Nagoya Day 7 Highlights

Mitakeumi Day 8

Delayed but not denied! It’s time to go through highlights of day 7 of what has become a brutal basho. As noted overnight, shin-Ozeki Tochinoshin has withdrawn from the basho with damage to the big toe of his right foot. He will be out of action for the remainder of the basho according to doctor’s orders. That leaves us with the the kadoban twins at the top now. But even then, Goeido’s escape from peril seems uncertain.

There were reports in the Japanese press that the air conditioning in Dolphins Stadium in Nagoya is either broken or not up to the task of cooling the venue in the heat, which reached 100° F / 38° C today. The Nagoya basho is famous for being a swampy affair, but Japan seems to be getting a period of intense heat. So much so, the rikishi are not going to be walking in via the front door, as there is a risk to fans standing in the hot sun to cheer them as they arrive.

Highlight Matches

Hokutofuji defeats Kotoeko – Hokutofuji seems to have finally dialed in his sumo, and is executing well. Today’s match against Kotoeko was a great example of his brand of sumo, and Kotoeko was never able to set up any kind of response.

Asanoyama defeats Meisei – Asanoyama has been holding in the mid to lower Maegashira ranks for several tournaments, and he may be ready to take a step up the banzuke. His sumo has been very strong this tournament, and his match against Meisei was one-sided. Asanoyama got his left hand outside grip at the tachiai, and went to work.

Tochiozan defeats Ryuden – Tochiozan establishes morozashi almost at once, and proceeds to call the tune. Ryuden throws some great counter moves, but Tochiozan’s staccato hopping keep Ryuden from setting up counter attacks.

Ishiura defeats Aoiyama – Today’s comic relief is brought to you by Ishiura’s henka. Sadly Aoiyama went pretty hard into the tachiai, and almost made it past the tawara with his own momentum.

Arawashi defeats Nishikigi – Nishikigi opened strong but seems to be fading a bit as we get into the middle of the basho. Part of the problem was the near-matta at the tachiai left Nishikigi a half step behind. But he stuck with it and got morozashi on Arawashi, but could not put it to good use.

Sadanoumi defeats Chiyomaru – The bounce back from Chiyomaru’s belly at that tachiai nearly puts Sadanoumi on his backside before the match can really start. But Sadanoumi keeps his mind sharp and gets a shallow left / deep right grip and removes Chiyomaru from the dohyo.

Onosho defeats Yutakayama – I had to watch this match a couple of times, because Onosho does some wild stuff. Not Ura wild, but a bit of “what did he just do?”. I would call Onosho’s sumo today “hybrid”. It flowed rather smoothly from Oshi to Yotzu and back to Oshi. Yutakayama was always a moment behind trying to do something to adjust. Nicely done Onosho!

Chiyotairyu defeats Myogiryu – The kami in Chiyotairyu’s sideburns is really doing his job now. His sumo was strong, fast and unpredictable. I like where Chiyotairyu is headed.

Endo defeats Kyokutaisei – Kyokutaisei can’t seem to buy a win. Endo takes his time and keeps Kyokutaisei moving around in a generally rearward direction, until Kyokutaisei loses balance and steps over the bales. Endo made it look quite easy. He, schedulers! Give this man some tougher opponents.

Daieisho defeats Yoshikaze – I don’t want to talk about it. Whatever is plaguing Yoshikaze is breaking my heart.

Kagayaki defeats Takarafuji – As predicted, a lot of great sumo fundamentals on display here, and they both worked hard for the finish. It came down to Kagayaki getting the better grip at the tachiai, and try has he might, Takarafuji could not find a way to change it up enough to reverse the tide of the match.

Kaisei defeats Chiyonokuni – Chiyonokuni attempted to battle him head-on. In doing so he was putting so much of his on body forward of his point of balance it was easy for Kaisei to move aside and lead Issac Newton decide the match.

Tamawashi defeats Shohozan – Tamawashi seems to have come into this match with the intent of winning by hatakikomi. He kept trying it until it worked. Shohozan stayed highly mobile, and it was only a matter of Tamawashi finding a moment when he was off balance.

Mitakeumi defeats Kotoshogiku – Mitakeumi endures then shuts down Kotoshogiku’s signature attack. When Kotoshogiku stops pushing, Mitakeumi lifts him, Tochinoshin style, and moves him to the tawara. Mitakeumi’s the man to beat now. Some great sumo from him in the first half of Nagoya.

Ichinojo defeats Ikioi – The real Ichinojo mounted the Nagoya dohyo today, and his fans were glad to see him. Ichinojo landed a deep left hand outside grip at the tachiai, and absorbed Ikioi’s energetic pushes with all of the mass and immobility you would expect from a boulder. After his initial gambit failed, Ikioi decided to try and wear Ichinojo out. For whatever reason, Ichinojo kept backing Ikioi up, and deftly resisting Ikioi’s repeated efforts to change his grip. The match ended with Ichinojo lowering his hips and advancing strongly. Good sumo from the Boulder today!

Shodai fusen-sho over Tochinoshin – Shodai is likely glad for the shiroboshi.

Takayasu defeats Abi – I knock Takayasu for his tachiai style. But in the case of fighting a chaotic rikishi like Abi, the best approach is to just blow him away in the first moments of the match. Takayasu lauched into the tachiai, grabbed a chunk of crimson mawashi and sprinted like a man who had eaten prunes for lunch.

Takakeisho defeats Goeido – Sadly Goeido suffered a kernel panic, and in the process of trying to hit the reset button with his right hand, knocked Goeido to the clay. Seriously, Goeido is in trouble. He’s king of the surviving upper san’yaku and he gets turfed by a Maegashira 3. Granted that Maegashira 3 is the incredibly aggressive Takakeisho. Check out that pile of kensho!

19 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 7 Highlights

  1. Lots of days I really like Ishiura and his brand of sumo. Who couldn’t, the small underdog out wrestling the often times much bigger opponent.

    On days like this I want him him slapped down by a falling Aoiyama

    • Given the disparity in size, this was pretty much his only chance and a good strategic move. How was Aoiyama not expecting that though? All he had to do was stand up at the tachiai…

      • My thoughts exactly; smaller rikshi like Ishiura often rely on a henka, so if I was someone that tall fighting someone so much smaller, I’d presume a henka and plan from there.

      • Right before the tachiai, I literally said out loud, “Here comes the henka”. How Aoiyama didn’t consider it, I have no idea.

  2. I would love to see Mitakeumi on an ozeki run. So, I looked up last basho’s results again and he was 9-6 as a komusubi. If he does well enough this basho and the next to get to 33 wins, even though last time was not double digits and not as a sekiwaki, might that be enough? I know it’s not a hard-and-fast thing.

    I have another question, about the kensho. How far in advance do the sponsors pledge them, and what happens to their kensho when so many top & popular rikishi are kyujo? Do the sponsors decide whether to keep the money or reallocate it?

    • Not sure 33 would be enough, but if he gets the yusho and accumulates 34-35 I bet he gets the nod.

      • Hakuho got his Ozeki promotion with a 9-6 basho at Komusubi followed by a 13-2 Jun-Yusho and a 13-2 playoff loss as Sekiwake.

  3. Chiyotairyu reveals a third dimension, using the space he gained by winning the tachiai to grab a migi-yotsu grip, work his left hand inside for the morozashi, and complete the yorikiri.

    I remember when Mitakeumi was primarily an oshi specialist and we’d say that he needed to develop his yotsu-zumo.

    • Mitakeumi has really come a long way. He really opened some eyes when he handed Hakuho his only loss a few tournaments ago by beating Hakuho at his own yotsu-zumo game.

      Onosho might be trending in the same direction. He has uncharacteristically gone for the mawashi in his last two bouts, which has really thrown his opponents for a loop. Yesterday’s oshi-yotsu-oshi combination was a thing of beauty.

      Some of the tadpoles are thankfully developing their legs.

    • I’m happy when I can remember what I had for lunch yesterday. Or why I’m standing in the kitchen…

  4. I never thought Yoshikaze would break my heart but in with you, am heartbroken💔 Kyokutaisei is compounding my heartbreak-his sumo hasn’t been disastrous when u look objectively but he’s only unto his 2nd top tier basho and after a stellar introduction he’s up against tougher experienced sumo. He’ll learn from this♥️ and happy Tanjobi Hokutofuji💙🎊🎊🎊 fabulous basho for you-very happy. And hats off to Mitakeumi-keep up the momentum

    • Yeah, I am very sad about Yoshikaze. But glad to see Hokutofuji doing better, I was worried about him after the last basho.

      • Me too, sadly didn’t win this on his birthday (day8) – Kyokutaisei and Yoshikaze list again too – that’s a makekoshi for Yoshikaze with Kyokutaisei one more loss away from same 😭😭😭

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