Day 5 – Bouts from the lower divisions

Toyonoshima – one win away from reclaiming his silk mawashi


Hattorizakura had yet another bout today, against Shishimaru. How did he do?

I recall that in the past, one of the members of the Tachiai team wondered if people were given instructions to be gentle with poor Hattorizakura before their bouts. Well, if so, Shishimaru didn’t get the memo. Applying a nodowa to Hattorizakura? Oh, the humanity!

Chiyotaiyo also had his third bout today, vs. Onagaya:

(Bonus bout: Shachinofuji vs. Tanaka)

This time, our string bean wasn’t as successful as in his first two matches. Nevertheless, it was a good effort, with a good belt grip and two attempts to throw his bigger rival. I think his Tachiai wasn’t as good as yesterday’s, though.


Here we have the oldest rikishi in the sumo world, 48 years old Hanakaze, facing the 33 years younger toddler, Wakamatsunaga. Hanakaze entered the sumo world at about the same time I entered university. That was when Chiyonofuji was at the height of his career, and Kitanoumi was not yet a Yokozuna. This was a long, long time ago.

Well, he can still do sumo, even if he can’t lift his leg for a decent shiko.


I have to bow before the penetrating analysis Bakanofuji delivered of Torakio’s sumo in the previous installment. Here he is, hurting himself again:

Out of curiousity, I decided to watch the bout of his stablemate, Sumidagawa, who has advanced to Sandanme in this basho. Take a look at his bout with Kotomyozan:

It seems that – although he wins this bout – he suffers from some of the same weak points that Bakanofuji mentioned w.r.t. Torakio: bending at the waist instead of the knees. Having an ineffective Tachiai. Which now raises the question: could it be Kotooshu’s fault?


Wakamotoharu, of the Onami brother, faced Ryuko today:

Tomisakae, the bouncy Isegahama man, continues to do well:

Tomisakae seems to have some bunny genes. His interpretation of gaburi-yori is a hop-hop-hop forward. He is now 3-0.

Sokokurai continues his careful sumo in an attempt to extend his number of wins as much as possible and get his sekitori status back quickly. Here he is matched with Kagamio.

Kagamio is the Sandanme Yusho winner from the previous basho. This come-from-behind win for Sokokurai seems to piss him off tremendously. He goes off the dohyo without a bow. When called back, he makes the most cursory of nods. The previous time those two met was in Makuuchi, by the way, in hatsu 2015.

Here is Nakazono vs. Gokushindo:

Gokushindo has a really nice, balanced stance.

Finally, the bout that made it to Kintamayama’s video today: Toyonoshima vs. Tomokaze (here from the opposite angle):

Toyonoshima is now just one win away from regaining his akeni, kesho mawashi and shimekomi. And the ability to provide for his family. Although only sekitori are allowed to get married, nobody forces them to divorce when they fall to the lower divisions. However, it’s quite a difficult situation, when you do not receive a salary, and are techically not allowed to live outside the heya.


Here is today’s Juryo digest:

  • Enho can’t seem to win in the day after a henka. Akua is really fighting for his life there. It’s not clear from this angle, but at some point in the bout – which started off pretty much the way Enho wants it to – Akua has his head in a vice, and he struggles and frees it. But this of course disrupts the entire attack, and he gets thrown unceremoniously  to one side.
  • Azumaryu is the bee’s knees this basho. Gagamaru seems on his way either to Makushita or retirement. He is past his due date.
  • Tokushoryu’s victory over Mitoryu eliminates the last Juryo man with a clean winning record. No zensho-yusho this basho.
  • Tobizaru continues his bounce back. Alas, at the expense of my Chiyonoumi, who will have to work hard to secure a kachi-koshi this basho.
  • Terutsuyoshi back to winning after two losses. Straight sumo, no fancy stuff.
  • That seemed to have been quite a mistake on Takekaze’s part. I’m a bit surprised they didn’t call it an Isamiashi or something.
  • Wakatakakage with a second loss in a row.
  • Kotoeko, just back from Makuuchi, is having a miserable basho. He will drop further down, I predict.
  • Yago goes for a belt fight with a Mongolian. And wins.
  • What a bout by Aminishiki! First he starts with a hearty tsuki-oshi. Then switches to the belt. Attempts a trip, perseveres against Akiseyama’s defenses, and eventually Yori-kiris him.


9 thoughts on “Day 5 – Bouts from the lower divisions

  1. A like it when the shimpan call guys back and make them bow properly. Also good about that bout was the lone Sokokurai fan holding up a little banner or towell with his face on it during the bout (she’s just out of frame in the angle in the above video though).

  2. When people talk about a “crafty veteran” or “wily veteran” using his experience to beat a better opponent, this Aminishiki-Akiseyama fight is what they had in mind. Akiseyama is younger, taller, heavier, and maybe stronger, but Aminishiki is quicker and has more experience and uses several different attacks before finding a way to win. A really great match.

    The mattas start at 58:40, the match starts at 1:00:05 and takes about 40 seconds.

  3. “Here we have the oldest rikishi in the sumo world, 48 years old Hanakaze, facing the 33 years old toddler, Wakamatsunaga.” Think you meant 15 years old toddler hehe.

  4. I appreciate the shout out, Herouth. As always, your coverage of jungyo and the lower divisions here is the most comprehensive and most interesting coverage anywhere, and in any language. Kudos.

    As for Torakio, I don’t presume to know the cause of his issues, but perhaps part of the problem is that as the two biggest rikishi in the Naruto stable, Torakio and Sumidagawa train extensively against each other. Since both employ problematic technique, neither is able to improve at a satisfactory rate. Maybe. (I do recall Kotooshu not exactly having stellar tachiais too, though. I guess wrestlers prefer to start from a grappling position, rather than charging into their opponent) I do think Oshozan from the same stable, although he is undersized and less talented, does a much better job of keeping his hips low and getting leverage on opponents.

  5. This Aminishiki … I had to watch that bout a few times. If I wouldn’t know better, one could almost think he is genki. Really great bout.
    Also totally rooting for Toyonoshima. Smart sumo so far. Go 7-0! ;-)

  6. Torakio definitely has a mechanical problem. I wonder how much it’s compounded by his injuries.

    Enho landed really poorly on his right knee. OUCH!

    I really felt bad for Takekaze. He had that match won and then disaster struck. I also am wondering why an Isamiashi wasn’t called. That seems the likeliest result to me.

    I am intrigued by Meisei, Terutsuyoshi, and Tobizaru. We’ll have to see how they perform in the coming days!

    Go, Aminishiki! What a fantastic performance!

    • Rikishi Hoshokin (Mochikyukin) is only paid to sekitori. It’s a bonus to one’s salary. They can gather credits while in Makushita and below (by getting kachi-koshi and division yusho), but are not paid the respective bonus unless they complete a basho as sekitori.

  7. I thought that Chiyotaiyo put up a great effort in defeat. He got himself locked up with a much bigger and stronger man but you can see him trying to think and manoeuvre his way out of the situation. And I like the fact that despite his size he does not do “little man” sumo. As for Hanakaze’s inability to lift the leg, he’s in good company: Hakuho only got his left foot about six inches off the ground today,


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