Let’s proceed with the past two days, which were full of events in the lower divisions. You have already seen Ura and Wakaichiro. Here are some others.
Tsukahara has won the Jonokuchi and the Jonidan yusho when he started out in Hatsu 2018 (Mae-zumo in 2017). But he got a little stuck in his next two basho. He is going for the Sandanme Yusho this time. In this bout he faces Seigo from Shikoroyama beya:
He also had a bout on day 7, and is currently 4-0.
Now we turn to the princes. First, the Duke of Tatsunami, Hoshoryu. Here facing Sasakiyama. At this point both are 2-0. Note that the torikumi committee regularly matches people with the same record – this helps separate the wheat from the chaff quickly and efficiently.
Sasakiyama returned after a long kyujo and went 6-1 in Jonidan and 7-0 in Sandanme (Jun-Yusho, with Kagamio winning the yusho).
Sasakiyama is not happy. But at least that kotenage left him in one piece.
The next is the Prince of Otake, scion of Taiho (and Takatoriki). He is already 1-1 at this point, and faces Sakigake with the same score.
Bad mistake there, and he finds himself facing outwards, and is respectfully led out. Serious setback, two losses in a row for a man with so many hopes pinned on him. If he doesn’t get a kachi-koshi, it’s back to Sandanme, as he is at the very bottom of Makushita.
I am not going to go through the entire Juryo, but I want you to watch two special bouts. The first is a mixed bout. Toyonoshima in Makushita is scheduled for a Juryo match. So he gets to wear an oicho-mage and throw some salt, which he hasn’t done for a while. It’s a bit unusual to be scheduled for the fourth time in six days, but hey, if he wants to be a sekitori, he has to be able to wrestle every day, right?
He is matched with Jokoryu – a former Sekiwake against a former komusubi. One striving to return to sekitori status, one just now having achieved that.
Since Toyonoshima is at Makushita #1, if he wins this bout, he is kachi-koshi and virtually ensures his return to Juryo for Kyushu.
With both falling about the same time, there is, of course a monoii. And a torinaoshi. Toyonoshima is full of fire. The second time around ends in a hearty uwatenage. Toyonoshima returns to Juryo.
The next interesting day 6 bout is not quite as emotional, but still brilliant. Enho – who else – meets Tokushoryu.
Enho goes for the Hakuho slap-and-grab. The grab doesn’t quite work, but Enho is unfazed. He finds Tokushoryu’s mae-mitsu, and at the same time secures a hold on Tokushoryu’s mawashi knot. The kimarite is shitatenage. But if you look at the replays, you’ll see that enho actually throws him with both arms – he needs a lot of leverage on that hefty guy. With this, Enho is level again, 3-3. His game is much improved over his first Juryo visit.
Oh, and there was something very odd going on in the Day 6 Juryo dohyo-iri. Take a look:
Three wrestlers are missing from the dohyo-iri, and come running in just in time to delay Aminishiki, who looks rather outraged. Perhaps because one of the delinquents is his own ototo-deshi (member of the same heya who joined at a later date) – Terutsuyoshi, accompanied by Tsurugisho and Daishoho. I’m pretty sure Aminishiki had a little talk with Terutsuyoshi after that.
The gyoji-announcer, however, smoothly adds the names of the three late joiners without pause.
Interestingly, despite being late for the dohyo-iri, Terutsuyoshi’s tsukebito (Midorifuji, in the top picture) seems to have retained all of his teeth. I guess there are ways of dealing with one’s own tardiness without spilling the blood of one’s subordinates.
(Yeah, I am referring to the Bakayoshitoshi incident).
Anyway, here is the day 6 full Juryo digest for your pleasure:
How can we pass up a Hattorizakura bout? Here vs. Kogitora:
In the previous basho it seemed that Hattorizakura has made a step forward, and started working on his staying power. Alas, this basho none of that seems to have remained. His stablemaster promised him a new shikona should he make kachi-koshi. I guess he likes “Hattorizakura”.
Let’s look at another Jonokuchi bout for a change. Here is one of the new recruits for Naruto beya, Oju, vs. Toya. Oju’s first basho in Jonokuchi has been a disaster, but take a look at this bout:
Oju looks pretty drained after the bout, but still goes over to try and help his opponent up (which Toya refuses). So he is a nice guy. But besides that, it was a good bout, and he kept his stance lower than his opponent and used his opening. He is now 2-2.
Tsushida, who was the Jonokuchi yusho winner in Nagoya, suffered a setback on day 6. So probably no Jonidan yusho. But can he come back? Here he is faced with Sakabayashi. Again, the torikumi masters match wrestlers with the same score:
So maybe no yusho, but Tsushida is still going strong.
Now, on day 1 I said Satonofuji looked tired and spent, and speculated that he may retire soon. But in fact he is having a lovely basho. And, oh, feast your eyes on this bout vs. Chiyotaiko:
In my opinion, that tachiai should have been a matta. But it wasn’t called, and Satonofuji finds himself in an awkward position. But if you think that the 41-years-old Isegahama man just accidentally came up with a clever kimarite, think again. This Izori is his 15th. The man has 36 distinct kimarite under his belt.
I still follow Torakio, but the man is starting to have a really disastrous basho, despite not being seriously injured this time. Take a look at this match vs. Yokoe. Both 1-2 coming into this match:
A lot of effort, but the Musashigawa man manages to unbalance the Bulgarian and Torakio is 1-3, very close to a make-koshi, and it’s not nakabi, yet!
At the bottom, the struggling Naya meets Shosei. Both 1-2 coming into the match. Shosei is a veteran and Makushita regular.
Naya recovers from his two losses and is now 2-2.
Now here is a familiar face we haven’t seen in a while. Yet another one trying to make a return to sekitori status, Chiyootori. Here he faces Koba from Kise beya, both 2-1 coming into this match.
Despite that huge brace on his leg, Chiyootori seems full of genki. Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce until the tachiai, and a yorikiri soon after. Chiyootori is now 3-1, and at Makushita 25, still has a way to go before he can start throwing salt again.
Finally, here is Sokokurai, who wants the yusho very badly, facing Gokushindo, who wants it quite as much (and there are other people in Makushita aiming for it):
This kind of bout is the reason why they invented tsuppari. Guys, stop circling around and tring to find an opening that doesn’t exist. Show some initiative. Sokokurai is very careful, tries not to expose himself in any way. This could go on forever, but Sokokurai makes the first mistake and loses his chance of a yusho.
- Chiyonoumi is having a real hard time this basho. His tsuppari attack is effective at first, but still, Hakuyozan is bigger and not easily moved by mere thrusts, and it’s the Kokonoe man who finds himself outside.
- Akua with his back to the wall. His bouts in the past few days are very fierce, even desparate. Tokushoryu is the winner and Akua is 2-5.
- Mitoryu started the basho strong, but weakened a bit as the days passed. Azumaryu wants to find his way back up.
- Jokoryu manages to turn Tobizaru around, but the monkey somehow gets back around and they both fall outside. There is a monoii, but the decision holds – Jokoryu “nokotteori” – he still has a leg inside.
- Enho tries to get inside, doesn’t find a way, but Seiro – back from kyujo – can’t unbalance the little pixie. Eventually, Enho achieves a straight oshi-dashi. This is the first time he manages two consecutive wins in Juryo.
- Gagamaru lifts Tsurugisho easily over the bales.
- Takekaze slams into Shimanoumi, but that doesn’t seem to impress his opponent much. He is soon sent out.
- Terutsuyoshi – half henka, gets inside Hidenoumi’s belly, and sends him out. 5-2 for the Isegahama pixie.
- Wakatakakage suffers a serious weight disadvantage in his bout with Takagenji. That was one fierce oshidashi.
- Kotoeko requires some time before he succeeds in forcing Chiyonoo out.
- Nice battle between Yago and Daishoho, which goes back and forth between the two. Daishoho tries a hatakikomi, but is driven out before Yago finds himself on his knees.
- Akiseyama once again switches mawashi color to stop his losing streak. Alas, this time it doesn’t work. Meisei somehow manages to keep in the black, while Akiseyama is 1-6.
- Kyokushuho doesn’t leave any opening for Uncle Sumo’s wiles. Aminishiki flies to the fourth row before the fans finish their first “Aminishiki” shout. Two consecutive losses for the Isegahama veteran, and he is now 4-3.
- Finally, once again, Arawashi grabs the mawashi and throws at the edge. Daiamami is down before Arawashi’s legs leave ground.
Juryo is crazy this basho. It seems the level is very very even. No one is 7-0. No one is even 6-1. And there are four men with 5-2:
- J4E Daiamami
- J8W Terutsuyoshi
- J11E Tokushoryu
- J13E Azumaryu
If Terutsuyoshi, the pixie with the sodium fixation, who only secured his kachi-koshi in the previos basho in the last day, is in the Yusho arasoi in this one, then as far as Juryo is concerned, we are in a Wacky Aki.