Hello Tachiai readers! We’ve attempted a live-blog today to celebrate the live broadcast on NHK and the first day of the basho, but since we’re so full of content, here’s a bonus wrap-up of today’s Juryo results.
The Juryo dohyo-iri is pretty sobering. Seeing Takekaze and Arawashi at the start of the Juryo ring entrance shows just how far some of the long time staples of the top division have fallen. Of course, others who we’ve tracked on this site for as long have fallen out of the top two divisions entirely or retired.
Gagamaru defeats Kiribayama – With Daisedo’s loss earlier, Kiribayama has an enormous opportunity to take a step towards a debut appearance as a sekitori. Gagamaru tries a number of pulling manoeuvres and it takes everything for Kiribayama to evade them. On the third slap and pull attempt he loses his balance entirely and ends up slipping and falling on his back in what’s ruled an oshitaoshi. Big first win for Gagamaru and now of course while there’s plenty of time, Kotodaigo is in the promotion driver’s seat.
Chiyonoumi defeats Jokoryu – Chiyonoumi is amped AF to get a piece of ol’ Jokoryu. It’s a fairly good grapple here, and Jokoryu tries a desperation left hand roundhouse but Chiyonoumi has this match under control and dances the veteran 180 degrees around the edge of the dohyo before working him out. Jokoryu desperately wanted the grip he couldn’t land at the beginning but Chiyonoumi kept it an oshi-battle and got his reward. He appears to have aged about 10 years by the end of the bout as he holds the chikara-mizu for Kyokushuho.
Kyokushuho defeats Sokokurai – Sokokurai shows some good resolve after being driven straight back, but Kyokushuho has all the momentum and works him out fairly easily. Quick one.
Tsurugisho defeats Takekaze – Takekaze hasn’t fought a bout below Juryo level in well over 16 years, but after three straight losing tournaments he desperately needs a good start or else he’s going to be in big trouble down at J12. Tsurugisho isn’t so much good in this match as he just avoided being bad. Takekaze launches forward, but can’t land a grip or get much traction with his pushing attack and Tsurugisho just takes advantage of his forward momentum and hits the slap down, sending him one black star closer to the barber’s. These are the matches Takekaze has got to win if he wants any chance of staying up.
Shimanoumi defeats Tobizaru – Tobizaru has got a banana coloured mawashi and it does not give him any luck at all. While he gets the better of the tachiai against Shimanoumi, it gets a bit ugly after that as Shimanoumi doesn’t so much land a grip or a thrusting attack so much as move his man back through sheer force. Tobizaru can’t keep his footwork (which seems to be an issue for a number of rikishi today) and after being spun around, Shimanoumi launches him about 5 rows deep into the box seats.
Mitoryu defeats Arawashi – Mitoryu vs Arawashi is a battle of two Mongolians at vastly different stages of their careers. Arawashi has been on a one-way track toward the sekitori exit door lately, while Mitoryu was making good progress until being hampered by injury. He lands a massive hit at the tachiai and instantly gets a left hand outside grip which he uses to usher the much lighter Arawashi directly out. It’s over in seconds. Fantastic sumo from Mitoryu, although he may not have a more generous opponent this entire basho.
Kyokutaisei defeats Hidenoumi – Hidenoumi is a man whose pink mawashi has luminous qualities. He typically does not have the pizazz of a rikishi who sports a pink mawashi however. This match against Kyokutaisei is much of a muchness until movie star Kyokutaisei grabs his arm and flings him toward the edge. After that, the Hokkaido man just needs a simple push for the win.
Enho defeats Akiseyama – Enho v Akiseyama is one of those unlikely rivalries but even early in Enho’s short career I feel like I’ve seen the little man fight the unwieldy man a million times. In truth this is their fourth matchup, and the previous three all ended pretty roughly for Enho, who has been hanging out at Team Haleo protein events with Ishiura lately. After a matta, an awesome match breaks out, and it’s easily the highlight of the division so far. Enho tries to get in low and ends up with fistfuls of all kinds of unmentionables. If you’ve seen Akiseyama you’ll understand that it’s difficult to get any kind of purchase by landing a grip anywhere on the veteran’s body itself. Akiseyama himself tries to land a grip, but can’t and as Enho breaks his attempt, he manages to get Akiseyama high and pushes him back to the bales, before throwing him down face first with a shitatedashinage. Lovely stuff, and Enho’s first win against the big guy.
Chiyomaru defeats Azumaryu – Chiyomaru wins an epic against Azumaryu, but I’m not sure how much he deserved it. He goes for the throat attack straight from the tachiai but in so doing gives up a strong front grip to Azumaryu who looks to be in control for most of the battle. Chiyomaru manages to spin him around and tries to use his enormous belly to push Azumaryu out, then pulls all the way back across the dohyo and seems to almost too easily escort Azumaryu over the bales. It’s kind of a damp ending to what had been a feisty battle – it just looked like Azumaryu ran out of gas from trying to move Chiyomaru.
Hakuyozan defeats Toyonoshima – Hakuyozan wins this by oshidashi, which is impressive as Toyonoshima, for such a big man, was able to get both arms inside of Hakuyozan’s armpits very quickly straight from the tachiai. Once Hakuyozan locked his arms up however, it was pretty much game over and the handicapped veteran had no choice but to get shoved out at the edge for an oshidashi. The young Hakuyozan looks to have adapted well to this level.
Tokushoryu defeats Wakatakakage – It’s a matta to start the match from Tokushoryu, who looks somewhat embarrassed, although he always kind of has that look in truth. It feels like he takes himself an age to get sorted after the matta but whatever he did to compose himself must have worked as he tosses down Wakatakakage fairly quick after the restart. A workmanlike win, which is followed by a break in the action and a network switch.
As we’re waiting for the restart on NHK G, the feed cuts to a shot of Kisenosato’s yusho portrait hanging from the rafters of Kokugikan. Although I remember those moments well, his back to back championships feel like a lifetime ago.
Tomokaze defeats Ishiura – Ishiura is now rocking a gold mawashi and looks in good shape up against reigning Juryo champion and noted “big bopper” Tomokaze whose facial expressions in the pre-match sort of make him look like a Goeido/Kakuryu love child. But this isn’t that kind of website, so stop thinking about that right now. Ishiura tries, as usual, to get in low at the tachiai but Tomokaze keeps the smaller man at arm’s length throughout the entirety of this match. Tomokaze lands several thrusts to Ishiura’s upper body and there’s just nowhere to go for the Miyagino-beya man but out. This is a solid start to Tomokaze’s yusho defence as he begins his assault for promotion to Makuuchi.
Takanosho defeats Aminishiki – Aminishiki and Takanosho is a matchup of some very expressive eyebrows. Aminishiki tries his patented head-pull-down straight from the tachiai but this invites the younger Takanosho to just land a hand on Uncle Sumo’s chest and shove him right back and out. Takanosho began this tournament as a good bet to return to the top division and this result does him no harm at all.
Takagenji defeats Daishoho – Daishoho gets Takagenji in the final match of the (Juryo) day, and are the top 2 ranked men in the division to go head to head on Day 1 with Terutsuyoshi having been called up to visit Makuuchi to make up the numbers. There are a few notable things here: first of all, Daishoho starts about a million miles behind the shikiri-sen in order to give himself a huge run up at the tachiai. It seems to work, as he drives Takagenji back to the bales and it looks like, despite a bit of argy-bargy as both men try to find grips/land blows, that he may actually make fairly easy work of the match. But then Takagenji spins away at the edge and Daishoho has nowhere to go but out. It’s a good start to the proceedings for Chiganoura-beya.