Hello readers. This Jungyo I am going to adopt a different format for my Jungyo reports.
The truth is, posting a full Jungyo report every day is beyond my capabilities at the moment. Curating the various photos and tweets takes hours. So I will only be able to do the full ones on weekends (by which I mean Friday and Saturday, possibly Thursday as well). I’ll try to bring some news every day as and if they surface, but it will be in short format.
Today was the first day. The event took place at Gifu city, Gifu prefecture. The tour left Nagoya yesterday, and arrived at Gifu today.
The rikishi were briefed by the Jungyo master, Kasugano, who warned them to be careful what they do in their time off – because they might get caught on some fan’s camera in a compromising situation. As usual, it’s “make sure you’re not caught”, rather than “make sure you don’t do idiotic stuff”.
Bruce has already mentioned the absences from the Jungyo, but here is the full list again: Goeido, Tochinoshin, Takayasu, Takakeisho, Yoshikaze, Kaisei, Takagenji and Mitoryu.
Ikioi, despite his troubles, is not absent. The Hakkaku and Isenoumi sekitori, with the full staff of their heyas, actually had a short training camp at Okinoshima in Shimane prefecture, Okinoumi’s home town. Okinoumi, Hokutofuji, Nishikigi and Ikioi, together with their designated tsukebito had an early departure back to Nagoya to join the Jungyo.
Another one who is injured and yet present at the Jungyo is Enho – both his shoulder and his ankle are still far from great. He says he will give priority to healing them – but still, he showed up today, including having a (rather entertaining) bout with Toyonoshima. I’ll have that in my weekend collection for sure.
Kakuryu spent a few days in Mongolia following his yusho. He has been away from home for two years – in part because foreign rikishi who are kyujo are not allowed to travel, and he had long periods of kyujo in those two years. He went there accompanied by his… okami san. Yes, that’s his heya-master’s wife. He came back two days ago, refreshed, and said he ate too much mutton and needed some light Japanese summer food.
Regarding all the absences, Hakuho announced he will be pulling everybody behind him. He said in general he wants to do more coaching this Jungyo. Which means, of course, lots of kawaigari. I will, of course, keep you posted if he actually does anything that’s actually educational, the way Harumafuji used to do. In the meantime, he already latched on to poor Kotonowaka, and gave him five minutes of kawaigari. By the way, if you are new here or don’t remember what kawaigari is, I refer you to a previous post where I described it at length. Look for the part starting with “Butsukari is a drill…”
Kotonowaka is the son of the former Kotonowaka, currently Sadogatake oyakata, and the grandson of Yokozuna Kotozakura, the former owner of the same heya. Hakuho picked him because “He has Yokozuna DNA”. Which should signal to Hoshoryu and Naya that they may want to consider postponing becoming sekitori, at least until Hakuho retires.
Kotonowaka was actually very thankful for the experience. The victims usually are. But he was using words like “It was like being in a different dimension” and so on, and “He just absorbed my body slams like a sponge” (he’s not the first one to notice this about Hakuho).
So untypically for Hakuho, he is on the dohyo from day 1 of the Jungyo (usually, at least in recent times, he has been starting the Jungyo on the sidelines, only starting on-dohyo activities after a couple of weeks). He is also on the torikumi list, though I’m sure neither he nor Kakuryu are going to take the “official” bouts too seriously.
Kakuryu, on the other hand, sticks to his usual plan. He has a very exact training regime and I expect he will stick to it through this Jungyo as he always does.
That’s it for today, and I hope to have some news for you tomorrow.