Hatsu Day 12 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

Wakaichiro Seeks To Run Up The Score

As we head towards the final weekend of Hatsu, our lower division “Ones to Watch” have a light schedule today, with most of the heavy-hitters having competed day 11. Of special note is the crazy, unthinkable chance that Hattorizakura will pick up his first ever second win of a basho, and the hopes that Wakaichiro can run up the score and move closer to a return to Sandanme.

Hattorizakura vs Hamasu – Sumo’s perpetual loss leader has a chance to set a personal best for any basho by picking up a second win. His opponent is in his first basho as a rikishi, and lord knows what will happen.

Wakaichiro vs Tenichi – Wakaichiro lost his day 10 match, and is now in the 4-1 bracket and out of the Jonidan yusho race. Hopefully this eases any tension he may have felt. What is at stake now is the magnitude of his promotion in March. Tenichi is no easy mark, as he spent 81 basho in Makushita, and certainly has the skill to dismantle anyone in Jonidan. But declining health has left him struggling.

Kenho vs Kaorufuji – Giant Kenho is already make-koshi, and fighting in the 1-4 bracket to try and seek out his second win. His demotion back to Jonidan is more or less certain at this point, and he has never bested Kaorufuji in their 2 prior matches.

Torakio vs Hitenryu – Naruto heya’s Torakio needs to win his final 2 matches to exit Hatsu with a kachi-koshi, and a ranking near the top of Sandanme for March. He faces a former Juryo rikishi who is at the tail end of his career.

Midorifuji vs Koba – Midorifuji needs one more win to secure his kachi-koshi for January, His day 12 opponent, Koba, is a long serving Makushita main stay, who is fighting near his highest ever rank. Should be a good match.

8 thoughts on “Hatsu Day 12 – Lower Division Ones To Watch

  1. Hamasu is going to catch a lot of fire if he is defeated by Hattorizakura. The poor boy’s stablemaster is his own father, the former Hamanoshima, who formerly recruited and coached Baruto and Satoyama. Now, imagine being the son of a sekitori and going 1-5 in Jonokuchi. That’s bad enough. It’s worse when that sekitori is also your stablemaster. And it must be much worse if you happen to lose to, well, Hattorizakura.

    • Oy vey — I fear we here behold the ultimate Soccer Mom, only he’s a dad and it’s sumo. That poor kid. Wonder what that dynamic is like for other rishiki in that stable?

      (Thanks for the background, Herouth!)

  2. it’s going to be a Hattorizakura-Wakaichiro-Midorifuji ‘trifecta’ kinda day!!! winning bouts for all!!!!

  3. Sumo has got to be the only sport where people will toil forever with literally no hope of ever getting paid…Tenichi’s highest rank was Ms10…in 2006…can you imagine toiling for 13 years for $0.00 and facing guys who have like 1/10th of your experience? He’s been in 155 basho!

    I assumed when I first started watching this sport that like 99% of the first four divisions would be young guys or guys recovering from injury…I was absolutely amazed at the number of guys toiling away for basically nothing. Granted Tenichi’s job prospects are very poor outside sumo but, man, that’s a hard way to live just for room/board.

    • And, yes, I get the cultural need to “belong to the group” is very very strong and likely a huge factor in staying in vs giving up. It must be very frightening to go from a regimented structured society of brothers to being on your own…but, as always, I cannot escape my western mentality of wanting a paycheck and to eventually retire.

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