Jungyo Newsreel – Day 1

It’s the weekend, and I’ll try to fill the gaps for the days we have missed from the Jungyo. If I can’t… well, we’ll have to skip a few days. Let’s get to it.

🌐 Location: Gifu, Gifu prefecture.

The sekitori, their tsukebito, gyoji, tokoyama, yobidashi, oyakata, and all the rest, started their journey from the Dolphins Arena in Nagoya, where the Nagoya basho took place. It was a rainy day.

This year’s Nagoya basho was relatively less hot than usual, as the rainy season started at an unusual time and many af the days were cloudy and rainy, making work slightly easier for the ancient air conditioning system at the Dolphins Arena. However, the rikishi are just about to run out of luck. This is going to be a hot Jungyo.

The next morning, a yobidashi drums the message for the townspeople to come and see some sumo:

The rikishi engage in handshakes and interaction with the fans:

Or maybe having some early wrestling with aggressive pixies right in front of the fans.

He is not the only aggressive pixie today. Look at the fierce stares Tobizaru and Enho exchange:

It looks like he has borrowed Ishiura’s game face.

Abi works on his famous flexibility:

You can do better than that, Abi. That’s 175º, and not a degree more!

Ichinojo, as usual, sits seiza. I shudder for his poor shins.

I’m pretty sure there are some adults in the arena who are as tall standing up as Ichinojo is sitting seiza.

One of the many duties of a tsukebito is to take photos of his sekitori with fans who ask for them. Here is Takataisho doing this for Takanosho.

Takataisho is the guy who got beaten by Takanoiwa for losing his purse. Unlike previous victims of bullying, he successfully stayed in the Sumo world. He usually serves as tsukebito for Takakeisho, but since the (former) Ozeki is kyujo, he is on this Jungyo as Takanosho’s tsukebito.

And here is Takanosho himself, concentrating hard on the difficult task of signing an autograph.

Compare the width of his arm to the width of that notebook, for a sense of proportion.

Just below the dohyo, Kakuryu works out, as he always does in the beginning of a Jungyo. But I think he forgot his hand weights at home.

Gagamaru gets way too personal with Gochozan:

The expression on his face legit looks like we should call the police. Luckily a mawashi serves as a pretty good chastity belt.

OK, OK, let’s move to the dohyo to see some action.

Hakuho starts his kawaigari spree with fresh “Yokozuna DNA” blood, Kotonowaka Jr.

This is, of course, just a short part of the four-minute ordeal, but you can see Hakuho’s usual showmanship. Each time he stands at a different corner, making sure audience on all sides will get a good view.

Juryo practice. I’m not sure who it is that Ichiyamamoto beats in the first bout. But then it is followed by Tamawashi giving him butsukari. This follows the usual pattern of a short session of moshi-ai, followed by higher-ranking wrestlers giving butsukari to all participants.

As a bonus, we have Kakuryu doing step-exercise at the corner of the dohyo.

Next up, some Makuuchi practice:

Okinoumi-Daieisho, Abi-Daieisho, Tomokaze-Meisei.

Practice over. Near the end of the Juryo bouts, Kakuryu demonstrates his rope being tied. His face looks resigned to the hard work he is about to do. But Shinzan’s face (that’s his head tsukebito, the guy behind him) is… mmm… I told you to go to the rest room before the ceremony, didn’t I?

Anyway, the tying proceeds as usual, and this time it’s Kakuryu’s turn to make a face:

Yeah, Yokozuna. We know it’s heavy.

On to some Sumo!

Or at least, To Daishoho deeply pondering his choice of tactics for the coming bout:

Or maybe he is posing for Takanosho to take his photograph:

(No, he is not, because, of course, they are not in the same division. By the time Daishoho sits on the zabuton beside the dohyo, Takanosho is already showered, wearing his yukata, and waiting for the ride home).

We start with Enho vs. Toyonoshima:

Wait, is that a nekodamashi? Yes it is! But oh, does Enho get craned…

Shimanoumi vs. Chiyotairyu:

Yeah, unsurprisingly, Chiyotairyu starts with his locomotive tachiai, but doesn’t have much of a followup.

Ichinojo arrives at the dohyo. Sits down, but doesn’t really know what to do with his legs.

But when he goes on the dohyo, he hears the most precious words in the world: “Kensho ga arimasu”. Meaning “There is kensho”. Suddenly…

Yeah, he is going to get that envelope!

I don’t have Hokutofuji’s bout, but I have him returning from it. And as always, his politeness is world class:

We’re up in the san-yaku. And that means…

Hakuho has a date with a yobidashi:

First up, Abi vs. Ryuden in a battle of flaming mawashi:

Trust Abi to have a wardrobe malfunction in prime time. But… those of you who haven’t heard, may be surprised that he is doing yotsu zumo at all. He has been doing that for three Jungyo tours now. It surprises Ryuden, though, who is still not exactly on fire since the second part of Nagoya basho. Hmmm… Abi… wins… by Yorikiri…

I don’t have Mitakeumi vs. Tamawashi, but here is the musubi-no-ichiban for you:

For those of you who are curious what the Yobidashi says just before Shikimori Inosuke announces the participants: it’s “tozai tozai”. It means literally “East and West”, and is equivalent to “ladies and gentlemen”, or “hear ye hear ye”.

And yes, in Jungyo, Hakuho throws as much salt as Terutsuyoshi, and nobody is concerned with any hands touching any ground.

Shower, dress up, and here is team Kakuryu on the way to the bus:

Of note in this photo: It’s hot. It’s very hot. Kakuryu is not letting go of that mini electric fan for a moment.

Also, Gokushindo is back on Team Kakuryu. When he became sekitori, he was told he has graduated from the “Kakuryu Academy” and he should not be back. But he dropped again… and was accepted for remedial studies, I guess.

We close this post, of course, with our pin-up boy of the day:

Wakatakakage-zeki, Wakatakakage-zeki, Wakatakakage-zeki…

6 thoughts on “Jungyo Newsreel – Day 1

  1. Will be interesting to see how Abi’s yotsu sumo develops as he seeks to diversify.

    He’s showed Abi-zumo 2.0 recently, combining his high tachiai shove by getting to the side and grabbing the mawashi for a throw. Will we see Abi-zumo 3.0 where he can also offer the possibility of quickly getting inside and driving forward like Goeido? That variety from the tachiai would make him very difficult to defend against.

    • Yotsu-zumo is a lot more technical than oshi-zumo. You have to defend at the same time you’re attacking. Your leg placement, hip placement, and choice of grip location are very important as well. If he can learn all this stuff – he has the body to make them work. He could be Akebono 2. But… he needs to work like a professional.

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