🌐 Location: Kakogawa, Hyogo prefecture
The Jungyo takes us to the first of two locations in Hyogo prefecture. And Hyogo prefecture means Takakeisho is king.
Of course, Takakeisho is not the only Hyogo man in the Jungyo. Myogiryu is also addressed by the media. Terutsuyoshi is also among the prefecture’s points of pride, but perhaps because of his make-koshi in the Haru basho, he seems to be less sought after. He gets a bit of attention in the opening part of the event – the handshake duty.
As 4500 spectators slowly pour into the venue, sekitori start to practice here and there. Though it seems they are mostly busy chatting, like this pair of veterans:
or this Georgian conference:
By the way, Tochinoshin’s backside is still in ugly condition. For obvious reasons, I am not sharing the image that floated in my search results. It’s better than Ikioi’s legs, but still…
As Hakuho arrives at the Dohyo, the sekitori all form a line to greet him. Well, greet him through his chat with Yoshikaze. Enho wants to give his boss a respectful ladle of water, but has to wait:
Until he finally gets the Yokozuna’s attention.
All three people in this frame are still not doing any bouts (or any on-dohyo training, as far as I could gather). Hakuho concentrates on lower-body training and stretching. He is going to be the world’s most flexible Yokozuna come Natsu.
Some practice did take place, though. Here is Tochiozan instructing a low-ranker on how to keep his ass good and low:
Tochinoshin eventually stopped chewing the fat with Gagamaru and gave some butsukari to Wakamotoharu, Daiseido and Shimanoumi:
Wakamotoharu also got the butsukari from Kakuryu – quite an honor when one is not even a local boy.
Chiyomaru had some practice with Daiseido, then Gagamaru:
Time for lunch, and then Juryo dohyo-iri. But wait… who is going to do all the nipple tweaking, if Tamawashi is all the way up in Makuuchi, and not part of this dohyo-iri?
Why, it’s Sokokurai, who takes this serious duty upon himself. Somebody has to!
I don’t have any Juryo bouts to show. But here is a nice photo of little brother Tobizaru handing the chikara-mizu to big brother Hidenoumi.
Alas, this means Aminishiki lost his bout with Tobizaru this day.
Near the end of the Juryo bouts, the rope-tying demonstration takes place. On rope duty: Hakuho.
And you can see his man Kasugaryu tying up the knot wearing his own oicho-mage (for the yumi-tori shiki that will come later in the day).
So it’s time for the Makuuchi dohyo-iri soon. And of course, everybody in the venue wants a piece of Takakeisho. So Daieisho decides to do a remake of “The Bodyguard”.
What, isn’t Takakeisho the spitting image of Whitney Houston? Japanese Twitter is calling these two “A couple”.
Here is Kakuryu’s dohyo-iri for you:
For some reason, what drew my attention in this dohyo-iri is the gyoji, Kimura Konosuke’s outfit. Specifically, the pattern on it, spelling out “Kitanofuji” – though the former Yokozuna has been out of the sumo world for many years now.
Time for the bouts, and as usual, Abi’s clock says “10 minutes to six”:
I only have one bout for you: Tochinoshin vs., you guessed it, Takakeisho:
I love the fact that there are kids there who are shouting “Tochinoshin!”.
Interesting approach by Takakeisho, though. Trying for a Tottari, then finally winning by yori-kiri.
So it’s time for our pin-up corner, and today we have the fine-looking Wakatakakage.
Honorable mention goes to Abi: