Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 23 (Oct 27)

early-morning
Early morning in Hiroshima

🌐 Location: Hiroshima, Hiroshima
🚫 Scandal level: 0

It’s the second day at Hiroshima prefecture, but this time we are at a huge stadium in Hiroshima city itself.

The sekitori arrive by bus, and seem rather sleepy:

For some reason, Enho arrives by taxi:

Going inside, first I would like to set your mind at ease. Remember Minatoryu’s bruised throat yesterday, after Ichinojo practiced his nodowa on him? Well, here he is the day after:

minatoryu-is-fine

No permanent damage, it seems. He smiles because the lady who took this photo is the same one who took the ones yesterday, and she specifically asked him if he was alright after yesterday’s tough practice. “I’m alright!” he beamed.

Let’s stroll around the arena to see what the rikishi are doing.

Asanoyama is stretching.

asanoyama-stretching

Not bad. Not Chiyonokuni or Abi level, but not bad.

Yutakayama uses Wakatakakage as a Teppo pole:

yutakayama-teppo-wakatakakage

Wakatakakage looks like he is resigned to suffering.

Takekaze is… posing for cute photos? Is this actually Takekaze?

cute-takekaze
Ribbit!

Here is Ichinojo doing (ouch!) Seiza again. He also does some fan service, but he doesn’t seem to be too concentrated on that. What is he looking at?

ichinojo-seiza

Apparently, he has been staring constantly at Wakatakakage, who was doing shiko next to him:

wakatakakage-shiko

Ah. That makes sense. I’d be ogling him too if I were there.

Chiyonokuni is having a bout with a mini-rikishi, complete with a plastic chon-mage:

chiyonokuni-mini-rikishi-1
Shikiri
chiyonokuni-mini-rikishi-2
Attack!

I think this is technically a matta.

Tochinoshin is practicing with Mitakeumi:

This seems to be a lot fiercer than their official bout the other day…

Tochinoshin also engages with Shodai:

Shodai circles and circles, but doesn’t seem to have any offensive plan.

What are the oyakata doing, you may ask?

Well, Futagoyama oyakata (ex Miyabiyama) seems to enjoy doing the duties of a yobidashi:

futagoyama-yobidashi

But Tomozuna oyakata just demonstrates what the Japanese word “kakkoii” means:

tomozuna-kakkoii

Tomozuna (ex Kyokutenho, of course) has complained on Twitter that he gained five kilos during the Jungyo. What is he talking about?

Here is a Jonidan bout for you: Takataisho (Takakeisho’s tsukebito) vs. Kotomanabe (probably Kotoshogiku’s):

Nice throw there. And a very energetic bout overall.

Time for Juryo bouts. And of course, time for the oldest prank in the book. Salt in the ladle. By the way, the other day somebody tried to pull that on Kagayaki. Kagayaki cooly took the ladle and emptied it directly into the spittoon. If they are breaking rules because it’s Jungyo, so can he. I guess that’s why you don’t see Kagayaki in any of the goofy pictures. He is just not the type to mess with.

But I wonder why nobody else realizes they don’t actually have to drink the stuff:

oldest-trick-1

Bravo, Gagamaru. Very original. And Wakatakakage… don’t put this photo on your resumé.

oldest-trick-2

Seriously, Enho, this trick is getting old. Even if you pull it on a newcomer like Gokushindo.

Not much material in the bouts today. We can only guess who is winning this one:

daiamami-takekaze
Put me down! Put me down! I have a fear of heights!

That’s Daiamami vs. Takekaze, by the way.

The only sekitori bout I have for you today is Takakeisho vs. Ichinojo:

Ichinojo shows up energetic. I guess all that Wakatakakage-gazing paid off.

The rikishi leave for the next destination, but Shohozan keeps up the fan service even when already on the bus:

shohozan-fansa-bus

And finally, your Tobizaru of the day, this time in full regalia:

tobizaru

Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 22 (Oct 26)

venue

🌐 Location: Kure, Hiroshima
🚫 Scandal level: 0

Let’s walk along the sidelines and pick up some rikishi photos. We have Endo practicing his very fine shiko:

endo-shiko

I don’t know who gave him that lash mark across the chest, apparently it’s not just a smear of blood, as it is there the next day as well.

Speaking of marks of injury, Ichinojo practices with his tsukebito, Minatoryu. And what he practices is his fearsome Nodowa:

ichinojo-minatoryu-nodowa

He then moves on to teppo, but take a look at Minatoryu’s throat:

ichinojo-minatoryu-teppo

Wow, that really was a killer nodowa… being Ichinojo’s tsukebito is a bit of a health risk.

Somehow, I don’t think Tochiozan would have chosen this photo as his OKCupid profile pic:

what-me-worry
What, me worry?

Impressive array of bandaging on that left leg.

Tomozuna oyakata takes a selfie with Takakeisho:

takakeisho-selfie-tomozuna

I think Tomozuna oyakata is one of the coolest oyakata around.

Here is one side of the Makuuchi dohyo-iri. From the NSK official account. And as usual, the dohyo-iri just can’t pass without some antics:

Kaisei is posing for the camera. Tamawashi – who else – messes with his mawashi knot.

Here is a fine shiko match between Chiyonokuni and Abi:

 

abi-chiyonokuni-side-a
Side A
abi-chiyonokuni-side-b
Side B

Konosuke seems to be enjoying the view.

Here is a summary video of the day, including:

  • A variety of keiko – bouts and butsukari
  • Jinku
  • Quite a bit of shokkiri
  • Juryo dohyo-iri
  • Drumming demonstration
  • Jokoryu-Chiyoarashi
  • Gagamaru-Tobizaru
  • Yokozuna rope tying demo (Kakuryu)
  • Meisei-Yago
  • Makuuchi dohyo-iri (and continuation of the Tamawashi and Kaisei saga)
  • Yokozuna dohyo-iri
  • Yoshikaze-Chiyoshoma
  • Okinoumi-Sadanoumi
  • Aoiyama-Hokutofuji
  • Abi-Chiyonokuni
  • Shodai-Endo
  • Takakeisho-Kaisei
  • San-yaku soroi-bumi
  • Tochinoshin-Mitakeumi
  • Takayasu-Goeido
  • Kakuryu-Kisenosato

No Tobizaru, Enho or Wakatakakage today, so your pin-up boy of the day is…

ichinojo-pinup

Ichinojo!

 

Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 21 (Oct 25)

The Jungyo is over. All the rikishi are gathered at Kyushu at their respective heya’s lodgings. The banzuke is out, some of the people you saw in the reports wearing a white sekitori’s mawashi have dropped to Makushita. And some of those you saw serving sekitori are now getting their own tsukebito. But I want to keep posting my Jungyo reports, and complete the journey – unless, of course, you think it’s a waste of bandwidth and sleep. Let me know in the comments!

gyoji-making-signs
Gyoji hard at work preparing signs

🌐 Location: Matsuyama, Ehime
🚫 Scandal level: 0

We have a lot of video action today. But first, take a look at Umizaru (“Sea Monkey”):

umizaru

He is from Miyagino beya, and serves as Enho’s tsukebito for this Jungyo (Enho’s regular tsukebito are Takemaru and Kenyu, but Umizaru is a native of Kyoto, one of this Jungyo’s locations, so he was assigned temporarily).

Umizaru’s main claim to fame is the gag that has been doing the rounds in the sumo world: he is said to be the third brother to Hidenoumi and Tobizaru, and thus his Shikona is a melding of theirs.

Even I fell for this story – mostly because Tobizaru is always happy to endorse it. In fact, it fooled even Abema TV, who put that little piece of fake news on their trivia blurb on Hidenoumi. Hidenoumi wasn’t impressed.

It’s a lie. The Iwasaki brothers – Hidenoumi and Tobizaru – come from Tokyo, and Umizaru, as we know, from Kyoto.

But don’t you think his eyes look a bit like Tobizaru’s?

Anyway, on to the action of the day:

On the side lines, Nishikigi uses Yutakayama for a teppo pole:

Yutakayama has really been abused this Jungyo. He should consider some breastplates.

Mitakeumi is having a mock bout with Enho in the hana-michi.

On the dohyo, Endo vs. Shohozan:

Ryuden surprises Kisenosato:

He’ll have a chance to try that in honbasho soon…

Fast forward to the Juryo bouts, and we have Enho vs. Gokushindo.

Whoa. Enho is trying to channel Tochinoshin.

Gagamaru is goofing around excessively. He interferes with Rikishi going down the hana-michi. He leans on Tobizaru – waiting to give him his water – as he goes up the dohyo, and then instead of throwing the salt on the dohyo, throws it at Tobizaru. Also does a tachiai in jikan-mae. Then he has this exchange with his opponent, Wakatakakage:

“How dare you win! I was supposed to win that. Why, you…”

🙂

Time for the Makuuchi dohyo-iri. Where are Nishikigi’s glasses?

Aha! Kesho-mawashi are convenient like that. Though interestingly he doesn’t do the same when he participates in the yokozuna dohyo-iri. Probably squatting puts some strain on the frame.

Now take a look at Mitakeumi and Tamawashi throughout this video.

First Mitakeumi kisses Tamawashi’s back, no less. Then proceeds to caress it, then gets down to Tamawashi’s tush. At some point Tamawashi warns him off, but he still messes with the Eagle’s mawashi knot, and so on, and so forth.

Nishikigi awaits his turn, and… stretches?

No, he doesn’t. It’s a Nishikigi sock puppet. Somebody is operating him from behind!

And as he comes back from his bout, fans ask for attention. Signs the first one an autograph. Waves to the second. Signs for the third… and only then he gets his glasses back.

That is, he did all of the above without actually seeing anything.

Myogiryu shows why he is at the top of the new banzuke:

Poor Shohozan…

Endo once again matches Abi’s shiko:

endo-matches-abi-shiko

And here is the bout itself:

Once again, Abi is doing Mawashi sumo, although I feel like diving through my screen, going through the Intertubes, and getting to that dohyo only to shout at Abi to get his freaking ass down. It looks like he is trying to keep it as high as possible. Why?

Shodai vs. Asanoyama:

Shodai drops on top of Onosho. Helps him up – but still gets slapped on the tush on his way back up. Yeah, things you won’t see in honbasho.

Here is the san-yaku soroi-bumi:

And a rather entertaining bout between Mitakeumi and Tochinoshin:

Signing off with both Tobizaru and Enho together:

tobizaru-enho

Tobizaru: “Have you seen? Somebody at Tachiai decided to make me a pin-up boy!”

Enho: “You? Hahahahaha… that’s rich…”

Tobizaru: “Hey!”

 

 

Kyushu Banzuke Forecast Postmortem

As Bruce already noted, the Kyushu banzuke has been posted. I have to say that this time I am proud of my forecast. Despite the difficulties created by the lopsided performances at Aki, I correctly predicted the exact rank and side for 30 of the 42 Makuuchi slots, including all 10 named ranks and 20 of the 32 maegashira ranks, which are much less predictable. Of my 12 misses, 6 resulted from exchanges of rikishi pairs in adjacent banzuke positions: Hokutofuji and Tochiozan at M1w and M2e, Tamawashi and Nishikigi at M2w and M3e, and Kagayaki and Abi at M6w and M7e. Two additional misses were also by half a rank: Yoshikaze at M5e instead of M4w, and Yago at M16w instead of the top rank in Juryo. I also switched Ikioi and Daieisho at M8e and M9w. The other miss, by 3 whole ranks, resulted from the obligatory head-scratcher by the banzuke committee. It seems like every banzuke includes one decision that’s impossible to predict, understand, or defend. This time around, it’s the wildly disparate treatment of Ryuden and Takanoiwa. The two were ranked at M13e and M13w for Aki, and put up identical 10-5 performances that should have resulted in similar banzuke positions. Instead, Ryuden is ranked at M3, as predicted, while Takanoiwa ended up all the way down at M6 and has every reason to feel aggrieved.

Aside from the easy named ranks, my predictions were especially accurate in the lower portion of the banzuke. From M10 down, my only error was demoting Chiyomaru in favor of Yago.

Unfortunately, all my close misses line up in such a way as to earn me exactly zero points in Guess the Banzuke, which awards two points for exact matches, a point for correct rank but wrong side (e.g. 6e vs. 6w), but, frustratingly, no points for other adjacent rank misses (e.g. 6w vs. 7e). Nevertheless, I tied my highest previous point total, achieved exactly a year ago. Apparently, Kyushu for me is what Aki is for Goeido 😉 On to the basho!