Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 1 (Oct 3)

🌐 Location: Ota Ward, Tokyo
🚫 Scandal Level: 0

It’s the Jungyo! Let the Goofiness commence!

The sekitori and their tsukebito eased into the Jungyo, starting the rounds in Tokyo. This time, at the Ota ward, close to Kawasaki.

That is, the sekitori eased into it. The tsukebito are a different story:

Kyokusoten shouldering Tamawashi’s Akeni

They have to do all the fetching and carrying – here showing the akeni, packed into protective tarp.

Wait, whose Akeni is this?


The name on this package is “Oyanagi”. Actually, it’s Yutakayama’s Akeni. They simply didn’t replace the name on the canvas bag when they gave him his shikona – which happened when he was already a sekitori. Generally, it’s best to avoid changing shikona when the rikishi is already sekitori – it means that his kesho mawashi and akeni become obsolete.

Here is someone who has been sekitori for a long time. Very long time.

Happy 40th birthday, Uncle

Poor Aminishiki always gets to celebrate his birthday in Jungyo. He did get an early surprise party from his loved ones, but the day itself is always spent away from home. Aminishiki noted that with post-basho events, Jungyo, and Kyushu basho, it won’t be until after Fuyu Jungyo is over – ending December 22 – that he will get his much yearned-for “Family time”.

So let’s turn to the Jungyo event itself. Here we see the sekitori coming to greet Kisenosato, one by one. This Jungyo started with all Yokozuna present and in working order, so they had a lot of greeting to do.

But unusually, the focus of attention wasn’t Kisenosato. The focus of attention in this event was Takakeisho, although he is not a local boy. The reason for this is the Takanohana beya dissolution. Of the three sekitori coming from that heya, Takakeisho is the only one participating in the Jungyo. Many people cheered him on. But not just spectators, it seems! Here is a piece of the TV coverage of the event.

First, the commentators focus on the fact that Takakeisho is still wearing a Takanohana yukata. That’s actually something I didn’t think was too surprising. Naya wears a Taiho yukata frequently. Hoshoryu goes around in an Asashoryu yukata. And they are still in the strict part of the banzuke. Why shouldn’t Takakeisho, a san-yaku sekitori, wear whatever yukata he pleases?

Further forward, moving through showing his participation in keiko and the fans showing him a lot of attention and asking for autographs, and talking about keiko and stuff, they show him greeting Hakuho in the morning. Hakuho usually all but ignores the sekitori who come to greet him – except his particular friends like Tamawashi etc. – but this time he stopped, turned around, and held on to Takakeisho’s arm in an encouraging fashion.

The news piece ends showing the first item that sold out in the memorabilia stands: “Gambare, Takakeisho” towels.

The event schedule went on as usual regardless of the Taka-no-drama, though. Here we have the Shokkiri routine for this Jungyo.

The Shokkiri team from the previous Jungyo contines into this basho – Ebisumaru and Shobushi. In the previous basho they alternated with another pair, so I’ll check tomorrow if they alternate this time as well.

Due to the many absences from Juryo, no less than three Makushita wrestlers were thrown into the Juryo torikumi to thicken it up. Jokoryu faced Ms8E Nakazono. Azumaryu faced the newly promoted Gokushindo, and Gagamaru, who is going to say goodbye to his sekitori status in the next basho, faced the man replacing him – Tomokaze.

I ran into only one photo from the Juryo bouts – Terutsuyoshi vs. Tsurugisho – and boy, I’m dying to know who won and by what kimarite, exactly.


Here is Hakuho’s dohyo-iri. Due to Ishiura’s absence, his dew-gatherer is Daieisho. This state of affairs is likely to remain so until at least Hatsu basho, as Ishiura will not be in Makuuchi in Kyushu.

Here are Chiyotairyu and Daieisho awaiting their Torikumi. This is a boring time for rikishi, so they are playing a game – one rikishi has to guess how many thumbs the other rikishi will put up. This game is actually more interesting when played with more than two rikishi, because then the answer is not just zero, one, or two.

Chiyotairyu guesses 1, but it was actually 0.

Of the bouts themselves, I have Takakeisho vs. Ikioi. Notice the announcement for Takakeisho: “Hyogo-ken, Ashiya-shi shusshin, Chiganoura beya”.

Poor Ikioi, getting no love.

And we have Kisenosato vs. Goeido.

What a struggle. I wish I had this from another angle to see what the Yokozuna was trying to do with his left.

Finally, by popular request, here is your daily Tobizaru!

“Of course I’m smiling! I’m the new Tachiai pin-up boy!”


26 thoughts on “Aki 2018 Jungyo – Day 1 (Oct 3)

  1. “Hakuho usually all but ignores the sekitori who come to greet him”
    On one hand I can understand, he is a busy man, but on the other hand I find this disappointing.

    “Ishiura will not be in Makuuchi in Kyushu.”
    I swear, much as I love watching him, his nickname in our house is going to become yo-yo for his bouncing up and down between Makuuchi and Juryo. Finger crossed that he is indeed back for Hatsu. I miss seeing him.

    “your daily Tobizaru!”
    Ooooo, he is cute. :-)

  2. I am sure there is a huge tough guy thing going on, but wouldn’t somebody like Aminishiki benefit more from bailing on this than going through another grind?

    • It’s not a voluntary activity. The jungyo is part of a sekitori’s job. If you want time off – you need to provide an appropriate medical certificate. Also, there is some extra money in it.

      • Lower back injury is easy enough to fake…I am just saying that, at his age, prolonging his career should be his priority and the grind of these things isn’t doing him any favours. If I was him I’d bail with a soft tissue injury that mysteriously vanishes come start of the tournament…

        • Well, that’s unethical. I’m glad he’s not the type. What good is a fake career you keep by cheating? It’s not as f he faces unemployment and his family starvation once he retires.

          One family member thrown out of sumo for cheating is quite enough. And he is going to inherit Isegahama beya at some point. What kind of example would that be to the youngsters in the heya who will become his deshi?

          • ok, this backstory must be in my sumo black out years – can u elucidate pls? which family member thrown out of sumo for cheating? how does he inherit Isegahama beya? either he’s related to someone or his wife is…. thanks in advance

            • His brother, Asofuji, was thrown out in the great match-fixing scandal of 2011. And he is related to the current oyakata – not sure what the connection is – son of a cousin or something.

  3. very nice Tobizaru pic – he’s extreeeeeemly photogenic to say the least AND he’s funny! this will be a marvellous celebrity highlight spot on the Tachiai Aki-Jungyo reporting ;-) and Takakeisho, i hope he’s feeling the love from all those around him – all the Taka-No-Drama has to affect them – and my feelings and support to the boys who have had their sumo/heya lives turned upsidedown. they will get there, but it’ll take a while for them to acclimatise and get used to their new situation. emotionally they’re all tied to Takanohana, so they’ll be a bit emotional behind the scenes for a while to come. and thanks to Hakuho for the acknowledgement and encouragement he showed to Takakeisho – that will mean alot to the young man

  4. Just for future reference, does the scandal level go from 0-10 or 0-100? lol. I’m still upset that Ryuden didn’t get any special prize and would give a scandal point for that alone. But maybe the half-life on them is 1 week and it’s gone by now. Love the Abi photo and the shokkiri video. Keep on keeping our sumo appetite fed with these jungyo posts!

    If others haven’t seen this yet, a fun test was posted to reddit/sumo where you can try to name all the rikishi from Aki based on their photo. https://www.sporcle.com/games/Gregrrr/rikishi_by_picture_aki_2018

    • It-s a scale of 0-10 (though maybe I should do it up to 7 like earthquakes in Japan). Anyway, it measures Jungyo scandala only, otherwise I’d have to include Takanoiwa’s damages suit in the calculation.

    • Tell whoever posted that quiz, to pixelate the rikishi names on their kesho-mawashi next time. This was way too easy. 😉

    • You mean the most recent merger? If so, then Takanosho can’t be matched with Takanoiwa or Takakeisho.

      By the way, it’s “beya” only when combined with name etc. The word is “heya” when standing alone.

  5. A couple of queries about the dohyo-iri…

    I thought that a yokozuna would select members of his own stable as attendants and that if none were available he would choose someone from the same ichimon. Daeisho is not from Hakuho’s ichimon but was chosen ahead of Takarafuji, who is. How unusual is that?

    Secondly, what is all the fiddling about the gyoji does with the fusa on the gunbai (the strings on the paddle). We get a much better view of it here than we usually do at a basho. Is it meant to show the cords unraveling in response to the mighty stomping?

    • Well, the custom is to get someone from one’s own heya and if not, from one’s ichimon. But there have been precedents for taking someone out-of-ichimon. I don’t know why he would skip Takarafuji, but it could be some other form of etiquette is involved. For example, Takarafuji has served as tachimochi for Harumafuji, so it may not be polite to require him to be the lower-status Tsuyuharai. Or it may be because he is the highest ranking member of his heya. I don’t have a clear answer for this.

      As for the gyoji, turning the cord as the Yokozuna stomps is supposed to be yet another means to cast away any evil in the dohyo. This is called “keihitsu” – “heralding”. It originates in a person that used to walk in front of high-ranking people like the emperor or members of the royal family, and turn a cord in a similar way, to inform people that a high-ranking personage is approaching, and prevent them from doing anything disrespectful. So the dohyo-iri keihitsu may also be considered a way of ensuring there will be no interference in the ceremony conducted by the (high-ranking) Yokozuna.

      • I bet you’re right about the Harumafuji connection. One of the reasons I brought up Takarafuji was that I had a strong mental image of him as a tachimochi, but I forgot whose sword he was carrying!

        Many thanks for the explanation of the keihitsu: I had never noticed it before as I would be focusing on the yokozuna.

        Sumo is a simple sport of endless complexity. And that is so Japanese.

    • I found this great video (or rather it found me on) on youtube explaining among many other aspects of sumo tradition also keihitsu. Funny enough a lot of the footage in the explanation shows Takanohana during his happy days.


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