Can I possibly post another report before I drop? Let’s see…
🌐 Location: Habikino, Osaka
The day starts with a drum call, with the drummer sitting in a rather cosy-looking nook of the arena complex:
At the lobby area, sekitori shake hands with the fans. It’s Okinoumi’s birthday, but for some reason, Terutsuyoshi is getting much more attention than he does:
The reason may be that Okinoumi himself was trying to keep as low profile as possible. He didn’t even let the press publish photos of him eating his cake or anything – if it wasn’t for Hokutofuji posting it on his own Instagram, we would not know there was cake.
Outside, Kotoshogiku and Toyonoshima sit down at the photo-op corner. That’s where fans come to get themselves photographed with famous rikishi. Interestingly, a large group of gaijin queues up for the privilege.
Moving inside, we see Ichinojo practicing, all alone. And man, that space must be huge, if it makes Ichinojo look this small:
Enho is working on his flexibility:
Tomokaze has Ichiyamamoto in a “kabedon”:
Ichiyamamoto will be getting a lot of attention this day, though he is not even a local boy.
Up at the dohyo, Chiyonoumi is getting some coaching from Kasugano oyakata, the Jungyo master:
Kotonowaka, on the other hand, is getting some coaching from his heyagashira (the rikishi at the head of the heya):
And Ichiyamamoto? He is getting kawaigari from Hakuho. The newspapers in Japan consider this to be coaching, too:
You can hear the calls from below the dohyo: “Get back on your feet, quickly!”. You’re not supposed to waste Yokozuna time.
Eventually, even hell ends:
And yes, that video is punctuated with some Tomokaze hiney.
Some Juryo moshi-ai:
Yutakayama vs. Ichiyamamoto. Followed by Kiribayama vs., I’m not sure whom. Possibly Chiyonoumi.
Nishikigi looks pretty good. I think the first one is possibly Shimanoumi, and the second one is Yago. But when he picks Asanoyama he is out of his league.
Those out-of-breath “Hai, Hai” (“yes, yes”) that you hear are somebody getting coached by the oyakata – the Jungyo master or vice-master. Or possibly one of the Yokozuna. The only acceptable answer when that happens is “yes, sir”.
When keiko is over, the sekitori hit the showers, and there are several performances – Jinku and Shokkiri, possibly a drum demonstration. Once there are clean sekitori, there is also a hair demonstration. The model of the day is Shodai:
Sheesh, it’s a bit dangerous, what with all the sharp implements an all.
He is not the only one to get an oicho today – there is an odd number of sekitori, and a Makushita rikishi needs to fill in. Today, we get Tsukahara in an oicho:
Ooh, he looks like he was born in an oicho-mage.
Time for the Juryo bouts, then! All I have is home boy, well, not so much a boy, home guy, Ikioi. He faces Hidenoumi:
Yeah, the local one wins. It’s the push from the local crowd, of course.
Near the end of the Juryo bouts, Kakuryu once again goes up and demonstrates how to wear a rope. This time I have it on video (well, on two, because of Twitter limits):
In the first one you can see that the front tsukebito has a special tool for inserting the shide – the zigzag papers – into the rope, and he uses it to align a pesky shide.
The Juryo rikishi get a well deserved shower while the Makuuchi rikishi prepare for their dohyo-iri. At this point I will remind you that this Jungyo is hot, Japan is hot, and the rikishi are basically slowly cooking all the time. So the NSK set up a cooler to blow some cool air at them as they pass in and out of the shitaku-beya.
After Kyokutaisei, Kiribayama is also wrapped in a towel. But look what he does with the cooler nozzle:
The maintenance people set it back up. But here comes Team Kakuryu on the way to the dohyo iri, and what does Shodai do?
I think the key to this curious behavior is “fansa”. That is, some rikishi have been taught that their own comfort is secondary to that of the fans. So they point the nozzle at the fans waiting around the entrance.
Exhibit A: after the Makuuchi bouts are over and he’s showered, Shodai returns there, and it turns out that he really covets some cool air.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, because that’s after the the Makuuchi bouts, and we have lots of those to show you todya!
I don’t have Terutsuyoshi’s bout, but I do have him throwing his salt. And he is damn dedicated to his salt throw:
Enho vs. Chiyomaru:
This is a sort of tachiai without “ai”. Anyway, pixie disposes of big round thing.
Nice bout for Jungyo!
While that is going on, Chiyotairyu is baking down below the dohyo. So he borrows a fan’s fan:
That pink works well with his mawashi, don’t you think? We’ll see that fan make an appearance again soon.
But first, Shodai vs. Ichinojo:
Aaagh, I guess they didn’t say clearly enough that there was kensho on this bout. Ichinojo kind of turns around, like he is thinking “what, there was kensho?”
While this is going on, Abi is waiting for his bout. The fan with the fan is fanning him. When she stops, he turns around and asks “may I have some more?”:
You bet he gets his wish.
So, if Abi is waiting for his bout, it means it’s the “kore-yori-san-yaku”. And so, Hakuho has a date with a yobidashi again.
Abi vs. Ryuden:
Abi continues to go for a grapple. Like yesterday, he sticks his head in Ryuden’s chest – a fundamental technique, especially if you think you’re not as good or as strong as your opponent. But this time Ryuden is not surprised, and quickly gets his customary morozashi for the win.
Mitakeumi vs. Tamawashi:
Yeah, sorry for the quality of the video, etc. But Tamawashi continues his not-so-brilliant performance from the basho. And Mitakeumi is eager to prove that he is on an Ozeki run for reals.
Hakuho vs. Kakuryu:
羽曳野巡業横綱対決鶴竜勝ちました pic.twitter.com/ehTNzWqLHB— なお0701@ (@K62LT10MIhDW53T) July 29, 2019
The win goes the way of Kakuryu this time, unsurprisingly.
We finish with the pin-up of the day, Ishiura: