With the Banzuke published, team Tachiai took to Skype to discuss the upcoming Aki basho. Top wrestlers, genki report, ones to watch and the always regrettable predictions – this podcast has it all. Audio one is up first, with the video on to follow Thursday once we get YouTube to behave.
Thanks again to Herouth for her reporting on the Natsu Jungyo! Not only does it help mitigate sumo withdrawal symptoms, I feel like I learn something new about the sport every time, making it much more accessible. From the different forms of practice (keiko) to what the wrestlers do to kill time and horse around, to the way the yokozuna rope (tsuna) is tied and how their hair gets done. These jungyo reports are always something special so I wanted to call it out. I want to make it to at least one of these jungyo events next time I am in Japan.
If you want to re-visit the jungyo tour, you will find it in the “Features” menu along with past tours. I’ll also re-blog this next week in the lead-up to the tournament. It’s great to glean what we can of the fitness of our favorite rikishi. I am hoping all of our Yokozuna and Ozeki are able to compete this basho!
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:
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:
Ichinojo vs. Tochinoshin
Kisenosato vs. Goeido
Kakuryu vs. Hakuho
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.
Now, the Jungyo is over, the banzuke has already been published, and the rikishi are lining up for their health checkups. But there are still two Jungyo days left unreported! I shall not shirk my duty just because I’m a little late! Day 25, the penultimate event, here we go!
Of course, the important news to many of our readers is that Hakuho was back after only one day of hiatus. However, he was off the torikumi and off the dohyo in general – back to square one, so to speak.
The merry foursome from yesterday broke up somewhat, and only Hokutofuji and Tobizaru were still working out on the sidelines:
But who is the evil criminal who pulls Gokushindo back like that?
It’s… Nishikigi’s evil twin???
Now, let’s meet Shohoryu. No, he is not Hoshoryu, he is Shohoryu. And he is wearing….
A hula skirt?
A little bit about the sagari worn by wrestlers in Makushita and below.
Sekitori sagari (Kagayaki’s)
While sekitori’s sagari match their silk shimekomi (bout mawashi) and are made from a partially unwoven piece of cloth with the strands stiffened, low-ranking sagari is much simpler. It’s made of a stiff insert into which plain cheap-ass nylon cords are sewn. These have various colors – but usually only just one color per sagari. And an odd number of strands – 13 is a good number.
What Shohoryu is wearing is definitely not a standard sagari. It’s a fashion statement. Probably made by a loving hand (heavy strands, too!) I wonder if he’ll wear it for honbasho as well. He certainly didn’t in the previous basho – though this sagari may be new.
Shohoryu actually got quite some attention in this event, although he is not a Saitama man. He got some butsukari from an Ozeki. Seriously?