Natsu 2018 Jungyo Newsreel – Day 14


🌐 Location: Nanyo, Yamagata


The Jungyo continues to make its way north, and stopped this time at cloudy Nanyo.

Like the Nobori in the above picture, the rikishi were all over town – not just inside the venue. Onosho was appointed Chief of Police for the day:

Break the law on my watch, I dare you!

Ikioi went to a local charitable facility to cheer the residents. No pics – modest guy, I guess.

August 11th is a public holiday called “Mountain day” – “Yama no hi”. And some rikishi were showing appreciation for mountains, or rather, for slopes:


This quickly turned into this:


Note that in Japanese, practice outdoors is called “mountain practice” (yama-geiko). But this looks suspiciously more like fun than like practice.

Inside the venue, two Yokozuna who missed the previous day’s keiko reported for duty today:

He can smile!

Kisenosato apparently hurt his heel a couple of days ago. Yesterday he was excused from all activities and didn’t show up in the venue at all. Today he was doing some basics around the dohyo, and his dohyo-iri. No torikumi. He says the heel is improving.


Hakuho gave a more detailed report of his injury. Apparently no cartilage was found found out of place in his knee, only some soft tissue “lump” which he’ll be treating with medication. He has already begun, and will have to take it easy for a few days. He says it’s like “having a bomb”, which I guess means he wants to be very careful about returning to activity. In addition, he also received some treatment for his other knee, where he had an old injury.

He returned to his routine so far, which included light off-dohyo practice:

And also a rope-tying demonstration and dohyo-iri. Again, no torikumi. The only Yokozuna participating in the bouts was Kakuryu.

The star of the day was Hakuyozan, the Makushita yusho winner who is about to return to Juryo. He hails from Yamagata. This made him the chosen victim partner for Goeido for some butsukari:


Yes, Goeido seems to be back as well. I didn’t see any explanation of the nature of his absence.

Hakuyozan also became very sought after for fansa:

And the reason you see him wearing an oicho-mage in this video is because he had a Juryo torikumi as well, facing Homarefuji:


Here is another moshi-ai photo for you. Takakeisho is going all out to be chosen:

Look into my eyes… there’s only me… you cannot choose another…

Chiyomaru’s torikumi with Myogiryu. Apparently, Chiyomaru belly-bumps the veteran over the tawara. It’s called a yori-kiri, but only because the name hara-kiri is already taken:


But fear not, I shall not leave you with just stills of bouts. Here is a video which includes:

  • Sanyaku soroi-bumi (synchronized shiko of the participants of the last three bouts)
  • Tamawashi vs. Shohozan. Whoa, where are they going?
  • Takayasu vs. Mitakeumi. Takayasu continues his quick tsuppari barrange. This seems to be very effective against Mitakeumi.
  • Kakuryu vs. Goeido.
  • Yumi-tori, which was performed again today by the young Hokutoo. So you have a chance to get a first impression of him.

By the way, those makeshift kensho flags are another one of the duties of gyoji in the Jungyo:

Gyoji Kimura Satoshi

To wrap things up, here is Enho, this time with guest stars Terutsuyoshi and Chiyonoo:


19 thoughts on “Natsu 2018 Jungyo Newsreel – Day 14

  1. As someone who has dealt with a similar situation, I know exactly what Hakuho is saying when he says that it is like “having a bomb.” I’ve had little chips floating around my knee joint. Most of the time I didn’t feel them, but then – bam – they’d float into the middle of the joint and it would be excruciating until they exited that position. I was once walking normally and in mid-stride nearly collapsed when the chip moved to the wrong place. I assume the medication he is taking is something to hasten the disintegration of whatever is floating around in there.

    Once again, reading these posts is a real treat, Herouth. Much appreciated.

      • It sounds like, aside from possible medication to hasten the process, there isn’t any other way for this TO heal =-\ Surgery may have caused as many problems as it solved…

  2. I wonder how much game theory goes into thinking about how to approach these jungyo bouts for rikishi who are likely to face each other during the basho. Like, is Takayasu planning to use the tsuppari barrage against Mitakeumi at Aki? And if Mitakeumi works out an effective counter, does he test it out in a jungyo bout or save it for when it counts?

    • That was the best tsuppari I’ve seen in the last 8 months since I’ve started watching sumo. Abi needs to take notes. It was like E. Honda’s ‘hundred-hand slap’ from SF2.

  3. That was one hell of a stare-down between Tamawashi and Shohozan!

    And Hokutoo is looking pretty good.

    • Tamawashi’s grin before the bout began says a lot to me. There’s a lot of showmanship going on and he’s really enjoyed it. I also liked Shohozan’s “run-up tachiai” too. That was great!

  4. Who’s name is on the blue nobori in the foreground? And repeated on the yellow nobori in the background. It starts like B _ W _ . I tried to draw it in google translate, but I can’t get the second complicated character to match. It came out like Haku _ san _ . So maybe it’s hakuho? This has been a lot of fun following the jungyo from city to city. The gif of the rikishi rolling down the grassy hill was hilarious. I like seeing the features/festivals of each city. Maybe highlight a local restaurant with a photo of the menu/website or local food for those of us travelling vicariously. LIke Irori Sanzoku in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Pref. that I saw on NHK world 72 hours show.

    白鵬 翔 Hakuho’s name off his wikipedia page. Other than the first character I can’t see the match to the nobori.

    • The first kanji is 白 which I think means “white” and can be pronounced “haku” as in “Hakuho” . The third one is the 山 which means “mountain” and is usually pronounced as “zan” or “yama” as in “Yamagata”. The other 2 kanji have way too many strokes for me.

      I think it might just say “Mountain Day”

      • You got that far and didn’t guess “Hakuyozan”? He is the star of this event, after all. 😎 (Admittedly, that “yo” is not an easy one).

        • I might have got it if I had recognised the “関”. I was looking for a wrestler whose shikona had something after the “山”. At least I can now add “白” to my very short list of kanji. To me it looks like a box with an open lid so I visualise Hakuho jumping out of the top of a big cardboard box.

    • Hakuyozan,the home boy, has many nobori there. The kanji are 白鷹山. The same kanji spell the name of a local volcano – Shiratakayama – that lies between his home town of Shirataka (the first two kanji) and the event’s host town, Nanyo.

      Nobori usually display the rikishi’s name without his “given” name. Usually they are for sekitori, so they also have the added appellation “zeki” (関). They added that to his nobori, too, perhaps because he has already been officially promoted to Juryo, though in the jungyo he still participates as Makushita.

      • The Japanese language is so much more complicated than Chinese that it drives me crazy. I don’t know how anyone ever learns more than little bits of it. Just when you think you have something figured out, you hear an entirely different pronunciation of the same character. It’s just not fair for us gaijin to pronounce 山 as both ‘yama’ and ‘zan’.

        (For all I know, there may be additional ways of pronouncing that character. To me, who learned Chinese first, 山 will always be ‘shan.’)

        Are these different pronunciations of the same character derived from different regional dialects, as we find with the striking differences between Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese?

        • Oh, you just got yourself a dive into some real cold water… it’s a little more complicated with that.

          The pronunciations for the character 山 are:

          On-yomi: “san”, “sen”
          Kun-yomi: “yama”
          Nanori: “sa”, “yano”, “yan”

          On-yomi are the pronunciations that are derived from the Chinese pronunciation. Kun-yomi are the words in the original Japanese language, before it was influenced by Chinese (and before it had a writing system). And Nanori are pronunciations that are only used in names.

          Basically, when the Japanese adopted the Chinese writing system, each character had two characteristics that kind of clashed. First, it had a meaning – in this case, “mountain”. This meant that this character could be used to express the Japanese word “yama” in writing. Good.

          But it also had its Chinese pronunciation. Japanese and Chinese are very different languages, both in grammar and in sound. You simply can’t express Japanese verb conjugations just with ideograms. How would you use the character “行” for all of “iku”, “itta”, “ikimasu”, “ikaseru” etc. etc.? You needed a way to write the sounds that make up those differences. So the Japanese used what they perceived as the way the kanji sounded. So your “shan” is the japanese “san”. And Kanji were thus used to express sounds as well as ideas. Katakana and Hiragana were developed later – both derived from kanji. And they were only standardized in modern times. During WW2, Katakana was mostly used for what Hiragana is used today, for example.

          Also, many words were adopted straight from Chinese, like marriage – 結婚, “kekkon”, which sounds almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Chinese pronunciation of the same word. Because who knows where those reading it in text received the pronunciations of the two different characters, plus the Japanese contraction in the middle of it.

          (Historically, it’s even more complicated than that. The first texts written in Japan were neither true Japanese nor true Chinese.)

          A single kanji may have more than one on-yomi, meaning that its sound was perceived in two different ways because it was introduced by different people from different parts of China or heard by different people in Japan.

          Now, what about “zan”? Well, that’s a different phenomenon of the Japanese language – some unvoiced consonants (e.g. S, K, T) become voiced (Z, G, D, respectively) in certain word combinations. So if the word “kami” (paper), is put together with “ori” (fold), you get “origami” rather than “orikami”. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s quite common. “Morning” is “asa”. “Practice” is “keiko”. The combination? “Asageiko”. The character “関” is “seki” – barrier, as in “sekitori” (関取) and “ozeki” (大関).

          The thing is – the Japanese language itself is pretty easy. It has very few irregularities, very few actual sounds, and once you have the hiragana/katakana for a given word, its pronunciation is pretty much unambiguous (pitch aside). The problem is just the evil writing system. That’s why Baruto and Kotooshu, both fluent enough to be an actor and a TV commentator respectively, using the Japanese language, still write online almost exclusively in kana.

          • Wow! That was a brilliant explanation. I feel like I’ve spent time in Herouth’s International School of Advanced Japanese Linguistics! Thank you so much. I’m indebted to you.

          • Thank you for the Kanji lesson today. As I get more into Sumo, I find that learning some Japanese is the next step. I’ve been practicing my hiragana and now starting katakana. Using sumo to learn in small bites is manageable and fun. I like that knowing numbers let’s you quickly tell apart 序二段 – jonidan 三段目 – sandanme just from the ni and san.

            The way that 白鷹山 can be said as Hakuyozan or Shiratakayama is a bit confusing though. Kurt Vonnegut wrote an interesting essay about how fish should be spelled ghoti. (enough, women, motion) gh=f o=i ti= sh . So English has it’s share of peculiarities.

            My favorite new word right now is sumimasen すみません (excuse me, sorry, thankyou +10 other things) It just has a nice sound like om mani padme.

        • Nope. Those multiple pronunciations are pretty universal. My daughter is trying to learn to read English and Japanese right now. Hiragana is cake. Kanji is…harder.

  5. That’s why studying Japanese at high school was so much fun- all the differences in readings and pronunciations – that said these days u can second, third and fourth guess every combination! Sumo is great for my kanji practice!!!!


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