Abbreviated previews today, as I am on tsukibeto duty, taking care of my son tonight. The little guy loves sumo, and he even knows who a few of the rikishi are. He is especially fond of Wakaichiro, who when he seems him, he holds his arms up and shouts “yaaaayyyy!!!”
Day 4 marks the first Makuuchi bout for Enho, who has been absolutely on fire thus far. He will face off against Kotoeko. We are also getting a “blast from the past” match up in the form of Toyonoshima vs Yoshikaze. Both of them have a lot of miles on their mawashi, but lets hope they can still crank it up for day 4.
What We Are Watching Day 4
Chiyoshoma vs Yutakayama – Anyone else wondering what kind of bologna Chiyoshoma is going to trot out for day 4? It’s kind becoming a new topic in and of itself. Yutakayama, thought at 2-1, seems to really be a shadow of his former self from mid-2018. The 4-3 record favors Yutakayama.
Enho vs Kotoeko – Enho has produced some of the best sumo of the basho so far, across all divisions. The fact that he is rotating into Makuuchi for a match means that most folks who only get to watch the NHK World highlight reel may get to see this amazing rikishi in action at last. Kotoeko is fighting well this tournament, too. So this could be a real high energy match.
Tomokaze vs Daishoho – Tomokaze lost their only prior match, but I would look for go for a left hand inside grip at the tachiai, and try to steer his larger opponent around.
Ishiura vs Kagayaki – Ishiura is at 3-0! Kagayaki is looking slow but forceful right now, thus it would be prudent to expect some kind of henka-like stunt from Ishiura.
Toyonoshima vs Yoshikaze – For old time’s sake, let’s cheer these two storied veterans again. Their last match was in 2016, but the heyday of their rivalry was 2006-2008. Both of them are much older, quite a bit slower, and struggling.
Terutsuyoshi vs Meisei – What will it take for Terutsuyoshi to get his first win? He’s much better than his 0-3 record would indicate.
Shohozan vs Kotoshogiku – Street fighter vs hug-n-chug. If Kotoshogiku can lock up Shohozan, it’s going to be another bulldozer express.
Tochiozan vs Abi – My interested was peaked when I discovered that Tochiozan has yet to beat Abi. Should that change by the end of day 4, it could spell the twilight of Abi-zumo in its current form.
Okinoumi vs Ichinojo – Not even a traffic jam is going to keep Ichinojo from applying maximum hurt each and every day. Okinoumi can hold his own in most cases, but with Ichinojo seeming quite genki, he could be in for a rough landing in the zabuton.
Onosho vs Shodai – Onosho is all about power thrusting his way to a win, but Shodai seems to have a knack for getting people off balance and in trouble. He tried it day 3 against Chiyotairyu, and got rolled. Lets see if he can make it work against Onosho.
Takakeisho vs Hokutofuji – Takakeisho’s day loss to Mitakeumi was more critical than putting a dent in his Ozeki run, we had the Great Tadpole show the rest of the sumo world how to shut down Takakeisho’s offense, with great effect. Hokutofuji is a skilled practitioner of the very same sumo-moves that Mitakeumi employed, and I will be watching with great interest to see if he replicates the result.
Mitakeumi vs Tamawashi – With apologies to Tamawashi, think a combination of of the 15-2 career record in favor of Mitakeumi, and the momentum that Mitakeumi brings to this match means that Tamawashi will have the tougher role.
Tochinoshin vs Nishikigi – If Nishikigi rolls the Ozeki, its time to break out the cry’n whisky for Tochinoshin fans. I don’t want to go there, but Nishikigi can beat him, and has done so, most recently at Hatsu.
Kaisei vs Goeido – Genki Goeido means a fast trip to the clay for Kaisei, I would anticipate.
Takayasu vs Endo – Much as I want to see Takayasu do well, I think Endo is about due for a break. I also think that after his day 3 loss, Takayasu may have a few questions about how effective his sumo is right now. Endo has a low enough center of gravity, and great balance that he too might well repeat Daieisho’s moves from day 3.
Hakuho vs Daieisho – Daieisho has never beaten the boss… but he seems to have possession of Nishikigi’s kami at the moment, and it seems hungry. Would a nice, plump kinboshi that smells faintly of buuz satisfy it?
Kakuryu vs Myogiryu – You should know that Myogiryu actually has a working formula for beating Kakuryu. Like the Yokozuna, Myogiryu can change his plan mid-fight quite effectively. So this could be a really interesting match.