Short Jungyo News – Days 3,4

Day 3 took place at Kusatsu, Shiga prefecture. Day 4 took place at Echizen, Fukui prefecture. Here are some of the things that happened, on and off the Jungyo.


Yeah, we couldn’t do without those, could we? Takanosho, a.k.a Onigiri-kun, injured his right knee during practice, and left for Tokyo, joining his two heya mates who are already kyujo, Takakeisho and Takagenji. The only Chiganoura sekitori to stay in the Jungyo is Takanofuji, the evil twin. I hope it’s not one of those career-shattering injuries.

And Ryuko, who was having a streak of bad luck ever since he had the privilege of being Aminishiki’s last opponent, also made his way to Tokyo with an injury. It’s not clear whether it’s a new injury or a lingering one from the basho.

Meanwhile, we are informed that neither Takakeisho nor Takayasu will be joining this Jungyo at all. Chiganoura oyakata says Takakeisho’s state is improving every day, but still, he is not practicing at the moment, taking treatments and rehab with a specialized trainer. He will apparently not be in until banzuke day, and then, says Chiganoura oyakata “We’ll see if he can wrestle sekitori”.

As for Takayasu… you can see for yourself. Torn ligament, arm in a cast. He is not supposed to be in the keiko-ba (practice ground) at all, but he is, though apparently, mostly moving a bit and bossing the youngsters around. I’m more worried about him, with his heya’s history of… Kisenosato… than I am about Takakeisho, though.

Chiyonofuji’s Death Anniversary

Three years ago today (July 31), former Great Yokozuna Chiyonofuji, AKA “The Wolf”, died age 61. Members of Kokonoe beya participating in the Jungyo, including tokoyama Tokotake (I hope I got that right) and Gyoji Konosuke, held a moment of silence in his memory:

Mitakeumi declares an Ozeki run

OK, enough sad news. Yesterday, Mitakeumi had his first on-dohyo practice.

On that occasion, he told the press he was very dissatisfied with his result in Nagoya – a mere 9 wins – and declared he was aiming for double figures and the possible start of an Ozeki run in Aki. “I keep telling myself I am the next Ozeki”. So far he is mostly getting reverse butsukari – yesterday he was pushing TV star Tochiozan, today Abi. His moshi-ai results are not exactly Ozeki-level. He had 5 bouts with Tamawashi, Ryuden et al., won 2 and lost 3. But the Jungyo is still young.

Kawaigari du jour

Yesterday Hakuho rested his inner khan, giving nobody kawaigari. But today, he was back. He told Kizakiumi he might go with him, getting a nervous laugh, but eventually decided to break the shin-Juryo pattern, and go with Tomokaze. That was a 7 minutes ordeal, as befits someone who is much more likely to actually meet Hakuho on the dohyo some time soon.

Yes, white-haired guy on the other side of the dohyo, Hakuho is actually tripping his victim as he is trying to push. Kawaigari is great fun!

As for Kizakiumi, Hakuho said “Well, the Jungyo has just begun!”

Merchandising, merchandising!

Kototsurugi (the official sumo illustrator, a former rikishi) created a design for a new line of Enho products, and had Enho promoting it for him:

Enho is depicted as Issun-Boshi in this design. Issun-Boshi, the tiny hero who leaves his parents’ house to sail the seas in a rice bowl with a chopstick for an oar, is the Japanese equivalent of Tom Thumb.

Of course, somebody else would need to empty that rice bowl for him, though, because Enho himself is famous for his dislike for cooked white rice.

I predict this line of merchandise (I have seen this shirt and a lunch bag so far) will be scooped off the shelves as soon as it hits them. Enho is the hottest thing in Sumodom at the moment.

18 thoughts on “Short Jungyo News – Days 3,4

  1. loving the new Enho line – what a fabulous teeshirt by Kototsurugi! Glad The Boss gave my Tomokaze a good kawaigari (and that Kizakiumi can breathe a sigh of relief…. for now….)
    I had my own minute’s silence for The Wolf…. I remember with a smile, my boss at Kintetsu (Sydney) smuggling me into Chiyonofuji’s media interview at Sydney’s Regent Hotel…. He was there as part of Japan Week that year. boy oh boy, talk about star-struck. More devine in person than his pictures depict. Hokkaido-shushin forever.. :-)

  2. What a brilliant photo of Takayasu. At the same time he both looks like a baby wearing a diaper, and as if he’s cradling a baby in a shawl.

    On a serious note, it does look like an injury that will require him to be kyujo in September. Glad he got the 8th win to buy himself some recovery time.

  3. I just watched Ikioi’s betrothed Higa Mamiko tee off on the opening hole of the women’s Open Championship in Woburn, England. The American TV announcers said that Higa has been accompanied this week by Ikioi, who has been the subject of a lot of attention from the British golf press.

    Can this be right? Is Ikioi’s status such that he now is free to be with Higa in England during jungyo?

  4. Speaking of “TV star Tochiozan,” I just noticed that the TV series in which he and Tochinoshin appear will run on the TV Japan cable channel in America. The series is entitled ‘No Side Manager.’ The first episode of the series airs at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday night. I don’t know whether the two Tochis appear in this first episode or in a subsequent one.

  5. Could Mitakeumi possibly become Ozeki right after Aki? If he wins a zensho yusho he would reach exactly 33.
    I don’t think he has a zensho yusho in him in his current form, but in theory?

    • The 33 wins is a myth. Or rather, a statistic, not a rule. The shimpan department showed again and again that what matters to it is good, stable performance over at least three basho. Nagoya was not a good performance for Mitakeumi. He will not be Ozeki before the end of Hatsu basho 2020, unless the NSK runs out of Ozeki and both Yokozuna retire.

    • In theory, sure. The closest parallel would be Tochinoumi in 1962, who went 9-6, 9-6, 14-1 Y as Sekiwake and was promoted to Ozeki. Given how long Mitakeumi has been in san’yaku, it’s possible they’d promote him first chance they got, just like they did with Goeido, who was made Ozeki after 12-3, 8-7, 12-3 basho (notice that’s 32). The fragility of the current Ozeki corps might factor in as well.

      • With the current shimpan department, and Mitakeumi’s failure in the previous run? Given the Takakeisho precedence, I think that’s not likely at all.

        • I’m not saying it’s likely, but you could certainly make a case for it. Takakeisho was brand-new to san’yaku; Mitakeumi will be on the second-longest consecutive lower san’yaku streak in history (16 basho in Aki).

          • Well, I guess there is really no point in second-guessing the shimpan department, especially since Mitakeumi is highly likely to barf in the middle and just get 8.

      • But Goeido had held that Sekiwake rank “4eva”. It was like Kise-level consistency when he was Ozeki.

        • Goeido had 14 straight basho at Sekiwake. In half of these, he went 8-7; in two others, he went 7-7-1 and 7-8 but retained the rank due to banzuke luck. Mitakeumi has now been either Sekiwake or Komusubi for 15 straight. And he’s won a yusho.


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