I did not post an individual report about day 2, because frankly, there wasn’t much to write – even on the NSK Twitter account there were very few tweets about it. So here it is, bundled together with day 3.
🌐 Location: Ota, Gunma
🚫 Scandal level: -1 (yawn)
If you’re here for the goofy pictures, here is one by the surprisingly popular Arikawa, who is one of Kisenosato’s tsukebito, and despite his hair, is only 29 years old. Here he is accompanied by a rather demonic-looking Ryuden:
Maybe Ryuden was still upset by his earlier moshi-ai bout with Chiyonokuni, which looked like this:
For those of you who are new here: moshi-ai is a form of practice in which the winner gets to choose his next rival. This means that at the end of each bout there is a melee of rikishi vying for the winner’s attention.
There aren’t many rikishi hailing from Gunma prefecture. The most famous one is Satonofuji, but he no longer participates in the Jungyo. However, Yobidashi Shiro, the san-yaku yobidashi, is from Gunma, and therefore got to do the drum presentation today:
That’s more or less all I have from Ota. Here is a Tobizaru for you:
OK, now brace yourselves, because day 3, unlike day 2, was well covered. This may be because they packed a full house – they even had the “Thank you for the full house” flags hanging.
🌐 Location: Ashikaga, Tochigi
🚫 Scandal level: 0
There are two very popular rikishi from Tochigi prefecture: the Taka twins. However, due to Takagenji and Takanoiwa being kyujo they were absent (Takayoshitoshi is Takanoiwa’s tsukebito, so if Takanoiwa is not there, he is not there). Maybe the reason Kisenosato chose to give butsukari to Takanosho is that he is somewhat related… he is their new heya mate now.
By the way, of the three Yokozuna, two seem to be practicing on the dohyo at the moment. Hakuho, as usual, starts the Jungyo doing the basics at the foot of the dohyo. The two others seem to settle for doing butsukari at the moment.
Somebody brought in balance disks, and rikishi were given a challenge: do shiko on the balance disks.
So, if you run into anybody who thinks that sumo is two big flabby potatoes in diapers flapping at each other until one falls over – hand him a pair of balance disks and tell him to try that.
Shohozan seems to have brought his invisible golf club to the Jungyo:
Takakeisho seems to have received less attention than he got in Tokyo, which allowed him to relax and enjoy the jungyo. Like, for example, pestering Daieisho:
Also, for some reason, it seems he has never heard of wax or laser. Instead, he has his tsukebito pull his back hair, one hair at a time. 😨
Yeah, I’m serious. He actually returned the favor there, and they looked like a couple of apes socializing by picking nits off each other. Guys, please remember that you’re on camera out there in the Jungyo, always.
Here is Abi doing some san-ban. First, with Onosho:
Then, with Takanosho:
Abi is going for the mawashi. Again, and again. Other rikishi practicing:
As the day progresses, the torikumi begin. Again, because of the shortage in Juryo wrestlers, Nakazono, Gokushindo and Tomokaze wear oicho (well, Tomokaze doesn’t – his hair is not long enough, yet) and wrestle in Juryo. Somehow, Gokushindo seems to be way too happy about this:
So, Gokushindo takes the opportunity of his first appearance in a Juryo bout in Jungyo to play the oldest trick in the book – giving the waiting wrestler a ladle full of salt. You see, there is no chikara-mizu in Makushita and below. That ceremony is reserved for sekitori bouts.
Actually, he was taking a risk there, because his bout was the one following Nakazono, so if Nakazono won, he could easily have returned the favor with some interest. I guess he trusted Azumaryu (Nakazono’s opponent) to take care of that problem.
I don’t have torikumi from Juryo, but I do have this photo:
The report is that Aminishiki fought hard at the edge, but as you can see, Meisei is the one still on the dohyo at the end. And seems very pleased about it.
In Makuuchi, I want you to take a look at the musubi-no-ichiban. First, take a look at Hakuho’s final salt throw. He always does that in Jungyo. In honbasho he settles for a modest throw befitting a Yokozuna. But in Jungyo, he goes all Terutsuyoshi, much to the pleasure of the crowd.
But then, watch the bout itself. It’s… surprising.
Whoa, what was that? Kakuryu is all “Oops… Sorry, Yokozuna, are you alright?”, and Hakuho bangs the dohyo with his fist in embarrassment. I mean, a respectable loss by yori-kiri or oshi-dashi is not uncommon, especially not in Jungyo, where the wins seem to be distributed evenly between Yokozuna (well, Kisenosato didn’t get the memo, but that’s him). But a sukuinage? Or any other kind of throw?
OK, finally, here is a digest of the day’s events. Some Yokozuna dohyo-iri. Some Shokkiri. Ryuden vs. Takanosho, Kisenosato vs. Goeido, and a glimpse of that odd musubi-no-ichiban:
But of course, I won’t say goodbye without a final Tobizaru: