Kyushu Day 14 Highlights

Kyushu Day 14

Brief update for the day 14 action: This was some solid sumo for a Saturday, and a fine set up for Sunday’s final. Also, remember that NHK World will be streaming the last 50 minutes of Makuuchi live with their “Grand Sumo Live” program. Do note, day 15 features less sumo, and a lot of coverage surrounding the yusho ceremony. Having now gotten to see the yusho ceremony in person, I have to admit I kind of like it. The wacky trophies, the tossing of the gyoji – good times.

Highlight Matches

Daishoho defeats Takanosho – Daishoho visits from Juryo, and gets his 8th win by testing the structural integrity of Takanosho’s right arm and shoulder.

Meisei defeats Chiyonokuni – Chiyonokuni remains consistently just 5% short of what he needs to win. I am a fan of the guy, and I like his sumo, but I keep hoping that he will find that extra energy to win.

Kotoshogiku defeats Okinoumi – Kotoshogiku gets his preferred set up, and immediately engages hug-n-chug mode, with its usual effect. Kotoshogiku is now at 9 wins, and it would be great to see him get double-digits in front of his home town fans.

Aoiyama defeats Daieisho – Aoiyama finally gets to deliver the pounding he had envisioned for Takakeisho. Daieisho stands there and takes it for a time, but then wisely decides it’s time to run. This only encourages Aoiyama who chases him down to finish the job. Good mobility from Aoiyama today.

Ikioi defeats Chiyoshoma – The Tylenol maximum pain match, both men look like hell as they crouch next to the dohyo, mustering the energy to stand and return to the ring. Chiyoshoma is now make-koshi.

Onosho defeats Abi – The first bout ended with both rikishi in flight and no clear winner. The torinaoshi (rematch) was all Onosho, who now has double digit wins. Abi is make-koshi with this eighth loss.

Chiyomaru defeats Kagayaki – Kagayaki continues to fade as Chiyomaru finally finds his sumo and his energy. Chiyomaru worked to stalemate Kagayaki for the opening moments of the bout, with great effect. When Kagayaki faltered, Chiyomaru drove forward with energy and force, setting up a flurry of thrusts that took Kagayaki out.

Nishikigi defeats Takarafuji – Count me as celebratory that Nishikigi picked up his 8th win. Granted it was in a No-kozuna tournament, but this is a real achievement for a man who had struggled at any rank above Maegashira 9 in the past, and had a constant berth at the bottom of the banzuke for the longest time. In the interview following his match, the reporter asks him how he feels facing Takakeisho for day 15. The look is priceless.

Shohozan defeats Tochiozan – Shohozan rallies after stumbling and having Tochiozan back him up to the bales. Another home town rikishi who has performed well in front of his fans. Tochiozan’s multiple attempts at pulling left him in a defenseless position, and likely cost him the match.

Myogiryu defeats Yoshikaze – Yoshikaze’s dohyo exit fall was broken by the yobidashi’s pedestal, more or less to the lower back. Yoshikaze, being the consummate warrior, gets up and exits the arena without any sign of pain or injury. But you know that had to hurt.

Hokutofuji defeats Ryuden – Hokutofuji’s handshake tachiai finds its mark today, connecting immediately with Ryuden’s neck. Hokutofuji raises Ryuden, and charges for the inside position. Now in control of the tempo and format of the match, Hokutofuji bats Ryuden around for a while before forcing him over the bales.

Ichinojo defeats Asanoyama – The Mongolian Behemoth shows surprising mobility today, delivering an angled tachiai against Asanoyama and rapidly landing a deep left hand grip. From this position, there is zero Asanoyama can do to resist Ichinojo’s forward motion, and the match is over in a flash. Solid, excellent sumo from the soon-to-be-former Sekiwake.

Takayasu defeats Takakeisho – Takakeisho was clearly on offense from the tachiai, and the first wave to break against the Ozeki blasted him backward and put him dangerously off balance. As Takakeisho set up the second blast, he lost footing at the same moment Takayasu pivoted, and Takakeisho could not remain on his feet. Nice defensive gambit by Takayasu that paid off due to fortunate timing. This could set up a day 15 playoff that would be for all the prizes, including a giant pile of mushrooms.

Tochinoshin defeats Mitakeumi – Tochinoshin lands his left hand grip early, and Mitakeumi has no leverage to counter in any way. Mitakeumi gets his 8th loss, and will vacate his long held Sekiwake slot (8 of the last 9 basho), just 2 tournaments after winning the yusho. Tochinoshin scores win #8, and does not have to fear kadoban for January.

23 thoughts on “Kyushu Day 14 Highlights

  1. This was actually a pretty lucky win for Takayasu. Not to take anything away from his ozeki skills — if he weren’t an excellent rikishi he would have lost.

    The tachiai was a draw, but Takayasu lost ground to the first wave attack. As the second was coming in his right foot slid slightly out from under him. That’s the lucky thing — if it hadn’t, he would have been hit more square and at a better range by the second wave. Instead he was slightly further away and rolling his left side around probably faster than he intended when Takakeisho hit. Because of this, Takayasu didn’t meet the second wave as strongly as Takakeisho expected; it rotated Takayasu fully off square but didn’t push him back at all. At this point Takakeisho was overextended, off balance, and out of alignment; his position might have been unrecoverable even without Takayasu’s hip-bump-spin maneuver.

    It’s hard to say what would have happened if Takayasu’s right foot had traction; Takakeisho might have been overcommitted anyway, and even if not, Takayasu might have battled back. But I think it left Takayasu in a better position than he would otherwise have been in.

    • They called the kimarite a hikiotoshi hand pull-down, but it looked like either Takakeisho went down on his own while Takayasu’s back was to him, or the hip check. I guess there’s no kimarite for that…

  2. Nishikigi kachi-koshi! Happiness. And his expression in the interview, looking like it’s such a cool honor that he gets to face Takakeisho tomorrow.

    Hoping Chiyonokuni doesn’t fall too far…

  3. Mitakeumi hasn’t necessarily lost his sekiwake rank: if he gets a seventh win he might just get shuffled to the west. And tomorrow he faces… oh well, never mind, nothing wrong with being komusubi.

    To be honest the lower sanyaku ranks for January are still wide open and the only certainty is Takakeisho at East sekiwake. After that it’s pick any three from Mitakeumi, Ichinojo, Myogiryu, Tamawashi, Tochiozan and Nishikigi.

    • I’ll try to run through the numbers and scenarios in my state of play post in a bit, but you’re right that it could be a mess, just like the makuuchi/juryo line.

  4. So now can we please call the mortuary and arrange for the burial of Mitakeumi’s Ozeki run? It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible! THIS IS AN EX-OZEKI-RUN!!

  5. Do we get to start calling Ichinojo a “bullfighter”? :D I really hope he continues to practice more agile sumo!

    There is going to be A LOT of “hot stove” discussion about the next basho after tomorrow! So many possibilities and questions!

  6. Glad to see Tochinoshin get his Kachi-Koshi, but he was not in good form this basho, and was fortunate that he did not have to contend with the 3 Yokozuna and Goeido or he may well have gone Kadoban. Hoping he heals up for January—

  7. Fun fact: With twelve wins from Komusubi, and a Sekiwake slot left vacant for him, Takakeisho is on an Ozeki run of his own.

    Another fun fact: Takayasu is now one win away from starting a Yokozuna run. He doesn’t even need to beat Takakeisho in the play-off; a 13-2 Yusho-doten may well be good enough.

  8. The last day of live coverage on NHK Japan is actually 90mins and not 50mins.

    The Aoiyama match was fun. I don’t think I ever see Aoiyama move so much in a match. :)

    Regardless of the yusho winner for tomorrow, it will be heartache for the runner up but probably more for Takakeisho.

        • Funny thing, when I looked at the schedule on line, I didn’t see it. So I though, Ok, it’s home network and went to bed. I woke up around 0240 to go to the bathroom and flipped the tv over to NHK and saw it on. Hit the record button on my DVR and crawled back in bed.

          I would not have thought to try if you had not said something.

          Arigato. Now to go see what happened while I slept.

  9. Given that the last matchup of Ryuden and Hokutofuji resulted in the latter passing out due to head injury, I was glad to see the match go smoothly this time.

    The look on Takakeisho’s face after he went down only mildly made my heart hurt….mildly…right…

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