never matched before, this should be worth a good look. Like Ishiura, he’s a relative light weight at 126.2 kg.

Ryuden vs Asanoyama – Ryuden seems to have regained his sumo, and his day 4 match against Asanoyama could be a bellwether. The two are fairly even with they are both healthy an in their sumo. My guess is that Asanoyama may hold a slight edge, as I am convinced Ryuden is still injured from Natsu.

Tochiozan vs Onosho – Surprisingly genki Tochiozan will put Onosho to the test on day 4, and I think Onosho really needs to face vigorous challenges. His match against Nishikigi was a complete surprise to him and to me, and my have put a nick in his typical overwhelming confidence.

Chiyomaru vs Nishikigi – Battle of the Maegashira 10s! Chiyomaru has been surprisingly soft thus far, so we may yet again see Nishikigi exceed habitually low expectations. The biggest worry being the sheer size of Chiyomaru.

Aoiyama vs Yutakayama – The battle of the yamas! Which mountain will reign supreme? Given Aoiyama’s injuries, he’s not quite the threat he normally is. Yutakayama has added some visible bulk (though his mass is still listed as 171 kg), so he is hefty enough to take Aoiyama haymakers.

Chiyoshoma vs Kyokutaisei – Both of these poor rikishi come in with zero wins. So the good news is one of them gets to be 1-3 at the end of Tuesday. Will we see another Chiyoshoma flying henka? Or will the Hokkaido man keep the match down to earth? Kyokutaisei leads the series 3-1.

Endo vs Chiyotairyu – Endo is looking surprisingly good so far, and for day 4 he gets to take on the burly Chiyotairyu. If Endo can survive the tachiai, he’s got plenty to work with. They are mostly even at 6-5 in their career records.

Takarafuji vs Yoshikaze – These matches are just painful for me to watch. I continue to be a Yoshikaze fan, but it seems to be a shadow of his original self.

Kaisei vs Kagayaki – Even though the 2-3 career record would seem to indicate this is an even match, I am going to guess that Kagayaki may find Kaisei’s enormity to be a real challenge. Kaisei looked completely lost and befuddled on day 3, and I expect him to bounce back with purpose.

Daishomaru vs Takakeisho – I am guessing the schedulers are giving Takakeisho a bit of a breather before he is fed into the wood chipper that is the Ozeki and Yokozuna corps. Its another fairly close to even match, with Daishomaru holding a 3-2 career lead.

Ichinojo vs Shohozan – Our beloved boulder is not looking strong or aggressive, and today he’s going to face Shohozan, who has faced some pretty rough competition, plus one match where he fell down much to his embarrassment. Will Shohozan’s preference for a running, high-intensity brawl (dare I say broom battle?) intimidate the Mongolian giant, or will it be the motivation he needs to summon his overwhelming strength?

Tamawashi vs Mitakeumi – These two were Sekiwake twins for many tournaments, and while both of them fell from that rank, Tamawashi fell at a poor time when his bounce back basho was not good enough to return him even to the san’yaku. With only one win in Nagoya, he may have something to motivate him day 4 as he faces the unbeaten Mitakeumi. Mitakeumi holds a career 11-2 advantage, so Tamawashi should be looking to gamberize!

Abi vs Tochinoshin – Will Abi try for another henka? The day 3 one was fairly comical, and well timed. Or will we get another Tochinoshin sky-crane-tsuridashi? Abi strik es me as they kind of guy who would do things like drink a whole bottle of hot sauce on a dare. Maybe someone will dare him to grab Tochinoshin’s mawashi.

Shodai vs Takayasu – Don’t worry Takayasu, it’s only Shodai. But in the name of the Great Sumo Cat of the Kokugikan, keep up the offense until you see the shimpan raise a hand.

Goeido vs Kotoshogiku – a 48 match history between these two, and it somewhat favors Goeido. Kotoshogiku comes in without a win, but looking fairly well put together this basho. Once his tour through Ozeki and Yokozuna is complete, I am expected Kotoshogiku to rack quite a few wins.

Kakuryu vs Ikioi – Kakuryu is dialed into his sumo, and even a brave soul like Ikioi is not going to be able to offer much to slow him down right now.

Chiyonokuni vs Hakuho – After Chiyonokuni overwhelming display of fighting spirit on day 3, I would advise the Boss to take no chances. A quick, efficient win here. I know you like to try to beat people with their own brand of sumo to prove you are better at it than they are, but Chiyonokuni may be in possession of some kind of hot streak right now.

13 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 4 Preview

  1. looking forward to these bouts with an equal measure of excitement, nerves and fear! so many match ups to get excited about, Kyokutaisei just making me nervous (c’mon kita kitsune, time to gamberize and no dancing backwards round the ring), Yoshikaze – don’t u make me cry now!

  2. I thought it was Takagenji’s brother that has the bad manners. The one i like to call Taka-Jerky-Toshi

    • he got stung for bullying did TJT – i’m not real sure of TG’s bad manners issue

    • I think Bruce may have been referring to that bout in which Terutsuyoshi beat Takagenji and the latter failed to bow after the match and was called back by the gyoji to do so.

      Besides that, I have been following the twins on Twitter until Takagenji’s account got deleted (I think TJT just stopped posting at some point). He used to retweet some objectionable stuff, and I don’t mean the hot babes Onosho, for example, retweets. Examples: articles in favor of corporal punishment, and some Holocaust denialism (“Why does Japan continue backing the questionable narrative of the Holocaust when it clearly weakens its position w.r.t. the comfort women issue?”).

      So while TJT is the physically abusive brother, and TG seems to be slightly better at impulse control, TG’s character is far from gentleman like.

      • Exactly – there are some other elements of his rather shady behavior, but I did not jot them down. Any human can improve, so here’s to hoping he’s changed his ways.

      • thanks for that. every time i see a fan posting something twin related i just skip past it. not a fan of either one of them for a myriad of reasons, some of which covered in your comments and others on various posts. ‘entitled brats’ is another expression that springs to mind… but maybe i’m being a little harsh… i have no time for bullies or any kind of cruelty (physical/verbal) and that’s all i see re TJT and for obvious image reasons i can’t disassociate TG from his twin…. i know people can change so i’d be happy to see this and for them to prove me wrong…

        • What pisses me off about TJT is that while all the Takanohana fans were banging their chests after the Haruma incident crying “Why is nobody thinking of the victim?”, they are celebrating the return of the TJT to the dohyo, while his victim retired from sumo. The brat has a future as a possible sekitori, but there is none for the victim. Of course he retired “of his own accord”.

          • yep, definitely double standards. the haruma incident really upset me as he seemed lovely, well that’s been thrown out with the dishwater! drunk or not, ya just don’t do that! i’ve been so pleased Takanoiwa is doing so well on his return road. not to make light of it, but i bet he learned a bit of iphone etiquette – there’s certain things that get my goat with mobile phones like texting/walking (aaargh!), phones out at dinner table whilst you’re with real people… just little things like that which are just plain ruuuuude! ;-)

          • The “hinkaku” standard and “weapon” tipped the scales against Harumafuji. I also wonder if the perception of being unable to hold his drink worked against him.

  3. Ditto on thinking Abi would drink a bottle of hot sauce on a dare; he reminds me of guys I knew in college who did exactly that XD


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