Nagoya Day 5 Preview

Mitakeumi Fan Club

Thus the first act comes to a close. We have lost a Yokozuna, and that dramatically changes the nature of the basho. We have only 2 rikishi who come into day 5 with no losses: Tochinoshin and Mitakeumi, followed by a huge crowd with 3 wins. We also have 3 unfortunate rikishi with no wins: Yoshikaze, Kyokutaisei and Arawashi. Given the goal of the first act, determine who is hot and who is not, I think we have a pretty clear indication that this basho is going to come down to a massive lateral brawl going into the middle weekend. This makes for great sumo.

What We Are Watching Day 5

Ishiura vs Ryuden – Ryuden seems to have gotten his sumo under control, and is fighting well now. I might also say that Ishiura can still save himself from a return trip to Juryo, but he needs to stop rolling the dice with the henkas.

Tochiozan vs Okinoumi – Two veterans coming head to head with 3-1 records, with an 11-13 career record. Could this be a closer match up? Both are fighting fairly well this basho, so there could be some fine sumo during this match.

Hokutofuji vs Arawashi – Arawashi has zero wins, but I get the impression that he may take down Hokutofuji on day 5. Hokutofuji has been all over the map this tournament, and I think his sumo is out of control because his body is still injured.

Aoiyama vs Onosho – The man-mountain against the tadpole. Onosho seems to be struggling right now, after cleaning up handily in Juryo in May. Given the fact that he was demoted due to surgery on his knee, Tachiai dearly hopes that it was sufficiently healed for top division combat.

Myogiryu vs Nishikigi – What have they been putting in Nishikigi’s chanko? I have had a fondness for him since he proved he would work hard to excel. Did he finally find a way to higher performance? He and Myogiryu are both 3-1 going into day 5, and Myogiryu has been fighting very well. Seriously looking forward to this match.

Chiyomaru vs Kyokutaisei – Kyokutaisei is eager for his first win, and I dearly hope he can pick it up before act 1 closes. Chiyomaru seems really off right now, and I am going to assume that the heat plus his enormous mass are causing him more than a couple of challenges.

Daieisho vs Chiyotairyu – Chiyotairyu blasted Endo to bits on day 4, and he holds a 7-1 advantage over Daieisho. Its a fact that his sideburns are currently over 9000, so maybe it’s going to be a hard exit for Daieisho.

Endo vs Kagayaki – Interest galore for this one. Endo had no counter for Chiyotairyu, and today he faces Kagayaki. It’s easy to underestimate Kagayaki, but he has beaten Endo 4 times to Endo’s 2. I am looking for a wide stance and a center mass thrusting attack from Kagayaki.

Tamawashi vs Takakeisho – Tamawashi is due to start winning matches, and he may have a good chance today against Takakeisho. Takakeisho is still a fierce opponent, but he has been looking 10% less than his normal intensity. We did see one quick blast of the “Wave Action” on day 3, but so far he has kept his most lethal attack in the bag. Takakeisho, all of your fans want to see you blast someone past the shimpan. Please fire when ready.

Shohozan vs Mitakeumi – Career record tie between 4 and 4, with Shohozan coming in with only 1 win, and Mitakeumi with 4. I do think there is a good chance we will see “Big Guns” put dirt on Mitakeumi today. Shohozan has a lot of pent up sumo he needs to resolve.

Ichinojo vs Shodai – Oh good lord, where to start with this one. The Shodai of May is away. Ichinojo of lore is here no more. It’s going to be a bit of a waltz for at least a few moments, and it comes down to which one gives up and goes soft first.

Goeido vs Chiyonokuni – Goeido, you better watch your ass. Goeido is teetering on mathematical peril in his struggle to escape kadoban, and Chiyonokuni already has one Ozeki scalp. Chiyonokuni seems to have caught the energy of the winds of change blowing through sumo. If he hits his mark, there could be a place for him in the upper ranks for a while.

Kotoshogiku vs Tochinoshin – A critical match here, as Kotoshogiku has a workable formula for defeating Tochinoshin. However as our astute readers have noted, Tochinoshin has departed dramatically from his formulaic approach to sumo for the first 4 days of this basho. Given Kotoshogiku’s 24-8 career lead over Tochinoshin, it’s high time for the shin-Ozeki to bring a new set of moves to this match.

Ikioi vs Takayasu – It took less than 4 seconds for Ikioi to get Kakuryu flying backward on day 4. Given Takayasu’s chaotic sumo, he is ripe for a pasting from an experienced, strong rikishi who may not fight as expected. Please, Takayasu, bring your sumo back.

Kakuryu vs Abi – I am pretty sure Kakuryu got distracted on day 4. I am going to guess with Hakuho out, he knows that his path to a 3rd consecutive yusho is now easier, and he needs every win. So I expect him to keep Abi dancing and light on his feet, making him easy to launch into the zabuton.

15 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 5 Preview

  1. As always, a great capsule preview from Bruce about what to expect on Day Five. Unfortunately, for me, this basho has lost much of its appeal. I know people love talking about the youngsters and the up-and-comers and the tadpoles, but without Hakuho’s scowling, slapping, superfluous shoving and showing the crowd his pay packets, it’s all sumo-lite to me. Sorry.

    • I hope the Boss can recover and return genki for Aki. I think September this year is going to be a big deal.

    • Chris Gould said (on his you tube channel) that Hakuho hurt himself before the Shodai match by catching his toe under a tarp in the locker room. Of all the ways for a Yokozuna to injure himself .. on a tarp in the locker room. I too am surprised how much I am missing the Boss this basho.

      Hoping Hakuho recovers 100% and makes it to the Olympics.

      • those darned toe injuries – doesn’t take much for them to set him right back again. really feel for the boss

  2. Rich, don’t forget his little wry smirk and head wobble when he wins ;-)
    definitely some good match ups today, i see upsets aplenty – and possibly first shiroboshi for my boyz? you’ll hear my colourful language around the globe if they obtain their 5th kuroboshi this round!! LOL

    • And fingers crossed it‘s really a new and improved Tochinoshin like the first four days make me want to believe 🤞🏻

    • Mix and match Georgian bear is all fine. The only way to beat Giku is to take care of the forward bumpety motion. Not many can stop it. Everyone who beats him does so by some workaround which isn’t all that difficult. Giku has the most powerful and most sustained bumpety motion I’ve ever seen.

      On a lighter note, Kotoshogiku’s wife must be a happy woman.

      • Seems purple mawashi Tochinoshin IS improved Tochinoshin.
        Maybe the kadoban ozeki should try purple too.

      • It seems like all the guys who are hurt and can’t compete for a while gain a lot of weight. I guess they keep the same eating habits and can’t, of course, work off all those extra calories. Kisenosato is much bigger, Ura is huge these days, Onosho is much bigger. I haven’t seen Takanoiwa since he’s come back. Anybody know if he packed on the pounds as well?

        • quite the opposite – looking very fit and genki – and his sumo is proving just that ;-)


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