Join me as I dig through YouTube and Twitter for the bouts that never make it to the mainstream feeds.
Hattorizakura-Denpoya. Denpoya is the latest recruit at Isegahama, one of six men from Aomori prefecture. Unlike most of the recent recruits by that heya, he actually has the size for sumo. But he went 1-3 at maezumo and has a lot to learn. His lucky stars arranged for him to face Hattorizakura on the first day, after Watai from Chiganoura beya became a no-show.
Take a look at this rather amusing bout between the two:
What you see here is the bout begin in jikan-mae. That’s a rarity in itself. Looks like Denpoya is so green he doesn’t get the whole shikiri ritual yet. But Hattorizakura goes ahead and meets him, sort of. And so the gyoji starts conducting it as a bout – which, if this is indeed jikan-mae tachiai, is not a mistake. I suppose the shimpan considered this to be a matta rather than a jikan-mae with mutual consent. So they go at it again. No worries – Hattorizakura is there to dispense white stars for everybody.
Soon after this bout came one between two other beginners – Shimomura and Daitenma. I am keeping an eye on Daitenma as I always watch out for foreigners. But this bout (sorry, I don’t have footage) went to Shimomura. So Daitenma is not going to be the next Mongolian to enter the 21 club.
Apart from Wakaichiro’s bout, which you have already seen in Bruce’s post, there were several bouts that drew my eye. I give you the ever-popular
Colin Powell Satonofuji vs. Azumaiwa. I’m glad to see Satonofuji still active. I thought he might decide to call it quits after Harumafuji’s retirement ceremony, where he performed what was probably his last yumi-tori shiki. However, I guess he likes his life just as it is:
Go Satonofuji! He even attempts a death-spin there.
Another veteran in Jonidan is Hanakaze, mostly famous for being the oldest active rikishi (aged 48). If he gets through Hatsu and Haru safely, he will be the first rikishi almost a century to do sumo over three different eras. However, this is not a good start:
Another match of interest in this division is the one between Takataisho and Miyakomotoharu. Takataisho is the tsukebito Takanoiwa has beaten up, buying himself a one-way ticket to the barber shop. On previous occasions (yes, I’m looking at you, Takanofuji, formerly Takayoshitoshi), the victims quickly found themselves out of the world of sumo, so I am keeping an eye on Takataisho, to see that he doesn’t suffer a similar fate. So far, he seems to be doing well. He now serves as Takakeisho’s tsukebito. And here is how he looks on the dohyo:
Whoa, Miyakomotoharu, you don’t have to take the winner down with you, you know. Takataisho seems to be genki. Good!
Yes, I’m skipping Sandanme, as I haven’t found any footage from it. In Makushita, we open with Naya vs. Aomihama.
Straightforward oshi-zumo, and Naya gets his first gold star.
As we followed young Narutaki and his big brother Kyonosato through the Jungyo, I thought you may be interested in Narutaki‘s bout vs. Yokoe.
Unfortunately, Narutaki gets beaten rather spectacularly. He says he was very tense because this was his first Makushita bout.
And now we get into the “purgatory” part of Makushita, and we continue to follow Kototebakari as he takes on Tennozan.
A monoii is called. It takes Chiganoura oyakata quite some time to get up on the dohyo and he seems to be struggling with his link to the video room, but that’s his weapon of choice for the discussion. The video room says “dotai” – both down at the same time – so a torinaoshi it is, and this time Kototebakari gets a clean cut win.
Finally, we have a bout between two familiar names: Gokushindo, who had a very short visit to Juryo before dropping back to Makushita, and Wakamotoharu, also known as the second most gifted Onami brother
This is an entertaining bout between two rikishi who obviously have technique. But Gokushindo needs to work on his power.
Josh already gave you a wonderful summary of the day in Juryo, so all I have left to do is to give you the video to see for yourselves:
Now onward to Day 2, with Hoshoryu and Ura!