Here is a brief collection of lower-division bouts I found interesting. Some of these have been summarized by Bruce earlier.
We can’t start the the new era without seeing Hattorizakura lose his first bout of the Reiwa era. And no, you can’t tell me that was a spoiler.
Hattorizakura – here facing Kitajima – vowed to make a kachi-koshi in Reiwa. It will probably not be in Reiwa 1.
Our next bout features Hakuho’s most recent uchi-deshi. Reminder: an uchi-deshi is a wrestler who has been recruited by a senior member of a heya (usually an oyakata, but apparently Yokozuna also qualify) who has plans to form his own heya. While he is still in his original heya, the uchi-deshi belongs to that same heya and answers to the stablemaster there. But when the time comes for the man who recruited him to form his own heya, the uchi-deshi will join him there.
So Hakuho has four uchi-deshi to date – Yamaguchi, Ishiura, Enho and – most recently – Toma. Toma is 18 years old, fresh out of high-school – the famous Tottori Johoku high-school where Ishiura’s father is head coaching. And he weighs more than Kaisei. 206kg. He faces Tomiyutaka here:
I don’t think he should have too many problems getting through Jonokuchi, given both his weight advantage and obvious sumo capabilities. But Hakuho commanded him to lose weight, and I think we can see mobility issues even at this stage, which will manifest themselves once he gets to the higher levels. I just hope Hakuho’s command will be more effective than the one he gave Enho.
Also in Jonokuchi – and I do not have a video, sorry – is Hanakaze from Tatsunami beya. He made history today getting his first win in the Reiwa era, being the only active rikishi having fought in official matches in three different eras. Born in 1970, he joined Sumo in 1986, which was in the Showa era, continued through the entire Heisei era, and is now trying to complete at least one basho in the Reiwa era. He won his bout with a rather convincing uwatenage.
Other than telling you that Satonofuji won his bout, I don’t have much to say of Jonidan, so I’ll skip directly to Sandanme. First, here is Yoshoyama, whom we have met in Jungyo. Although Mongolian, he has not blazed his way through the lower divisions. Nevertheless, so far he only has one make-koshi to his name.
His rival in this match is Ryuseio, who has both height and weight advantage. But as you can see, Yoshoyama is no weakling.
Next, let’s take a look at Roga, the Jonidan Yusho winner from Osaka. By the way, like Toma, he is a graduate of the Tottori Johoku high-school, which he joined on Hakuho’s recommendation. He faces Hokutotsubasa in this bout:
Looks like he is going to have a chon-mage by Senshuraku. But alas, this is his first career loss, probably due to ring rust.
For many of us (read: me), the highlight match at Sandanme this day was, of course, Terunofuji vs. Daishomune. The former Ozeki has been working on his upper body, and seems to be slightly less bloated and slightly more mobile than he was in the previous basho:
Harizashi? Really? Oh well, all is fair in love and Sumo.
Naya, Taiho’s grandson, remember him? A few days ago I lamented the fact that there are no sekitori at his stable to pull him up. Well, guess what? He has been assigned as tsukebito to Takakeisho, no less.
Here he is vs. Sagatsukasa:
Now, let’s take a look at Midorifuji. He is one of two Isegahama sekitori hopefuls and a pixie. His style seems to follow that of Terutsuyoshi, adjusted for his lower weight, of course.
The bout is good, but his final win seems to be due to Nogami’s leg collapsing. Nogami barely makes it to the bowing spot.
Finally, the one you have all been waiting for. Well, maybe. It’s Hoshoryu, Asashoryu’s nephew and the guy shown in the top photo with a very severe expression on his face. Hoshoryu does not want to end up like Roga. He wants to be sekitori, and he needs every win he can muster.
This video, by the way, is taken from NattoSumo’s channel, where you can watch full daily Makuuchi digests, including stats and some commentary. It’s my personal substitute for Kintamayama’s channel for this basho.
Hoshoryu shows superb oshi work, especially for a wrestler who is a typical Mongolian and an expert thrower.