This post was originally intended to be bundled together with the main Nagano event of day 8, as I wasn’t expecting a small town event in the same prefecture to produce much material. Turns out I was wrong. Lots of unique footage and amazing scenery. Enjoy!
🌐 Location: Shimosuwa, Nagano
Shimosugawa lies right on the edge of Lake Suwa. This means that today’s event involved the most gorgeous picturesque scenes you can even imagine.
The view towards the mountains was not bad, either:
Hokutofuji made Tobizaru look like a flabby couch potato:
And… I mean… Sunflower field? This place is like a pamphlet!
Wait a second, why is everybody outside? It’s a work day. Where is the venue?
Ah, this is the venue:
The sky could make René Magritte cry… But it’s a freaking tent. You know – a place without air conditioning. And the electric fans you see – they just help move hot hair from side to side.
Yes, electric fans and ice, again:
Yes, indeed, that’s Tamawashi with Sokokurai. Sokokurai is apparently out of kyujo and back in the Jungyo, together with Gagamaru and Takekaze who joined at Niigata.
Sokokurai brought with him a full entourage of Makushita rikishi:
Suddenly, four additional Arashio beya wrestlers materialized. About half of Arashio beya is at the Jungyo. I’m not really sure what this is all about. Well, I can understand why the Onami brothers (in addition to sekitori little brother Wakatakakage, big brother Wakatakamoto and middle brother Wakamotoharu) would be there – the Jungyo is going to pass through Fukushima soon, and they are the hot thing in their home prefecture. Fukugoriki also hails from Fukushima. But I’m not really sure what Kotokuzan is doing here.
The Onami brothers seem to be popular not just in Fukushima, though. For some reason, both of the elder ones were assigned Juryo bouts today – hence their oicho-mage, which their little brother, who is the one who should be wearing one by rights, still doesn’t have enough hair to have.
Shimosuwa is in Nagano prefecture. This means the Mitakeumi worship has still been going strong:
If you notice, he has been getting cupped again. Or again had a date with the M-113 creature. He had moshi-ai with aoiyama:
And this time, Goeido decided to give him his full attention. Here is a a complete butsukari session for you – seven minutes of TLC.
I’m not really sure why the spectators are so enthusiastic about seeing their local hero wallowing in dirt, gasping for air, but that’s sumo for you. At least there were no kicks.
Note Nishikigi-Mama cleaning dirt from Mitakeumi’s hair. :-)
Earlier in the day, Mitakeumi and Sokokurai went on a shrine visit at the Suwa Taisha shrine. Here is a bit of Japanese culture for you. They went to get a purification and offered a sakaki branch to the gods. And apparently, the gods also like autographs.
Aside from Mitakeumi, there was also sumo jinku:
I must say the heat is affecting the poor jinku performers’ voices. Or maybe it’s the acoustics.
A summary of the day’s events, including the Mitakeumi-Goeido and Kakuryu-Kisenosato bouts:
Speaking of Kisenosato, he switched gears in his dohyo practice today, and started having real bouts. He had bouts with Daieisho, Shodai and Sadanoumi, totalling 14, of which he won 12. The newspapers clearly say that Aki is going to be his “make or break” basho.
And an update to the Ikioi fans who have been following his fiancee the past few days: he was asked about her by the press. He said she has always been a very hard working athlete, and that she never thinks “Great, Done!”, but rather focuses on her next goal. He said that both being busy athletes, they have very little time to meet, but that whenever she is able, she flies over to see him, wherever she is. “I’m a lucky man” he summarized with a big smile.
To wrap up, there was no Enho photo today, so instead I give you Kyokusoten meditating under a tree like a little buddha:
Who is Kyokusoten, you ask? Well, he is Tamawashi’s brother-in-law. And I think he serves as his tsukebito as well in this Jungyo, as Kataonami beya is a little short on wrestlers who are over 20 years old and can serve as tsukebito (in fact, it has only three wrestlers all told – including Tamawashi).