Natsu Jungyo 2018 – Final Report

Yes, we made it! Day 26 of this long-long-long Jungyo is here. Sit back and fasten your seatbelts, because today there is a lot of sumo action.

🌐 Location: KITTE, Tokyo


This Jungyo event is different than the rest of the events we have been covering. KITTE is a chain of malls in Japan. This one in particular takes place in the KITTE mall at Tokyo Station. And it takes place on the last day of every Natsu Jungyo (for the past 5 years).

In addition to being a fixed location on the schedule, the order of the day is different than a Jungyo day. For one, there is no keiko, only bouts and “okonomi” performances. And a “talk show” (on-stage interview) with selected rikishi – in this case, Tochinoshin and Mitakeumi.

In fact, the Juryo wrestlers did not participate in this event at all – except for Akiseyama who had a Makuuchi bout.

But this doesn’t mean there was no goofing around. Here you see Chiyomaru, Daieisho and Takakeisho. They got a huge fan, and play rock-paper-scissors to see who is “it” – the one who has to cool off the other two.

Turns out, Takakeisho sucks at rock-paper-scissors:

The event started with sumo Jinku, followed by an oicho-mage tying demonstration, featuring both Endo and Yutakayama – so that spectators in all directions can enjoy the view.

As you can see, a large part of the oicho-mage preparation process is actually getting the pomade (“suki-abura” – apparently binzuke-abura is no longer used) evenly spread in the hair.

Next, Sandanme and Makushita had bouts in the form of an elimination tournament. The Makushita brackets were:

  • Enho-Tochiseiryu
  • Chiyootori-Nakazono
  • Chiyoarashi-Kyokusoten
  • Ikegawa-Ichiyamamoto

Here is the tournament itself.

I’m very disappointed in Enho there. He really shouldn’t be imitating Ishiura, for crying out loud. Tochiseiryu takes care of him very quickly.

Kyokusoten is an example of an underachieving foreigner. He is a nice guy, has many friends, has decent English and a very nice shiko. But his sumo is meh.

The deciding battle is between members of the same heya (which can happen in elimination format bouts) – Chiyootori and Chiyoarashi

The winner of the Sandanme tournament won ¥50,000. The winner of the Makushita tournament won ¥70,000.

This was followed by the aforesaid “Talk Show”, whose highlight seems to be that while Tochinoshin’s favorite animal is the wolf, Mitakeumi actually likes pigs.

By the way, take a look at what Tochinoshin was wearing:

Do you think that he’ll get the same kind of flack that Hakuho got for wearing that “Mongolian Team” jersey in the Fuyu Jungyo?

(I don’t think so. First, those deadbeats probably wouldn’t recognize the Georgian flag if it spat in their eye. If Hakuho had a flag on his back rather than a phrase in English, they would probably have never caught on. Second – there’s no semi-organized effort to get Tochinoshin out of the sport. He is perceived as harmless, I guess).

After the Shokkiri, Hakuho had his rope tied. Note the symmetrical Shiranui rope:

Then came the Makuuchi and Yokozuna dohyo-iri. And then…

Sumo! Sumo! Sumo!

  • Hoktofuji – Akiseyama
  • Kotoeko – Okinoumi
  • Sadanoumi – Tochiozan
  • Ryuden – Onosho
  • Aoiyama – Ishiura
  • Nishikigi – Yutakayama

Onosho is here to win. Aoiyama is not even slightly surprised by Ishiura, catches him in mid air, and gives him the potato-sack lift. Tsuri-dashi, and Ishiura is frustrated. Please don’t do that in honbasho, Ishiura – you’ll find yourself in Juryo before you can say “hassotobi”.

And that was an impressive Nodowa Yutakayama applied to Nishikigi.

  • Myogiryu – Chiyomaru
  • Kyokutaisei – Daieisho
  • Endo – Chiyotairyu
  • Daishomaru – Takakeisho

Chiyomaru uses his famous stomach push. Daieisho with a mighty tsuppari. Daishomaru not even putting up a fight.

Now, the next set starts with Kaisei vs. Ikioi. Here is this bout in another video first – watch what happens when Kaisei lands on Shodai:

Poor Shodai. After being abused by Kaisei he is being further abused by the shimpan (not sure – is that Onomatsu oyakata?)

So here is the set of bouts:

  • Ikioi – Kaisei
  • Kagayaki – Kotoshogiku
  • Shodai – Shohozan
  • Tamawashi – Mitakeumi

I think there should have been a monoii on that Ikioi-Kaisei bout, but the shimpan’s attention was drawn elsewhere…

Did you see Kagayaki beating Kotoshogiku by… gaburi yori?

Shohozan continues his bar brawl style, and Shodai finishes this day very very frustrated.

Tamawashi has a really scary nodowa.

Finally, we have:

  • San-yaku soroi-bumi
  • Ichinojo vs. Tochinoshin
  • Kisenosato vs. Goeido
  • Kakuryu vs. Hakuho
  • Yumi-tori shiki

Ichinojo must have heard that Tochinoshin likes wolves. He came ready for the kill. Please, please, Ichinojo – that’s the Ichinojo we want to see in Aki. Not the Leaning Tower of Pizza.

Hakuho is back on the torikumi – well, it’s just the one last day. I have a hunch he’ll need to be kyujo again in Aki. Those legs don’t carry him, despite having lost a couple of kilos since Natsu.

Kasugaryu’s technique with the bow has improved! His behind-the-back passes are getting smoother.

Here is your final Enho in a black mawashi. May he never wear one again in his long, healthy sumo career:


By the way, this is what he looks like today – with his newly assigned tsukebito (Takemaru and Kenyu) and white mawashi:


Did Miyagino oyakata manage to find Enho a tsukebito who’s shorter than he is? Apparently so… but Takemaru is actually only 17, so this may actually change.

Jungyo over – and out!

18 thoughts on “Natsu Jungyo 2018 – Final Report

  1. Thanks for all these great posts. It really brings home to me just how long and busy these tours are. I’m pretty relieved now that the rikishi can go back to their stables and focus on their preparation proper.

  2. Herouth, many thanks for all of your hard work in pulling together these informative and good-humored Jungyo reports. They’ve provided me hours of entertainment.

    Goeido was one step ahead of Kisenosato at every turn in their bout. I suspect that’s how things will go for the yokozuna, at least when he’s battling the higher-ranked rikishi, at Aki.

    I was shocked to see Tochinoshin taking on Ichinojo with no knee wrap. Is this his new look?

    • No, I saw a keiko picture of his from today and he was definitely wearing his brace. Remember that Jungyo bouts are almost never treated as a life-or-death must-win thing like honbasho bouts. He most certainly didn’t intend to lift Ichinojo and carry him to the edge. 😨

  3. I enjoyed the makushita tournament. I knew nothing about Chiyoarashi but checking out his record it looks as though he has had rotten luck with injuries: a run of good results then kyujo, and back down to sandanme. He looked pretty good here, and he certainly enjoyed himself.

    Also good to see Chiyootori (the skinny one in his family) on the way back.

  4. Shodai gets knocked so loopy that it takes him five attempts to sit up straight. Not only does he get belabored by the shimpan, but two minutes later he has to get up and fight. Do the Japanese have a word for “head trauma”?

    • Frankly, I think most of this was exaggerated acting for the sake of the audience. Kaisei coming back and slamming his head on the partition was certainly a shokkiri moment.

      • Looking at the incident again, it does appear that they were just mucking around. I really should familiarise myself with Japanese humour. Off to watch some Downtown videos.

    • Sure looks like comedy to me. Shodai having fun at the expense of Kaisei’s 204 kg mass.

      Regarding head trauma, no. Sumo seems to not have an awareness of the concept.

      We could try “tikappu” – derived from the leafy poultice which can be used to treat any ailment.

  5. These great posts are a perfect dosage of sumo in between Basho. Thanks for your hard work and these great pieces. They definitely bring parts of the sumo world to those of us who can’t be there in person.

  6. Random question: what’s the story with the socks so many of the rikshi had on one foot? During the bout between Hakuho and Kakuryu, each had a white sock on the opposite foot O.o

    • Those are tabi – the Japanese version of socks (unlike western socks they are not stretchy, and are slipped on and fastened behind the ankles). Rikishi who have injuries in the soles of their feet are allowed to wear them on the dohyo. In Juryo and above the color is white, Makushita and below – black.

  7. Excellent reporting, as ever! I had to laugh out loud right after the Aioyama/Ishiura bout when someone near the cell phone camera says, “Kawaii,” or in English, “Cute.” On so many levels it is an interesting comment. Does this person understand sumo? Is it truly cute to see such a giant carry a powerful muscular man off? Ishiura’s head would have exploded if he’d heard it, assuredly! Is that cute? Frustrated at the cusp of Juryo and Makuuchi and being carried off like a baby….cute like a burning baby from hell! Perhaps he’ll cease using henka this basho and be kachikoshi without it, driven by the embarrassment of this bout, proving he’s more than a one trick pony. We can only hope. Gambate, Ishiura…Chan!

    • Not sure if the “Kawaii” applied to Ishiura, or to Chiyomaru who was getting up at that same moment. Even if applied to Ishiura, it may have just referred to his bow and descent from the dohyo. During the bout itself the only comment I heard was “Ah…kawatta ka” (“Oh, he sidestepped, didn’t he”).

  8. Thanks so much for all of these, very helpful for sumo withdrawal!

    Has there been any news about Chiyonokuni? I like him and was worried about his arm injury. Haven’t noticed him mentioned.

    • He was Kyujo from the Jungyo. I saw him in the rikishi Kai (sekitori meeting after the banzuke announcement) but there is no word about his condition.

  9. The angle above the match is fun just because it’s different than the usual NHK side view I’m used to. Shodai getting hit by the shimpan’s fan was funny. The shokkiri is a real fun part of the jungyo. Aoiyama’s midair grab of Ishiura was well deserved and well executed. I looked up the hassotobi reference and it has to do with a samurai leaping across 8 boats during a battle?


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