🌐 Location: Nogata, Fukuoka
😛 Goofometer: ◾️◽️◽️◽️◽️
So, having only left it a few days ago, the rikishi find themselves back in Fukuoka. Well, not in the city of Fukuoka, but in the prefecture. Today’s event in Nogata is sponsored by Mochikichi, a long-time sponsor. So the event is called “Mochikichi basho”, and in exchange, the spectators get fluffier zabuton, yay!
A day before the event, while the rikishi were still in Nagasaki, two yobidashi were already in Nogata, to let everybody know that Grand Sumo is in town:
This is called “furedaiko”. The yobidashi also stopped and let people know what important torikumi to expect.
This tradition comes from the Edo period – when they would do these rounds from morning till evening on the day before the competition. Too bad they are doing it in front of a virtually empty mall here.
The next day, rikishi arrive at the venue – including one king and his entourage (Yokozuna frequently have special accommodation arrangements so they arrive separately from the buses).
Note that the impressive regal arrival is somewhat marred by the fact that the royal person has to lean on Kasugaryu’s arm to walk to the venue. Hakuho is certainly not in a good condition. Take a look at the scars from his operation. The leg doesn’t look swollen or anything – but still, he leans on Kasugaryu.
Hakuho took time to practice as much as he could, though.
Of course you know that the poor tsukebito on the bottom right is going to be in serious pain in a minute or so.
There were people other than Hakuho around the dohyo, though. For example, one smiling Yusho winner:
If you want to get a big smile from Takakeisho, just put him next to Daieisho.
Hakuho and Takakeisho also paid a visit to a shrine earlier on, and poured water on a “Jizou” – a protector Bodhisattva – for good fortune:
Back in the venue, here is shodai with a group of future rikishi:
The spectators seem to be younger and younger each Jungyo.
Let’s look at some practice bouts, shall we? Starting with Ishiura vs. Wakatakakage:
I guess he saves the henka for torikumi time. Next up – Nishikigi vs. Shohozan:
You’ll notice the bout is over before it’s technically over. This is part of moshi-ai, and I guess nobody wants to waste time on nearly-hopeless tawara dances. Shohozan had him in a very firm morozashi.
Up next, the tadpole buddies, Takakeisho and Onosho:
Remember when Onosho was the stronger one of the two?
It’s lunch time, and we have Wakamotoharu in the company of Mr. and Mrs. Chanko.
I wonder if those are for him, or if he’s taking one for his brother. Or maybe, both are for Wakatakakage. After all – sekitori eat first.
Dohyo-iri time, and Tamawashi, as usual, can’t keep his hands to himself:
Surprisingly, this gives Hokutofuji, who is right behind him, an idea what to do with his own arms:
Aha, Tamawashi! See how that feels?
Moving on to bout time, and here are a couple of diligent emergency rescue team members:
OK, maybe not so diligent. But the sign behind them definitely says they are the emergency rescue team members. Anybody feels like being rescued by Abi (わら)?
I have a couple of half-bouts to share. Sorry, apparently this sumo fan doesn’t think a tachiai is an important part of a sumo bout. :-(
Kotoshogiku vs. Endo:
Once again, Endo gets to face the local favorite. Kotoshogiku doesn’t even have to engage in chug mode.
Shohozan vs. Takakeisho:
Hey, isn’t that the same morozashi Shohozan practice in that keiko match vs. Nishikigi earlier? Takakeisho tries the arm lock, but to no avail.
This next one is actually a Juryo bout, but I saved it for last, because, well, wow. Presenting Enho vs. Takekaze:
Wow. Just, Wow. In the last measurement, Enho weighed 97kg. Takekaze was 150kg.
And so, the Nogata event ends, and all the rikishi go back on their buses:
What, did you think I’d leave you without any pin-up rikishi for the day? That wouldn’t do. Here is Tobizaru, and he is, apparently, hot.
Note: My schedule has been taken over by, well, life. So don’t expect the next installment before Friday. Thank you for your patience!