Natsu 2018 Jungyo Newsreel – Day 22

🌐 Location: Tachikawa, Tokyo

The Jungyo once again reached Tokyo – and not for the last time in this long trail. In Tokyo, there are all kinds of comforts. Like specially-branded ice cream (the blue lettering reads “Grand Sumo Tachikawa Tachihi Basho”):

Photograph taken before Ichinojo arrived at the arena

Not really. It’s a Joke. Fake news. Shame on me. Sad.

In Tokyo, apparently, you also get a full house even though it’s a Jungyo event.

Top left – the “Man’in Onrei” sign – “Thank you for the full house”

And since it’s Tokyo, it’s a good opportunity for kyujo rikishi to join the Jungyo if they can. One who went a bit under the radar (his name was not in the original kyujo list in the papers) was Takagenji, the more self-possessed of the Taka twins.

Another, more high-profile comeback is this man:

The hills are alive… 🎵 with the sound of music… 🎶

Yes, King of the Hug, Prince of the Chug, Kotoshogiku, is doing his stretches.

One notable absence, on the other hand, is Takayasu. I have seen nothing about it in the newspapers, but he has been taken off the Torikumi, and I could spot him neither in the dohyo iri nor in any of the official and unofficial still photographs.

Tochinoshin was giving reverse butsukari to Kisenosato. The Yokozuna is a conservative type, so he insists on having the full monty, monkey walk, and “itten” at the end.

Kisenosato usually does this with Takayasu who obliges him on the “full treatment” part, but Takayasu is not around, so he had to settle for another Ozeki. Tochinoshin obliged, but reverse butsukari is still not anything like real butsukari/kawaigari. Just compare it to the short butsukari Tochinoshin gave Chiyonoumi:

Suddenly the Ozeki is immovable and the throw is decisive.

Tochinoshin also joined the torikumi for the first time. No photo of the act itself (vs. Ichinojo, so I’m guessing no tsuri-dashi), but here he is doing fansa after his shower:


Nice towel.

Kisenosato also had san-ban with Mitakeumi. He won the majority of them, but still, where is the famous Kisenosato low stance?

Takekaze was having a discussion with Tamawashi. It seemed like they were discussing hazu-oshi (armpit push) and its counter-measures:


Hokutofuji, Enho, and Tobizaru engaged in synchronized calisthenics:

The okonomi of the day included drumming demonstration:

Yobidashi Fujio, of Isegahama beya, demonstrates

There was also a rope tying demonstration:

During the Makuuchi dohyo-iri, Chiyomaru gave a good natured back shove. Onosho pushed back. Chiyomaru stood his ground. Yutakayama, sandwiched between them, was subjected to inhuman compression forces:


You can see the whole scene here in the full dohyo iri (also includes Kakuryu’s):

Also note Ikioi and Tamawashi pestering Shodai in the East part.

Speaking of Yokozuna dohyo-iri, I’ll go off at a bit of a tangent here. Some of you may remember the huge wave of anti-Hakuho sentiment that washed over the Fuyu Jungyo following Hakuho’s 40th Yusho, with complaints about Hakuho’s banzai, Hakuho’s sore loser behavior after his bout with Yoshikaze, and then complaints about his kachiage and harizashi, and even complaints about him wearing a “Mongolian Team” Jersey.

Hakuho has since regained his composure (the Kyushu basho was when the Harumafuji stuff broke out, and he lost his best friend and apparently his social bearings). He has been on his best behavior since, asking permission for anything, expressing gratitude for everything, doing charity work and whatnot. So what was there for the Hakuho haters to complain about?

Ah yes. His dohyo-iri is ugly. He is unworthy of being a Yokozuna.

I’m serious.

They are complaining that he does not stretch his arms fully, and that he looks like a plucked chicken.

The thing is, Hakuho always had a style in which he stops short of stretching his arms, and then gives a sharp stretch, which has the effect emphasizing his moves. Only, it appears he is either getting lazy or simply can’t stretch his arms fully anymore.

Take a look at this dohyo-iri of his (from this event at Tachikawa) and see for yourself:

Compare to Kisenosato’s (and Kakuryu’s above). They are doing different styles, of course – Hakuho is Shiranui and therefore stretches both arms after the seriagari (rise). But there is still enough to compare:

Now compare to this dohyo-iri of his from 2016:

So, what do you think? Dai-yokozuna or plucked chicken?

OK, back to the Jungyo and its goofs. A little before the Makuuchi dohyo-iri, the Juryo torikumi took place. You know that old prank in which the rikishi who hands chikara-mizu to the next one mixes in some of the dohyo salt?

Well, Chiyonoumi decided to go all the way on that and handed Mitoryu a very salty ladle:

The prankster was very pleased with himself:

Apparently, Terutsuyoshi was all “I see your salt and raise you some dirt”. The victim was our poor Yago:

Of all the bouts of the day, I have only the musubi. For the first time in this Jungyo, we are treated to Hakuho vs. Kakuryu:


Yesterday I gave you a video of the dohyo construction. Today, I’ll introduce the dohyo de-construction. How is the dohyo taken apart?

We start with a slightly used dohyo:


The padding boards around the dohyo are packed away and the tawara are dug out and put to one side:


Then the side panels are removed, and the packed dirt is broken and shovelled away (spaded away?):


As the clay is removed, the blocks of styrofoam are removed:


Finally, the matting is stripped off and we’re all done:


Can you tell which Yokozuna this is?


(A little space left here to avoid spoiling)



Well, even if you can’t recognize his backside quite the way that I can, the rope tie is a dead giveaway. With Harumafuji retired, the only Yokozuna wearing a Shiranui tie is Hakuho.

But there are other corroborating evidence in the picture. Take a look at the tsukebito to his right. He is wearing an oicho-mage. That means this is Kasugaryu, they yumi-tori performer. Other than the yumi-tori man, the only non-sekitori to wear an oicho-mage are the Shokkiri team, and they are not Yokozuna tsukebito (it’s not a rule, I suppose, but they just aren’t).

So if this is Kasugaryu, the Yokozuna is Hakuho.

And of course, the tsukebito closest to the camera. What do you mean, you don’t recognize him? I’ve been putting a picture of him in each and every one of these Jungyo newsreels. Well, at least when one was available. Can’t recognize Enho’s backside? How is that possible? :-)

Of course, Enho is only temporarily Hakuho’s tsukebito. He’ll soon be a sekitori again.

Which leads us to our daily pic:

Two for the price of one: Tobizaru and Enho


16 thoughts on “Natsu 2018 Jungyo Newsreel – Day 22

  1. oh my poor Yago! hahaha – there was a live Insta feed from Daishoho, Mitoryu was feeding Yago something (looked like it was a satchel of wasabi or similarly weird) and it got the funniest reaction… If Daishoho gets back to me i’ll let you know what was fed to my little dragonfly….

    thanks for the stuff on the boss man! always fascinating reading – and yes, (sadly for me – or give me a pat on the back, not too sure ;-) ) i recognised all three from that reverse angle pic! good lordy! hahahaha

  2. Another fine (and fun) report from Herouth! A couple comments:

    First, I actually like Hakuho’s current dohyo-iri style. To me, it resembles a stylized version of actual wrestling moves (and not a plucked chicken).

    Second, is it just me or does it appear that Aoiyama’s unfortunate man-boobs have gotten even bigger?

  3. His dohyo-iri is indeed ugly.He is trying to imitate Taiho’s style of movements , but very poorly This is not Shiranui ( Watch Kotozakura ‘s dohyo-iri or Wakanohana’s , for a great view of shiranui style.)

  4. It seems Hakuho is going for his own style in some ways. He is allowed and it is expected to some degree. But, for me, the issue is less the look and more the feel. I don’t feel a connection. It is detached. It feels self absorbed and introverted (but perhaps that’s a bit too strongly worded). I look forward to to the upcoming basho to see his demeanor. However, if he wrestles like a Yokozuna I’ll be inclined to forgive mediocre ceremony, though they should go hand in hand. Heck, I’ll forgive most anything if these guys can stay healthy and finish a basho!

  5. From an aesthetic viewpoint, I think Hakuho’s dohyo-iri might be more pleasing if there was a better balance between the sword-bearer and the dew-sweeper. You have the enormous Kaisei on one side and the tiny little Ishiura or Enho on the other. As for the movements, I just don’t think his legs are in the best shape these days, so the slow rise from the squat looks a bit painful and inelegant.

    There is still no other wrestler who look like Hakuho from the back. Those huge traps bulging up from his shoulders are unmistakable. With that kind of muscle development you could probably smack him in the chops with a cricket bat and his head wouldn’t even move.

    • I don’t think he has much choice in selecting his tachimochi and tsuyuharai. Both have to be from Makuuchi, preferably from his heya, and failing that, from his ichimon (Though in certain occasions this rule may be broken, as in those dohyo-iri he did in 2011 to comfort the Tohoku survivors, where he was accompanied by Kotoshogiku at least on some occasions). That leaves him with Ishiura, Kaisei, Kyokutaisei, and the absent Takarafuji. And choosing the lower-ranked Kyokutaisei over Kaisei may be perceived as offensive.

    • As for the dohyo-iri, the question is more about his arms than about his legs. The “plucked chicken” simile refers to the way chicken wings look. Of course, the same crowd would say the shiko and seriagari are very important and bring Takanohana and Chiyonofuji’s amazing shiko as example. But indeed almost any Yokozuna nearing the end of his career has leg issues. If they didn’t, they’d stay Yokozuna forever…

      Hakuho used to stretch his arms just fine in the past:


  6. Regarding Hakuho dohyo iri … to me, it seems he has trouble stretching his left arm.


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