Aki Day 8 Highlights

Hakuho 800 Wins

The mischievous spirits of the fall tournament came to visit nakabi, the middle day of the tournament. Their children – chaos, surprise and disorder – were supposed to sit in the stands, but instead went to play on the dohyo. Today was a day of the odd and the unexpected. Many rikishi tasted a surprising defeat, and some long-struggling rikishi claimed a shocking win.

Hakuho racked up his 800th win as a Yokozuna. The man is running out of records to break. There is a committee somewhere in the bowels of the Sumo Association working on inventing new ones for him to strive for. Seriously, the man is the Michael Jordan of sumo.

Highlight Matches

Aminishiki defeats Kotoyuki – Kotoyuki buys Aminishiki’s somewhat relaxed henka, and Uncle Sumo grabs Kotoyuki by the neck and leads him around like a prized calf, finishing him with a tokkurinage, a two-handed head twist down. Note this is the first time tokkurinage has been used in Makuuchi [since 1953 –PinkMawashi].

Takanoiwa defeats Takanosho – Newcomer Takanosho surprised Takanoiwa with a strong attack out of the tachiai. But he failed to block Takanoiwa’s left hand outside grip, and Takanoiwa took control, winning the match. Takanoiwa’s return to Makuuchi looks secure for now. Good to see him in proper fighting form.

Ishiura defeats Okinoumi – Ishiura wins, without using a henka!

Yoshikaze defeats Sadanoumi – After a pair of matta, Yoshikaze engages in some fine denshamichi-sumo, advancing strongly out of the tachiai and never letting up. Yoshikaze up to 6 wins, but seems to be fading a bit. Hopefully he has enough genki left for 2 more wins.

Aoiyama defeats Nishikigi – Aoiyama stays on his feet today, and begins the match with his favored oshi-zumo. Nishikigi manages to break contact, recovers and takes the fight to Aoiyama, who quickly lands a double inside grip and throws Nishikigi. A much needed win for Aoiyama, who was limping after the match. It’s clear that heavily bandaged left knee is causing him problems.

Ryuden defeats Hokutofuji – Ryuden hands Hokutofuji his first loss of the basho. Hokutofuji’s “handshake tachiai” ended up too high, and Ryuden was able to work underneath Hokutofuji’s high hand placement, forcing Hokutofuji back. From there Hokutofuji was on defense, and Ryuden moved to a double inside grip and advanced to the bales. That was what it took, and Hokutofuji never recovered.

Kotoshogiku defeats Onosho – Onosho goes chest to chest with Kotoshigiku at the tachiai, which its written on the safety card you are never supposed to do. I will say that it’s quite likely Onosho has complicated the recovery from his knee injury, and will need to take some time after the basho to get his undercarriage back to working order. Onosho was clearly frustrated following this loss.

Myogiryu defeats Tochiozan – Myogiryu got inside early and focused on center mass. Finding himself without options, Tochiozan attempted a pull-down, and released forward pressure. This was all it took for Myogiryu to prevail. The basics of oshi-zumo are simple, yet oh so challenging. Get inside your opponent’s defense. Focus your blows center-mass, and no matter how hard you are getting hit, keep them centered against your body and keep your hips and feet moving forward.

Asanoyama defeats Takarafuji – Hapless Takarafuji has nothing this basho, and Asanoyama seems to enjoy the struggle he provides much the same way an angler enjoys the battle with his supper. Asanoyama advances to 6-2 in spite of Takarafuji’s double inside grip.

Kagayaki defeats Chiyonokuni – Looks like both rikishi thought it should have been a matta, but with none called, the fight was on. Furthermore it’s pretty clear that Kagayaki landed first. Not one of the better examples of officiating this basho. [Grumpy sumo fan noises. –PinkMawashi]

Shohozan defeats Abi – Abi gets high in the tachiai, and begins his double arm thrusts to Shohozan’s upper body. Shohozan was free to attack underneath, and he responded strongly, knocking Abi off balance, and moved him backward. Never one to ease up, Shohozan continued to advance and Abi collapsed under the attack.

Chiyotairyu defeats Endo – Seriously, Endo seems to be completely wrecked right now. It’s a shame to watch him fight each day with so little power and so little forward pressure. Clearly his support team needs to Shanghai him to the nearest sports medicine clinic and keep him there for a couple of weeks. At least Chiyotairyu got to rack up another win.

Takakeisho defeats Kaisei – I do love how Takakeisho is not even slightly intimidated by the giant Kaisei. He launches full bore into the tachiai, and bounces off. Completely unworried and un-phased, the attacks. This reminds me of my cat, who no matter how badly he falls off the top of the book case, carries on as if it was all going according to plan. Takakeisho keeps up the attack, but his “wave action” is working perfectly to keep Kaisei away form his mawashi. During one wave, Takakeisho catches Kaisei too far forward, and he thrusts him down. Outstanding tactics from Takakeisho.

Ikioi defeats Mitakeumi – Ikioi, who has no wins this basho, who has never won against Mitakeumi, probably shreds Mitakeumi’s attempt to reach Ozeki. It was a pure battle of oshi-power, and Ikioi was generating more forward pressure than I have seen him use all basho. Mitakeumi was completely disrupted and couldn’t formulate or execute any response. If a winless Ikioi can spank you in under 10 seconds, your Ozeki bid needs some rework.

Goeido defeats Tochinoshin – Goeido “The Executioner” puts the iron to Tochinoshin’s struggle to clear kadoban. Any time Goeido gets to dictate the terms of a match, everything happens in fast forward. Goeido blasts out of the tachiai, gets a left hand outside grip, and never slows down. In the blink of an eye, Tochinoshin realizes he’s doomed and tries for some kind of pull at the bales, but he’s already out.

Shodai defeats Takayasu – This is the challenge with Shodai, like some kind of cartoon character, he can be this big squishy marshmallow man who loses all the time. Then, without warning, he transforms back into megazord Shodai and can dismantle anyone on the dohyo. First off, Shodai’s tachiai actually was lower and maybe a bit stronger than Takayasu’s. Takayasu had him in a nodowa, but decided to pull – Shodai was clearly ready for this, and took advantage of the Ozeki shifting his weight to his back foot. Shodai advanced, and drove his arms inside. Takayasu now gets worried, focuses on blocking Shodai’s grip, and loses focus on his balance. Shodai does not let this go, and drives Takayasu to the clay.

Kakuryu defeats Ichinojo – Kakuryu took his time, Ichinojo gave up at the bales. Ichinojo’s fighting spirit needs a refill. Kachi-koshi for Kakuryu.

Tamawashi defeats Kisenosato – adding further fuel to my “Kisenosato’s out of genki” concept, Tamawashi gets his first win of the basho against a flagging Yokozuna. From the tachiai, Tamawashi landed both hands on Kisenosato’s shoulders, and his legs never stopped driving. Kisenosato did not have the energy to stop him, to set up a defense or even really slow down the loss. Tamawashi’s nodowa out of the tachiai was instrumental in raising Kisenosato high enough that the forward pressure was maximally effective. Outstanding sumo from Tamawashi today.

Hakuho defeats Yutakayama – 800th win for the dai-Yokozuna! In true Hakuho form, it was over in the blink of an eye. The returning Yutakayama only had a split second to imagine himself giving Hakuho a vigorous fight, and he was sliding face first across the clay. Kachi-koshi for Hakuho.

17 thoughts on “Aki Day 8 Highlights

  1. The hands of the clock are at 2 minutes to midnight for Kisenosato. It’s not so much that he lost to Tamawashi, which can happen to anyone, but that he was completely obliterated by a Tamawashi who has looked completely out of form all basho. He showed no offence (apart from the matta), no defence, no anything really and that is no way for a yokozuna to fight. I’m sure that the spirit is still there, but everything else has gone on holiday to a boarding house in Skegness. I really don’t want to make fun of the guy, who is a hundred times the man I’ll ever be, but after being treated with great sympathy and discretion over the last 18 months he has to do better than this. If he can’t then its time to fold and get started on that training career.

  2. Amazing to see the 800th win, a record not to be broke any time soon. I did not liked the way he got it, slap/henka against an injured rocky. As impressive is Yutakayama he still a rocky the big boys league.

      • Perhaps not, it was slap and a side step. i still did not like it. Not that it matters, but i feel both the slap and the side step was unnecessary.

    • It wasn’t a henka. He met him with at least half a chest and went for the grip. A henka is when you try to completely avoid contact.

  3. Really enjoy this blog but you gotta proofread this stuff…every day is a comedy of errors.

    Seriously, the man is the Michael Joran of sumo.

    Newcomer Takanosho surprised Takanosho with a strong attack out of the tachiai.

    And I am adding this comment before reading any further…

    • Check your facts Alex. You have obviously never heard of Michael “Gummy” Joran, a man even now, sixty years on from his death in a freak smiling accident, is talked of in hushed tones as the GOAT of Lancashire Rat Worrying.

    • I try to proofread and correct these posts during the basho, but I don’t always get to them straight away. Hopefully it’s a bit better now!

  4. Still scratching my head over that Chiyonokuni/Kagayaki bout.

    Aminishiki’s look of relief when the result of the monoii is announced is priceless.

    The thing about Tamawashi and Kisenosato is that they are pretty evenly matched regarding height and weight, about as close as you will get in real life conditions. Kise could not employ weight and height advantage. With makekoshi staring him in the face, Tamawashi got below Kisenosato at the tachiai, pushed him up, and that’s all she wrote. Simple as that.

    I am really impressed this basho with how these lower ranked guys are bringing the fight to Kisenosato, making the Yokozuna sweat for his victory. . Up to now, Kisenosato has defended well and looked pretty good all things considered. Today, not so much. Maybe he was caught off guard?

    Still, it’s only half way and Kisenosato only needs two more victories to secure kachikoshi.

    The announcer made a point of mentioning, before the Hakuho bout, that Hakuho is not 100%. For a guy who’s not 100%, he sure looked good today! Hak looked bored or annoyed after his match. You’d think he’d be a little happier after 800 yokozuna wins. I’d be happy with that wad of envelopes!

    • Chiyonokuni/Kagayaki they just plain missed. The gyoji called it wrong, and I guess none of the shimpan saw it clearly enough to call a monoii, as it would have been an obvious reversal after video replay.

  5. A) I fear that Mitakeumi tweaked his right ankle when he landed on it after exiting the dohyo.

    B) Kudos to Ryuden for toppling the undefeated Hokutofuji. I’ve never seen him look better.

    C) Hakuho’s approach to defeating the less-than-entirely-genki Yutakayama seems to suggest respect for the younger man’s power and strength.

    • Ryuden mentioned something in an interview about wrestlers he can prepare for and ones that make him nervous because he doesn’t know what to expect (He mentioned Aminishiki).

      Now, in Hokutofuji’s case, Ryuden probably had a game plan before he even entered the Kokugikan, because Hokutofuji, much like Abi, does just one thing (and does it pretty well).

  6. Tochinoshin v Kisenosato is a massive match tomorrow, to say it’s a must win for both rikishi is an understatement

  7. Ichinojo’s knees often too busy keeping him upright, so they find it difficult to change occupation, dig in, and move him forward.

    +100 points for the “+100 points for the Skegness name drop.”

    For me, charm is much more important than spe!ling.


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