Short lower division report – Final Day

Tomokaze • Sokokurai • Ura • Mitsuuchi • Hatooka

Today I have little to post. For the sake of closure, though, here is a short senshuraku report.

I have a nice sandanme bout – Shohoryu vs. Kototebakari. Both 5-1 before stepping on the dohyo. We have followed Kototebakari through this basho, so no need to introduce this highly motivated wrestler to you. Shohoryu, some of you may recall, is known as Hoshoryu’s generic brand. That is, he is not Hoshoryu. He is also known for owning a sagari that looks like a hula skirt. But he is actually worth watching, because I have a hunch he will start making his way up soon, after wallowing in Sandanme for ages.

The reason I think so is that he joined Kakuryu’s team of tsukebito, replacing Gokushindo, who became a sekitori (yes, not for long). It seems that belonging to that team can have a good influence on one’s career – if you are coming to watch and learn, and not just to pull at ropes and wash Yokozuna hair.

Shohoryu manages to recover from that pirouette and get himself all over Kototebakari. You can see Kototebakari’s frustration.

Another bout that’s worth watching is the Jonidan yusho playoff. If you recall, Mitsuuchi is facing Kotourasaki. Mitsuuchi is somewhat more familiar with the large crowd, as he won the Jonidan yusho last basho and had to receive his certificate in front of the big time audience. Kotourasaki is a little greener:

Kotourasaki manages a good leg grab and leads surprised Mitsuuchi to the edge, but somehow, Mitsuuchi recovers and Kotourasaki finds himself dropping down. Very entertaining. Mitsuuchi gets his second yusho in a row, and it would be interesting to see if he can do the Sandanme yusho in Hatsu for a off-record “21 club” membership.

Now, at this point I would like to do the Juryo summary, but unfortunately, I do not have a digest for you today. If you want to watch the whole shebang, including dohyo iri and each individual shikiri, here is the video at Miselet’s channel (which means that it’s bound to disappear together with the channel at some point, my apologies in advance to readers happening upon this post in the future):

The only individual bout I have is not one of the key matches. But hey – we have been following Enho through the tournament, so let’s look at his final battle, against Kotoeko:

Our little pixie manages to finish the basho with a smile, after four consecutive losses. Still not back in his initial form, but a win is a win.

As for the key matches, if you recall, we had the possibility of a four-way tie for the Yusho. Toyonoshima had to beat Kyokutaisei to stay in it. Terutsuyoshi had to beat Chiyonoumi for his own bid. But Kotoyuki faced the challenge of actually going against the leader, Tomokaze, to create that chance of a playoff.

While Toyonoshima did win the required bout and finish the basho with a nice 11-4 score, Terutsuyoshi failed to deliver vs. Chiyonoumi. Too bad – Chiyonoumi picked the wrong time to start winning!

But both bouts became moot as Tomokaze eliminated Kotoyuki almost nonchalantly, eliminating the chance of a playoff at the same time. Tomokaze is the Juryo yusho.

There have been 41 cases in recorded history (read, recorded on SumoDB) in which a newly arrived man in Juryo has won the yusho. Many of these are Makushita tsukedashi, like Mitakeumi, Endo and Ichinojo. Those who made it coming all the way through Jonokuchi include Tochinoshin, Ikioi and Terunofuji. So Tomokaze finds himself in a very respectable circle, and we can expect him to end up in the upper part of Makushita sooner rather than later.

And just for fun, here is Tomokaze playing the piano. He used to be better than this, but he can’t really practice it too much these days.


And here ends my coverage of the lower divisions for this basho. It’s been a pleasure getting to know rikishi I have not met before and following those I have.

  • I’ll be keeping an eye on the guys who came in on mae-zumo this tournament. I’d like to see how much future Denpoya has at Isegahama, how fast Roga will go through the ranks, and whether Daitenma is going to join the elite Mongolians or level at Kyokusoten or Yoshoyama achievements.
  • I will continue to follow the two princes, the gap between whom is growing larger as future Yokozuna Hoshoryu pushes forward relentlesly. Will Hoshoryu be able to keep his clean record of kachi-koshi intact? Can he make Juryo by Natsu? Will Naya be able to catch up eventually?
  • I’ll keep an eye on Mitsuuchi and Hatooka, who are recovering from long injuries. How far can they make it?
  • I’ll hope to see little Chiyotaiyo eat more and break out of the Jonokuchi/Jonidan level where his size keeps him.
  • I’m really curious to see what Enho will come up with for the next basho. He hit a wall in the middle of this basho, but he seems to be growing between bashos and I’m sure he’ll come up with possible solutions. Please let these not contain a rain of henka. One miyagino man doing the Achey-Breaky-Heart on the tachiai is quite enough.
  • And I’ll be absolutely delighted to see my main man Terutsuyoshi appear on NHK G. Remember when Harumafuji prepared for that last yusho of his, and used Terutsuyoshi as practice target? When asked why, he told the press “I wanted to put Terutsuyoshi in the limelight”. Well, former Yokozuna, now he is just about to do it himself!

I hope you enjoyed this too!

12 thoughts on “Short lower division report – Final Day


  1. Thanks again for the great coverage Herouth! Man, Enho is quick! He should move up a couple of ranks, and hopefully he can keep improving and moving toward Makuuchi.


  2. Thank you for all the great coverage Herouth, detailed and informative. I noticed that you too have succumbed to the Hoshoryu / Shohoryu name confusion though 😁


  3. I think Enho is deliberately avoiding henkas on purpose. He absolutely could have pulled one out in the two matches after he was completely overwhelmed, yet he refused to do so.


    • At the very least, he is avoiding them when he is already kachi-koshi, which shows self-respect and respect to the spectators (and the opponent’s fans). I hope he sticks to this policy as much as possible, though I don’t mind an occasional one for kachi-koshi’s sake.


  4. Thanks for the coverage, it has been a real highlight for me.

    We ended up with four predictable champions who had slipped down the ranks through injury. Tomokaze exceeded epectations and I hope to see him in makuuchi in March or May. I did enjoy the Jonidan playoff: it was expected to be a complete mismatch but the little fella almost brought off the upset. Keep an eye on Tsukahara, the 19-year-old from Kasugano stable who got a 5-2 on his makushita debut.

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