Nagoya Day 10 Highlights

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With the completion of day 10, act 2 of the Nagoya basho is now in the books. Act 2 is intended to shape the yusho race to have maximum impact during the final 5 days of the tournament, and the scheduling team has had their hands full trying to reach that goal. Sadly they were not completely successful, as Mitakeumi continues undefeated, and the nearest competitor is at 2 losses. That being said, with all of the withdrawals, injuries and kadoban ozeki in Nagoya, there was not that much to work with.

On the subject of Mitakeumi, he is looking strong, confident and utterly in control of each match. As we described yesterday, as the final 5 days tick down, each day’s match will be less on the dohyo, and more in his head. If he can stay calm, focused and forget about the yusho, he may continue to shine. With his crossing the 10 win threshold on Tuesday, he has finally managed to turn in a double digit performance at Sekiwake, and is ready to try to rack up 33 and claim his spot in the Ozeki corps. Team Tachiai have seen this potential for a few years, and we hope that Mitakeumi has finally gotten the formula for success in his sumo.

Although I am not there, I am going to guess they got the air conditioning in Nagoya under some level of control, as there were fewer fans waiving in the audience, and they were not at the prior, frantic pace. Also most of the rikishi looked a bit more focused on sumo rather than their own sweaty misery.

Highlight Matches.

Tochiozan defeats Ishiura – Tochiozan picks up kachi-koshi over a hapless Ishiura. Again Tochiozan’s sumo is the acme of efficiency, really a joy to watch.

Hokutofuji defeats Asanoyama – Hokutofuji moves Asanoyama down a notch in the yusho race via some rather painful looking sumo. Again Hokutofuji is mind-glowingly low at the tachiai, and goes for the nodowa very early. Hokutofuji tries a pull down, and like all pulls leaves him off balance and breaks contact with his opponent. This mistake nearly cost him the match as Asanoyama endures a second nodowa attack, but breaks inside and begins to attack with purpose. But Hokutofuji improvises, and gets a grip on Asanoyama’s mawashi, and uses that as his handle to lift and move Asanoyama into a painful looking spread-leg fall from the dohyo. I think there is a chance these two might become rivals in the future. They are well matched in size, strength and skill.

Meisei defeats Arawashi – Meisei, standing at the brink of make-koshi and return to Juryo, finds another win, via a leg trip (sotogake) that looked rather improvised, but got the job done.

Kotoeko defeats Chiyoshoma – Another new entrant to the top division who, facing a demotable make-koshi, has found the drive to win.

Kyokutaisei defeats Onosho – Onosho picks up his second straight loss to someone he should easily beat. I might guess that his brutal match on day 9 with Hokutofuji may have injured him in some way. Kyokutaisei also is rallying now that his back against the make-koshi wall.

Yutakayama defeats Takarafuji – Yutakayama was able to set the pace and form of the match. Yutakayama kept Takarafuji away from his mawashi, and kept thrusting to Takarafuji’s upper body. Takarafuji came close to wrapping him up, but with Takarafuji holding Yutakayama’s arms, Yutakayama advances, and that was all it took. Some fine looking Yutakayama sumo today.

Chiyotairyu defeats Nishikigi – Notable in that it keeps Chiyotairyu in the 3 loss group, and was another example of “when Chiyotairyu is on, he’s dangerous”. Nishikigi looked vague and unaggressive today.

Takakeisho defeats Abi – Oh Abi, that double arm to the upper body served you well for a time, but now everyone has your number. He was able to apply enough pressure to force Takakeisho back, but with each attack his weight went more and more forward. It was trivial for Takakeisho to step out of the way near the tawara and let gravity teach Abi a gritty lesson. Abi now make-koshi.

Chiyonokuni defeats Endo – No yusho chase for Endo now, unless someone can get some dirt on Mitakeumi. Chiyonokuni’s attack plan was executed with exquisite timing, and dead-on form. I really like how Chiyonokuni has progressed, and as we face another basho with the kanban rikishi off the stage, many of the next generation stars are having their chance to impress the fans. In addition, Chiyonokuni really looks like he is having fun, and fans (myself included) really like to see a rikishi who love just being on the dohyo. (ahem, Asanoyama, Ura, Harumafuji, others)

Ikioi defeats Shodai – Ikioi took Shodai’s still second rate tachiai, and shrugged him to the clay. Shodai make-koshi and in dire need of the cooler weather in Tokyo.

Tamawashi defeats Kotoshogiku – They go chest to chest at the tachiai, and Kotoshogiku immediately starts the hug and chug, but Tamawashi had ensured that Kotoshogiku’s grip was tenuous at best, and steps aside to launch him into the Northwest corner of the crowd, where he hands on a little old lady, possibly injuring both of them.

Ichinojo defeats Yoshikaze – Yoshikaze will let no rikishi stop him in his epic march to a 0-15 finish. It depresses the hell out of me, but that’s how this is going now. Perhaps he leased out all of his genki to Mitakeumi. Perhaps he is sick and competes anyhow. No matter how you look at it, its not pretty. He gave Ichinojo a good fight, but seems to be operating, at best, 70% of normal power and speed.

Mitakeumi defeats Kagayaki – What I am really enjoying about Mitakeumi’s sumo right now is that his opponents have no clue how he is going to come at them. Today Mitakeumi went hazu-oshi, and I think caught Kagayaki buy surprise, with his center of mass high, Mitakeumi advanced and racked win #10.

Goeido defeats Shohozan – Shohozan was too far forward in the tsuppari battle he chose, and was frankly winning. Goeido stepped aside (as is his custom) and Shohozan could not maintain his footing, and is now make-koshi. Goeido needs one more win to clear kadoban.

Kaisei defeats Takayasu – A chest to chest battle of endurance, Takayasu has (in the past) been the master of this kind of sumo. He had an iron-clad deef left hand inside grip, which he favors. We have seen him nurse that left hand following recent matches, so maybe its not quite 100%. But Kaisei did not wait long to attack, pivoting to his left and rolling the ozeki to the clay for a kotenage. Takayasu needs one more win to reach the safety of kachi-koshi

23 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 10 Highlights

  1. What did I say about Kaisei not being a gimme? 😉

    That old lady seemed to be delighted to be Kotoshogiku’s landing pad 😆

      • All by yorikiri, and all looked pretty much identical. Granted, 3 of the bouts were in 2016, but the other was last basho. Mitakeumi will need all of his newfound genkiness tomorrow, and would be smart to keep Kaisei off his mawashi. Heck, it might be the toughest match left on his fight card, despite the higher-ranked opponents he has coming up at the end of the week.

      • i really think Kaisei will give him a run for his money – in the post day 9 match interview Kaisei knows who he’s up against and knows what he’s gotta bring – can’t be any more match ready. game on!

  2. Mind games for Mitakeumi – for sure.

    HIs schedule: with Kaisei on Day 11, and 13-15 spoken for by Sanyaku, I’m curious to see what the schedulers do for Day 12.

    If I were betting, I think they pass over the stumbling M5’s and bring up one of the M6’s. Maybe the one with the best record after Day 11?

    Either one would be good, but I’m hoping Chiyotairyu gets the nod. Endo might please more fans though – imagine the cushions if pulls off the upset.

    So, if a newly demoted Ozeki is Ozekiwake, does that make MItakeumi a Sekizeki?

    Enjoying this basho, even without the GOAT.

    • I’m guessing Mitakeumi’s schedule will be:
      Kaisei
      Endo
      Goeido/Takayasu
      Goeido/Takayasu
      Ichinojo.

      Obviously this could be upset by the unlikely event that Tochinoshin comes back to get his kachi-koshi.

    • Mitakeumi is actually an ozewake (without ‘ki’) in Japanese sumo jargon, a sekiwake who looks like he should be ozeki but can’t take the step up. Goeido is a sekizeki, an ozeki who looks like he should be sekiwake.

      By the way, the Day 12 schedule will be determined before Day 11.

  3. Tochiozan has spent most of the last decade either in sanyaku or the top end of the maegashira ranks. If you throw that dog a bone (by putting him at M13) he’s going to bite on it. He has looked dominant in his last few matches and if he gets past Chiyotairyu tomorrow it will get very interesting.

    If King Tadpole falls off the lily pad I now who I’ll be rooting for.

  4. In his (as always) concise and articulate summation of Day 10, Bruce made a wonderful comment about Chiyonokuni. It was about he really seems to enjoy being on the dohyo. And I find this to be very true, as well. Most of the guys are sooooo stoic and sooooo focused and sooooo determined that the matches seem to be a major chore for them, rather than a pleasure. You’d think the basho would be such a nice change of pace from the endless mindless hours of training and that fact would be reflected in their actions and attitudes in the ring. Even in their post-fight interviews, it’s usually always the same mundane comments about ”bringing their style of sumo to bear. It really is much easier to root for a guy who appears to be enjoying the ups and downs of the 15 days of competition. I particularly liked Kaisei’s interview today. Maybe, it’s his South American upbringing, but he brings a certain freshness to the proceedings.

    • agree with you there Rich. it’s nice to see a little personality injection. nothing better than a smiling happy rikishi! am looking forward to seeing Kyokutaisei’s post match interview when he gets his kachikoshi… too much? nah, dream big! 😉

      • You know, dentay, that’s one of the reasons I love Hakuho so much. He really seems to enjoy kicking butt and you can see the pleasure he gets from those wins on his face after every bout.

        • agreed 😉 and Kyokutaisei’s beaming smile when walking down the hanamichi! would love to see that smile back! you can tell he’s not happy with himself and frustrated with performances.

  5. One thing to bear in mind about Chiyonokuni is that he got the 2 fusensho from the Hakuho and Kakuryu. He’s enjoying life at 6-4 now, but he could have had a trickier time at 4-6!

    • When the banzuke was published, most of us seeing him at M2 probably thought that Chiyonokuni would be at around 2-8 at this point. Excluding the fusensho he’s still 4-4 against the strongest available competition and I did not expect that.

  6. I’m looking at Kotoshogiku’s face and thinking he got a really hard smack from Tamawashi’s head at the tachiai. When he lands on his feet at floor level he seems to sway for a moment as though he’s dizzy, and can’t stop himself from falling/pitching forward. Could have a great shiner tomorrow.
    Nevertheless, brilliantly played by the lady in the crowd — by contrast, check out the dismissive look Takayasu gets from the nearest judge when he can’t keep a stone face after his bad landing.

  7. It’s in the bag for Mitakeumi.

    Takayasu looks more injured every day so not guaranteed he will limp to kachikoshi.

    Question – will Yoshikaze be demoted to Juryo if he goes 0-15?

  8. That kotonage of Tamawashi is dangerous, it’s already taken out the shin ozeki, now its taking out little old ladies as well.

  9. The luxurious length of Chiyotairyu’s sideburns appropriately draws much acclaim. However, I noticed in his interview after last evening’s bout that Tochiozan’s sideburns have reached an impressive degree of bushiness! Could this be the secret to his success this basho???

  10. I think today’s match with Ichinojo should be brought up to his Oyakata. It’s absolutely unreal that he literally just stops, like he forgot he was actually in a match…why is this allowed and why is he not scolded for it!? You’re a Sekiwake showing absolute garbage performance and horrible sportsmanship. I absolutely love Ichinojo. He’s one of my absolute favorites, but this is unacceptable. If he’s injured he needs to take care of it, if he’s too heavy he needs to shed weight, if he’s lazy he needs to wake the hell up. If he fought at strength and didn’t give up he would be an absolute force in the Sanyaku. It’s really really saddening.

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