Nagoya Day 2 Highlights

Some truly fantastic sumo today in Nagoya. We got to see Ryuden take on Takayasu in an endurance contests (always a questionable move), and we had the highlight bout between Hakuho and Natsu yusho winner Asanoyama.

I would not that Aminishiki, whom we fondly refer to as Uncle Sumo, may have finally damaged his fragile knee in a bout with Ryuko. He was clearly in pain following his match, and was wheeled away in that enormous wheelchair, which is sometimes a sign of big trouble. While this is terrible news for everyone, Aminishiki does own a Kabu, or sumo elder status, and when he finally decides to hang up the knee brace, he will continue to be a part of sumo for many years to come.

Highlight Matches

Kotoyuki defeats Yago – True to form, Kotoyuki leaps from the dohyo, but can’t quite find the momentum to get into the crowd. Yago allowed Kotoyuki to get inside at the tachiai, and really failed to generate any real offense.

Terutsuyoshi defeats Toyonoshima – Toyonoshima got the better of the tachiai, but after Terutsuyoshi stopped Toyonoshima’s advance, Toyonoshima tried to pull, and Terutsuyoshi made him pay. After shin-maku jitters last basho, is Terutsuyoshi back in form now? That would be wonderful.

Enho defeats Kaisei – As Kaisei discovered, the sumo mechanics are difference when you have someone small, fast and compact as Enho. Kaisei found himself a right hand reaching all the way over Enho’s back and grabbing his mawashi knot. In many cases this would have been a commandingly dominant position, but all it did was ensure that Enho had ample room to swing around and get behind Kaisei. Even banged up, Enho is quite an amazing rikishi.

Tochiozan defeats Chiyomaru – This one was all attributable to Tochiozan’s depth of experience, his ability to remain in control of his body, and wait for Chiyomaru to lose his balance. With that enormous pot-belly in front of him, it is in fact only a matter of time before Chiyomaru naturally leans forward.

Sadanoumi defeats Kagayaki – Solid sumo from both, and Kagayaki had control of the match. But as Kagayaki backed Sadanoumi to the tawara, his shoulders and hips were not square to Sadanoumi. Sadanoumi deftly used this to deliver a seldom seen kimarite, an amiuchi (fishermans throw), with Kagayaki as the catch of the day.

Kotoeko defeats Nishikigi – Simple nodowa to stand Nishikigi up at the tachiai, and a pivot to the rear for a push out. Where has the mega-genki Nishikigi of earlier this year gone?

Takagenji defeats Daishoho – The two go chest to chest at the tachiai, and this seems to play well for Takagenji. Daishoho puts up a good fight, but Takagenji has better position, better foot placement and all around better sumo.

Onosho defeats Shohozan – Greatly improved balance from Onosho today, but it was also true that Shohozan gave him a stable platform to push against. We did not see Onosho favoring his damaged right knee today, which is a hopeful sign.

Tomokaze defeats Okinoumi – To me it looks like whatever plan Okinoumi had going into the match got blown at the tachiai, and he was more or less along for the ride. Okinoumi’s attempt to throw down Tomokaze at the bales was too late, as Okinoumi’s heel was out. Tomokaze continues to execute well, and if he has the stamina to stay strong into week 2, this could be a break out basho for him.

Chiyotairyu defeats Myogiryu – Chiyotairyu’s canon ball tachiai finds its mark today, and Myogiryu gets an express trip out of the west side of the dohyo. Chiyotairyu looks genki right now, and his sumo works well at this rank, but seems to falter much higher up the banzuke.

Takarafuji defeats Shimanoumi – Takarafuji’s sumo is skilled, patient and effective. Today Shimanoumi found his attacks blunted, stalemated and ultimately defeated. True to form, he waited Shimanoumi out, and when Shimanoumi charged forward, Takarafuji converted his energy into the power for a match winning uwatenage.

Kotoshogiku defeats Meisei – Meisei did masterful work to keep Kotoshogiku from squaring his hips and applying his lethal hug-n-chug attack. In fact Kotoshogiku fought most of the match one one foot, but still managed to keep a solid grip on Meisei’s mawasshi. This payed off as Meisei over-extended, which Kotoshogiku read instinctively and triggered the match winning throw.

Ichinojo defeats Daieisho – Today, rather than shutting down and giving up, Ichinojo rallied when Daieisho put him under pressure. Dare we hope that day 1 was just a slow start?

Mitakeumi defeats Endo – Day 1 Mitakeumi looked terrible. His normal high energy, high impact sumo was not even attempted. It seems he resolved to put that behind him, and he come out strong against Endo. Mitakeumi got inside early, and never gave up the advantage.

Aoiyama defeats Tamawashi – Look out, it seems Aoiyama is genki this July. Knowing that Tamawashi is going for maximum forward pressure, Aoiyama resists, and resists until he expertly times a step to the side, sending the Sekiwake to the clay.

Goeido defeats Abi – Abi always rushes powerfully into the tachiai, and if his opponent does not meet him with full pressure to catch his opening attack, this is the result. Compliments to Goeido for this useful demonstration.

Shodai defeats Tochinoshin – Tochinoshin is an absolute mess right now. We all hope that he gets his sumo together and starts dominating some of these “warm up” week 1 matches.

Ryuden defeats Takayasu – I am starting to appreciate Ryuden now. He took on a man with nearly unlimited stamina and made it work. The first match ended with both rikishi touching out at the same time, and a torinaoshi was called. Ryuden took the rematch, and picked up a fantastic win. Go get ’em Shin-Ikioi!

Kakuryu defeats Hokutofuji – Textbook reactive sumo from Kakuryu. Hokutofuji attacks strongly from the tachiai, with a predictable focus on landing a nodowa. Kakuryu is a master at giving ground on the dohyo to his advantage, and collapses Hokutofuji’s opening gambit with skill.

Hakuho defeats Asanoyama – This match did live up to the hype, as the Natsu yushso winner gave The Boss a solid fight. But the Yokozuna’s immense experience allowed him to wear down Asanoyama, and wait for his opening. It came when Asanoyama repeatedly tried to lift Hakuho, and as a result raised himself up, giving Hakuho the correct position to unleash his much favored uwatenage. Solid effort from Asanoyama, and I think he did as well as anyone might do with their first match against the most dominant rikishi in recorded history.

27 thoughts on “Nagoya Day 2 Highlights

  1. Yep, completely agree about Asanoyama. A perfectly respectable effort against the second-most dominant rikishi in history (the first being Raiden Tameemon).

  2. I think I may have found a young rikishi to root for going forward (all of my current faves are 30+)–just a great showing by Asanoyama in defeat to the awesome Hakuho! The kid’s humility and talent will take him far–. I can’t believe my eyes when i watch Enho–he is an absolute magician and I find myself looking forward to his bouts–hoping he has a long career in sumo and does not end up like a bug on a windshield.

  3. Shohozan did try one slap down, but Onosho really seemed to be paying attention to maintaining his balance and wasn’t in the way of it.

    Kotoshogiku kept trying to throw Meisei to his right and Meisei ended up in a poor position that could only brace against pressure in that direction. When Kotoshogiku changed the direction of his throw Meisei couldn’t defend.

    Endo landed his sneaky right hand shallow grip at the tachiai but Mitakeumi took the time to break it before moving forward, and Endo had no plan B.

    Takayasu was doing ozeki sumo — and Ryuden was right there with him.

    I don’t doubt that Hakuho would have liked to humiliate Asanoyama but I don’t think he has it in him anymore — his strength is fading and mechanical injuries limit his options. His speed and sumo sense are unimpaired but I expect to see him fall over forward a lot in the future (usually onto his defeated opponent, as in today’s match).

  4. Terutsuyoshi wasn’t shin-maku in May: he debuted in March, and somehow managed to hang on to a top-division slot despite debuting at M14 and posting consecutive 6-9 records. 🤔

    It looked like Enho’s right hand might have strayed into the … umm … “forbidden zone” 😳

    • I noticed that Enho intentionally went to grab the strapping around Kaisei’s knee, and used it for grip. Is this legal and considered fair game?

      • I don’t think he particularly went for what was wrapping the knee. I think he went for an ashitori. “Let’s see if I can grab that leg.” It’s one of his more frequently used kimarite.

  5. Bruce, since you routinely write of “Chiyotairyu’s canon [sic] ball tachiai,” I assume that either (a) you were not involved with artillery when you served in the Marines or (b) you are making a subtle jest about the canonical form of Sumo Elvis’ cannon ball tachiai.

    Miscellany: (1) The flip side of Tochinoshin’s bout was that, for the second consecutive day, Shodai has looked pretty darn sharp. (2) We perhaps can press ‘pause’ on further discussions of Hakuho’s career being effectively ended by that March arm injury. (3) Am I alone in thinking that Takayasu actually won both of his Day Two bouts against Ryuden? Takayasu was looking un-genki after that second bout; I’m wondering whether he may have tweaked his back. (4) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we saw little of Aoiyama’s tsuppari last basho, and the big fella hasn’t unleashed it yet this basho. It’s refreshing to see him mixing things up these days, particularly given the unsightly way his giant man-boobs flop around when he does deploy the tsuppari..

    • I just looked again at Takayasu vs. Ryuden, and to the extent that I could tell from the video, both touches looked simultaneous. But I guess a second redo would be too much.

    • I thought the second bout between Ryuden and Takayasu ended the same as the first – both men hitting the ground at the same time. Imagine a third attempt….

    • Sadly it’s flat out dyslexia – my apologies. I knew it was one or the other. In my defense, once I make a choice, even if its wrong, I keep using it.

      In the Marines I was part of the air wing. We got to see the artillery guys…. way… down…. over……. there.

    • Takayasu’s left knee and Ryuden’s right hand touched down at the same time in the torinaoshi, but there’s a question of whether Takayasu’s left pinky finger grazed the rim of the dohyo platform. The slow-motion replay is inconclusive, though I don’t think it did. That aside though, Ryuden was the clear aggressor at the end of bout one, and while Takayasu was attempting a throw in the redo, Ryuden was also making an attack. It’s not unusual for the benefit of the doubt to be given to the rikishi who is seen to be more aggressive and in control. I can see that the gyoji and shimpan would consider Ryuden as that rikishi in this case.

  6. Day 2 was also noteworthy good judging. We are quick to mark the bad sometimes but today they did quite well

  7. So, so pleased for Ryuden! I feel he was clearly the moral victor in both matches. Both times he showed amazing patience and kept his head planted firmly in Takayasu’s chest and was the aggressor as they tumbled out of the ring. Is there anybody better right now at the long, drawn-out mawashi chess-match than Ryuden? Having said all that – looking at the replay of the 2nd match, I actually think that Ryuden’s hand looked like it touched down first. And did his facial expression as he got up the 2nd time betray a little surprise at getting the win?

    I surprised myself by cheering involuntarily when Hakuho won – I thought I was supporting Asanoyama as the underdog. But I guess in my heart I am not ready to witness Hakuho losing to the ‘Young Turks’ of the next generation.

    Kakuryu was a bit of a lucky boy today – but he was also brilliantly nimble and balanced to pull that rear-guard action off.

    I am a big fan of Endo’s technical skills – which were displayed to full effect yesterday against Tochinoshin. But it was all a bit too premeditated today – he actually managed to land that same right hand shallow grip on the front of the belt, but Mitakeumi just blasted it straight off with his forward movement and tsuppari. Endo seemed briefly to try to land that frontal grip a 2nd time – like he was desperately sticking to plan A – but by then he had lost so much ground and momentum.

    As for my beloved Abi…. Oh dear – that was pretty embarrassing. He got taught a lesson by an old pro. It wasn’t any kind of henka by Goeido, just a canny side-step that dumped my boy straight onto the clay.

    • … sorry! I just realised that coreyyanofsky had already made exactly the same point about Endo vs. Mitakeumi above ….

    • I’m going to go with Hakuho as the reigning grandmaster of the long, drawn-out mawashi chess-match 😉We saw an instance of that today, and it will be interesting when he meets Ryuden in a few days (the two have never met). Ryuden will likely get another mawashi test against Tochinoshin tomorrow, unless the latter is too injured to put up much of a fight. So far, he’s 0-1 against the Ozeki.

  8. Asanoyama was not intimidated and was competitive against Hakuho which is good going regardless of the result. I did have the teeniest suspicion that Hakuho was enjoying himself and could have finished things earlier. That little pat he gave to the fallen Asanoyama looked to me like “you’re not good enough Sunny Jim, but you are pretty good”.

    The reason we had to have a torinaoshi in the Takayasu v Ryuden match should be obvious: Ryuden finished the first bout with his hairdo intact, which is not allowed.

    Prayer beads already clicking like mad for Tochinoshin in the Tigerboy household.

    • After today, I was thinking it might be time for Tochi to pull out, heal up, and put up 8+ at Aki. We should find out if that’s too pessimistic when he fights Ryuden tomorrow.

    • Ring rust, jetlag, lingering injuries — not sure what Tochinoshin’s got, but it’s definitely got him. Last night was tough to watch.

      • Didn’t I hear he injured his shoulder right before the basho? This kind of performance screams injury to me. He seems to lack energy, especially today.

    • I’ll back you up with lighting a candle. It’s tough being a Tochinosin fan. So much strength, skill, determination….and so many injuries.

  9. How close were we to a 2nd torinaoshi in Ryuden – Takayasu? The 2nd result looked just as close to me as the first.

  10. Ichinojo’s power is unbelievable. He didn’t push Daieisho down so much as he just brushed him aside like swatting a fly.


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